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View Poll Results: Is a combination of rope and chain better than an all chain in heavy weather?
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Old 17-10-2003, 04:55   #46
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Big, Little or Juuuuuuust Right

Nice of you to work back around to an earlier question of my own, Gord. Thanks. That is, what would a practical upper limit be if safe single handling by a fair & fragrant admiral is set as a requirement.

It doesn't take much of a surf across the web to realize that many individuals & couples, even families, are cruising on remarkably small vessels but I'm still not getting a feel for what would be too big.

Considering my interest in wooden boats in general (along with my weakness for derelicts in particular) initial purchase price probably won't be the limiting factor in my own case that it is for most. Not that I have more money, I don't, but because I'm perfectly content with bottom feeding & building up what I find to where I want it to be. It's worked well with several houses, why not a could-be-really-nice boat as well.

Call it the typically colossal ego of the average toolmaker (I tend to) but I simply prefer my own work & far prefer an environment of my own making. I also get a great deal of satisfaction from restoration, far more so than new construction (thatís just paint by numbers Ö almost, sorta). Btw, Iím not such a stickler for restoration that I would maintain absolute originality right down to the last cleat. I have no problem whatsoever with appropriate updates in equipment & rigging & would simply try to blend them into the character of the boat as best as possible, just as Iíve done with houses.

But I digress Ö with reasonably safe single handling required, including heavy weather management, including motoring about in the ICW, anchoring, mooring, docking, etc ... What would people consider to be too much boat. Iím trying to arm myself against the day that I find some huge & lovely old wreck in a barn or boathouse & start chasing the (usually) frightened owner about with my own (usual) wild gleam in the eye & check book in hand. Knowing myself as I do, I need to do the practical thinking now & set parameters before that happens.

Troubledour

p.s. yeah, this is a stretch for this thread but it does pertain to heavy weather handling ... that which is easily managed on a mill pond is a whole `nother thing in the teeth of a named storm. Even so, we can move it to wherever if others prefer to.
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Old 17-10-2003, 08:04   #47
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Troubledour,

You raise a some what complex question."with reasonably safe single handling required, including heavy weather management, including motoring about in the ICW, anchoring, mooring, docking, etc ... What would people consider to be too much boat." I struggle with this question also as I narrow my list of potential boats that I believe will work for me when I upgrade. My current boat is 26 feet and I single hand her most of the time.I've also single handed a couple of 37 footers.I believe it was Jeff_H that made a point on this issue that made good sense to me. When considering the size of boat for a single hand sailor, displacement should be a major key factor in making a decision.When a boat gets to be over 14,000 lbs.,the size of the sails and systems become large enough that the physical requirements to man the boat should really be considered.The age of the sailor to physically handle the loads is a prime factor.I know from my experience that it takes a lot more physical effort for me to raise a mainsail on a 37 footer,than it does for me to raise the one on my 26 footer, at the age I am now (46). When I take off to cruise full time,it might be around 55 years of age.I think the 14,000 lb. displacement is a good figure to hold to for sizing a boat for me which will be in the 36-38ft.range. As far as docking a boat single handed,etc.,there are a lot of tricks you can use to help you manage a larger boat, but the physical requirments of raising sails,pulling lines,etc.,won't change. Well, to an extinct.Yeah, you can add electric winches and so forth,but that's not a reality for me.I also agree with Jeffs assessment that faster is better, and fractional rigs are easier to handle single handed. When I'm out in open water, I want to get where I'm going as fast as I can.I'm a stong believer in minimizing risks when ever possible. The less time out in open water, the less time for risk.I'll look for a boat with a PHRF of no more than 150, but perferrably much less.Purchase price will have to be a consideration involved with that criteria since I'll only have around $50K to deal with. Anyway, I hope my comments help you some. Hopefully some of the cruisers that visit here can give us both some more insightful information
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Old 17-10-2003, 18:56   #48
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Happen to remember where Jeff was writing about this ? Well, I can just search his user name ... my guess is that reading everything he's written here would not be time misspent.

