If Ye Had It To Do All Over Again, What Would Ye Change And Why?

So ye have boat, will travel. If ye had to do it all over again, what would ye do different? Choose a different boat/riggin...? Change something about yours? Rethink your routes/destinations? Techniques? Financing plans? ...

Dream along with me.

Hope to get something out of this before taking on my own 'lil cruiser soon.

Thanks in advance.


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I've been happy with my boats - bought a sailing dinghy at 14 to learn to sail, bought a series of beach cats to really learn to sail fast - and while I've never really raced (a few DFLs in club races with my best being a 4th in the Heineken Cup in the St. Maartin mult-hull class, I have no boat complaints. After several years as a delivery skipper, I know junk quite well - by staying from the junk, I've owned a Yamaha 35, Pearson 36, Voyage 43 (a truly great boat), and am now nearly done restoring a Gemini.

Crew is a different story - my first wife and Mother of my kids, owned a Snipe when we met. Good indication of her sailing skills and a great boat. After a few years and 3 great kids, she left for a business trip to Beijing and eventually married her co-worker - probably a better guy then me because he doesn't sail.

My present wife and I bought the Voyage 43 in Cape Town, commissioned her and sailed to many of the nice places you read about over the next 5 years. One day, she got on an airplane in Stanial Key, flew back to Palm Beach, got a job and bought a house. We sold the boat and I pondered being a dirt dweller.

So, taking classes about sailing is worthless - choosing a good boat is equally worthless - learning to be a better person - or to attract a better person, is priceless. Any idea how to learn that?
Trial and Error hasn't got a chance - the time it takes to unwind an error makes only a very few trials possible.

Maybe we can come up with a questionnaire?
So Stuart,
After reading this:
sail on,

The ole adage "Believe half of what ye hear and all of what ye see" is very much true!

That's good to know. Marriage just aint the adventure Im seeking. lol
Look inward, the answers you seek are hidden there in the open. Similar to a game I played as a kid (small goat)! You place something in the open where all can see it, then everyone else comes into the room and attempts to find it. The obvious isn't so obvious perhaps. The lessons to being a better person are within and obvious, just hard to detect.
Wouldn't pick a different boat. This one fits the bill on so many levels. All boats are a compromise, you just need to list all the aspects, rate what's important to you and find the boat that fits. Wouldn't want to get bigger than 35 (give or take) cause it can be handled easily by one when the fan gets soiled and costs are not excessive. Wanted as much room as possible and this on has it. For a 35, its big, including an aft cabin. Its a wing keeled sloop and is shallow draft. It's agile and quick (been up to 8.2 Kt SOG, close hauled). For me, perfect. As to life, have way to much fun in good times and learn much in bad times. Can't imagine doing it different. Although a big lottery hit wouldn't hurt.
Wouldn't change Paloma (our Bristol 29.9) for any other boat. She is one of several boats over 35-years of sail boat ownership and and a total of 50-years of sailing (the first 15 was crewing on my dad's old Hinckley Bermuda everywhere from the Marion to Hamilton races to running aground in bays and aboard his friend's boats - a Cal 40 and a Hinckley Pilot).
Paloma is the right size for a couple in their 60's to handle in any conditions, strong and capable enough to go anywhere in any weather (and has been) and is very comfortable as "the beach house" when in the slip.
I had a boat built and outfit three years ago. I've been pretty happy with my choices - the things I would change are all comfort related: 8kW genset instead of 6kW, 15k and 8k BTU A/Cs instead of 12k and 6k. My Webasto heater continues to be a maintenance problem, but the alternatives don't have a better reputation. Oh: I'd really like to have an electric halyard winch on the mast; I would NOT swap my conventional full-batten main for roller furling. I would have gotten a 10' rib with a small bow locker instead of a 9' light rib.

Things that have worked great: full-batten main (*grin*), removable inner-forestay for staysail/storm jib, Isotherm SP reefer and freezer, Jabsco Quiet-Flush electric toilet, W&P oil lamp, sea & fresh water foot pumps at galley, Dickinson grill, Icom 802 HF SSB, SCS PTC-IIpro Pactor modem. I recently supplemented my 100% working jib (still on the furler for offshore and winter sailing) with a Quantum 135% composite genoa for light air summer sailing on Chesapeake Bay. My passarelle is rarely used but wonderful when appropriate. My Rocna anchor rocks.

I'm still undecided on my spinnaker snuffer. So far it doesn't seem to be much less work than a conventional spinnaker take-down. I may be biased by years racing as bowman. We'll see. I'll give it some more chances before I give up on it.


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