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Old 29-06-2016, 12:12   #46
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Have not read all the responses but 5 people is a lot for anything around 40 ft. With that many people you will enjoy the extra space. Larger boats are usually more comfortable at sea in almost all conditions. Reasonable weight and waterline are good at sea.

You might also want to consider catamarans. Much more room for the length. They do ride differently in seas, but are almost always more comfortable at anchor. They certainly don't feel as good sailing, but being able to walk around on level decks going to weather in 15-20 knots has something to so say for it.

All comes down to what you want, and can afford. I would echo those who say get the biggest boat you can afford - you will enjoy the extra room, and will get so you can bring it into a slip as easy as a rowboat.
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Old 29-06-2016, 13:00   #47
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Our first boat was 36' and we sailed it from San Diego up into the Sea of Cortez and back. My wife, three small children and I felt cramped inside as the two girls slept in the dinette, our son in the pilot berth and my wife and I in the v-berth. Once we put the girls to bed, my wife and I were relegated to the v-berth. We discovered that cruising was something that fit our family well so a year and a half later we sold the 36-footer and bought the 48' boat that we still have. It made a huge difference in our quality of life as the two girls got to share a cabin, my son had his own cabin and my wife and I had the aft cabin to ourselves. The main saloon, galley and nav station were common areas but everyone had their own private space. While the children were still young, we sailed from Mexico to Hawaii to Sitka, Alaska and finally back to San Diego.

Yes, the bigger boat meant more work and more expense but, in retrospect, the indelible memories of that time we spent together as a very close family was worth all the money, blood, sweat and tears. It gave a definition to our family that was unique and even though it wasn't always easy or fun, I firmly believe that it gave our kids a perspective that has helped formulate their places as responsible adults. They still talk of our adventures, though they took place almost two decades ago.

Could have we had just as good a time on our 36' boat? Quite possibly we could have. But the 48-footer, while being over our budget when we bought her, has become a member of our family in her own right. In the cruising we've done in the last 6 years, we've met many families on a wide range of boats and it's remarkable what people can adapt to. On the other hand, we have also seen people who barely lasted a few months before they decided that it wasn't for them.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 29-06-2016, 13:13   #48
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

might u consider chartering a boat in the BVIs it would give u a good feel for how big a boat all of you could live on and lots of people to talk to that are not trying to sell u a boat.
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Old 29-06-2016, 13:21   #49
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

People with small boats always say larger boats are "too much to handle". Get the boat you want and then just learn to sail and handle it.
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Old 29-06-2016, 14:49   #50
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Something that the bigger is better crowd always seem to ignore is what if something goes wrong and it will. Changing a headsail on a 47' boat is way harder than doing it on a 40' boat. Hell, just lugging the sail from it's storage space to the bow is probably more than you could handle on a 47' boat and at your limit on a smaller boat. Add in having to do it in strong winds and serious waves and it's a whole other world.

Yes, with caution and bow thrusters, handling a big boat in a marina is only marginally harder than a small boat in normal conditions. If something goes wrong, the consequences will be much more severe in a larger boat.

You've got the problem of how to house 5 people on a boat. Any boat you buy will need an owner's cabin, common area that can seat you all, and a cabin for the girls. You didn't mention age but the older they are, the more space they'll probably need.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:04   #51
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Something that the bigger is better crowd always seem to ignore is what if something goes wrong and it will. Changing a headsail on a 47' boat is way harder than doing it on a 40' boat. Hell, just lugging the sail from it's storage space to the bow is probably more than you could handle on a 47' boat and at your limit on a smaller boat. Add in having to do it in strong winds and serious waves and it's a whole other world.

Yes, with caution and bow thrusters, handling a big boat in a marina is only marginally harder than a small boat in normal conditions. If something goes wrong, the consequences will be much more severe in a larger boat.
No, it's not more difficult until you get larger than 65ft. Twice now we've had a complete failure of all the electrical and hydraulic systems including the engine with the wind exceeding 25 knots. And guess what? We did just fine sailing back using only the manual over rides to sail.

Your statement is simply wrong. Please don't project your own limitations or lack of confidence onto other people and assume everyone else fears the same issues.

As I stated in an earlier post, I singlehanded our 25 ton, 53ft sailboat alone today as I frequently do. No worries, no problems.