14,000 pounds is at least a value to start working around. I'm no longer a kid myself, I'm 42 & in terms of wear & tear you could probably add a decade to that, or more. I started young & have worked & played hard for a bit more than 30 years.

The real answer to this question is probably simply more experience. Given time to work it out, I could drag the local courthouse down the street with fishing line & that comes from many, many hours of "single handing" my shop space. So, back to the pocket cruiser search & maybe a phone call or two out to the lake. Thanks Stede.

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Old 17-10-2003, 19:51   #49
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If I can butt in here a little bit and off the subject and onto size vs handleing.
I'm close to 55 and I single hand my 14,000+, 40 foot vessel without any problem. I think the problem with size/displacement is NOT getting them up and on the move (hoisting sails), but rather dealing with heavy weather and putting them away. Over 14K the sails start getting so large that they are heavy and ackward to handle. A little wind catching a sail on deck can easly throw you overboard. That's where roller furlings become more of a manatory sail up foreward and lazyjacks more logical on the main. Electric winches sound good but you still have to move and hold the lines/sheets. There are trans Atlantic/Pac racers that singlehand on 65 footers. It all comes down to how the vessel is rigged and the experience with that rig that makes the sailor. I believe Jeff's #14,000 per person is a undocumented set for the race industry. I could be wrong! But I think I could go to #20,000 without much trouble.

regards............................_/)
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Old 17-10-2003, 21:33   #50
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Lightbulb Continued

One more thing! I ran out of time on that last post so I get in my last thoughts here.
Different vessels have different sailing chareteristics. A fin keel handles much different then a full keel and sloop is different then a Ketch or a gaffed. Mine for instance; I might as well put on my dive gear if I were to go out in a storm. My cockpit is unprotected from waves so it wouldn't matter how much my boat weighs I would be awash in heavy seas. And that would be NO fun. I plan to change that but that's another story.

Troubledour,
I too am a Toolmaker/Machinist amongst other trades. So, I can relate to wanting to pick up some ole scowl to fix up to a better vessel. We have more confidence in our capabilities then most people. Being able to manufacture almost anything gives oneself a since of a super power. The problem I've encountered is I don't have the funds or the time or both to really complete a large job before I start loosing interest. Or another big project comes along.
I've learned to stick to one project or get rid of it!!! And try not to over budget myself.
That's all.................................
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Old 18-10-2003, 01:48   #51
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Plenty Big Enough

20, 21,000 lbs is a lot of boat, should be plenty of room for the cat's sand box, a her's only vanity, loads of food, a useful selection of ground & sea tackle, some tools, misc supplies & maybe even a clean pair of skivvies for me.

I also had a lot of trouble with too many projects when I was younger but got around it by doing mostly shorter-term stuff. Phases included motorcycles, jet boats, muscle cars, etc. I wasn't ready for house scale projects until I was into my mid 20's or so. Even then the lady of the house often had to wait longer than she should've for things like decent cabinets & interior doors (that I prefer to make myself & tended to stall on until I was ready to do all of the interior woodwork).

At this point, however, many of the things that do-it-yourselfers tend to do are long since been there & done that situations for me. I'm sure that I can focus my resources in time & cash on a boat. To an extent, that's the point of the boat, or part of it. To scale back & simplify life.

Could be Iím wrong, Iím not sure yet, but I think for me a substantial & well ballasted fin keel with a sloop rig will be best for my purposes. While additional masts should reduce the mass of any given sail, Iíve thus far assumed that a sloop would be easier to handle than a schooner, ketch or yawl, particularly if pwr furlers & winches are brought into play.

Clearly off subject, but the recent Staten Island Ferry incident amply illustrates why Iíll set up a boat & train all aboard for safe single handling. Initial reports indicate that the Port Authorityís requirement of two on the bridge deck while under way was overlooked. When the man at the helm went down there was no other immediately available to pull him off the throttles & safely dock the boat.

