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Old 08-01-2019, 22:48   #31
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

To answer the Why, besides tech and more money, the Better Half Admirals have more say these days, happy wife happy life!
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Old 08-01-2019, 23:25   #32
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

We have an Amel Super Maramu. At 53 feet with lots of asssisted devices, we are very pleased.

In fact we’ve sailed 3 oceans thus far and looking forward to the rest of the world...

:-)
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Old 08-01-2019, 23:52   #33
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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So what's going on here? Sails, masts, booms, and lines aren't any lighter than they were 30 years ago.
But aren't they? In addition to boats being lighter surely there must have been some development in at least sails and lines?
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:45   #34
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

So I had this discussion with a designer at a boat show a year ago. I had been out of sailing for 10 years and even in that time, boats had changed considerably. The old 40 footer for a couple was now a 55 or even a 60 footer. What had changed and why? Here's what they said:

1) tech and materials
2) Needs and wants

1) Tech/materials/systems
My 40 footer 20 years ago had a spinnaker pole that needed 2 people to lift. Today you can pick it up with one hand. The mainsail on a 50 footer 20 years ago needed 4 strapping lads to lift it on/off the boat. Today the same sail is 50% the weight. The friction loaded luff rope is now replaced with smooth running cards that glide up and down. The couple of small winches we had years ago are now replaced with more and bigger (and powered) winches that make line handling easier.

The mainsheet on a 43 footer I sailed had 3 blocks and needed strong arms to pull in - today it's a 2:1 on a powered winch. Add in roller furling headsails and self taking jibs, boom or in-mast furling mains, bow and stern thrusters, take all the lines back to the cockpit and add in powered winches and you've got a 55 footer boat that's easier to handle than the 40 footer was.


Also what was an optional extra on a large boat years ago is now standard equipment on a smaller boat. The systems are getting cheaper to build in so why no build them in.

2) Needs and wants
I spent 2 months living on a She 31(on the hook) in the late 70's. 2 lead acid batteries and a small alternator on the small engine, 2 bladder water tanks and not much else. Great fun but I wouldn't want it now.

Boat builders today are not producing boats with features they hope will sell but instead giving the customer what they are asking for. They want more room, they want the boat to feel more like an apartment and less like a cave. They want lots of hot water, A/C and flat cabin soles. They don't want to get soaked in the dingy on the way back from the pub at 1am so want a bigger dingy - all this leads to a bigger boat).

The average boat will spend 95% of it's time upright at anchor so why have a small, cramped, "sea going" cockpit. Instead make it bigger, open and more of a living space. Add in fridges so I don't have to get off my arse and go down below for a beer, adjustable table heights so I can lounge in the sun and dream that I still have the bod of a 20 year old, and because it's a bigger boat I need to be able to seat all 8 people in the cockpit for lunch so it now needs 2 tables. Bigger cockpits = bigger boats.

They want to carry paddle boards, kayaks and all the other toys to make their cruising more enjoyable. More storage = bigger boats.

Now I understand there are many people (lots on this forum and very vocal) that love old boats, old designs and I get it. That's your choice and that's fantastic.

However you are in the minority. The majority of new customers are looking for something non traditional and the marketing stats will tell you that existing owners trading up are looking for everything the modern boat has. They want a "home from home" with all the comfort and features that it brings. They want to go sailing but don't want to live in a cave and make too many compromises when the alternative is that you don't have to compromise.
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:21   #35
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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You don’t have to choose, you can enjoy sailing and be comfortable. If someone can afford a 50 ft boat, who are you to say they should be happy with a 36 footer. I would much prefer the former.
The point was that many of those with the larger boats are more likely to use them as beach/shorebased condos rather than sailboats
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:56   #36
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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The point was that many of those with the larger boats are more likely to use them as beach/shorebased condos rather than sailboats
That's just Bull!
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:24   #37
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Throughout history there have been liveaboard boats that, for various reasons, rarely move. Is that any more the case today than it was in the 1980s or whatever time period one might choose as the heyday of the smaller cruising boat?
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:48   #38
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

I think we are now seeing the nautical equivilent of the “MacMansions” that started popping up in the 90’s.

I feel the same way about them as I do the “MacYachts””. It’s not for me, but if that’s what you want, I don’t care.
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Old 09-01-2019, 06:48   #39
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Actually instead of buying a condo sailboat to "cruise" the ICW, it would probably be better to buy an actual condo on the water and have a smaller sailboat say around 30' or so

Or rent an apartment on the water with a dock.

I lucked out back in the day and lived in an Apartment on the beach that had a dock. Slip fee was $50.00 if you lived there. I raced catamarans at the time so my boats were tied down just above high water (except during hurricanes etc)

There was one guy that had an apartment which was about 150'-200' from his Cape Dory 30, but he wanted to liveaboard so he bought an old Tayana and sold the Cape Dory and moved out of his apartment to live on the dock. To each his own I guess.

