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Old 29-06-2016, 03:58   #31
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
I've sailed a 40' Hunter with my dad for several years (bay sailing), but he said it would be like starting over from scratch on a 47'. I understand they'll be different, but should I be as concerned as he apparently is?
The basics are all the same - you just need to think that much further ahead, accounting not just for the extra few feet, but considering the momentum carried with that much more displacement. As others have said, you can hire a captain to tutor you through a little dockhandling, then after that just practice.

Btw, scaling down is just as tough. After years of piloting 450' ships, it still took a bit of practice before docking was smooth, when I got a 26' sailboat. Every boat has its own handling characteristics; and it takes some time to get familiar with them.
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Old 29-06-2016, 08:34   #32
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
So my wife and I are flying to Annapolis this weekend to look at some boats for living aboard and cruising the world with my wife and 3 daughters. I found a broker in the area that came highly recommended by some of the members on here (via search), explained what we want: 3 cabin, center cockpit. He is vehemently trying to steer me toward smaller boats, 2 cabin in the 40-44 foot range, saying a 47 footer will be too much to handle, especially at a marina with kids aboard. I understand there are many good reasons to get a smaller boat, but my concern is that as my family grows older we'll outgrow it; and I don't want all of the transaction costs associated with selling/buying another boat.

I've sailed a 40' Hunter with my dad for several years (bay sailing), but he said it would be like starting over from scratch on a 47'. I understand they'll be different, but should I be as concerned as he apparently is?

He also advised against a host of other boats we had on our short list, gulfstars, morgan, formosa, hardin, and a heritage saying they were all pretty crappy. Granted he knows the boats better than I do, but when the conversation ended I felt really discouraged by the whole thing.
There is a big difference between daysailing a 47 foot boat in 15 knot winds and being out on the ocean in 40 knot storms with 20 foot waves. You have to plan for the worst thing that could happen which is one person sailing the boat. Next time you go boat shopping, pick a broker that has a 40 foot and a 47 foot sailboat. While in the slip have your wife raise the main sails, reef them, and lower them. The cost difference between the hardware on the two boats is more like 50%. Marinas slips, bottom paint, waxing, hauling, storage etc will cost 20% more for the bigger boat. There is an experienced sailor at Sailing Anarchy who bought and refit a Hallberg Rassey 53 and spent a small fortune on new gear. He got as far as the Panama Canal when stuff started to break, in the Tahiti area he had to repair the fridge, generator, a/c, and some other stuff. Having a bigger boat also means there is more stuff to break.

That being said. You have not said what your price range is. If I had an unlimited budget, like a powerball win, I would order a brand new Pacific Seacraft 44. Packed to the gills with electronics, a/c, solar, and water makers it would be around a million $$$. That boat probably would not work for you because of your three daughters but that is the type of boat I would recommend for RTW sailing.

You may also want to consider getting a buyers broker. Good luck.
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Old 29-06-2016, 09:11   #33
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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My 1st sailboat boat was 48'7"...just the right size. Bigger is better. Brokers do not have your best interests in mind.
Agreed.

The broker is looking at the size of his commission.

He is not your friend.

Get the boat you want.

The best boats are listed privately, and shown with pride by their owners.

I've skippered a Maple Leaf 48, a Swan 48, a 60' brigantine (tall ship), and many smaller boats including 8 of my own (Hunter 35.5, c&c25,27, P30, etc)and there is no big difference.
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Old 29-06-2016, 09:14   #34
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

I went from a 32' to a Columbia 45. I single hand the 45 regularly, including docking. If you are going to be living aboard with 4 other people, you will need a bigger boat. Go for it! Always err on the side of caution and use common sense and you will be fine.
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Old 29-06-2016, 09:24   #35
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Go for your choice. I bought a Hunter 38 and only had a lot of dinghy experience from more then 20 years ago. When it is your boat you go slow and carefull in the beginning. After that you are more at ease. Concerning the differençe between a sub 40 ft and a big 50ft, in my expevrience it is ne gligeable. I sail my own 38ft the whole year and once a year a 50/53ft for racing in the med. Can't say there is a big difference in handling.
Conclusion: Find another broker and follow your heart.


