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Old 09-01-2019, 10:43   #46
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post

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.

There are 60' fixed bridges at regular intervals between Lake Pepin and everywhere else that do pose a practical upper bound on LOA of around 42' for me locally. That isn't true on the Great Lakes (the Welland canal has what, 115' vertical clearance?), but for whatever reason I still don't see anything much over 45' there, and the for sale listings mostly bear that out -- there's 10x as many used sailboats for sale in 37'-44' as there are 45' up in that area.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:48   #47
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
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
A sailmaker i met who was looking to close shop on the East coast USA told me the same thing: there are just less people getting out on the water. He also said that folks bought the big boats for a while there because the idea was to do family cruising. The problem for them was that the kids didn't want to sail.



At the risk of not making any broker friends on here, I'd like to bring up my own observations. I've been boat hunting for a few years now. I've seen quite a few boats, studied tons, and still haven't found her... But during these four years, I've yet come into contact with a broker who felt it was his (no 'her's yet) job to be able to tell about it.

For example, last year, I flew out to the Canaries to see a small, classic 27' that was advertised as being in excellent condition. On the phone, beforehand, the broker said he knew the boat well when he sold it to this owner who crossed the Atlantic with it, very recently. I flew out, inspected the boat and found it to be a neglected mess. the list went on and on. When I spoke with the broker again, he did apologise but swiftly asked for my images and my notes...

Seriously, is it normal for brokers to have potential buyers to do the leg-work for them?

More recently, there was another classic, a gorgeous 30', that interested me. The broker was very vague, so very vague about the boat, did not answer any of my questions. when i told him the story above, he admitted he had not seen the boat (my first question to a broker now, before asking if the images are recent) and then offered to give me the name of someone who could do a pre-survey. ok, and supposing i did this survey, would he ask me for it afterwards? i bet is on yes. and why didn't the broker contact the owner (who is alive and able to answer) and ask? do brokers not do this?

if the broker doesn't know much about the boat, hasn't seen the boat, doesn't go back to the owner for info... if the broker has nothing to offer except the name of some guy he has never met who says he can do a pre-survey, how can he expect a potential buyer (especially a first-time buyer) to begin to imagine moving forward with him on a sale?

sorry, this turned into a rant. oh dear...
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:48   #48
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

One of my best friends did an 8 year circumnavigation in a Stevens 47. He loved the boat. HOWEVER, he said if he had to do it all over again he would have done it in a smaller boat....oh and with a Rochna anchor.
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:50   #49
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
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.
don't need "data", just look around
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Old 09-01-2019, 10:55   #50
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

I learned to sail on a Hunter 27' that was washed up on the beach after a hurricane and never claimed. I jumped through rings of red tape to make it mine and had to relaminate the foredeck before I could learn to sail. Problem I didn't like it. It's "smallness" and my "newness" made me feel very vulnerable and anxious. But I learned to sail.

Next boat a Pearson 365'. To date my favorite boat. We were out every weekend, some sunset sails, 4-weeks-in-the-summer longer distance sails. Hands down my favorite boat. Easy to handle, sea kindly (especially with a Max Prop). Problem The cockpit was so large, the living space below was just not enough to live on comfortably, even for a month.

Next boat was a Roberts Offshore 44' in steel. Bought from a "famous" sailor/writer. Very run down, but bigger below and we let ourselves believe it was maintained better because the PO had the reputation. Problem OK, we were wrong. Very, very wrong. We didn't have the time or the budget to get the boat back to safety or comfort standards.

Our present boat a custom ketch 63'in ferrocement. We've been living and working on it for the last almost 4 years. It was in better shape than the previous boat, but there is always project creep. Hugely overbudget and resentful of the time spent fixing instead of sailing. We finally were out for a long shakedown cruise last year and found her to be slow but willing and we are still experimenting with sail configuration, etc. so hopefully it will improve. We definitely need our "power assist" tools (24V right angle drill, etc) and will need them more as we age. The living spaces are massive and truth be told, we don't need this much space.