Unfortunately his boat was destroyed a few years later during a hurricane. He didn't have insurance. And this hurricane was Ivan, which was one of those new style storms that crank up to Cat 5 before leveling out a bit. This one hit at the Cat 3/4 level and pounded on us (Pensacola, FL) for about 10 hours in 2004
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Old 09-01-2019, 08:39   #40
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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The point was that many of those with the larger boats are more likely to use them as beach/shorebased condos rather than sailboats
Sorry, but just the opposite is true. You won't see most of the larger size boats in the marina because the owners are out globe-trotting in them. If you ever decide to venture out past your "beach/shorebased" cruising style, you'll soon discover this fact.
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Old 09-01-2019, 09:49   #41
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Sorry, but just the opposite is true. You won't see most of the larger size boats in the marina because the owners are out globe-trotting in them. If you ever decide to venture out past your "beach/shorebased" cruising style, you'll soon discover this fact.
This gets back to the question about who is actually out there. A few threads have tried to look at actual data about the types of boats plying the oceans blue. The datasets all have their flaws, but are better than relying on anyone anecdotal observations.

In the recent rally data thread the poster found the average LOA ranged from 43 feet to around 46 feet. It varied depending on which rally was examined.

My recent analysis of Latitude 38 data which lists USA/Canada west coast based circumnavigators going back to the 1970s and earlier showed a remarkable stability of average and median LOA. It has always been around 42 feet.

Market research data shows a continued decline in new and used boat sales (at least in the USA). This goes for both new and used boats. According to this US dealerís association 2017 study:

Quote:
"The boating industry is at a crossroads. On the surface, weíve recovered from the recession. But every year, fewer people enter boating
for the first time and make it through the buying process. In fact, 400,000 fewer people entered the boating category for the first time between 2010 and 2015 than from 2005 to 2010."
This report is actually rather interesting. It is a research paper aimed at trying to increase sales. Itís interesting, and amusing, to see how first time buyers are categorized. Which are you?

http://nmma.net/assets/cabinets/Cabi...%20Summary.pdf
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:10   #42
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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This gets back to the question about who is actually out there. A few threads have tried to look at actual data about the types of boats plying the oceans blue. The datasets all have their flaws, but are better than relying on anyone anecdotal observations.

In the recent rally data thread the poster found the average LOA ranged from 43 feet to around 46 feet. It varied depending on which rally was examined.

My recent analysis of Latitude 38 data which lists USA/Canada west coast based circumnavigators going back to the 1970s and earlier showed a remarkable stability of average and median LOA. It has always been around 42 feet.

Market research data shows a continued decline in new and used boat sales (at least in the USA). This goes for both new and used boats. According to this US dealer’s association 2017 study:



This report is actually rather interesting. It is a research paper aimed at trying to increase sales. It’s interesting, and amusing, to see how first time buyers are categorized. Which are you?

http://nmma.net/assets/cabinets/Cabi...%20Summary.pdf
You’re looking at a very narrow Latitude 38 based survey of circumnavigators, very few cruisers fall into that category. Instead look at Mediterranean and Caribbean cruisers types and I’m sure your boat size would grow considerably. Your own experience as to what you’ve seen is rather limited to Great lakes and one venture over to Newfoundland. Yes, if our past summer in the Maine/Nova Scotia area was our only cruising experience, our observations would mirror your own as to boats being in the 40 foot range. But having spent more time in the Med and now heading down to the Caribbean, a 40 footer would make a nice dinghy or day sailer for many of the boats observed in anchorages.

Mike,

What I’m trying to say, is that you can’t extrapolate your own limited experience and observations out onto the rest of the world. Boats are much bigger outside your pond.

Ken
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:32   #43
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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What Iím trying to say, is that you canít extrapolate your own limited experience and observations out onto the rest of the world. Boats are much bigger outside your pond.
I am purposely NOT extrapolating from my own limited experience. This is why Iím drawing on actual data. These datasets have their own built in biases. As I said: "The datasets all have their flaws, but are better than relying on anyone's anecdotal observations."

If you can point me to datasets on Mediterranean and Caribbean cruisers types I will happily crunch some numbers for all of us. I think it would be fascinating, but Iíve not been able to find such data.

BTW, I suspect you are correct that average LOA will be larger in the areas you mention. As to why this might be is open to speculation at this point. Some conjunction of wealth, desirable location, and easy sailing perhaps? Whatís your guess?
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:34   #44
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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This report is actually rather interesting. It is a research paper aimed at trying to increase sales.

Interesting stuff, Mike.


There are a lot of trends that affect the industry. Here the last 50 years has brought a transition from private docks and slips to a boating culture predominantly based on trailer-launched boats used one day at a time. It complicates entry into boating as an activity. Compliance has also become a bigger deal and taken a lot of fun out of the activity for many people.


As for larger sailboats, well, even in the GPS and bow thruster era they're beyond most people's abilities, and so reflect a niche market.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:40   #45
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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I am purposely NOT extrapolating from my own limited experience. This is why I’m drawing on actual data. These datasets have their own built in biases. As I said: "The datasets all have their flaws, but are better than relying on anyone's anecdotal observations."

If you can point me to datasets on Mediterranean and Caribbean cruisers types I will happily crunch some numbers for all of us. I think it would be fascinating, but I’ve not been able to find such data.

BTW, I suspect you are correct that average LOA will be larger in the areas you mention. As to why this might be is open to speculation at this point. Some conjunction of wealth, desirable location, and easy sailing perhaps? What’s your guess?
Compared to the number of boats out cruising the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the Latitude 38 survey boats you sight and then exprapolate your world view from is minutely small. Your observations are incredibly short-sighted. Why not look at the ARC data over the same years? Or... jump on a plane or cruise down or over and see for your self?
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