Boat Design/Selection

Why Are Saildrives Even A Thing?

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.

Members' Online Book: How To Buy a Cruising Boat, Chapter 19 of 29

Hull Materials, Which Is Best?

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.

John and Phyllis want to buy a 40-foot sailboat. There are thousands of second-hand boats for sale, but most of them are not fit to go offshore. So how do we weed through all the junk to find a decent and safe boat at a fair price? And what about refitting an older boat? This is the first of a series of articles to answer those two questions.

Members' Online Book: How To Buy a Cruising Boat, Chapter 4 of 29

Learn From The Designers

One of the saddest things that can happen to a cruiser is buying a fundamentally bad boat, and there are plenty of those out there to tempt the uninformed. Here’s how to make sure that the boat you buy is well designed.

When the subject comes up of buying an old and tired boat and refitting it as a way to get out there ocean voyaging inexpensively, John tends to start throwing around a lot of cold reality, and generally being a spoil sport. But sometimes this approach can work.

Meeting up with Steve and Linda Dashew is always both fun and fascinating, with a lot to learn about offshore voyaging in boats of any size, even though their designs are way beyond the reach of most of us. John shares two of those lessons.

The Golden Globe Race—The Boats and the Refits

In Part 3 of his analysis of the Golden Globe Race, Colin examines the boats selected, cost of refits, and most importantly, how that relates to realistic budgets for cruisers planning to buy an old boat and upgrade it for ocean voyaging.

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