We spent ages, years even, talking and deciding on what boat to get for our adventure. Once we set sail we found miraculously other families had made similar choices, so much so, we soon became part of a WhatsApp group called “48 CC” (48ft [long] and centre cockpit [yachts]) with our sailing friends.
Choosing the right boat for you is a personal decision but it is always a compromise on what you want regarding; space, speed, safety, affordability and great design. But a 48ft centre cockpit boat seemed to top all the families list. Our personal list of no-compromises-in-a-yacht include;
1. Centre cockpit (safety)
2. Straight spreaders (better for downwind sailing)
3. Large water and fuel tanks (essential for long cruising, we have 1000 litres of water and 700 litres of diesel aboard when full)
4. Powerful engine (110hp gets you out of trouble when needed)
5. A well designed and carefully built blue water cruiser —Boat Category A – Ocean
6. Cavernous storage for storing all the family fun essentials…bikes, scooters, paddle board, surf boards, buckets and spades along with all the spares, ropes, fuel, oil, cleaning products, games, school books, food….
A centre cockpit is key for safety and a secure feeling at sea with a young family (also when anchoring you can hear the person sorting the anchor with a centre cockpit as you are that bit nearer them which results in less shouting- always a good thing when trying to anchor!).
A comfortable cockpit with a decent foldaway table to eat at — is also a must. You spend so much time in your cockpit — sailing, eating, homeschooling and also entertaining, we chose one with high sides so you get decent back support too. A godsend, which I would never have thought was so important before I lived aboard a yacht.
Once we’d established our list of non-negotiables, we then looked for boats that met that criteria and went and saw them. Our personal list thus narrowed to the following type of boats;
Hallberg-Rassy, Contest, Oyster. Then it’s a case of finding one for sale in your price bracket and desired condition / age sometimes easier said than done! We knew we wanted new electronics/navigation and new rigging for our own peace of mind so we were happy to buy a boat and get the upgrading done. We also fitted a new generator and water maker for our cruising plans.
I can honestly say we’ve been delighted with our choice. A Hallberg-Rassy is a beautifully built boat, she’s kept us thoroughly safe in gales, storms, high seas and yet also sped speedily across oceans and long passages. We are the envy at anchorages as she is stable and doesn’t roll like the lighter yachts and we sleep like babies aboard. We came first in our group in the Arc 2019 rally across the Atlantic and fifth overall out of 200 boats (and we were family cruising not racing!) so she is both fast, sleek and sea worthy.
We were the envy of most with our 17 day speedy Pacific crossing too. She is safe, fast, beautifully designed and built by true craftsmanship. I’ve felt safe and secure with our young boys growing up aboard her and exploring the world. I am gutted that our sailing dream is slowly coming to an end but I know she will go on to make new dreams come true for someone else.
Until then we will keep cruising the Pacific to all the places still open (we’ve sailed over 14,000 nautical miles so far, not bad sea CV mileage for seven and nine year-old children) and we will keep living our dream. 😁😎⛵️⚓️🏝🐬🤿🐠🐟⛵️☀️🦈🎣🧜♀️🐡🐙🦑🦐