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View Poll Results: What length does a boat have to be to be "big"
30 feet 3 3.03%
35 feet 5 5.05%
40 feet 16 16.16%
45 feet 17 17.17%
50 feet 29 29.29%
60 feet 8 8.08%
greater than 60 feet 21 21.21%
Voters: 99. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:13   #31
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

I guess my mind starts to think big at about 40.... on the lower end. I'm definitely feeling "big" at 48 ft.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:05   #32
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Don,

This poll is so funny. You set it to say that anything above 60 feet is big.

Many would say 60 feet is small! Maybe not so many on this forum, but certainly 60 feet is not big.

I have sailed long range on 2 68 footers and a 65 footer and think those for a coupple are bordering on big. But its not till over 70 foot that really needs a crew to help clean is a boat 'big'.
And if you drop into Palma de Mallorca anything under 100 feet is tiny!

+1!

Someone here said that the boat seems to shrink when you get out of sight of land. I would say rather -- out of sight of a dock

I spent a couple of weeks on a Swan 90 -- there were three sailors aboard (the owner -- a very good sailor, the professional captain, and me) and a number of guests. Only one professional. It was absolutely no problem to run the boat like that. Sailing and steering and navigating and so forth is not any more work load than sailing my 54 foot boat or my former 36 foot boat.

What concerns docking -- once the boat is too big to fend off or manhandle around to correct small errors in boat handling, it hardly makes any difference whether it's 50 feet or 90 feet. You don't need more people -- you need a bowthruster and skill.

The biggest problem with really big boats like that is, besides obviously eyeball-bursting expense, is the complexity of systems -- keeping them working. That's why one professional crewman is nice on a boat like that -- he's fixing and maintaining things while everyone else is snorkeling or going on shore.

On my boat, that guy is me -- fixing the latest repair items or running around trying to buy parts, while everyone else has a blast on shore

Otherwise, a big boat is all good in my book. I wish I could afford a 65 foot Oyster
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:27   #33
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Just to say that although I voted 40 feet as big, not saying it is too big nor that I would never buy one (I wouldn't sd very happy with what I have got - but no fundamental objection to 40 foot +).

Sometimes 30 foot feels too big (maintanence and bolloxing up a docking ) or when I want to swing a cat ..........and other times 90 foot would feel small (depends who else was onboard / the weather).

In comparison to the usual shoreside accomadation (Trailers etc excepting) - most boats are "small"........even catamarans
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:40   #34
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After soloing a 40 footer for the past week i'm happy to say it is not too big. At the moment anything in the 40's looks a good size but for me 50+ is looking big.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:58   #35
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

It's been a moving target. I started with a 33 footer in '99 as a first boat, which was considered a bit daring for a neophyte, as 33 feet in 1999 was right in the middle of what size boats people owned locally.

Now at my club there are so many 40-plus footers, 33 is now in the upper part of "small" and maybe 37 feet is the "average".

I do know that I learned quickly in a bigger (at the time) boat because the reaction times weren't as fast nor the movement quite so dramatic as when I raced in a 27 footer (for instance).

For us, the practical limit for a fit couple cruising is about 45 feet and the lower limit is about 35 feet, although we've seen successful cruising couples in both smaller and larger boats. Above 42 feet or so, you'd better have big winches and well thought out mechanical advantages.
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Old 01-09-2011, 13:10   #36
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
For us, the practical limit for a fit couple cruising is about 45 feet and the lower limit is about 35 feet, although we've seen successful cruising couples in both smaller and larger boats. Above 42 feet or so, you'd better have big winches and well thought out mechanical advantages.
This mirrors our thinking when we bought our current 46 footer. We plan to retire in this boat in maybe seven or eight years, and we wanted to be able to handle it as a couple in our mid-60s.

However, we have gotten quite comfy with the boat, and it currently doesn't challenge us physically. The only spot where I see it becoming difficult in the future is that the jump from the deck to the dock is significantly longer than it was on our 41 footer.

Still, I sometimes wish I'd gotten something in the low 50' range. As I age, I find myself agreeing with Steve Dashew, that it's all about waterline.
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Old 01-09-2011, 13:27   #37
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Why I understand, the choice of being able to single hand I think isn't a good length point choice. With the proper rigging an a good autopilot one can single hand a pretty big boat.

And I agree with Bash about the freeboard. The change from my cal-39 to my Hunter 410 has changed how my wife and I dock because the jump down to tie the lines is too much for her. So looking down the road when my kness and bones are going a new change to handling dock lines will be in order.
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Old 01-09-2011, 13:29   #38
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Nothing wrong with that idea!

Some folks use a right angle battery operated drill with a winch bit to hoist and trim.

winch bit?tell me more please... A friend of mine is getting long in the tooth and this might keep him going..DVC
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Old 01-09-2011, 13:33   #39
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

I've lived aboard 49ft and 54ft boats which I thought were a good size but recently checked out a 97ft cutter rig and she was BIG! The winches were the size of trash can lids and the deck space looked like a bowling alley. I think you would need a full time crew of at least 4 to handle her. The biggest drawback was if you were in the great room below in any kind of a sea, you would end up flying through the air for 20 feet before you hit anything... not a pleasant thought. My wife and I handled our previous liveaboards easily with just the two of us. Capt Phil
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Old 01-09-2011, 13:40   #40
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by David M View Post
Right before it fits the definition of a ship, meaning it becomes too big to be placed on a ship.
That definition makes my boat small.

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Old 01-09-2011, 13:46   #41
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
... The change from my cal-39 to my Hunter 410 has changed how my wife and I dock because the jump down to tie the lines is too much for her. So looking down the road when my kness and bones are going a new change to handling dock lines will be in order.
Fortunately, my deck is just a few inches above berth-finger height so it is just an easy step over the gunwale between deck and boat.

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Old 01-09-2011, 14:04   #42
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

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Originally Posted by tropicalescape View Post
winch bit?tell me more please... A friend of mine is getting long in the tooth and this might keep him going..DVC
You can make your own with an old winch handle and a weld. Or buy one for a huge price already made

Also see thread: Winch Buddy

The Cranker - a S.S. Sailboat Winch Drill Adapter Bit



I wonder what the Patent application says? "ummm chopped of bit of old winch handle welded to a broken old drill bit"
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Old 01-09-2011, 14:27   #43
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
That definition makes my boat small.

Shame you didn't have a dinghy on the aft deck......
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Old 01-09-2011, 14:31   #44
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Shame you didn't have a dinghy on the aft deck......
There was a hard sailing dinghy on the saloon roof but hidden behind the pilothouse in that photo. Here it is:

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Old 01-09-2011, 16:47   #45
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Re: What Is a Big Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
You can make your own with an old winch handle and a weld. Or buy one for a huge price already made

Also see thread: Winch Buddy

The Cranker - a S.S. Sailboat Winch Drill Adapter Bit



I wonder what the Patent application says? "ummm chopped of bit of old winch handle welded to a broken old drill bit"
I was going to mention the winch-buddy too.
Looks like Winchrite is a new kid on the block that might be a bit cheaper
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