There are as many people down-sizing boats these days as there are those who are trading up, with it becoming more difficult to get regular crew as modern family life makes time demands on people who, in a previous age, would have regarded proper sailing time as a sacred right. But let’s assume that you’ve such a wide maritime social circle and thriving bank balance that boat size is only dictated by what you fancy, rather than what’s manageable.
In those circumstances, my own inclination would be towards a boat around the 38 to 40ft mark. A properly-designed boat of this size should have everything for a crew of 4-6 to live together for an annual cruise and the occasional extended weekend venture, and of course, it’s easily manageable if there’s just the two of you.
But what if you plan to live on board for a much longer period, or even are determined to see the boat as a floating home first, and a sailing vessel second? In that case, a serious size increase is needed, with a readiness to accept that you may not have a very lively sailing performance, but you certainly have a solid home base.
The hefty Dutch steel cruisers of the 1960s and ‘70s tick many boxes in this department, and this Jongert 59 currently on Afloat Boats for Sale is a classic of the type. She has a clipper bow which really looks as though it’s meant to be there, and at the other end there’s the great aft cabin which is the very epitome of the leisurely waterborne life. Admittedly 1972 is now quite a long time ago for year of construction, but she has been well looked after since, and if you have your life balance in equilibrium with a clear view of the times ahead, Samara could well be the way to go.
Read the full advert on Afloat here