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Old 29-06-2016, 09:31   #36
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Annapolis a great place and it is still a buyer's market for larger sailboats. I would go with an open mind and look at as many boats as you can. A newer 43' or 44' might hit you or a 48 might grab you. The "looking" part can be very enjoyable, especially in Annapolis. If broker too opinionated and not getting you on enough boats, get another Annapolis broker. We liked our dealings with Walczak although we did not buy thru them. Our process was to look at a number of boats, then head for Captains Hour to filter down to boats on the "possible buy list." We found out the first time our Bristol 47 went into the yard that the days of looking weren't so bad. And we very much enjoy our boat.
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Old 29-06-2016, 09:38   #37
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingunity View Post
So my wife and I are flying to Annapolis this weekend to look at some boats for living aboard and cruising the world with my wife and 3 daughters. I found a broker in the area that came highly recommended by some of the members on here (via search), explained what we want: 3 cabin, center cockpit. He is vehemently trying to steer me toward smaller boats, 2 cabin in the 40-44 foot range, saying a 47 footer will be too much to handle, especially at a marina with kids aboard. I understand there are many good reasons to get a smaller boat, but my concern is that as my family grows older we'll outgrow it; and I don't want all of the transaction costs associated with selling/buying another boat.

I've sailed a 40' Hunter with my dad for several years (bay sailing), but he said it would be like starting over from scratch on a 47'. I understand they'll be different, but should I be as concerned as he apparently is?

He also advised against a host of other boats we had on our short list, gulfstars, morgan, formosa, hardin, and a heritage saying they were all pretty crappy. Granted he knows the boats better than I do, but when the conversation ended I felt really discouraged by the whole thing.

Sounds like the Broker has a specific boat he wants to sell you and get off his hands. I've sailed 15ft Albacores to 100ft Jongherts and there is not much difference between 44ft and 47ft. Go charter a 50ft for a week and see how easy it is to handle.
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Old 29-06-2016, 09:56   #38
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Your broker's general advice about particular boat brands might be useful, but so much depends on how a particular boat has been used and maintained that when you've made your own, common sense inspection of a boat you like, have a surveyor go over it with a fine-tooth comb, including a thorough check of all of the mechanical and electrical equipment (no matter how pure, you'll be motoring a lot). A Hunter, Catalina or Swan can be wrecked in a couple of seasons by carelessness, neglect and penny pinching.
On the handling front, nothing will change your life as much as a bow thruster and a very high quality auto-pilot (under the deck and attached to it's own tiller arm). If the boat you select doesn't have either one, they're not difficult for experienced installers to retrofit - although not inexpensive.
A 48 footer re-rigged for short handed crewing will be fine at sea, as long as you can get off the wheel for other actions and for resting your arms and back (autopilot), but be careful about the draft - if, as is likely, it will draw more that five feet, there will be many places you can't go, except at high tide, with a full moon and the wind out of the northeast, with local knowledge, etc. - not my idea of fun and relaxation.

Getting in and out of slips and crowded marinas, especially with cross winds and cross currents, is when a big boat, with a small crew, gets difficult and sometimes frightening. A bow thruster really makes the impossible possible when it comes to docking and undocking.

