As you go to sea, you probably harbor in the back of your mind the particular weaknesses of your vessel. If unfavorable weather is forecast, it is often these weaknesses, coupled with a lack of confidence that create tension, concern, and fear.
The Right Boat
Got a question about the right boat for your situation? If so, this dialogue might be of interest.
To submit a question, click on “Cruisers Q&A” in the sidebar, whereupon you’ll find a form you can use.
We’ve been thinking about the advantages of British weather. For one thing, folks from the Pacific Northwest of the US feel right at home. Then there is the British penchant for high end foul weather gear which supports a plethora of suppliers and pays for R and D which benefits the rest of us.
History buffs may recall that the island geography and industrial revolution are credited with the push to create the British Empire. But we have a different theory.
Thanks so much for your various books. I just finished devouring Practical Seamanship. I have gained greatly from reading and practicing the insights shared, particularly sail balancing and heavy weather techniques. When read in conjunction with the video’s, the books are even more informative.
I presently have a 461 Beneteau. I like it very much. My wife thinks it is a bit too sporty & light. We use it for coastal crusing (West coast). We are in the beginning process of evaluating boats which are better designed/ suited for passage making. Like most everyone, we would like to sail BEOWULF, or its equivilent, but it is not likely to ever be in reach of our budget. I personally would like a Sundeer 64, but it is uncertain whether one would become available, or be affordable. As with so many others who have written before me, I am seeking advice to help with my quest.
We are looking to spend $400-500,000. I had been thinking of the Amel Super Maramu 53, but after comparing its hull design to that of the Sundeers/Deerfoots, it appears more suited to light conditions. Others we have considered seemed a bit too beamy and/or had keel/rudder designs which were not conducive to surfing. Any thoughts on production/semi-custom boats that we should focus on? My inclination would be toward a ketch, but I’d be happy with a cutter rig.
Thanks again for sharing so much and considering my questions. Linda has been quite an inspiration for my wife, who really only likes warm days with the wind behind the beam.–Mark
I am considering the purchase of a 63′ vessel which is located in Rhode Island (I happen to live in Portland, Oregon). I am including a link to the broker’s listing for her and, if you have a moment, would appreciate your thoughts. The owner says he has been aboard BEOWULF, so you may have seen his boat, also.
Any thoughts or comments will be appreciated. What I’m looking for is a boat two people can sail. This one would take some work to get there, but it seems like it could be possible…
I have become somewhat obsessed with her, but am not sure it would be in my best interest to get involved. She seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…Built to a high standard, to withstand sailing in the Southern Ocean. Fast, lots of interior room to setup for live-aboard. The structural advantages of aluminum.
I’m looking for honest, direct thoughts.
Hi there, I am currently going through the selection process of a boat for a three-year circumnavigation by way of the canals. Given a limited budget of £60,000 for a boat capable of sleeping four friends (as opposed to two couples!) I keep coming back to ex-charter Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and Bavarias. I have read your comments about the high centre of gravity etc. But if you had to select from one of these makes which model would you consider most suitable for cruising? Many thanks in advance for your reply. – Will
Dear Sir, Madam Thank you for sending me your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. Have read it with great enthusiasm. One nice touch is that rarely money matters have been mentioned in the book for equipment’s, costs, boats etc…one great detail. However perhaps you could let me have some idea of cost for actually purchasing a used boat and kitting it short handed circumnavigation. Indeed looking for properly designed and equipped offshore boats like yours if extremely difficult. So could you please let me have some idea. Or perhaps brokers phone numbers (anywhere in the world), I would like to get an aluminum fast cruiser, category zero, from 45 to 60ft, in good condition. Maybe it may not be enough but my present cash budget is GB£ 130000. Thank you for you assistance Once again, congratulation to Linda and Steve Dashew for their great work on the book. Best regards Laurent
I HAVE NARROWED MY SEARCH…CAL 2-46, CAROFF GALAPAGOS 50 STEEL KETCH, GARDEN PORPOISE 50 OR WELLINGTON 47. I AM GOING TO CRUISE THE SOUTH PACIFIC FOR 2-3 YEARS. ALL CAN BE OUTFITTED TO GO FOR ABOUT THE SAME DOLLAR AMOUNT. I LIKE THE LOOKS OF THE WELLINGTON,BUT HAVEN’T A CLUE AS I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE. I WILL INSTALL MAXSEA-YACHT. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT WELLINGTON YACHTS AS I CAN’T FIND THEM ON THE INTERNET. ALSO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR CHOICE OF THE FOUR BOATS GIVEN THAT THEY ARE EQUAL IN ELECTRONICS, SAILS ETC. THANK YOU GARY
Hi, After reading your observations about cats for offshore cruising we have started to rethink the one-year Pacific cruise we have been planning for our family (three adults, two children 11-13 ) starting next July. Any views on a Macgregor 65 as an alternative to a 40ft cat? Being UK sailors we haven’t come across these boats over here. Are they as fast and as tough as their supporters claim? Any comments will be very much appreciated. Thanks for a great site. Hugh & Deb
I have recently seen a Macgregor 65 which has been set up for cruising for two people with a smaller rig and deeper draft. I am wondering if you have any knowledge of the capabilities these boats have for cruising. This boat has only been used for cruising the West Coast of America and Baja. Hope you can help. Thanks in advance. Bye for now. Brent G.
