[QUOTE=waltdrechsler;1823336]We are preparing for some extended coastal cruising down the West coast
of the Americas (San Diego South) and maybe future across to Galapagos
or maybe through the canal
into the Caribbean
. We are now shopping
for a boat
, 42 - 45 range that can be handled by a very good looking husband and wife team. I have a few old perceptions that need to be validated or challenged.
1) I like a keel
for longer cruising (we currently sail Puget Sound
in a Morgan 323)
Are the new deck
stepped masts ok for what we are planning?
2) Spade or skeg rudder
, does it matter?
3) Sail Drive? Any issues, cost of replacement, what to stay clear of, etc.
Not fond of a rubber gasket
between me and Atlantis
4) Older heavier boat version newer, lighter designs? The good, the bad and the ugly
5) In mast furling
? My thinking is the less moving parts
6) Admiral prefers center cockpit
for the island Quean aft stateroom. Any thoughts on this?
Any other comments and / or suggestions would be welcome.
Walt and Linda Drechsler
I like a keel
stepped mast for a variety of reasons, if you were ever dis-masted they tend to leave you a nice long stub to jury rig a sail plus if you have to pull a headstay to get into a smaller travel lift
the mast will support itself. The down side is they usually leak and your bilge
is never dry. Having said that I now own my first deck
stepped mast and its doing OK so... personal preference!
We have a very stout 1/2 skeg which I really like but a spade is the most powerful rudder
you can design and easily out steers a skeg or barn door rudder. The issue is that many entry level builders are not building really stout spade rudders and to me the loss of a rudder is just about the worst thing that can happen, I'd much rather loose my mast. So my preference would be a really stout spade (but they are hard to come by on cheaper boats)
I don't like sail drives, I know most all of the newer boats use them but its not because they are so good its because they are cheaper and really easy to install by the builder
BUT if everything else was good on the boat I might hold my nose and buy it.
I don't like old and heavy and I'm not a fan of the new full liner boats, I prefer moderate displacement
fin keel boats with bulkheads tabbed to the hull
. You will have to buy a more expensive newer boat or an older boat to get these features, if your buying
older try to limit the choice to the better built boats and get a good survey
In mast furling
is not a good discussion on our boat because I am not a big fan of them and my wife is. The damn boat came stock with inmast furling and I have gotten used to it, actually never had a single
problem with it in well over 2-1/2 years of almost constant sailing so I suppose if you operate them as they were designed they work
but every-time I am going to weather
in lighter air I look up at that sail and I can feel myself on the edge of vomiting, I know I'll get over it but it has been close to 3 years now.
Another of my sore points, wifey insisted on CC and I always thought it was like sailing a layer cake as I'm an aft cockpit
guy. At least the Moody is one of the better designed ones and I have gotten to sort of like it, it sails
OK and does good passage
times and my wife loves the large aft cabin
so I've sort of moved a bit to the dark side.
Just remember that all the feedback you are going to get are opinions, some from folks that have sailed a gazillion miles and some that are Velcro'd to a marina dock
95% of the time. Read them of course and then get your ass in gear
and spend copious amounts of time on due diligence knowing full well that whatever you end up with is going to be a compromise unless you have a really large bank account.
Its a great way to spend money
as it does reward you with real pleasures which is good because most of it doesn't come back but hell we are here for a good time not a long time.