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Old 30-10-2014, 15:29   #1
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Super Size Me

Hi all. New poster. I've been enjoying some of the threads, and the variety of opinions.

This is probably a worn out topic, but a quick scan of the recent threads does not seem to cover it. And I think this is the right place. So...

My wife and I have owned a Precision 23 for over 20 years. Sailed it on Lake Norman in NC. It's been a great daysailer for us. About 2400 lbs with an 850 lead ballast and centerboard. A 5 hp Yamaha outboard that has clicked along all these years, asking only for a couple of new impellers. No electronics other than nav and cabin lights.

But I've always wanted to charter a larger boat, probably in the BVI to start. Up to this point, I've been too much of a cheapskate to do it, but now that I'm retired, it's time to go.

My question is, how do I move up to a larger boat? I know these boats may be only 10 feet or so longer, but they are much heavier. The sails and loads are much greater.

What do I need to learn? How do I obtain this knowledge and prove to myself and the charter companies that I know how to sail a larger boat?

All on a budget, because I am still a cheapskate.
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Old 30-10-2014, 16:10   #2
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Re: Super Size Me

Welcome to the forums.
As to your question(s). To get/prove your knowledge to the charter companies, there are plenty of certification classes. As often as not, with the companies who charter, as well as through various sailing schools.
I'm not sure where you're located, or when you're thinking about going, but San Diego Sailing Academy is a great one. You can go any time of year, & they have various levels of certification. Plus you can set it up to live aboard while you're taking your class if you like (as of last check anyway).

And this is gonna' sound really simplistic, but the biggest thing in shifting up boat sizes is that you have to think through all of your maneuvers further in advance. That, & when stepping up to a bigger boat, you can't just man handle all of the lines and systems. You have to use winches, & other forms of mechanical advantage.

About the thinking ahead thing, etc. As an example, on the Open 60's, when they're being sailed solo, a good jibe takes them 15 minutes (and a lot of winching). So when they go to do one, there's a check list, which they've long since memorized, which they have to follow. But by doing so, & using mechanical advantage, they're juggling sails big enough to blanket a few houses.
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Old 30-10-2014, 16:30   #3
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Re: Super Size Me

I've gybed an open 60. You don't want to get the order wrong, but it is just a matter of being methodical and using mechanical advantage (the 3 gear coffee grinder helps).

The step up to a bigger boat is really scary at first, but you get used to it quickly. The biggest difference, other than needing to be more careful with loaded lines on winches, is docking. You need to be a bit more precise and wrap (or 'snub') lines on cleats on the dock instead of just yanking the boat around.

You can totally make the step up. I can't answer the question about charter companies, I'm afraid. I've never chartered. But as far as your own skill and confidence, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
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Old 30-10-2014, 18:00   #4
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Re: Super Size Me

I don't know what you have available in Lake Norman, but if there's a sailing club reasonably close, chances are they have 'crew wanted' listings - single-handers, especially those with larger boats are often keen to have some line-handlers come along. Failing that you can peruse the 'crew wanted' listings on this forum, or consider posting a 'crew available' posting for yourself. Cheap and easy way to get experience on larger boats, as well as some words of wisdom from more experienced sailors.
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Old 30-10-2014, 21:47   #5
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Re: Super Size Me

Charleston and Oriental have large sailing communities, even though Oriental is in NC I believe Charleston is closer to where you are located.


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Old 31-10-2014, 06:17   #6
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Re: Super Size Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Welcome to the forums.
As to your question(s). To get/prove your knowledge to the charter companies, there are plenty of certification classes. As often as not, with the companies who charter, as well as through various sailing schools.
Yeah, I could go that route. I'd like to avoid the expense, though. Any idea what is involved?

Quote:

I'm not sure where you're located, or when you're thinking about going, but San Diego Sailing Academy is a great one. You can go any time of year, & they have various levels of certification. Plus you can set it up to live aboard while you're taking your class if you like (as of last check anyway).
I'm in North Carolina. Sounds like a good course, but I imagine not cheap.

Quote:
And this is gonna' sound really simplistic, but the biggest thing in shifting up boat sizes is that you have to think through all of your maneuvers further in advance. That, & when stepping up to a bigger boat, you can't just man handle all of the lines and systems. You have to use winches, & other forms of mechanical advantage.

