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Old 09-10-2017, 19:29   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sabre 34-1 (sold) and Saga 43
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Suggestions for next boat

The admiral and I own and actively cruise on a Sabre 34. As we near retirement, with ambitions of extended cruising, we are looking for our next boat, and can't seem to zero in on a target. We understand that every boat is a compromise, and we don't expect to find the performance of a Volvo 60 with the comfort and capability of a Halberg Rassey at the price of a 1970's homebuilt ferro-cement boat. But we do have some firm-ish parameters. Does anyone have suggestions on a design that meets or comes close to this list? I'm sure many folks have different priorities, but this is our set of priorities.

* 40-45 feet. Roughly. We don't think boats under 40 will meet our target comfort level, and boats over 45 won't meet our purchase budget, maintenance budget, or physical abilities.

* Newer than 1990. Older boats are often gems, but generally they are rather worn out. Our Sabre is 1979, and as wonderful as she is, she's old.

* $100-$200K. At the low end, I realize a lot of work will be needed. However, I often see boats at the high end needing just as much! (5 year old or 15 year old instruments all need upgrading, minor gelcoat "dock rash" or major, both need a paint job).

* Performance at least equal to a Sabre 42. For those who race, I'd like a PHRF below say 100. I'm not going to race -- but I like a boat that sails well.

* Draft below 6'. I don't mind a centerboard -- I love mine. I'd take a centerboard over a wing, but I'd take either. My home waters are the Chesapeake, and the water is thin here.

* Storage. This is a major issue. Most modern boats sacrifice storage for that "spacious feeling." That means space under the floorboards, space outboard of bunks, a large "anchor locker," a lazarette, tanks under the floor to free up bunk space, only one head, only one "cabin"), etc. My Sabre 34 has trouble storing enough for a weekend, let alone a week -- or more!

* Designed for offshore work. I do NOT feel that it has to be a long keel heavy displacement double ender with keel hung rudder -- but at the same time, storage behind cushions held in place with VELCRO doesn't cut it. Same with limited hand rails "hidden from view"
* Classic lines. This rules out, for us, most center cockpit designs. Center cockpits also trade aft-cabin privacy (which a couple doesn't need) for living space.

* Factory original with a Solent or inside stay, or an easy retrofit. I'm tired of finding my rolled up jib is terrible in 30 knots to weather, and want an easier solution. Factory original speaks favorably to the design intent.
* Reverse transom or transom steps. I am NOT going to load groceries on a side-mount ladder, have to fit a ladder ever time I want to go swimming (or recover a man-overboard), or try and climb a side-mount ladder in full SCUBA gear. I am open to options to this, but don't know of any.
* Capable of accommodating a stern arch for davits and solar. Yes, there are other solutions, but I'd rather not go there.

Other considerations:
* Significant fridge and freezer space (have you seen the Passports?)
* Accessible bunk in master stateroom Classic forepeak is awful (we live with it now). Pullman is pretty cool. Aft cabin seems it would be hot.

* Durable hull. Either sold glass below the water line, or aluminum. Possibly steel
* Interior visibility to the outside. Most modern boats have nearly useless ports. I can see far more out of my '79 34' boat than almost any boat at the shows. To make matters worse, I'm only 5'8.

We've looked at many boats, new and old. Some come close. I believe I'm not searching for the impossible. Some that come close:

* Sabre 42 or 425. This is a lovely boat. It's only drawback is the storage. We looked at it and thought, where do we put a load of spare engine parts, summer clothes, food, generator, SCUBA compressor, 4 SCUBA tanks, a reacher, an asym, etc, etc.

* Passport 42-ish. A lovely boat, with a LOT of pluses. Very top of our price range, but real killer was the lack a transom entry solution. Also, can't support an arch (very narrow transom)

* Outbound. SCORE. Except for that price issue.

* Lots of William Garden design ketches. I grew up on one, and she'd be lovely. Except she's slow off the wind and a pig upwind.

* Saga 43. There is one 2 boats down from mine (not for sale, but I can lust). Prices are near the upper limit, but probably OK. Haven't crawled all over her, but I suspect storage is lacking.

So reading my list, does any design jump out? I'm all ears!


Rantum Scoot

'79 Sabre 34

Mill Creek, Annapolis
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Old 09-10-2017, 19:56   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Canada
Boat: T37
Posts: 2,037
Re: Suggestions for next boat

I was onboard a Taswell 43 last year and was quite impressed with the layout for a centre cockpit. Right price and age, fast comfortable cruiser, little deep on the draft for you (3”) solid build and go anywhere. I asked how they liked the second head and they’re response kind of changed my opinion from totally against to being a bonus; they never used it but it was the best wet locker they’d ever had.
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Old 09-10-2017, 22:41   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cruising
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,723
Re: Suggestions for next boat

I like the Slocum 43.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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