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Old 19-03-2013, 07:15   #1
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Our Most Perfect Boat

Well collecting and sifting through all the wonderful advice I have mad a preliminary list of the attributes that I feel OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT would possess. I would appreciate any refinements/additions, suggested subtractions, preferred brands or possible boats that fit many of the items on the list. Thank you to all who have contributed to my past thread so I could compile this list and to all who will contribute in the future!
30 to 35 feet LOA
Masthead sloop or cutter
Full or fin keel
Skeg or transom hung rudder
Design that offers good accesability to all systems.
Hard Dodger
Slab reef fully battened mainsail with lazyjacks
Furling headsail with twin grooves
Self tacking staysail
Dacron sails
High modulus halyards
Heater
Bruce, CQR and Fisherman’s anchors
Dual electric/manual windlass
Autohelm
VHF radio
Plotter
Diesel engine
Three house and one engine battery
Wind generator
Full enclosed head
Dinghy
Three burner stove with oven
Magma or Dickenson BBQ
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Old 19-03-2013, 07:26   #2
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Re: OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT

First off, let me commend you for calling it "OUR" most perfect boat. Too many people come on thinking they are going to be told about THE perfect boat, when no such thing exists. What is perfect for you may not be perfect for me, or for anyone else. Only you can decide what is perfect for you.

Having said that, I'm not sure what this list is supposed to represent. Are you saying that the boat you buy must have each of these things? If so, you are limiting yourself too much. You can add a VHF, autohelm, plotter, etc. to any boat you buy. These may be things you want before you head out into the great unknown, but they certainly don't have to already be on the boat before you consider buying it.

Criteria for buying a boat should be limited to the fundamentals that are difficult and expensive, if not impossible, to change. Things like masthead sloop or cutter, full or fin keel (meaning you don't want a centerboard?), skeg hung rudder, and so on.

You might also consider what sort of engine you want. For example, my next boat is going to need a diesel engine of at least 1.5 hp per 1,000 lbs. of displacement. Changing out the engine is an expensive proposition, so any boat that doesn't meet that criteria is going to have to be cheap enough to allow for that expense.

Then I wonder about "three house and one engine battery." Why that number? Isn't the total amp/hr capacity what it important, not how many there are? You need to guesstimate what you'll be using, and how long you want to go between charging, and that will tell you how much battery capacity you require. Then from that you can figure out how many and what size are appropriate. But, again, as long as the boat you want has room for the battery capacity that you require, whether or not it actually has that capacity when you buy it is pretty inconsequential.

Good luck to you.
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:06   #3
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Re: OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT

We approached the purchase of our current boat in a similar way; listing the key criteria and ranking each option on a set scale. This allowed us to compare different boats in a semi-rational fashion. After all, unless can afford to design and build a boat from scratch, the one you chose will be a balance of compromises. There is no "perfect boat" for most of us.

So I think your approach is good, but I do think your criteria list needs further refinement. Your list includes a mix of key hull/cabin design elements (which are the important points) along with a bunch of items that are inconsequential from an initial purchase perspective. For example, you are right to focus on hull design and sailing rig, but I don't see any criteria around cabin layout, storage, ports, thru-hulls, or tankage. I would also give considerable thought to foredeck space and layout, and particularly side-deck width. Stuff like radio, running rigging, plotter and a BBQ are inconsequential. You can easily add these later. Even stuff like and autohelm, wind generator and types of anchors are rather unimportant at the initial stages of a boat search.

We learned what we really wanted and needed in a cruising boat only after owning one for many years. Good luck with your search .
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Old 19-03-2013, 08:31   #4
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Re: OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT

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Originally Posted by justwannadoit View Post
Bruce, CQR and Fisherman’s anchors

This one could I feel use some improvement. The rest is fine with me if it is with you. Doesn't mean I agree, but we aren't talking about MY perfect boat.


I doubt that it is really possible to have the perfect boat. The more time you spend on the them the more things you want or wish for, which mostly starts becoming contradictory. In the end after a few boats the best you can hope is MY Perfect Boat Compromise.
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Old 19-03-2013, 09:16   #5
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

Well thought out list.

There will also be some little things that you might find as you check out boats.

