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Old 16-04-2013, 20:09   #61
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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.................. 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..............
Hmmmm,.. I'm thinking we would need four dock carts to move off,- maybe five, but your corelation with the years aboard might be relevant. It might be that those that have been longer aboard have more likely reached a comfortable equalibrium without being burdened by stuff. We've been aboard for forty-two years and twenty-eight on our current boat. I have one locker full of photographs that have likely melded together into one fused collage. We don't look at them or sort through them,- I could let them go, but there's nothing waiting to take their palce. I still have a roll of shaft stuffing among my parts and I put in a dripless shaft seal a couple years ago. Sometimes I select a locker to purge and discard things that have become less than useful, but it's not critical. ...."most yachties are terminal packrats"? I don't think so,- I think they just tend to pack to capacity or a little more. My relatives in houses have garages and attics that surpass any of my known liveaboards with buldging useless debris!
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Old 16-04-2013, 20:28   #62
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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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).
It's not just a disadvantage picking up moorings. For me (aft cockpit) I lose sight of the mooring half a boatlength prior to arriving at it.

The same would apply with an MOB, of course. There's a point where you've got to rely on a boathook.
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Old 17-04-2013, 01:12   #63
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

It's too big if you cannot afford it.

For long term cruising and as a guide, work out how much you spend on food etc. each month, multiply this by 12 to get your annual spend.

Deduct that from your yearly income. You now have your maximum annual spend.

As boats cost about 25% of their good condition value each year multiply your maximum annual spend by 4. This is the maximum that you can afford to spend on a boat in good condition.

As an example assume a yearly income of $60k, with monthly personal expenses of $2,000. You have $60,000 - $24,000 = $36,000 p.a. to spend on your boat.

$36,000 * 4 = $144,000. Should buy a nice boat round 40'.
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Old 17-04-2013, 15:37   #64
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It's not just a disadvantage picking up moorings. For me (aft cockpit) I lose sight of the mooring half a boatlength prior to arriving at it.
.
Thats why I suggest to approach in reverse.
Picking the mooring with the boathook from the sugar scoop is really easy. No loose of sight.
No matter the size.

Rob
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Old 17-04-2013, 15:53   #65
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

We usually position ourselves into the wind/current vector sum and pick up a mooring where the sheer provides less freeboard toward amidships. I measured the height of our freeboard amidship on our1973 Morgan OI 33 and the Morgan OI 41 that we moved to in '85. The longer boat has a lower freeboard despite being higher at the bow. Some smaller boats are forced to have a greater proportional freeboard to have sufficient headroom below. In any case, picking up a mooring further aft can lessen the task.
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Old 18-04-2013, 00:20   #66
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

I think around 60 ft. is the perfect size for a sailboat, whether it be for a cruising couple or singlehanded. Just look at the Open 60's that people use in the Vendee Globe. I would love to cruise the world in a boat like that.
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Old 18-04-2013, 01:53   #67
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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With large bowthrusters and electrics winches etc, just how large a yacht do you think a couple could handle?

I would look at this a ittle differently. Suppose your partner sprained hisher ankle reallly badly and couldn't help? I'm laid up with a badly sprained shoulder right now (and it happened on the boat). If I were your crew, I would be next to useless. Even sitting at the wheel with my right hand puts strain on the left, banged-up shoulder.

If you normally have a crew of two, how well can you cope if only one person is available? I think it's worth thinking about.
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Old 18-04-2013, 01:55   #68
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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This theme has been hashed and rehashed and I'm not sure there's much new to say about it.

Once a boat is too big to manhandle the last foot or so into position (more than say 45 feet), there are few disadvantages to size, in terms of short-handed handling, so the bigger the better, from that point of view (not from the point of view of cost, berthing availability/cost, etc., etc.). Bigger boats are certainly easier to handle at sea as they provide a more stable platform. They also tend to be blown around less during docking maneuvers.

Single-handing any boat is scary for me; but single-handing my 54 footer was not harder than single handing other boats of my experience, and in some ways it was easier. The biggest disadvantage for single-handing was the considerable distance from the helm to the rail which needed to be covered in order to get dock lines on.

Electric winches and bow thrusters on larger boats are very useful, and not just for short-handed sailing.

I absolutely never find myself thinking "wow, I wish I had a smaller boat," except maybe when I'm buying antifoul. If that's any hint. And I very often find myself thinking "Thank God I didn't buy that Oyster 485; it would have been a little tight." There's a very good reason why 99% of sailors go at least a little bigger, when changing boats, and exceedingly rarely, do they go smaller.

