How To Buy a Cruising Boat Chapter 29 of 49

You May Need a Bigger Boat Than You Think

Morgans' Cloud on the remote east coast of Greenland. Seamanlike cruises of this area have been made in small boats, but it's a heck of a lot easier and more comfortable in a bigger boat.

I was having breakfast with Mitch Neff, then president of Sparkman and Stevens and one of the most experienced and knowledgeable offshore sailors of his day, or any day for that matter—twenty Bermuda races and countless other passages teach you a thing or two about boats, and hanging around with the Stephens brothers (Olin and Rod) for a few decades doesn't hurt either.

Mitch had just shown me a boat as a possible replacement for the first Morgan's Cloud, an ill-starred Fastnet 45, and he was now patiently listening to all the reasons I didn't like either boat, as well as my plans for the new boat: living aboard and fairly aggressive cruising.

When I finally ran down he said:

John, you need a boat that's about 10 feet longer than you think you need, and you need a boat with a basement.

There's huge wisdom in that sentence. Let me explain:

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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