Wednesday, February 6, 2013

So, what's a VolksCruiser supposed to cost anyway? Part 2

Now that you're comfortable with the idea of thinking about what a boat costs per foot, it's time to change it around and get you to think about a more important figure... Displacement.

Displacement, when all is said and done, is a lot more important to someone cruising or living aboard than length. Which is not to say that I'm adverse to light or even ultralight displacement boats but the livability of a boat is more often expressed in its displacement number than in its length.

Let's look at yesterday's boats and see what they displaced...
      Catalina 36 with a displacement of 13,500 pounds = $2.67 a pound
      Ericson 27 with a displacement of 6600 pounds = $2.58 a pound
      CAL 27 with a displacement of 5400 pounds = $1.08 a pound

Now, the cost per pound of a boat does not really tell you anything by itself but it is extremely helpful in comparing what various boats cost.

So, why not throw another boat at you...

The Westsail 32 is a heavier displacement boat (19,500 pounds) of the Colin Archer variety similar to the Tahiti ketch. As it happens, I know of one for sale in the $35K zone which is currently cruising, well equipped and could easily continue cruising so, it fills our turn key criteria.

That gives a cost per foot of $1094 and a cost per pound of a $1.80.

The thing about boats is that it's easy to get into the comparing apples and oranges thing and not realize you're doing it... The Catalina and the Westsail are both good but very different boats and, as such, need to considered and judged differently.

For instance, while the Westsail is a 32' LOD boat when you figure in the spars it's really closer to 40 feet (something to keep in mind where marinas/haulouts are concerned). Its interior is spartan by today's standards and it really only sleeps two. Then again, it will happily carry just about as much weight as you can load on...

The Catalina is faster, has lots of elbow room, more open space, can sleep more comfortably, but has the disadvantage that you'll always be looking at your waterline and not making a happy face when you do. On the other hand, a sorta/kinda advantage of the Catalina is that there is so much space devoted to accommodation you'll be hard pressed to find space for stuff to overload it unless you convert berths into stowage...