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Old 16-11-2015, 11:47   #16
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
There's not really any answer to that question. It's all relative.

You just go where you can get into, with whatever boat you have. If you have 1.5 meters of draft, there's always someplace you could go if only you had 1 meter. And so forth.

I have cruised the Baltic from one end to the other -- twice. In the Baltic, a 40' boat is considered "big"; anything over 50' is a "ship". Despite that, I had few problems. I regretted not getting into Poorvu, Finland, for having just a little too much draft. I regretted having to sail clear around Fehmarn, Germany, because my mast was one meter too high to get under the bridge. Tying up bows-to in some of the rustic "guest harbor" marinas in Sweden in a "ship" is a challenge (but at the same time, you are sometimes allowed to use regular commercial harbors otherwise closed to yachts). But these inconveniences are very minor in the grand scheme of things. A bigger boat is more comfortable at anchor and can anchor in deeper water. And you can carry a bigger, faster dinghy

Bottom line, is I have never met a cruiser who said "dang; I wish I had a smaller boat".

There might be exceptions if you are based in SW Florida or if you plan to spend a whole year cruising the Bahamas.


The B57 is a nice, fast, comfortable boat, and probably an excellent choice for your friend, especially if he's planning to get BETWEEN all those places you listed
I have. Eric Hiscock said he regretted not having a smaller boat. A lot of folks find having a big bathtub a bit much to handle, expensive, and not all that safe in a seaway.
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Old 16-11-2015, 12:47   #17
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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I have. Eric Hiscock said he regretted not having a smaller boat. A lot of folks find having a big bathtub a bit much to handle, expensive, and not all that safe in a seaway.
I hate it when people say 'a lot of folks', when they are stating a personal opinion.

The first conclusion of the Fastnet Investigation committee was that large boats are less prone to capsize than small boats.
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Old 16-11-2015, 12:55   #18
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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I hate it when people say 'a lot of folks', when they are stating a personal opinion.

The first conclusion of the Fastnet Investigation committee was that large boats are less prone to capsize than small boats.
It was not the length of boat but the displacement of boat that affected the loss rate. However, the overall finding was inept captains, not inept boats other than those boats that were never meant to be out in hurricane winds. When you stray too far from blue water cruising designs, you will have real problems with the boat's ability to handle violent storms.
Remember the westsail 32 survived fine during the "Perfect Storm", big trawlers did not.
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Old 16-11-2015, 13:04   #19
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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I have. Eric Hiscock said he regretted not having a smaller boat. A lot of folks find having a big bathtub a bit much to handle, expensive, and not all that safe in a seaway.
To each his own. Of course! I'm not trying to persuade anyone that they should have a bigger or smaller boat. Everyone has to make up his own mind.

My post was directed at the OP, whose friend is wondering whether the B57 might be too much for him. Maybe Eric Hiscock (would that have been back in the 1930's?) wished for a smaller boat, but I have not known anyone in my 40 years of sailing who did. This remark is intended to encourage the OP's friend -- based on my experience, he is unlikely to regret going for that B57 or find it "a bit much to handle" or, of all things (??!!) "not all that safe in a seaway".

Cost, of course, is a different question, but neither you nor I can answer that for other people.


My boat, which I have sailed about 20,000 miles over the better part of a decade, almost all of it above 50 degrees N, some of it above 60 degrees N, and some of it single-handed, is 54 feet on deck and about 60' LOA with the davits. About 25 tons loaded. She is particularly good in the strong weather we tend to get up here, and particularly good for single-handing, because of her great stability in a seaway. When I bought her, I actually wanted a boat under 50' (I had been trying to buy an Oyster 485), and considered her size to be a disadvantage, but changed my mind very soon after I started sailing her.

If I ever replace her (and I do have idle dreams of a custom built metal boat), I will go a little bigger yet -- maybe about 60' or 62' on deck, but without more beam than my present boat.

