Is the boat cruise proven?
There is no real clear answer to this question. There are many boats that have raced around the world, but this doesn't make them a cruiser by a long shot. Then there is the boat that the manufacturer says is "ideal for cruising". This may be so on the drawing board. In reality it's only the boats that have actually been out on the big blue that are cruise proven. There are very few boats that are known proven cruisers, Island Packet, Swan, etc. are a couple. To date I have not seen any Island Packets and only two Swans. This is not to say they are not out here. But, there are not as many as the manufacturer would have you believe. One thing to consider we have only seen a couple of light weight racer type boats, and they are constantly fixing water leaks through windows and hatches.
Of course there are many others that are out here that have no cruising background or history that are making lot of families a perfect cruiser. I would go as far as to say that I have not run across more than one of just about any manufacturer of anything out here. It is amazing some of the boats that are here "doing it"! Mouse Pad does have some background in cruising. Let me qualify that statement. The Islander 36 has a history. I have spoken to people who have sailed Islander 36's to Alaska, Hawaii, and several to Mexico. I am not advocating the Islander 36 as THE cruise proven boat. What I am saying is that most vessels that are well constructed and known ocean type will make a good cruiser. Then it's up to you to make it cruise proven.
To give you an idea of the majority of vessels that are out here in the South Pacific the average size is now about 40', most built in America in the mid 70's, or early 80's. There are more Aluminum and Steel boats than I ever expected to find. Some 20% or more are metal, another 20% are wood, most being plywood construction. There are very few plank boats, too hard to maintain I guess! We have also seen more catamarans that expected, about 10%. That leaves 50% of the vessels being of plastic construction (GRP Glass Reinforced Plastic). Not as many as you would think are the "heavy cruiser" type. In fact we hardly saw any heavy cruisers. The majority are medium displacement boats, with lots of extras strapped on, making them heavy displacement. So you can see Mouse Pad fits into the mold of the cruiser quite well. Jerry just bought up a very good point while we are on the subject of what is common. KEELS Full keels are not the norm. I would not be out of line if I said the less than half the boats are of a full keel type. There are an awful lot of fin keeled boats, Mouse Pad included, that have no problems at all. The only boat that seems to have any advantage at all is the catamaran or trimaran. This occurs only in reef environments, once away from the reef and on the open ocean then they have the same old problems that they have always experienced. They do not have any righting ability but they are very fast and roomy.
Created by the Skipper of Mouse Pad.
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Revised: 19 September, 2005 .