Hi FeBR and welcome aboard. Don't worry about the language - we all learn...
"Essential" is very personal. Some would like their boat to be completely self sustaining and have the comforts of a condominium or apartment. Some just want to get out there at a low cost. These are very personal to you and the limiting factor for almost everyone is budget
Where you cruise
can also help define essential. In cold climes where fog
is common and traffic is high some would say a radar
is essential. For solo handers some would say AIS
and traffic alarms are essential. For me not so much.
There are many debates here about what is essential and everyone has differing opinions. I also have decided that a ~40 cat is my retirement
cruising boat. Comforts for me include -
- Twin engines - no outboards
- Plenty of electrical
supply - Primarily solar but also generator at times
- Good refrigeration
- Large watermaker
- Smaller air conditioning
for at least stateroom for when shore powered or those unbearable still, hot doldrum nights we get near the equator
Nice to have -
- Excellent entertainment system
- Clothes washer
- Very large head
with separate shower
In terms of maintenance there is a reason charter
companies tend to sell the cats at around 5 years
- Maintenance costs start to go up
- Newer models arrive
- Charterers like new boats
At 5 years you are likely looking at sails
and the engines may have been run a lot. Charters will run the engine
anytime the wind
drops or any time they want power. This can be good or bad.
Batteries & standing rigging
will start to become a question at 7-10 years depending on where the boat was used.
As far as interior
layout 2 heads vs. 4 etc. This is the big difference between charter cats and owner cats. The other big difference is fitout in terms of safety gear
(life rafts for example), and electronics
I think the charter cat has an advantage here. The 5 y/o owner boat will have 5 y/o electronics
technology. It may not be bad but won't be latest. I would rather pay cheaper (charter cat) and add my own electronics.
The owner cat will want to be "paid" for all his upgrades, even though those upgrades are 5 years old. The charter cat won't have the upgrades, should come at a lower price
and you can add your upgrades with the savings with again the advantage that they are current equipment