About the thinking ahead thing, etc. As an example, on the Open 60's, when they're being sailed solo, a good jibe takes them 15 minutes (and a lot of winching). So when they go to do one, there's a check list, which they've long since memorized, which they have to follow. But by doing so, & using mechanical advantage, they're juggling sails big enough to blanket a few houses.
Good stuff. Thanks.
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:22   #7
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Re: Super Size Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
The step up to a bigger boat is really scary at first, but you get used to it quickly. The biggest difference, other than needing to be more careful with loaded lines on winches, is docking. You need to be a bit more precise and wrap (or 'snub') lines on cleats on the dock instead of just yanking the boat around.

You can totally make the step up. I can't answer the question about charter companies, I'm afraid. I've never chartered. But as far as your own skill and confidence, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
I'm sure a lot of my habits will be wrong. For example, I can be fairly sloppy when docking because, like you say, it is easy to just grab a pole and manhandle my boat around. I ought to practice docking where I pretend my boat displaces 15K.
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:25   #8
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Re: Super Size Me

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
I don't know what you have available in Lake Norman, but if there's a sailing club reasonably close, chances are they have 'crew wanted' listings - single-handers, especially those with larger boats are often keen to have some line-handlers come along. Failing that you can peruse the 'crew wanted' listings on this forum, or consider posting a 'crew available' posting for yourself. Cheap and easy way to get experience on larger boats, as well as some words of wisdom from more experienced sailors.
That's a great idea, thanks. I've already checked out that forum. I might start a thread there and see what I get.

There are at least two or three sailing clubs on Lake Norman. I actually live halfway between there and the coast, so I could go either way, depending on the opportunity.
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:31   #9
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Re: Super Size Me

Before you do anything just send a note to a charter company with your experience and ask them the same question as to whether they will accept it for the "large" boat.

Far as moving up in size; I've never even been on a boat smaller than 33'. If you know what you are doing going from a 23 to a 33 footer isn't a problem (33' is still just a small boat)
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:34   #10
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Re: Super Size Me

Ed...

If you've sailed your 23 for over 20 years.... You'll have no problem chartering a 32'er day hopping in the BVI's...
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:38   #11
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Re: Super Size Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Before you do anything just send a note to a charter company with your experience and ask them the same question as to whether they will accept it for the "large" boat.

Far as moving up in size; I've never even been on a boat smaller than 33'. If you know what you are doing going from a 23 to a 33 footer isn't a problem (33' is still just a small boat)
Quote:
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Ed...

If you've sailed your 23 for over 20 years.... You'll have no problem chartering a 32'er day hopping in the BVI's...
Ha, now this is what I want to hear! I guess my next move is to email a charter company. Thanks!
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:48   #12
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Re: Super Size Me

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ed.
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Old 31-10-2014, 06:59   #13
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Re: Super Size Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by edneely View Post
Ha, now this is what I want to hear! I guess my next move is to email a charter company. Thanks!
It's true....

Plus you're going to get spoiled with stuff like:
Turning a key, a wheel, stack packs/lazy jacks, refrigeration....

Try the small independent charter guys too... No real idea, but I would think that they would listen to your story of owning a smaller boat for so long a little more openly...

PS
Headsail sheet loads multiply quickly...
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Old 31-10-2014, 09:21   #14
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Re: Super Size Me

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Ed.
Thanks, Gord. This is a great resource.
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Old 31-10-2014, 09:26   #15
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Re: Super Size Me

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
It's true....

Plus you're going to get spoiled with stuff like:
Turning a key, a wheel, stack packs/lazy jacks, refrigeration....

Try the small independent charter guys too... No real idea, but I would think that they would listen to your story of owning a smaller boat for so long a little more openly...

PS
Headsail sheet loads multiply quickly...
I know, I know! How about a head that doesn't slide around and doesn't have to be carried down the dock to be emptied?

I'm hoping this upgrade will be encouragement for both of us to upgrade to a larger boat. Or maybe we'll be happy to charter once a year. We'll see.

PS: Yeah, unless the wind picks up, we don't need to plug in the winch handle.
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