Friday, 10 January 2014

After having been in St. Lucia for a week, we are slowly settling in to our new cruising life. We have however started questioning, if we have the right boat for the purpose.

The joy of sailing
At the moment we are sailing in a 30 ft. Allegro from 1988. Henrik bought the boat with the intention of sailing around the world alone, but now that we are two on board, it gets a little cramped at times. (Every night our feet are fighting for space).

Besides, Henrik finds our boat at bit boring to sail. The boat is brilliant in rough weather, but it’s not a fast boat, and he misses the joy of sailing, which I understand. If you’re driving a lot, you would want a car that you enjoy driving in.

Speed or comfort?
During the past week we have been discussing the important elements of a cruising boat with our British friends. Is it speed or comfort? And does one exclude the other? Would it be better, if we sailed twice as fast between the anchorages?

Henrik has his eyes on a Pogo 12.5, which is a light, fast, and functional boat. Our friends sail in a Premier 41, and they don’t think a Pogo has the necessary comfort to be a cruising boat neither at sear nor at anchor. But what is necessary comfort? The Pogo 12.5 has a shower, hot water, and a decent bed, which is an important upgrade from our current situation. At the same time, it’s twice as fast as Capibara, which I'm beginning to regard as quite a significant advantage: I was terribly bored throughout the four hours it took us to sail from Martinique to St. Lucia!

A camper van at sea
In Martinique we visited a German couple at their new 54 ft. Amel. The owner told us that if you couldn't have the same luxury as back home, there were no point in going cruising (after which we glanced at Capibara from his 1,5 million pound boat). But how wonderful wouldn't it be to have a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher on board! This summer we looked at a second hand Amel, but Henrik compared it to a camper van with similar sailing abilities. An owner of a Pogo, whom we met in Rodney Bay, said that if he ever considered buying an Amel, he would stop sailing. So we keep on looking, though I'm still dreaming of the dishwasher!

Compromises
All boats we look at seem to be a compromise. Either you get a cosy boat perfect as a live aboard, or you get a fast boat. However, we have met an American couple who might have found the ultimate solution: The have beautifully rebuilt their 68 ft. one-off racing boat to a cruising boat for two people. That is of course a rather expensive solution, and the question
is, how much money are we willing to spend on a boat.

Right now our plan is to fly up to the Miami Boat Show in a month and look at boats, (which we can afford, because we have a small boat). Then we’ll see if we can get any closer to a potential new boat!

All photos and blog by Signe Dorothea Storr - Free lance Journalist