Hunting for the Perfect Cruising Boat

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."    -         T.E. Lawrence

Consulting with Mahina Sailing Adventures for a Cruising Boat  See our conversation here concerning what boats work, and those that don't.

Alberg 37 Survey  I am putting this up as an example.  I'll be checking the boat out in Houston this weekend.


Islander 36 Association

Alberg 37 Association

Tartan 37 Sailing Association

Tayana 37 Association



I started by hunt for a boat by going through as many books and boat reviews as I could find.  Like many who start this search the name Westsail kept coming up over and over again.  I'll be the first to admit that they are built like tanks.  The bad news is they are built like tanks.  In the early days of constructions fiberglass was still unknown as a hull material.  To make up for a lack of experience they made many boats ultra thick to offset the risk.  This extra glass makes many mid sized boats fall into the ultra heavy displacement category, not what I am looking for.

Finally, I turned to an expert.  John Kretschmer has been writing reviews for Sailing Mag for many years.  He compiled his top pics from his reviews into the Used Boat Notebook.  (see req'd reading) 

I'll be looking for something that can be bought and upgraded for under 50k.  It has to be large enought to accomodate two people and two large dogs, be a proven blue water design, fall in the medium displacement category, and somewhere between 32 - 40 feet.  The easier for a short handed crew to handle the better.  Considering I am still a relative new comer, I like the idea of a modified full keel for a little extra protection.

Here is the short list as it stands right now.  Islander 36, Alberg 37, Tartan 37, Tayana 37, Morgan 382, Beneteau First 38, and the  C & C 39.  I am sure this list will both expand and shrink as the seach continues so feel free to offer up any others I am missing in this price range.

Work has be travelling to California and Texas on a regular basis so I'll be using what free time I have to look at boats on the market and narrow down my preferances.  I'll post pics as I can of the used boats I check out.


Beneteau Owners Association           C & C 39 Association

Morgan 382 Association