Hello, I am new a new member to SeaKnots. I saw the site in "Sail" magazine, and joined because it seemed like a great resource to gaither information about cruising. Currently I enjoy sailing my 17' Hunter, but my long range goals include purchasing a vessel suited for cruising.

My first question, which is probably common, what manufacturers should I consider that would fit the following criteria?

1) Seaworthy for coastal and offshore sailing.
2) Ability to be sailed singlehanded or shorthanded, though I'd like the ability to sleep a family of four. I'm guessing that may be in the 30-33' range?
3) Likely destinations: East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean.
4) Duration of cruises may vary from a week to maybe a month at a time.
5) Level of comfort: moderate

I read John Vigor's book "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat" which provided many criteria to consider, but left me wondering which of todays manufacturers best meet the needs of an offshore sailboat. I'm sure all manufacturers/dealers will tell that their boats will best meet my needs (perhaps they do), but this is why I'm asking the cruising community for unbias opinions and information.

Finally, of course there are budgetary constraints and I'll probably look focus on something pre-owned. But I'm more interesed in first meeting my criteria, then work I'll back from there.

It's a big question to start off with, but thanks in advance for your help.

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Have you ever heard about an Elan 333 ?
I don`t know if this brand is comon in the US because it`s a Slovenian brand.
The Elan 333 is a real fast and easy to sail boat that will fit in all your wishes you noticed.
Here in Europe you can find some Elan 333 boats from 60tnsd to 70tnsd Euros (+/- 76 to 90 tnsd US dollars ).
David, I am glad that you brought this up. I am in the same situation. I really enjoyed the postings of everyone! Thank you. Greg
For a different aspect to buying a boat you might check out the article Kary May's Sexy Guide to Buying a Boat. at my site http.// But seriously, we have a Tashiba 40 that has been very comfortable in most sailing conditions ( it's very heavy) and at anchor during storms. It has massive storage space which limits the living space. I would seriously consider how much offshore sailing you will be doing and how far you are going. If you are only going off for a day or two you can usually pick a weather window and a lighter boat with more living space may be more comfortable for your family
the bigger this site grows the more i get behind in discussions...hadnt seent his before till on your level and thanks for stirring up these questions and attention...
This page should give you a few things to consider...

s/v Veranda

I was in the same position as you a couple of years ago.

In the end I end up selecting a Malo 33.

Similar boats from Hallberg Rassy and Najad may be worth while considering.

The Malo is a displacement hull, which does not plane easily. IE it is not a racer.

The plus is that it comes standard with 220 liter of diesel tank and 220 + 150 liter of water. You need to go to 40' or longer to have the same water storage capacities.

See my page for more detail. Links to my website will give you the original brochures and Yachting Monthly reviews.
Something you didn't mention were the Bahamas, if you consider cruising there something with a centerboard might be very useful. Most any boat will fit what you are looking for so I would scan classifieds being open to all makes. I have sailed in fiberglass, aluminum, steel, wood, and even ferrocement boats. They all have their own "charms" and can fit the bill. One thing that I would think about is how you plan on using your boat. Are you one to tie up to a dock frequently or do you prefer to anchor most of the time. Do you sail with a destination and time in mind only getting so many days or weeks to sail? Or do you wander following the winds? A bigger boat is expensive but has much more room naturally, no matter how much space on a boat a way will be found to occupy all of it.

My boat is a little 1971 C&C Corvette, at only 31 feet long and with nice beautiful overhangs she is very limited on interior space. She is suposed to sleep 4 but I find it would be tight on 2 if you were taking an extended cruise and were not close. Although she is a quick boat for her size 5.5 to 6 kts cruising under sail or power, she can hold her own with bigger boats (barely). I am setting her up for cruising and will have most of the gear on board that you would find on a much larger boat. She is a centerboard and I can get her into some much nicer anchorages, running aground becomes less of an issue as all I need to do is raise the board up and turn around (very handy here). Cost has been a consideration, I bought the boat for 3800 but before you go getting all excited I am going thru everything on board. I can haul the boat to do the bottom and it costs half the price of a 40 footer. 5 gallons of diesel can take me 100 miles under motor alone. Dockage much cheaper as well, not to mention that this boat is something you can turn around by hand in a canal very easilly if you want. Everything when dealing with this boat is less expensive than a big boat.

Ive sailed many larger boats and found that they are faster, more comfortable for more people, and have more room for more systems. The heads are more comfortable but how much time do you really spend there? As for storage space, I have found that there is more but it always gets filled up with things that never get used. 50 years ago a big boat was 25-30 feet with a cruiser still being around 30, today people feel the need that a cruiser needs to be 40-50 feet with many being much larger. Whats changed? I know the ocean hasn't if anything the ocean should be getting easier to traverse in smaller boats as we learn more about storms and advanced forecasting.


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