Might seem paranoid (I can live with that) but I will absolutely insist that anybody choosing to join me at sea be capable of handling the boat herself. What I would not be able to live with would be the risk of putting someone in harmís way without providing the means for her to get herself out of whatever might come up. I know I canít anticipate every possible snafu, but the potential for a disabled shipís master can be anticipated & allowed for.

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Old 18-10-2003, 06:20   #52
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How Big?

Itís interesting to note that Troubledour comes at the question [ďwhat boat size?Ē] from the perspective of how Large, as opposed the more often asked how Small.

The most oft-quoted upper limit Iíve seen proposed (for cruising couples) is about 50 Ft LOA, with ideal recommendations (more often) falling between 40 - 48 Ft.

Obviously, these would represent very rough approximations, as so many other factors, (such as displacement, crew fitness, anticipated cruising conditions & purposes, & etc), will affect the equation.

A very simply calculated upper limit could be determined by comparing the size and weight of ground tackle that you might safely handle (manually); with the safe requirements of the boat (& itís intended purposes) under consideration.

I can comfortably handle a 45 Lb anchor on 150' of 5/16" H.T. chain. Given the design criteria that Iím comfortable using (for ground tackle) - this would seem to limit me to approximately a 36 - 42 Ft. boat (again very dependant upon the particular boat & my purposes).

This comparison allows me to quickly eliminate many boats (as too large) from further consideration. If the vessel passes the anchor test, I can move on to the many other important considerations.

Now it occurs to me, that since we've been talking about Drogues: Anyone considering a Drogue to be essential for their purposes, would also want to be able to handle the size, length etc. required for their boat.

I only suggest these criteria as very quick & obvious FIRST calculations, much easier to determine than many other important considerations.

I would also suggest that (nearer to) the smallest boat that meets all (most) of your criteria might be the better choice.
So what are the basic criteria of a capable cruiser?

Regards,
Gord
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Old 18-10-2003, 07:27   #53
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It's not the size that counts, it's what you do with it ...

Yeah, I get that but I'm looking for an upper practical limit because I doubt that I'll have that immediate purchase price inhibitor to deal with that most do. I have zero interest in brand new, fiberglass boats & a very limited short term training interest in a used, easily bought, maintained & sold pocket cruiser. The vast majority of boat owners limit length & displacement by default, stepping up only when (& often as soon as) they're able to financially.

I'm interested in wood because I love to work with & live around wood & basically detest working with fiberglass. The lower initial cost is a serendipitous additional benefit & I believe that I have the ability to mitigate the costs of maintaining a wooden boat by doing most or all of the necessary work myself. These factors put me in an entirely different market than those that wander about at manufacturer's bizarre type boat shows looking for what they want to live & cruise in.

Considering the different cash requirements of the two distinctly different markets, I'm simply wanting to be sure that I completely understand the displacement envelope before I bump into something that gets me wet & randy.

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Old 18-10-2003, 12:40   #54
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Wooden Boats

Just to add a couple more pennies to the pot!
One more thing to consider is that wood planked boats are heavy-er than glass boats per foot with exception of the newer ply/epoxy or composite boats. Which there are not a lot of out there, yet.
So, a planked boat would knock down the size of the vessel. And the older ones, let's say 10+, are going to probably need refitting (fasteners/screws) for offshore adventures.
I agree they are nice and comphie but I've owned an older planked boat and I can tell you, you better be ready to get the elbow grease loaded up. And get out the hammer and magnifier to keep an eye on all the seams. An epoxy composite boat doesn't seem to have as many problems but there is still the chance of dry rot creeping into the core somewhere. All it takes is a crack then rainwater or even washing down the boat after a sail. And in a high humidity environment would just multiply the problem.
Also, wood was cheap in the days of old. Today, a single mahongy plank 1" X 5" X 10' will cost you over $100.
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Old 18-10-2003, 13:00   #55
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To all of the above ... Yeop, no problem, bring on the planks.

