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Old 01-09-2019, 10:51   #1
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Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Hi All,

We have 33ft beneteau that we plan to sell this winter and upgrade to something bigger for cruising on (mainly because we are sick if climbing over each other to get out of bed and after a Center Cockpit)

I wondered what size boat most if you have? Is bigger the better or from experience is this more tricky when it comes to mooring or a hiring in certain spots. I used to be an ex sunsailer on flotilla and went to Greece a few years ago having worked there and it was ramed with lots more yachts than in 2007! I couldn't get a spot on a 31ft and got turned away twice!

So I'm sure this has been on everyone's mind and answered thousands of times. What size is the best size?!
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:17   #2
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Hi,



Perhaps your 33 could be fine for what you want?


One can always cruise some and then decide if bigger is better.



b.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:03   #3
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faye View Post
Hi All,

We have 33ft beneteau that we plan to sell this winter and upgrade to something bigger for cruising on (mainly because we are sick if climbing over each other to get out of bed and after a Center Cockpit)

I wondered what size boat most if you have? Is bigger the better or from experience is this more tricky when it comes to mooring or a hiring in certain spots. I used to be an ex sunsailer on flotilla and went to Greece a few years ago having worked there and it was ramed with lots more yachts than in 2007! I couldn't get a spot on a 31ft and got turned away twice!

So I'm sure this has been on everyone's mind and answered thousands of times. What size is the best size?!
Not sure where you intend to cruise but read this story:

Knockdown

Veteran crew, veteran skipper. Now put yourself in that situation ... single or double handed, what size do you want? Bigger is better...but only to a point.
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:36   #4
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pirate Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

If a centre cockpit is what you want this is about the smallest you can go without camping aft cabins..
https://m.apolloduck.com/boat/westerly-seahawk/616403
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:59   #5
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

My wife and I liveaboard a 42 footer. Enough space for both of us. I wouldnt go any longer than 45ft, especially if you had a CC.

If your planning on cruising full time, consider how much the new vessel will take in up keep(time and money). This may factor you to to smaller.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:40   #6
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

".......mainly because we are sick if climbing over each other to get out of bed ...."

We sold our Hunter 386 this year after 8 years and purchased a Hunter 46 with a walk around bed in the bow for the very reason you indicated above. To answer your question is bigger better?.......yes if you want more cabin space, more cabins, an additional head, more water. fuel and holding tank capacity, more displacement for a smoother sail and longer water length for higher speed, as long as you can find a marina to berth it. In the San Francisco, California bay there were only 2 marinas I can berth a 46 foot sailboat. We are lucky to e in Point Richmond where we can be in the bay and back to our berth in minutes.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:43   #7
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Thee have been a number of helpful discussions here about what the length of s boat with a CC "should be" --- mostly visually from the outside. I'm sure you could find those.


There are also smaller boats than that preferred length that have berths that are walk-around.


Happy hunting, good luck.
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:15   #8
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

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So I'm sure this has been on everyone's mind and answered thousands of times. What size is the best size?!
It of course matters more the layout of the boat than just the length as lots of long boats have crappy living arrangements.

But to me for an aft cockpit boat the idea size is 46-47'. With that you get excellent living arrangement and good tankage. After that you mainly get more room for guests.

After that are the boats 40-46' because they still have good cruising tankage.

There are some excellent 35-40' boats with good couples living arrangement than mainly suffer from loss of tank capacity.

With a center cockpit boat if the goal is not to crawl over each other and size work. But normally a CC is going to be 40'+

The thing is for people like the OP with a 33' boat, they think a 40' boat is big. But people with a 40' boat don't think a boat is big till around 55'.
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Old 11-09-2019, 22:46   #9
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Thanks for the reply. This is very helpful knowing other peoples experiences with thier boats. I would like CC if possible. The seem a little sparse. I'm a bit good scared to fly to America and buy one there and start crusing that area. I feel much more comfortable being in the med initially and it's very familiar. But I think some of the US boats seemed better prices and more for your money... And more if them.
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Old 11-09-2019, 23:22   #10
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

My previous largest boat was 41. I was looking a little larger but ended up bigger than expected (it's just a case of what's available down here). All bigger boats feel smaller after the first few days, and now I wouldn't go back. So don't get too worried if you walk on a boat and it feels too big -- it very soon won't. Length makes a big difference to comfort.
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Old 11-09-2019, 23:54   #11
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If a centre cockpit is what you want this is about the smallest you can go without camping aft cabins..
https://m.apolloduck.com/boat/westerly-seahawk/616403
Or a Carter 33 centre cockpit.
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Old 12-09-2019, 00:12   #12
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