PS – I would be using this boat mostly for cruising between Australia and New Zealand and to the South Pacific Islands.
Hi Steve, Thanks for the input on the SD 60. Ever set one up as a ketch? Also, somewhere in my readings of your work, I believe you stated that you calculated displacement differently than most boats so that an allowance for the typical load of stuff that offshore cruisers carry is in the total displacement figure for the boat. Does this mean that the figure usually given for most boats, say on a PHRF certificate, is not the same as the number for displacement for your designs? Also, what kind of ratings would your SD 60 or DF 58 get under the various handicap systems, not to be used to judge the boat but to see how I might fare in a race. Thanks for your help, Crawford
Hi, I am deciding between a Newporter 41 & an Islander Freeport 41. My boyfriend & I plan to cruise around the Caribbean for a fairly extended period & both of us have heard mixed reviews about the sailing capabilities of each (spanning…sails pretty good, handles like a dog, porpoises through the water, handles well for a cruising boat). We’re not interested in a high performance racing boat, but we will want to be able to head up into the wind in rough weather. I’ve found basically no info on the Newporter 41, & not too much on the other. Can you help? – Barb
Mr. Dashew…I am trying to get a little insight into the vessel that I have purchased. I have no offshore experience at all at this time and have only owned my boat for two years. As I live in Sidney, BC I do a lot of weekend outings through the Gulf and San Juans, not at all comparable even to the St. of Georgia. My question is this. The boat I have chosen is a Spencer 35,a sister ship to “Whisper”, Hal Roth’s boat. (Hull 29) (Mine is 31) It still has the old roller boom. (That will change) Everybody tells me what a wonderful boat I have for serious, inexpensive offshore cruising. Being that the Spencer is a local production boat from the old days (Mfg. Richmond, BC 1966) I am wondering if the local folks are more prejudiced than accurate in their positive statements to me. In spite of Mr. Roths adventures, is my Spencer a good offshore vessel? I know it is not like your vessels but it is affordable for me and I find it very easy to handle in spite of no lines aft. (I have to go forward to change my mind as well as sails.) I realize this question sounds very weak, but I plan on South Pacific adventurers in the next 3 to 5 years and due to no present experience, I have no reference to measure from. Thank you Sir. Regards, Ron
I agree with the waterline length as being very important…both to speed and comfort. On a limited budget does either a Hunter 54 or a Columbia 50 make sense as a safe and reliable cruising sailboat? Their main sailing areas will be the Caribbean and, hopefully, the Mediterranean. Other options are a Lubbe Voss 42 and a Valiant 40. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ian
My husband and I have taken the first steps toward the cruising life–we just sold our home and are auctioning off our possessions one by one. It fills me with joy and relief each time our load is lightened! We have been reading your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia (fabulous book–great for the utter novice) and would like your advice if you have time.
