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Old 19-10-2012, 22:49   #31
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

I have owned 17 to 44 foot boats. Skippered up to 60 foot and crewed on up to 102 foot. That was in my 30s and 40s when I was young and fit. DAMN THOSE BIG BOATS WERE HARD WORK. I loved my 44 foot Peterson, but now in my mid 60s I am lookin for a smaller boat. Not just cost wise, but maintainace wise. Things break on boats and they break more dramaticaly on bigger boats. The 102 foot sloop I crewed on broke a pin in the hydraulic genoa furler and it took 5 or 6 of us to drop the genoa and tie it on deck. It almost threw a man overboard in the process. This was in modest trade winds. If it had broken in a gail and the sail unfurled it might have taken the whole rig down. Bigger boats=bigger problems. Just my 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 19-10-2012, 23:05   #32
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

Thanks all for your generous thoughts!
As much as I admire those who live on 35ft yachts, its not for us. This is somethine we are doing for pleasure and some of that involves some creature comforts!
I am very lucky in that Sam is as enthusiastic as I am about our adventure BUT... That may not survive the move from a large home into a 35ft yacht :-)

I strongly suspect that we will go with a 45ft. I am going to view a Sun Oddysey 45 in Majorca in 2 weeks time which looks perfect in the pictures and is a layout we are very familiar with.

The biggest problem in terms of space is that in the last 10 years builders seem to have lost the forward lasarette, moved the forecabin forward and added 2ft to the salon... You then get an arrow shaped fore, loose the storage and gain 2ft of air where its not much use ( at least more air than needed in the salon for 2 or even 4). Bummer.

Anyhow, I will keep scanning the 49s and if a bargain presents itself its another option.

Its amazing when you look at boats. At 1st there are 1000s for sale. Then when you narrow them down by what you feel you need there are suddenly very few and most of those are overpriced... At least Vs what I am prepared to pay at the moment!

We plan to be living aboard by April 2013 so not in a mad rush but time is passing quick!

Many thanks again!

Mark n Sam
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Old 19-10-2012, 23:32   #33
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

G'Day Mark & SAm,

Well, we went through a similar quandry when we wanted to upsize from Insatiable I (36 foot IOR racer) on which we'd cruised and lived for 17 years. Naturally we had developed some pretty strong opinions about what we wanted in the new boat. And at that time (starting in 2000) there were no production boats that we found which met very many of our ideals.

So, we started looking at one-offs, boats that were not designed by the sales office or the bean counters, and with absolutely no reference to the charter trade. Obviously, there are not so many of them, but they were all interesting. In particular, we looked at several boats that had been built by shipwrights for their own use. These were all particularly interesting, and uniformly of high quality and good finish. Ended up finding our current boat after 3 years of searching, and we feel fortunate to have her.

Won't bore you with details, but she does have a BIG forward sail locker, TWO watertight crash bulkheads forward and one aft, only one head, a big pantry, lots of water and fuel and general stowage... and so on. The sort of things that it sounds like you might be interested in... and which Mr Beneteau etc are not!

So, have a look beyond the boatshow specials... there are some really nice boats out here!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 19-10-2012, 23:46   #34
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

Other than the size of your wallet, I think you also need to decide based on your long range convictions.

When we lived aboard our 65ft StarGazer it was just right. Easy to sail by both of us in any conditions and room for projects and privacy. Now that we also have a home ashore, it is too big and is being neglected!

