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Old 08-01-2019, 17:21   #16
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

It's the same mentality that's made SUV's popular for shuffling kids to school. It's called keeping up with the Jones's or something.
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Old 08-01-2019, 17:26   #17
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Houses are also bigger. People are supersizing in every sense of the word.
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Old 08-01-2019, 17:29   #18
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
These days folks want all the comforts of home while anchored along the ICW.

It's not about just sailing anymore otherwise a 36' boat (or smaller) would be just about right for coastal cruising or crossing oceans

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/rustler-36
"big enough" is not the same as "ideal". Personally, I much prefer sailing a 50 than a smaller boat. And I don't need much in the way of creature comforts. A fridge and coffee machine will fit in the smallest of cruisers.
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Old 08-01-2019, 17:49   #19
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pirate Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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"big enough" is not the same as "ideal". Personally, I much prefer sailing a 50 than a smaller boat. And I don't need much in the way of creature comforts. A fridge and coffee machine will fit in the smallest of cruisers.
Dont get me wrong.. I enjoy sailing 50ftrs to 64ftrs that I deliver.. but owning is another matter.
Mind.. I'd not say no to a Cheoy Lee 48..
Must remember to do Euromillions.
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Old 08-01-2019, 18:00   #20
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
That's what I was afraid of. Sad.
Just curious why this is sad?

How about 6) disposable income is much higher than it was 30+ years ago and therefore couples can now afford more.

The change is significantly less than homes. Today’s new homes are twice as big as they were 30+ years ago.
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Old 08-01-2019, 18:01   #21
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

I'm with Boatman's post #2. Furlers (which are more reliable now,) GPS and chartplotters, radar (relatively cheap and reliable), bow thrusters (!), solar panels, wind generators were all things I never saw as a kid. A 40' boat was HUGE as a result back then. Now, 40' is not so big.
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Old 08-01-2019, 18:05   #22
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Think about it, we used to wander around having to handsteer in the fog with a compass, tailing sheets one handed, hanking sails on and off while trying to get a fix on the RDF and making coffee on an alcohol stove.
AH! The good old days!
I miss my RDF!
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Old 08-01-2019, 19:27   #23
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Really, the amount of work involved in sailing a boat is related more closely to displacement than LOA. Most modern boats are considerably lighter than those of similar LOA from the past, and thus can have smaller sail plans, smaller winches and generally smaller efforts required in operating it.

But improvements in machinery and the addition of external power (electric or hydraulic) helps greatly as well. Our purchase of a Milwaukee "winch driver" has eased our work load significantly and at nearly 79 and 81 our physical abilities have surely waned from the good ole days! We still manage our 46 foot boat ok, but don't drive her as hard as we once did.

And, having done ocean crossing passages in 30, 36 and 46 foot boats, I'll take the bigger one for sure!

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Old 08-01-2019, 19:46   #24
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

There are a lot more used boats over 40' of a certain age, going cheaply, than there used to be. A month's salary got me a stout, roomy 44 footer in need of a bit of fitting out and TLC, but sorta ready to sail away. (and I did!) What's not to like?



Well, a lot. Bigger slip and expensiver rent for it. More costly haulouts, parts, hardware, sails. More danger of damaging other boats in a crowded marina... that little Catalina might not even leave a kiss mark in the dew on the neighbor's bow where a boat weighing 3x that much might make crunchy sounds. So insurance costs more. Except funny thing is, my insurance on the big boat is about half what it is on the little one. Sail handling is more physically demanding, but the technology exisets and doesn't cost TOO much, to make it a lot easier. Bigger fuel bills. Deeper draft.



But look what you get! Room to move around, past each other, and get things done. Room to sleep like at home. Room for fridge, expresso machine, ice machine, keg cooler, and room to lounge around down below when it is raining or sun hot outside. Room to put up "houseguests" even if they are not boat people. Freedom from the privations that we all once expected as just part of "pleasure boating". And these 70s and 80s boats of a certain size are not going to just go away. They get sold. Sold again. Sold again, sometimes by couples upgrading to a 50' or 60' boat as they become more financially secure. Yeah a mid 30's boat is all a couple really needs for cruising. But I'm not going anywhere without my superauto expresso machine. Period. No hammer and sock cowboy coffee for me. No, I don't want to use the same piece of furnishing as bed, dining table, navigation station, and workbench. Been there, done that. Am I missing the point? No. The point has changed, for many of us.


30 years ago I would immediately dismiss the very idea of owning a boat in the 40' to 50' range just for pleasure. There simply were not as many available that I could afford to own or to buy. Everyone sailing solo or as a couple squeezed into 25' to 35' boats. We didn't think anything of it. Now, we have choices that we didn't have back then.


FWIW, there are still a LOT of cruising couples who are perfectly okay with a 34' or so boat, who think it is just a frivolous PITA to go bigger. That is a valid viewpoint. Just not for me.
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Old 08-01-2019, 19:50   #25
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Maybe it’s just that lots of cruisers didn’t come up through the small boat world. I learned to sail on a 36’ boat so that’s not a big boat to me and I would never chose to live in such a small shoebox.

