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Old 07-08-2011, 15:19   #1
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Size for Next Boat ?

We bought our H28 about 12 month ago and never sailed before. In the last 12 month we had a great teacher and did as much sailing as we could here in Moreton Bay, Queensland Australia.
Now we have started to look at bigger boats. I am 6ft2 and my wife is close to 6ft so we need a bit of space.
I read a lot about sailing and boats and keep finding statements where experienced sailors advice to keep your boat as small as possible.
So here is where the problems start. We could do with what we got but something bigger would be nice ( we think)
I keep looking at 36ft boats and sometimes even 40ft. We don't have the experience to say a bigger boat is no problem to handle so I thought wonder what you experienced people have to say to that.
I had somebody tell me we should do another year or two on the H28 and get more confident. My thought was I can get more confident on a boat with more room. So in short what is the perfect size?
We are mostly weekend sailors but will be doing longer trips soon.

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Old 07-08-2011, 15:31   #2
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Re: What size for the next boat?

Take you age in years...that's how many feet of boat you need. It's not length that makes a boat hard to handle, it is displacement and poor design that makes a boat hard to handle. That's my opinion anyway. Actually it doesn't matter much, but 28 feels small for two tall adults no matter what.

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Old 07-08-2011, 15:40   #3
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Re: What size for the next boat?

In my country there seems to be a sweet spot at the 34 ft mark. There are quite a few yachts in that size that are very comfortable for two persons. With your 6ft2 you may need to look at fairly recent designs though. The 'classics ' are most likely too cramped for you.
34ft is also a size that you can handle relatively easy. In most cases you can still hold it off by hand (when in a marina or in a lock) and a bowthruster is not really needed.
Of course it all about the sum of money you are prepared to spend.
You can also buy a 60ft with push-button sailing.
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Old 07-08-2011, 16:03   #4
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Re: What size for the next boat?

If you are comfortable handling your 28 footer I don't think you would have any major problems moving up to a 36 or 40 footer. Every boat shrinks when offshore, and there you are fine on just about any size that is set up well, and the longer the more comfortable motion, in general. I personally like to stay just below about 12 meters, which gives you plenty of room for a couple, enough speed to go anywhere, plenty of storage and carrying capacity, and yet is still not too much boat to manhandle around the docks a bit. I see a lot of couples that have too much boat for them to handle easily, but that is often because they have the wrong type of boat or it isn't set up well for them.
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Old 07-08-2011, 16:22   #5
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Re: Size for Next Boat?

Maybe take a look at a Mottle 33, particularly the 'high side' version. You should be able to pick one up for about 60-70k.
Reasonable performance, no vices, centre cockpit so it doesn't feel like you have a mile of boat out front. Also, the high side makes the passage to the stern cabin a bit easier if you're tall, and the bunk in the stern cabin is huge

If you have a few more $ a good Martzcraft 35 is a great boat too.
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Old 07-08-2011, 20:53   #6
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Re: Size for Next Boat?

Australia seems to have a rather expensive take at boats. You might be advised to investigate the cost of importing from the States or Panama (where cruising dreams get divorced, alas) if you are wishing to move up. I am just over six feet but when I got my seven foot clearance steel cutter, I found it very liberating as it seemed and continues to seem very airy and spacious above my head. In fact, it's more head room than my basement.

That said, headroom is only part of the puzzle. Were I to cruise distances, stowage and tankage would trump a bit of crouching, and were I to weekend out of Sydney, say, to cruising grounds 100 NM or less away, with plenty of boozing guests and noshing relatives, I would opt for a standard issue French-type cruiser, because they go fast and "play nicely" for the social activities, even as I think they aren't ideal for offshore.

So, the constant in boats is "everything is a compromise". I know a couple where BOTH the man and the woman are about six-two in height and they do well on a Niagara 35, about the smallest size I would take offshore. But it's what they could afford and what they could (easily, given their inherent strength) single-hand on passage.

I considered a 45 footer, but bought a 41 footer, because my wife is relatively runty and could only work that size of winches and running rigging. Thinking in terms of "I've been up in this gale for 24 hours and I have to leave my wife in charge while I do a coma sleep" will dictate your choices ... which is exactly where the "sail the smallest boat you can stand" attitude comes from.

Good luck and shop BROADLY. Australian prices are not good from what I can see.
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Old 07-08-2011, 22:01   #7
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Greener grass...

When I was looking Aussie boats were way over what was being asked in other parts of the world. Two to three times in some cases.

Before booking my trip I'd take a good look at what's available locally. The local boats may not present as well but the reports suggest their underlying structure could be sound. Many have been laid up using skilled workers.

Prices may be coming down at last.

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