The point of my question regarding size is simply to help insure that I won't end up investing year(s) & 10's of thousands of dollars into restoring & (or) refitting a boat that proves to be too much in the water. As for wood as a choice, any material involves trade offs, strengths & weaknesses, good & not so good. The characteristics of wood, good & bad, are characteristics that I'm more than willing to deal with & enjoy.

Much like redheads, it's well worth the trouble. And now that I've established that I truly am steam bent ...



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Old 19-10-2003, 08:39   #56
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Hi Mr.T and all,

It's very obvious that you're very passionate about your desire for a wood boat. I say that's well and good as long as you go into it realizing the amount of work that it takes to maintain a wooden boat, which it sounds like you do. The current boat that I have is a traditional looking sailboat,with bronze portals and deck hardware.She also has her share of teak.When all shined and polished,she shines like a brand new penny.I'm always getting compliments on her. However, I find as each year goes by,I have less and less desire to do all the work required to keep her looking good. I've also noticed that I dislike cutting the grass in my yard more, but then again, I never really liked doing that chore to begin with.There seems to be a new pattern developing in my life The next boat I buy will be used to cruise full time and I want her to be as maintenance free as possible,but hey!..that's just me. I have a friend whom's dream boat is an older wooden Chris-Craft powerboat. When he first mentioned it to me I started in with "man, that's a lot of work to maintain,etc.,etc." I saw the look on his face of bored discontentment over hearing remarks that he had probably already heard many times.I learned that day that when it comes to boats, dreams come in many different build materials, and some are willing to go the extra mile to reap the rewards of a beautiful boat that takes additional maintenance. I began trying to help my buddy find his boat.I've seen many pictures of the older wooden Chris-Craft powerboats,and have admired their beauty.At the same time though, I think about scrubbing my bronze portals and know the amount of work that the owner is putting into the boat to get her looking that way.Everthing has it's pros and cons, and what makes me happy,might make you miserable."Variety is the spice of life."I guess that's why the good Lord made us all different
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Old 19-10-2003, 09:36   #57
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Different strokes for different fokes pretty much covers it. You touched on yard work & that amply illustrates the point. I personally detest yard work, hire a lot of it out & believe that my Lawnboy would make a fine lunch anchor.

I'm surrounded by people, however, that apparently love it & keep their lawns in putting green condition (actually better than the city golf course across the street). Annoying as it can be to have to at least pretend to maintain that standard myself, I have to admit that it looks nice ... even so, doing that as a hobby, for fun, just strikes me as purely weird.

Whatever, go figger ...

On my way out the door, I've wrangled an afternoon on a Bavaria 36. Light winds today but many will have already wintered their boats, it's beyond beautiful & the peak of leaf season is now ... I'm gone.

Enjoy, Troubledour

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Old 27-10-2003, 14:09   #58
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I believe I've solved ANY anchoring problems...

If I can just find a big enough windless to handle this, and fit both on the bow of my 34 footer...



I've always used CQR's, but I guess I'll try a bruce....
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Old 27-10-2003, 14:28   #59
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no-no-no-no-NO !

Ya mount it on the bottom of your keel, that way it's out of the weigh ( weigh--harhar- get it ?). It also will act as one a them new fangled winged keels.But if ya wanna use it as an anchor, punch a hole down through the keel vertically and put the windlass over the hole like a water well crank. This keeps the weight low ( Jeffh, ya listenin'- see I have LEARNED ), the deck clear, and the stability optimized. Gad, I've learned a lot here. Now ,if ya mount the 17 8D batteries it will take to run the thing in a string for and aft you will gain even MORE stability. Just think of the benefits here ! Man, it makes me DRRROOOOOLLL !!!
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Old 27-10-2003, 15:14   #60
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!

The Lawnboy Lunch Anchor suddenly looks completely reasonable & not at all crazy ...



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