Boat shopping.

We had decided on paper that a Bristol 29.9 could be our next boat, but before we knew for sure we needed to see one in person.  Fortunately there were a few for sale in our area, so we figured it was time to start looking.

We began by posting on the Bristol Yahoo groups that we were thinking about moving up from our B24 to a 29.9 to get some input from owners.  I posted about our cruising plans and asked if the boat would work for us, and the responses that we received were very encouraging.  People that owned 29.9s loved them and had taken them out in all sorts of weather and conditions.  I even received a response from a guy who was currently in Fiji on his 29.9, having started in San Francisco.  This was definitely a good sign. Continue reading “Boat shopping.”

Researching the next boat

If there was any way that we could take Pegu Club cruising with us, we absolutely would.  We love her.  She’s solid, dry as a bone, we like how she sails, and she’s very forgiving of our mistakes. She’s built to sail anywhere we want to go.  But at 24′ feet and with only 15 gallons of water (not to mention insufficient headroom for Jeff), we knew she just wouldn’t work long-term, so for the past year or so we’ve been heavily researching what we want in the next boat – the one we want to sail away on.

The sheer number of boats out there is almost overwhelming, and everyone has an opinion on everything.  Just for the keels there are full keel, modified full, fin keel, wing keel, bulb keel, or centerboards.  There’s shallow draft, deep draft, spade rudders, skeg rudders.  There are cutter rigs, sloop rigs, ketch rigs, etc.  How do you prefer the hull-to-deck joint to be attached?  Bolted?  Screws?  Bolts and screws?  How beamy do you want it?  How long?  What about headroom?  Are you going offshore or simply coastal cruising? Of course the big one: what’s the budget?

We started by making lists of boats that are typically considered to be good off-shore boats (some needing a few more modifications to make it so than others).  Then we set our minimum requirements – headroom, beam, draft, construction – and started winnowing the list down.  Our first go-around we were way too restrictive and ended up with very few possibilities.  So we reevaluated and started all over again.  It’s no exaggeration to say that we spent hundreds of hours researching. Continue reading “Researching the next boat”