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Old 14-04-2013, 05:43   #16
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Similar to other folks I find Our 54 to be the easiest boat to sail and dock. Previous boats were 34 and 41'.

Even without the bow thruster she is easier to dock. For sure there is a lot of weight and a lot of power to be respected.

We were recently chatting with a couple on a 62' that now that they are older with some health issues, they feel its more boat than they want to handle alone.

When wen were selling our 410, folks looking at her kept heading back to a 38. Thinking the 410 was two much boat. I know from sailing both models the 410 is much more comfortable sailing and docking than the 38.

I will admit when our 410 showed up in the yard, and I stood behind the wheel for the first time, I thought oh s&!t what did we do, but after a day on the water it was old hat. Now a 41 feels like a "small" boat
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Old 14-04-2013, 06:13   #17
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I actually have this idea that a 50-55' ketch makes the ideal full time cruiser. Every foot of that is worth it's cost and more. Every foot less is a compromise with a lesser overall experience, so smaller only makes sense if the budget is not big enough.

At 55' I can still easily outrun them, which is why I don't mention bigger But seriously, even though the overall experience still goes up, it is less value for money for the extra length than what you get for going from 30 to 50'.

Now everybody with small boats can post how much better they are and sail everywhere etc.
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Old 14-04-2013, 06:32   #18
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Re: Just how big is too big?

The bigger (and more to the point, heavier) the more work it is. 45-50 feet is pretty doable without much power assist. After that you may need power winches and thrusters, etc. What is the limit? None, but remember, several points have been made:

You will need assistance docking. Nobody will jump off the deck of a 75' boat and stop it by hand. If a wind is blowing, or a current is running, you need people there to take your lines. You will be dependant onthat or taking a risk.

The sail loads will be huge on a bigger, heavy displacement boat. Grinding in a big genoa, mainsail, or even rolling in a jib, without power, will be an endurance contest. In a blow it will entail significant risk and danger. So you are dependant on power, switches, motors, etc. Maintenance!

Upkeep on a boat increases with the number of spaces and the square footage of the surfaces. A 70' boat will be just about a full time cleaning job, and fixing things will be constant the bigger and complex the boat is.

Can you take it into places you want to go? Bigger, if you still want to have good sailing, means deeper draft, or lifting keel.

So, if you want to do the work, take the risks, you can engineer a boat of any size, but also remember: When everything is working you can do it, but when something goes wrong, you will have a big headache. Imagine a snagged roller furler and a flapping sail in 25-30 knots of wind 100' up a mast on a 75' boat with two people.

If you can afford a big boat, you can afford a crew. Hire them.
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Old 14-04-2013, 06:39   #19
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Originally Posted by wingssail View Post
The bigger (and more to the point, heavier) the more work it is. 45-50 feet is pretty doable without much power assist. After that you may need power winches and thrusters, etc. What is the limit? None, but remember, several points have been made:

You will need assistance docking. Nobody will jump off the deck of a 75' boat and stop it by hand. If a wind is blowing, or a current is running, you need people there to take your lines. You will be dependant onthat or taking a risk.

The sail loads will be huge on a bigger, heavy displacement boat. Grinding in a big genoa, mainsail, or even rolling in a jib, without power, will be an endurance contest. In a blow it will entail significant risk and danger. So you are dependant on power, switches, motors, etc. Maintenance!

Upkeep on a boat increases with the number of spaces and the square footage of the surfaces. A 70' boat will be just about a full time cleaning job, and fixing things will be constant the bigger and complex the boat is.

Can you take it into places you want to go? Bigger, if you still want to have good sailing, means deeper draft, or lifting keel.

So, if you want to do the work, take the risks, you can engineer a boat of any size, but also remember: When everything is working you can do it, but when something goes wrong, you will have a big headache. Imagine a snagged roller furler and a flapping sail in 25-30 knots of wind 100' up a mast on a 75' boat with two people.

If you can afford a big boat, you can afford a crew. Hire them.
A ketch wingsail, a ketch means smaller masts and smaller sails. Nobody said that it must be a sloop or cutter with enormous mast that requires hydraulics.
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Old 14-04-2013, 06:43   #20
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Re: Just how big is too big?

a friend of mine, rip, sailed a 54 ct with his wife. is awesome boat......when he went to hospital, i just stood at helm and couldnt get over how dangbig that boat is....
i am happy with my 41, and i know if i absolutely had to , i could handle a formosa 51.....but i like my 41.....but the room inside the 51.....lol...
and the massiveness that 54 ft looked like...wow...
a boat is only too big is
a) you cannot afford it
b) you feel small when at helm station.....
c) you cannot sail it solo
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Old 14-04-2013, 07:06   #21
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pirate Re: Just how big is too big?

