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Old 16-04-2013, 01:43   #46
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Re: Just how big is too big?

Sailing isn't a problem. You can sail the largest ships in the world single handed, its when you come to park the thing that the real trouble starts!
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Old 16-04-2013, 02:38   #47
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Judging by some of boats that come through here ... many don't have enough room to stow the paraphernalia of their cluttered lifestyle. A wallowing 70 footer would not have enough stowage for the 40 footers that cannot find a place to stand on the deck for all their burst dinghies, rusted push bikes, oozing jugs and unused water toys. And they could use a few more yards of railing to hang some more dirty fenders, busted outboards and rotten rode.

Heh. Eyesores.
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Old 16-04-2013, 02:42   #48
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Re: Just how big is too big?



Like your descriptive ability. too true
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Old 16-04-2013, 03:32   #49
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Re: Just how big is too big?

My b27 is actually too big.

I think a better boat would be one which is light enough that you can get it completely above high water mark (if by carrying, dragging, or having wheels which allow you to winch it)

Make it an unsinkable planing multihull which can outrun any displacement boat on passage.
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Old 16-04-2013, 04:22   #50
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Re: Just how big is too big?

For me, its about what I can manage without technology. That for me is around 50 feet, after that I find that the loads and weights need electromechanical help and without that help things are tough.

Hence I favour 45-48 feet, big enough to have certain comforts, small enough to sail on my own or manage without aids ( even though I like the aids)

This is before you consider cost, marinas, draft etc.

Dave
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Old 16-04-2013, 12:02   #51
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by AliaVita View Post
Sailing isn't a problem. You can sail the largest ships in the world single handed, its when you come to park the thing that the real trouble starts!
I don't see even that as a bar.

Parking 70' with 2 (or even 1!) onboard will be straightforward most of the time (likely a bowthruster at least, maybe also for the stern - could even be twins!), at least in places which are known - for the rest of their time there be fenders and insurance!.............Just likely will require greater planning ahead than with a smaller boat (especially for the unknown / unfamiliar places), whether that calling ahead for docking assistance (if available) or doing a reccé first (can 70' actually get in? - and get out again if she can't!, especially with a commensurate draft). and possibly even booking ahead / arriving earlier than others as harder to "squeeze in" 70' than it is smaller (it's a size thing ).

Whether any of the above is too much of a PITA is a choice for each to make which likely also based on cruising area and activities......and perhaps also based on how handy that 2nd (or even 1st!) crew member is......

Back to that "can do" vs "want to" thing .

Be nice to have the $$$ choice though! - although TBH I would likely choose to spend the extra 40' ashore, on travel, beer, women and jumbo jets! .
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Old 16-04-2013, 12:28   #52
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
.... 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.
Ever considered taking a mooring line from the bow to the stern and pick the buoy from the stern.

No matter how long the boat (unless centre cockpit), picking the buoy is the same.
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Old 16-04-2013, 12:34   #53
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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The OP's question is, in my opinion, largely meaningless.

Pretty much any vessel, however big, may be rendered singlehand-able with the application of sufficient money. On the other hand, no vessel is singlehand-able if the person singlehanding is not capable. Just because I can single hand a particular vessel doesn't mean you can (and vice versa).

I tend to lump this question in with many others (such as "how much does it cost to live aboard?", or "can I sail solo around the world in a <insert boat type here>?") i.e. If you need to ask the question, there is no right answer, or if there is an answer you probably won't understand it. Or, to put it another way... anyone capable of short-handing a very large boat already knows their limitations (and that of their boat).


Edited to add... on re-reading, I note that the OP'sa question was for a couple, not single-hand, but the above answer pretty much applied anyway. Given the competencies, strengths and weaknesses of my partner and I, we could probably handle a 65 footer... question is, though, would we want to?

After reading through the whole thread, Weyalan's post here seems to sum things up best for me.

Some point out the waterline length speed advantage, but then I wonder how much the need of speed motivated someone to travel by sailboat.

I admit to veering away from the original question, but I don't want a boat with more berths than people I want on board!

We have empty berths and empty lockers on our 41' ketch. I can't understand why I would want a larger boat for the ease of what I do. Maybe I'm spoiled because I'm not challenging harsh passages or spending my time in the roaring forties.

The largest boat I've piloted was 110'. Although, there were no problems; there was also no wrapping a line on a piling by hand to warp a turn or stepping off the deck from the helm to belay a line. Size will always take away some of the simple maneuvering techniques even though you won't be affected as much by windage or wakes. (although there's little current diminished effect for the big boat,- watch out!)
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Old 16-04-2013, 13:35   #54
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
IN a lot of cases in Europe, particularly in certain areas, the size, cost and most importantly availability of a long term marina berth is a huge factor in deciding what boat to buy. No point in buying a boat and having no where to put it.

