For cruisers and living on board the answer could be: Take the boat you love and you can afford, be happy with it ! :-)
But so it does not go on "high seas".
First analyse the needs...
I dont mean your own needs, I mean the needs of the boat itself to survive. If the boat is built to survive in the conditions you want bring her, then you will have the chance to survive.
Seaworthyness and Safetyness:
If you want sail arctic regions with ice, you need a strong hull
which can stand - eventually to overwinter in thick pack ice.
Designers have thought a lot about to draw the best form, e.g. bow forms, decks layout, stern, rudder
, daggerboards... all has a function. If you cant read a boat seeing all the little details, learn about.. there are plenty of books
you can read to get a feeling... and visit different boat shows to get a feeling about.
Regions and life style
: If you are in hot tropicals, most of your life will be on deck
... and you need there lots of space to feel the fresh breath. Wooden boats rotten very quickly in such tropical regions and suffer if the owner has not enough budget
to care for intensively
Capacity and skills of crew:
If you are single
hand sailor, you need a very centred cockpit
with lots of winches to handle every manoever safely...
The other aspect is distance ! - More independency
for sailing long distances from from A to B without an external supplier infrastructure, more you need on board. And more space you need. E.g. bigger water
Last part of the complexe matrix are your skills as skipper and the skills of your crew
. Do you sail short handed (single- or double handed) ? Do you have a big family
on board with little kidds ? Do you use the boat in charter
with sailing newbees ? - A complexe rig can make life on board very demanding... so the rigging
shall be adapted to the needs in the relevant sea areas, e.g. ketch
rigged boat, self tagging jib
systems etc. ...
A boat does not give lots of privacy... if you have under deck
all open and people must sleep in it can become stress. But same not all like the luxury of land living. E.g. having a double cabin
with own shower
and king size bed
. It depends who you are, what you expect and what kid of people you like to have on board. Socialising is an important aspect for humans.
Some boats are equipped with workshops, too. Thats the last part: what are your handcraft skils ? Some sailors have a sail loft on board with a sewing mashine to repair independently from ordering a sail maker to repair the sails
... others can do welding Steel
or Aluminium... some sailors are great in wood work.
So the boat building material should fit your own skills and preferences. Not all like epoxy
glueing handling toxic chemicals. Its up to you !
This is the bigger matrix I was taking about... put all facts on the table.... then you will get an understanding your search should focus onto. All the filters as described, will filter out the boat you need. It comes from alone popping up as soon the fog
has disappeared. Boats are not objects of mystery. Just a big puzzle of many different parameters...
Hull shape (keel, bow, stern, rudder), Rig system + sail plan, Boat material, Seaworthyness of the boat (inclusive safetyness equipment following the IMO/SOLAS standard9 and handling + skills.
Ever other aspects to equip a boat, e.g. electronics
and electrics follow from the basic matrix... You still could navigate with a Sextant
, and steer manually. Not urgently needed a Chart plotter or an autopilot
. You can haul your sails
manually, not urgently needed electric
winches. It depends lot on your phsyical fitness/healthyness, budget and skills
Invest your money first in the basic structure of the boat..
all the goodies, e.g. hot water
, chart plotter etc. ... come later in 2nd row. All these extras make lots of work. More you have on board, more needs steadily repairs
Actually under security aspects
a boat should be equipped to make it more safely with some modern tool
s, e.g. having GPS
and life jackets with life belts, water pump systems (bilge pumps). Nowadays i see a solar
system as part of the safety
system , too.
Traditionally safety equipmen
t, e.g. anchors, storm sails, hand pumps I dont like to talk about. It belongs to good seamanship and every boat has to have it.
In total, there come many, many parameters into count to answer your question. If this big matrix is too complexe for you, take a naval architect and surveyor
aside to find the boat you need.
Good luck !
P.S.: I was professional skipper
. For a skipper before he overtakes the job, being ordered by charter
agencies, for deliveries, for sail training in a sail academy etc. ... it is a normal procedure to scan the boat he shall overtake the resonsability. Some of the charter agents and private owners do not have the knowledge to understand boats fully. I never would overtake a contract
to skipper a boat I would not count as safe lacking to fulfill all the needs. Here comes into account same the qualification of charter guests, the seasonal weather
conditions of the sea area, technical infrastructure in the country (e.g. suppliers in the marinas
, harbours) etc. ....
Your question is not only interesting for boat owners, it is same interesting for skippers. A steadily training is required, as over the decades we get new boat designs. Its important to understand their weaknesses and strength.