Good luck

John Mardall
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Old 29-06-2016, 10:05   #39
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

I would not be put off by a bigger boat. Electric motors and mechanical advantage render you capable of lifting sails or anchor. Furling jib, main, or boom can also make routine chores easier. Self tacking jib and lines leading to the cockpit can keep you safer. Think safety on board through. If nothing else the family must know how to drive the boat under power with the sails down so you can do the anchoring or docking. Read books and you do not have to reinvent the wheel. Consider taking a course on the boat when you get it to work more details out. Go sailing. Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 29-06-2016, 10:20   #40
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Not so much in response to the rest of the thread but to the point of intentions of the broker. He/she may have good intentions of guiding you, but seems to me if the boats they're recommending are at their docks, maybe your gut is trying to tell you something? Had somewhat the same experience recently, pressure into purchasing one of their boats, pressure of putting offer in on another without much info. Decided to walk away, had that "gut" feeling. Plenty of other reputable brokers out there. Take it all in but in the end listen mostly to yourself.
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Old 29-06-2016, 10:23   #41
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

We went from a 29' to a 36' to a 44' to the present 57' on deck.

Layout of the boat is very important, in fact layout is vital. There are a couple of Hudson Force 50's at our dock and I swear they feel roomier than ours. The layout is more logical than ours. So a boat in the smaller range of comfort (44?) might actually work as well or better than a 47'.

When under sail the most significant difference is effort - sails are bigger/heavier, the line itself is heavier than I'm used to due to diameter.

When docking - the best advice will work as well on a 60 footer as a 25 footer:
go S-L-O-W. Go very, very slow.

Would I go big again? The work has me daunted, and all I really ever have wanted to do is go sailing, but I now know every inch of my boat (I hope) and will have the confidence that goes with that knowledge. It really depends on your unemotional assessment of your minimum needs in order to be comfortable, the size of the house you needed to be comfortable in no way translates to a boat. Study layouts, discuss with the family, tons of research online and then go get on them and try them on for size. The search can be fun too.

Good luck.
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:17   #42
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

LOTS OF ADVICE AND THOUGHTS, THAT'S WHY THIS COLUMN IS HERE. MY OPINION AND MY EXPERIENCE. I AM NOW 76 AND I BELIEVE I CAN HANDLE ANY SIZE VESSEL. I NOW OWN A 44' CHB AND AFTER THE 72' I NEED JUST A BIT LARGER VESSEL, LIKE UP TO 52'. I BOUGHT A 72' POWER BOAT AND HAD NOT BEEN ON A BOAT IN OVER 3YEARS. I GOT ON AND FELT LIKE I HAVE BEEN ON THAT VESSEL ALL MY LIFE. I ALSO BOUGHT A 45' HARDEN KETCH WHICH IS OVER 50' NO PROBLEM I SAILED IT ALONE AND WENT INTO EVERY PORT AT NIGHT. NOT MANY PLACES TO ANCHOR UP ON THE WEST COAST (UNLESS YOU LIKE LOTS OF ROCK AND ROLL AT NIGHT) BETWEEN SANTA BARBARA AND MEXICO. I MOTORED INTO SOME VERY TIGHT SLIPS ALONG THE WAY AND NO HELP JUST ME AND NO PROBLEM. IF YOU FEEL IT THEN DO IT. NO ONE CAN TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE. TAKE A LARGE VESSEL OUT WITH A BROKER. DON'T LET HIM TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED. THE MORE YOU ARE ON THE BOAT THE MORE YOU WILL USED TO HANDLING IT. AND IT GETS TIGHT ON A SMALLER VESSEL REAL QUICK. DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT. BUT YOU DO NEED TO DO RESEARCH ON HOW OTHERS SEE A CERTAIN VESSEL. THAT 45' HARDEN KETCH IS FOR HIGHER WINDS, A BIG HEAVY BOAT BUT LOTS OF ROOM. IT HAS MORE DRAWERS AND STORAGE OF ANY SAILBOAT IT SIZE. I THINK A LIGHTER BOAT MIGHT BE A MUCH BETTER SAIL. GOOD LUCK. TAKE YOUR TIME.
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:20   #43
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

I didn't read through all the I haves. Price point would be helpful.
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:29   #44
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

SAILING UNITY

i have read many posts by people asking about handling bigger boats and kept silent.

not this time. i am surprised by people on 36 foot boats giving advice about handling larger boats.

before i respond, i am vehemently against nay sayers in general. there is very little in this world that a determined individual cannot accomplish with his mind and body.

