The Perfect Boat Quest

From time to time I get that itch for a new or newer boat. Hemispheres is fifteen years old now, and she’s at the point where you make the decision to do major electronics upgrades, change the standing rigging, and new sails. I’ve already had both sails patched, stitched, covered, etc., but the main in definitely blown out and it’s time. I also want to replace the heat-A/C as it’s old, very loud and not as efficient.

But I love the layout, traditional u-shaped galley, full nav station where I work from as I’m a telecommuter, good sized head with a separate shower stall. Many other things too like a very, very nice cockpit with an absurdly large port side lazarette. How large you say? Large enough to put a full sized mountain bike, a rolled up 8’6″ dinghy in the bag, spinnaker in a bag, a bucket full of stuff and a plastic tub stuffed with other crap. The engine only has 1100 hours so she’s fine, already performed major routine maintenance like the water pump. The one thing she doesn’t have is an island berth up front. Would love that instead of the v-berth. I actually stay in the aft berth which in it’s own right is quite large.

Hemispheres is a 36ft boat and I think the ideal size would be a 38ft. She’s a fast boat for a 36 footer with a total displacement at 13,600lbs. One thing, she’s a flat bottom boat with a wing keel so in heavy seas she can pound. My last trip had me wishing I was on an IP380 for a while. Overall, great boat, very easy to sail and very forgiving. When overpowered, she’ll just simply round up and is very easy to heaave-to, well balanced.

One annoying thing is that she has this inner stay, a baby stay. Not for another sail but mainly to reduce the pumping of the mast. So I don’t have enough foredeck space to put a fully inflated dingy on deck.

I’ve looked at the Beneteau 393 which would be a good upgrade but boy oh boy did they screw up the layout. First, no starboard side settee, just cabinets. They decided to cram two heads into the boat instead of a single large head with a separate shower stall. And for all the space forward, ruined by putting head completely forward and a pullman berth for the forward stateroom. There was enough space forward of the salon bulkhead to have an island berth cabin, and room between that and the anchor locker for a sail locker. That could have been the ideal boat as everything else remained. Dedicated Nav station, full u-shapted galley, monster sized lazarette.


Which comes to some boats I really like, like the Tartan 3700 and the Rustler 37. Of course my likings and good taste would lead me to a price range that’s a bit of a stretch, but who knows. The rustler 37 has one heck of a layout for a 37 footer. This boat has a sail locker behind the anchor locker, so the beam of the bulkhead at the head of the bed is quite wide. Essentially a full double bed.

 Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.14.10 PM

Also, she has a keg hung rudder, partial full keel but the draft is 6’3″, not a draft for the U.S. east coast. Also, no stern entry/exit with a sugarscoop transom. But a fine boat indeed.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.14.27 PM

The Tartan 3700 is a great boat, great lines and is just beautiful down below. But…v-berth. She has a modified U-shaped galley, essentially an L-shaped galley with the sinks detached on an island and a flip up extension to close into a U. The wood work is just something to stare at. Also has a great sized head with a separate shower stall. But she’s also a flat bottom boat so I can imagine she will pound just the same.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 8.21.23 PM

Which then brings me to the boat of boats? The IP370. Full keel, protected rudder and prop. Crazy absurd internal storage and is fully a bluewater boat. In the real sense of things, so are all the others listed here, all of them can cross the Atlantic and Pacific properly equipped and with a good captain.

She has the island berth I want. Good sized head with a dedicated shower stall, u-shaped galley and even a dedicated nav station, if not in an awkward location. I would still have to tow the dinghy or add davits because of the boom on the inner stay, no room on deck. Also, I’m used to my cockpit on Hemispheres and the IP370 cockpit seems a bit cramped. But it’s not like I’ve ever spent time in it, just going on what I see in the pictures.


Well, the ideal boat?

  • A 30 to 40ft length
  • island or full double berth forward
  • anchor locker and sail locker
  • dedicated nav station and full u-shaped galley
  • single, large head with a dedicated shower stall
  • single, large wheel, don’t want dual helm.
  • space on deck for carrying a dinghy
  • skeg hung rudder for protection and if not a full keel, partial keel
  • in the cockpit, a binnacle that doesn’t have the chart plotter in your face
  • and a bunch of other stuff that will come up.

So anyone know of a config like this?

So this year’s Annapolis boatshow will be special (although I say this every year). It’s either I settle on a new boat,  or a slighty used boat (near new), or throw some major boat bucks into hemispheres and keep her another ten years.