But we have made this boat ours and like any family we are all stuck with and love one another. This boat is our home, we're not land based at all.

So I went from 27 feet to 63 feet. I think my journey might be like others' in the "big boat owners club". Looking for that perfect balance of comfort and sailing ability and perhaps taking one step up too many - but perfectly content to keep my old beast because I love her. Sorry for the long post.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:00   #51
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
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?
You keep accusing me of something which I am explicitly avoiding, and which you are clearly falling victim to yourself; that of mistaking personal anecdote for reality.

I cited the thread on rally data (Bahaha, ARC, Pacific puddle jump): Median LOA ranged from 42' to 46.9' LOA (for the ARC).

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
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.
It’s clear from ownership and sales data that small powerboats dominate. I wasn’t able to access the new sales data from the marketing website b/c they charge for it, but looking at the numbers of documented boats shows cruising sailboats to be a tiny fraction of total boat ownership.

So yeah, we’re definitely a niche market. And from the looks of things, it’s getting smaller all the time, likely due to the financial fact you cite .

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
don't need "data", just look around
SB, you’re funny . You should join us over at this thread where we’re discussing echo chambers.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:14   #52
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Just took a quick look at the ARC 2018 entry list. Just the first page shows most are in the 40-55 foot range.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:18   #53
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
You keep accusing me of something which I am explicitly avoiding, and which you are clearly falling victim to yourself; that of mistaking personal anecdote for reality.

I cited the thread on rally data (Bahaha, ARC, Pacific puddle jump): Median LOA ranged from 42' to 46.9' LOA (for the ARC).



It’s clear from ownership and sales data that small powerboats dominate. I wasn’t able to access the new sales data from the marketing website b/c they charge for it, but looking at the numbers of documented boats shows cruising sailboats to be a tiny fraction of total boat ownership.

So yeah, we’re definitely a niche market. And from the looks of things, it’s getting smaller all the time, likely due to the financial fact you cite .



SB, you’re funny . You should join us over at this thread where we’re discussing echo chambers.
Mike,

The answer is really quite simple...

In the areas you're familiar with where you only see smaller boats which include the Great Lakes, US west coast and Newfoundland:

1. The weather sucks
2. The food sucks
3. There's nothing to see or do, sightseeing sucks
4. The water temperature sucks

In the areas where the larger boats tend to cruise which include Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean:

1. The weather is awesome.
2. Fantastic food
3. There's plenty to see and do.
4. Warm water

The people with larger boats tend to head towards areas:

1. Where the weather is awesome.
2. There's great food to eat.
3. There's plenty to see and do
4. Warm water and sunshine.

You should try it sometime, and BTW. I lived on the west coast of the US for 30 years and on a boat for two, and I've lived in New England for 30 years and I wasted my 2018 cruising season up in Maine and Nova Scotia, so I do know a thing or two about those areas as well as the Caribbean and Mediterranean.

You need to get out more and "just look around" like sailorboy says, instead of hunting the internet for old data which serves to bolster your very limited world view.

Ken
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:18   #54
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

We are in St Martin, our first time here now it’s knenpoint of data. Looking around the harbor you can find specimens of all types. However I’ve been remarking at all the really (to me) big boats there are. We are 44’ and are below average in length. Same thing at the haul out yard in Grenada, we are in the below average side.

And catamarans, 52’ers are common. I see some at 62’. I was looking at an add for one of these behemoths and it had FIVE double bed state rooms, all en suite. Hell, that sleeps more than our brownstone apartment building in Philadelphia.

Anyway, we are 66 and 68. Our big boat is 44’, 50’ low. Lots of winches, all manual self trailers. Roller furling Genoa. No thruster, hot water, water maker. We shower in the cockpit, don’t look, don’t ask. Kerosene stove. I’ve had her 53N and down to Grenada.