Dave
In the Western Med, maybe. Elsewhere, not so much. There are even places where moorings for larger boats are much easier to get, than for smaller ones. For examp,e on the Hamble, probably the most demanded mooring spot in the whole UK (because it's on the Solent, yet it's an hour from London), the average waiting list is something like 18 years. But much less for boats over 50'. I got through the queue in a year, and now pay 1300 quid a year ($2000), a fantastic present from the Queen (who owns the seabed and gives out mooring licenses), bless her, long may she reign, etc. . Prior to that, I was paying over $20k a year in a marina on the Hamble.

When cruising, you are much more likely to get a hammerhead or quay berth, if you're over 50'. Almost everywhere, the cost goes up as a linear function of length, so it is cheaper per volume or per square foot, the larger the boat.

So as in other things, it's hard to generalize about this. Depends on where you are.
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Old 16-04-2013, 13:43   #55
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by Multihull View Post
Ever considered taking a mooring line from the bow to the stern and pick the buoy from the stern.

No matter how long the boat (unless centre cockpit), picking the buoy is the same.
Umm, higher freeboard is a huge disadvantage in picking up moorings. So this is a big minus for bigger boats, and for boats with high freeboard for their size (a modern tendency, especially with wide-stern designs).

I do ok on my boat, but it's a lot more effort than on the previous 37' boat.
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Old 16-04-2013, 13:49   #56
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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

Umm, higher freeboard is a huge disadvantage in picking up moorings. So this is a big minus for bigger boats, and for boats with high freeboard for their size (a modern tendency, especially with wide-stern designs).

I do ok on my boat, but it's a lot more effort than on the previous 37' boat.
High freeboard is to improve handling during heavy weather (skid factor) and, like you already hint at a bit, independent of length of the boat. Our freeboard is about the same as that of the average 35 footer, while I see 40 footers with towering hulls so high I would be scared to look down (not ).

Which brings me to the sugarscoop sterns which is a major safety feature as well as super convenient.
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Old 16-04-2013, 13:53   #57
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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We have empty berths and empty lockers on our 41' ketch. I can't understand why I would want a larger boat for the ease of what I do. Maybe I'm spoiled because I'm not challenging harsh passages or spending my time in the roaring forties.

ut!)
Wow! You must be the most disciplined, most minimalist sailor alive! I have never, I mean not even once in my life, seen an empty locker on a sailboat of any size. My hat's off

I can't even remotely compare to that. The only point of pride I have is that, due to ruthless and continuous gear-triage, I at least store nothing on deck! . Otherwise, every cubic inch is stuffed with something. And my seven berths often overflow into the salon.

Just another illustration that here "to each his own" rules. Everyone uses his boat differently, and has different needs. As someone in this thread wrote - the right size boat is likely the size of the one you have
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Old 16-04-2013, 14:22   #58
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Wow! You must be the most disciplined, most minimalist sailor alive! I have never, I mean not even once in my life, seen an empty locker on a sailboat of any size. My hat's off
.........................
Well, maybe a confession or explanation is in order. We never had a house and we never had "stuff", but we did have children. We traded our 33' boat for a 41' so our kids would have some space. As expected, our children grew into adults. Any liveaboard cruisers that have two teenagers grow and move away will be left with some unused space!
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Old 16-04-2013, 17:54   #59
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Wow! You must be the most disciplined, most minimalist sailor alive! I have never, I mean not even once in my life, seen an empty locker on a sailboat of any size. My hat's off.
It's not minimalism, necessarily, just economy and discipline. About half my lockers are empty. Three of the five berths are empty. The first twenty feet of hull and the last six are mostly empty but for some sails, empty jugs, emergency stuff. Need I say the decks are clear? On deck is a winch handle, four solar panels, an ugly sunshade. an anchor in the roller, and one EPIRB. Seriously. There's two of us. We lack nothing for the good easy life. (Wish I had a few more sails.)

I relentlessly throw stuff away. The boat boys love the gifts of old sails, redundant tools, etc. Broken stuff is immediately repaired or it's out.

We could move off the boat with one dock cart each. That's after 18 years aboard. I've met a few others like me. But most yachties are terminal packrats. "Marge, don't throw out that mouldy broken safety harness. I'm gonna fix that someday."
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Old 16-04-2013, 18:04   #60
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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My b27 is actually too big.

I think a better boat would be one which is light enough that you can get it completely above high water mark (if by carrying, dragging, or having wheels which allow you to winch it)

Make it an unsinkable planing multihull which can outrun any displacement boat on passage.
There you go!... Hope to see you in the middle of the Pacific

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