The good thing is once I finish my present project, we both want to move back on board and take off.
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Old 20-10-2012, 00:26   #35
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

Long term aims are a little undefined...
I hope we will continue forever and have closet dreams of making a circumnavigation but for now, cruising the Med seems ambitious enough!
As much as I like the idea of "custom" yachts I dont think either of us have the knowledge or experience to truely define our needs to that level. It seems a safer option to compromise with a proddy boat for now and then maybe change in the future. Additionally, it is always possible ( lets be honest here ) that in the near future we will decide that living aboard is not for us? Who can say for sure until they have lived their dream? Should that be the case I want to be able to sell the yacht I am now buying.
I figure that buying a well specced popular model now at the right price will make the selling process ( hoping it doesnt come to that ) a lot easier.
I am a pragmatist and in my experience its always wise to know where the exit is...
BUT... I cant imagine that we will be anything but overjoyed to finally be aboard and living the dream! Its been a lot of years coming!
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Old 20-10-2012, 00:43   #36
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

All these posts have very valid points. I have a Bene 473 and mostly single hand, even with the GF onboard, it's still very much single handing. Passed a Shipmasn 72 couple of weeks ago and thought that was just the boat for me until I heard about the 2.5 mil price tag.

I find that if eveything is approached pretty conservatively it mostly goes OK. Sail out of the river with at least one reef in, shake it out once at sea and the forecast is good, reef down early before it gets dark. In anything over a force 3, I found little difference in speed between full sail and two tucks in the sail, plus it's more comfortable.
I chose not to have in mast reefing for the reaon of what if it goes wrong and I am on my own. At least with slab reefing, I can cut the halyard, and pull the sail down on the reef lines (plus I have a short downhaul fitted btween the headboard and the third reef cringle).

When docking, let the marina know in advance that I am on my own, and ask for a berth which is not too tight, does not always happen, so have lots of fenders on both sides. I have a BT, but manage without using it, and never get into a situation where you have to rely on it, its not worth the risk.
If you are prepared to put the time and effort into maintenance and repairs, running costs are better managed. I found it a very steep learning curve, and still learning. Just as an example, around my way, the cost of a hull polish and wax is about 450. So it took me two days, probably a better job done, and its good exercise.

If you can find a 2 cabin version of the boat you want, that would be a big advantage, wish I could have found one, but they are quite rare.
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Old 20-10-2012, 00:51   #37
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

Hi Nigel,
I loved the 473! Stunning yacht and very good sailer! Fast and comfortable! If the right boat comes along then that would serve us very very well!
All the 2 cab versions seemed to have gone to America which is such a shame! They are perfect for liveaboard with the enormous stern locker.
Its the sheeting the main down that puts me off conventional reefing. Its just not a nice job when its rough.... And its so easy to reef a furling sail. I am very consious of the potential probs with in mast reefing but there are a lot of them out there!

Mark
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Old 20-10-2012, 02:01   #38
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

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Its the sheeting the main down that puts me off conventional reefing. Its just not a nice job when its rough.... And its so easy to reef a furling sail. I am very consious of the potential probs with in mast reefing but there are a lot of them out there!

Mark
Hi Mark, once set up, the slab reefing on the 473 is fine.
I've single line reefs for 1 and 2, and separate line to luff cringle and clew for the 3rd reef.
Halyard is marked for each reef position, and the reef lines are marked for where they should be once each reef is in. Just a case of luffing the main, ease the sheet and vang, release halyard, pull down on the reef until halyard mark is at the right place, lock the halyard, and grind in the reef line. Then tighten up on the sheet and vang. Can manage this easily on my own, its furling the genoa in a blow which normally gives me more concern. Bitter experience has shown me its best to get the genoa shortened up as soon as it looks like the wind is going to pick up.
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Old 20-10-2012, 02:24   #39
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

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Since we have spent most of the past 30 years sailing, and often living aboard, boats that are so small, a 35 footer would be a huge step up for us. I think we could be perfectly happy with the right 30 footer also.The biggest challenge will be finding a boat in that size range that has the storage capacity to carry enough supplies and water for extended cruising.
I think the secret is to find a boat size "you" are happy with. genuinely happy with. For me happiness is 30' (albeit am still a) working on leaving the dock and b) starting to consider a new +1 )......for sure more is often better, but for me less money going out (that I have no option over) has always compensated for a lot in life.

