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Old 17-06-2019, 23:49   #1
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Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Hi everyone,

Still boat searching...

and so often i come back to the Baba. beyond being a well-built, solid gal meant for long-term (and even long-distance) cruising, i really appreciate how she has so much living space below. the Baba 30 is a big boat trapped in a small hull.

intended use: for living aboard long-term (until i revert to hanging out on the european rivers) and for cruising (as far as i can safely do so on my own - i'd find crew for long passages).

ok, so my question is:

-because this boat is so heavy, so much heavier than boats its size, is there too much load for single-handling?

-is there too much load for a female sailor who rather strong for a slender type but who is no longer 25?


-yes, these boats can be sluggish in light airs.
-the cast iron fuel tanks should be changed.
-best to find one that does NOT have teak decks or a wooden mast.
-the chainplates and portlights need to be rebed...

-are there other things worry about? osmosis or rudder issues?

those who have personal experience with the Baba, i'd love to hear about it.




Thanks to all!


wolfgal
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:19   #2
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Having been a long-term single hander, I can say for certain: If you can handle the sail size, you can handle the boat.

I lived aboard and single handed a S&S 35 all over the Eastern Caribbean, USA and Canada. Then moved on to a Corbin 39, with my wife, but still, often, single handed that boat as well.

You'll appreciate the "weight" in the long run. I'd go for it if I were you. Plan ahead, and use leverage to your advantage, and you can single hand almost anything.

I'm a male, at 5 feet 6 inches tall, and 150 lbs, and found the Corbin just as easy to sail as the Hughes.

A heavier boat will sail much more comfortably than a light one. Your primary concern should be the sails; the boat's weight won't be a detriment to your plans.

Lovely boats, those Babas.

Cheers, and good luck.
Paul.
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:26   #3
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

So, not a Baba owner, but my 30,000# Rafiki is in the same general category and I sail her myself (during watches), so here goes…

Not sure why you would think the displacement will be a problem. Specs say 12,500#, which is heavier than most 30-footers, but still isn’t a beast. Besides, unless you’re planning to push it around a lot with your bare hands, or start ramming other boats, displacement is only a good thing. More storage, more living space, easier in rough seas, what’s not to like?

“Too much load” … do you mean steering? Load on the rig under sail? I’ve never sailed a Baba, but I’m sure rudder and rigging are properly designed to managed the loads. Hoisting/changing sails might be a struggle, but that would be the case for any boat. Anchor gear will be heavier, but a windlass takes care of that.

Now, a more important factor is the full keel. Understand that this boat will want to go straight. She will not turn on a dime (or even a silver dollar). This makes her easy to manage out there on the briny, but a PITA when trying to manouver small, tight marinas.

Iron tanks can be a problem. I still have and use our original diesel tank, although to be fair our secondary tank has failed a pressure test. Have it pressure tested. It may be fine, but apparently Baba tanks are relatively easy to remove.

Teak decks … all the Baba’s I’ve seen had them, but maybe not all. If they’ve been removed, make sure the job was done right. My boat still has our teak deck. I absolutely love it as non-skid, and for the aesthetics. But it does put 2000 holes in my deck, and some are leaking. Keeping on top of the maintenance is a necessity.

Speaking of maintenance, the Baba has a lot of exterior wood (like mine). Varnish or teak oil will be your constant companion.

Hopeful actual Baba owners will chime in on specific issues, but on your question of load, I’d say not to worry.
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:27   #4
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Thanks Grit,

yes, the Baba has a good motion comfort number, something like 33, i think. good motion is important to me (as i does happen that i'll lunge for the yuk-bucket. hopefully long-term cruising will shake this out of me).

question: when you say "if you can handle the sail size..." i'm not sure i understand what you mean. on the winch?

thank you
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:46   #5
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
So, not a Baba owner, but my 30,000# Rafiki is in the same general category and I sail her myself (during watches), so here goes…

Not sure why you would think the displacement will be a problem. Specs say 12,500#, which is heavier than most 30-footers, but still isn’t a beast. Besides, unless you’re planning to push it around a lot with your bare hands, or start ramming other boats, displacement is only a good thing. More storage, more living space, easier in rough seas, what’s not to like?

“Too much load” … do you mean steering? Load on the rig under sail? I’ve never sailed a Baba, but I’m sure rudder and rigging are properly designed to managed the loads. Hoisting/changing sails might be a struggle, but that would be the case for any boat. Anchor gear will be heavier, but a windlass takes care of that.

Now, a more important factor is the full keel. Understand that this boat will want to go straight. She will not turn on a dime (or even a silver dollar). This makes her easy to manage out there on the briny, but a PITA when trying to manouver small, tight marinas.

Iron tanks can be a problem. I still have and use our original diesel tank, although to be fair our secondary tank has failed a pressure test. Have it pressure tested. It may be fine, but apparently Baba tanks are relatively easy to remove.

