In response to your article in last week’s CC, I have the following observation or comments.
Our experience with cruising boats is lengthy. We have had a cruising sailboat since 1991 when I rebuilt a Coronado 25 damaged in a coastal storm. We now coastal cruise the Texas coast in a 1981 Pearson 365 ketch. This boat has met all of our cruising needs and we keep her in top condition. In our home marina, I find that we are subtly disparaged by boat owners that are “going out there” on far flung adventures because we do not have plans to do so. We never wanted to do that style of cruising. However, we have dedicated our coastal cruising efforts to being the most self-sufficient cruisers who will never have to cancel or stop a cruise because of a boat related issue. I also notice that we probably have more cruise time than most of those with far flung cruising plans.
Your post about all these older boats being available for under $50,000 is refreshing. Most of these boats were built like tanks and only need some ordinary repair efforts to get them into really good condition. These boats will not have the newer bells and whistles because they were built before those were available to small boats. We have found that we never needed many of these “bells and whistles” because they did not add to our cruising safety or comfort. We have noticed that many of our boating acquaintances want every bit of equipment available even though that equipment will never add anything to safety or comfort.
The takeaway is that most of our boating friends are not defining their cruising style before they select and outfit their vessel. It is logical that the cruising style should indicate the vessel and the onboard equipment. Our philosophy is “use the money not spent on AIS, radar, water makers, solar panels, etc. to have more cruises.”
It would be nice to see more about the advantages of these older and very capable boats, but I suspect there is not much money doing that.
Thanks for the great online magazine and I hope for your continuing success.
The Woodlands, Texas
We own a Dickerson 41 ketch built in 1976. Nineteen built. Most still doing long distance cruising. Seaworthy, lots of storage, and comfortable liveaboards. There is also the equally well built Dickerson 37′, ketch or sloop. We are hosting a Classic Yacht Regatta in Cambridge MD over Father’s Day weekend for Dickerson and other classic yachts.
Chris and Bill Burry
P.S. Often confused with your former boat SV CLOVER.
Hi Cruising Compass:
We cruise in a 40-year-old Bayfield 29. It is a perfect size for two. And one can singlehand. Not fancy but well maintained. Not a lot of systems to go haywire!!
Was just reading the latest newsletter email and was glad to see the O’day 40 made your list of good older GRP boats to buy. My first boat was an O’day 34 that looked after me well through the Keys and Bahamas, and I believe is still going strong. My girlfriend (at the time) and I had such a great time on that boat and were ecstatic to be invited onboard a fellow cruiser’s O’day 40 in Bimini. What a boat! The kind of things mid-20’s cruising dreams were made of.
Skip forward a few years and I’ve made the switch to an older multihull (who on earth can afford a new lagoon and still go cruising?!? Beats me.) but still miss those days of simple cruising across the Bahama Banks and anchoring next to Islands in the O’day 34.
Keep up the great work with the newsletter!
One Last Thought About Guns Onboard a Cruising Boat
Here’s some good advice from the Swat Team member who taught my concealed carry course:
1) Are you prepared to go to the range regularly so you hit the target you mean to hit?
2) Are you prepared to shoot without hesitation, because if you hesitate the gun will be taken from you and used against you?
3) Are you prepared for criminal liability if it is a “bad shoot?”
4) Are you prepared for civil liability if it passes criminal muster, but you still get sued?
5) Will you safely secure your weapon so that “little ones” don’t find it?
6) Will you stay knowledgeable about all local regulations where you travel, re restrictions, etc.
If the answer to any of those questions is no, then carry bear spray aboard instead. You won’t hesitate to use it, it doesn’t cause permanent damage, it has a decent effective range, it is debilitating to the target, and is generally legal in most locals..
For me, number one was the “no.” For the same reason I quit flying airplanes, becasue I couldn’t commit to never being rusty).