Other people preferences will, naturally, be different, but these might be relevant data points for the OP's friend.
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Old 16-11-2015, 13:09   #20
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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I have a friend considering cruising on a Beneteau 57. West Coast of North America, South Pacific, Carribean, Mediterranean.

How much of a liability will 25 meter mast height and 2.6 meter draft be in these places?
Bahamas and the ICW will pose some issues.

In some respects having a deeper draft makes the decision process easier.

We're looking at forward scanning sonar in our 2015 instrumentation upgrade. This way our 6'6" draft becomes a bit more manageable in those places where the charts might be a little suspect...

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Old 16-11-2015, 13:33   #21
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
It was not the length of boat but the displacement of boat that affected the loss rate. However, the overall finding was inept captains, not inept boats other than those boats that were never meant to be out in hurricane winds. When you stray too far from blue water cruising designs, you will have real problems with the boat's ability to handle violent storms.
Remember the westsail 32 survived fine during the "Perfect Storm", big trawlers did not.
Sorry, this is false. The report says size is correlated to knockdowns:

". . .boat size to wave size ratio is an important factor which will always make smaller boats more vulnerable. In classes 0-2 the percentage of severe knockdowns was 11 % compared with 46% in classes 3-5."

1979 Fastnet Report, page 18.

It says that a wide beam compared to length is slightly correlated to a greater propensity to knock-downs, but that D/L is not. So greater displacement in the same length has no affect on propensity to knockdowns. See page 17: "There is little indication of any relationship between ballast ratio or length/displacement ratio and vulnerability to knockdowns."

Nor did the report say anything about "straying from blue water designs". On the contrary, the report found that light, fast boats did no worse than others. As long as they had reasonable stability. Some of the boats, built to cheat the IOR rules, did not. As a rule, these were smaller boats.

The report spent much more time criticizing the boats (and equipment, and safety procedures), than the captains, contrary to what this post says. It doesn't seem to me that you have read it. Here it is: http://www.blur.se/images/fastnet-race-inquiry.pdf In fact, the report says: "There is no evidence that the level of experience of the skippers and crews taking part in the 1979 Race had any significant bearing on the total of knockdowns." Page 53.

I'm writing this in Cowes just steps from the memorial to the '79 Fastnet victims. These are my home waters, and I live with this report.


Comparing trawlers to sailboats is invalid. Unballasted power boats are, naturally, far less stable than sailboats with deep, ballasted keels. I would certainly rather be in a well-found 32' sailboat than in almost any kind of power boat, in really extreme weather. But I'd even still much rather be in a well-found 60' sailboat. As the writers of the '79 Fastnet report said -- "boat to wave size ratio is an important factor."

Which is not a reason necessarily to have a bigger boat -- few of us will ever encounter weather like that. But let's not spread misinformation.
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Old 16-11-2015, 14:58   #22
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
I have. Eric Hiscock said he regretted not having a smaller boat. A lot of folks find having a big bathtub a bit much to handle, expensive, and not all that safe in a seaway.
He died 30 years ago. Times have changed. Reading books by the early cruisers are fun and exciting but not always relevant to today.

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Old 16-11-2015, 15:52   #23
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

Remember an old dud, single handing a 51 foot Hudson on the ICW. His anchor got stuck in the muck and he was unable to free it by himself. Another time down in Miami, another sad old guy(probably about 50 years old) was trying to sail a 50+ foot Swan, but the boat got out of his control, rounded up and t boned a sightseeing boat. somehow seeing guys trying to single hand big boats is a sad sight indeed. Kind of like someone living by themselves in a huge mansion. Unfulfilled dreams. Advice is: sailing big boats requires crews. And bigger is not necessarily more comfortable nor safer.
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Old 16-11-2015, 17:17   #24
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Remember an old dud, single handing a 51 foot Hudson on the ICW. His anchor got stuck in the muck and he was unable to free it by himself. Another time down in Miami, another sad old guy(probably about 50 years old) was trying to sail a 50+ foot Swan, but the boat got out of his control, rounded up and t boned a sightseeing boat. somehow seeing guys trying to single hand big boats is a sad sight indeed. Kind of like someone living by themselves in a huge mansion. Unfulfilled dreams. Advice is: sailing big boats requires crews. And bigger is not necessarily more comfortable nor safer.
Boats of all sizes get out of control. If there is any correlation with size, them probably smaller boats, which are more easily overcome by wind, are more likely to wipe out. I have been whacked into by three sailboats this year; none of them single handed or large. I have whacked into zero. Zero a year for six years, actually.

