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Old 03-07-2016, 12:41   #76
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
With 3 kids you will need a boat that size.
Yes a 47 footer can be a handful to handle in strong winds. But docking etc my wife and I had no problem dealing with that part. It's trying to deal with the sail area in strong winds that's a challenge. There were times with big primary winches and a two grip handle I literally could not rotate the winch... and that's with a 115% lapper!
The Tayana may be a good choice, but I agree with the broker on some of the older boats you mention... unless you are really into mechanic-ing and etc.
Gulfstar or Morgan maybe if they were very well kept up. The Morgan more so than the Gulfstar.
Hylas, Tayana, Passport, Wauquiez or anything Ta Shing built would be high on my list.
Formosa, Cheoy Lee, CT, Irwin, would be low on my list. I like some of them but they often have issues that require a lot of work.
Turn into the wind a little more to take the strain off the winch or just push the button.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:46   #77
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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Turn into the wind a little more to take the strain off the winch or just push the button.
Yes of course.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:55   #78
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Sounds like bs advice.

Handling anything bigger than a dinghy, say 25 to 50' requires similar skills.

You do need to think ahead and you do need experience in handling your vessel.

We practiced near racing buoys. Back and fill, docking, crash stops, etc. 5hen we moved to practicing at the pumpout dock, then in our fairway.

We had a dock neighbour, a commercial sailing captain, teach us the basics.

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Old 03-07-2016, 13:09   #79
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Ease of manuevering under power is much more about vessel design than specific hull length. A 60' modern hull will be 100 times easier to manuever than a 30' full displacment underpowered piggy. I would think sailing ability and how comfortble you and your family are managing under sail would be the size limiting factor in the boat and rig design. We went from a 36' FRP full disp Ketch to a 65' full disp schooner. A bit of a learning curve but after a couple years my wife takes it out on her own with our daughter and a friend to help. Some basic classes on boat handling can go along way in improving your comfort level. In the age of thrusters and powered everything basic boat handling gets the back page some. We got in the habit of coming up with a departure plan and docking plan every time, it gets talked through etc. If you practice the same routine you would use in heavy weather when its nice out it becomes secound nature. Basic things like springing onto or off a dock are rarely seem in favor of a joysticks and lots of wurring. IMHO there is really no magic size its all what you are comfortable sailing.
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Old 03-07-2016, 13:19   #80
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Just remember- there is no rush when it comes to docking! Just take it SLOW. There is no shame in pulling into a slip at a dead crawl, but there sure is shame in smashing into someone else's vessel!

Of course, sometimes given the weather conditions, speed is needed. This is the exception.
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Old 03-07-2016, 22:17   #81
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

We own a 47' center cockpit for similar reasons, two kids and us. It's the shortest length the 3 cabin layout really makes sense in. If you've sailed a 40 footer the jump won't be that exponential in handling. Docking is docking, it all depends on the hull, full keel vs find or modified find keel, bow thruster or no bow thruster.
In my case it's a modified find keel/skeg hung rudder hull with no thruster. I have no problems docking, just using prop walk and prudent handling.
One thing you will notice is the sail handling loads, everything is heavier. But if you have a good mainsail system like a stack pack or lazy Jacks it's a non issue, the same goes for reefing systems. It's worthwhile to set up your sail handling systems to be easy and dependable, it makes handling the heavier sails much less burdensome. Same goes for winch sizing and rigging, properly sized and set up running rigging is so important as you go up on size, especially if you plan to sail short handed. Properly set up it shouldn't be too intimidating to handle. Of course hull shape is a whole nother topic.........I do like the comfort and motion of my boat though.

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Old 03-07-2016, 22:19   #82
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Fin keel, damn spell correct, keeps changing to "find"

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Old 08-07-2016, 19:41   #83
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

I sailed a 30' sailboat (Santana 30) and also as part of a crew a larger 45' sailboat this week. The smaller boat was much easier to single hand sail at least for someone like myself with less experience and felt sporty. Personally, I would get a boat smaller than 40' to make things easier in terms of cost and ease to sail.
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Old 08-07-2016, 20:13   #84
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Never really thought about length ! My first boat was 24ft second 40 and now we are about 55ft Never thought about the handling part as i am mainly solo. My concern it the expense of maintenance .
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Old 08-07-2016, 20:39   #85
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

Lots of good opinions here... I've only owned smaller boats but while chartering I didn't experience too much of a difference between 43 and 51 feet.

But I don't think this thread is emphasizing enough the other headaches that come with a bigger boat. They say you can double the maintenance costs for every 10 ft of length. Systems become more and more complicated as you get bigger, and the forces at play while sailing exceed the brute strength of the average sailor to muscle you out of trouble. Many marinas and mooring fields cannot accommodate boats of that size, and draft could become an issue too depending on the boat.

A bigger family does present other challenges, but I think at above 40 feet most of the size limitations start being non-issues when it comes to tankage, stowage, engine access, living space, etc. Even if I had a bigger family I would try to keep it as small as possible once the minimum criteria were met.
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Old 17-07-2016, 15:05   #86
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Re: Handling a 45+ foot boat

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The larger boat is much easier to control. It doesn't get knocked around nearly as easy as the smaller boat, and when the wind picks up, the larger boat has systems in place to furl the sails in much more quickly.

For example, on our boat I can take in or let out the main sail or jib fully in less than 15 seconds, simply by pushing a button. I can't remember ever being overpowered on our boat, simply because we have systems in place which make it so easy to stay ahead of the weather.

We did in fact get hit last season by a white squall at 2am. Full sails up and almost no wind, then pounded by 40 knots with only a minute or two for the wind to increase. Again... No big deal regarding the sails which were furled in less than 30 seconds as the boat was turned 180 degrees. In fact, our sails can be furled quite easily without having to point directly into the wind, which needs to be done on a smaller boat. Ours can be furled on any point of sail....

Just by pushing two buttons to unfurl and one button to furl.

Hydraulic Reckmann jib furling system & electric Selden mast furling system, neither of which come cheap. And both systems have manual over rides which we've needed to use a couple of times, again... No big deal.
Here's a video shot just three days ago to demonstrate my point. It's difficult to see due to the reflection, but the wind is 14-16 knots gusting over 40knots. Up and down within just a few seconds. We're sailing under full Yankee and full main sail. The boat is steady as can be, I'm the only one on deck shooting video with my ipad.

Moments after I hit the stop button on the video, I was hit from behind with a 60 knot gust which then spun us around and caused us to round up. The wind then continued at 50 knots. My wife and Charlie were on deck in seconds, while I attempted to steer. Charlie took over steering, started the motor while I quickly brought in the sails. The entire event was over in less than two minutes, the boat was never on it's side or rails in the water.

Sorry about the poor quality video. The sea state is only 15-18 knots of wind due to the rapid increase to over 50 knots. Couldn't shoot the higher gusts for obvious reasons... we were too busy for a couple of minutes.
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