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LETTERS "Interesting opinion," the Poobah said. "One I don't necessarily agree with, although I do think buyers of boats, particularly first-time buyers, often do obsess over the craziest, least important things." ⇑⇓ WELL, IT DEPENDS I would tend to say that the kind of boat you have does matter. You wouldn't want to take a family of five across an ocean on a Bristol Channel Cutter, no matter that it ranks way up there on the seaworthy scale. Personally, I wouldn't want to take a Catalina 42 on a cruise to Tahiti, unless it was refit for the voyage. It's not designed to do that. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that someone who loves buoy racing wouldn't take to a Valiant 42, either. Someone with modest skill and/or experience might do better with a forgiving boat such as a Hunter or Catalina, as opposed to something more demanding — say a Swan. Cruising Long Island Sound in a Jeanneau Attalia 32 was a delight. For our trip from Newport, RI, to Tortola via Bermuda, however, our Tayana 37 was a great boat to take a shorthanded crew a long distance. It seems to me that the first question in selecting a boat is, "What are you going to do with it?" Right after that we should ask, "How many people will usually be aboard?" It's also good to know how skilled the sailors are, and how much experience they have. Once you know that, it's possible to come up with a stable of candidates from which to choose. I don't know as much about catamarans, so maybe there's less difference between them. From what I've seen and the little experience I've had, most of them are great off the wind and less than great with the wind before the mast. I've seen a goodly number of cat sailors go to power when they're on a close reach or close-hauled, so maybe sailing characteristics aren't as essential. I also don't know whether there are the same differences I've seen with monohulls when it comes to fuel and water capacity — two essential features for longdistance cruising. Bob Schilling ⇑⇓ CHOOSE THE ONE THAT TOUCHES YOUR HEART No matter what experts say, if you don't love your boat you'll soon become tired of all the work she requires, no matter how 'perfect' various experts and pundits think she is. Beau Vrolyk Mayan, Alden Schooner Santa Cruz "Our love," wrote Beau Vrolyk of his chosen one, 'Mayan'.

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Latitude 38

• May, 2019


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Latitude 38 May 2019