Sailboat Selection Process

Sailboat Sketch_002_158x170Assuming that Living Aboard is the target, which sailing boats make the best candidates? I have heard many debates on the subject and I have read many-many more. Like everything in life, I do believe is a matter of preferences, priorities and, of course, capabilities. Although not exclusively, the later refers mostly to the financial means since anyone’s preferences and priorities may not be aligned with the capabilities to make it happen.

Starting with the “Preferences”, cruising or some cruising/racing yacht? A boat of two, three or more cabins? Cockpit positioning? …and many-many more such variables to make life more interesting! Indeed there many yacht categories and variations to consider when you are brainstorming on your preferences, the main one probably being the old time classic, monohull or multihull?

“Priorities” is yet another crucial area to be considered. People argue sometimes why the separation of “Priorities” from “Preference”. Is not one and the same in the bottom line? they say. Well, no it is not. “Preferences” have to do with wants, “Priorities” have to do with needs. So, here goes the everlasting dilemma of wants vs. needs. Me too, I would prefer a 60ft, 6-cabin, cruising cat but do I really need it? With a family of three, the answer is not. Thus, this cannot really be considered as priority.

Last but not least, the “Capabilities”. This does not only refer to the relevant monetary terms. It can be as simply as one being a lone-dog and love cruising. Doing it solo in a 60ft cat is far away from being considered the norm. Even if feasible, assuming that the lone-dog is an experienced old salt, it will for sure not going to be easy to tango with. Thus, due to limited “Capabilities” in this area, reconsideration is in order on the boat type. Of course, the aforementioned example is not the typical dilemma phased by most of us. The big dilemma has to do mainly with the financial means of ours. You can definitely let your “Preferences” run wild as long as you possess the financial “Capabilities” to support them. Otherwise, you have to see the size of the mattress you can afford and stretch your legs accordingly!

In the decision making process all involved parties have to be included and a balance to be found. Possibly, you prefer a small deep-keel heavy monohull to take you safely, affordably, and quite easily, all over the globe but the wife will most probably ostracize you the minute she will step down to this small and dark galley! Do not plan on your own mind; include your better half into the process. Active involvement is highly advised. Not only the idea of the boating concept will start settling in, furthermore you will be able to get crucial feedback on your partner’s perception on “Preferences” and “Priorities”. All these become much more crucial in the frame of a Live Aboard concept. Why? Simply because for the vast majority of us involves liquidating some major assets of ours (e.g. house) so going back to our former lifestyle is not such a simple task.

Concluding, proper planning is needed, stemming from effective communication. Talk with your partner, share the dream and discuss specifics. Receive the feedback and process it trying to comprehend what is the perception and what may lay beneath. Plenty of times a simple “no, this does not work for me”, means discussing it further to understand the whys involved and doing a – hopefully slight! – modification on the original proposition. Work out on these “Preferences” and “Priorities” of your spouse and eventually you will find the golden mean!

I am looking forward to your feedback in the Forum section. Your Experience, Know-How and Wisdom sharing is always valued.


Kind Regards,

//Aeon (