Editor Theo Stocker welcomes you to the May 2020 issue of Yachting Monthly, on sale 26 March
A battle rages between elation and despair in the hearts of yacht owners. While there’s nothing quite like the joy of being under sail on your own boat, its demands for upkeep can seem insatiable. Which emotion is in ascendance depends largely on how successful the last cruise was, or whether anything expensive has broken recently.
We all daydream about our ‘next boat’, and the state of this inner war shapes what that looks like. Are you hankering after something bigger, faster and more spacious? Or does the idea of all the associated complexity on board and all the extra maintenance send shivers down your spine? When yet another job gets added to the to-do list on my boat, I wish she was a smaller, more spartan craft, with less to go wrong and get between me and the simple pleasure of sailing.
The economics of boat building, and the demand for boats closer to holiday-home comfort than a week’s camping, mean that the average size of a new cruiser is now easily over 40ft. It makes sense, but it would be nice to see more small new boats being built – the kind of thing you don’t need to sell your house to buy, and that will offer fun with a minimum of fuss.
We’ve been out testing an exciting new trailable cruiser this month in the shape of the Buckley BTC-22 (p26). It is hardly palatial but it promises to be faster than its diminutive size suggests, and will let you enjoy the same anchorages as crews on boats 10 times the price.
The iconic Contessa 32 is also enjoying continued popularity. Pierre Huglo explained to us why he chose one for his solo, non-stop circumnavigation, and we went to see the latest Contessa being built. It seems there is still appeal in smaller, seaworthy boats.
Perhaps the secret of happy boat ownership lies not in the question: ‘How big a boat can I afford?’ but rather: ‘How small a boat can I cope with?’