Can you tell the difference between these two boats? The small one is actually larger and faster 50 percent of the time. The larger one is smaller and slower 50% of the time. The larger one costs twice as much to purchase and maintain but all you are getting is a bit of extra visual pace, you are paying for air which is most cases is free and once again grows on trees.
So what gives? These are both excellent boats and at times I have entertained owning both of them, honestly I couldn’t choose between them. I was recently asked to write an article for one of the big sailing rags on why I choose to live aboard and sail small boats.
I gave it a great deal of thought and declined the offer. There is nothing small about the boats I sail, the new one or the old one. If I need more visual space in my boat all I have to do is look out the porthole or step into the cockpit, its everywhere and its free. I will however in the next few months discuss my choices both new and old here and at the end I will declare my opinion on the best sailboat boat ever designed and built for a young couple to sail, when I say young we are talking sailors here so it will refer to anyone under 75 years of age.
Cruising should be entirely for pleasure, and when it ceases to be so it no longer makes sense. Of course those who want to beat out what little brains they have in a night thrash to windward should have a strong, stiff racing machine, a very expensive contraption, one which has sacrificed the best qualities of a cruiser. But the little yacht that can snuggle alongside of some river bank for the night and let its crew have their supper in peace while listening to the night calls of the whippoorwills will keep its crew much more contented. They will be particularly happy and contented when the evening rain patters on the deck and the coal-burning stove becomes the center of attraction. Then if you can lie back in a comfortable place to read, or spend the evening in pleasant contemplation of the next day’s run, well, then you can say “This is really cruising.” ~L Francis Herreshoff