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Old 18-04-2013, 07:09   #76
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I would look at this a ittle differently. Suppose your partner sprained hisher ankle reallly badly and couldn't help?

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.
My wife and I find sailing and docking our 53ft Oyster to be easier that our former Hunter 450, not because there was any inherent shortcomings in the Hunter, but rather because the Oyster weighs in at 25 ton vs 13 ton, the windage is much less on Oyster when compared to weight and freeboard, so all actions take place at a slower pace.

Basically, things happen relatively fast on smaller vessels, whereas on a larger, heavier vessel, actions happen slower and need to be thought out in advance. Much more relaxed pace on a larger boat.
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:10   #77
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Re: Just how big is too big?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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?

Well, on my boat because it's only 31'. I have a newer engine and am just thrilled that I no longer have to take the water pump off to change the impeller nor dismantle the cabinet under the galley sink to change the oil!
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:11   #78
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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!

They just didn't know where to look on the railing.
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:34   #79
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They just didn't know where to look on the railing.
Funny, how nobody understands my joke

Another approach: all who say 50' and up is too big are either stuck in the past where you'd have to send 20 men up the rig to deploy sails or they are just green of envy. They probably never sailed a boat of the size they claim to know all about! Only on CF
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:36   #80
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Funny, how nobody understands my joke

Another approach: all who say 50' and up are either stuck in the past where you'd have to send 20 men up the rig to deploy sails or they are just green of envy. Sure thing is they probably never sailed a boat of the size they claim to know all about! Only on CF

I thought i did ...
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Old 18-04-2013, 07:37   #81
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I thought i did ...
You might, in which case I didn't understand your reply
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:34   #82
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Another approach: all who say 50' and up is too big are either stuck in the past where you'd have to send 20 men up the rig to deploy sails or they are just green of envy. They probably never sailed a boat of the size they claim to know all about! Only on CF
Sticking up for CF here, I'll debate the point. By way of credentials, although my current boat is a mere 46', I've crewed extensively on an Andrews 53 in offshore races.

It took two guys to handle the spinnaker pole on the Andrews, and a spinnaker jibe involved four people just on the chute. Add a helmsperson, a main trimmer and someone to manage the runners, and you needed seven people on deck to jibe. Folding a headsail after a race was a four-man operation, and then it would require two sturdy guys to carry the #1.

On my cozy 46, Wonderblond and I can manage a spinnaker jibe together so long as we have the assistance of the autopilot. Just last week we swapped the lapper for the yankee, and we were able to fold and transport the lapper ourselves without needing a third crew member. No sail has an area larger than 500 square feet.

I readily admit that there are advantages to larger boats, but we already benefit from most of those advantages while remaining under 50'. For example, the cabin sole on our 46 is one level, and we can walk from any cabin to any other cabin without necessitating a step up or down. This was not possible on our previous boat, which was 41' LOA. For living aboard, the biggest advantage of the larger boat is the stand-alone shower in a compartment separate from the two heads.

Regardless of prospective advantages, I think there would be diminishing returns going to a larger boat, especially if our objective is to undertake passages without requiring additional crew. On the current boat we have ample room to carry two kayaks, two folding bikes, and to keep the dink on davits, even underway. We make ample speed with a 40' waterline. Our standard tankage is sufficient, with 200 gallons of water, 100 of diesel, and 50 in the holding tanks. What else would we want?

It may be the the question posed by the OP is misdirecting us. Perhaps, instead of arguing about how big is too big, we should be asking ourselves what size is ideal. When Wonderblond and I asked ourselves this question, we ended up considering the economics of cruising when retired, realizing that a boat we can currently handle in our 50s will be different from what we may feel comfortable handling in our 60s.

While we enjoy spending time at anchor, we want to be able to take an affordable slip from time to time, and there seems to be a strong dividing line between berthage for boats that can fit in a 50' slip and boats that require a larger berth. With our dink on the davits, we fit into a 50' slip with a foot to spare.

More than anything, I don't want to be one of those guys who feels he must switch to a power boat at a certain age. A smaller boat will keep me pulling the strings later in life. Therefore, the final answer to "How big is too big?" for me is that a boat is too big when it makes you want to voyage on the dark side of the sail/power divide at an older age.
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Old 18-04-2013, 08:58   #83
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I guess for me this is broken into 2 categories.