We are going to be in the same situation as your daughter and her friend were in when they bought Hio. The main difference is that we completely lack any sailing experience, although my husband has been an avid commercial fisherman for years. We were wondering if you could recommend several production models or a good boat surveyor in the San Diego area so we’re not totally at the mercy of our ignorance.
We have about 45,000 to spend on a boat and we’re hoping to get a 40-50 foot boat. Our priorities are ease of sailing, safety & stability in rough weather, and efficiency. We plan on spending at least a year or two in the Baja area learning to sail and fixing up the boat before taking it offshore. We will have about 5,000 to spend on equipment and repairs so we don’t mind getting a “cosmetically challenged” boat.
Any suggestions or advice would be great! Thank you for the inspiration :)–Erin
We are considering buying a Gulfstar 47 Sailmaster and are interested in your comments concerning the Sailmaster 50. I.E. that it was never intended for world cruising and its lack of performance. Friends that own these 47’s claim the boat sails great (at least the sloop rig) and it does quite well in heavy weather. Any comments regarding sloop versus ketch rigs? Please be specific about why you feel this way as I’m very interested in this boat – as you said, there is massive space and livability.
Hi Dashews–After many months of research and viewing, we have found our first boat! We are buying a 1964 Cal 40 in mostly lovely condition for about 50K. I would like your opinion on a couple of concerns I had about the boat.
1. We had an engine survey done and the V-drive needs replacing–what other mechanical systems would V-drive failure affect? Stuffing box? Prop? etc?
2. I have been trying to find out specifics on the hull construction (I was told it was made of 5 hand-laid layers of fiberglass & would be thrilled to find out if that’s true!) but am not having much luck. Are there any non-destructive tests that can be done on hulls to check the condition & thickness of the fiberglass?
3. I have done enough research to know that the tabbing on the Cal 40s is weak and that there are some concerns with the deck-hull joint. Will a surveyor specifically check the bulkheads and the d-h joint for signs of weakness as a matter of course or do I need to instruct him as to what exactly I want inspected?
4. There is some minor decay on the bridge beam–what’s the best way to stop it? Any info at all would be appreciated–we set sail for the first time ever in June!! Thanks, Erin
Hi Steve, I’m reading Offshore Cruising Enc. at the moment, which is excellent. We are a couple in the mid 30’s and plan to set sail along the Tradewinds on a Columbia 43 (MK I – 1970) we have seen and plan to buy. As you started in a Columbia 50, we would appreciate your feelings about Columbia 43’s for Tradewind sailing (and maybe more in future). We are not too happy with the deep draft and the unprotected rudder, however, she seems safe, comfortable, with lots of room and most importantly, she would be in line with our budget for that size of waterline! Any thoughts? Thanks a lot !!! Stephan
Hi Steve & Linda, Well we have made the first step!….I have resigned from my job and my wife has secured a two year leave of absence from her job (starting in July). Thanks in large part to you guys who have inspired us over the years we shall take our two kids 9 & 11 on a two year adventure. I am using the next 6 months to prepare the house for rent, sell my current boat (33′ too small) and buy THE BOAT. I have your book…it is my bedside companion…and have followed your website and FAQs. I’m going for waterline if I can find one in my budget–approx. $150K…we have been looking at the Hylas 44 and 47…your comments on this boat would be appreciated. We intend to spend 6 mos. in the Bahamas (our backyard) then on to the Caribbean. Many thanks!
