Going around on an offshore voyage with your family or friends is a fun idea, but a lot of it depends on selecting the right type of boat. Even the custom-built boats may fail to deliver subtle performance. That’s why choosing the correct boat is pivotal.
A better cruising experience doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to discard the classic plastic boats. Some slight adjustments can help you big time with having a better offshore cruising experience.
The factors discussed below are imperative to understand better which type of boat is the one for offshore cruising
1. Boat Size & Storage Capability
The very first problem you will encounter while choosing your desired boat is the size. If you are a beginner in the sailing world, you should probably choose between 35-45 feet boat.
Again, if it’s only you & your partner, then go for a 35-feet. The 45-feet size is perfect for families with kids. Larger boats may look more aesthetic, but they have their downsides as well.
Having a larger boat requires much more maintenance & surplus cost too. Besides, if you run in any trouble in the middle of the blue-water, will you/your partner be able to take it back to the shore alone?
The storage capability is associated with the boat size. If you find the perfect size, storage won’t be an issue for you. So first decide on the right size as you search for offshore cruisers for sale.
2. Monohull or Catamarans?:
This is an ongoing debate in the sailors’ community. Everyone has their say when it comes to choosing one specific type.
If the hull is single, it’s called a monohull sailing boat. The catamarans are mainly multiple hull boats.
But the catamarans have a few issues. If you are prone to seasickness, then avoid the catamarans. When the wind hits the ship, the monohulls can absorb the wind gently & you will feel nothing.
As the catamarans have multiple hulls, you might feel woozy in the head.
Again the decks of the catamarans are extremely flat. So, you may have to be extra careful if you have kids on board.
3. Rudders Ensure Directional Stability
Rudders help your boat steer forward. You will see the rudder located at the bottom part of your boat known as the stern.
Most of the voyages end badly due to rudder failure in the middle of the sea. So, while choosing your boat for offshore cruising, remember to give top priority to the rudders.
These days manufacturers don’t attach skegs to rudders. So, before buying, make sure you have an additional skeg available to support your rudder.
Choosing a boat without a skeg will leave it tremendously vulnerable. If you can’t manage a skeg, try to purchase a rudder whose lower part is detachable.
4. Keel Crafting Allows Proper Handling:
The keel is an extended part that remains underwater in the center part of the boat.
There have been lots of arguments about the size of the keel. The size of the keel is dependent on the size of the boat.
If you have a large 45 feet sailing boat, 9 tons of keel will be adequate for you. However, a 35 feet boat won’t need 9 tons of keel as it will put extra load on the hull & engine, resulting in slowing down the boat.
Try to select centrally positioned keels. These keels are highly effective in both deep sea & shallow draft.
5. Bermuda Sloop Sails
Among all the various types of sails available, the Bermuda Sloop Sail is the most compatible for offshore cruising.
This sail has two parts, namely a mainsail & a jib sail. The boom of the mast holds the mainsail, which is also the largest of these two sails. The jib sail is in front of the mast. It is curved & smaller in size.
Sails are essential for using the wind force to your benefit. Most of the sailors face flipping issues with sails. But with the Bermuda Sloop Sails, the flipping issues will be less. Also, these sails can endure lousy weather & storms.
6. Self-Steering Feature
Won’t you get tired sitting all day handling your boat?
That’s when the self-steering feature comes to the rescue. Unless you have at least three crews who can handle your boat in your absence, you should consider having this feature.
Even in the most extreme weather, it can navigate your boat safely. Although you will have to spend a significant amount of time to tune self-steering gear, the result is still worth it.
7. Spacious Deck
Even if you do not know the ABC of sailing, you probably realize the impact of a large deck.
What’s the benefit of having a boat if you can’t enjoy the dusk sitting on the deck, right? Having said so, understand the number of your crews & choose a boat accordingly.
Look out for the color coated & individual clutches & also control lines from the furling gears.
If you have these close to hand, you will be capable of controlling most of the tasks sitting in the cockpit.
8. Interior Properties
Like the deck, your interior needs to be well-balanced & spacious. However, some wicked sellers can deceive you by orating the interiors while providing you a low-quality engine.
Be sure to check both. You will need a spacious enough interior so that you can store fuel cans, black fuel cans, foods & other necessary items.
That doesn’t mean a tight interior will be okay. Try to find a boat with an interior that has enough space left for you to walk.
9. A Wide Cockpit
Choose a cockpit that is wide enough to protect you from the wind while steering your boat. A dog shade cockpit is becoming more & more popular these days. You can try that too.
10. Ensure All The Safety Measures
Last but not least, ensure that proper safety equipment is available in your boat. It is of utmost importance that you check for the boom passing across the cockpit.
Also, make sure you can retrieve an overboard person. Besides these precautions, you need to check for the mast’s foot strength, cockpit protection, emergency backup bilge, handrails’ strength, number of life rafts, etc.
Buying a boat can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if it's your first one. But it is worth the hassle. Once you have covered all the features mentioned above, your dream boat will be ready for the offshore cruise.