And my boat, although she is intelligently designed by one of the real masters in the field, does not have enough lazarette or forepeak or other technical space, and has too small an engine space (not quite walk-in). I would sacrifice some of the accommodation to have more technical space, or, wouldn't mind too much a slightly larger boat to solve those problems. 60 feet would be fine, I think.

That's my point of view; YMMV.

LOL a walk-in engine room? Normal sized adults almost don't fit in my head!
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Old 18-04-2013, 02:25   #69
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
If you normally have a crew of two, how well can you cope if only one person is available? I think it's worth thinking about.
Maybe on big boats the big red button is also bigger? ..........in any event seems that now pretty normal to press it for all manner of circumstances - including those that were easily preventable or easily forseeable. Why think for self or take responsibility for own actions when ya can call on someone else to do that for you? It's the modern way - think of the children .

So, I think a sprained ankle would fit right in .
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Old 18-04-2013, 04:21   #70
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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LOL a walk-in engine room? Normal sized adults almost don't fit in my head!
LOL.

Well, one spends almost as much time in the engine room as in the heads, so why should the heads be walk-in, and the engine room not?
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Old 18-04-2013, 06:09   #71
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Old 18-04-2013, 06:33   #72
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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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?
Seems to me there's no hard limit as long as everything works. It's when stuff starts breaking down that it gets ugly and beyond a certain point it's gonna be tough as hell to get anything done in that case.

Beyond about a hundred feet dock lines themselves get heavy. Are both people in good shape physically? In any tricky docking situation, two people is always gonna be a headache too. If there are just two of you, don't allow yourselves to get in this situation:

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Old 18-04-2013, 06:38   #73
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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My head is so small, they didn't find it during a CG search!
Yes, and you have a full walk-in engine room! Behind a watertight bulkhead! Now those are correct design priorities! Damn, where is that drooling smiley???
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Old 18-04-2013, 06:56   #74
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Seems to me there's no hard limit as long as everything works. It's when stuff starts breaking down that it gets ugly and beyond a certain point it's gonna be tough as hell to get anything done in that case.

Beyond about a hundred feet dock lines themselves get heavy. Are both people in good shape physically? In any tricky docking situation, two people is always gonna be a headache too.
People make a lot out of the issue of handling sails on larger boats, but in my opinion this is much more of a theoretical problem, than a real one. With modern furling gear, sail changes are pretty rare. With a cutter rig, common on large boats, you just put away the jib when things get rough, and sail on the staysail alone, which is usually on its own furling gear. All this stuff is a cinch single-handed. I went two years once without once striking my mainsail. The mainsail doesn't even need to be washed every year, since it is stored so well inside the mast. When you do change sails, it is in 99% of cases planned well in advance, so you can muster the necessary muscular resources without any problems. With one reasonably strong guy helping me, I can handle any of my sails.

In an emergency and in bad weather, and without crew, changing sails would be tough on my boat, and might require abandoning a sail, in an extreme case. But emergency sail changes in bad weather are tough on any boat -- it's just a matter of degree. I don't see this as a primary question in choosing a boat.

Dock lines are another question. My long lines -- which I use for tying up to quays in tidal waters -- are 100 feet by 1" nylon three-strand. Indeed, that coil of rope is at the limit of what I can handle myself as a complete coil, and I wonder when I'm 10 or 15 years older whether I will even be able to handle that. A bigger, heavier boat than mine might need even longer, thicker lines than that. Yes, I see where that could be an actual, practical problem, with boats above a certain size.

As to tricky docking situations -- above 45 feet or so, you can't use your muscles to position your boat anyway. So this is binary. Below 45 feet you can manhandle your boat around to some extent -- a plus. Above that, you just don't have that tool anymore. I have not found that to be a big deal -- bowthruster and, even more, skill at warping off, are more than adequate substitutes. In fact, if you know how to warp off, then you don't tend to manhandle even a smaller boat much. It's not the best technique for docking.
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:09   #75
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Maybe on big boats the big red button is also bigger? ..........in any event seems that now pretty normal to press it for all manner of circumstances - including those that were easily preventable or easily forseeable. Why think for self or take responsibility for own actions when ya can call on someone else to do that for you? It's the modern way - think of the children .

So, I think a sprained ankle would fit right in .


Big red button???

Things may be "preventable" or "forseeable," but none of us wallks on water and so, we're all going to make mistakes. My assumption is that when a boat gets to a certain size, one will be beyond the reach, of, say, Boat US. But we've had the discussion here before that a "real sailor" wouldn't call for help.

My thinking?

1) the guy off Portugal probably was a "real sailor" and

2) he should have called for help sooner.

My .02. People vary in skills, knowledge (not the same thing) and experience -- greatly.
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