Dear Dashews: A quite wonderful website. The most interesting and informative I have ever come across in any field of interest. I shall certainly be buying some or all of your books. In the meantime, a word of advice, if you have time: I noted your comments about one of the Beneteau designs. First question: do you have a view as to the suitability of the Oceanis 473 for deepwater cruising? It seems to me to be quite a lot of boat for the money in this part of the world (UK) – compared for instance with the clearly excellent but extremely pricey Hallberg-Rassey equivalent. Second question: conceivably you might think single-handed offshore cruising to be inadvisable, but would the 473 lend itself to that, if suitably set up? Third question: do you rate the boom furling equipment now available? – I am thinking in particular of a New Zealand design the name of which I have forgotten but have seen in action. It seems pretty handy and of course permits a a fully-battened main with a decent roach. With kind regards and deep admiration, Neil
Hi Steve: I have been admiring your crafts for some time now, and probably like everyone else, I am a big fan of your brilliant designs…speaking of brilliant designs have you stopped production on the Sundeer 64 and if not what are the price tags on one of those? I found a charter service online that uses one of these great cruisers and hope to charter it soon if I can get the chance. I would love to get a feel for it! thanks Michael L
Steve: Are there two versions of the Sundeer 60, a shorter 56 and a longer 60? With a 60ft is this perhaps why the owner of TOUCAN moved the rudder further aft? Would it make sense to do it, i.e. would it improve control, say, downwind; are there any drawbacks? Have other 60’s done the same? I’d be interested in your thoughts; haven’t been able to speak with the owner. In advance, thanks…Peter
Steve: I am a novice sailor hoping to buy my first boat this spring. I will be lake sailing for now; however, I am contemplating a relocation to the Gulf Coast of Florida. I have been considering a new Hunter 260, primarily for weekending, and because the size seems manageable. My questions are, what size do you think is appropriate to learn basic sailing skills; and whether you think that I would be better off with an older and longer boat to start out with. I read in some of the FAQs that you recommend mid to late ’60’s and early ’70’s CCA and IOR designs. What boats specifically do you recommend? I am sure that I could get much more waterline in an older boat, than I will for what the H260 costs brand new. Any ideas? Thank you. David
There is a 1985 Deerfoot 72 on the market, apparently built by Dencho Marine. This design is not listed in your “Milestones.” Is this one of your boats? Any info on quality or issues? Even though it is newer, it is priced considerably less than Wakaroa (it is clear from the pictures that the interior finishes are not nearly of the same quality). Thanks for any info you can provide. Mark
I just received the new book and video. It will take some time to read the book, but I have some comments about the video.
BEOWULF is an incredible boat; however, I must admit that it is a bit discouraging knowing that in all likelihood I will never be able to afford a boat like that. I am impressed with the thought and engineering that went into the boat, and I want to know if Steve & Linda have designed a lower priced boat, or if they recommend any boats in the $100 to $300M price range. Perhaps a used boat. My family of 5 is hoping to begin a cruising life in the next 3 years.
DEAR STEVE, I’VE BEEN LOOKING AT SOME HANS CHRISTIAN MARK 2 CUTTERS, AND HAVE COME ACROSS A VESSEL 21 YEARS OLD, REFITTED WITH NEW RIGGING AND ELECTRIC’S PLUS RADAR ETC. IN 2001, THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. (VERBAL! BUT INVENTORY PLUS SURVEY IN 2001 ON ITS WAY.) SHE WAS BUILT FOR THE PRESENT OWNER. THE PRICE IS WITHIN MY RANGE BUT SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN MANY OF HER STABLE OF THE SAME VINTAGE. INFORMATION LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT THAT SHE’S IN EXCELLENT CONDITION ( A NEW SURVEY WOULD BE FIRST ON THE LIST). I’VE GONE THROUGH THE Q & A AND SO ON BUT NO MENTION OF HANS CHRISTIAN’S. YOUR ENCYCLOPEDIA PLUS CD IS ON ITS WAY AND THERE SHALL PROBABLY BE SOMETHING IN IT. HOWEVER YOUR OPINION IS IMPORTANT TO ME AND I CAN’T WAIT. I’M SURE YOU’VE COME ACROSS THEM IN YOUR TRAVELS. THEIR A RARITY IN OZ, MAINLY DUE TO THEIR COST (OZ SHOULD’VE STAYED ON THE GOLD STANDARD ! AYN RAND WAS RIGHT !) PLUS THE FACT THAT ONLY 900 HAVE BEEN BUILT SINCE THE COMPANY’S FORMATION IN 1980. MY QUESTION IS IN 2 PARTS. (1) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HANS CHRISTIANS ? (2) SHE IS IN THE NORTH-WEST AND I’D LIKE TO HIRE A SKIPPER TO DELIVER HER TO SYDNEY AND TRAVEL MYSELF AS SUPER CARGO. I’D NO DOUBT LEARN SOMETHING AND MAY EVEN BE OF ASSISTANCE. (MY HEALTH IS STILL VERY IFFY). WHAT WOULD THE CHARGE FOR A PROFESSIONAL TO DO A JOB LIKE THIS ? A MEDIAN FIGURE ? EVEN A BALL PARK FIGURE! WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE SOME IDEA. HOPE YOU’VE TIME TO HELP ME WITH THIS AS I’VE ALWAYS LOVED THE OLD WORLD CHARM OF THESE BOATS. CHARM DOESN’T FLOAT ! REGARDS TO YOU, ANTONY M
Dear Steve and Linda, I’ve been in the process of looking for a used boat to spend the next number of years sailing…everything from long offshore passages to time in the Caribbean. For many years, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I built very traditional wooden boats, sailed mostly traditional boats.
