New Boat: Where Do We Want to Explore?

The first step in choosing a new boat is to decide where we want to cruise …. and this is where we’re stuck, at least for the moment. And since David says we’re not THINKING about a boat for at least 12 months (3 months down, 9 to go….), it does me no good to “shop” at YachtWorld…. yet.

Winterlude in Savannah Bight, Guanaja in the Bay Islands of Honduras -- anchored at Josh Cay to be exact. Oh to be there now....

Winterlude in Savannah Bight, Guanaja in the Bay Islands of Honduras — anchored at Josh Cay to be exact. Oh to be there now….

So many people (us included) fall in love with a boat before they clarify how they want to use that boat. We’ll never regret buying Winterlude, a 1985 classic plastic Passport 37, but we bought her before we had done any cruising (except for a few charters).  My dream was to sail to New Zealand.  That was before we sailed from the Keys to Isla Mujeres, Mexico and we both knew we weren’t sailing to New Zealand before the 2nd day was done.

Sapzurro, Colombia

Sapzurro, Colombia

So we had a wonderful round the world capable bluewater cruising boat for the Western Caribbean and coastal cruising.  The biggest drawbacks were her draft and her slow cruising speed.  Her comfort was undeniable and we NEVER questioned her safety and reliability.  So did we buy the wrong boat?  We don’t think so, but now that we’re considering other options, we know to be a bit more careful about selecting WHERE we want to cruise before deciding on a boat.   And as mentioned above, that’s where we’re stuck….

Photo Courtesy of NASA

Photo Courtesy of NASA

Almost every option has potential but also drawbacks.  Cruising the northern US East Coast (Chesapeake Bay to Maine) sounds good, but that needs to be in the summer when we’re enjoying being at the lake slalom skiing every day. Canal boats in Europe are appealing, but David’s a bit concerned about safety issues in Europe. The Great Loop is always a possibility, but we both see long stretches of nothing but boring river. Gunkholing many different areas would be fun but deciding on the best boat is difficult – wondering if a trailerable sailboat might give us the best of both worlds – but would it be big enough to live aboard?  PNW?  The Pacific Northwest islands would be amazing cruising (as would the Inside Passage up the Canadian coastline to Alaska, but David currently has an emphatic NO on that idea).

So we need to agree (or at least be willing to compromise) on what our next adventure looks like before we can choose the right boat.

How about buying a boat already in the cruising ground we pick?  British Virgin Islands sound good to me … then we can “commuter cruise” directly from the BVI each winter.  It has the advantage of being warm for David’s “never live anywhere he can’t wear his shorts” quest.

How about a Diesel Duck???  LOVE LOVE LOVE…. all except the price tag.  Seems there’s alot of boats that we love, except for the price tag.  And keep in mind, the price tag includes not only the initial “investment” if it can be called an investment, but also ongoing maintenance and storage.

And then, we’re always back to alot of what we want to do would be summer cruising … how do we clone ourselves so we can be slalom skiing at the lake and enjoying fresh Maine lobster at the same time.  Hmmm…. and the discussions continue.  Cheers!  Jan



  1. Patti Giese says:

    All good points. The decisions just never seem to get easier!

  2. Puget Sound up the inside passage to Alaska is some of the best cruising grounds in the world. I have sailed all over and so far Seattle to the Olympic Pen. up to the Islands then up the inside passage to Alaska then down to the canal over to Aruba has been the best I have ever done.

    • Thanks Dan! We know it would be phenomenal cruising, the question is are we willing to give up a summer at the lake slalom skiing every day to cruise in the summer. Definitely a first world problem! But we love to do both, hence the wish we could clone ourselves. 🙂 Cheers — Jan

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