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Old 13-03-2011, 17:27   #1
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Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride ?

My wife's arthritis means she often suffers badly on our 28 footer, so we're considering whether to upgrade to something around 35 feet for a smoother ride.

We are based on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne, which is a large fairly shallow bay that develops steep, closely spaced choppy waves once the wind gets up around 15 knots.

I expect the extra length would smooth things out quite a bit, but don't want to waste a bunch of money if I'm wrong.

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Old 13-03-2011, 17:44   #2
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While size certainly matters, displacement matters equally, as does hull shape. While I'm not a fan of full-keeled boats, if my wife suffered from arthritis I'd certainly start looking in that direction. Something with a low length/displacement ratio, a narrow beam, and a high comfort factor. It her case, older styles of sailboats might be more beneficial, especially if she has difficulties stabilizing herself in a seaway.
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Old 13-03-2011, 17:53   #3
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pirate Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Wot Bash sez...
You want something heavy enough and sharp enough to cut through as opposed to the usual fin keel type boat which will slam in seas...
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:00   #4
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

I would agree and have seen 28-footers that sail like a brick steady and straight while a 35ft fin keel boat dances about like a wild mustang. So hull form and weight should be your primary concern and length merely considered based on how much money you can afford to spend.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:09   #5
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

I'll join osirissail,

Hull form and weight. My first boat was a Morgan 32 which displaced a few thousand pounds more than say a Hunter 30. It gave a much more comfortable ride. My present boat displaces 23,000 pounds and is more sea kindly yet. But of course all things are relative. If it gets nasty even heavy boat might not be comfortable for her. I have no experience with cats past the Hobie 16 I had many years ago. I do know their motion is different from a monohull. Perhaps a test ride would help establish if the type of motion is more comfortable for your wife.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:10   #6
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Quote:
I expect the extra length would smooth things out quite a bit, but don't want to waste a bunch of money if I'm wrong.
You might look at something longer. A longer waterline would smooth things out but sail handling and such would also help. I've done the steep chop on the Chesapeake when it's 6 to 8 ft chop 35 ft isn't near enough given I have 36. In that weather blowing a gale I would prefer 45 to 50 ft. Ironically it's not pounding then but the helm is tight and the motion steep. On a reach the fear of broaching seems paramount. On a beat, boat speed to maintain steerage is also a problem. When running the stern falls off the wave and loads up the helm and you are always looking over your shoulder.

There is the idea of not being there. Nothing beats not being there when the weather is such. It may be worse in a smaller boat but it isn't that much better at 35 ft. Steep chop always sucks. Not many boats can deal with it easily.

There are other comforts and I would look at those. Those positive things I think are the real reason you might enjoy the extra waterline. A little more beam and the ability to carry more stuff holds the better reasons to move up. When things go well is when you can enjoy those features far more. In steep chop you are working hard for a living.
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:40   #7
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Take day charters with what you think you would like until you find the ride most comfortable for your wife. Specify the charter must be in less than ideal weather and sea conditions.
Alol the best
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Old 13-03-2011, 18:45   #8
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Nine-hundred-plus feet, with stabilizers.

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Old 14-03-2011, 10:32   #9
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Agreeing with the others here. Your problem, most likely, has nothing to do with the length of your boat, but has everything to do with it's 3/4th keel and flat bottom at the bow. Great for making the boat a bit faster and more responsive, but sure to pound in the kind of choppy waters you describe. Look for something with a full keel and I think you'll find that the ride is much smoother regardless of the length.

Good luck!
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Old 14-03-2011, 10:38   #10
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pirate Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Old Salts held that 37ft was about the optimum size for safe comfortable cruising... but that was before the 'Flat Bottom' of todays boats...
Find a 37ft full keeler like a Colin Archer or a Hillyard (Sorry they're wood) and its as good as it gets...
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Old 14-03-2011, 10:41   #11
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Wot Bash sez...
You want something heavy enough and sharp enough to cut through as opposed to the usual fin keel type boat which will slam in seas...
I'd gofer a sub marine.
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Old 14-03-2011, 11:38   #12
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride ?

There are relatively heavy displacement fin keel boats and there are light displacement full keel boats. It's not the keel but the underwater shape and displacement that make for an easy ride. A lot of the old IOR boats are moderately heavy boats with a fin keel and could be a gold mine for what you are looking for. Since they are no longer competitive they are sometimes available for a decent price. The S&S 34 which should be a relatively common boat in your area is an example. Failing that, the good old Westsail 32 had a comfortable ride that even my seasick prone wife could tolerate. They do sail best at a fairly steep angle of heel when the winds are up though.
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Old 14-03-2011, 11:45   #13
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride ?

Sure a bigger boat may help, but what about just staying ashore in more than 15 kts. of wind? That is the break point for many who decide to go or stay. If we are boating for pleasure and don't have to keep some firm schedule, why beat ourselves up?

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Old 14-03-2011, 11:59   #14
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride ?

If you can find a Hans Christian 34/36, ours has always been comfortable, no matter the conditions. Definitely not a speed demon, but close to a submarine down below. The only disconcerning thing is having to get used to the loud screw noises at anchor from the motorboats, but after awhile it's just background noise.
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Old 14-03-2011, 12:04   #15
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Re: Yacht Size for Comfortable Ride ?

Short waterline to length and sh'ell have to deal with the hobby horse. Narrow and she may have to deal with the rolling. Not sure which is harder with arthritis, but rolling is likely more dangerous...and harder to stand causing hips, ankles, knees and elbows some work. Things are a lot better at 40/42 ft than at 28 for sure. Not sure about 35 though. A cat gets rid of a lot of issues, but does have that "busy" motion going on. Got rid of a lot of hip bruises with my cat!
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