My friend Mary Grace from Let It Be posed a question a few months ago; if you had to choose between a bigger boat, or a faster boat, relative to your current boat, what would you go with?
Of course, going bigger inherently gives you a bit more speed, so let’s say David and I had to chose between a similar sized but faster catamaran (Outremer or Catana) or a larger production cat (Leopard 48 or FP Saona 47). What would we choose?
The Helia was definitely a sweet spot when we were looking at boats back at the 2013 Annapolis Boat Show. We thought the Leopard 48 was too big for two people to handle. I felt (David disagreed) that the faster catamarans require more complex systems that we didn’t have the knowledge to sail. Granted, they aren’t the rotating masts of a Gunboat, but the added complexity of daggerboards was more than I wanted to tackle.
Now, we feel comfortable that a 48′ boat is not too big for two people and I’m convinced David could have handled more complex systems and very easily could have taught me how to handle them. David is an excellent teacher.
Looking back at our time cruising, statistically speaking we’ve spent 80% of our nights stationary. We’ve covered a lot of miles (25,000 nm) so it’s amazing to hear that in reality we are stationary more often. Oddly, a faster catamaran actually is a double edged sword – going faster means you spend more time at rest, but sacrifice the extra space you would enjoy at anchor.
Then there’s the toys argument. We really don’t have many toys onboard. We’d love to have scuba gear and SUPs, plus I want to try wakeboarding sometime! We’ve got friends with kiteboards and surfboards onboard. We often wonder where all of our space has gone.
Amazingly though, we wouldn’t want to go bigger than the 47-48 range. Once you get past that size, the manufacturers start to put in a second cabin in the same hull with the owner’s cabin, and the owner’s cabin gets smaller.
Surprisingly David agrees with me, that we would go for bigger. We both want more toys, and we can see adding a few more fun things to the list if we had a bigger cat. So if we had to choose, a Soana 47 is where we would go.
Now, if we didn’t have to choose one or the other, AND money was no object, I’d pick a 50s range Outremer, but David has a special fondness for Schionnings (a kit boat!).
As much as we love Starry Horizons, we often play the Next Boat game. “On the next boat, we’d get a smaller generator…”. “On the next boat, we’d convert this head to wet storage…“. We also play the Next Circumnavigation game. “On our next circumnavigation, we’ll spend a year in French Polynesia….”. We are perfectly happy with Starry Horizons and are loving having her as our home, but it’s fun to think about, no?