I’m always amazed that the small boat people insult the “big” for wanting to be comfortable. That just seems like a stupid silly position. Us “big” boat people cruising around being what we consider as “reasonable” comfort just think you “small” boat people are foolish. We understand that if that’s what you could afford in order to cruise and if so are Happy you are doing it. But, if you are on some small boat out of fear of a larger boat, that’s just just foolish.
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Old 08-01-2019, 20:28   #26
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Most husband-wife couples who undertake a cruising lifestyle select the largest boat that they believe they can handle safely.
Why do you start out these posts of yours with false statements and then ask for opinions on why your statement is true? Cruisers do not typically select the largest boat they can drive. If that was so tbere would a whole lot more Deerfoot 64s around instead of 40-45ft HRs, Amels, Benes, Tayanas, Bristols,.........


Boat gear is superior today over what was available 40 years ago. Furlers, power winches, power windlasses, better anchors, lower friction running rigging, lighter stronger sails, power generation, diesel reliability, weather forecasting and availibility is far superior, it is far cheaper and easier to have crew fly in and out, ....... This all makes it possible for a Mom and Pop crew to manage a larger vessel. What hasn't changed is the actual weather and sea. Running a big boat with a small crew when one person gets sick or injured is still a risky proposition.
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Old 08-01-2019, 20:42   #27
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

There is no absolute Right Size for a boat, or a house, or indeed just about anything. The size (and levels of luxury) we supposedly need are mostly culturally and chronologically defined.

In the 1970s and early 80s “big” boats were upper 30s. The definition of “big” increased over time as affluence increased. It’s the same story for the various luxury items on board, and indeed for house size.

Technology supported this change, but it’s not the main driver. There are many tools today that make operating a big boat much easier (indeed, operating all boats). But this is an effect of larger size, not a cause.
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Old 08-01-2019, 20:54   #28
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Why do you start out these posts of yours with false statements and then ask for opinions on why your statement is true?
I try to craft my posts in a way that will generate interesting discussion and bring out a variety of viewpoints. Sometimes it helps the discussion to summarize widely-held or widely-postulated views even though they are not universally held. In the case of this particular assertion, I am summarizing what Beth A. Leonard wrote wrote in "The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising," which was published in 2006. I believe there was a chapter devoted to boat size and her views that safety in handling of sails in difficult conditions set the upper bound on boat size. While you may disagree with this point of view, I believe it is widely held.

Yours is reply 25 in the space of four hours. People have posted interesting things from a variety of points of view. I have enjoyed reading the replies. I imagine that other people have, too. I like to believe that my posts make the forum a more interesting place. In purely numerical terms, my personal record is this thread which led to 506 replies and over 24,000 views. I read all 506 replies although in this particular case I will admit that the bloom was off the rose after the first few hundred. I do feel an obligation after starting a thread to read through the replies.

I think that this particular opening post is meeting my objectives. Do you agree?


If you don't like my posts, or the discussions they touch off, you are of course under no obligation to participate in them, or even to read them.
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Old 08-01-2019, 21:07   #29
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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I try to craft my posts in a way that will generate interesting discussion and bring out a variety of viewpoints. Sometimes it helps the discussion to summarize widely-held or widely-postulated views even though they are not universally held. In the case of this particular assertion, I am summarizing what Beth A. Leonard wrote wrote in "The Voyager's Handbook: The Essential Guide to Blue Water Cruising," which was published in 2006. I believe there was a chapter devoted to boat size and her views that safety in handling of sails in difficult conditions set the upper bound on boat size. While you may disagree with this point of view, I believe it is widely held.

....
You are really reading into Leonard's words. She and Evans did not choose the largest boat they could handle. They chose a 38 ft tbe first time and a 46 or 47 footer the second time.
I don't believe your statement is vaguely true and don't see it supported in the boats that cross the Pacific:
Quote:
Most husband-wife couples who undertake a cruising lifestyle select the largest boat that they believe they can handle safely
They choose boats that they can afford, maintain and live on comfoftably. This is not the largest they can handle.

Now if your quote is what you believe because of your extensive online researching or experience in cruising locations, then why not state as your opinion instead of fact. It just detracts from the questions you appear to want answers to.
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Old 08-01-2019, 21:09   #30
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Most husband-wife couples who undertake a cruising lifestyle select the largest boat that they believe they can handle safely. The size of boat so chosen has gradually increased over the course of years with 37' being something of a standard starting in the late 1980s. Many couples are now choosing boats in the 42-44' range, and there are notable examples of yet larger boats being sailed on passages by husband-wife couples.


So what's going on here? Sails, masts, booms, and lines aren't any lighter than they were 30 years ago. I can think of some explanations:
  1. The original thinking was unnecessarily conservative, and with time, we've figured that out.
  2. The availability and reliability of power assistance has improved enough to change the perceived limits, with electric winches, bow thrusters, and power sail handling becoming common.
  3. People are sailing in boats larger than what they can handle safely because they insist on vessels large enough to provide creature comforts that previous generations of cruisers lived without.
  4. Today's cruiser is more able bodied and therefore able to handle a larger boat.
  5. Cruisers are no longer engaging in voyages to areas remote enough to require the level of self-sufficiency previously considered necessary, and are bringing on crew for the rare passage they undertake that takes them beyond the sheltering wings of Sea Tow
Your thoughts?
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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
No..
Yes..
Yes..
No..
Yes..
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. No, not necessarily.
4. Yes, true in some cases, but generally not the case.
5. No. I hear about more couples heading out crossing oceans these days.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer, it’s whatever works for you to get you out on the water.
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