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Old 03-06-2016, 00:39   #181
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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So ... back to something worth talking about... the question of complexity is one that many have raised here. I tend to agree; it's not so much the size of boat, but the systems that fill it. My approach is to keep systems simple, and/or highly reliable.

Simple are things I can understand, maintain, and repair by myself or using my modest finances. This includes mechanical devices like windlass, winches, windvane, as well as head, charging system and stove.

Highly reliable are things like GPS/chartplotters, VHF radio, AIS receiver, computers, fridge and radar.

This approach means we are rarely halted by a failed system. This approach is what I call simple. But it's important to stress that my simple is not yours. A more skilled person (or someone with more money) could easily install and maintain more mechanically and electrically complicated systems. The key (for me) is to match my capabilities with my choices.

The stories often repeated of cruisers stuck in a port due to a failed whatever seems to me to be a story of mismatched capacities to systems.



Hi, Mike, golly, you're so reasonable! GOOD ON YA!

The matching of complexities to one's capacities is a darned good deal. But the business of cruisers being stuck in a port to fix *stuff* occurs on a different spectrum. They may lose heart because they did not anticipate that a really complicated boat that they cannot fix themselves would fail, as it was brand new. That is, those people didn't understand the brand spanking new boat being reliable concept is a fallacy. Some people find ways to enjoy themselves in ports while waiting for parts, others feel trapped, and so on. Some people handle tradespeople's delays better than others. Flexible personalities make happy cruisers. You can have a good time--or not--that is an expression of one's own personality.

And, Mike, congrats on your escape!

Ann
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:07   #182
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

People who find very large boats not suited to short handed sailing are not envious. They are not necessarily poor planners either. They are not necessarily short of funds. The OP actually asks about the challenges of mid 40s boats for short handed for an around the world journey.

Such a journey would likely include sailing in populated areas which support marine services and area well off the beaten track which don't.

Obviously cruising around southern New England... one is never more than 10 miles (if that) from virtually any marine service or mechanic one might need. In the popular to sail Caribbean you won't find much support on many of the Islands. You will find virtually no marine services on the entire Amazon north coast of SA aside from Venezuela to perhaps Forteleza over a thousand miles. When I sailed this coast, the country of Suriname had a single facility with a floating dock which a small boat could tie up to. No West Marine nor Home Depot. The demands for reliability is not the same depending on where you sail when you are a round the world journey.

Reliability is not directly correlated to complexity as Mike points out in something like a modern GPS. Because of the nature of electronics and micro processors... they are not serviceable by the end user. One needs spares to replace them or redundancy.

Sail handling and anchoring are mechanical "things"... actually primitive/basic ones and those systems do fail and you usually need "brute" strength to do a work around. Low tech large ships sailed the world... with large crews for this reason.

My sense is the OP believed that a mid 40s boat had the volume, stowage, and speed for the round the world cruise but was more concerned at what happens when things go south... ie how manageable are the work arounds. And how do these issues change as size increases.

Age is clearly a factor here as well. You might have worked until retirement with a decent stash of cash only to find you have less strength, agility, balance, stamina, diminished hearing and sight and so on that makes dealing with physical challenges more difficult that one had as a younger person. And these "handicaps" are mitigated by the complex mechanical systems.

Joe Harris who is not a spring chicken nor a retired slow moving senior attempted a round the world solo record. He had sponsors and lots of support. He had all manner of problems and difficult conditions and had to "pull in" to repair his electrical system because the charge regulator... or some part which he could not service failed. He waited for weeks to get it. This illustrates a failure and the solution that people can and do face when they get off the beaten track. Seems as if have spares for the mission critical electrical charging system would have been smart. But his team believed, I suppose that this was a component unlikely to fail.

It seems that the thrust of the OP was to get at the size which was reliable enough, and repairable enough alone when off the beaten track. A boat that he could sail, anchor, etc. when systems had failed for whatever reason... This sounds to me like mostly a question of mechanics... strength.

Maybe.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:45   #183
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Even water tank capacity can be a non reason with a water maker.... which makes more than a person can possibly need in a day... Why store if you can make?
A watermaker is no replacement for fresh water because it doesn't contain the minerals that your body needs, a watermaker is great for shower water and occasional cooking etc. I see sailors collect rainwater but you shouldn't drink that either because it's not just dead water, but dirty surface water. Best water for us to drink is water that's alive, that is to say, spring water directly from source. But that is hard to come by.

If you're gonna liveaboard you need a comfortably sized boat that two people with ease can handle and for safety reasons one can handle if something goes wrong. In my experience that means 40-55ft, prefearbly a ketch rig.
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Old 03-06-2016, 06:13   #184
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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No one "needs" a cruising boat!!!!!!!!!!

A cruising boat is about getting to places safely and being comfortable once you get there. The being comfortable when you get there is really the primary boat function as that is what a cruiser does mostly with their boat. Based on god knows how many boats lay outs I've looked at I'm still sticking to the best couple sailing (that's short handed) boat size is 46-48'. I wish I could have afforded one in that size range instead of my 43' OA boat as then we could have a better old fat couple berth arrangement, a little more storage space, and twice the fuel tankage.

As you can tell the from the thread responses the only people who think a 46-48' boat is too big are those with boats in the mid 30' range and they come up with insulting comments to justify it. People with with a 40'+ boat are more likely to wish for a bigger boat because they understand the trade offs and feel it is a plus to have the bigger boat and they aren't scared of it.

