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Old 12-03-2006, 11:24   #46
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Advice

Comfort & Expectations

Let me say, these are MY opinions -- not some self-evident, aboslute truths. I suspect that you've (fortunately) been successful in endeavours intellectual, personal, and business -- "God, its a great country". However, putting a number of people into a limited volume in a challenging situation isn't necessaryly as likely to produce satisfactory results. Further, it can be detrimental -- not just from a safety standpoint, but from an interpersonal and developmental impact too. (We are all hopefully growing, aren't we?)

We've sailed boats from the 20 plus feet through our current 53' over the years. We've owned (w/ various banks ;^) ) boats : Pearson 35, Sabre 42, and our current J/160.

All were easy for a single person to handle under sail -- the Sabre and the J/160 were easier than the Pearson. (But the Pearson was a 30 year-old design.)

Your sailing objectives appear to include some offshore work. Which changes things a bit because of the "range" of things that you have to deal with as opposed to largely coastal cruising.

However, the basic issue is "WHY" not just "HOW".

The age and privacy expectations of your crew and visitors has as much to do with your likely comfort as the anything on extended cruising trips.

The experience of your crew and primary "captain(s)" has a major impact.

I really suggest that you use the advantages of San Francisco Bay's varied conditions in sheltered but vigorous waters/winds by sailing on boats which a bit smaller.

Without being presumptous, you need to learn how to sail and handle a boat -- not in a theoretical sense, but in a practical way.

Beyond that, you need to get a collective sense of how you and your primary crew (family) like to sail.

I am always amused, when I see requests for advice, how people project their own value systems with specific suggestions. The range of boats -- from a Gozzard to a Swan are like talking about what places in the world should Io visit?, and getting: Bangkok and London, or Tokyo and Minneapolis.

All must be wonderful places -- they just aren't likely relevant to processling your (re)quest.

I think that if you want to intullectualize your "process", then you need to set-up a matrix, etc., etc. But, alas, I think that will not likely produce the best result without information that comes from some experience with your primary "crew" working together in the water and CONFINES of a real boat. The time would be well spent -- even if the money isn't really an issue in the scheme of things.
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Old 12-03-2006, 13:14   #47
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Hello All First Post here:

20 years ago when I was in my twenties I did a lot of racing and deliveries. I delivered a couple of boats in the 40' range shorthanded and it was alot of work. IMHO you should look at boats in the smaller range say 42 to 45 feet. A fractional rig is also nice because then the sails that youchange the most often (jibs)are lighter. It is easier to reef a main than to change a headsail. You can setup the boat to be easy to sail but you can't change the weight of a sail. You are obviously well off so you might want to think of hiring a crew for passages.

The people who keep on mentioning the assets of SF Bay have valid points. What about joining OCSC and sailing with them (rent the yellow J 105 its mine) or one of the other fine establishments. Take a sail up to Drakes Bay or down to Half Moon Bay and back and get a feel for what size is manageable in what kind of sea conditions. I did a double handed farallons race on an Express 37 and trying to change from the #1 to the #3 with one other person is trying especially when the chop is 7 to 10 feet. On the other hand if you can wait till the conditions are just exactly perfect then make your trip . . . .but even then the weather is a fickle creature. think '79 Fastnet or '95 off the coast of NZ or ask Larry Ellison about his experience on the Sydney Hobart. It is not impossible to double hand a fifty foot boat but the people who do it have sailed for a longtime and understand the wind and sails in a way that many sailors never achieve.

Having spouted all that I really like the Lightwave 44. I day sailed one with Carl Schumacher (the designer)and can say that it is a sweet boat and I think it is in your price range.

Charlie
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Old 13-03-2006, 13:01   #48
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Hello Charlie, welcome aboard.

I think the biggest obstacle for Randy and Red will be a lack of experience as stated by others here. Your greatest advantage is a healthy budget.

I would recomend that both Red and Randy contact Bob Perry and hire him. For $500 Bob will guide them to the right boat. Google Bob and you will find his site. Considering the budget available hiring a pro is paramount. I also agree tiller time is improtant for you and your family. Find out what you like and can do.

Good luck

Bryan
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Old 25-03-2006, 13:47   #49
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Oakland Show

Hi Tom,

My wife and I are still going to the Oakland show so if you will be there as well perhaps we can grab a coffee and compare notes.

I thought I would provide an update on my process after a few more factory tours and boat shows, along with some general thoughts in response to posts above.

Our List
My wife and I are down to three mono hulls:

- Malo 46 Classic
- Najad 440 Aft Cockpit (new model)
- Hallberg Rassy 48 (the B layout with an island berth in the aft)

We are planning a trip to Sweden to tour all three factories and sail on each in late May. It was very tough getting to this point. These boats, of course, reflect our personal needs and preferences. They are also all made within a few miles of each other, which I believe, causes them to compete heavily, creating many similarities. These similarities are what I think draws us to all three of them, the style fits our taste and needs.