Teak decks … all the Baba’s I’ve seen had them, but maybe not all. If they’ve been removed, make sure the job was done right. My boat still has our teak deck. I absolutely love it as non-skid, and for the aesthetics. But it does put 2000 holes in my deck, and some are leaking. Keeping on top of the maintenance is a necessity.

Speaking of maintenance, the Baba has a lot of exterior wood (like mine). Varnish or teak oil will be your constant companion.

Hopeful actual Baba owners will chime in on specific issues, but on your question of load, I’d say not to worry.

Thanks Mike. Ys, i've peeked at the Rafiki a few times. sweet boats! i'm sure you love yours (and HAVE to love it too).

Load: Actually it was a a friend of mine who told me to make sure i could handle the "load" on a boat that has more displacement than most (for its size). i imagined he meant on the tiller (say with weather helm) and managing the sails in heavy weather.

Teak decks: i too love them but am looking for a boat without them. i do not like leaks. i do not like leaks at all, so if it means going without teak, i will. the early Babas all had teak decks, but the later ones (up the mid 80's) apparently did not, unless the buyer ordered them.


full keel: yes, they like to track, not turn, and one might as well get drunk before attempting to back up. i do not have any real sailing experience on a full keel boat (only the ride really, that and working on one on the hard) so this may be a wait-n-find-out kind of thing.

there are so few of these boats in Europe (3, i hear), so it isn't that easy to find an owner... and am a bit fed up with tearing myself away from boats that would need to jump through the CE hoops, so am looking globally now. actually i discussed this with an owner of a Baba 35 a while back (on the owners group) who told me he is making Europe his last destination so not to bother with, not to worry about CE-inspection and Vat until then. and this got me thinking...


thank you Mike!


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Old 18-06-2019, 03:55   #6
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

I’m not going to put in I have a lot of experience with a wide range of boats cause I don’t. But......I’ve done a fair bit of single handing on 2 boats.

If you are single handing you get tired, I don’t care how big and tough you are, you get tired. Especially during multi day passages. You want a boat that will provide an environment that makes you comfortable, where you can rest and recuperate. If you get too worn down you can’t sail. If you stay in good shape then can.

In short I would pick a boat that is comfortable to sail and forgiving.

Good luck.
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:05   #7
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

My boat is rather small and light compared to a Baba 30 but it does have a full keel.

I have lots of boating and sailing experience but very little docking experience. I learned how to dock with my present boat.

If I didn't have an outboard, I probably wouldn't be able to sail as often as I do coming and going from a crowded marina. (I sail singlehanded) On big wind days at the dock, it could be trouble. I didn't have my diesel long enough to find out.

With my outboard, I have double control with the two tillers and can turn the outboard thru 180 degrees plus

A friend of mine just bought a 35.6 Hunter moving up from a Catalina 27. He says he likes the heavier boat for docking but his rudder is large and he has a fin keel

As far as load, maybe if you tried to manhandle the sails it could get tough. When my furler jammed last week I had to wait til I got into my creek after sailing 4 hours then physically unwrap the jib the rest of the way a couple times around the furler/forestay then drop it. If I had dropped it out in the bay I would have had to cut the furler line which would have allowed the sail to spin the rest of the way out then I could have dropped it

Otherwise it would have meant heaving too and trying to work on it while getting hit by waves breaking over the bow

Also, boats like mine and the Baba 30 are not going to perform as well as some of the newer fin keel boats. I got to witness this when passed two boats that were sailing into the 25 knot winds (gusts to 29) last week

The newer design of at least 40' was sailing off the wind a bit and really looking good. An older design possibly full keel or long keel was actually sailing closer to the wind but hobby horsing a bit. Had he been off the wind more he may have looked better. I didn't get to see but the leader, the newer design, was sailing along quite smoothly.

Now that could have been due to the boat's weight and length.

Point is sometimes a better performing boat at the dock and offshore could be nice
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:39   #8
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
I’m not going to put in I have a lot of experience with a wide range of boats cause I don’t. But......I’ve done a fair bit of single handing on 2 boats.

If you are single handing you get tired, I don’t care how big and tough you are, you get tired. Especially during multi day passages. You want a boat that will provide an environment that makes you comfortable, where you can rest and recuperate. If you get too worn down you can’t sail. If you stay in good shape then can.

In short I would pick a boat that is comfortable to sail and forgiving.

