Friday, February 8, 2013

What Are We Looking For In A New Boat?

Alianna with her new gold boot stripe
Alianna is back floating in the water where she should be and she is as happy as the fish in the sea. We are happy our home is gently rocking us to sleep at night and those oh so necessary boat yard days are a thing of the past.
Now it’s back to the business of boat shopping – we never quite realized what a difficult job this would be. Every time we think we have cracked it; something has come up, some detail not quite right that we have had to walk away.
So we made a list of all the things we require of a new boat and then tried to set ourselves some parameters in the great search. So here are our must haves :
44-48ft mono hull – that’s not to say that we would not totally rule out a catamaran if the right one came up but the smaller ones lack space and storage and the larger ones cost more not just initially but also to keep and maintain as well. Which is the reason we don’t want a bigger then 48ft mono either.
Two decent cabins – Alianna has the most comfortable bed ever. I love it but we only have one cabin although she can sleep 7 there is no guest cabin. As we seem to have a lot of visitors it would be very nice to have a door to close on them ;-)
Good engine – What with Sim being a Marine Diesel Engineer he is fairly fussy about the kind of engine we have.
Comfortable settee for slobbing out and watching movies but also comfortable for wining and dining
Electric Windless
65ft or less mast – so we can do the ICW in America
6ft or less draft – ditto
3 hob burner – we like to cook
Protected cockpit
Good sailing performance
Cutter rig
Solar Panels

Wind Gen
Lots of storage

Now here is the added wish list:
Work area so Sim can have his work bench out
Washing machine- haha but why not – this is a wish list!

We have looked at a few boats in the southern Caribbean and to be quite honest if we had flown to see them I would be extremely pissed off and deeply out of pocket. Few are actually as described by seller or broker and mostly have been very disappointing. So that leads us on to where to look. It has to be where we are now or within a very close proximity where traveling costs don’t mount up. But that sadly does limit what we are looking for. Beneteau’s, Jeanneau’s, Amels and Dufours are the kind of boats you find for sale here. Or boxy Lagoons and Fountaine Pajots too. And they are great boats but they are not for us. We want something more substantial, something maybe a bit quirkier or more robust yet traditional. We like the idea of the Hylas and the Tayanas and there are some on the internet in the States that we can afford. But then we have Alianna to sell and we would rather do that here then in the States where tax and all that stuff comes into play. Plus the idea of shifting all our stuff and cat if we were to sell Alianna here and buy in the states just gives me a headache.
So in the meantime we were going to slowly make our way up to St Martin and see what happens along the way. One thing we have learned is that boats do just keep popping up.

EXCEPT..... We noticed an advert for a boat in St Lucia that seemed to meet all our requirements. Only that we had forgotten one little thing in our search criteria; and that is hull material. This boat as it turns out is made of steel! The desire to take a look though….just to see, overwhelmed us. This is not your usual steel boat with hard chines. She has got nice lines and a pretty paint job. She looks sweet! She meets all out needs and even a couple of wish list items (sadly no washing machine). But what do we know about steel? Well luckily Sim has some working knowledge albeit of the big ship variety so we are not going to be totally ignorant. But maybe we are crazy. I’m sure many of you will think so. Be that as it may. One thing has lead to another. We liked what we saw (alot) and things have just progressed. And here we are with an offer excepted and a surveyor’s first inspection. Boy, are we nervous. Time will tell with this one. We are not afraid of the work involved in a steel boat only that she is a safe, strong and a good sailing boat.
Waking up to a glorious morning after our first night back in the water.
Sim practicing his wife beating!

1 comment:

  1. Where are the pics then?? Would love to see what she looks like.