I ruled out many boats because I did not feel that they were seaworthy in the offshore sense, but a large number of the boats in the running just didn't match up with our needs for one reason or another. For instance, I would absolutely trust a Pacific Seacraft 44 or Cabo Rico 45 offshore, but for us the double enders just didn't have enough interior volume and storage. I also loved the Hylas 49, but you have to wait 2 years to get one. We also liked the Hylas 54 but it was a little too large (rig height and sail area being the main issues for us).

My wife and I can get along with very minimal possessions, but when we created an inventory list of necessities we found that we really needed a surprising amount of storage. A place to stow the spinnaker (and a way to get it in and out), room for weeks of provisions, appropriate chain stored low in a self stowing chain locker, two anchors fore and one aft, etceteras. It's easy to get lulled into oblivion by a nice interior while she's tied to the dock with a main and a jib and one anchor. I bring a list of everything I'll need to stow on the boat when I do a walk through and look around to find places for everything. I’ve seen some really beautiful boats that at sea would require you to drag sails through your nice saloon to stow in the forepeak, making that two cabin boat a one cabin boat.

I also try to sort out the anchoring capabilities and dig through the anchor lockers. I've found the anchoring systems and storage facilities on the vast majority of "cruising" sail boats to be completely inadequate. I've seen chain lockers that wont self stow, cockpits with no place to stow a stern anchor and warp, anchor locker hatches that wont open while the chain is on the gypsy, anchors that stow under 15 other things so that you can’t get to them easily or if you need them in a hurry, plum stems with no bow sprit and little to no clearance for anchor stowage, etc.

Cruising Yacht Size
There are people who will tell you that you shouldn't sail on anything larger than a Dana or Contessa and you have folks like the Dashews who recommend a 78 footer for a cruising couple:

http://www.setsail.com/dashew/do_beowulf.html

Larger yachts have proven to be safer at sea, but nothing is safe if you can't handle it. With the quality of equipment, design, layout and fittings on modern pure blood cruising boats, a properly trained couple can obviously handle quite a bit more than in the days of yore. Cruising boats in manufacture and in anchorages everywhere are getting bigger. Some folks like to be Spartan in their approach. I met a guy last month on Anagada who lived on a 26' sail boat. I asked him what kind of head he preferred and he said, "bucket and chuckit". You have the Dashews at the other extreme. I will not be presumptuous and cast my preferences or financial constraints upon others, there are pros and cons to cruising on a 26 footer and a 78 footer. Perhaps the real mistake would be buying more boat than you could afford to rig and operate properly for the intended purpose.

Cruising Skills
If you've chartered for weeks at a time, sailed throughout your life and taken proper training, either formal or OJT with heavy weather experience, you can ease into any appropriate cruising boat. You should of course spend time inshore breaking any new boat in, and then move to an over night trip, and as confidence in the rig and equipment develops head out to the horizon. I know a couple of folks who have picked up their new boats and headed immediately out to sea. These are not typically happy people regardless of their prior experience.

I have heard people suggest (often in a near vacuum) that if you’ve only sailed 35 footers you shouldn’t buy a 45 footer. If you never sail larger boats, you’ll never sail larger boats. Someone who buys a 45 footer and sails it locally, and perhaps acquires some instruction if necessary, will have more experience on that type of 45 footer than most people in no time. I recently completed a 6 day IYT certification aboard a 40’ Caliber (very nice cruiser) in the snotty SoCal Channel Islands, and the owner was onboard taking the course. The owner got by far the most out of the course because everything we did applied specifically to his boat (I wish we’d used my boat in retrospect!). I would also say that someone used to 40 foot fin keel charter boats moving to a 40 foot full keel will be in for a lot more surprises than someone moving from a 40 footer to a similar 45 footer.

If you are highly risk averse you probably shouldn’t be cruising long range (or driving on the freeway in Los Angeles). Safety requires developing strong sailing and power skills aboard your boat, I think that this is fairly obvious, and fairly easy for most people to develop. On the other hand I rarely hear people recommending, medical training, meteorological skills, fire fighting knowledge and a strong navigation background. If you don’t know what the weather’s up to these days you really have no excuse. Most of the horror stories I hear have to due with imprudent risk taking and lack of preparation in areas other than sailing skills. Cruising is one part sailing and many parts other skills.

Best regards,
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Old 25-03-2006, 15:49   #50
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Randy,

Sounds like you are doing your homework and have a very good game plan. It also sounds like you have a good idea of the gear you will need to carry and what your boat will be based on those requirments.

Funny, cruising through these BB's you'll find many folks who have very rigid ideas of what to sail, how large or small it must be, how to anchor, what it costs, and on and on. Mention a concept that falls outside of their norm and they will berate you to no end. Screw that, do your homework and get the best boat for you.

