How to Buy a Boat: Your Own Elegant Compromise
If you’re shopping for a boat, start by thoroughly disrupting your own assumptions about what constitutes the best one for you.
Cruising Far, or Wide?
|Presto 30. Photo by Billy Black.|
Over the years, a host of builders have refined boats designed and built to address the traditional dream of many a cruiser: sell the house, leave the job, and head off over the horizon. Boat of the Year winners that were created to take you far in luxury include the Discovery 50 and 55; Hallberg-Rassy 37, 40, 43, and 62; Hylas 56; Kanter Bougainvillea 65; Malö 37 and 40; Morris 42; Najad 355; and the Passport Vista 545 CC.
But what happens when you separate the two parts of the phrase “far and wide?” I was on the 2011 Boat of the Year judging panel that gave the Cruising Spirit award to the Rodger Martin-designed Presto 30, a minimalist, wishbone-rigged ketch with camping accommodations and no standing headroom that nevertheless had our staff champing at the bit to take this boat—towed behind a full-size pickup, mind you—to explore Alaska’s Inside Passage, Mexico’s Baja peninsula, the Exumas chain in the Bahamas, and even high-latitude Hudson Bay. This would never be a sell up-and-set off kind of cruising boat but rather one that would let you keep your shoreside life fully intact yet interspersed with enough far-ranging sailing adventures in different places to build a whole life of memories on.
So, with that, we put the question to you: Would you like to go cruising far? Or would you like to go cruising wide?
The answer to this and to all the other questions may just shift your thinking about what constitutes this year’s No. 1 Boat of the Year—the one for you.
Tim Murphy, a CW editor at large, is a 2013 Boat of the Year judge and the coauthor, with Ed Sherman, of Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology (2012; www.abycinc.org).