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Old 22-04-2009, 14:33   #31
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Turtle, my Pacific Seacraft25, has (before my time) been half way around the world, California to Hawaii and the western Pacific, Japan, Canada, Sea of Cortez, Caribean. She is very small inside and does not have standing head room.

I will butcher this quote I'm sure. "I only do 3 things below deck: prepare meals, sleep, and use the head, none of which I wish to do standing up".
Head room although very nice should not rule out an otherwise acceptable design.

My vee berth is too short for anyone longer than me 5'8" because I moved the chainlocker bulkhead back 6". The 1/4 berth will sleep the giants.

I built a 28gal water tank. I have a wind generator, an 85watt solar panel, and 2 160ah batteries(plus a starting battery) so I never have to hook up to shore power. I also have a water maker, hand operated, at a gallon an hour for emergency use. A propane stove(no oven), propane grill, Engel fridge/freezer, sink, propane hot water in the cockpit(portable shower) GPS, AIS, laptop, inverter, VHF, stereo with Ipod(I scrapped the CDs), head(portapot), all the comforts of home. Just no A/C, dance floor in the salon or enclosed shower. If your lady is shy, well it won't work I know.

My diesel can be removed in less than an hour by myself and hoisted with the boom as a crane and could if required be fixed in the cockpit(God forbid). Since I just rebuilt it I should not have to have it out again anytime soon.(I pray)

I can(and have)raise and lower the mast by my self with a boom vang and an "A" frame. I've lowered it on the water at a marina once with an extra set of hands, several time both ways(up/down) by myself on shore.

I guess the point of all this is a boat "YOU"(not the bank) own is the "right" boat. Size WILL cost you much more than just a bit more, try at least twice as much.

Are small boats tough enough? Mine is.

She survived a major grounding and pounding due to hurricane IKE.
She was holed in 3 places and had a sheet winch ripped thru the coaming for hole #3. All of the interior woodwork was pushed away from the hull when the rubstrake was eaten by the boat pounding into the dock for several hours.
She took on no water other than rain and the engine started when I tried it.

I stood her up using 2 anchors and 2 comealongs. I blocked her up and repaired her were she was, 50ft from shore in a marsh(in a poison oak patch, but I digress).
When I had all the major work done I and about a dozen of my stronger friends lay her over on a skid and muscled her back to the water. She is home here in the yard now for the cosmetic work and the afore mentioned engine rebuild.
Total cost including the engine rebuild and buying a generator for power and 4 comealongs, all the epoxy and fiberglass, and beer, about $3500.

The cost to move one large boat by crane $253 PER FOOT.

I realize this is a one off specific case but small boats have gone and I'm sure will continue to go anywhere big boats go and lots of other places they can't due to draft or mast height issues. The view is the same from my cockpit as from the big boat and mine is paid for.

Is there a trade off? Absolutely, but if you're young(I'm 50 and fat) and don't mind a bit of discomfort in exchange for a lot of adventure I highly suggest a smaller boat.......m
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Old 22-04-2009, 15:38   #32
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This thread is not a competition to find the smallest boat or so I thought?
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Old 23-04-2009, 01:00   #33
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With the time I am putting into studying different boats, how much I want to spend, along with the many opinions, thoughts and ideas from this post and other helpful places I feel I will be able to make a much more balanced decision when it comes time to buy. I have been putting lots of thought into: how much I want to spend, who is really going to spend time aboard, and what places I will go. I have recently been studying the Southern Cross 31.Thanks again for writing.
Ditch
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Old 12-08-2012, 22:25   #34
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

I know this is an older thread, but it seems to include the boat sizes I have been looking at.
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Originally Posted by cantxsailor View Post
Turtle, my Pacific Seacraft25, has (before my time) been half way around the world, California to Hawaii and the western Pacific, Japan, Canada, Sea of Cortez, Caribean. She is very small inside and does not have standing head room.
Sounds like a tough little boat.
-Bruce
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Old 13-08-2012, 03:35   #35
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

Google "The Simple Sailor", Roger Taylor. He has a junk-rigged Corribee and singlehands it to the sunny shores of Greenland and Newfoundland. He has made some interesting modifications to make his little ship ver seaworthy. And didn't spend a fortune. Some neat youtube vids of him and MingMing in action, as well. He's been everywhere and done everything, a good set of salty brains to pick.
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Old 13-08-2012, 08:42   #36
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

