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Old 01-06-2016, 09:34   #106
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
...most all of the stuff that breaks down on sailboats costs the same whether it's on a thirty footer or a sixty footer...
Bull.

The stuff that breaks, or that needs occasional replacement, like sails, cordage, rigging componenets, engine, etc, are vastly more expensive on a 60' than on a 30'.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:34   #107
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Again please keep in mind, "just because you can't do something, that doesn't mean other people can't do it." Please don't project your own limitations onto other people.
May I add that just because one can do something doesn't mean one should, or that it is wise. If you and your wife can handle an Oyster 53 in all conditions you are a better man than I. But I would not ELECT to try it myself even though I could.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:35   #108
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

My philosophy is "you don't need more than enough" the problem is in our individual enoughs! Two heads on a boat to me ,is to much. Our stuff owns us as much as we own it. One head serves me quite well, two heads own me more than I own them. There's a sweet spot when it comes to more or less, that is the spot where your pleasure vs cost ratio is just right......and everything has a cost.

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:37   #109
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

Part of the problem is that big yachts become more complicated by design not necessity.

Full time cruising does not have to be like camping, but you really need to think carefully before installing each piece of equipment, especially anything that is built in.

The effort in keeping everything functioning on a complex boat can approach a full time job. Unfortunately, owners of large boats seem compelled to tick all the options. Owners of smaller, simpler boats spend less time trying to remedy the inevitable breakdowns. They have fewer creature comforts, but perhaps ultimately more fun.

To my mind, a large simple boat has the best of both worlds. It has greater tankage, storage and living areas, as we'll as a greater speed potential, but no more breakdowns compared to a smaller yacht.

In terms of sailing, I think big boats are much easier than the owners of small boats imagine. On our 48 foot boat there is nothing that would cause problems for any able bodied adult and we only have manual sail winches. A long waterline length means high average speeds can still be maintained with quite lazy sailing. A smaller boat will spend much more time putting in and taking out reefs as well as dealing with potentially difficult to control sails such as spinnakers. Even then they are likely to spend a longer time on the same passage.

The big drawback of larger yacht is cost. If this is not a factor, I would have no hesitation in choosing a large yacht, providing its systems are kept relatively simple. I think boats of 55 feet maybe even 65 feet are quite practical for a couple. The only real downside is that the draft can become an issue depending where you want to cruise. A retractable keel centreboard solves this issue, but adds a lot to go wrong. Around 50-55 feet is my ideal.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:12   #110
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Part of the problem is that big yachts become more complicated by design not necessity.

Full time cruising does not have to be like camping, but you really need to think carefully before installing each piece of equipment, especially anything that is built in.

The effort in keeping everything functioning on a complex boat can approach a full time job. Unfortunately, owners of large boats seem compelled to tick all the options. Owners of smaller, simpler boats spend less time trying to remedy the inevitable breakdowns. They have fewer creature comforts, but perhaps ultimately more fun.

To my mind, a large simple boat has the best of both worlds. It has greater tankage, storage and living areas, as we'll as a greater speed potential, but no more breakdowns compared to a smaller yacht.

In terms of sailing, I think big boats are much easier than the owners of small boats imagine. On our 48 foot boat there is nothing that would cause problems for any able bodied adult and we only have manual sail winches. A long waterline length means high average speeds can still be maintained with quite lazy sailing. A smaller boat will spend much more time putting in and taking out reefs as well as dealing with potentially difficult to control sails such as spinnakers. Even then they are likely to spend a longer time on the same passage.

The big drawback of larger yacht is cost. If this is not a factor, I would have no hesitation in choosing a large yacht, providing its systems are kept relatively simple. I think boats of 55 feet maybe even 65 feet are quite practical for a couple. The only real downside is that the draft can become an issue depending where you want to cruise. A retractable keel centreboard solves this issue, but adds a lot to go wrong. Around 50-55 feet is my ideal.
This is particularly insightful.

I would also point out the converse of the main theme here -- which is that even 35' boats these days have become pretty much as complicated as 55' ones. And then Kenomac's Rule kicks in -- most of the stuff which is not measured in square feet costs the same to fix, whether the boat is big or small. The refrigeration, the watermaker, the pumps, the electronics, the hatches, etc. -- all the same. The sails and cordage and antifoul of course are much more expensive, but a complex smaller boat will not be tremendously much cheaper to run than a complex larger one.


So pick your poison. I only would not agree with the idea that you should pick the smallest boat you can fit on. The bigger the boat, the more load carrying capacity (the less the performance suffers when you put people or stuff on it), the faster it is, the more seaworthy, all other things being equal. So if it were me -- I think I would choose the biggest boat I could afford, and which was not so big as to be impossible to get into many of the places I like to go into, or handle single handed. I single hand my 54' boat with ease, including docking, in all kinds of conditions, and 65' would not be a problem.