Although you likely will be sh#t outta luck in finding one in the USA (i think maybe 1 or 2 in North America) - a quick plug for my own Seadog 30.

https://sites.google.com/a/jaytac.co...Seadogs/Review

Not perfect of course (a couple more feet in the cockpit particularly would be very nice). and I could likely be happy on a 35 footer. probably .
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Old 20-10-2012, 02:25   #40
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

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My wife and I sail our Oyster 53 most of the time just the two of us. I have no problem sailing, anchoring and docking singlehanded, but planning ahead for docking proceedures is essential.

We actually prefer docking without assistance from deckhands or folks on the docks.... Much less to go wrong. We have it down to a science where neither of us is required to jump off the boat and onto the dock; everything is well rehearsed and never hurried.

There are quite a few folks on larger Oysters up to 60 feet and Discovery 55s that we know who also sail most of the time as a couple.
I would be inteeresting to hear about your docking technique.

To the OP: this has been much discussed and a trawl through the archives will bring up a lot of I fo.

To make a long story short - most people agree that bigger is better except for cost and docking. I single-hand my 54 footer and it's all good. Larger boat is a more stable platform, so much easier to deal with in rough weather. Electric winches deal with the forces I volved. Wide side decks make it much easier to move around. As was said above, larger boat is faster, so you can sail conservatively (if you want), and still maintain a good pace.

Big downside is cost, which seems to go up with the square of the length. Just for an example, I am about to buy new sails for my boat, and just the sails cost more than my last boat cost altogether, a 37 footer [:eek]. In fact, I once bought a house for what these sails will cost. The moral of that story is initial purchase price is just the beginning - be sure you can afford to maintain whatever boat you choose.
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Old 20-10-2012, 04:22   #41
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

Thats sobering to be sure! We wont be on a shoe-string but at the same time there are limits!
I think we will be comfortable with a 45. That seems to balance space Vs other factors quite well.
As usual everyone has been very generous and we are very grateful!!!!

Mark n Sam
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:08   #42
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

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Hi All!

We have found that with a yacht set up for easy handling ( in mast reefing, electric winches, bow thruster for occasional ease etc ) the size does not seem to be much of a challenge. We are both 40ish and fit.

Any thoughts?
More fancy complicated systems ready and willing to break when you most need them? Anyway, ya ain't going to keep that fit using all these lazy conveniences?

Hey, don't take it personal. Regardless there are underlying truths.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:47   #43
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

I don't believe these bigger boat systems break more often comments! Systems don't really have anything to do with a boats size, the boat either has the system or doesn't! Those type of comments go along with the people who try to say that cost double for every 5'. I think they are just size envy!

From my point of view the ideal boat size for a couple is 45-48 feet. After that the extra space becomes more for having a greater number of people on the boat and offers nothing for a couple.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:47   #44
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

There are many valid points above favoring the larger or smaller boat. I noticed that many favoring the larger boats are long distance passage cruisers or those cruising deep waters. For coastal cruisers and gunkholers like ourselves who cruise the bayside of the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and poke about the shallows of the US East Coast, the draft of a larger boat is a limiting factor. On board our 41' with our 4'3" draft we sail for days in waters that have areas less than six feet deep.
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Old 20-10-2012, 06:53   #45
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Re: Boat Size - How big is too big?

The largest boat I know that was regularly crewed and sailed by just two is the Dashew's on Beowulf, a 78' ketch. But the boat was designed from the beginning as a world cruiser and too be sailed short handed.

We sailed a 54' Irwin around the Carribean for more than a decade, and even as a kid, I could single hand her. With the exception of docking, where at this size two people becomes much easier.

The Irwin had electric winches, and in mast furling. While I am still not a far of the in mast systems, we put 50,000 miles on ours and never had a a problem. The electric winches are now at 20 years old, and other than routine maintenance have never had a breakdown of any type.

Frankly I think a lot of concern over these complicated systems is overblown. The trick is to buy high quality gear, maintain it properly (this means high quality replacement parts) and treat it like the machines they are. Anytime you find yourself skimping on parts, or buying the cheaper alternative (for mission critical systems) you are trading a few dollars for a potential mishap.
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