Good luck.
Hpeer, you are right. fatigue is something to think about -- a lot. i'm no pro sailor and have much, much to learn...(been on the hard fixing than sailing). and i am not a big girl either (weighing 125 lbs for 5'7 makes me kinda lanky), so yes, i might find myself hopping about a bit for a while (as in, where is the nearest place to stop?).

for long passages, i'd definitely ask a real salt to sail with me. i recently crewed on a delivery where we were two, without autopilot for many days/nights on a light-weight boat that did not have good motion or a spec of comfort (no bimini, no heat, no hot water, and not much ballast either). and i loved it (all of it, even the yuk-bucket), but talk about fatigue! so yes, it will be about baby steps for a good while.

that said, John Kretschmer wrote that the baba 30 heaves to beautifully... so this is a big plus as well (once i master that manoeuvre!).



thanks!


wolfgal
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:44   #9
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

To me, single handing boats is not only about size, but about ease of moving about the decks. I would get aboard one and see how easily you can get about.

FWIW, I gave up my long term lust-affair with the Adams 40 series of boats after being on board one in a marina pen for five minutes. I realised then and there that I could not get about on it without a lot effort. A pity, because otherwise I think they are superb boats and a heck of a lot faster than my current ride.
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Old 18-06-2019, 04:58   #10
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
My boat is rather small and light compared to a Baba 30 but it does have a full keel.

I have lots of boating and sailing experience but very little docking experience. I learned how to dock with my present boat.

If I didn't have an outboard, I probably wouldn't be able to sail as often as I do coming and going from a crowded marina. (I sail singlehanded) On big wind days at the dock, it could be trouble. I didn't have my diesel long enough to find out.

With my outboard, I have double control with the two tillers and can turn the outboard thru 180 degrees plus

A friend of mine just bought a 35.6 Hunter moving up from a Catalina 27. He says he likes the heavier boat for docking but his rudder is large and he has a fin keel

As far as load, maybe if you tried to manhandle the sails it could get tough. When my furler jammed last week I had to wait til I got into my creek after sailing 4 hours then physically unwrap the jib the rest of the way a couple times around the furler/forestay then drop it. If I had dropped it out in the bay I would have had to cut the furler line which would have allowed the sail to spin the rest of the way out then I could have dropped it

Otherwise it would have meant heaving too and trying to work on it while getting hit by waves breaking over the bow

Also, boats like mine and the Baba 30 are not going to perform as well as some of the newer fin keel boats. I got to witness this when passed two boats that were sailing into the 25 knot winds (gusts to 29) last week

The newer design of at least 40' was sailing off the wind a bit and really looking good. An older design possibly full keel or long keel was actually sailing closer to the wind but hobby horsing a bit. Had he been off the wind more he may have looked better. I didn't get to see but the leader, the newer design, was sailing along quite smoothly.

Now that could have been due to the boat's weight and length.

Point is sometimes a better performing boat at the dock and offshore could be nice

thomm, you have an outboard motor on the back of your Bristol 27? you do not use the diesel engine in the boat but another off the back. is this right? you speak of two tillers, so i see you managing both in the cockpit....


Yes, docking... Oh Dear! i'm not the most confident person out there so will need to master this by practice... but from the experience i do have, i'm convinced that (beyond judging the wind and situation well) getting good at it has a whole lot to do with knowing one's boat intimately and how it behaves.

as for performance... yes, true... but i'm not the hype-type: when others wanted a porche or a mustang or whatever, i chose the carmen gia (actually drove a Thing back when). so yes, there are the advantages that come with improved performance, but as long as the boat is safe and gets me there in descent condition, i think i can deal with being in the slow lane.

That said, Perry wrote somewhere about the boat's speed in light airs boils down to the condition of the sails

thanks!
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:10   #11
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
To me, single handing boats is not only about size, but about ease of moving about the decks. I would get aboard one and see how easily you can get about.

FWIW, I gave up my long term lust-affair with the Adams 40 series of boats after being on board one in a marina pen for five minutes. I realised then and there that I could not get about on it without a lot effort. A pity, because otherwise I think they are superb boats and a heck of a lot faster than my current ride.
Good point GILow! and yes, lust-affairs can fizzle! being a boat nut can sometimes be emotionally challenging...

and you are right to point this out. some small gals are much nicer than others on deck. the Pacific Seacraft Orion 27 was great for going forward, much better than the Victoria 800 (like the Francis,a Chuck Payne boat); and both of these were MUCH nicer than other small gals i've been on,andespecially compared to the production sailing school boats and racing boats i'v been on. it is curious because i once felt uncomfortable on an island packet 38, which had rather wide decks, because it felt like the slant of the decks(outward) wanted me overboard--

that said, the baba 30 has a lot of clutter, places for making purple toes, etc. i'm light-footed (i think, still) so think it will not be too much of an issue, hopefully... for a while... but yes, getting older is just that... so i will keep this in mind.

thank you!


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Old 18-06-2019, 05:25   #12
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Don't forget the Baba is a cutter rig...which means your main is a bit smaller than a sloop, which makes it more manageable. The jib is (or should be) yankee cut which also makes it more manageable in terms of load at the winch.