While looking at a 31′ Camper Nicholson the other day, I spied an older Freedom 33′ Cat ketch. She was really beautiful, and I remembered how fascinated I was the boats when they were first introduced. I know that you and Linda have pushed the edges of innovation in designing and sailing offshore boats. What’s your opinion of the boat as an ocean passagemaker? Thanks for your opinion and a great web site. Sincerely, Michael
I am now interested in a 40 foot Newporter that seems to be in great shape. I’m the guy from Alaska and wanted a motorsailer. Do you know anything about these boats? There was 122 made, an older model but appears to have nice lines to her. The only thing I might wonder about is the freeboard. She is nice and heavy at 30,000# 5600 in the keel. I happened to love wooden boats. This is a cold mold with fiber glass. I anxiously wait your response. Cheers, Spike
Folks, Love your site, I have it bookmarked for future reading and have the Encyclopedia and Surviving the Storm on my Christmas list. My question also has something to do with a Christmas list, as I certainly have a Sundeer on it, but don’t expect Santa to deliver it any time soon, nor a BEOWULF, as the case may be.
So, what examples are there for Early IOR/Late CCA boats that you mention in regard to “Bang for the Buck”? I don’t need specific recommendations, just some models that exemplify your point. I’ll do the research on what I can afford and what’s available, but I do need more than “early IOR/Late CCA”, as all I’m coming up with is an awful lot of editorials, criticisms, opinions, etc…about the rating systems and not about the boats themselves. Also, I haven’t seen any mention, so, have you thought about licensing the manufacture of a smaller design to a top quality builder? Thanks, Kip
We’ve been sailing Lake Erie for the past 15 years (raising kids and money), and will have our turn in 5.5 years. We are leaning towards a 40+’ catamaran for live-aboard in the Caribbean and hopefully South Pacific. I am about 1/3 through your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia and now I see your new book is out. Do you address multihull vs. monohull, have an opinion, and or experience? Any recommended reading on the topic? Sincerely, Bill and Lucinda
Hi Steve, I’ve read your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia and Surviving the Storm ( both are fantastic) and have some questions about a particular boat I’m considering. It’s a 78 Doug Peterson design, 43′ IOR. It’s beamy (13′ 3"), 7′ 9" draft, 17,500 #’s with 9,000#’s ballast, fin keel, spade rudder. No trunk cabin or pilothouse. I read in the encyclopedia your warnings about "later" IOR boats……does this qualify? I’ve been unable to personally view the boat and can only rely on pictures, but it seems to have more in common with your designs in terms of hull shape and lines than, for instance, Neil Hunter’s Farr 40 Around Alone boat (it was for sale awhile back). Not near as shallow as the Farr. The Peterson has what appears to be a relatively fine bow/entry angle, a bit more overhang there than I’d like though. The big draw for me is the fact that it’s aluminum construction (the interior is somewhat spartan/exposed, and resembles the longitudinal and athwartships framing from your designs) and would afford me more piece of mind in terms of any changes and/or additions I would make in the future. It also appears to have more in the way of topsides than later IOR’s. I have a number of other questions, but I’ll stop for now. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Jeff
I have for two years been cruising my Hylas 46, and have realized it is not the boat I need to continue cruising. I believe one of your Deerfoot series, ideally a 61 would serve me better. Do sellers go solely to brokers or do they sometimes ask if you know of a prospective purchaser? Do they often come on the market? I realize the last question is probably often asked and a generalization is difficult. If you have the time to reply I would appreciate it.–Mike Parker
Another question to add to “The Right Boat” category, if you have a moment. I would certainly appreciate a comment or two regarding Gulfstars as a sailing boat, specifically the cutter-rigged Gulfstar 44. Anticipated use would be primarily coastal cruising and island-hopping in the Caribbean.