Concerning Noelex's comment that keeping up a complex cruiser is almost a full time job -- that is definitely true, but I'm afraid going smaller by itself does not solve this -- only going simpler. If you don't want to go simpler (and I do not), then the classical solution for this is professional crew -- at least one handy guy. That's not quite in my budget now, but could be some day. I have always had "professional crew" in all of my land houses, since childhood -- so why should I live on a boat without it?
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:23   #111
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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...a complex smaller boat will not be tremendously much cheaper to run than a complex larger one...
From an experienced yachtsman, this is absurd.

EVERYTHING, from insurance, bottom cleaning, haulouts, lay-days, dockage, etc, plus ALL normal maintenance, like wash-downs, compound and wax, repainting/varnishing, covers, hoses, ...EVERYTHING costs more.

No, replacing one $200 toilet might be the same. But use your head when estimating the difference in operating cost between a small or large yacht. The operating cost difference between a 32' and 48' is staggering.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:58   #112
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Bull.

The stuff that breaks, or that needs occasional replacement, like sails, cordage, rigging componenets, engine, etc, are vastly more expensive on a 60' than on a 30'.
So you take a part of my quote to make your point, whatever that is. You left out the part about pumps, macerators, toilets, water pumps and then inserted items I never claimed cost the same. Eg: Sails, rigging, engine.

All of your inserted items last for many years and are not generally the stuff that breaks down on a regular basis. The items I mentioned cost the same whether a 30ft boat or a 65ft boat.

My sails last 10 years, the rigging 15 years, the lines 10 years, engine 30 years. The parts on the engine cost the same no matter the size of the boat.

On the other hand the items I mentioned usually last only a few seasons of regular use.

Or... Maybe you're not doing your homework. Eg.: Today I replaced the fresh water expansion tank. I went down to the marine store and found a 5 liter tank intended for a smaller water supply, the cost was 43 euros. When I asked for an eight liter tank, the cost jumped to 240 euros.

Did I pay the higher cost? No. I went over to the plumbing supply house and purchased an 8 liter expansion tank for 24 euros, and then did the job myself in about an hour if you count snack time. What do you think we're all a bunch of suckers who pay inflated prices?

So what's your point?
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:04   #113
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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I would also point out the converse of the main theme here -- which is that even 35' boats these days have become pretty much as complicated as 55' ones.
A small, complex cruising boat is the worst option of the lot. Equipment gets shoehorned in without adequate provision for servicing or even in some cases ventilation. The wire/hose often disappears into inaccessible places.

In a large boat the equipment (such as inverters, water makers etc) can at least be housed in the engine bay or dedicated "technical room". Here the equipment need not be flush mounted. Replacement with new unit, which invariably will differ in size, is easy to do. Simply screw a new unit on the wall.

A smaller yacht will, out of necessity, often have some of the equipment flush mounted in the accommodation areas. Replacement with a different sized unit is usually more complex (if it fits at all). It has to aesthetically look nice.

Good repair facilities are non existent in out of the way places so a swap for new unit is usually the best option.

If you are considering a small complex cruising boat, give some serious thought if a larger simpler boat for perhaps a similar price might not be a better option. You will have to sacrifice luxuries like a second (or third) head or perhaps the built in ice maker, but more space, more storage, more speed, more room for solar etc are powerful assets. The simpler boat will leave more time for those pre breakfast swims, evening walks or just wasting your time on CF .
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:18   #114
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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May I add that just because one can do something doesn't mean one should, or that it is wise. If you and your wife can handle an Oyster 53 in all conditions you are a better man than I. But I would not ELECT to try it myself even though I could.
Maybe.... Someday you'll be up to it.

Keep practicing.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:30   #115
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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From an experienced yachtsman, this is absurd.

EVERYTHING, from insurance, bottom cleaning, haulouts, lay-days, dockage, etc, plus ALL normal maintenance, like wash-downs, compound and wax, repainting/varnishing, covers, hoses, ...EVERYTHING costs more.

No, replacing one $200 toilet might be the same. But use your head when estimating the difference in operating cost between a small or large yacht. The operating cost difference between a 32' and 48' is staggering.
Wrong again Einstein,

The total cost to antifoul my boat: 200 euros plus three hours of my time.

Bottom cleaning: Free takes 1/2 of my time.

Polish and wax my boat: 20 euros for the top paste wax + 6 hours of my time.

Varnishing: What's varnishing? Total cost: Zero

Repainting: What's that? Nothing needs to be painted. Cost: Zero.

Dockage: What's that? Total cost last season 400 euros.