1. How big a boat can a couple enjoyable sail - without excessive mech assistance

2. How big a boat can a couple enjoyably sail period.

Regarding the second question many many moons ago I was on Curaçao eek ing out a living for a year doing rigging work and small skipper work and living in Spanish Waters. A friend knew a couple that had arrived on a 100+ foot yacht and we were invited to dinner and visit. This was in 91-92. This boat was amazing, even then it was total joystick sailing. The main had a joystick that up/down was reefing and left/right was trimming. Fore and aft bow thrusters. Everything you could imagne. The bridge was like being on a spaceship.

So at dinner later as a sailor i was clear how they could sail the boat by themselves so it wasn't at the forefront of my mind but as a young lad the biggest question I could think of that befuddled me that I asked was: "By gods how do you keep this monster clean?"

To much laughter the older Dutch couple responded, "Liefje, we fly crew in for that."

Regarding the first question, for me in my mid forties I wouldn't want to sail a boat much larger than 50' with slab reefing but can see a boat upto 60' with mast/boom reefing and furling asym.

My personal preference would be what I have, mid forties - like myself.
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Old 18-04-2013, 10:56   #84
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Another approach: all who say 50' and up is too big are either stuck in the past where you'd have to send 20 men up the rig to deploy sails or they are just green of envy. They probably never sailed a boat of the size they claim to know all about! Only on CF
I'll have to say Bash's experience parallels my own in this. I owned and sailed a 65' Abeking and Rasmussen steel ketch for a couple of years so this is based on personal experience, not something I read in a book or saw in a movie.

The boat was well set up with large, multi-speed winches and I didn't find sail hoisting, trimming, etc to be a problem at all. Where I had the problem was moving sails around. As long as they were already on the masts or stays not a problem but pretty much all but the mizzen required at least 2-3 people just to drag them to and from the sail locker. To actually pick up the sails and carry them took 3-4 and I'm talking young, healthy sailors.

I'm not sure I could have bent or removed the main by myself in the best of conditions. If trying to strip the above decks to reduce windage with a storm brewing I would think it impossible.

The boat was also a huge pain to dock but that was due to the design and not the size. Imagine how well you could turn a 65', 8' draft, full length keel, very heavy, steel boat. I think an oil tanker could out maneuver that boat.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:03   #85
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

I vote for the mid 40' range for a couple. Sail area is still manageable with manual winch.
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:06   #86
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

I remember my young days as a Captain of a Abeking & Rasmussen named Angantyr, 62 ft long , steel, 2 centerboards, cutter rig and strong like a battle ship, the owner replace the old rig for a new one with Harken roller furlers, batcars , 3 electric big electric winches , no bow truster , we sail this boat in the med by just 2 , me and my crew, reefing sails , raising or lower boards , docking a piece of cake, and the size and seamotion out in a blow make a big diference compared with a smaller 50 or 55 ft...
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:36   #87
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

It seems to me that a majority are saying that there are many feet between big enough and too big. I'm one on that list!
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Old 18-04-2013, 11:37   #88
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I had a patient once recently....
I asked him, " how big is your yacht?"

He looked at me and said, " 120 meters"
In his strong Greek accent

Of course he is a son of the late Onassis
Shipping mogul partner, where money is not a concern

I replied, " that's not a yacht! That's a ship"

He requires two full time captains and countless crew members just for upkeep

So some of us lowlifes who only own a pilothouse full keeled sailboat, I don't need captains and I can sail it alone


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Old 18-04-2013, 11:55   #89
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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It seems to me that a majority are saying that there are many feet between big enough and too big. I'm one on that list!
Yep. I lived on a fairly roomy 32' boat and it was not quite big enough and always wished it was just a bit bigger. I lived on the 65' and it was big enough but also too big.

After trying both I too like something in the mid forties.

Oh wait, that's what I have now!
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Old 18-04-2013, 14:05   #90
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Re: Just How Big is Too Big?

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They just didn't know where to look on the railing.
Now that's funny.

Your vacation seems to have improved your sense of humor
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