I am inquiring about any good places to go for Santana 37 info. I have talked with Schock and they have been very helpful. I have also talked with Peter Crane of Peter Crane Yachts. Not much on the Internet about this boat.
I have a chance to buy Destiny II, Hull Number 2 of the Santana series, and wonder if it is a great boat or just a 30-year-old boat. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Eric
I recently looked at a 1972 Hardin Force 50 to purchase. She has seen considerable blue water and appears to be a comfortable liveaboard. Some cosmetic work is needed, along with new sails. While I intend to have a complete survey done, I want to learn what I can about the vessel construction and/or design before jumping in. There doesn’t seem to be much info out there–can you help me? Thanks.
A quick review of your recommended cruising boats was interesting, but I was surprised to see the absence of the Tayana 42, 48, 52, and 55. I mention this as many brokers have said they are desirable, well-built cruising boats with reasonable pricing. While the designers encompass Harris(42) , Perry(48&52) and unknown(55), your comments are appreciated. I’m sure you have come across these boats. I omitted the Perry designed 37 Tayana as it has a bowsprit. Thank you, David
I have a Beneteau Oceanus 381, and would like to speak to anyone else who has a 381 or similar. As a production boat, I think she can do a circumnavigation. She meets D.T.I. standards for blue water cruising, but I would love to hear other people’s opinions as to the viability of such a venture. Thanks for any advice. Yours, Martin
Hello from Andrew and Sue on MYSTIC. Just in case you cannot recall the boat, it is a 52ft aluminum "Shark 50" with a 7.3ft draft & relatively light displacement. It has been awhile since we last saw you in Bequia–at the time you said if we ever needed any help to get in touch, so here goes. Sue has decided she would rather be fixing up an old house than sailing so we are planning on putting MYSTIC up for sale. We were already planning to spend the winter in Annapolis and so are planning at least initially to put her up for sale there. Our basic questions come out of the fact that MYSTIC is fairly unique, we are not sure what she is worth, where is the best place to sell her, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Andrew and Sue on MYSTIC
Dear sailor friends, I recently saw a lovely 36 foot Formosa Ketch I am dreaming to acquire and get sparkling again. The woodwork needs some care. The hull looks sound as far as I can see above water. But before I get the boat hauled out, do you know of any problems with this boat, that was apparently built in 1980 in Taiwan, with 1-inch-thick fiberglass. Do you know anything about this type of boat, since I found no information in all my books and very little on the web. Thank you, Helmut S
Thanks for offering the weather book. It’s an area I’ve struggled to understand well even after passing two FAA written and oral exams on the topic. Hopefully, your book will penetrate more deeply.
Since you began your cruising in a Columbia 50, a SoCal production boat I believe, I’m wondering if you have published anything that *specifically* addresses choosing a production boat for offshore sailing. I realize your Encyclopedia could, in one sense, be considered a treatise on that since it addresses ‘all things cruising and boats’, but I’m looking for something targeted more directly at this topic. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I am struggling to form a view on the suitability of the CSY 44 (1980 vessel with longish keel, but cut away at front I believe) for offshore cruising with a 4’11" shoal draft. A Cruising World article of 1997 said that the shoal draft (deep is 6’6″) has a significantly reduced righting moment and recommended the deep keel for offshore. I am interested in: 1. Stability/righting moment (this is important to me) and 2. Sailing ability for world cruising–i.e. how much harder is the shoal keel, the impression I am getting is that it is not good for that sort of cruising–to the point of not being suitable at all? Many thanks
Hello Steve: If I may quickly pick your experience. I’ve located a William Garden Ketch, Dolphin design 32LwL, 42LoA. Aesthetically, I am in love with that clipper overhang/bowsprit. Only seen a truncated picture so far. Have to travel to check it out, and my source is uncertain whether it is cutter-rigged or not but assume so with a bowsprit. Can’t tell from poor quality photo. It’s wooden hulled, mahog on oak. 11’6 beam 6’6 draft 22,000 displ with 8,000 Ballast Keel assumed to be full length. I have experience sailing dinghies, but that’s it. Intend to use it as a seasonal liveaboard, and to develop/polish skills singlehanding on a big boat. It is purported to be a bluewater boat. Sail package is minimal but includes a storm trysail. What would be your comments on this one, yea or nay for my intentions, assuming the survey is acceptable? I love the way it looks but have to look to an expert such as yourself as to how she may sail, if your familiar or could make an educated guess. You are doing a great service to the sailing community. Thanks, Raphael.
