When I started looking for a sailboat, this is the specification list I gave to the boat broker. (By the way, the broker was Rod Rowan at Crusader Yacht Sales in Annapolis. I was very pleased with his service.)
- Type: used monohull sailboat, medium to heavy displacement
- Length: 37' to 44'
- Age: no older than early 1980's
- Budget: maximum cost $150,000 for a well-equipped boat in good condition, including taxes, registration, survey, etc.
- Schedule: spend up to several months looking at boats, desire to begin cruising in fall '98
- Material: fiberglass with aluminum spars, not interested in other materials
- Hull: fairly beamy with modified fin keel and skeg-hung rudder, perhaps full keel, moderate draft up to 6.5'. Not particularly interested in spade rudders, centerboards, or shoal draft.
- Rig: cutter or ketch, capable of being single-handed for day trips in settled conditions
- Cockpit: considering pilothouse, aft,and centerinterested in all three styles
- Liveaboard cruising, mostly coastal cruising but with ocean-crossing capabilities (for example to visit the Caribbean or Europe). Year-round use, most time spent at anchor.
- Number of people: usually one or two, sometimes three, perhaps four or more but probably rarely.
- Cruising time perhaps one to three years, could be longer.
- Cruising activities: adventure, exploration, get close to nature, not much entertaining.
- Plusses: only one head, three cabins (not counting saloon), lots of storage (I have several big items such as a bicycle, telescope, folding kayak, electronic keyboard), extra gear (autopilot, radar, genset, watermaker), good ground tackle, standup stall shower in head
- Minuses: lots of teak topsides, difficult access to boom, balsa core, dark-colored hull
- Not interested in racing, boat should have "medium" performance. Looking for fairly heavy, safe, and comfortable boat.
- General condition: good condition. I don't desire either a cream-puff (probably too expensive) or a fixer-upper (too much time/money to fix up).
- Desired source of boat: would be nice to find one in Mid-Atlantic region but would consider looking anywhere along the East Coast.
- In doing research, I have found a number of manufacturers that appeal to me: Brewer, Cabo Rico, Caliber, CSY, Hallberg-Rassy, Hans Christian, Island Packet, Lord Nelson, Mason, Nauticat, Pacific Seacraft, Slocum, Southern Cross, Tayana, Valiant, Westsail, Whitby. I would be interested in your opinions on these and any other boats you think are in the same category.