The Future of AAC

When we listed Morgan’s Cloud for sale, several members expressed concern that this would be a negative for Attainable Adventure Cruising, or maybe even the end of the site.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Owning, maintaining, and cruising a boat the size of Morgan’s Cloud, while hugely rewarding, takes a lot of time and energy, and, further, it tends to make us focused on one boat and one way of doing things.

And it’s not as if the day Morgan’s Cloud is sold all the knowledge and experience we have gained over the last 28 years will go with her—I probably have a year backlog of MC-related posts in my head, with associated photos already taken.

And my years with her will enhance everything I write for years to come, just as my years with the Fastnet 45 I sold 28 years ago and the years I ocean raced with others still contribute.

Instead, as we figure out what boat to own next, and then get to know that boat, Phyllis and I will gain new and different knowledge and experience that can only broaden our perspective and inspire new and fresh articles—it probably won’t hurt to own and write about a smaller, less expensive boat, either. “Attainable” comes in many flavours.

For example, because, for the first time in many years, we did not go on a long  cruise last summer, we had the time and energy to visit and report on the US Sailboat Show in the fall. And, despite having written eight articles inspired by that trip—including five of our most popular ever…and most controversial—that well is still half full.

I also got to sail a smaller and completely different boat, which also broadened my perspective, and resulted in several articles.

Bottom line, having more time will let us investigate more things and get a more diverse perspective. In fact, it already has, in the form of the indepth series I have been researching and writing on refitting older boats—nothing to do with Morgan’s Cloud.

Our hope is that there will be more of these sorts of diverse projects in the future.

And our enthusiasm for improving this site has not waned at all. Last winter we completed phase one of a major redesign as well as reorganized our over 1000 articles and 12 Online Books. All going well we will get phase two of the project done next winter.

In short, our retirement strategy is to keep working. And, yes, we plan to go on “Adventuring”, albeit in a more “Attainable” way than cruising East Greenland…and that’s all good, too.

Further Reading

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Meet the Author


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.

19 comments… add one
  • Jakob Vedefors Jul 2, 2020, 12:50 pm


  • Ernest E Vogelsinger Jul 2, 2020, 4:13 pm

    Thank you! This comes as a BIG relief…

  • Marc Dacey Jul 2, 2020, 4:56 pm

    For purely selfish reasons, I both am glad to hear this and hope MC doesn’t leave Nova Scotia until we can see her in the water. We leave in about 10 days and should round Cape Breton in your direction end of July.

    But I suspect she’ll sell quickly. There are fewer big cruisers as well-documented as yours.

  • Mal L Jul 3, 2020, 9:20 am

    Big boats certainly take up a lot of our time i had a 62footer once that was a full time job! You’ve put some good sea miles under Morgans Cloud so time for a change and maybe a smaller boat sounds like a smart move.

    • John Jul 4, 2020, 9:27 am

      Hi Mal,

      MC is far from a full time job to maintain, that’s how we have managed to build and run this business at the same time. In fact I’m guessing that at least for the first few years a smaller new-to-us boat will be a bigger maintenance burden particularly since the access won’t be near as good, and we almost certainly won’t have the full on workshop and tools that we cary on MC. In my experience boat size has very little correlation with maintenance burden, as long as one does not give into the temptation to fill a bigger boat with a lot of complex gear.

  • Gari Williams Jul 3, 2020, 10:02 am

    “it tends to make us focused on one boat and one way of doing things.”

    Time to buy a catamaran to broaden subject matter, John.

  • Mike McCollough Jul 3, 2020, 12:17 pm

    Good to hear, I am refitting a smaller boat.

  • Richard Camp Jul 4, 2020, 1:51 am

    You had mentioned she was getting a bit big for you to handle as a pair, so i wasn’t worried about the channel. You have become my first point for sailing lore, and by which i validate all others. By the way, when is the Boreal being delivered :)?

    • John Jul 4, 2020, 8:41 am

      Hi Richard,

      No, I never said that, she is not too big to for us to handle, that’s not the reason for selling. More coming.

  • James Patek Jul 4, 2020, 5:57 pm

    Best wishes for the next phase of your cruising life. I am sure that we will all look forward to “what’s next”. Or at least I will! At present, I cannot even get back to New Zealand to maintain Let’s Go!, let alone sail her. My thoughts drift toward…”Is this a message?” Take care. Have fun.


    • John Jul 5, 2020, 8:21 am

      Hi Jim,

      Good to hear from you. What a drag to have your boat in another country and no idea when you can get back. As to a message, I know what you mean. It just seems like when the time is right for a change a lot of things line up to reinforce that.

  • Robert Hellier Jul 7, 2020, 10:29 am

    Hi John,
    Your recent series on selecting, purchasing and refitting older sailboats for adventure cruising has been so timely for my wife and I. We have just sold our 30′ sailboat and in the middle of purchasing an ocean capable, swing keel, all metal sailboat that was built for adventure and still has a lot of life left in her – but also a lot of work. We might even manage to keep to under $100G if all goes as planned. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself there!

    We understand your mixed feeling about selling MC. We clearly went through the 5 stages of loss (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance) at giving up our boat (even though it was our choice to do so!) as we gear up for the upcoming adventures. The one thing that has helped us move on is our focus on the vessel that we are about to acquire.

    Keep the articles coming on retrofitting older boats. It seems that every time I have a problem to solve you publish an article related to it. Uncanny!


    • John Jul 9, 2020, 5:33 pm

      Hi Robert,

      Will do.

  • Paolo Lazzeri Jul 7, 2020, 12:23 pm

    Glad you keep on the excellent work!!

  • Julian Beauchamp Jul 16, 2020, 6:39 am

    Hi John, I think I saw that you had built/modified your chain locker. I can’t find an article about this but would be interested in more detail. The reason I ask is that my locker is large with a big flat base. The problem I have been experiencing is my chain getting itself knotted and I can’t figure out why this is happening. I suspected that it was moving around too much in a seaway but can’t be sure. I have let the whole lot out (which was tricky because of the twisting) and watched it coming back in. It falls straight down and I have coiled it as it falls. That is the latest position and I’m going back out to the boat next week to see if that has done the trick. Any advice would be gratefully accepted. BTW, I have 80m of 10mm chain mated to a S120 Spade. Many thanks.

    • John Jul 16, 2020, 8:17 am

      Hi Julian,

      Yes, the chain locker needs to be taller and thiner. When ours was lower and more shallow, we had to flake the chain by hand every time we hauled the anchor, although because we did that, we never got any jams. The problem is that the chain builds a pile as it is coming in and then at some point it falls over, if not flaked. That does not happen in a taller locker. Rebuilding the locker was a pain, but worth every hour it took.

      • Julian Beauchamp Jul 22, 2020, 11:53 am

        Hi John

        Many thanks for that – makes perfect sense. I’ll give it a try next week in sunny Sardinia!

  • Phil Balderson Aug 17, 2020, 5:05 am

    Welcome news! I’ve given up reading yachting magazines – everything I need is here!

    • John Aug 17, 2020, 9:54 am

      Hi Phil,

      Well, that’s very kind, thank you. It’s that kid of encouragement that keeps us plugging away at it.

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