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Old 04-01-2009, 21:09   #121
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I`ll throw in my 2 cents and say what everyone else is pretty much said already. Size is a matter of comfort not seaworthiness. I don`t think anyone wouls question the seaworthiness of a Bristol Channel Cutter. So it basically comes down to preference and comfort level of the crew. I personally prefer boats less than 30 feet. I lived and sailed on a Cal-29 for 2yrs and never wished I had a larger boat. Thats not to say that one day I will not have a larger boat.

Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Then there are those microcuisers

http://www.microcruising.com/
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Old 10-01-2009, 16:13   #122
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I feel far more comfortable with a smaller boat and the difference in price and maintenance costs in the bank, than I would having all my money in the boat and no financial backup. I've done it both ways.
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Old 11-01-2009, 16:15   #123
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Originally Posted by Rhosyn Mor View Post
You buy the boat that fits your needs- including the budget... Bigger boats do not HAVE to be more complex...


I think that says it… most of us juggle a bunch of factors, size (how ever one measures it…) being only one of the factors… as you say, size does not have to engender greater complexity, and for a few there has been commendable success in not filling up larger hulls with every techno-gadget that will fit the space… yet, for others, messing about with the gadgetry is part of the enjoyment, so we each try to balance the equation our best… fifteen foot boats have made enough seamanlike voyages that they barely make the news – likewise, seventy-five footers…
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Old 27-07-2009, 17:39   #124
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You hit the nail on the head when you said "compromise". I wanted a 30' for reasons discussed frequently on this topic. My wife wanted a 40'. We compromised with a 34'. Could I be happy on a 40'? You bet your bum I would. Would my banker agree? Not on your life.

I will note that we are all like goldfish and will grow as large as our surroundings allow and this is particularly true on a boat. You will always need more space for your "junk". However, I could never see myself in a boat bigger than a 44 ft. as there is simply too mch work to sail her and keep her up - not to mention the expense.
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Old 01-08-2009, 17:57   #125
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A bigger boat will generally sail faster, have a more sea-kindly motion, and more storage at the expense of higher maintenance, dockage, and operating costs. Duh! Being able to sail out of bad weather, carry more provisions/fuel/guests in better comfort can make an unpleasant or prolonged passage less so. In many more remote places you may have problems with dockage and anchoring.

So why aren't there more big boats out there? I think it's because there's a point where the cost outweighs the benefits. Most of the boats cruising today are in the 40-45' range. This doesn't make that size perfect but it does make one think. Having sailed and worked aboard large sailing yachts I can attest to the comfort level, benefits of crew, and dryness. I can also discuss to the costs of repair and maintenance. Finding a lift for larger and heavier boats can be a real task in the less traveled parts of the world.

Many folks have commented on docking and while that can be more difficult with larger boats (especially single screw without a bow thruster) I would also bring up navigating narrow openings into anchorages and maneuvering around boats in crowded mooring/anchoring fields.

I also think that most cruising boats are manned by couples and while powered winches are nice, taking in large sails with a crew of 2 can be a tough act. Yes, I know the mantra "reef early, and often" but manhandling an 800 square foot main is a lot more work and dangerous than a 400 square foot one, powered winch or not.

If you're coastal cruising, sailing marina to marina, or popular spot to popular spot, a large boat is a real benefit. If you're gunkholing, sailing into narrow reef channels, careening to put on some bottom paint or do repairs, trying to find a lift or railway to get hauled, or dodging coral heads getting to the small anchorage, then small is the way to go.
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Old 13-11-2009, 08:31   #126
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buy the smallest boat you can live with,if thats still 50+ feet thats ok by me, but my 30footer goes out more often ,more readily,and usually a lot further than the big boys waiting on the dock for the crew to arrive or the technician to arrive to tweak their latest gadget.A boat may be your home but do not try to make it into a house if you trully want to get out onto the water.BTW blahman is worth listening to ,much wisdom from that young feller and oh yes i hve been doing this for 40 yrs much of it on larger boats.
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Old 14-11-2009, 08:17   #127
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I'm not sure it's the size of the boat that keeps them tethered to the dock, I think it's more a matter of available time for many of us.

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buy the smallest boat you can live with,if thats still 50+ feet thats ok by me, but my 30footer goes out more often ,more readily,and usually a lot further than the big boys waiting on the dock for the crew to arrive or the technician to arrive to tweak their latest gadget.A boat may be your home but do not try to make it into a house if you trully want to get out onto the water.BTW blahman is worth listening to ,much wisdom from that young feller and oh yes i hve been doing this for 40 yrs much of it on larger boats.
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Old 14-11-2009, 09:04   #128
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I'm not sure it's the size of the boat that keeps them tethered to the dock, I think it's more a matter of available time for many of us.
your point about available time is consistent with my points.We all have24 hrs/day,i just dont spend mine working to support the costs of these larger boats. hope to see you on the water.
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Old 14-11-2009, 15:12   #129
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I don't buy the argument that you have more amenities on a larger boat. All you have is more space, and even then, many 40 ft boats don't have as much usable headroom as my 30 footer. I have a quarterberth that is over 7 feet long, a settee that pulls out to a nice double berth, a big single in the forward cabin, a comfortable main cabin and a fully equipped galley. What more do one or two people need?

If I were looking to cruise full time with 4 adult-sized people, then I'd want to look at 38-40 ft., but no larger than that.

