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Old 27-05-2016, 03:54   #46
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

sustainable extended cruising is dictated by your financial situation.
the size of a boat you can handle changes with the conditions.
larger boats sail faster but you carry a very small soft rubber boat as an end all fix all in an emergency?
no boat is ever perfect I doubt that any boat is ever actually finished that's what is beautiful about them
find one that's been proven safe practice with it till you feel safe get out there and live your dream
our last extended cruise in ventura 52,000 nautical miles
we had some bad times, the first perfect sail afterwards you put the hard times down to experience and plan for more perfect times
careful confusing comfort for safety
you can fall a long way from a v birth in a custom 80'er if she decides to climb a large sea unexpectedly. we are 6.2 water line length.
since 1998 we have met few people with very large boats that weren't pro crewed or crewed by backpackers making passage. the smaller boats 35-45' were all over the place out there living their dream
safety / comfort/ only you know what you feel safe with but nature seems to test us on that limit it's best to keep within our vessels capabilities and relearn the out on the water personal stuff not compromising on safety for appearances
enjoy your sailing
to do that you need to get out there and have a go
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Old 27-05-2016, 06:25   #47
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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since 1998 we have met few people with very large boats that weren't pro crewed or crewed by backpackers making passage. the smaller boats 35-45' were all over the place out there living their dream
...
to do that you need to get out there and have a go
Although I don't have anywhere near the nm under keel as you knockabout, I agree. We're doing it ... slowly, but we're out here now. And we're in the smallest boat that we think will do everything we need.

After a few years of sailing a range of boats, as well as researching the question, I arrived at a similar size range as yours. My sweet spot was 37 to 42 for the two of us.

It's an interesting observation you have about the 35 to 45 footers being the ones you most often see "out there". Anyone know of any quality statistics on this? Insurance company data perhaps ... or perhaps not, since I suspect many of these boats will be self-insured. Hmmmm
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Old 27-05-2016, 07:14   #48
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

39' 6" ..
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Old 27-05-2016, 08:16   #49
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

7 to 10 tonnes is about right for me.

You can decide how you want to spread this around.

Short, fat, strong, and cheap.

long, thin and slippery.

long, wide and more fragile and expensive

One, Two, three hulls

This weight of boat is managable without electric winches or bowthrusters by one fit person with a bit of skill, and commonsense.
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Old 27-05-2016, 08:42   #50
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Beowulf (Dashew 80') probably has more sea miles on her than any other cruiser, almost exclusively done with two aboard.

Personally I don't really think it matters how big the boat is, just so long as you understand the systems that keep her running. Powered winches for instance allways default to work as manual winches if the electrics go out. So sure cranking up the main may take a while, but you can still do it.

Personally I think up to around 45' it's pretty easy to single hand. After that the sailing is fine, but docking can be a pain with just one aboard.
Steve and Linda Dashew are not your average cruisers. Yes they can handle an 80 footer but they set a very high benchmark when it comes to knowledge and systems and experience. 99% of today's cruising sailors could not come close to comparing with these two.
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Old 27-05-2016, 09:34   #51
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

In my humble opinion there is only one construction for this requirement and it is my definite favour Freedom 44. It is big enough for cru of four and extremely easy to handle by one from the cockpit. Fast and classy. Wish you luck to find a right one. Sincerely , Splawik.
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Old 27-05-2016, 10:14   #52
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