By modern standers she has a small interior, probably like a modern 38’er. Maybe when we get old, if prices keep dropping, and we retire to the Chesapeake, we will get something more “modern” and luxurious. But for now this ‘ol steelie is a nice and comfortable home.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:35   #55
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pirate Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

I assume your in one of the marinas Dutchside..
Take your rib for a ride though the lagoon and out of the French side into Marigot Bay..
Pallapa Docks is a bad yard stick.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:36   #56
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

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We are in St Martin, our first time here now it’s knenpoint of data. Looking around the harbor you can find specimens of all types. However I’ve been remarking at all the really (to me) big boats there are. We are 44’ and are below average in length. Same thing at the haul out yard in Grenada, we are in the below average side.
This was (my) Ann's observation as well when she sailed out of St. Martin. She was sailing a 46-footer, and said she felt like she was a dinghy sailor .

It’s clear that some areas have larger median LOA boats than others. The ARC median at 46.9’ coincides with the view that mid-40s is going to feel small in the Caribbean. Sounds like the Med will show similar numbers. It would be great to confirm this with actual quality data of all boats in the area.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:44   #57
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Arc 2014 average LOA was 48 foot.

Arc 2016 average LOA was 55 foot




Quote:
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This was (my) Ann's observation as well when she sailed out of St. Martin. She was sailing a 46-footer, and said she felt like she was a dinghy sailor .

It’s clear that some areas have larger median LOA boats than others. The ARC median at 46.9’ coincides with the view that mid-40s is going to feel small in the Caribbean. Sounds like the Med will show similar numbers. It would be great to confirm this with actual quality data of all boats in the area.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:54   #58
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

I'm currently in the design phase for a 30' mono that I plan to make capable of world travel. This will be for me and the wife as well as the son when he wants. I've been studying boats for most of my life and tend to live in smaller spaces for some reason (berthing on a ship, 2 boats in the 30' range, a 300 sq. ft. apartment, etc.). Counter intuitively, I'm using a lot of engineering to make it as simple as possible while still offering as many of the creature comforts found in larger boats (except physical space) as I can. In the end I hope it will be:

1. cheap to operate and maintain
2. capable of safely transiting all waters
3. comfortable for up to 4 on a voyage

I want it all. Robust like an expedition capable ship, open and airy like a "condocat," and affordable (excluding the initial cost of building and such. One offs are never cheap up front).

If I'm successful, who knows, I may start a new trend of boats getting smaller . After all, this next generation doesn't seem to be benefiting from all the supposed wealth increases. Maybe I can help get some younger folks out there cruising in a smaller boat that they don't feel "poor" in. That's not what its all about but "keeping up with the Jones'" is definitely a thing. It may put people off if they feel that they can't even approach the success of a 40'+ yacht. But alas I am thread creeping now so I'll stop.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:55   #59
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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.
I'm at the boatyard now which has the best slips for the larger boats in this area.

All the larger slips are taken by large and beautiful sailboats that are not used a lot.

As far as me venturing out, I'm still working but do get out as often as possible on weekends and vacations during the season.

As far as me cruising long distance, I'm still debating that. It's slow enough out there on my weekend and vacation "cruises." Not sure if being on the boat constantly for more than a month at a time work be very enjoyable.

I like to go out there and have constant motion either sailing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, and then returning totally exhausted. It's a great experience and doesn't usually take but a few days. When I get back, it's enjoying my other land based hobbies and going back to work. In other words, I'm definitely not what you would call a Wannabe.

I did spend 12 years on the Gulf Coast though with it's Caribbean Blue/Green Water and lots of Sun. I had an apartment on the beach for a few of those years and fast sailboats tied just above high water. It was so nice to sail back in from 30-40 miles away in an afternoon to a real bed and A/C.
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Old 09-01-2019, 12:05   #60
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Re: Changing upper bound of boat size considered suitable for couples

Sailing modern boats is far easier and safer than older boats. Sails aren't hoisted, they are rolled easily by my wife alone on a night watch from the cockpit. They pitch and heel far less, point higher, sail 200mpd under auto pilot and working sails. Crew have their own cabin. Systems are better engineered and more reliable. Navigation is almost idiot proof. Charter boats 8 years old are cheaper now than 8 year old boats were 30 years ago. Bow thrusters and spade rudders make handling foolproof. Whats not to like?
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