Really, how often are you in a situation where your life depends on outrunning weather? Unless you are on a lee shore, you can just heave to and let it pass. IMHO the danger of being overpowered in a larger boat outweighs the speed advantage, unless you have a big crew. Big boats are also a PITA at the fueling dock or in crowded anchorages.

If pure speed were so important then we'd all be sailing multihulls anyway.
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Old 14-11-2009, 15:39   #130
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Regardless of sail handling gear, a bigger boat suggests more crew.

The closest call I have ever had was nearly getting cut in half by a 60 footer with 2 people on-board.

I was going to weather on starboard tack. Had been for 20 minutes. He was on port tack. Had been for 10 minutes. No surprises that way, but the wind was osolating. He had a deck sweeping genoa up, a girlfriend facing aft, and without a bow watch, no possibility of seeing in his blind spot from the helm.

He had a lot of water line and was going well. I had a 27' Stiletto cat and was going exactly the same speed. As we neared, it seemed clear he was taking my stern, but it was just a shift. As we got close, the wind changed and we were closing at ~ 20 knots. He clearly did not see me at all. If I tacked away on a cat, I would be nearly dead in the water (compared to our speeds) and would be hit if the wind changed back. If I turned to port, we would really approach each other fast, and if he did yield it would be very bad. Given our closing speed and the weight difference (1200 pounds vs 50,000 pounds) someone could die. It would not be paint damage.

The boat was very well trimmed and sailing well; I just assumed someone was watching.

I turned port and passed just off his rail at over a 20knots differential. The girlfriend fell off her seat. The man jumped a foot. I suggested he should return to harbor if he couldn't keep a bow watch. He was a menace. He did roll some jib in.

With a bigger boat comes greater responsibility, and that can take more crew.
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Old 14-11-2009, 17:16   #131
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I just went from a 36 foot boat to a 55 foot one, so I can comment.

Lot of wise things have been said already.

Docking is frightening (still getting used to it). But it's not all bad -- thruster on the 55 versus none on the 36 is a big (huge) plus in docking. The big boat backs up straight -- plus. Huge minus -- big boat has immense inertia, so you need to start applying that reverse thrust what seems like five minutes before you need to stop, for example. You cannot move the boat instantaneously. Huge minus.

Another big minus in docking -- your crew can no longer push her around by hand, push her off of another boat, etc.

Other pluses pretty much like everyone said -- much more stable under sail, much more benign handling in heavy weather, much more comfortable motion.

Much more space below -- comfort.

Serious tankage.

A real shower, almost like at home.


Minus -- expense of maintenance, expense of gear, sails, docking -- EVERYTHING is more expensive. Everything is bigger, heavier, harder to handle, and more expensive.

Climbing up a 75 foot mast.

Another minus no one mentioned -- much higher forces on all of the gear. With electric winches (four of them on our boat), you can deal with it, but what if those forces ever get out of control? You can't manhandle anything on a boat, when it gets to this size. If you had six crew on board, that wouldn't be a problem, but two-handed? As long as all the fancy gear works and doesn't break, it's just as easy as a small boat. If something breaks down or breaks . . . . it could be hairy.

Minus: anchoring further out because you draw 7'6". Plus: you carry 100 meters of 12mm chain and a 100 lb. anchor. So you have much less need for shelter, to anchor successfully. ANchoring in deeper water gives you much more choices than in a smaller boat. Minus: imagine trying to get that ground tackle lifted on board if the electric windlass every goes on the fritz.

So all in all it's a mixed bag. The boat I really wanted was smaller -- a 48. This one was a backup, and I considered the size to be a minus. After having had some time to get used to her, I like the size a lot better than I thought I would. It has more advantages than I really expected. But I would be happy on a 45 foot boat, too, I think, which is all most of us really need.
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Old 14-11-2009, 18:07   #132
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A smaller one, but not too small one.

For two - a well designed and laid out 32-34 footer.

Some safety, some comfort, some storage and tankage, low cost.

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Old 14-11-2009, 19:50   #133
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I could not agree more!

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With a bigger boat comes greater responsibility, and that can take more crew.
When I had smaller boats I used to be a lot more generous turning over the helm to guests, until while beer canning when my current boat was new we came within half a boat length of T-Boning a 38 footer; we were doing 9.5 knots and we'd have cut that boat in half. The friend at the helm at that point was an experienced skipper, but all his sea time had been on boats lucky to do 5 knots.

At the point where you're dealing with hull speeds over eight knots and displacements over 15 tons it's a whole new game. Not only do you need more crew, you need more experienced crew.
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Old 14-11-2009, 21:14   #134
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For two - a well designed and laid out 32-34 footer...
Yep, the mid to low thirty foot range used to be the sweet-spot for cruising boats a quarter of a century ago or so (displacing 10,000 – 15,000 generally), but that seems to have crept up at least ten feet in the intervening years – perhaps the Dashew philosophy, I don’t know… but having "graduated" to a live-aboard ketch in the mid-forty foot range some years back, and eventually grown weary of the size (just personal preference..) I’ve relished the reality-size for these past few years… everything smaller, less expensive – we buy paint and epoxy by the quart rather than the gallon… but the Admiral wants something slightly roomier, so guess what – we’re looking right back in the 32-35 foot range… Hmmmm…
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Old 14-11-2009, 23:16   #135
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I reckon the perfect size is 40



..........................................meters!


And a nice crew of hot chicks as crew
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