Wonderful post. I can just add my own personal experience. A few years ago, I got Invictus, a Wauquiez Hood
38 with the express purpose of cruising in what I wished to be an early retirement
. It was a tough choice because I could have afforded any reasonable boat, large or small, I wanted...but would have either had to work a few years longer or have less capital to invest for a comfortable retirement
Before looking and chosing the 'right' boat or a certain LOA
, I worked a budget
....cruising, retirement, investments ...everything. I then set a specific price level and looked there.
My other considerations were comfort and safety
. I wanted a boat that would be comfortable for two with occasional guests but also one I could single
hand. A boat that would be very comfy and safe in a seaway but one that would not tire me out handling, or overload me in adverse conditions. Newer enough and in excellent condition so that I would not have to work hard at rebuilding her and every system aboard (any boat is enough work already).
My choice enabled me to retire at 49 and sail her solo down the ICW
from Annap to FL. She is most welcoming for guests and ready for a wonderful cruising companion
. I can single
hand her anywhere in any condition, in any weather
....to include any tough docking
situation....many of which were encountered during the last trip.
She is, to me, more economical to keep and maintain and not much work to do so. If need be, I can put her on the hard
or transport her at not too much expense. I am very happy, comfy and loving life aboard.
Looking out over the mooring
field in Stuart FL, I can see about 40 boats. Ignoring the few cats and power vessels, there are perhaps 30 or more sails
. Probably 70% are 38ft and under. There are many cruisers and liveaboards here who are very comfy and happy with more modest boats, including many under 30ft LOA
. They have lower expenses than I and there were many many times along the ICW
I saw smaller boats anchored tucked into little spots I would not attempt ...but wished I could.
As for price. I am comfortable with my choice...but the 50k or more I spent on this boat (than a more reasonable one) results in some thousands in investment income
that I will not have.
There is one gentleman here who is cruising on a Catalina 30
. His boat looks to be in excellent condition and has new canvas
....100% all around, fully enclosed, and probably anything else he wants. I imagine he eats out at the finest restuarants every day and probably gets the fillet mignon. Must be nice.
There is one couple I know who liveaboard
a Southern Cross 31. A very nice boat. They have a dog and a large RIB
(which they tow, covered, with no problems). He downsized from a 40ft trawler
. They are very happy, having a great time and loving life.
My best to all.