Greetings, Cruisers Forum!
My name is David, and I'm one of those guys with a plan.
The group of planners I belong to is the "sailed all my life" "on other people's boats" subset. I have cruised and lived aboard for as long as a week at a time enough times to know that I want to eventually move to my own boat
and give full-time living a try. I belong to a club that is open six months a year; therefore, I am skippering some sort of monohull
between 27-40' on average 150 days a year.
I know enough about sailing to know that I know only the easy part of the cruising life: Making a boat
go and stop and handle anything Massachusetts
coastal waters can throw at you Force 8 on down. On-the-spot repairs
for short trips. Anchoring
, navigating, planning (love to plan: see my profile pic.). Using autopilot
. Fine points of sail trim. Anchoring
, grounding (yes I have grounded three times; tell me you haven't)/kedging off, heaving to, retrieving conscious MOB
a jackline so you're not hanging over the side with your head
underwater, sailing in fog
, dark, snow, etc etc etc. All this I know. I know there is no right of way; there are rules of the road; there's a time to go through the rip and a time not to. I know that 7-1 is something someone dreamed up, but there are also physical principles behind it. If we meet at an anchorage, I am not going to be running that generator
or letting my halyard
slap or misjudging swinging distance. I may row over and toss you a beer
, however. Those are the easy things.
I do not know the hard things. I do not know how to maintain a boat for long periods of time, outfit, build, repair, etc. I have done no passage
longer than 50 nm, and weathered no storm Force 9 and up, recovered no unconscious POB. I am reading all of your posts about engines, other complex equipment
, location of chainplates, which wind
vanes to buy, water
in the bilge
, treacherous voyages, and the various ups and downs of permanent on-board living. I read with fascination about people building boats. There's so much knowledge on this forum, a guy could lurk for years. I have never bought a boat, and that right there sounds like a whole lot, just from reading posts of other first-time shoppers. I like fixing things and doing repairs
and futzing around, but unlike some whose posts I've read, I am not an engineer
or IT whiz or jet pilot.
I have not settled on what I want to buy, but I have sailed enough boats to tell you what I will not be buying
30 (stiff boat in a gale, tho), Tartan 31, Beneteau
310, 323., 34, 343, 36.7 (though that last one is fast and fun to race!); Jenneau 349 (fun for a daysail and a picnic, tho), 389 (nice coastal cruiser for a run to Cape Cod
, tho); Bavaria
37 (a heavy tank that you reef at 23 knots); Hanse 375, 415 (fast boat tho), C&C 34
(fun to sail, tho), C&C
These are all nice production fin-keel/blade rudder
more-or-less performance cruisers that I will not buy when it comes to buying
I am heartened to see that almost no one here owns these particular makes and sizes.
While lurking, I've also been checking out boats made by smaller producers that some of you own. I imagine when I finally am in a position to sell out, buy, and set sail, I will end up in an FRP monohull
34-40' max, as I will likely be solo most of the time.
Unlike a lot of people who post here about their dream boat, I haven't decided what I'm going to do. Probably chase the warm, dry seasons up and down the East Coast
of the U.S. Still unclear. I like to gunk hole, and I'm curious about bilge
keels and retractable keels; the only retractable thing I've sailed was a centerboard
O'Day. I've also been reading carefully about ketches, since some here like them for shorthanded sailing. I'll be looking to find a way to sail one. The people who sail with me like nice weather
only so I'm considering pilothouses, though those tend to narrow down your selection quite a bit. I see that a couple of modern producers make bilge-keel-pilothouse pocket cruisers with self-tacking jibs, which sounds like my dream except you need half a mil to land a new one, once you get past boat/equipment/dinghy.
And, thank you for reading this far, a couple of times each season I may be looking for crew for a seven-day trip.