Refining our purchase criteria

We have to realistically narrow down our potential boat list…after all, we can’t buy them all! If you were to ask 8 sailors what constitutes a great cruising boat, you will, of course, get 8 different answers. At the end of the day, the answer to the question, “What makes a great cruising boat?” is “The one that meets YOUR needs.” So, after much discussion of features and functions, here is the list that we have come up with –

Price Range
100 – 200K, up to $250K

Live aboard, off-shore capable

35 – 45 (ideal 38 – 42)

Comfortable with any age boat, condition and construction are
more important than specific age or era

Good to Excellent, not a project boat, ok if it requires some
deferred maintenance

Modified full keel, cut-away full keel or modified fin keel with a
skeg-hung rudder or protected rudder
Not interested in boats with a fin keel and a spade rudder


Prefer aft cockpit, but would not rule out a center cockpit if it
were the right boat
Must have combings of adequate height for comfortable seating
and benches of adequate length for lying down in cockpit
Stern rail seats would be great

Rig/Sail Plan
Cutter rig, prefer without a ketch or yawl, but would not rule out
a ketch or yawl if placement of mizzen mast makes sense
Would not consider a ketch or yawl on the lower end of the
length specified
Indifferent about a furling main vs a standard main with lazy jack
or stackpack, either is fine
Roller furler on the head sail a must
Roller furler on the staysail and self tacking staysail would be
All lines lead aft to manage sail plan from the cockpit

Prefer a boat with traditional lines and nice overhangs, love wine
glass transoms, however may have to compromise on this to
achieve 2 cabins
Not interested in a boat with teak decks

Looking for a cruising boat, not a racing boat. It is important that
the boat have good sea motion and stable (i.e. no pounding)
with good both up wind and down wind performance
Although we realize that the type of underbody we are looking
for will mean this will not be an extremely fast boat, however it
should not be a tub either

Accessibility to the engine for maintenance and repairs is
important. Ratio of HP to displacement should be close to 2 HP
for every 1,000 lbs of displacement.
Don’t want a boat that is underpowered. Engine hours should
not be excessive, low engine hours would be great
Prefer an engine that has parts and maintenance/repairs
available in the state cruising area

Minimum 2 cabins with at least one berth queen size or larger
One head – prefer separate shower stall or at minimum the ability
to pull a curtain around to not get entire head wet
Good sea berth in salon
Galley small enough to brace yourself in a seaway but with
enough counter space to work without having to move to open
the frig
Generally, not too dark or broken up down below. Bright & airy
with adequate ventilation – one large hatch for each area and
Well laid out nav station is important, a place to sit down, table
large enough to handle charts, back or side area that can handle
the addition of electronics

Prefer minimum electronics on board and will plan to add these
closer to our cruising departure

Specific Boats we are interested in:

Mason 44
Gozzard 44 (“A” layout only)
Island Packet 350, 38, 380, 40, 420
Little Harbor
Cabo Rico
Kelly Peterson
Hans Christian

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: