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Old 13-10-2017, 00:16   #1
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My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

It's late here in Alaska, and I was just reflecting on our interactions with our fellow sailors during our latest cruise. Now, we were in Europe, where even 30 footers are commonly seen with 4-5 crew, so perhaps this explains it.

Ok, I know this has been beat to death, but I've had a heck of a run of people over the summer who have passed by our boat stop and tell us, with great certainty, that our boat is simply too big for 2 people. Maybe even dangerous!!

I'm really having a hard time getting my head around this kind of thinking. Now, I understand that back in the time of say, the Hiscocks, when sails were made of cotton, winches were crap or absent, and everything was done by brute force-things were different.

Back then, maybe a 300 square foot main was the limit.

Fast forward to 2017-the gear is SO good, SO reliable, that I find dealing with the main (nearly 900 square feet, slab reefing) on our boat no more demanding than it was on my first boat, a 36' ketch with a tiny rig. I reef off the wind with zero drama. (Hint-external tracks and lots of McLube are your friend)

This is done with all manual gear, save a single electric winch which we can live without.

I just don't get it. What the heck is the problem? Guys are singlehanding IMOCA 60's solo around the world in the southern ocean, for Pete's sake. Surely a skilled couple sailing conservatively are not reckless in a far more modest boat.

But still, they keep coming... 'Too big'-'Just a matter of time before you're overwhelmed'-'It would be like going into battle-I'd want a platoon of strong men'. Things like this.

I'm wondering if some of you on the bigger end of the spectrum hear this a lot too? I find it quite odd.

Anyway, rant over. I hope nobody thinks I'm being boastful-it's really a source of genuine curiosity for me, this theoretical size limit that so many of us seem to take as an absolute.
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Old 13-10-2017, 00:52   #2
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

You could walk around all day handing out $20 Bills and eventually you will run into someone who will b**ch it's not a $50.




Some people are just never happy, if you are, then ignore them.


(And you certainly sound like you are very happy!)
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Old 13-10-2017, 00:58   #3
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

Perhaps that's it. I don't know. I had another chap drop by and ask how the boat was constructed, and when he learned it was a laminate (cored) hull, I got a 10 minute lecture on how only an idiot would build a boat like that, etc, etc...

And then he asked me to send him all of the layout drawings.

And yes, we're very happy.

Have a good night.
TJ
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Old 13-10-2017, 01:06   #4
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

They are implying the boat appears to difficult for them to handle.
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Old 13-10-2017, 01:09   #5
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

Haven't run into the issue at all except for occasionally here on CF. Personally, I couldn't care less what other people think, most of what you've experienced is envy and ignorance.
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Old 13-10-2017, 01:22   #6
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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Haven't run into the issue at all except for occasionally here on CF. Personally, I couldn't care less what other people think, most of what you've experienced is envy and ignorance.

Well, I have noticed that as we've approached the Med, we're a pretty small fish in our new pond. So, we'll likely not hear it again until we leave that part of the world.

And, I also don't care what people think, but I do find people's behavior to be interesting. That was my point.

Ken, if we're ever in the same anchorage, please do stop by! The first beer's on me. You seem like a really grumpy guy online-I suspect the truth is quite different. Must be my interest in people's behavior again.
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Old 13-10-2017, 01:29   #7
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

Don't be fooled by my outward appearance. I'll be starting out early next May from Northern Italy on the east side, spending a month in Croatia. Then meeting up with my wife in Corfu to begin a summer cruising mostly Western Greece, then probably back up to Italy along Croatia next Sept-Oct.

I monitor Adriatic and Croatia threads for possible meet ups with CF folks. The boats will get larger as you approach the Balearics, then increase even more when you get over to Sardinia where you'll see the mega yachts use 55ft yachts as tenders. Then the size will shrink again as you move north along Croatia. I expect Greece to also have a huge number of mega yachts.

Cheers
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Old 13-10-2017, 02:31   #8
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

We're a couple with 2 young kids (5 and 7) I am nowhere near the 'bigger end' at <50 feet but I do get the feeling/remarks as well sometimes I just shrug it off



Northern Europe : people are used to smaller boats , they are calvinist countries (The Netherlands, parts of the UK , france ) its 'not done' to stick your neck out or show you've done well for yourself



so large boats/yachts with a small crew coupled with a US flag may elicit unwarranted but strong reactions


I believe it will get better when you get further south (if you're going there, into Med maybe ?) as you will encounter bigger and bigger ships and people are more used to it
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Old 13-10-2017, 04:45   #9
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

If you are flying a US ensign in Med waters, it would be interesting to see if the comments aimed at your large boat stopped, or at least became less negative, if you removed it...

In the UK I think the reason a crew of 5 on a 30 footer is the norm, is that we are 70 million people on a small crowded island, and most of us are skint!
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Old 13-10-2017, 04:57   #10
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

The proof, after all is said and done, is in the doing. If a man or woman single hands a 70 footer for a year with no issues, there will still be a gaggle of twits opining that he or she was just "lucky." What they're really saying is that your vessel would be too big for THEM. Take it as a compliment, that will truly tick them off.
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Old 13-10-2017, 05:34   #11
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
I've had a heck of a run of people over the summer who have passed by our boat stop and tell us, with great certainty, that our boat is simply too big for 2 people. Maybe even dangerous!!
I don’t think it matters one witt what some passer-by or the guy down the dock thinks about the size or construction of your vessel -- what matters is what the skipper thinks about it. Not particularly liking the chores of maintenance, I tend to go with smaller and simpler, but there are many folks who relish keeping/sailing larger, more complex vessels looking/performing better that when they were new… If they have the skills and, equally important, enjoy it, more power to them!
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Old 13-10-2017, 05:37   #12
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

You should reply with "you're boat is too small!"

Everyone has their own perspective on life, due to the circumstances of their upbringing. Unfortunately people tend to think they are the only ones who are right as well.
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Old 13-10-2017, 05:48   #13
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

While they may not word it this way, what they are actually saying is "it's too big for ME!" And maybe it is.

If it's not too big for you, then it's not too big for you. Ignore them.
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Old 13-10-2017, 08:28   #14
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

That is interesting.

Sailing in Eastern Australian waters, & the Pacific islands I meet many people who had crossed the Pacific, & quite a few who had crossed the Atlantic as well.

Like most Australians who had covered a lot of miles I found almost invariably they were thinking of a bigger boat, no matter what size they were sailing.

Most wanted the extra load carrying capacity/storage a larger boat would offer. I found I was limited in the amount of gear I could carry, without putting the boat down below her marks.
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Old 13-10-2017, 09:20   #15
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Re: My boat's too big... I hear it all the time.

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Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
Ok, I know this has been beat to death, but I've had a heck of a run of people over the summer who have passed by our boat stop and tell us, with great certainty, that our boat is simply too big for 2 people. Maybe even dangerous!!
I hear the exact opposite all the time. "Your boat's too small. It looks like a dinghy. It needs to have a length of at least 1/4 the sun's parallax angle and a beam quotient of blah blah blah. And you should really consider having a portugese virgin pee in your bilge before the next passage. Oh, and shouldn't you be in an office somewhere saving up for retirement so you can wait and do this when you're 60 instead?"

Boat people are awesome. Just often lot's of hard won opinions and blowhardiness. I'd take the worst boat person to the worst shore muggle anyday
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