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Home / Magazine / Head or Heart? A buyer's dilemma when replacing your boat
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Home / Magazine / Head or Heart? A buyer's dilemma when replacing your boat
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In the summer of 2023, Ian Garcia wrote about trying to decide on a new boat.

Buying a boat is always an exciting experience, but it can also be quite daunting. The options available are endless, and the decision-making process can be overwhelming. Plus, Covid demand over the last 18 months made the market very tricky to navigate.

I found myself in this position recently when I was in the market for a new boat. I had a difficult choice to make, and I knew that I had to weigh up all the pros and cons before making a decision. My spec was up to 28 or so feet, so I could comfortably single handle her, be able to take the ground, and one I could fit in being 6ft 4" tall! This made the choice quite limited

My first love was the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 29. It was a beautiful boat, and I was immediately drawn to its lines and the immaculate condition of Blue Waters which was owned by a member of TSC. Every boat has a compromise and with Blue Waters it was the lifting keel and keel box which meant it sat on twin rudders when aground. This was not as stable as a bilge keeler and as the buying process progressed made me more nervous given the mix of mud and shingle on my berth. As much as I loved the boat, I knew that I had to be practical and let my head rule my heart.

My next choice was the Hunter Ranger 265. This was a more practical boat, and it had great headroom for me as I am quite tall. I found a good one down in Falmouth called Mako Pirate. However, the boat felt too much like my old boat, and it didn't excite me as much as I had hoped. I felt like I was settling for a safe option, and I knew that I wanted something more adventurous. So again, I changed my mind.

This was proving tricky! And my other half was getting very bored of my endless searching. Then I discovered Harvey Moon, a Westerly Merlin 28. It was a practical choice, but it was also different from anything I had owned before. The boat had a bilge keel, which made it ideal for taking the ground on my mooring. It also had a spacious interior with a large stern cabin, unusually large for the length. The boat was unique, and it had character. I knew that I would be proud to call it my own.

Choosing a boat is a personal decision, and everyone's needs are different. It's important to take your time and weigh up all the options before making a decision. Ultimately, I chose a boat with my head and my heart, and I couldn't be happier with my choice. The Westerly Merlin 28 ticks all the boxes for me, and I know that it will provide me with many happy years of sailing.

Last updated 08:59 on 2 April 2024

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