Our New Boat Selection Process—Part 1, Fitness For Mission

Rebranded, as the marketing guys say. Lucked out with the waterline and cove stripe being AAC blue already. So what's wrong with this situation (I think)? Leave a comment if you pick it up. I'm interested to see if it's just me being fussy—what a surprise that would be—or a real issue.

In a previous article we finally revealed the boat we selected to both replace our beloved 56-foot McCurdy and Rhodes aluminum cutter (well, not really "replace") and to act as a test bed for Attainable Adventure Cruising going forward.

While this series of articles will explain why we made the decision we did, that's not the point. After all, for most all of you who want to go long distance live-aboard cruising the J/109 would be completely and utterly the wrong boat: too small, too light and twitchy, too deep, too little storage and, above all, too little load-carrying capacity.

So what matters here is the process we followed, both the steps we got right, and the steps we screwed up, so you can follow the former and, I hope, avoid the latter as you select the right boat for you.

The first part of the process of buying a boat is to define the mission. Different missions require different boats, which is what makes the whole "best boat" discussion, so common on forums, so silly—not here since AAC members are of above average smarts...you must be, you joined.

Here's the mission statement we started off with, together with how well we did satisfying it.

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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 18 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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