Here’s a 37-footer that might also be in contention for a pretty-boat award. It’s the product of designer Bill Crealock’s own experience sailing across oceans, and I happily defer to his judgment. I’d consider the Tayana 37 for this slot, but I think Crealock drew a prettier canoe stern than Bob Perry did on the Tayana. (Sorry, Bob.) Maybe it’s not quite as powerful, but it might also be a little more forgiving in a big quartering sea. I’ve not spent any getting-to-know-you time on a boat with a canoe stern, but I think it might be fun to do so.
It was built as a cutter and as a yawl. I fear the yawl might be a bit busy around the cockpit. I like the cutter rig for its versatility upwind and reaching. I’d dispense with a big genoa and use a modern asymmetric for extra downwind sail area.
Some of the early Crealock 37s were built with tiller steering, which might be a nice way to go. The tiller probably hogs the cockpit (which isn’t all that big) when you’re sailing, but it’d take up less space at rest than a wheel. Given the option, I’d rather carry a spare tiller than have to burrow under the cockpit to re-reeve a steering cable, though I might change my mind if the boat has a heavy helm (which I somehow doubt it has.)
Pacific Seacraft built the 37 with an internal pan liner. This worries me a bit because it makes lots of areas of the hull inaccessible. I like a boat built the old-fashioned way, piece by piece, which means it can be dismantled the same way if necessary. Still, Pacific Seacraft has a good reputation, and you have to put some faith in that.
Crealock 37 by Pacific Seacraft
Price range: $119,000 (1983) to $219,000 (1999)