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Lots of you are wondering what we are looking for, so I've decided to sum it up in a nice, even Top 10 List. While we might not get everything that we are looking for on this list - it's good to know what you want when you are looking, otherwise you'll be quickly overwhelmed by the thousands and thousands of choices out there. It's interesting to look at how this list differs slightly from what we were first looking for and stay tuned for a post on how buying your second boat is much harder than the first!...With no further ado, here are the
Top 10 Things We're Looking for in Our Next Boat
- Space - we're looking for a monohull in the 42'-46' range. While Rasmus certainly could accomodate Scott, Isla and I - we do plan on having more kids in the near future so would rather get a boat that leaves us a little room to grow. More storage space, both on deck and down below, would be fantastic as well as Isla comes with some gear and Scott has a new obsession with kiteboarding and bought all the kit for it.
- Refrigeration - much to the amazement of many of our friends and followers, we spent the last two years cruising without cold food and cold drinks. We earned our stripes. We'd like to have it on our next boat!
- Cutter Rig - safety is now going to be our #1 priority and having more sail options, in our opinion, will make sailing safer. We like the idea of being able to roll up our large headsail and roll out a smaller one if and when the wind kicks up. We're also open to ketch rigs for the same reason (more options), but a cutter is preferred.
- Solar/Wind Power - we want a boat that is already energy efficient and can operate "off the grid" fairly well, we would rather not have to spend time calculating amp hours and installing these items if we don't have to.
- Center Cockpit - we LOVE our center cockpit. It is safe, deep, cozy and dry. We also love having a little aft deck to hang out on when we're sailing and loading stuff on and off of our dinghy. This, so far, is a non-negotiable for us especially since we'll have little Isla crawling around in no time and the inherent protection offered from a center-cockpit is something we really like. A large, comfortable and roomy cockpit is a must for us.
- Windlass - we loved our windlass, it made anchoring a breeze and we'd like our next boat to have one as well. Isla won't be strong enough for that kind of work for a long time anyway...
- Swim Platform/Cockpit shower - we did not have a swim platform on Rasmus and always talked about putting one on. Many cruising boats have swim platforms and they make life at anchor more pleasant. Not only does it make getting in and out of the dinghy much easier, it's great for swimming and bathing as well! As for the cockpit shower - we LOVE ours. It's by far the best way to bathe in the Caribbean and it's something that we do not want to do without. You can read why we love the cockpit shower so much in our post titled: Hygiene on The High Seas.
- Two Heads/Two Stateroom configuration - we are a small family that loves to have visitors. Scott and I love the privacy of a separate cabin for friends and family. We would also love another head for the same reason as well as a little more storage and the option to shower down below. Not to mention the fact that we'll be potty training in the near future...
- SSB/watermaker - We'd like this boat to be fairly well set up to go cruising because we don't want to spend months and months in a boat yard doing a refit when we could be having fun in the sun with our baby. We'd like our next boat to be outfitted with SSB as well as a watermaker because we really enjoyed having both of these on Rasmus.
- Rig/Plumbing/Wiring in good shape - these three are a BIG deal and can cost a LOT of time and money replacing in the yard. We re-did all three on Rasmus and this time around, we'd rather have a boat that someone else fixed up. Wishful thinking? Perhaps - but a girl can dream! Having any of these three in really bad order will make what looks like a good deal, bad.
Obviously there are many, many more considerations to be made when buying a boat (like low engine hours, davit system, draft, nice interior...etc) but these are some of the biggies for us this time around. There is no such thing as the "perfect" boat and it would be a small miracle to find a boat that has everything that we are looking for but eight out of ten ain't bad!
We'll let you know how the trip to Lauderdale goes and tell you more about the boats we looked at next week...
Brittany, Scott & Isla