I just bought a 1981 cruiser. It isn't a full keel
like my last one. I wouldn't buy a full keel
again. Feels pretty good in a seaway but too much of a slug. I do have a skeg-hung rudder
and wouldn't buy one without it for offshore
. That's personal preference.
I have also worked on too many full pan boats and wouldn't have one. Too damn hard to fix or add things - like wire for windlasses. Or wire for anything for that matter. The little conduits they put on are a joke. I also like a bilge
to catch and hold that bit of water that invariably gets in. Personal preference.
Handholds and a u-shaped galley
are musts for me though. Been there done that. Almost lost
the Admiral from the galley
even with the U. She wasn't clipped in. Got seriously banged up and carried the scars to this day. Even handholds aren't enough at times. A cat would be ok without though but other personal preference things with those for me.
Don't need 4" thick GRP. Lighter is better so long as it is strong. Some new boats are some aren't. I'd be fine with aluminum
but haven't found the right boat with that yet on the market for a price
I could afford.
Big cockpits are great at anchor
or in a marina. I really miss our old center cockpit
for just that alone. But I would have one of the new ones with the wide open exposed cockpits. Would put up some side curtains and some hard points for clipping in but heaven help you if a wave picks you up and throws you that far away. Can't seem to find those nice calm passages 100% of the time. Only takes one of the 5% to ruin your day. Sure would be nice though. Personal preference. Lots of people have gone RTW with those kind of boats.
I do like a boat that has that "dead" sound feel to it when all hell is breaking loose outside. It can be scary enough anyway. Personal preference.
I have looked at the new production boats and some meet my personal preferences, others don't. Other than the less than appealing lines (personal preference) the Island Packets and the Pacific Seacraft
are good seaworthy
as defined by my personal preference. No way can I afford a cat and it would be prohibitively expensive to keep one moored here (for me).
Other stuff you need regardless - good sails
, anchor, rode
, safety gear
, radios, electronics
, tankage (enough whatever that is), etc. I'm just happy that there are older boats that have been sorted out with cruising gear
that appeals to me, that are strong enough for where I want to go, that have been maintained to a level I can continue on my budget
, that I can work
on, at a price
I can afford. Most newer boats don't meet my personal preferences. I wish they did. Who doesn't like having a nice shiny new thing. But I'll never buy a new house again. Costs too much to get it ready.
One thing is totally clear - older boats like I just described stay on the market about 2-3 weeks before they are gone. They have to be "clean" but you know what I mean. I have friends who have been looking for a year now. I looked for over a year and one boat I liked after another got sold
while I was thinking about it. Plenty of trashed boats that "have" my personal preferences but I don't have the time, interest, or money
to fix them back up. And I can't afford any newer boats that come close that I can afford. They are out there.
Nigel Calder's "old" Malo 46 "Serene" is for sale
for $599k if anyone is interested. He did a nice job with a newish design and build from a reputable yard. I just bought mine for $120k and will put in about $30-40k in to it to get to about the same kit that Serene has. And mine will be as safe, comfortable, and fast as his. Although I had to settle for less tankage than I would prefer. Always have to "settle" for something or another.
I am happy to hear about how I didn't do my homework right and that there are other "better" boats out there for the same money
, etc. All I can say is that I used my previous experiences and developed my own personal preferences and budget
and there aren't any newer boats that meet those. To each his/her own. There are still older boats that will outlive me and many of you. And there will be a lot of newer boats which won't.
But cars a like that too. Some are classics and durable and some aren't. I have a 2001 4Runner that meets my personal preferences. I don't want all the new electronics
. Hell - I had to replace the computer on the 4R for one boat buck. Newer ones are worse. I had to special order the Admiral's new car without a center GPS
display. Don't want that "feature" to fix for three boat bucks. Built in electronics are a growth industry for car dealers. But that's a different story. Newer is not always better.