Title could have been a “New Hope”, but that might have been too Star War’s geeky, so we’ll keep it as is.

I’ve always been aware of my own champagne taste and malt liquor budget, but it doesn’t really hit home until you try to buy what’s defined as a “luxury item” by most and a hole in the water by some.  After turning down the Wauquiez deal due to the price not matching the survey, we have moved on;  but part of buying a sailboat with little money is realizing you’re not going to get every feature you’re looking for,,,,called compromise.   Time and time again I had read about this in various publications and blogs and websites.  One of my favorite is by perennial sailors John and Amanda Neal, who have Mahina Expeditions.  In the excellent write-up titled “Selecting a Boat for Offshore Cruising“, the author talks about the need for compromise.  The reality is that most people who dream of sailing probably don’t actually have the money to buy the boat they dream of,  so the compromise must be in size, features, equipment ect,,,which brings the purchase price down to what they can afford.  The other reality is that most folks won’t be able to afford a new or recently new higher end cruising (or coastal cruising) boat so another compromise to reach an affordable price point is to find an older (20-40 years) boat that they can afford.  Yep, this is where I’m at, but I think some of these older boats may actually be built better and although some show their age, some shine when you have the ability to look beyond the cosmetics and see the solid bones within.

While I was looking at the list of “Boats to Consider for Offshore Cruising” within “Selecting a Boat for Offshore Cruising”, I noticed three boats just on the first page that we’ve put a lot of thought into and gone onboard to look at: The Amel 64, the Wauquiez Amphitrite 45 and the Bowman 56.  We’ve also been on more than 30 other cruising type sailboats in the last two years but have only made one offer, but another one is in the offing.

Over a month ago we went to San Diego to look over a Vagabond 47 and while there, our broker quickly showed us a Cooper 416 Pilothouse 41.  While on it, I admit I didn’t pay much attention because our broker told us the boat had a current accepted offer on it and I assumed it would go quickly, as it had a decent price and was in decent shape.

Compromise hits you quickly when you figure out you really probably DON’T need that 47-52 foot boat; of which 7 foot could be bowsprit and monthly slip payments will be over $1400 for slip alone for the month.   Compromise hit me the hardest when I realize our family of four with two small children probably really doesn’t need two heads and can get along with one,,,,no matter what I want or my own need for privacy!   So to the chagrin of my broker, once more I’ve started to look at yet another different style of boat.

The Cooper 416 is much smaller and different from what me and Michelle have looked at in the past, has only one head and an aft cockpit, but an excellent reputation, great builder, great designer and an outstanding price,,,,I think.  You can look it over on the link I’ve provided which goes to the Yachtfinders – Windseakers website, but it’s there.

I’m NOT emotionally involved, but I think the boat has some advantages for us that are not always apparent to those who are not looking as closely: it can be sailed from the cockpit (basically single handed), the girls have their own berth forward, they cannot get up the entry way outside without going by our cabin, the cockpit is large enough for the dog to sleep in, the ladder well up to the deck isn’t that steep and the girls can navigate it, with the price on the boat, we’ll be able to continue to improve it, and with our experience from the last survey and the most expensive one day sailboat cruise known to mankind,  we think we’re coming into this with good experience.  We’ll be going down this weekend to take a much closer look and consider an offer on the Cooper, we’ll see what happens.


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