Our boat criteria

Here’s our main criteria to qualify boats for our short-list. Once short listed I would say that just loving it carries a golden vote beyond what’s learned from owners and the compare and contrast exercise.

  • Cruiser
    • Designed for purpose. Builders generally target boats at specific market segments. Ours is cruising.
  • Safety and comfort  – inspiration not oppression
    • Feeling scared or tired isn’t fun, the proportion of fun to not fun is the clincher so hull form and displacement, build quality including the boats structure rig and sails, convenient handholds, tall lifelines, strong fore and aft pulpit, sheltered/dry cockpit, comfortable berths/cockpit plus many other safety features are key
  • Resilience – forgiving of mistakes but rewarding to sail
    • When pressed hard we don’t want drama, but also we don’t want a brick outhouse – this is judgemental but a boat that too easily rounds up, or sails on her ear will be tiring, and unnerving for all.
  • Reliable
    • “Cruising is boat maintenance in exotic locations”. OK if planned not OK if it’s a surprise. Quality and specification of components, and installation is key. There’s too much to list here, but a good trusted builder is pre-requisite
  • Comfortable to live aboard when anchored or moored
    • Well this is what we are doing most of the time so we want a home from home. Good ground tackle, big cleats, strong lines, comfortable motion, and accommodation.
  • High capacities for water, food, fuel, electricity,and spares
    • Never have too much but definitely need enough. Boat size is not always a proxy. Ten days worth is our current criteria, but if when we start crossing oceans then the boat must provide the space safely.
  • Equipment space
    • Accessible space for the kit needed for convenience and comfort like Generator, Water maker, Solar panels Air Con etc. The boat must house what we need, and allow for the access necessary to maintain, replace or add to as required
  • Shallow draft 1.5m max
    • We don’t want to be constrained by excess draft or have poor performance and leeway so this criteria narrows the field somewhat, but conversely opens up all sorts of possibilities and destinations
  • Raised/Deck Saloon
    • Not just big windows. We want to see out when we are sitting below better still if it’s possible to keep watch from below.
  • Space for two couples
    • Space being at a premium, we want it as much as possible to add to our comfort and enjoyment, rather than being unused volume
  • GRP hull
    • We wont go to places where steel or aluminium is justified

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