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Old 26-05-2016, 04:29   #16
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

45 works very well ... Go and have a look at Lifgun(dot).com


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Old 26-05-2016, 09:40   #17
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

A small boat and a suitcase full of money beats a 45-footer tied to a banknote...
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A small boat and a suitcase full of money beat a 40 footer tied to a bank every time!
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:49   #18
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

We are going to list our Beneteau 461 soon. She is excellent for short handing with 3 electric winches, in mast furling mainsail with vertical battens, bow thruster, electric windlass, everything a retired person or couple could ask for. A genset onboard will run the A/C at sea if desired, and a pure sine wave inverter will allow you to run the microwave, coffee pot, toaster (not all at once!) etc. All the comforts of home. Two solar panels and two wind generators help to keep the batteries charged up. We cruised her from St. Pete to Cuba and back this year with only one person on watch at a time. We have the two berth "owners" model and the salon table comes down to create a third queen size bed. The single port setee has a lee cloth (hammock) so another person can sleep there as well, so she sleeps 7 very comfortably when you have guests. Two heads, forward one is electric. Love it. Can't go wrong with a Bene!
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:55   #19
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

43 feet is the best size for short-handed sail boat
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Old 26-05-2016, 09:55   #20
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would max out at 40' for shorthanded sailing.

Going 40'+, I would very VERY carefully consider what leverage I want and where. In my humble case, this would be the the bare minimum:

- shorthanded cockpit and deck layout,
- central winch,
- tiller,
- hard dodger racing style,
- all fore sails furling,
- staysail,
- twin installation, top shelf AP.

I would take a modern hull shape. (A wedge).

Some well laid out 50+ boats sail pretty well single-handedly and very well by any crew of 2. Example: Amel 54.

Cheers,
b.
Hi B -

Thanks for the details... questions regarding two of the proposed items of importance:
  • Hard racing-style dodger: I have virtually never seen a cruiser that did not have a dodger up at all times, even when not at sea. Why do you suppose the vast majority are stainless steel framing with fabric instead of hard designs? Any other reason than cost? Is there perhaps some sort of "removable hardtop" design as a compromise?
  • Twin APs: I assume this is because of long blue-water crossings with extended runs on the same tack with a single off-center AP, and Murphy's Law would dictate that the single AP often ends up on the unusable/higher windward side of the stern? And what do you recommend as a "top shelf" AP?

Matthias
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:00   #21
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Originally Posted by lifgun View Post
45 works very well ... Go and have a look at Lifgun(dot).com
I looked at the Luffe 45... very nice!!!
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:38   #22
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

I am a fan of hard Dodgers, but they are heavy. To keep the weight down you wind up with tubing and foam cores for stiffness. But these days I would seriously consider making a dodger out of solar panels and just connecting them together via hard panels.

Probably the best autopilot on the market right now is NKE, but they are not cheap. The reason for two is redundancy. There is nothing that will mess up a short handed cruise like loosing an autopilot.
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:44   #23
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

It's funny that in all the postings above, no one has mentioned the actual sailing of the boat.

Guess what, all the fancy equipment in the world won't help you one iota when you are trying to douse a spinnaker in 25 knots of wind, on a beam reach. Think about the size of that sail. Think about trying to grab it in a bundle and shove it down the main hatch.

When I was researching my singlehanded tips book I had some long discussions with skippers of 21, 33, 40 and 60 foot boats. I can tell you that above 40, the whole thing becomes different. For example, when I asked the skipper of an IMOCA 60 what it's like to raise his mainsail, his response was "you would never, ever, ever do that. It takes 15 minutes just to put in a reef." He told me the story of when he dumped his genoa in the ocean, doublehanded. They had an incredible problem getting it back on board. The forces are so great that he can't even roll up his roller furling foresail unless he points boat downwind, rolls up the sail, and then heads upwind again. It takes a long time. Another comment he made was that when something goes really wrong and the boat is over on its ear, "you make a cup of tea, and drink it, and if you're French then you smoke a cigarette, and then you solve the problem."

Sure, you aren't looking at an IMOCA 60, but any long boat, with big sails, will have similar problems. If you buy a 45' boat, how long and how much effort will it take you to raise the mainsail? Will you do it for a 1 hour sail, or will it be just too much bother? Just think of the forces involved in gybing the mainsail on a 45' boat in a 25 knot breeze?

If you are going to be the kind of "sailor" who motors from harbour to harbour, never flies a spinnaker and puts in a reef every time the wind gets above 8, then sure, you can singlehand any boat in the world. But if you are the kind of SAILOR who actually sails his boat, and really loves to sail his boat, then you really need to think about the forces involved once you get above 40 feet. I'd suggest that you try it some time on a 40+ boat and see what you think. Really singlehanding a 45' boat takes a lot of skill and a lot of effort. Is this what you want?
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:49   #24
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Does it really matter which damn sailboat you pick to go down the west coast?
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Old 26-05-2016, 10:57   #25
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Foolish's points are very important.

The other thing, on the other side of the coin, is DOCKING.

All I hear on some smaller boat forums, when folks move up from a 22 to a 30 footer is "How can I dock my boat?!?" They are in PANIC MODE.

They refuse to listen to those of us who say practice, practice, practice.

They only go out once or twice a week and want to sail and party, and don't bother to realize that if you only do the important thing once a weekend, you ain't gonna get any good at it!!!

A bigger boat, unless you plan to ONLY anchor out, WILL without a doubt, be more of a handful to dock, especially singlehanded.