Fair winds,

Bryan

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Old 25-03-2006, 15:51   #51
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Randy:

Your post makes alot of sense. The Swedish boats are ones that I would look at ,if I had the $$, too. What you are saying about skills required for cruising are points well taken. Your idea of taking a list with you too see where you could store things is very good. In fact I will do that when I get ready to buy a boat. Not only does it make sense as far as where to put things but it also gives you an idea of what you can and canoot do with out. If I can contribute a thought as practical as your list-- try having you and your wife drag a sail from whereever they are stored to the bow. Also try doing this by yourself and having your wife do the same. In case one of you is incapacitated while in transit. The reason I make this suggestion is having had the experience of doing this in a sea it was difficult on a 37 foot boat and I know it would be worse on a 44 to 48 foot boat especially if the sails are heavy from being wet. I'm sure that anyone relatively fit could move the sails on shore its when you haven't planned well or are surprised by an unexpected squall that problems arise. Good luck with your search and please keep us updated as to how the process goes.

Charlie
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Old 26-03-2006, 05:04   #52
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Randy

Good Plan Good boats. The key is executing on one and going sailing... fair winds
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Old 26-03-2006, 09:18   #53
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Same here Randy!!

If you have the knowledge of sailing down packed. And you firmly believe you could sail a bigger sailboat. And can afford a bigger boat. More power to ya?
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Old 26-03-2006, 11:01   #54
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To me everything seems manageable on a larger boat - say 45-50ft range - except the main sail. You have the choice of unbattened - with consequent problems of controlling it when dropping or reefing, even with lazy-jacks - or fully battened, which controls the sail much better, but is REALLY heavy on a large sail.

These issues are both solvable, with in mast furling and electric winches respectively, but I have a deep-seated dislike for, and mistrust of, both.

(I am talking short handed cruising couple or single-handed here, of course)
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Old 26-03-2006, 12:46   #55
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Charlie: That is great advise. I have specifically been looking for boats with a forward hatch big enough to stuff a sail through or better yet a large sail locker in the bow.

Moby: I agree in regards to the main. Tough decision there. I'm currently in the fully battened lazy jack bag camp. I have never sailed on a boom furler and used to think that was the way to go, but I've done a 180. The boom furlers are pretty monstrous and can be hard to furl if you're not in the eye from what I here. That said, I met a guy with a Valiant 50 who loved his. I also used to think that in mast furlers were death (if it jams you're going to be very unhappy in a blow). I have softened there as well. I was sailing an in mast furler in some pretty heavy wind and was surprised at how easy it was to furl with a lot of force on. You can get in mast sails with vertical battens these days but the ones without battens seem to develop better sail shape for down wind work (my personal preference). The modern in mast systems don't add too much weight aloft and seem to be highly reliable.

Jon: True words. We hope to take delivery this Fall but that may be a little unrealistic. If we place our order in May we will probably take delivery in Spring of 2007. In the mean time we have lots of club boats to sail in Marina Del Rey.
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Old 26-03-2006, 13:45   #56
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Whilst for me, your choice is short a hull, It is worth adding that the HR are by far the most respected of your choices. A lovely boat

perhaps I can strap 2 together!
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Old 26-03-2006, 14:07   #57
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HR is nice looking, but relies on old reputation too much. Malo for my preference - plus I prefer stern cockpit
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Old 26-03-2006, 15:52   #58
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2 Hulls

Hi Talbot,

I chartered a Lagoon 380 for a week in the BVI. Was a lot of fun and amazing to shoot buoys with (the whole 2 diesel thing). Don't know a lot about cruising with one though. What brands do you recommend to aspiring long range cruisers if any? (Probably should just point me to the right thread in the multi hull section)
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Old 26-03-2006, 17:01   #59
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Randy

I'll go off topic a hair -- main sail handling on big boat w/ big main.

I am firmly in the full batten retractable lazy jack camp. However it is very important to have a really good mast track system on boats of this size. My boat has Harken battcars [came with it]. Also being able to move the lazy jacks forward when you sailing and hoisting makes a big difference. No worries on catching battens etc and no chafe when sailing. Also makes for much cleaner sail cover at rest.

Lastly an electric halyard winch on these boats is a really good thing. I have one electric winch we use to raise the main or me and to furl the jib. If it dies we can do it without but having the power one is really nice.
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Old 26-03-2006, 17:07   #60
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I'm with you Randy on the fully battened mainsail w/ lazy jacks. I would be worried about any main furling system jamming. But I also had that worry about roller furlers and they are a standard now. I have a J105 in a charter program (OCSC) now and when I suggested buying a Beneteau w/ an in mast furler the owner said that he would not be interested in taking that boat on b/c of all the problems that he had had with it. I tend to believe OCSC. Charter boats are probably second to cruising boats in terms of a testing ground for hard use. There is also the problem of performance with mainsail furling. It is hard to get the roach on a furling main and this loses a lot of good sail area. Being an ex main trimmer that would really bother me.

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