Way too late for the original inquiror.......what if any boat was settled upon I wonder?
Anyway, my partner & I have just bought (Nov 2011) a Feeling 286 to replace our much loved Jaguar 27 which we sailed on the east coast.
Our requirement was for a boat that sailed well, wasn't significantly longer or deeper than the Jaguar, so we could keep our mooring; but we wanted more space for living aboard & guests.....In that, the Feeling has in spades, especially for a nominal 28 footer, especially, the aft cabin. Amazing. Some have twin aft cabins like the Westerly Tempest.....
We had been looking at Kelt 850/Feeling 29DI's, but couldn't find any for the condition/price balance. Found a Feeling 850 & also considered an Angus Primrose Moody 29. Too expensive as well for what it offered. I do like them, though...
The Feeling we found by accident, there don't seem to be many in the UK, but are a few in Europe, (Netherlands & the Ionian.....)
I don't pretend it'll be the perfect boat, but it seems to offer a lot for what it is, & could? suit our purposes perfectly... Down below is very airy & spacious, with the engine (Yanmar 2GM20 in this case, others have a 9hp Volvo) under the table, giving excellent access & the prop exits abaft the keel: no P brackets...hate them!. It has a proper chart table, decent heads, & on deck the layout seems very well thought out. The shoal draft wing keel draws 3' 9", & she promises to be a lot swifter in light airs than the Jaguar which had twin keels, but will need reefing relatively early. No problem as all lines are back to the cockpit! Apart from Yachting Worlds little summary in the 80s, this one seems to have been missed by the magazines, but this summer I'll have a better idea!
Just as a follow on from the above, should anyone be interested...?
After our first season, w/e and a 2 week cruise up and down the east coast, the 286 had delivered.
She has proved quick yet easy to handle, with passage speeds generally around 5 to 6 knots. She is very comfortable to "live" aboard whilst on holiday,roomy just doesn't do it! She is very able to take a blow, and (for the east coast), a big sea quite happily. She will stand to her canvas far better than expected and better than the 31% ballast ratio would lead one to believe. If I have one criticism, and it would be one I was expecting...her flat forefoot can sometimes slam in the short chop that can be experienced in east coast/Thames waters. Make it two.....she is very QUICK on the helm!
A lightweight AWB? Perhaps so, but I am loving it!