So now that we have decided to focus on boats that have been well taken care of and not butchered by inept amateurs, we still need to be realistic about potential flaws in materials and construction and what it would really take in time and money to fix each. We can have no better guide than Colin as we figure that out.
To that end, Colin turns his attention to seven basic construction areas where problems can turn a refit into a horror show we definitely don’t want to star in.
Rope snubbers are vital for those of us who anchor on all-chain rodes, but the good news is that a good snubber is a simple thing to make and rig right.
Can we go offshore cruising in a fully refitted, safe and comfortable boat for US$100,000, all in? Colin and John think so, but making it work won’t be easy and will need careful planning and lots of sweat. Colin kicks off the series with some things for us to think about before we even start looking for a boat.
John is a bit of a tool freak. That said, like most cruisers, he also tends to be conservative about stuff that costs money, takes up space, and adds weight to his boat. It’s a fine balance. Here are four tools where he got it wrong.
I have always thought that electric winch handles were a silly gadget looking for a purpose at worst, and a poor alternative to an electric winch at best. But now I’m not so sure and, in fact, think that Ewincher may be one of the most important sail-handling developments to come along in a long time. Here’s why.
It’s no secret that John puts interior arrangement behind most other selection criteria when evaluating boats, but it’s also true that he and Phyllis lived aboard for some 20 years, so he applies that experience to comparing the two boats, and in the process shares a bunch of tips that will help in any boat selection. He then winds up with a comparison of price, size, and value for money between the two boats.
Inside steering stations are wonderful, but the details matter, to the point that getting them wrong can result in disaster. John compares the two very different approaches of the Garcia and the Boréal and shares tips that will be useful even if you are not considering buying either of these boats, or even if you are contemplating a motorboat.
Hanging out in a lovely anchorage is a wonderful part of cruising, but what if we could also stay fit and/or play with a really cool fast sailing dinghy at the same time?
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.
Sure, we all like a snug sheltered anchorage but when we are trying to make the miles in a hurry using a less sheltered passage anchorage can save a bunch of time and distance. Colin shares how to pick a good one and the precautions to take when we decide to anchor out there.
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.
John spent some time at the Ultra Anchor booth at the boat show. There were things he liked about the anchor, and one that he didn’t, and it’s a doozy.
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.