In the late 70s my wife and I took a 2 year cruise in our engineless Contessa 26. It was very well equiped, but still minimalist. Tore out the v berths and built a wet locker and proper chain locker for the 30 fathoms of chain. A dodger,boom gallows and home made bimini made the boat a lot more comfortable, but comfort is a relative term in a 26 footer. When socializing in the Marquesas and Tahiti the standard joke among the smaller boats was that we all had 2 footitis. OH IF MY BOAT WAS JUST 2 FOOT LONGER! It was a wonderful time in my life and going in the small boat was way better than working more years to get a bigger boat. ____Ten years later I had a Peterson 44 in the Carribean. Hot and cold pressure water, freezer and fridge, 7 berths,electric windlass, etc etc etc._____The reality of the situation was that I was spending as much per month to cruise in the 44 as I had spent per year to cruise in the 26 footer. We were still pretty frugal as far as eating out, and almost never tied up at marinas, but boat maintenance was a financial drag. Both the Contessa and the Peterson were wonderful boats but the cost differance over a period of time was huge. Go with what you can afford, but not bigger than you can afford._____Grant.
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Old 13-08-2012, 09:08   #37
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
In the late 70s my wife and I took a 2 year cruise in our engineless Contessa 26.
<--- SNIP---->
Go with what you can afford, but not bigger than you can afford._____Grant.
Probably the best advice to be had.
Now I'm going to have to look up a Contessa 26 just to see the boat.
Unless of course you happen to have photo's of it.
-Bruce
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Old 13-08-2012, 09:38   #38
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

Contessa 26 is on my short list for a boat to buy for a Carribean cruise.
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Old 13-08-2012, 09:53   #39
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Re: Pros & Cons of cruising on a mid size to small boat

Something good seems to happen at about 30 feet. You have a long berth, you have a real galley, you have storage, you have an enclosed head, sails are still small enough to be easily handled. On a smaller boat like the Contessa (I had one) and a PS25, you are pretty much camping. Just sayin'....
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Old 13-08-2012, 10:33   #40
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Re: Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat

I think a Contessa 26 or 32 is a great choice- very fast and seaworthy, with the two biggest problems being they are a bit pricey/in short supply and in a warm climate the ventilation situation with the companionway design is not ideal. So pretty...
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Old 13-08-2012, 11:27   #41
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Re: Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat

I am currently moving from a CS27 to a CT35. as far as interior space is concerned, they don't live on the same planet. The 27 was comfortable for 2, and we had kids with us sometimes, but that was crowded.
The 35 has so much space, I don't know what to do with it. But I guess after a couple of years, I will probably call it 'cozy'
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Old 13-08-2012, 11:57   #42
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Re: Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat

Azul :I hav a contessa 32,totally agree about all you state,but no problem with ventilation
but I have an opening hatch amidships in main salon(gives more light too). If this is found to be a problem ,it would make a worthwhile upgrade.
FWIW: I have always been surprised at the majority of boats ,here in one of the most humid areas of the country,that are kept locked tight and left in the hot sun all summer.The owners of these boat must have to do a lot of scrubbing each year when hauled. It's not just wood boats that require maximum air circulation.
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Old 13-08-2012, 12:07   #43
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Re: Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat

I dont know how to post photos, but I am sure the Contessa can be googled easily. The 26 is a small boat even by 26 foot standards. Low, narrow and beautiful, but you get full crouching headroom and limited storage for long passages. I had the English built version that had well over 6 foot berths in the main cabin that were canvas . I sailed another 20,000 miles in many boats after selling the Contessa and none of them had berths as comfortable and secure feeling as the Contessa. When we left Mexico we were about 2 inches below her lines and we still averaged 110 miles a day to the Marquesas. On a later passage from the Tuamotus to Hawaii we averaged 90 miles a day even with 2 days becalmed in the ITCZ. 6 days of that passage were close hauled under double reefed main and storm jib. Would I recommend a Contessa for long distance cruising? HELL YES, but it helps to be young and flexible and very tolerant of each other. Price wise they do cost more than the average 26 footer, but they are more capable than the average 26 footer. If we had not run out of money in Tahiti we would have continued on westward, but being broke forced us to sail to Hawaii and fly home and work._____ Enough of my Contessa cheer leading._____Grant.
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Old 14-08-2012, 08:51   #44
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Re: Pros & Cons of Cruising on a Mid Size to Small Boat

Just a heads up, I've started a new thread here, Boats 27' to 32' Recommendations
That asks more about which specific boats are better for the task.
-Bruce
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