3 metres longer than the berth the Marina assigned you...
and you've no bow thruster...
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Old 14-04-2013, 07:10   #22
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Re: Just how big is too big?

For me the limit is based on the largest size sail I can manage. Not just hoisting, furling or reefing but if you have to strip the rig or bend on the sail, how much I can carry/drag from the sail locker to the rig. For a sloop or cutter rig that limits me to around 45' Much bigger than that it takes two people to move the mainsail around.

If you ignore that factor then there really is no limit with the proper winches and rigging.
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Old 14-04-2013, 07:25   #23
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Re: Just how big is too big?

I know a couple who actively cruised their 84' staysail ketch, Havfruen, well into their 80's. The boat is rigged perfectly for that though, all furling staysail ketch, totally self tending, just put the helm over to tack. A real beauty, I've always wanted her.
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Old 14-04-2013, 08:09   #24
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Re: Just how big is too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
I think the answer is less about "can do" and more about "want to".

Comes a point when even though you might not need crew, just makes life easier - likely not so much on the sailing or even docking end of things.........but on the dull side for stuff like maintainence and cleaning! 75' is a lot of nooks and crannies! so it's less about wanting crew onboard and more about having staff! as likely that someone who can afford a 75 footer (+/-) and to cruise her extensively in a lifestyle that does not revolve around beans and rice won't want to spend their days wrapped around keeping her spic and span, or at least one half of the partnership won't.........

....no doubt exceptions will apply.
Let's not get confused here

I thought we were talking about sailing rather than simple maintenance...

I don't see any problem having a maid or two to assist with all the cleaning and polishing - in exactly the same way i don't mind paying someone to take care of the brightwork or all the stainless when it needs taking care of

I don't think that was the argument of the OP

Single handed doesn't mean you need to actually do everything related to upkeep of the vessel - its more related to actually managing it while underway

Lets face it , there are very few people with every single skill required to keep a modern cruising yacht afloat, on every technical angle, irrespective of the size of their boat

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Old 14-04-2013, 12:31   #25
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by Carlisle Spirit View Post
Let's not get confused here

I thought we were talking about sailing rather than simple maintenance...
OP wasn't actually explicit - although I can see how some could assume his request was about only one aspect of large boat handling by a couple. and indeed OP may have also meant it be to that - albeit IMO erroneously .

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
With large bowthrusters and electrics winches etc, just how large a yacht do you think a couple could handle?
Confused? read on..........

Apart from my simple examples of the cleaning and maintanence issues (which, as you say, can be done by others) I stand by my general point about "can do" vs "want to" being the most important thing to consider.

And I will add that "want to" will be linked to both how the boat is set up and also the ability and desire of the couple to get hands on, both when things go as expected and when not ("oh look, the mainsail is stuck half way up the mast - when does that gale arrive?" ).

Short answer is that a couple could handle 150 foot (plus or minus ) - but likely most would not want to at various lesser max sizes for a multiple of reasons related to own abilities and desires (bigger can be very much better - but can also be very much more of a PITA ) and what the boat is / how set up.
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Old 14-04-2013, 14:23   #26
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Re: Just how big is too big?

I've been singlehanding for a number of years - first on a 43 foot boat, then on a 49 and now on a 57 foot one. I believe that this is about the limit for a singlehander when things go pear-shaped. Docking is always a worry, but I've been aboard this season for a couple of months and only had to dock twice (the third time I had friends aboard, so it was easy). Even picking up a mooring ball is easier on the heavier boat than on the 43 since a puff of wind won't blow the bow away as you run forward to hook that pennant.
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Old 14-04-2013, 14:38   #27
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Re: Just how big is too big?

Our old Transpac 49 stays'l ketch was the limit i could handle on my own comfortably in bad weather, even with my spouse. It was fine for starters but when health problems began to affect my ability to move around and my strength, we moved to power (DeFever 54) which extended our cruising life by more than 6 years. Still drive a couple of larger crewed power boats for friends once in a while but glad I'm now retired and enjoying life.
If you're young and fit, I would feel more comfortable up to about 65 feet without electric/hydraulic winches and a split rig for sail handling. Can't imagine trying to get a full main on a Santa Cruz 70 under control on my own! Phil
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Old 14-04-2013, 17:49   #28
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Re: Just how big is too big?

I cant see the need to go above 45 feet for a competent couple, after that its just money making it bigger. Costs go up fast, berths get mega expensive etc

dave
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:43   #29
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I cant see the need to go above 45 feet for a competent couple, after that its just money making it bigger. Costs go up fast, berths get mega expensive etc

dave
From 45 to 50' gives a massive improvement in sea handling capability.
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Old 14-04-2013, 19:45   #30
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From 45 to 50' gives a massive improvement in sea handling capability.
And in the med a " massive " jump in berthing costs too.

Dave
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