As others have said there are two issues driving your choices, capabilities and money. If you are reasonably capable you can sail a 60 ft boat in normal conditions but if dealing with storm force winds and seas maybe not so much. Costs rise exponentially so going from a 40 to 50 ft boat could quite easily double your overall costs and ongoing maintenance. If you are talking about hanging around the more popular areas like the Med/Mexico/Caribbean then the ease of sailing and your costs will be lower than if you are crossing oceans and voyaging around in far away places. Like housing many cruisers are overboated and simply don't really need the size of boats they choose but hey if you have the money, why not.if you are cruising in the tropics you need a decent galley, good storage that's easily accessible ,you need a nice comfortable sleeping area with good ventilation and some room to move around. You don't need a spacious sitting area as almost all of your company will not get past the cockpit. You need a sitting area with square corners that you an get comfy in and read or do puzzles or whatever. Round areas that look great at boat shows are next to useless for actually living in. You need to carry a proper amount of fuel and water, 100 gallons in a 40ish footer. Systems should be easy to get to for repairs. Many boats look and feel big but they are designed for dockside living with poor storage, good storage costs money. I personally believe you can get all the basics in a well designed boat starting in the upper 30's and topping out around 42 feet.
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Old 29-05-2016, 18:32   #53
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Trying to decide on a preferable monohull size for liveaboard around-the-world cruising, by myself and as a couple. I'm sure I could ask 100 and get 100 different replies on such a subjective topic... perhaps someone can simply point me to an existing thread. But here it goes... So, my basic question is for feedback on cons regarding shorthanded sailing of larger monohulls. I don't mean for this to become yet another furling vs. reefing thread... preferably just some brief experience blips from cruisers with mid-40s monohulls and 1 or 2-person crews. What challenges should I be especially prepared for?Thanks a lot,Matthias
I've been offshore sailing since 1976 either with a crew or alone & of course my comments are based on my limited experience. The question is what is the best size for a couple that want to live/travel over several years ? Well, the biggest I've seen was the French "Sauvage", an aluminium 60 footer rigged as a schooner & sailed by her architect owner & his wife. The smallest was a 30' rescue boat converted with a welded keel, its original 1 cylinder volvo & an a telephone post as mast ! Both sailed extensively the Atlantic & the Pacific. The only difference was the age of the crew !!! Personally, I would choose a 45 footer, provided EVERYTHING can fit INSIDE at Anchorage. I really don't like to see all those sailboats with their decks covered with sail-bags, water & gasoline jerrycans etc... I'm not sure I can fit the inflated dinghy with its outboard motor but I would ask my naval architect to design the SMALLEST sailboat that could have an opening transom & a dinghy locker... I've discovered that setup on Bordeaux 70 but I'm pretty sure that can be done on a much smaller centerboard sailboat with twin rudders & remember, it's not the biggest sailboat that travel the most!
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Old 30-05-2016, 05:45   #54
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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I've been offshore sailing since 1976 either with a crew or alone & of course my comments are based on my limited experience.... I would ask my naval architect to design the SMALLEST sailboat that could have an opening transom & a dinghy locker... I've discovered that setup on Bordeaux 70 but I'm pretty sure that can be done on a much smaller centerboard sailboat with twin rudders & remember, it's not the biggest sailboat that travels the most !
Here's the same Hanse 57' with its dinghy locker in the transom... Cool
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Old 30-05-2016, 07:14   #55
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

This thread is super! Thanks for all the comments.

I suppose one has to begin with the fact that most cruising is probably double handed... a couple... and some single handing... the "adventurer/loner type".

So the accommodation needs to be for probably a couple... extra berths are for guests... rare probably when one is off cruising around the world. But yet people are known to come for a passage / company.

I have a Contest 36 set up with a typical V and also large double aft. I think most owners would, as I do turn the V into a "walk in closet"... or for accessible stowage space. And for that it's provides plenty of space for single or double handed cruising. More space? For what? Perishable foods? Maybe. More elaborate galley? Maybe.. I have a U and we can cook anything and do it comfortably in a sea way. Sure a bigger refer and or freezer would be great... But that becomes more like a necessity for long passages... AND there are "work arounds" for that.

What you DO want is lots of tankage. And a water maker is a great idea and doesn't take much space.

So for accommodation you want a fair amount of accessible stowage space... spares, clothing, tools and so on.. based on your access to replenishment of same.

