Narrowing the Boat Search

Though our blog belies it, we have been rather consumed lately with all things cruising. We booked a charter for the Bahamas, bought a sailing dinghy, and have started our boat search in earnest, to name just a few of the things we have been up to. Margaret is currently writing about our dinghy and her experiences learning to sail on it. And I am sure we will have more to say about our Bahamas trip (in fact, I have been vaguely working on a post about preparing for that charter) as time goes on. So, I figured I would write a short post about our boat search.

As our last posts indicated, we saw a few new yacht listings that tweaked our interest and provoked us to start thinking more seriously about exactly what boat is right for us, when the best time to buy it would be, and what condition and price we can expect to pay. Although we have not completely answered those questions, we did create a master list of the boats we are focusing our search on. We are now in the process of fully researching each design so that we understand what to look for in terms of condition, ideal production years, and the like. We are also compiling a master spreadsheet of all the Yachtworld listings for each type of boat; we plan to track the prices, condition, and sales, so that we can be fully informed about the market for each design. In future posts, we plan to share everything that we learn about each boat. In the meantime, I thought I would just share our list and the most basic rationale behind how we compiled it.

We ended up deciding to focus on two cabin vessels in the 40 foot range as well as smaller boats around 30-32 feet. Ultimately, we made a list of 22 boats, with 10 in the former category and 12 in the latter. Of course, all of the boats of whatever size are solid offshore cruisers that we would feel very comfortable crossing oceans in. The larger boats appealed to us because we would have more space and could easily accommodate guests. On the other hand, the smaller boats have cheaper – half or more less – price tags and will be similarly less expensive to refit, maintain, and cruise. Both sizes were selected with the idea of comfort, but we have yet to decide which size offers the better balance between certain physical and financial comforts, as well as the comfort (or discomfort) of maintaining a boat of a given size and age. While I am sure we will revisit our reasons for selecting these particular boats and our struggle to strike a balance between size and cost, here are the 22 designs we are focusing on:

Passport 42

Passport 40

Valiant 40

Mason 43

Slocum 43

Fuji 40

Tayana 37 Pilothouse

Cheoy Lee 42 Golden Wave

Cheoy Lee Pedrick 42

Vagabond Westwind 42


Island Packet 31

CSY 33

Hans Christian 34

Baba 30

Valiant 32

Fuji 35

Westsail 32

Bayfield 32

Bruce Roberts 28

Cape Dory 33

Southern Cross 31

Alberg 30


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One Response to Narrowing the Boat Search

  1. Leo says:

    Magnum PI would tell you to go Polynesian, and get a Wharram Tiki 38 😉

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