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Old 19-09-2010, 11:08   #1
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Does Size Matter ?

*mean grin* ... NO! I am NOT talking about īthatī old issue.... :-)

Seriously: In many a discussion I have been reading here, the going opinion seems to be: 35' (+/-) is the perfect single hander / family cruising boat.

I have sailed my share of such boats, each of these trips I have been (well!) paid for and maybe it's only my 6'3 and 220lbs (+) size that the thought of living or cruising on such a boat for an extended period of time makes me squirm. (Yet alone circumnavigating - God forbid nonstop!)

If one just loves sailing, and if a 35'er is all one can afford: Yeah! Go for it! (if you can stand the extremely confined space for an extended period of time, - and I am not talking a two week sailing vacation)
Also the argument of "can't handle more single handed" sounds strange to me. What would be difference in sailing a 35' and a 70' sailing yacht somewhere mid-Atlantic?
Oh! There is ONE major difference: If you are miserable in the tight space and minimalistic "comfort" of a 35'er - you'll throw the towel much, much sooner than if you were simply comfortable.

My last baby was a 60' steel, 2.3m draft (7'?) 56 ton "rock" in the water. The ketch rig distributing sail areas to make them easily handle-able in all conditions, with the only requirement that one would have to plan a little bit ahead. More than once I did reduce sail area because the skys looked like I should, just to shake the canvas out again after a couple of hours of "under-canvased" (=uncomfortable) sailing - and mind you, I didn't even have a roller-jib.

Uups, sorry, here is the real question I wanted to ask: Why do so many of you believe that 35' is a feasible size boat for single handed sailing?
I have single handed mine a lot, and quite honestly the only problem I ever had was never due to her size, but when I was in "congested" areas like the British Canal, or approaching Port Said or Suez and the likes and the lack of sleep would become to be my worst enemy... (snoozing off, just to awake startled because my mind would play tricks on me, making me see steamers coming straight towards me, or waves braking at the shore - when in reality there was neither!) ...and the lack of sleep is something that would feel worse the smaller the boat gets, right?!

And in heavy weather? I had absolute confidence in my Victoria, and when things got really bad, which they did *aehm* "once or twice", I would trim her to and pile all the cushions I could find into a heap with me plus a nice book in the middle. All that's left to do is to wait it out and I MUCH RATHER do that in comfort!

Last and only other "problem" with larger boats: Handling them in tight marinas, but then big boats do have another advantage: The docking-master will assign you a berth towards the deep end anyway, where the other bigger boats are at, and again manouvering there often is easier than at the really tight areas further in.

I would be very curious to learn more about how Cat's behave in such environment, but as to Mono's all I can say: If you want to go extended cruisin' - be it alone or as a couple, settle for at least 50' .... and if given the choice: Go as big as you can (afford to).

Your opinions?

......I mean, I am "just thinking"..
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Old 19-09-2010, 11:41   #2
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OH YES
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Old 19-09-2010, 11:49   #3
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My problem is the rise in cost associated with larger boats..around forty feet it seems that the costs go up steeply..the smaller boat typically seems to require less expended effort to keep up too..less surface area I guess..i'd love to have a big honkin' sloop, cutter or ketch, but my pockets are pretty shallow..
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Old 19-09-2010, 11:51   #4
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Originally Posted by anjou View Post
OH YES
...I wonder what part U R referring to: The initial question or your 50' oil tanker look alike?
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Old 19-09-2010, 11:55   #5
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....the costs go up steeply...
Hmm, ....You could have a true point there. I remember one specific port in Sardinia where I happened to end up in twice and both times with alternator problems (on basically similar engines)
First time around was in a stinking Turkish Kaiki - tub...
Second time around was in my elegant 60' Victoria......

Second time was by FAR more expensive! (It was different mechanic thou)

But, yes, you could have a point there, but that is probably that the "rip off" expands unproportionally with the increase in size....
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Old 19-09-2010, 12:31   #6
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Hmm, our 31 foot yacht would cost $7500 a year in a posh marina, no idea what 60 feet would cost. Then there are the sails. A new set is $3000 in a quality Dacron. As for the Dockmaster will allocate you a larger mooring, well possibly. In St Peter Port Guernsey you will be on the fish dock with the trawlers and you know what time they start work in the morning.

No thanks, for us small is good, able to get into all the pretty little harbours even during peak holiday periods, yet big enough for the two of us. Would we like a much larger yacht, of course. Is it affordable, no.