so here is my experience. started out on boats under 30 feet . sailed a couple of years and decided i had to have my own. looked at boats in the under 30 category and realized they would be too limiting in the long run.

met a couple at a marina back in 1999 that where docking a hunter 44 or 45. they made it look easy. apparently they felt the larger boat was much easier to dock and less prone to wind and currents than the smaller ones they had owned . they informed me that they did the whole buy small and inch your way up routine. their advice? "get the biggest boat you can afford and learn to sail it!"

shortly thereafter, i purchased a 40 foot beneteau from the Foot Loose charter fleet in the BVI. learned to single hand it and of course made a few errors. but made numerous single handed trips from st Thomas to st john, Puerto Rico, st martin, st Kitts, Dominica.

i became a charter yacht skipper on a 63 foot catamaran with one single 90 HP evinrude on a center sled, a 72 foot catamaran with 2 90 HP evinrude outboards on a center sled.

my latest boat is a 2005 beneteau 50 ex-charter purchased in croatia and which i single hand sail. it feels just like my beneteau 40 except i have twin steering and a bow thruster.

i have recycled many existing parts and used them elsewhere on the yacht as i upgrade this yacht. it is now a cutter rig, cut the spinnaker pole and made a bowsprit with furling gennaker and cut down my genoa from 150% to 100%.

all lines run aft to the cockpit. those sailors that have posted about leaving the cockpit and going to the mast to do work are mostly on smaller yachts and are foolish for many reasons.

the 50 is much easier to dock in cross winds and currents than smaller yachts and i have been on both.

so, my advice is find a different broker and get the biggest boat you can afford that you can keep long-term and is appropriate for achieving your goals.

i am currently in montenegro installing air conditioning/electric heat that will run off an inverter powered by a 960 aH LiFePO4 (lithium battery) bank and 600+ watts of solar panels ( 2 x 300 watts on a solar arch).

in a week or 2 i will single hand sail to albania and then the greek isles. i may consider doing some charters specifically for those individuals, couples and families desiring to purchase a larger yacht 45 ft + and want to experience living and learning to sail one. minimum charter will be no less than 10 days and can be anywhere in the adriatic or med (eastern italy, southern italy, croatia, montenegro, greece).

there is a plethora of great sailing yachts available here in europe and the dollar to euro is only an additional 10% as of today. depending on how you and where you decide to purchase and register the yacht, there is the ability to legally purchase with no VAT payment necessary.

good luck in your quest!
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Old 29-06-2016, 11:45   #45
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Originally Posted by deluxe68 View Post
There is a big difference between daysailing a 47 foot boat in 15 knot winds and being out on the ocean in 40 knot storms with 20 foot waves. You have to plan for the worst thing that could happen which is one person sailing the boat. Next time you go boat shopping, pick a broker that has a 40 foot and a 47 foot sailboat. While in the slip have your wife raise the main sails, reef them, and lower them. The cost difference between the hardware on the two boats is more like 50%. Marinas slips, bottom paint, waxing, hauling, storage etc will cost 20% more for the bigger boat. There is an experienced sailor at Sailing Anarchy who bought and refit a Hallberg Rassey 53 and spent a small fortune on new gear. He got as far as the Panama Canal when stuff started to break, in the Tahiti area he had to repair the fridge, generator, a/c, and some other stuff. Having a bigger boat also means there is more stuff to break.

That being said. You have not said what your price range is. If I had an unlimited budget, like a powerball win, I would order a brand new Pacific Seacraft 44. Packed to the gills with electronics, a/c, solar, and water makers it would be around a million $$$. That boat probably would not work for you because of your three daughters but that is the type of boat I would recommend for RTW sailing.

You may also want to consider getting a buyers broker. Good luck.
My goodness.... so much drama.

You're right, the larger boat will be much easier to handle in 40 knot winds than a smaller 40 footer. Plus you won't need to change your under shorts as often.
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