I’ve looked at the Nor’sea group in the past, but liked the format here on the SamMorse forum. (It’s amazing how much the format presentation affects your view of the discussion, isn’t it? For example, I like reading Small Craft Advisor, but can’t stand the format of their message board, so I never go there.)
Thanks for the details on the Nor’sea.
You’re absolutely correct in matching the intended use to the boat. As I’m landlocked in Alberta right now, it’s highly doubtful that I would be cruising within a couple of years, but I would like to dip my toes into it. The tentative plan is to buy a boat, move to somewhere on the coast where I can have a home port and learn the boat, then extend my cruising range incrementally to match my comfort level. (I’ve read stories about people who just buy a boat and GO, and it seems like they have problems related to not knowing their boat very well… I don’t want to do that.) Living aboard the boat is a good way to save money, but I have seen the “liveaboard syndrome” in person, and realize that that can be a problem.
I guess I’ve read a lot of the Pardey’s works, and like the concept of a simple boat that can take you places, especially from a maintenance standpoint. At the same time, I like a certain amount of convenience and think that with modern lighting options it’s not necessary to go as far as having nothing but oil lamps inside the boat. I’d like something small enough to single hand, comfortable to sail in heavier weather shorthanded, and simple enough to maintain myself. From articles I’ve read, the biggest maintenance headache on a boat is the engine and the paraphenalia that it gathers (refrigeration, electric windlasses, etc), so I’ve been thinking that an engineless boat would better fit my (admittedly novice) ideal.
If I really had my “druthers”, I’d rather be looking at BCC’s, but honestly they’re pretty darn pricey these days. The Norsea and FCC are more in my “range”, along with quite a few other cruising boats like the Westsail 32, Pacific Seacraft 25, Flicka, etc… but I think the Hess boats are easily the most beautiful of the bunch, and that matters to me too. I really don’t give a damn about having a perfect yard at my house, but I really desire a boat that’s lovely to look at. If I had unlimited funds, I would consider having Nigel Irens design me a Westernman 30, but unless the lottery plays out properly, that’s just not going to happen.
Sorry for the rambling, but I think most of you probably understand where I’m coming from more than my normal audience of prairie dwellers.