I finally finished placing my order this morning for a boat, our first, a Cranchi E26 Rider!
The colors we chose are Blu Amalfi (love that name!) with Silvertex Cream upholstery, so it’ll look similar to this Classic version:
We could have gotten the above boat right away from a Cranchi dealer in Wisconsin but it’s the Classic version and not the Rider version, and it sold while we were deciding on the Classic vs Rider anyway. Unfortunately, there are no others available anywhere in the world so it has to be built and the earliest manufacturing time slot we could get has it scheduled to be finished on March 31, 2021. Then it takes 30 days to ship it from their Piantedo shipyard in Italy to Seattle. May 1, 2021 is the expected delivery date. This gives me time to find moorage in Seattle, which is currently hard to get but will hopefully open up during the fall and winter season.
It should be a lot of fun as a day boat on Lake Washington and is small and light enough that it can be put on a trailer and we can tow it with the Disco to other lakes too.
I thought picking a boat would be complicated, but after 12+ years of researching and looking at powerboats on and off I learned it’s pretty simple because all boats, assuming they’ve been maintained well, are perfectly fine, meaning they float, i.e., no boat manufacturer is arguing their boats sink less than other boats and the hulls are so good these days that they should all last a long time, assuming it hasn’t been damaged. And assuming that you’re comparing similar types of boats in the same price range, they have similar features and capabilities. The engine is important, of course, but the engines are made by a handful of companies and they can generally be replaced if they fail — you can’t do that with a car. Simply put, it comes down to your personal preferences for the brand of the boat.
My favorite brands have long been Azimut, Pershing and Cranchi. Riva is really nice too but very expensive. All Italian too — the Italians sure know how to make stylish boats! But they all make yachts, which is too much for my first boat. But recently, Cranchi started making a 30-foot boat, the Endurance 30, and an even smaller 26-foot boat, the E26. A small Cranchi? That feels perfect to me.
I originally thought the Endurance 30 would be good for us and got so far as to spec it out with a Cranchi dealer, but it’s too big to be put on a trailer and towed elsewhere, so it’d live either in Lake Washington or Puget Sound. It’d be unnecessarily big for Lake Washington and it’s probably too small for weekend or week-long trips in Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands or further north into Canada. It’s bigger so it has two berths on it, but we don’t intend to sleep on it and a family of five would need even more berths anyway.
The E26 is smaller so it can be put on a trailer and it still has a bathroom on it, which is a requirement. It comes in two versions: Classic and Rider. The Classic has a berth on it but it’s too small to realistically be used, especially for a family of five. The Rider trades that out for bow seating, but still has a (small) bathroom. The Rider is intended as a water sports boat, which is what we want to use it for and has an outboard engine which provides more deck space. The Classic has a nice aft sun deck on top of where the engine is, but the Rider’s aft seating can be converted to sun deck seating (the bow seating can as well) and sits lower which feels safer while motoring. Although the hulls are identical, I prefer the look of the Classic and I prefer its inboard engine. But the Rider is more practical.