A cruising boat this is an acceptable compromise for both myself and my fiance - IMO anything else is bound to lead to 'Not Sure's' comment about her "wanting it sold".
The good news is that as I have gotten older, my preferences have actually gotten closer to those of my fiance: firstly, my sailing ambitions have become more modest (no more thoughts of a circumnavigation
- my longest passages will be from Canada
to South America
and then across the Atlantic to cruise
the Med, and back); secondly, I have developed a definite desire for both some living space and the comforts of home; finally, I no longer get much joy out of a long bash to windward, nor of heading out in questionable conditions, nor of making constant adjustments to seek out the maximum performance from my boat.
The end result is that I now have my first catamaran
: no, she is not a performance boat, but she is solid and safe, designed and equipped to handle difficult conditions when they arise and extremely comodioius and comfortable. My lady gets a large ensuite head
compartment with a great deal of counter and storage
space, a separate 'tub room' with bathtub, shower
and another vanity, a 12 foot long galley
with both front load and top load refrigeration
units, a microwave, tons of storage
and counter space and a stove/oven that does not require gimbals, a 160 gallon a day watermaker
, a saloon
with a table that seats 6 and two other settees to seat four, a flat screen
bulkhead mounted TV, a stateroom with a queen size berth, a seat, a hanging locker and three cupboards with shelves, a large deck
area with netting (and removable closed-cell foam lounging cushions), a full size nav station with bench seat for using the computer/radios/back-up chartplotter
, two other private staterooms (private in that they are separated by at least 3 feet from any other stateroom), a separate head
compartment for use by our guests, a cockpit
with a removable full enclosure (including bug screens) and a solid teak
table and, finally, a full size door for entry into the interior
that does not require the balancing act of climbing a steep companionway
ladder in a heeling boat while trying to bring drinks or food
out to the cockpit
. And I get - well, I get the same (and a very happy lady).
Would I like a boat that is better to windward? Yes, although mine tacks extremely readily in all wind
conditions and through about 100 degrees on the chartplotter
(inclusive of side-slip). Hardly a meter boat, but for someone who is now trying to do largely tradewind sailing and who will have the luxury of time in planning voyages, I can certainly live with it. I do find that the performance/stability in reaching conditions and the ability to fly a symmetrical spinnaker
without a pole suit my current
I also enjoy docking
with twin diesels; I enjoy redundant systems (beats having to bleed your only diesel
just as you are approaching a narrow inlet); and of course, huge space and the ability to sit down when you do have to service
I enjoy the visibility from the interior
(and especially from the chart table, which permits the ability to use a remote
for the autopilot
from the interior of the boat in bad conditions).
I enjoy the ability to move forward in adverse conditions on an essentially non-heeling platform and, the fact that when on davits
, the inflatable
receives some side to side protection from the aft portion of the hulls.
Now, if I can just free-up the money
for a cat with similar accomodation but better performance (boards, high-tech construction and a LOA
of about 55 - 60 feet) we could both have it all....