I think the Baba is the perfect boat for you in terms of what you want to do with it, and I can't foresee any of it's displacement or rig being a problem for you. There are always ways to get more mechanical advantage in a boat if you're creative. I know plenty of women, some of them fairly small/slight and on bigger or more challenging boats, who single-hand their boats without a problem. One of them is 70 and on a Hans Christian 40.

I would be more concerned about the exterior brightwork. There is a lot of it. You best learn to like varnishing if you don't already.

They are gorgeous boats. The interiors are fabulous.

As far as docking goes, you'll get the hang of it. Sometimes there will be occasions where you just can't do it single-handed due to wind, current etc. You'll go throw out the hook until conditions change. It's more a matter of learning what you can and cannot do with the boat, and working with that. It has absolutely nothing to do with gender or strength, but rather one pair of hands and can only be at one spot on the boat at a time.
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:27   #13
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

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Originally Posted by wolfgal View Post
thomm, you have an outboard motor on the back of your Bristol 27? you do not use the diesel engine in the boat but another off the back. is this right? you speak of two tillers, so i see you managing both in the cockpit....


Yes, docking... Oh Dear! i'm not the most confident person out there so will need to master this by practice... but from the experience i do have, i'm convinced that (beyond judging the wind and situation well) getting good at it has a whole lot to do with knowing one's boat intimately and how it behaves.

as for performance... yes, true... but i'm not the hype-type: when others wanted a porche or a mustang or whatever, i chose the carmen gia (actually drove a Thing back when). so yes, there are the advantages that come with improved performance, but as long as the boat is safe and gets me there in descent condition, i think i can deal with being in the slow lane.

That said, Perry wrote somewhere about the boat's speed in light airs boils down to the condition of the sails

thanks!
The 40 plus year old diesel failed soon after I bought the boat. Actually the gear box failed first and I replaced that then the diesel and I replaced that then the second diesel. It was very old as well.

So I removed the diesel engine and all associated parts and pieces to include the prop shaft and sealed up the thru hull for it

Then I cleaned the 40 plus years of dirt, sludge, and grime from the engine compartment (and bilge) and also removed the mounts

Then mounted an outboard bracket and new 5 hp 4 stroke 25" extra long shaft outboard. Actually I just replaced the bracket this year with a new one. I had totally worn out the first one

When docking, I use bought tillers when necessary while sitting on the aft lazarette locker (actually on the solar panel that's on that locker)

If you are not a real speed/performance freak then a good cruising full keel boat may work well for you. I like the performance of the larger fin keel boats but enjoy the challenge at times of getting my boat upwind. It just doesn't like to point

A Baba 30 should point a bit better than mine though with it's increased water line and weight especially in heavy seas
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:32   #14
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

Quote:
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thomm, you have an outboard motor on the back of your Bristol 27? you do not use the diesel engine in the boat but another off the back. is this right? you speak of two tillers, so i see you managing both in the cockpit....


Yes, docking... Oh Dear! i'm not the most confident person out there so will need to master this by practice... but from the experience i do have, i'm convinced that (beyond judging the wind and situation well) getting good at it has a whole lot to do with knowing one's boat intimately and how it behaves.

as for performance... yes, true... but i'm not the hype-type: when others wanted a porche or a mustang or whatever, i chose the carmen gia (actually drove a Thing back when). so yes, there are the advantages that come with improved performance, but as long as the boat is safe and gets me there in descent condition, i think i can deal with being in the slow lane.

That said, Perry wrote somewhere about the boat's speed in light airs boils down to the condition of the sails

thanks!
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Old 18-06-2019, 05:39   #15
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Re: Baba 30: too much load to single-hand?

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
The 40 plus year old diesel failed soon after I bought the boat. Actually the gear box failed first and I replaced that then the diesel and I replaced that then the second diesel. It was very old as well.

So I removed the diesel engine and all associated parts and pieces to include the prop shaft and sealed up the thru hull for it

Then I cleaned the 40 plus years of dirt, sludge, and grime from the engine compartment and also removed the mounts

Then mounted an outboard bracket and new 5 hp 4 stroke 25" extra long shaft outboard. Actually I just replaced the bracket this year with a new one. I had totally worn out the first one

When docking, I use bought tillers when necessary while sitting on the aft lazarette locker (actually on the solar panel that's on that locker)

If you are not a real speed/performance freak then a good cruising full keel boat may work well for you. I like the performance of the larger fin keel boats but enjoy the challenge at times of getting my boat upwind. It just doesn't like to point
Winter dream a pretty gal!

i see now, cn see how this could be an option for smaller boats. and has unaided advantage: one less hole in the boat.

i once considered a 28' boat with an electric engine. i still think about it and think that, in the future, this may be a good option for me once it is time for engine replacement.

your solution seems quite straight-forward though.



thanks.
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