A 25 ton sailboat vs 150 pound 59 year old me....... No big deal.

BTW: On a 53ft sailboat, we don't "lug" our sails up from down below to make changes. I push a button and the main sail or jib furls completely in about 15 seconds.
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Old 29-06-2016, 16:35   #52
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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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.
Several people have expressed the idea that larger boats are more difficult to handle in rough weather. But this is just the opposite of the truth. The larger the boat, the more stable and seaworthy it is, and the easier to handle it is, and more comfortable, in rough weather. It's easier to get around the wider decks which don't buck as much, and much safer.

For single handing, I especially prefer a larger boat, as it's just that much more stable and that much less likely to try to buck you off.

The big downside of boats over about 20 tons, is that you can't correct your docking maneuvers by pushing and pulling the boat around by hand. With practice, and a bowthruster is a huge plus, this is not a big problem. Some compensation is the fact that a bigger boat is not blown around as much when you're docking, so you can usually go more slowly without losing control.

The other big downside of larger boats is cost, of course.

To the OP: buy the boat you like, and the rest will take care of itself. That broker clearly has some other agenda, so I would not follow his lead.
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:31   #53
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

boat with 3 bathrooms jen-set to run dishwasher /chillout space /60 ft cat or multi with enclosed pilot house
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:49   #54
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

If you can handle a 40' you can handle a 50'. Your broker must be trying to move one of his listings. Having lived aboard for 4 years (50' Gulf star cc) you want the larger boat. Center cockpits work well for more than a couple. Think living space and comfort at anchor or dock You will spend most of your time there. Enjoy we did!
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Old 29-06-2016, 19:21   #55
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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How comfortable did you feel around the docks in the 40'? It really depends on the person and their comfort level and a blanket statement from a broker doesn't apply to everyone. Hell, first boat I lived on was a 42' Catalina, and then jumped to a 53' Norseman. I never had any problems with the transition.

Really that's what fenders are for! But seriously, if you're nervous put the fenders out and practice, practice, practice and you'll do fine. This year the wife has been learning and we cut off the pump out service to make her dock in all kinds of weather - she's a pro now. Go with your gut and what you feel comfortable with, not some one-size-fits-all statement by someone who doesn't know your competence level.
Absolutely. My wife and I handled my 64' steel sailboat with single Cummins diesel with no problems. The only difference between a 40 footer and a 48 footer is 8 feet. Jeesh, relax people.
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Old 29-06-2016, 21:25   #56
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Just up'd from a 33' to a 46'. Way easier docking especially with higher winds. 33 woukd not turn into a crosswind unless fukl steam ahead. 46 in nuetral will turn quick and steady. Bow thruster just adds to the confidence but I rarely use it. Saildrive is amazing with turning on a dime.

Lines led aft to 4 powered winches at the helm makes sh very easy. Furling main and jib makes me feel guilty for calling myself a sailor.

Should have startred at this length and setup. Agree with many others to go big as you can afford but also setup to solo. Your fam will appreciate the break and you will get more hot meals!

Good luck in your decision.
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:00   #57
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

everything else being the same the only question imho is: can you afford the bigger boat & it's more expensive maintenance? If yes-then go for it! within days the 47'er will feel like the 40'er (though it might scare you first time the wind pipes up...)
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Old 30-06-2016, 04:44   #58
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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everything else being the same the only question imho is: can you afford the bigger boat & it's more expensive maintenance? If yes-then go for it! within days the 47'er will feel like the 40'er (though it might scare you first time the wind pipes up...)
Nope, just the opposite. As the wind increases, it has less of an effect on the larger boat due to the increased weight. The boat isn't knocked on it's side nearly as easy as with a smaller yacht.
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Old 30-06-2016, 05:38   #59
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Momentum...
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Old 30-06-2016, 05:51   #60
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Nope, just the opposite. As the wind increases, it has less of an effect on the larger boat due to the increased weight. The boat isn't knocked on it's side nearly as easy as with a smaller yacht.

Kenomac, would you agree or disagree that an overpowered smaller boat is easier to get under control than a larger one (not taking into account powered winches)? Say you were caught with full sails as a squall line hit.

Agreed that once you get both boats under control, the larger would be more comfortable and safer.


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