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Old 17-05-2012, 05:10   #16
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Since you said, not as a stunt...

Around 28' for monohulls, or 31' for a good tri, is where the motion becomes more tolerable, and the payload sufficient, for civilized cruising.

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Old 17-05-2012, 05:48   #17
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

As several others have already pointed out, it boils down to what you consider acceptable for comfort.

You could build a 6 foot long vessel that's seaworthy, in the sense that it is unsinkable. It most certainly would be very slow and uncomfortable.

For me, the criteria would be seaworthiness, but also speed, enough room to move around in comfort, and the ability to carry stores and equipment. I don't think I would find long distance voyaging in anything less than 30 feet very enjoyable. But many have done it. It helps to be young.
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:23   #18
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Here you go. This guy crossed the Atlantic in a 9' boat.



You see, it's not a question of how large or small the boat is. It's a question of how comfortable you want to be during the crossing.

And asking other people what size boat THEY would be comfortable with is not going to tell you anything useful about what size boat YOU would be comfortable with.
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:38   #19
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

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Since you said, not as a stunt...

Around 28' for monohulls, or 31' for a good tri, is where the motion becomes more tolerable, and the payload sufficient, for civilized cruising.

M.
I want to be able to stand up inside each morning to put my trousers on. Anything less is nautical camping.

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Old 17-05-2012, 06:39   #20
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

shane acton and his girlfriend circumnavigated in a 18ft robert tucker designed twin keel boat named shrimpy they spent 8 years doing this
Shrimpy: a 18 foot Robert Tucker designed boat that sailed around the world
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Old 17-05-2012, 07:02   #21
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

I'm not sure that citing the very small vessels capable of doing oceans was the OP's intent in asking the question, which I took to mean "what's the smallest you would take, and why".

There's a minimum in my mind regarding tankage, spares, bunk sizes, ability to heave to, headroom, seakindliness and many other factors. Plenty of boats below 30 feet, say, would meet some of those minimums, but for me, 30-33 feet is where most or all of them are potentially met.

So yes, I could sail a stubby Phil Bolger design across the Atlantic, but I wouldn't be happy about it, and it would take so long I'd be sucking barnacles off the rudder for nourishment.

There are many examples of tiny, seaworthy sailboats. But I can never get a straight answer as to why they are sailed. The economic argument doesn't fly, when people are giving away 30 footers (that could be modded in a plastic shed over two years in a backyard) for free to avoid moorage fees.
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Old 17-05-2012, 08:17   #22
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

someone crossed the atlantic in a 10 foot sailboat. Also someone took a 23 foot flats boat all the way across the atlantic. Started form Boca florida and ended up in europe. Also someone did it on a jetski in the year 1998 or 1999.
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Old 17-05-2012, 08:56   #23
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

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I will support that.
me three.....enjoy...sometimes, the smaller boats..20 to 30 feet are the most fun, simple, economical and the most easily managed .....you can take them places, anchor and tie up where the bigger boats can't go...I often wish I had my 23 foot Hunter or even my little 16 foot day sailor back...no fooling, life was pretty simple then...jus sayin'
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Old 17-05-2012, 09:14   #24
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

The smallest I actually have cruised on was a 26-foot Westerly Centaur which I took on several cruises from the U.S. to Bahamas. For solo work, I'd consider a boat that size again, but for having guests, I prefer a bit more space.

Even smaller boats I'd consider if I were looking for a solo boat are the Westerly Pageant (23), the Dana (24)and the Flicka (20). (With the Pageant probably being top of the list for cost reasons) Many of the other older, well-built boats lack the standing headroom I'd like and are just not space-efficient in my opinion. Standing headroom is very important to me in any boat I'm going to be spending more than an overnight in.

I also took a 26-foot Telstar Trimaran to the Bahamas. It had even less interior space than my Centaur, but that's not why I wouldn't choose it again. Underdeck slamming and issues with the centerboard, and set up were more the issues there. It's not just a matter of size for me as it is design.

I'll add, that while many Centaurs have crossed oceans and while I'd consider it again for island cruising with some overnight passages, I personally would never want to make a real passage in a boat that size.
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Old 17-05-2012, 09:36   #25
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Just have a look at the Minitransat - just 6. something metres. Not that they are particularly suited for cruising. For me it starts somewhere at 8.00 + metres, if you would like to sail in primitive comfort. My boat is something in the area of 8.50 mtr over the deck and sports a fat body of 3.00 mtr in beam. The pro is that the limited draft allows me to go where I could not go with my previous boat which was much longer but made any crossing in undeep Dutch 'n English water hazardous as the keel had a draft of 2.40 mtr. (8'). Neala now has adraft of 1.35 mtr and gives me free access to Wadden and the Frisian lakes. Also the waters of Zeeland can be cruised in comfort.
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:25   #26
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Re: What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

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What is the smallest baot that you would sail outside of coastal waters. And when I say coastal, then lets say 50-100 mi. I ask because I wonder what the an average sailor would saill. someone not out to set a record and that wants to sail safe. So what, 20 ft, 25-30ft?
Define 'Safe'.

One person's safe is another's suicidal insanity. Just look at this liferaft thread: Liferaft: Yes or No

The smallest boat I would take offshore is a Cal 20, 2 of which have been to Hawai'i from California. The boat would need a bit of upgrading but not that much.
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:33   #27
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Re: What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

Long distance Nautical Camping beats the hell out of not going at all (it helps to be young) and waiting for the perfect boat often leads to "Life" getting in the way. The reason for people on a limited budget to stay with smaller boats is not the initial outlay, but the cost of refit and preparation. A 30 footer will probably cost twice as much to prepare for a cruise as a 25 footer will. Sure! the 30 is much more comfortable and can carry more toys but if you have to work a year or two more to be able to cruise, you have much more chance of "LIFE" getting in the way. Dont let perfection get in the way of accomplishment. Start with baby steps , but Start._____Grant.
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:35   #28
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Re: What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

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Define 'Safe'.

One person's safe is another's suicidal insanity. Just look at this liferaft thread: Liferaft: Yes or No
Interesting that no one has (yet?!) suggested a vessel based on a 6 foot rubber ring - with a canopy.

But I guess that the rubber ring based "safe" is only applicable in conditions that have overwhelmed a 40 foot boat........
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:44   #29
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Re: What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

I will take a different tac here. I will sail oceans with the largest boat I can maintain and afford. After a few times out in the North Pacific, I am quite pleased wwith my little Valiant 40.
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Old 17-05-2012, 11:20   #30
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Re: What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

We met couple from England circumnavigating with 2 boys on a 27 footer. Not sure the make of the boat, but it was a bluewater design. We met them in Portobello Panama just before they went through the Panama Canal. They laughingly said that when they left England the two boys were much smaller, now there were maybe 10-ish or a bit older. Too crowded for me, but they seemed to be having a fabulous adventure.

Cheers! Jan
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