Sir, I am considering the purchase of a 1992 Beneteau Oceanis 440. My ideal boat would be around 38-40 ft., but since the 440 appears to be offered at a substantial discount, both the longer waterline and the extra budget room for refit attract me.
I am keen on performance, and the 440's hull is the same of its First 45S5 sister, both designed by Farr. I don't like the high centre of gravity of the boat, and consider changing the keel (currently 1.7 m) to a deeper, lead-bulbed one, as the draft on a similar size performance boat would easily reach 2.2-2.5 m. Later on, I will upgrade the rig. I understand the boat is capable of handling the extra loads.
My question is: Would you recommend such an operation? In other words, is it worth the trouble? I reckon the keel upgrade can be achieved with a budget of circa Usd 5000, because a preventive anti-osmosis treatment already is getting me close to the keel base, thus I am only counting the cost of the new keel and installation. However, especially for lighter wings I presume only a larger sail area will make a substantial performance change over present, and on a boat of this size I assume I will get pretty close to Usd 13000-15000 for a new bigger rig.
With best regards, Murat
Dear Steve: A question if I may, in regards the suitability of the "Bruce Roberts designed Spray 40" (Joshua Slocum) for coastal and world cruising? Since I know more about lock & key’s I cannot cross-reference the design style to other brands your Q & A page refers to. I have just received your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia as an ideal Christmas gift, which is how I come to visit your site. We have already taken our 12-year plan and crunched it into an "ASAP" plan as a result of a sad loss, and I have elected to take some advice given out on your site by joining a local race club, which leads myself to second question if I can push my luck. Can a person who knows more about lock & key’s, and has no sailing experience at the age of 45, safely pursue a circumnavigation dream with a family? With Thanks, David
Hello–My wife and I just sold a 41′ Cheoy Lee and we are looking for another boat (bigger). Somewhere around 50′- my wife wants a large owner’s stateroom. We also plan lots of offshore passagemaking. But our max to spend is around $150,000 so we can’t afford a Sundeer or any of the other boats you have built. But do you have any suggestions on a good safe offshore boat for us? Bill
Hi–I’m planning to buy a boat for cruising round the world in the next year and have just ordered your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. I’m interested in prices for your range of yachts–probably looking at 60–65 ft but BEOWULF does look interesting. I would be grateful if you can send me at least budgetary figures for the base boat with basic fit-out (no instruments) and working sails. Many thanks Mark
Dear Steve and Linda, At the end of summer 2004 I plan to leave on an extended cruise/possible circumnavigation on a 25-foot Hunter. It’s an older version, around 1984 or so, with the solid keel at four feet draft and not the plastic trailerable type hunters of today. God willing, I will sail from Lake Erie to the Atlantic, through the Erie Canal and Hudson River, through the Intra-coastal down to the Keys, and eventually through the Panama Canal into the South Pacific. My question is one of concern for the seaworthiness of the boat. She handles lake conditions well but I fear her light displacement might cause some due risk if ever caught in severe open ocean weather. I am 28 and hold a Captain’s License for unlimited tonnage and have long since looked at righting moments and different load plans for the trip. I was hoping you could provide some experienced insight and opinion on whether or not this particular boat may be considered a safe passage maker. Thank you very much for your time. – Gunar
Due in part to your wonderful books and timing, I will be looking for a yacht this summer in the US My short list looks something like this:
Palmer Johnson (Aluminum), Frers 45, 1981, PHRF30— Just the basics Palmer Johnson (Aluminum), Peterson 42, 1976, PHRF60— Moderate cruising comfort Davidson (Fiberglass), Laurie Davidson 44, 1981, PHRF54— Moderate to well equipped for cruising Jeremy Rogers (Fiberglass), Peterson 39, 1981, PHRF72— Well equipped for cruising Aquacraft 1979 (Aluminum), Custom 41, 1977, PHRF90?— Just the basics, but a good price C&C (Fiberglass), Many 39-41, 1977-82, PHRF 99— Various.
