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Old 16-03-2013, 09:02   #16
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I guess you would call the Great Lakes coastal??
I had a C&C 44 which could handle Lake Huron and Michigan well, but it was a lot to shorthand for an old guy and the deep draft made some of the Michigan marinas marginal with the low lake levels.
I recently moved to a Hunter 410 with 5' keel and roller furling main. The large state rooms and salon make it a better summer live aboard and the shallow draft and furling main make less stress on the skipper. I have never been a racer, just love to sail.
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Old 17-03-2013, 10:29   #17
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Re: Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It.

A mid-30 footer is perfectly fine for extended cruising and you see a lot of folks doing it quite comfortably. The expense too, as has been already pointed out, is notably lower than for a boat say in the mid-40 feet range.

But for me it came down to "sleepability." I am 6' 3" and when my wife and I were boat shopping one of the top three imperatives that could not be violated was that I had to fit comfortably into the berth (with wife by my side). The other two were a solid build in good condition and within our price range. Other than these three things we were open to all kinds of things understanding that any boat is a compromise.

Interestingly the size of the boat didn't really matter as there were several 40 foot plus boats where the berth was just too small or it took an olympic gymnast to climb in. (We loved an older Tartan 40 but the berths were too small.) But in general, there were only a couple of boats in the 38 foot range that had berths big enough and really nothing below that size that could comfortably accommodate my 6-3 frame.

The other issue is that while we are now using our boat for weekend trips and for 2 or 3 longer (10 days) trips during the summer, at some point we are going to head south to escape the New England winters and wanted something we could hunker down in for 3 or 4 months.

In the end we purchased an older Sabre 425, with great looks, plenty of room, good sailing characteristics, a 5 foot draft, a 60 foot stick and quite seaworthy. It was a compromise as we bought an older boat than we had originally desired and we have done a lot of work to update and repair systems.

If I was 3" shorter there would have been more options and I was wary of my wife each time she had a hack saw in her hand.
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Old 17-03-2013, 16:44   #18
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Re: Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It.

Hi all,

Thanks so much for your responses – very interesting indeed. I, like many of you, am in the 6’4” group – and carrying 220 pounds to boot. Squeezing in and out of tight spaces (especially engine-filled ones) is not something claustrophobics like myself care to do. I certainly understand the crosses of inadequate berth lengths, low ceilings, booms that go boom on your head, and bedtime acrobatics. I always said I wanted to sleep with a gymnast - never once considering that might be me trying to squeeze into a berth with my right foot in my left ear and not being able to locate the left due to numbness from prayerfully temporary nerve damage!

It seems as if two fundamental groups exist – along with a noticeably unaccounted for middle ground of 33-39 footers among the responses. (Interestingly, this is consistent with personal observations I’ve made in a number of ports throughout the years.)

As far as the 32-foot-and-below crowd, do you spend a great deal of time on your boat while on the hook or in port? Do you spend more time ashore once you’ve arrived at your destination? Do you sail your vessels distances more than 100 miles often? How long are your typical forays? Based on the responses so far, it appears as if the 40-foot-and-above crowd spends more time aboard and travels more miles on their vessels – which may be a distinction among coastal cruisers. Is this a reasonable assertion?

Other compelling considerations are skinny water and air draft. On many occasions I’ve coveted secretly that little cove or gunk hole as I sat on the outside looking in over a sandbar with a smidgeon less than four feet of water keeping me “at bay.” I’ve rarely had to deal with air draft – or, at least not yet. In many ways though, I’m probably more like Scotty, ZeeHag, BobConnie, et. al. because of seeing my nautical world through the lens of offshore experience on the left coast, Australia, and the Pacific. At 51, I also find it acutely difficult to give up accouterments like comfort, refrigeration, space, sea keeping, lifestyle freedom, and the potential to go beyond the horizon if the mood should strike. On the other hand, I’m admittedly envious of the efficiency, adventure, affordability, and flexibility smaller vessels provide – except the fitting four persons into a 19-footer vessel thing! I'd love to see it, however! It might be fun!

While I don’t have a wife, the women I know being far too intelligent to marry a vinophile with author and photography problems, I certainly wouldn’t sleep well knowing mine had a desire for a smaller, “cuter” vessel in which I couldn’t fit along with a penchant for expressing herself through hardware as may be the case with BoxerOne! The wants, needs, and desires of the significant other is definitely a very real consideration.

That leaves us with the less-than-ubiquitous 33-39-foot crowd (SFX echo). Is this group less represented among coastal cruisers because these vessels are too drafty, inflexible, or dear for the 32-foot-and-below crowd and don’t provide enough comfort, space, storage, or sea-kindly characteristics for the 40-foot-plus crowd? I’m surprised many vessels in the 33-39-foot crowd often cost as much or more as those in the 40-foot-and-over crowd. Kind of doesn’t make a great deal of sense in financial terms to me. Then again, who am I to suggest boat valuation has ever been logical?

Once again, thanks all for your input. You’ve all helped me develop a bit more clarity about this topic – I think!

Fair winds,
Kevin
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:00   #19
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pirate Re: Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It.

I have owned and lived aboard boats varying in size from 21ft to 37ft...
My current boat is 21ft... why did I choose it..?
The best I could afford at the time.. and still..
But it is a boat capable of taking me from Harwich, UK to Fig da Foz, Portugal across the Biscay and will take me further still.. if I ever get her back in the water.
Shoulda been done last year... but I was sampling the delights of the S.Pacific...
Bad Owner...
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Old 17-03-2013, 17:31   #20
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Re: Your Coastal/Near Coastal Vessel - And Why You Chose It.

The nice thing about coastal is a boat like a Beneteau, Jeanneau or Catalina works great. It's hard to beat their designs for comfort. The beam on the newer boats allows you to buy smaller. At 30-32 you get good room for two without being cramped, often two double cabins, and it's easy to deal with the sails etc. at 35-38 you get more storage and a little more nav station etc...maybe an extra, (small) head. At 40-45 you get at least two double cabins, each with it's own head etc....
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Old 17-03-2013, 18:40   #21
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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
The nice thing about coastal is a boat like a Beneteau, Jeanneau or Catalina works great. It's hard to beat their designs for comfort. The beam on the newer boats allows you to buy smaller. At 30-32 you get good room for two without being cramped, often two double cabins, and it's easy to deal with the sails etc. at 35-38 you get more storage and a little more nav station etc...maybe an extra, (small) head. At 40-45 you get at least two double cabins, each with it's own head etc....
You mean " the nice thing about bluewater capable boats often used in costal cruising , like Bene......"

Dave
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