Do you actually hire someone to do everything on your boat? Most of the people I know and hang out with do the lions share of the work themselves.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:45   #116
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Maybe.... Someday you'll be up to it.

Keep practicing.
Sailing is the easy part. Coming up with a cash flow to buy and support a 53 foot Oyster would be my greatest challenge! But that's just me! To be fair the largest boat I have sailed, as skipper with inexperienced crew, was 45 feet and it did not have mainsail furling. So I am probably ill-equipped to comment. A well-equipped modern 53 with roller furling is fairly easily handled by 2 with experience, I grant you. But I, and this is just my old crotchety self, don't trust roller furling 100% since I have had a couple bad experiences with them. I also don't trust electric stuff 100%. Or engines. I have them, of course, but I always eye them with suspicion. On a 53 foot boat there is A LOT of stuff that I eye with suspicion, but like you say, they'll probably work fine for years under most circumstances. Makes one wonder how I ever go sailing, eh? Getting smacked in the head by the flogging clew of a headsail on a 40 foot boat is enough to long for a 20 foot boat.
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:01   #117
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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Sailing is the easy part. Coming up with a cash flow to buy and support a 53 foot Oyster would be my greatest challenge! But that's just me! To be fair the largest boat I have sailed, as skipper with inexperienced crew, was 45 feet and it did not have mainsail furling. So I am probably ill-equipped to comment. A well-equipped modern 53 with roller furling is fairly easily handled by 2 with experience, I grant you. But I, and this is just my old crotchety self, don't trust roller furling 100% since I have had a couple bad experiences with them. I also don't trust electric stuff 100%. Or engines. I have them, of course, but I always eye them with suspicion. On a 53 foot boat there is A LOT of stuff that I eye with suspicion, but like you say, they'll probably work fine for years under most circumstances. Makes one wonder how I ever go sailing, eh? Getting smacked in the head by the flogging clew of a headsail on a 40 foot boat is enough to long for a 20 foot boat.
Don,

Here's an example of a day where everything that could go wrong on an Oyster 53, did go wrong. The starter motor caught fire just outside the breakwater, I had to shut down the engine and all electric/hydaulic stuff, drop 200ft of 1/2 anchor chain with 100lb Ultra anchor, and then sort out the mess with a 65 year old drunk guy who was out of control as crew.

We got the anchor up manually which took two hours, we were able to deploy the main sail manually on a furling system which took 15 minutes, we nearly ran aground on the public beach after the anchor which was still partially out became entangled on a lobster trap. We draw nearly 8ft.

Eventually, we sailed in and docked using ony the staysail which was deployed and raised manually.

Everything worked out, nobody got hurt (although I should have shoved the idiot overboard), the boat wasn't damaged, stuff happens. It can happen on any boat regardless of size. We just deal with it as it comes; being afraid to try something new doesn't help.

It was nice discussing this with you.

Ken
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:05   #118
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

The thing on these threads is that people with a 30' boat think a 36' boat is "big", but to people with a 45'+ boat they don't think a boat is "big" till around 60'. Those with a boat between 36-40' are kind of lost so they want to say their boat is the "right" size.

But all that matters is that each are boaters and that should be enough for us instead of this "my dog is bigger (better) than you dog" debate

Get the boat you like and stop worrying about the other guy so much!
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:37   #119
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

See?! I bet you were wishing then you had a Columbia 29! Sorry, can't have mine.
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Old 01-06-2016, 13:52   #120
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Re: Monohull sailboat size for shorthanded cruising

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On a 53 foot boat there is A LOT of stuff that I eye with suspicion,
Don, I have had great fun cruising on smaller boats than yours, but in terms of safety, reliability and convenience I have the opposite opinion.

Small boats are hard work sailing.

Consider Ken's 53 foot boat. I suspect he could roll out his Yankee, or part of it and have a higher passage speed than a 30 footer using its full main and genoa. The wind angle and speed would effect the relative result, but my money would be on Ken. Waterline length makes a huge difference.

If the wind picked up suddenly, the skipper of the smaller boat would be struggling with an overpowered yacht and that required reefing. Ken would hardly notice or need to adjust anything until a windspeed when the smaller boat was down to the second or third reef.

In short, sailing a larger boat at the same speed as a smaller boat is a walk in the park. You can set a very conservative sail plan that won't need touching until serious wind speeds are reached and still achieve a higher passage speed than a smaller yacht that is pushing hard. On the other hand, a large yacht has the option of blasting along at speeds that a small displacement cruising yacht can never achieve. This is much more fun , and sometimes safer, but it is optional.

Large boats are expensive to buy and run (although if you keep them simple, the cost need not be excessive,especially for a long distance crusing yacht that calls into marinas rarely) but the longer length does convey many advantages.
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