I had a 25 footer for 13 years. When we got our 34, I spent the entire first week with the boat practicing coming into my berth. Most folks simply don't do this.
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Old 26-05-2016, 12:38   #26
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Originally Posted by GlobalPlayer View Post


Hence, the exact question that I asked...

I am sure technology in part acts as an enabler for shorthanded sailing of bigger boats, so I suppose my topic was about finding the "current" sweet spot where I can have the biggest boat with the least complexities relative to the boat's size for long-term blue-water cruising.

Thanks,
Matthias

I've sailed my Irwin43 Sloop single handed for many thousands of miles in ocean and did not experience any problems with sail handling. Now I'm older believe I should have purchased a Ketch for reduced sail weight.
Weight also applies to other items, larger the boat, everything gets heavier which is particularly noticeable at sea when repairs are required.
That being said I would not want to cross an ocean or live aboard in protected waters such as the Caribbean and Med in anything less than 40ft.
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Old 26-05-2016, 12:48   #27
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foolish View Post
It's funny that in all the postings above, no one has mentioned the actual sailing of the boat.

Guess what, all the fancy equipment in the world won't help you one iota when you are trying to douse a spinnaker in 25 knots of wind, on a beam reach. Think about the size of that sail. Think about trying to grab it in a bundle and shove it down the main hatch.

When I was researching my singlehanded tips book I had some long discussions with skippers of 21, 33, 40 and 60 foot boats. I can tell you that above 40, the whole thing becomes different. For example, when I asked the skipper of an IMOCA 60 what it's like to raise his mainsail, his response was "you would never, ever, ever do that. It takes 15 minutes just to put in a reef." He told me the story of when he dumped his genoa in the ocean, doublehanded. They had an incredible problem getting it back on board. The forces are so great that he can't even roll up his roller furling foresail unless he points boat downwind, rolls up the sail, and then heads upwind again. It takes a long time. Another comment he made was that when something goes really wrong and the boat is over on its ear, "you make a cup of tea, and drink it, and if you're French then you smoke a cigarette, and then you solve the problem."

Sure, you aren't looking at an IMOCA 60, but any long boat, with big sails, will have similar problems. If you buy a 45' boat, how long and how much effort will it take you to raise the mainsail? Will you do it for a 1 hour sail, or will it be just too much bother? Just think of the forces involved in gybing the mainsail on a 45' boat in a 25 knot breeze?

If you are going to be the kind of "sailor" who motors from harbour to harbour, never flies a spinnaker and puts in a reef every time the wind gets above 8, then sure, you can singlehand any boat in the world. But if you are the kind of SAILOR who actually sails his boat, and really loves to sail his boat, then you really need to think about the forces involved once you get above 40 feet. I'd suggest that you try it some time on a 40+ boat and see what you think. Really singlehanding a 45' boat takes a lot of skill and a lot of effort. Is this what you want?

I've sailed vessels from 15ft to 98ft and believe raising a spinnaker single handed in anything but light winds is asking for trouble, most cruising sailors would agree. We're not joy riders out for a weekend sail, but on the water 365 days/yr and extremely mindful of how wind can damage your vessel if not managed correctly.
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Old 26-05-2016, 12:53   #28
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Originally Posted by Foolish View Post
It's funny that in all the postings above, no one has mentioned the actual sailing of the boat.[snip]
Thanks, Foolish, that's exactly the kind of advice and experience I am looking for.

Yes, I am working on becoming a "real sailor" as you put it, less motor and more sails and open oceans and bad weather and all. And, yes, I have tried about every foot increment between 29-footer and 46-footer so far - I might have very little experience but the experience I have had so far led me to post my question.

Interestingly, I have not found docking larger monohulls to be that challenging (well, with engine running, admittedly)... in fact, I found their smooth movement to be very conducive to good-looking docking maneuvers, as long as one is willing to take things nice and slow.

I did, however, already experience struggles with hoisting the main of a 46-footer, and even more so with putting in reefs on a 36-footer when a somewhat erratic 20-knots breeze was pushing me and the boat around.

So, yes, my question did primarily ask for the challenges in *sailing* larger monohulls with 1 or 2 persons only, and your points are well taken.

Obviously, experience and proper technique will help a lot, but these are essentially the kind of tips I am looking for. At what boat size does dropping the kite become a hassle, especially if it ends up in the water? At what boat size are furling foresails pretty much a necessity, given the boat is not being used for racing? Is having or not having adjustable standing rigging a concern at a certain boat size? Does anybody have any experience with boom-furling mains, which could offer horizontal battens, bigger roach, and less drama for a short-handed crew than a mast-furling main in case of failure?

Cheers,
Matthias
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Old 26-05-2016, 13:42   #29
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

If the boat is set up properly and everything works, then there really is little limit to the size of boat. The problem is when the electric winches don't work, the main sail furling jams, a headsail rips, etc. How big a sail can you haul forward, thread onto the fuller and raise when the wind is blowing 30k plus and the foredeck constantly awash. If truth be told, can't see making a headsail change in a boat much over 40' in anything but benign conditions. If your cruising will be limited to the Caribbean, bigger may not be an issue. For really serious cruising with long open ocean passages, smaller is better.
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Old 26-05-2016, 14:29   #30
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

This is all very nice, but I haven't heard anyone suggesting a ketch.

You've got your sail-area on two masts. The mainsail is much smaller and easy to handle in all conditions, you don't need electric winches etc. but at the same time you've got the comfort of the bigger boat.

Fair winds
Dody

PS: I find handling in port much easier with a bigger boat as long as the engine is operational. It starts already with the weight: a sudden puff of wind won't push her off as quickly as a smaller boat.
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