Originally Posted by boatgearguy
I vote for the Westsail 32 for the following reasons:
1- It changed the face of world cruising.
2- Built in significant numbers.
, it protects the crew in difficult situations.
4- Affordable, makes the dream a reality.
5- Serviceable, parts
and assistance available.
6- A manageable size yet lots of room below.
7- Classic Colin Archer/Crealock design.
Well there were plenty of Ingrids built too. Same with the Tayana 37
, Valiant 40, Bristol Channel Cutter
, Crealock/Pacific Seacraft 37, etc.
There were a ton of copycat double-enders built on the Colin Archer/William Atkin formula: Alajuelas, Dreadnoghts, etc. And a few Lyle Hess copycat designs (my boat is one of these). Some were better than others.
IMHO you have to give serious consideration to Steve Dashew's Deerfoots, and other more modern semi-custom and custom cruising designs if you want to pick the "best" all-time cruising boat. You also have to look at cruising cats. If I were planning a single-handed circumnavigation
today, the first boat on my list would be a Seawind 1160
. Not too big, not too small, easy to handle.