And then there's the complex/simple boat debate. But when I did a thread a couple of years ago about what a "simple" boat was for the most people considered that if it had refrigeration it was "complex" and if not it was "simple". You know what those of us do when our "complex" equipment on our "big boats" do when it breaks (rarely)? Well we just sail it without that equipment just like the "simple" boats do till we can fix it.

Face it the only advantage a smaller boat has is in cost. And the added costs for a larger size are nowhere near the extra amounts thrown around as the small boat people make them out to be.
yep!
once you start down the "need-road" you pretty soon come to "no-need-to-cruise" & end up behind the house with a hemp rope round your neck...
it's not what we NEED, it's what gives us pleasure, that makes life worthwhile!
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:06   #185
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Hi, Mike, golly, you're so reasonable! GOOD ON YA!
Thanks Ann. I do try ... not always successfully mind you .

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... Some people find ways to enjoy themselves in ports while waiting for parts, others feel trapped, and so on. Some people handle tradespeople's delays better than others. Flexible personalities make happy cruisers. You can have a good time--or not--that is an expression of one's own personality.
Love this observation Ann. I've wondered about the kind of temperament that makes for a long-term cruiser such as yourself and that other fella who hangs around with you (Jim ). There are people who just can't sit still. Who always need to be doing things, going somewhere, have a plan, have a schedule. I wonder how this kind of personality settles into the cruising life.

As a personal example, you may have noticed the one big thing absent from my "simple/reliable" list is my engine. I still find it neither, and have been forced to sit for weeks at a time waiting for parts and/or mechanics. But I've never (so far) found these to be difficult times. In fact, these have been some of the most memorable parts of our journey so far.

There is wonder and adventure almost everywhere. One doesn't have to go anywhere in particular to find it. Which is why I don't understand the whole "bucket list" mentality, or those who must do a RTW journey. Quite frankly, if the Great Lakes didn't turn hard 1/2 the year, I might never leave.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:10   #186
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Thanks Ann. I do try ... not always successfully mind you .. . .
If you ever failed to be reasonable, I've never seen it. I'll second Ann's compliment.
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:21   #187
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Thanks Ann. I do try ... not always successfully mind you .

.....

There is wonder and adventure almost everywhere. One doesn't have to go anywhere in particular to find it. Which is why I don't understand the whole "bucket list" mentality, or those who must do a RTW journey. Quite frankly, if the Great Lakes didn't turn hard 1/2 the year, I might never leave.
Perhaps the only thing that makes people itchy to move is weather windows and seasons.... witness the mass exodus from the Caribbean in late Spring/Early summer.

IIRC the Canaries don't have a hurricane season, so this doesn't become a consideration to move on... and there is plenty to do on those islands if you have time on your hands.

Obviously the decision matrix itself is complex concerning a round the globe trip. But flexibility sure helps!
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Old 03-06-2016, 07:55   #188
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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A watermaker is no replacement for fresh water because it doesn't contain the minerals that your body needs, a watermaker is great for shower water and occasional cooking etc. I see sailors collect rainwater but you shouldn't drink that either because it's not just dead water, but dirty surface water. Best water for us to drink is water that's alive, that is to say, spring water directly from source. But that is hard to come by.

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Old 03-06-2016, 08:01   #189
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Water.... drinking "mineral free" water may not be healthy. But it's not fatal... and you can and do and should get minerals from foods and other liquids. As such.. a decent water maker or a back up and spares can reduce the amount of water that is stored.

Why not?

How much water would a wasteful sailor consume in a day?

What is the product capacity of a small water maker?
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:17   #190
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Lol Sandero you and your questions.

A wasteful sailor can drain tanks fast. Add women to the mix and it goes even faster (sorry ladies).

Small watermakers - anywhere from 30-80 gpd
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:43   #191
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Lol Sandero you and your questions.

A wasteful sailor can drain tanks fast. Add women to the mix and it goes even faster (sorry ladies).

Small watermakers - anywhere from 30-80 gpd
Well there you go... even a woman would have a hard time using 30-80 gallons a day!
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:46   #192
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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A watermaker is no replacement for fresh water because it doesn't contain the minerals that your body needs, a watermaker is great for shower water and occasional cooking etc.
Half of the Caribean drinks watermaker water, pumped from the plant into the taps. Cruisers filling their tanks use that same water.. If you cook only white rice without salt then you might have a problem
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:17   #193
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Water.... drinking "mineral free" water may not be healthy. But it's not fatal
I never said it was fatal. If it was fatal people wouldn't drink it I would think.

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Why not?
Where did I advice against getting one which would then have prompted your question?

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How much water would a wasteful sailor consume in a day?
You would be surprised when your first mate is a woman. Even more surprised when there is another couple on-board, which means TWO females, so yeah, water gets depleted rapidly.

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Half of the Caribean drinks watermaker water,
I'm well aware of that, I'm also aware of the fact that lots of people en mass to stuff that aren't healthy, be that short term or long term.

Seems I struck a nerve.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:47   #194
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

I wonder if all this nerve striking is due to being stuck in a house or port when we'd all really rather be out sailing?! I know I would.
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:49   #195
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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....

Seems I struck a nerve.
The underlying point was about having large tanks AND a watermaker. Bigger vessels have larger water tanks...understandably and short boats have smaller ones...

But with a water maker... it's like going for frequent topping off... and so you probably don't need such a large tank. The OP wasn't about 2 couples but about short handed cruising.

In LIS for example... small water tanks are hardly an issue as water is free and accessible allover the place. It's just a minor inconvenience to come along side and top up the tank.

Off the beaten track large tanks and or a water maker is sensible.
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