We have a 38 foot Centre Cockpit which is perfect for us. The aft cabin is huge and the boat big enough for two of us and some guests. It took us a while to find one.
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Old 12-09-2019, 00:32   #13
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

I'm biased of course but look at Amels here in the Med (their home). Don't know your budget but they are pretty inexpensive for the amazing build boat you get. We are a 3 person family with 3 cats and a need for an office onboard as well, so we went with a 53 foot amel as our first and last boat. Haven't met another boat in 2 years that I'd trade her for no matter the cost. Very well laid out with a huge center cockpit and aft sundeck, willing and able to go around the world or hang out at the marina all day in comfort. Older amels are very good as well, since their layout did not lend themselves to chartering and are almost always owner operated. Find a good owner, and you've got a good boat.
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Old 12-09-2019, 01:58   #14
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

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... Is bigger the better or from experience is this more tricky...What size is the best size?!
Size doesn't matter - my wife promises.

Regarding long-term liveaboard yachts there has to me always been two chools of thought:
1. Buy the biggest you can afford or 2. Buy the smallest that you're comfortable with; I/we definitely side with the second school, though it has been suggested that I might be a closet agoraphobic - no worries, if you're agoraphobic then the closets a comfortable place to be.

There are benefits to both schools, but to my mind the balance is heavily in favour of the 'small as you're comfortable with': It'll be cheaper to buy, insure, maintain, haul out and/or put into a marina berth - those are the easy/obvious benefits. The obvious deficit is that passages will be slower, but if you're after speed, then why would you buy a sail boat of any size?

We had an extended conversation on the subject a couple of years ago and some of the most telling insights came from friends who after years on a 36' boat had 'moved up' to a 54 footer:
The small boat allows you to find a space well into tight anchorages giving you more/better shelter, but less obviously that's also a much more 'sociable' position too: Because you're well into the anchorage more people are passing by in their dinghies making them easier to meet, whereas anchored out the back no body passes by.
Breakages that are annoying and/or difficult/strenuous to work around on a small boat are complete 'stoppers' on a big boat; examples given were a broken windlass or winch, on their's, if the generator wasn't working it was all but impossible to sail.
Our own long distance cruising began on a 27' yacht and prior to departure we'd thought that this would mean our having at times to stay in port waiting for lighter weather whilst the bigger boats could leave, the reality we found was just the opposite: We met innumerable 45'+ yachts crewed by couples who having early in their cruise got 'caught out' in an unexpected blow and had so much difficulty in getting things under control/reefed down that they never again ventured out unless there was barely enough wind to sail the boat. Even amongst those who hadn't already scared themselves, we were quite often one of the first years to poke our bows out of the shelter of the harbor/anchorage and get moving, because irrespective of the weather, we could easily handle the sails.
The idea that bigger is safer or more even comfortable on passage certainly doesn't hold true, seaworthiness and seakindliness are both about design and build quality, not size; look down at yachts on an ocean from the window of an airplane, the reality is that even a 100' yacht's tiny in the context of the open sea.

One proviso, from a post I noticed earlier, if you particularly want a centre cockpit, then 36' is probably the absolute minimum length where that layout works and 40'+ is better, below 36' (the 33' Colvic Countess perhaps makes it work?) you'll end up with a tiny stern cabin or tiny saloon and most often both.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:40   #15
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Re: Boat size recommendation. Go large or go home?

I’m definitely in the “smallest you can live with” camp. For some here that means a 60-footer, for others a 23-footer does fine. No one can say what is right for you. All we can do is share what works for us.

Instead of size I’d start by considering where and how you plan to cruise. If you plan to spend long periods off the dock and away from services, then good/large storage and large tankage becomes more important. If you plan to sail in thick and thin, then a good, versatile rig is essential. And if you plan to spend more time at anchor, or at the dock, then good living space is what you need. Finally, money matters. A bigger boat will cost more. Obviously you can only buy what you can afford.

For me (for us) we learned our sweet spot for monohulls was in the 36 to 42 foot range, depending on the actual boat model. We have lived on our 37-footer now for many years (6 months at a time), and have no need to go larger.
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