We needed a boat that would fit 5 people – 2 in luxury and the other three in their own beds ideally. It would be ideal if it could take some guests, so that would make it over 40 foot. It had to be able to be sailed by one person at a push, so probably well below 60 foot. Not too old. Not too expensive, and that meant less than USD 100,000 of our boat money, and that sadly narrowed it down! The other things on the wishlist included corner galley, slab reefing, bathing platform, lots of storage and newer engine but hey! you can’t have everything.
I would have loved an Amel Super Maramu, and taken a Mango if I found one in good nick. Waiquiez have a perfect layout with the deck saloon, and the old Oyster Lightwaves looked great. Moody 44 CC with the aft cabin, small side bunk and 2 forward cabins would also fit us, but reports of high centre of weight and sluggish sailing made us reconsider. Most of the Beneteaus and later Jeanneaus seemed too light and set up with 4 smaller cabins. Some custom steel boats were going for a song but Grandpa Bill looked horrified when i asked him about them.
Why didn’t we go for a catamaran ? probably the cost would mean we’d have to go less than 40 foot, and then the safety and motion at sea in these smaller cats would become an issue. Maybe if money was no object a larger newer cat would be worth considering.
If money was really no object I would like a big Garcia or Ovni to be able to go anywhere, but everyone else would take a Moody 54DS with its amazing catamaran-like living space.
So what did we get ? Despite there being cleaner, prettier ex-charter bennys and jennys around, i finally had to choose between an Amel Mango, 53 foot and 43 years old, and a Jeanneau DS with an aft owners cabin, 43 foot and 13 yrs old. I reluctantly decided that i could better manage a modern plastic and kevlar fin keel sloop than a voluminous ketch with ageing fittings, even though it would be far less boat for the buck.
It needs some work. Cosmetically the vinyl liner needs replacing, curtains rehanging, some varnish, holding tanks scrubbed, and a dodger is missing. Structurally the cutless bearings and rudder bushes are loose, the exhaust elbow rusty, and engine mounts need firming up. Apart from that – theres the same old stuff that every boat needs doing.