For example, I have a concern about door latches that involve me sticking my finger in a very small hole. If the boat lurches as I am opening a latch, that could could cause some pain.
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Old 19-03-2013, 09:27   #6
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

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For example, I have a concern about door latches that involve me sticking my finger in a very small hole. If the boat lurches as I am opening a latch, that could could cause some pain.
Great example of the type things that make a big difference in real life boat use, but don't get as much thought as "on paper" stuff that mostly is only important sounding!
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:33   #7
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by justwannadoit View Post
Well collecting and sifting through all the wonderful advice I have mad a preliminary list of the attributes that I feel OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT would possess. I would appreciate any refinements/additions, suggested subtractions, preferred brands or possible boats that fit many of the items on the list. Thank you to all who have contributed to my past thread so I could compile this list and to all who will contribute in the future!
30 to 35 feet LOA
Masthead sloop or cutter
Full or fin keel
Skeg or transom hung rudder
Design that offers good accesability to all systems. [color=red]No boat will have this. It's a boat and systems will have to be jammed into hard to reach areas.[/red]
Hard Dodger - Can add later. Here is a good article about building your own.
Slab reef fully battened mainsail with lazyjacks
Furling headsail with twin grooves
Self tacking staysail
Dacron sails
High modulus halyards
Heater - There are a lot of different types to choose from. I would be less concerned with this coming with the boat because it will likely not be the type you would choose for yourself.
Bruce, CQR and Fisherman’s anchors Big personal preference here. Don't expect the seller to have the same view.
Dual electric/manual windlass - Can add later
Autohelm - Can add later
VHF radio - Can add later
Plotter - Don't worry about this being with the boat as it will likely be old and you will want to upgrade before you go.
Diesel engine
Three house and one engine battery - Battery storage location is most important when choosing the boat. The batteries that are with the boat will most likely be replaced before you leave anyways. If the space is there, it's not that hard to set up a good system. I am in the middle of this upgrade as we speak. Here is a post about it.
Wind generator - Can add later
Full enclosed head - If this is to liveaboard, you might want to think about the seperate shower aspect.
Dinghy - I wouldn't worry about this being included at all. Just like the main boat, there are so many choice to be made with dinghy type that are personal.
Three burner stove with oven
Magma or Dickenson BBQ - I prefer the Magma but personal choice
So I made some comments above about my thoughts. But this is how my Bride and I found OUR perfect boat. I wrote a post on our blog about that recently. There is also a post on Monkey's Fist on this subject too. There might be some good information in both to help you.
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Old 19-03-2013, 10:51   #8
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

It is all personal choices.

If that's what you want, go get it.

I prefer wire tailed halyards - they stand chafe longer. If your sheaves and exits are perfect, stick with soft halyards sure.

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Old 19-03-2013, 10:57   #9
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

No shower? Why?

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Old 19-03-2013, 11:07   #10
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

I find that this, like the many, many other posts that ask others what the perfect boat is, misses a critical point. You can ask others what amounts to a personal preference question, but it's like asking others to choose your house or car.

You can ask others what their fantasy boat is, much like you can ask them about their perfect girl. But it won't be YOUR fantasy, and it won't be YOUR perfect girl. And, more importantly, it won't be your perfect boat in reality. I think this is actually a trap that you can fall into. The answers will you will get will be based on a lot of biased information based on other people's choices (it's natural to defend those no matter what), and their opinions based on quite good marketing by high end boats.

It seems to me that the better question to be asking is: "How am I going to be using this boat 90% of the time, over the next 3 years?" That should dictate your choice.

If you want to see a lot of the wrong boats, go to your local marina, and look at the "dream" boats that are gathering dust and decaying while their owners are doing something that they actually want to be doing. Too many people look for that perfect, atlantic-crossing boat, when they just want to get into the wind every once in a while, and maybe in 5 years trip over to the Bahamas. The reality is that any boat can make that trip with the proper preparation.

So figure out what it is that you are really going to do, and get a boat that does that. If after 3 years you want to do something else, get THAT boat. This will save you from looking for two of those years for a boat that doesn't actually meet your needs.

