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Old 22-06-2018, 19:23   #31
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Re: How big of a boat do I need? Please Advise..

Curiously none of our respondents have suggested chartering a few boats commonly used in the area where the boat is used. Spending a night or two aboard can be helpful. As spending a day or so on the boat. Even after noon cruise for a few hours can be helpful.

Another suggestion is looking around to see what boats are commonly used in the community. For example, if trawlers are scarce that might suggest some good reasons to look elsewhere. Boaters typically exchange information.

Still another suggestion is finding a helpful yacht broker willing spend time. Good brokers know that when it comes time to sell the selling broker has an advantage. And that most boaters will own a variety of boats. So it can become a long running relationship.

To an older generation there were good reasons where the choice of autos was either Ford or Chevrolet. Now its Toyota too. Similarly with boats. Boats that develop a following usually do so because they meet their owners expectations.

We oft advise would be boaters to begin with a purchase budget and an annual maintainence and improvement budget. And recognize that any boat purchased will require some updates and refits. So getting some expertise advice from a capable yacht surveyor can be very helpful. Remember that insurance surveys are just that - surveys that assess the value and seaworthiness risk of the boat. A really good surveyor can give some detailed assessments of the costs of putting the boat in shape for the use it will be used.

Having owned 2 dozen ocean going sailboats over 50 years we learned fairly on that there are no “real bargains”. Some are better maintained than others. We’ve always sought out well maintained boats with substantial maintainence logs and documentation for same. Odds are pretty good that owners who are generous about maintainence will keep most systems up and running.

Finally we’ve never met anyone who bought his last boat as his first boat. It’s always a learning experience. That’s why buying a boat that’s easy to sell is rule number one.
Plus our needs and desires change over time. When I was decades younger I loved to varnish. Now its a chore. And if we didn’t have so much of it we’d hire the job out.

Good luck. And keep the eyes open. It’s just a boat !
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Old 22-06-2018, 20:14   #32
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Re: How big of a boat do I need? Please Advise..

+1 for chartering.

The real issue I have with the power cats is the distance from the helm to the rail. Most sailing cats have the helm by the rail. This makes it easy for the helmsman to assist or for single-hand docking a 44-47 foot cat. The power cats I have run all have flybridges that make it difficult to get to the rail.

If you are buying a new boat, consider a helm station in the stern. This will make sense when you see one docked..
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Old 24-06-2018, 07:16   #33
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Re: How big of a boat do I need? Please Advise..

In my 48 years as a boat delivery Capt, the term "bigger is better" has always struck me as contradictory to the basic reason you're on a boat in the first place. (Solitude, adventure, family). Similar to oversize motorhomes, where's the joy in towing a hotel. Kiss approach (keep it simple sailor). I have set a max length for my own vessel (home), at 38'. Would like to bring up an opinion based on experience concerning choosing a SeaRay. The newer hulls might have been improved (or not), but their prehistoric variable deadrise makes the boat point at the sky and reducing visability to awkward and unsafe levels. Especially in the deadhead ridden Pacific NW on up to AK. If you're standing on your tiptoes during the sea trial....reconsider.
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