2014 was an interesting year. A year full of ups and downs, which seems to be the norm for a life as a sailor. After over a year fixing up Chance we finally made it to the Bahamas – UP! Then we broke down in the Bahamas – DOWN. Then I got an awesome freelance gig up in NY – UP! That turned into a full time job – UP (I think). We left Chance in NC while we temporarily moved back to land and resumed a “normal” life – DOWN. As 2014 wrapped up, it left Jason and I with a huge void in our hearts. We were depressed. We miss life aboard, and know that a “normal” life just isn’t for us.
So, with a few days off from work, we holed up on the couch and began the search for our next boat. To be completely honest, Jason never stopped the search, but this was the first time I have actively joined in on the fun. We were g-chatting links to each other and having a grand ole time. Chance has been a great boat to us, but she was never a long term boat. She was our shakedown boat. And, she was great. She taught us what we really want and like in a boat, not just what we think we will want. We’re not in a rush to get a new boat, but we have definitely started the search.
Structurally there are a few things we would like in our next boat:
- 40 -45′ monohull. We want this boat to be big enough for a family and/or visitors.
- Solid fiberglass hull, nothing cored
- An encapsulated keel, no bolt on
- Keel-stepped mast
- Mast height under 65′
- A powerful diesel engine, preferably with an engine room
- Enough headroom for Jason’s 6’3″ frame so he doesn’t have to hunch over when inside
- An aft cabin that we can sleep in. On Chance, we slept in the main cabin, which wasn’t terrible. However, I’m a morning person and Jason is a night owl. We were literally always stepping over one another.
- A nice u-shaped galley for me.
- An aft cockpit or a low set center cockpit as far aft as possible.
- A 5.5′ draft or less
- An open layout with preferably nothing blocking the walkways for the dogs
- Cozy cockpit
- Head with a separate shower
- Enough insulation that we can comfortably live aboard up North.
- Pronounced gunnels
- As many opening ports and hatches as possible
- Functional storage
- At least 100 gallons of fuel and 100 gallons of water tankage – no iron tanks
- Exterior propane lockers
- Non-molded liner
- A preferred u-shaped dinette or a table with two benches on each side with the table dropping down to make a double berth
Things we want in the boat, but that are not deal breakers for us. We know we can always add most of these things later:
- Heat and AC. We plan to live aboard while working in corporate jobs in NYC. We know we are crazy. But, paying NYC rent is even crazier.
- Water maker. Honestly, we almost prefer this to not come with the boat so we can DIY it. That way we can break it up over a few different spaces in the boat instead of having it take up a lot more space when you keep it all together.
- Engel fridge/freezer
- Hard top bimini. Just the top, not the sides.
- Dinghy davits
- Pink spinaker or genoa, obviously
- Hard rails instead of life lines
- As flush of a deck as possible
After days of research we came up with our short list of boats that we think fit the bill. We prefer a boat that may be more of a project (just not a complete rebuild like Chance was) so that we end up with a bigger/better boat than we could afford if everything was sail into the sunset ready. We would like our budget to skew more towards the upgrades (personal drone to video us as we sail anyone?) instead of the hull acquisition. Since both Jason and I are working, we want to get the boat now while we have the income to fix her up just the way we want her so that when we do leave NY, it won’t be to head to Florida to live in a boat yard again.
So, drumroll please… Here are our contenders!
- Whitby 42
- Kelly Peterson 44
- Peterson Formosa 46
- CT 44
- Spencer 1330
- Pearson 424
- Rival 41
- CSY 44
- Albin Nimbus 42
- Lafitte 44
After taking a look at these boats, and getting a feeling for our style, are there any models that we should add to our list? Do any of you have any leads on the East Coast that we could go check out? Would any of you be willing to take us out for a test sail on your vessel?