It seems to me that "finding a perfect boat" is one hobby, while sailing is another. One comes at the expense of the other.
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Old 19-03-2013, 16:21   #11
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The perfect boat is the one you love so much that you accept her as she is. Do your best and be somewhat pragmatic in what you will really use the boat for. Best
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Old 20-03-2013, 01:36   #12
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
I find that this, like the many, many other posts that ask others what the perfect boat is, misses a critical point. You can ask others what amounts to a personal preference question, but it's like asking others to choose your house or car.
I think you (and others in this thread) miss a critical point that the OP is not asking you pick a boat for him/her. Just write what you'd like in a boat, and stop being so negative.

So many of you are writing about subjectivity as if you possessed some arcane wisdom, when all you're doing is stating the obvious. I'm glad you all learned about subjectivity. So can we get on with it, and contribute the the OP's intention?
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Old 20-03-2013, 03:06   #13
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Well collecting and sifting through all the wonderful advice I have mad a preliminary list of the attributes that I feel OUR MOST PERFECT BOAT would possess. I would appreciate any refinements/additions, suggested subtractions, preferred brands or possible boats that fit many of the items on the list. Thank you to all who have contributed to my past thread so I could compile this list and to all who will contribute in the future!
30 to 35 feet LOA


Masthead sloop or cutter

Not really important. Both are equally usable.

Full or fin keel

Personal preference, but full keel boats are not made in any quantity anymore

Skeg or transom hung rudder

Doesn't really make a lot of difference

Design that offers good accesability to all systems.

We all wish that , what we get ... Well!

Hard Dodger

Most boats can't accommodate them well, some look awful. Works well on bigger boats

Slab reef fully battened mainsail with lazyjacks

Personal preference , all good quality furling /reefing systems will work

Furling headsail with twin grooves

Why ?

Self tacking staysail

I suppose , not great in a cruising boat

Dacron sails

As opposed to what , if I had the money I'd buy laminates.

High modulus halyards

And the other choice ?

Heater
If cold

Bruce, CQR and Fisherman’s anchors
None of them are much use , get a 3rd gen anchor

Dual electric/manual windlass
Waste of money , great if have money , all it saves is time

Autohelm

I presume you mean an autopilot. Yes good idea for any distance sailing

VHF radio

Sure , costs buttons

Plotter

Optional

Diesel engine

Optional if you like the Pardys


Three house and one engine battery

Install what's appropriate.

Wind generator

Naw

Full enclosed head
Just how small is this boat

Dinghy
Gets stolen

Three burner stove with oven

Unless you like to starve or just east yegimite

Magma or Dickenson BBQ

Refer good restaurant

You've just listed about 85% of boats. I think further work ( and more sailing ) deciding on a furling system and worrying about BBQ makes are somewhat incongruous


Dave
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Old 20-03-2013, 07:03   #14
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

Ole ole!

Now that we have the positives sorted out from the negatives ;-)

I think it is essential to think about LWL length rather than (or versus) LOA. One can find a 35' (LOA) boat with either 35 LWL or 25 LWL. These two designs may (and often will) dramatically differ in performance, displacement, volume and comfort (interrelated).

IMHO, for a cruiser, it often makes sense to go for a (max LWL/min LOA) boat: max speed, safety, comfort, min marina fees ...).

Just an idea, not a new one, but I believe a worthy one.

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Old 20-03-2013, 07:12   #15
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Re: Our Most Perfect Boat

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I think you (and others in this thread) miss a critical point that the OP is not asking you pick a boat for him/her. Just write what you'd like in a boat, and stop being so negative.

So many of you are writing about subjectivity as if you possessed some arcane wisdom, when all you're doing is stating the obvious. I'm glad you all learned about subjectivity. So can we get on with it, and contribute the the OP's intention?
Good point. It's more akin to asking someone else what they LIKE in a house or a car.

I assume the OP's intention is to find the perfect boat for themselves, and in that, I think my comment helps if taken to heart.

The problem with these kinds of posts is that they approach the question "What should I want in a boat?" instead of "What am I REALLY going to use the boat for?" and "what boat fills this need", when in fact how one will use the boat (in reality, not in dream zone) is the real indicator of type of boat one should purchase.

There is a whole class of boats that will ultimately meet the OPs needs. Trying to figure out the perfect configuration and then finding THAT one dream boat will needlessly rule out a lot of boats that would meet their need.
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