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Old 09-11-2012, 05:39   #16
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

..from a cost and maintenance point there is nothing better than a smaller boat. from a Living aboard perspective 4 ft more are a BIG improvement (as mentioned before its not just space, its all combined tankage, speed and usually stability as well. Another thing which usually gets forgotten is the resell value. More and more boats are produced in the 40 + range, its simply preferred for couples. I would assume you can resell a boat in the 40ft range always better than any 36ft.

I would ask myself just two questions assuming the boats are similar:
1) Do I feel comfortable handeling the bigger boat alone?
2) Can I afford it (we NOT talking buying, we talk maintenance as all gets bigger ergo more expensive)?

If you can answer both questions with yes I would with no doubt go 40ft.

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Old 09-11-2012, 05:39   #17
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

There's a lot of wisdom in this thread, and now to make these ideas useful you need to consider specific boats. That said, I think there's a reason that there are so many boats built in the 38-40 ft range. Many couples find this a sweet spot in terms of performance, space, and cost. So maybe you can answer your question by splitting the difference.

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Old 09-11-2012, 05:40   #18
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

my 35 ericson is small with low to my 41 formosa, beamy and high freeboard--lots of room in formosa--room for relaxing, not in the bedroom, and room for dining--not in the main saloon, cabinets not found in ericson----range--ericson has only 20-25 gal tanks---short hopper--and formosa has 160 gal water and over 80 gal fuel capacity, much more comfortable cockpit for long range cruising...
i donot step on bubba as much in the formosa as i did in ericson--he keeps his tail straight out behind while eating,, and i would step on him ..oops....

the biggest relief i found in the larger boat is that i do not have to get into weird contorted positions to deal with engine, trans, packing gland, and other hard to reach in smaller boats places.
i LOVE this huge boat--isnt that much harder to dock--is actually quite easy, as this one actually backs up fairly straight..LOL--unheard of!!!
there is more room to stow dinghies and toys, and the propelling devices appropriate for each, and this 28000 pound ketch is easier to sail than my 11600 pound sloop, especially short or single handed..
.i am loving this life soo much!!!
i can sail bigger winds in my formosa than i could in my ericson--and no weather helm.....
if you can do the larger boat, go for it--is easier if there is a split rig, so sails dont take so much effort to raise, and flat, wide decks for walking forward in seas--nothing in way of feet --nothing to break toesies--and many more places to hang a hammock in an anchorage.
down side--rent in marinas is slightly more with 40 ft than 35.

maintenance, for me, has been less pricey with formosa than ericson--i now know where to find GOOD stuff less expensively.....and i do not pay usa rates for labor. those are ridiculously high.

before you buy--SAIL EVERYTHING you can-- will make your choice much easier--especially knowing what you may not enjoy in a sailing boat. each one is different--you need to find that which is good for you.
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Old 09-11-2012, 05:54   #19
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

I have had a 36' Gozzard and now a 44G so have a good means of comparison.
The 44 has 50% more displacement (30k vs 20k). The larger the boat the better the ride - incrementally. You'll still be uncomfortable in anything under 100' when the seas build offshore.

The larger boat will go a bit faster due to longer WL.
But expenses are higher from slip fees to replacement parts.

Bigger is nice but not always the best choice.

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Old 09-11-2012, 06:00   #20
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

You also can look at the motion comfort ratings of the boats. I have first hand noticed the difference. Hunter 37.5 # 21 Hunter 37 cutter # 31 a ten point spread makes a hugely different boat. My wife noticed this even at the dock.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:30   #21
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

So it's settled. He needs a 38.
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:46   #22
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

Originally Posted by pablothesailor View Post
but are there any big negatives ive not considered by having a 36 instead of 40 or above?? Thanks!
Big negatives? For me at 6'3"/1.9m, headroom was a problem with smaller boats. Back when I was sailing a 37' boat it was fine for a fortnight, but it was not a boat I'd have wanted to live on. Moving up to a 41' boat gave me the ability to walk around upright, stretch out in bed, et cetera.

Of course, when we moved from 41' to 46' we felt as if we were living in a palace.
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:31   #23
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

I've sailed both sizes solo or as a watchstander in some pretty snotty weather, both in steel and fibreglass. LOA is one of the least important measurements to my mind, although I would be happier on the smaller boat if it were just me, but only if the design allowed heaving-to, which is problematic on a lot of modern, flat-bilged fin keelers. Solo sailing means you have to rest, and that means you have to plan and you have to have a boat with the variable notion of "sea-keeping qualities".

My only comment in the absence of other information is that I would not want less than 35 feet for bluewater cruising due to sailing and stowage factors, but people regularly cross oceans on smaller boats. I do, therefore, think there's a significant difference in the strength (absent mechanical aids) and stamina required to run a 36 footer compared to a 46 footer.

I have noticed that older couples (past 65) seem to have difficulty with the 40-plus Beneteau/Jeanneau/Catalina types with the high freeboard and massive salons. Not all of them, but I see some deck-level awkwardness on occasion, and I think "you'd be happier on a Pacific Seacraft 37".
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:51   #24
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

We had in succeeding order an Ingrid 38, a Transpac 49 and finally a DeFever 54 powerboat. As the size increased, so did the comfort of living aboard for many of the last 30 years. As did the cost of maintenance. We moved to power as age and infirmity made sail handling in a blow problematic and embraced the changes we had made. It has been our experience that when you add feet to either power or sail, the additional room in right in the middle of the boat where you do much of your living. While the DeFever was stabilized, the motion under sail was more predictable and very comfortable provided we didn't carry too much sail. Being conservative, we did a lot of planning for passagemaking and avoided much of the bad weather but did get caught a couple of times off the west coast of Mexico where weather forecasting was not as accurate as in the US or the Caribbean. Weatherfax capability was a big plus.
Not really a question of 'go big or go home' but more of what you plan on doing aboard and which part of the world you plan to do it in.
As you age, smaller, easier to handle has real advantages but I've seen folks older than me double handing on vessels up to 70 feet. You just need to pick your passage windows more carefully. Phil
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Old 09-11-2012, 08:58   #25
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

There is some terrific advice on this thread, I have taken on board a lot (pardon the pun) and have decided nothing LESS then 36 & nothing MORE than 40ft, it seems 38 may just be the place to go for me in my situation? I just wonder how many 38s are already geared up for singlehanded and if not what it might cost to change? I am not pretending to be hugely experienced (1200 sailing miles) and have never even sailed alone up till now (I intend to have a more experienced friend with me right at the start for a few weeks), it would be nice to have that little bit more space, but the motion while under way and at anchor may even be more important!
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:07   #26
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

Dang it. I just bought a 36 footer...and thought THAT was big.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:19   #27
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Re: Big difference between 36 & 44 feet????

For me the 38's are the sweet spot but what I've found for single-handing is that many of them don't run halyards to the cockpit. However, I understand that's a fairly easy mod to make, provided you have sufficient winching capabilities (i.e. an additional, strong-enough winch at the forward edge of the cockpit).

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