For my particular situation, a smaller sailboat will fill my needs much better than a large sailboat. In the past two years that I have owned a 29' sailboat that stays docked at a marina an hour and a half drive away I have gotten alot of use out of the boat. The first summer of owning the boat every 3 out of 4 weekends were spent on the boat, that's a pretty good bit in my opinion.
The thing is, I have a 29' sailboat with potential to sail around the world (the Watkins 29 has circumnavigated) yet I haven't done a more than one overnight out on the boat at a time and that was still in my local bay! Talk about a little embarrassing. The question is why though?
A big part in it is that I had no one who actually wanted to do that to go with me. Every weekend it was mostly my girlfriend and I on the boat. She enjoyed it most of the time and I am very glad she put up with my wanting to go to the boat every weekend. She didn't like not having somewhere to hook her blow dryer up to, or having a shower that she didn't have to worry about using to much water, or being able to watch TV, or having A/C all night, or a refrigerator along with many of the other conveniences that you have at home.
Also, we have a 29' boat and I can think of only FIVE TIMES that we had guest sailing with us on board. Which makes me thing why do we need such a big boat?!? Never did we have anyone spend the night at anchor with us so we don't need a large cabin.
Really we didn't get to SAIL as much as I wanted to, no where even close. Because I knew that my girlfriend didn't want to get out when it was blowing over 15 knots.
In my heart, I want to SAIL, I want to GO SOMEWHERE, I want to SAIL THOUGH THE NIGHT on a one or two day hop, I want to SAIL THE KEYS, SAIL TO THE BAHAMAS, I want to do more than stick around the local bay and be stuck at the slip, I WANT TO GO!!!
How do I do this?
Well, it sounds like I need to be able to do it alone, which is perfectly fine by me. I don't mind roughing it one bit if I need to. To do it alone I would like a small boat that I can handle easily by myself, and that is capable of doing all the things I want to accomplish.
That is where a small trailerable boat comes in. There are trade offs with a trailerable boat then there are many advantages to consider also. Here are some starting with a few negatives:
-Less room and generally no standing head room
-Possibly more work getting underway, like stepping the mast
-Generally not as heavy as larger boats and therefore less seaworthy
-Not as much as a status symbol, who needs that anyways, but still an excellent eye catcher (especially a 17 footer)
+Initial investment is quite less
+Ability to sail different areas easily
+No slip/haul out fees
+Easier to complete your own maintenance
+Less bottom maintenance
+Less storage (which means that you can't spend more money on a bunch of unessential gadgets and what-not)
+Cheaper transient slip costs
+So many affordable options on the market to choose from
+Cheaper to outfit: sails, lines, winches, anchors and rode, less paint needed, less fuel consumption and much more
+The ability to row or scull if need be
+Less invested and therefore if you loose your boat for some reason you are aren't out a fortune
So I think a smaller sailboat is just what I need, then I can get out there and fulfill some of my dreams!