Saturday, February 8, 2014

Strictly Sail Chicago 2014 (cont.)

So what did we think of the boats we toured you ask?

Last year we were excited to tour the Gemini catamaran as we were considering a 105MC for our cruising boat. Boy did we come away disappointed. Not nearly enough headroom, walkways that were way too tight (especially when getting past the shrouds) not nearly as roomy as the internet pictures made it seem. So we waved at the Gemini this year as we walked past it.

We toured the Catalina boats and came away saying they were a lot of boat for the buck. They had excellent headroom, nice usable cockpits, simple rigs and bright interiors. The bad news was a lack of usable handholds, v-berths for people well under 6 feet only and cheap looking/feeling interior materials.

The Hunters actually surprised us with their improved materials and workmanship. Hunters are known for giving owners lots of boat for a reasonable amount of money. Now that Marlow has purchased Hunter, there seems to be a renewed emphasis on quality materials and workmanship. We actually liked the Marlow-Hunter boats better than the Beneteau and Catalina offerings. Make sure not to tell Mike's buddy Jim that he liked the Hunters. Mike would never hear the end of it.

Our favorite boat was the beautiful and modern Island Packet Blue Jacket. It looks and feels the way a cruiser should. Now if we had gaboodles of money we could even dream about buying one.

Enough boat dreaming for us. Time to go back to searching for that beautiful 20 to 30 year old classic that will become our new home.


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