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Old 19-09-2010, 13:11   #7
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I'd say after 45 feet things go up exponentially. Not to mentionthe cost of mooring in the med over 15 metres things leave the planet , that's if you find anywhere

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Old 19-09-2010, 13:19   #8
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I'd say after 45 feet things go up exponentially. Not to mentionthe cost of mooring in the med over 15 metres things leave the planet , that's if you find anywhere

Dave
I thought that 12m was the "killer" length in the Med? Or does it get worse at 12m and diabolical at 15m?

Whilst currently boatless, the wife and I have decided that 36ft - 39ft is the size we are looking for, new if we can afford it and 2-3 years old if we cannot afford new.
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Old 19-09-2010, 14:12   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustThinking View Post
...I wonder what part U R referring to: The initial question or your 50' oil tanker look alike?
Either, either, neither neither, .......

Depends on how much claustrophobia you have
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:11   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustThinking View Post
Oh! There is ONE major difference: If you are miserable in the tight space and minimalistic "comfort" of a 35'er - you'll throw the towel much, much sooner than if you were simply comfortable.

My last baby was a 60' steel, 2.3m draft (7'?) 56 ton "rock" in the water. The ketch rig distributing sail areas to make them easily handle-able in all conditions, with the only requirement that one would have to plan a little bit ahead. More than once I did reduce sail area because the skys looked like I should, just to shake the canvas out again after a couple of hours of "under-canvased" (=uncomfortable) sailing - and mind you, I didn't even have a roller-jib.
The real reason I am currently happy with my H 28 is that the cost of maintenance and parts is basically proportionate the size of the boat. I think I would throw in the towel even quicker if I could not even afford to own the thing? The other point is that the systems in such a small boat are so simple I can easily modify, service and fix them. I think the Pardey’s explain this well in most of their well known books and articles. Nevertheless, I would be just as happy with a 30-35 ft boat so I can squeeze in that extra aft cabin. Any more than that currently just seems like room for mutineers and hoarding.

Regardless, I have to agree with your second comment about the ketch rig. It has always impressed me how Francis Chichester at his age circumnavigated in a similar size ketch rig boat with hank on sails. Still, he needed a lot of the storage due the fact he only stopped once and if you read the book he was initially exhausted trying to control and constantly changing sails on the misbehaving design. Maybe your boat is a lot better mannered? Then again, I am glad my H 28 is a ketch.

I suppose too if I was ever going to do the whole family live aboard thing a big boat like yours would have its advantages? Till then I am happy staying small.
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:44   #11
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I'm thinking some people are ecstatically happy in a studio flat.... while other are not happy unless they've got a mansion.
Horses for courses.... and Cat's do fine in Marinas.. twin engines give superb maneuvering.. spin on a dime.
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:48   #12
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The most important thing... is to do it and enjoy it. In a small boat if this is what you can afford, definitely ina bigger one if you can afford it. Yes size matters... No doubt.
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Old 19-09-2010, 16:59   #13
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Size matters.... and if someone says no they are lying
We stay small 30ft... for reasons such as, we dont need anything more, we dont want to pay more, our draft is shallow, our upkeep is less, and mainly because if we had a bigger boat we would just clutter it with more stuff and wouldnt really gain anything. Oh plus it allows us to tell people NO when the ask to come along...lol.
Sails 6, feeds 4, only sleeps 2
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Old 19-09-2010, 17:00   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
The most important thing... is to do it and enjoy it. In a small boat if this is what you can afford, definitely ina bigger one if you can afford it. Yes size matters... No doubt.
Not always... I've owned a Hunter37(Cherubini) an Oceanis 321 and a Beneteau 331...
The 'Bendi's' had half as much room again as the Hunter.
The 331 even had two permanant doubles...

The only reason I'd go bigger than 37 would be for commercial gain...
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Old 19-09-2010, 17:20   #15
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I think size plays a huge role, we paid 15k for our 28 foot battle ship and we are 40% through a complete top of the mast to bottom of the keel refit and we have so far spent 5.5k, Yes its small (but im 5'7 and my wife is 5'3 so we don't feel cramped in it) but i can weave it through a needle. A brand new engine cost $1,600. We looked at a 40 footer and the starting price was 40k, that alone would have stopped us from cruising. we will finish our boat for under that figure and know the boat inside out and have 100% confidence in every piece of gear.

We were looking at engines and they said to double you boat speed takes 8 times the horsepower. I imagine its similar with general costs going up a large percentage as length increases

You sound like a big guy, with plenty of muscle, therefore big sails are probably not an issue, I have a number of major health conditions which leave me very fatigued 95% of the day, and my wife almost died two years ago and she now deals with more health issues than I do. This means the only sails we can safely lug around are handkerchief sized, hence our boat needs to match them.
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