Then you want a comfortable dry cockpit because it is there that you spend MOST of the day. The cockpit needs to have good access to all the controls for sail handling, maybe even anchoring... and of course data that is needed to inform sailing decisions... And if course a well laid out helm... for when you DO have to take over from the AP.

Electronics is now very advanced and growing complex. This is a blessing and a curse. Redundancy and spares make sense. But maybe not so much a large integrated system with displays and controls all over the boat. Dunno. I'd keep it simple. But say 2 speed transducers is not a bad idea or 2 sounders. I'd steer clear of PC and tablet based non marine systems... They are not robust enough I think for being far off from civilization. Redundant comm equipment is a must.

Bigger has the advantage of providing more stowage and more "creature" comforts. My 36 has enough for single or two.... a bit more "space" would be welcome. The cockpit is more than adequate. You sit and you are not strolling around in a sail boat except when sail handling or steering... the later you will do very rarely as your AP does that.

Berthing may or may not be an issue. If you have a good motor and dink... you'll anchor out. And it's almost a contradiction to be a round the world type sailor thinking you'll sail from one full service marine to another. This means... you want great ground tackle... and a reliable dink to get you and supplies back and forth to the mother ship.. and dry as possible. Stowing such a dink is more difficult for smaller boats. Towing on passage is not an option.

I got my 36 when I was a pretty strong vigorous 38 yrs. old. Now at 69... as much as I would love the extra comfort of larger... and the slightly faster passages associated with more waterline length... dealing with the "forces"... becomes THE issue. I use a Milkwakee drill with a winch bit to raise the 440SF main. I can do it myself but it's getting harder as I get older - FACT. Anchoring with electric windless means you can deal with any size ground tackle. But if the windlass craps out on you... WOW you are going to have to find a work around. The ground tackle alone is something that makes one think of long distance cruising a large heavy boat. When I cruised the Caribbean, anchoring was something done more often than passage making... if that makes sense.

Having experienced a 36' for local coastal and live aboard offshore cruising for single and double handing... with a non sailor wife... as a younger man and now as an senior.. my recommendations would be minimum 35-36' and maximum 42'. I can't project the upper size because I simply haven't sailed them for more than a few passages... on delivery... a Tayana47?? and a Stevens 52. Passages the larger size was great... but conditions were not challenging... so that speaks for itself.

When things go right... bigger is fine... when things go wrong (and they will) smaller is probably better.

All the stuff about bigger coming with an out of proportionate higher cost is true.

I think your age and physical condition is a huge factor in the decision assuming you have the financial resources to get any size.

My 2 cents.

PS.... I've done several single handed passages from NE to the Caribbean... a few with crew of 4 and all the rest of the time I sail with a non sailor very helpful partner. The 36 is about a large as I want to "maintain"... THAT is hard work too.
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Old 30-05-2016, 08:50   #56
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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A small boat and a suitcase full of money beats a 45-footer tied to a banknote...
Perfect...I think the problem is...ego drives people to do the opposite. I once read...whenever we had to choose between character and comfort, the character building was lost in the dust of our chase after what we thought was happiness.
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Old 30-05-2016, 08:52   #57
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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...
The pictured boat is for very wealthy people who pay others to do things for them. Not my idea of what a hands on sailor would own or sail.
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Old 30-05-2016, 09:07   #58
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Here's the same Hanse 57' with its dinghy locker in the transom... Cool
I see it as a bunch of wasted storage space.
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Old 30-05-2016, 09:15   #59
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

I ended up with a 45-er. Not too big, not too small, just right for the start (for me). I would like more space, but then it would be a next step - something in 53-54' range. Unless I get a cat
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Old 30-05-2016, 09:23   #60
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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I see it as a bunch of wasted storage space.
The older I get, the less stuff I want to drag around... I guess you haven't reached the stage yet ! Keep on piling stuff in every corner of your sailoat & it will never be big enough! Cheers
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