I will be using it to cruise the Atlantic and Mediterranean for the most part, but one of these days a circumnavigation would not be out of the question. My questions are…Am I on the right track with these choices for the intended purpose, or have I missed the mark completely? From your experience, are there any of these I should stay away from, or buy in a hurry before anyone else does? I know you are busy, but a quick comment or two would be greatly appreciated.–Regards, Tom
Hello Steve, I am sure you will know this design as it is not unlike yours. In your opinion is this a good boat to go cruising in? What do think are its good points and bad? I am concerned that it is very narrow and may not be a stiff boat. Also is the quality and strength of construction sufficient for blue water cruising. Thanks for any help you can give me. Regards, Andrew
Hi Steve, I have been researching the used boat market for monhulls in Florida and am looking for a 40-45 foot monohull. I have a budget of 70,000 for a used boat and then know that it may take another 30000-40000 to complete the process to have all that I would want to be safe and comfortable to take off for 5 years.
I wanted to get your advice on some hulls that I have found. First is the cost effective Morgan 41-415 and 416 years 1976 and 1978. A lot of boat for the money. But I know it is slow and the quality may not be desirable. Second is a 1977 Halberg Rassey 41. A blue water boat, a center cockpit. I feel it is solid and quality built. Has all the room we need. Third is a 1974 Soverel 48. A long water line fast boat with a hull and keel design similar to your yachts.
All the boats I look at that are aft cockpit in this size have small master cabins. The center cockpits have big master cabins. A big cabin is important to us. I know you don't like center cockpits. If I could get some advise on the above boats or if you could recommend some yachts I should be hunting for with aft cockpits that you would buy if you had my budget and size requirement. This would be most helpful to start my process right. I am trying to follow all your advise but must start with an older used yacht. Thank you so much. Good luck. Corey
Steve: I bought a 22-year-old C&C 34 a little over a year ago. Had her surveyed and she was sound. Since then I have refitted her from stem to stern and from top to bottom. New rigging (standing and running), all new ground tackle, full electrical upgrades (wiring, batteries, etc), and the list goes on and on. I have brought aboard safety equipment that I feel is absolutely necessary (e.g. Winslow life raft, GAPER, several GPSs–two are chart plotters–etc, etc.).
With all of this I still have the nagging feeling about my boats survivability under adverse conditions. I feel confident in my skills, but still the feeling exists about my boat. If you are not familiar with the C&C 34, she is 33’6" in length, 11′ at the beam, medium height single spreader rig (again, with all new rod rigging), a 20 hp Yanmar diesel that works every time. But still, I have this feeling about her, even though I’ve had her out in 20-30 knot winds and she’s brought me back every time.
I use her for coastal cruising and plan some small coastal trips to Mexico. If you know, what’s your opinion of C&C’s, and especially my C&C 34? I would be most grateful to hear your response. Martin
Dear Steve, My wife and I are looking for a new passagemaker. We’d love a BEOWULF but unfortunately the budget is a bit tight. We’ve been looking at Island Packets, Catalinas, Beneteaus, Valiants, and Pacific Seacraft. We also looked at the Saga 43 but feel it is a bit too small to be comfortable for very long. We recently came across the website for the Outbound 44 and are wondering if you have any thoughts on this new design. They say they designed the boat for solid passagemaking but with the performance of a PHRF style boat. We’ve been very concerned about getting a boat that is too slow to be safe. Thank you and keep up the good work. Your book is invaluable and has given us the confidence to follow our dream. -Mark and Sarah