Ok, now that you have figured out what kind of sailing dream you want to pursue it’s time to start having fun looking at boats!
MONOHULL VS CATAMARAN
One of your first decisions will be monohull or catamaran. Sailboat Debate: Monohull vs Catamaran covers many of the pros and cons of each. We are firmly in favor of Monohulls for many of the reasons stated in the article. One of the biggest is a more comfortable sailing motion. Also, the Bavaria Vision 46 cockpit is very big – easy to have a dozen people over for sundowners – so it has one of the key catamaran benefits in a monohull.
As mentioned in the About Us section, we have now sold Champurrs. The remainder of this section will mainly be about Champurrs characteristics and equipment, including why we chose what we did.
Champurrs has an offset companionway and a folding cockpit table which results in a large cockpit that is easy and safe to move around. The cockpit also has a center cockpit feel of security. Most other boats we looked at had a less secure, wider and more open feeling at the aft end of the cockpit.
The instruments are all very easy to read at the primary helm station. Many other boats have an instrument pedestal between the 2 wheels. The chain counter/windlass remote near the helm is a very good feature for Med mooring and anchoring.
Champurrs has a furling headsail and in mast furling main. The 2 primary winches and the coachtop winch are electric. Some people still go for lazyjacks for the main, but we were very happy with the ease and reliability of in mast furling. This means there is no issues around when and how much to reef.
We decided against getting a gennaker because even with a snuffer it wouldn’t have been entirely straightforward with 2 crew.
The Bruce Farr designed hull and Elvstrom sails combined to give good performance. The Stability and VPP curves show good performance statistics and also that there is very little difference between the shallow keel, which we had, and the fin keel.
The 25 kg Spade anchor with 100m of chain worked very well. It came out tops in an independent test.
The Simpson Cooney Oval 15 Zero davits and their mounting are very strong. The dinghy and 6 hp outboard had a combined weight of about 70 kg, versus a safe working load of 150 kg. The qualilty of life benefits of not having to always take off the engine and put the dinghy on the foredeck were wonderful for us.
Having air conditioning when needed was a big benefit for us. We also had a companionway fly screen which can be important in certain locations.
Two important considerations determining the best boat size and layout for you will be the size of your regular crew and how long you will be on the boat.
3 cabins and 2 heads is a common configuration in cruising yachts.
However, if you will rarely have more than 4 people overnight, think carefully about whether you might be happier with 1 large owners cabin and one large guest cabin which can be configured either as 2 singles or 1 king size bed. A salon table convertible to a double berth may be fine for the occassional times you have 6 people on board (or even 7 in our case since the nav table drops down so that a settee or 7th berth is created).
Also, do your really need 2 heads? The 2nd head will reduce storage space in the owner’s cabin and in our case would have meant no dressing table as well. We wanted a large black tank and on Champurrs the 178 litre black tank has more capacity than the 140 litres the 2 head option would have had combined. We also had an electric toilet with fresh water flush and the original, still unused, manual toilet as a spare.
The shower is very spacious – I am 6’5” and had plenty of room over my head when taking a shower. We also had a custom grey tank which was needed for the washing machine. Importantly, it also enabled us to avoid what is often a long trek to very average shore based showers. The 60 liter/hr watermaker was also very useful on passages and when you don’t want to have to regularly visit marinas or ports to fill up with water.
The wide screen monitor was great for watching movies and for doing home office work. It is much bigger than the screens usually seen in 40-50 foot boats.
The galley is fully equipped and very secure at sea. We much preferred this setup to the long galley in center of salon style which is often seen.
The large 150 litre fridge has custom shelves and a drain valve which make it easy to access everything and eliminates any issue with water at the bottom. We also had a separate 40 litre freezer in the utility cabin.