Looking at hull form and build quality is less fun than delving into cockpits and interior spaces. But the former are a lot more important, since these are boats, not condos, and a good hull form and build are vital when we actually go voyaging.
Sailboats are about…well sailing, so a good deck and cockpit layout is vital, and often neglected. How do these two boats stack up? John takes a look, and also shares what to look for on any offshore boat.
For over 10 years the Boréal 44/47 has been in a class of her own when we think about buying a new aluminum centreboard expedition boat, or any offshore cruising boat, for that matter. But now there is a new challenger in the neighbourhood: the Garcia Exploration 45. In this, the first of four articles, John compares the rigs of these two boats. And even if you are not interested in either boat, you will get some good ideas of what to look for in a boat to go to out-of-the-way hazardous places, particularly the high latitudes—or even just offshore.
Andy Schell sails offshore more than most, and is my goto guy for the positive view on all things. We had a great chat about buying second hand fibreglass boats.
John just returned from the US Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland. Here’s a report on the boats that caught his eye, along with some thoughts on getting “out there” in an affordable way.
Hang around with cruisers, and sooner or later someone will say, “Never buy a boat with…”. Should we listen? John shares how to decide, and examines the choice between encapsulated and bolt on keels.
There is endless debate about the effectiveness of moisture meters. Here are the facts from Steve D’ Antonio, who has used one for decades, together with some thoughts from John.
Whenever the subject of buying a boat comes up, the horror stories about surveys that failed to find serious, or even catastrophic, structural problems are sure to follow. John interviews industry expert Steve D’Antonio to learn how to avoid having our very own survey horror story.
When researching buying a cruising boat, we are deluged with information on all the gear she must have and how perfect she must be before we can go cruising. But is that really true? How about buying an old and tired boat and just getting out there? John tells his story of going cruising in a half-assed boat…and having one of the best times in his life. Will this work for you? He shares tips on how to decide.
So is it possible to get a real offshore cruising boat for around US$100,000, ready to go? John suggests a possibility for those willing to go smaller and older.
So what boat size is optimal for offshore voyaging? There is no one number. Rather, we must understand our own expectations before we can zero in on that. John tells the story of a smart guy that saved him from getting this wrong.
Phyllis and John have spent the last few months researching buying a smaller cruising boat. Here’s what they have learned so far. Also some thoughts on getting a good survey.
Saildrives are becoming ever more common on cruising boats. But are they a good idea, or just yet another way to make the builder’s life easier while making the owner’s harder? John has some thoughts.
There are a huge number of second-hand fibreglass cruising boats for sale, but very few good ones. Here is how to weed out some of the junk.
One of the common debates in any sailor’s bar is which hull material is best. John settles the argument…it depends. But he does make some solid recommendations for hull materials most of us should avoid and the one that the majority should choose.