So were going to take one last RV trip for the season in a few week’s time. Were taking the motorhome down to Annapolis Maryland for the 2019 United States Sailboat Show. This is one of the biggest sailing specific boat shows in the world. They hold the show in Annapolis every year to showcase the latest and greatest in the sailing world. There will be dozens of boats on the water and many boating-related displays onshore. If you registered early and got time off from work, there is a big cruisers university speaker and education series on the weekdays preceding the show as well. Several YouTube celebrities are planning to be at the show this year.
Part 2 – Monohulls
Our long term plans involve a catamaran. A big cat for living aboard long-term. This will likely be our retirement yacht, however. Were still in the prime of our working careers and have two young children who should probably have a more normal life with friends and school and cub scouts and all that stuff. We also need more time to amass the necessary funds to support the very comfortable retirement we have planned. As such, a mono-hull is a much closer reality for us. Give our location in the north Atlantic coast, the first foray into full time cruising for us would likely be to Europe and the Mediterranean. For this, from what we have seen, we should probably have a monohull as the med is not so friendly to catamaran sailing. Distant Shores, and Ruby Rose copying in reverse direction, make a strong case for a shallow draft monohull to cruise the French canals as well.
In the near term, a cat would be excellent for entertaining and everything except dockage and storage. Moorings in New England are unobtainium unless you lease them from a marina. Moorings at a marina are a little cheaper than a slip if you can find one, but not too much. Slips can also be hard to find in desirable locations and a catamaran will likely cost you two slips. A cat is also not particularly trailerable given thier beam. So this means any long term storage is limited to nearshore if not at the marina from where it is hauled out.
Out taste in monohulls is evolving, to say the least. I’ve long been a fan of Beneteau yachts and not just because my last name is only a few letters different. I’ve always liked thier modern styling. Performance etc. has never been a consideration as ownership has seemed so far off in the future.
Now, as we get closer to reaching this dream, we are starting to develop and refine our vision for what we want in a boat. As I heard Nick from Ruby Rose say, (and I’m paraphrasing) you need to think about what kind of boat you need for now and the next few years rather than what you will want in the future. Because they are likely two, or more, different boats.
For us, now, we are good with Belle. She is suiting our needs well. She’s relatively cheap to own and was certainly cheap to acquire. In a few year’s time when we have saved enough cash to pay for a larger boat and have the means to keep it on a slip or mooring as well as winter storage, we will want to make a big jump in size. Like double. Doubling the LOA is not a linear increase in size, however. Displacement goes up dramatically. For example, Belle at 23′ displaces about 3500lbs. Whereas a mid-weight 45′ boat will displace a whopping 25,000lbs. That’s a 7X increase in displacement for a 2X increase in LOA. You get a lot more volume and comfort for the extra length.
So we’ve been thinking a lot about what we want as we watch the other boats in the harbors sail by and when we see them at anchor. We stumbled upon a listing for a Hunter 450 using one of the online yacht portals. It fits into the sub $100k and greater than 40′ filter I was using. We fell in love with the boat immediately.
The Hunter 450 is unique. It’s small for a center cockpit. It also has a unique cabin layout with a semi-spiral stair and a separate shower/tub in the rear master stateroom. The forward berth is not in the bow and is only accessible from one side and that may be a drawback, but it would be for kids or guests anyway. We really like the galley, stairs, and the amazing master suite.
The more boats we look at the more we keep coming back to the Hunter 450/456 even though it is close to 20 years old. It has become our measuring stick for looking at boats. With that in mind, we’ve combed through the boat list for the 2019 United States Sailboat Show and picked out the ones that interest us most. None seem to meet all our expectations, but that is to be expected. There is no such thing as the perfect boat.
Monohulls we expect to visit at the show (according to thier website):
- AMEL 50 – Solid bluewater cruiser with heavy displacement
- Bavaria C50 – More of a sportier cruiser with a low profile and dual helms. Crawl-in rear berths but love the styling
- Beneteau Oceania 51.1 – More of a sportier cruiser with a low profile and dual helms. Crawl-in rear berths, super-wide transom.
- Hanse 548 – More of a sportier cruiser with a low profile and dual helms. Crawl-in rear berths
- Hylas 48 – Center cockpit cruiser, lots of wood in the interior.
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490 More of a sportier cruiser with a low profile and dual helms. Crawl-in rear berths
- Nautor’s Swan 48 More of a sportier cruiser with a low profile and dual helms. Crawl-in rear berths, slide off the back cockpit. (or wave wash in)
- Outbound 52 – Interesting center-cockpit design we’ve not heard of before.
- Oyster 575 – For those with more cents than sense
- Passport 545 CC – Center cockpit but seemingly dated interior styling
- Southerly 480 (ask about Bluewater 50 cat?) – Perhaps the most interesting monohull of the show, seems to have the best of rear cockpit and center cockpit with innovative “variable draft hull” (centerboard)
- Wauquiez 48 – Never heard of this one, looks interesting.
- X Yachts Xc 45 – New brand, looks ho-hum from photos but want to check them out in person.
Let us know if there is anything, in particular, you would like to see at the 2019 United States Sailboat Show!