I enjoy single-handing my large boat. Crew is definitely not required, although I admit it's more fun to have someone to drink with when you arrive. Especially much fun is berthing at Cowes single-handed in front of crowds of racers -- and getting her tied up before anyone can get down the pontoon to help. Cleat-lassoing is the key skill here You can't step onto the pontoon from a large boat to get tied up single handed -- because pulling her in will be beyond your strength, if she starts to drift off. So you do it from the deck. Extra points for doing it without the main engine, which is eminently doable -- and fun -- if the wind is right.

"Huge mansion"? I doubt if my boat has more than 50m2 of interior space. Would be considered very small by apartment standards. It does seem large compared to my previous, 38' boat, but it is by no means too much space for one or two people, much less five or six, as I often have on board. Like on all boats, there is a chronic shortage of storage space Having a couple of empty cabins helps with this, but only until the next guests arrive
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Old 16-11-2015, 20:48   #25
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Big boat cruising problems?

I have been whacked into by three sailboats this year; none of them single handed or large.

You have been hit three times in one year? That has to be some kind of record! I have not "whacked" into others either, but don't consider it a boasting point. Also have not been hit, ever. Maybe you should work on your avoidance tactics.


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Old 16-11-2015, 21:04   #26
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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It was not the length of boat ..........

.......other than those boats that were never meant to be out in hurricane winds. ..........


When you stray too far from blue water cruising designs, you will have real problems with the boat's ability to handle violent storms.
.

Meant to be out in a hurricane is a pretty bold claim. I can't remember seeing that in a brochure.


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Old 16-11-2015, 21:06   #27
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

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I have been whacked into by three sailboats this year; none of them single handed or large.

You have been hit three times in one year? That has to be some kind of record! I have not "whacked" into others either, but don't consider it a boasting point. Also have not been hit, ever. Maybe you should work on your avoidance tactics.
Ah, jMan, please tread lightly, here. I got "hit" a few years ago. Coming down a wide fairway between two different marinas, a small 20-22 footer came roaring out of a marina fairway behind a large moored/end tie power yacht. He was going so fast that as he came from my starboard forward side he ended leaving a big scrape on the PORT side of my bow!!! I was going much slower than he was.

Stuff happens.

If you're out, and you may be, as long & often as Dockhead, you, statistically, could well run into (pi!) some boneheads.

Or stuff happens, sometimes with all good intentions on everybody's part.
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Old 16-11-2015, 21:08   #28
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Big boat cruising problems?

Sure, one time, or even one time a year (which still seems high). Three times a year you have to go looking for.

You say a few years ago, so nothing in the last few years, let alone twice more.


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Old 16-11-2015, 21:09   #29
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

Considering the enormity of the question, I have decided not to answer. Not until the OP's friends invite me to go sailing with them, or at least buy me a beer.
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Old 16-11-2015, 21:30   #30
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Re: Big boat cruising problems?

As a former delivery skipper, mast height and draft was not nearly as big a problem as was trying to find moorage over about 80 feet. It was a continuing issue to take on fuel and supplies safely and many times ended up anchoring and lightering out supplies and fuel. Not a big deal because I wasn't paying for it but a pain in the but for the crew as well as myself. Phil
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