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Old 11-04-2015, 12:06   #31
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The universal answer? Buy as big as you feel confident to sail alone. Being two handed frequently means being single handed. Or, hire some crew if you feel like that. Then only sky is the limit. Or may be the Panama brige. OK, you were not that "extravagant". Seriously, around 60 feet is you reasonable size limit if double handed nowadays. 80 if you feel really well heeled. Size really does add in comfort AND in maintenance cost. Another suggestion. If you have got money, use it on yourself. Tht's how it's ment to be done.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:08   #32
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Re: How big is too big?

A lot of good comments. I believe that lenght equates to comfort, speed and safety, and that displacement is mostly what matters in terms of what a couple can manage. Clearly outliers, my wife and I have 60000 miles (including 8 yrs living aboard full time) experience sailing a 68 ft Sloop displacing 16 tons. Except for hauling and painting every several yrs, we have diligently performed all the maintenance, and that, in combination with minimal insurance, has kept our annual costs very low. Obviously some good sailing and mechanical skills are required, but nothing extroardinary. On board we have everything you could want, but we have added things with a minimalist approach, and the spaciousness makes it all manageable. Maneuvers in a marina take advance planning with no thrusters, but we have managed unscathed to date. In open water the boat is a dream. In short, I would always go for a longer waterline and fewer systems/amenities to start with the thought of adding and adjusting things as you see the need or desire. Done that way, you will know your boat like your own hand, maintenance becomes second nature and the main additional price is for marina slips or hauling.
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Old 11-04-2015, 12:47   #33
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Re: How big is too big?

The best size of a boat, sailboat, depends upon SO many things, but first and foremost is your sailing and maintenance abilities. Then consider your wants in the way of comfort items.
I've delivered boats in salt water as small as 23' and as large as 52 feet. Everytime I go to a boat show I'm happier with what I've got. And when talking to the dealer showing the boat and he menyions the payments my happiness is reinforced.
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Old 11-04-2015, 13:55   #34
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Re: How big is too big?

sailing grounds should be another consideration. If you plan to sail the Mediterranean, 40 to 45 feet for a crew of 2 is in my opinion optimal. First we have to remind ourselves that most ports have been built hundred of years ago when 30 to 35 feet was a standard. So if you want to dock in those ports, which are often quite picturesque, you will find anything over 50 difficult to manoeuvre in tight quarters, especially on windy afternoons. Additionally, docking fees are charged based on either length or surface.
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Old 11-04-2015, 14:08   #35
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Re: How big is too big?

Seeing as how my wife and I just bought a 32' ketch for our long-term, live-aboard cruising plans, we seem to be much in the minority! And we agonized over the question of whether we wanted to go over 30', with all the expenses and work that goes into that.
So, right up front, 55' is a vastly over-sized boat to me. Singlehanding would require additional gobs of money and trust in technology - which ALWAYS FAILS - so that she or I could operate the vessel if the other were disabled.
So my question is, if you truly feel you need to have a boat that has all the luxuries - and stress - of home, why not just stay home?
There, I've admitted I'm a fan of Lin & Larry Pardy without ever using their names ('til now...)!
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:02   #36
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Re: How big is too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjdavie01 View Post
. . .
So my question is, if you truly feel you need to have a boat that has all the luxuries - and stress - of home, why not just stay home?
. . .
Well, I AM home.

If you mean why not stay in a land home, well, land homes are firmly aground and therefore stuck in the same place, have unchanging views, etc. Why would you want to live there?

If you're using the boat for weekends and the occasional summer cruise -- then that's one thing. If you spend extended periods on board or live on board, that's another thing altogether, and makes less sense to give up the basic infrastructure of life (like a washing machine and decent storage, and room for guests), and to give up just generally the space to spread out a little bit.
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:07   #37
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Smile Re: How big is too big?

Wow...lots of opinions...One round for all reading... !! On me!
I had a 26 foot sailboat where I needed another person onboard to handle her. I had a 52 foot sailboat for the last 16 years and have sail her singlehanded all over the Caribbean and the Pacific... A larger vessel gives me the feeling of security and of course has the systems that allow me to single handed her all these years where the smaller one did not.
I have seen lots of 40-50 foot sailboats that were very complicated and were difficult to move around on deck. So, the design is a big factor. Look at a design that does not have a complicated deck or systems layout. All sailboats have an engine..can you access the normally maintained parts with easy? (alternators, belts, oil change, coolant....).
Most important is that you can drive her by yourself with easy - a good autopilot is a must. The winches and sail arrangements are well organized so one person can sail her with all the sails up and up to winds of 25 knots. That is my sailboat.. I could not sail alone some smaller sailboats 35 to 45 footers that I have seen around. I am not that good of a sailor. My boat does not have any electric winches but you can use a drill and a special bit to drive your winches. I don't have a wind vane or anything to help other than an electric autopilot with a hydraulic ram. The simpler the system the less the headaches. good luck in your search.
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:11   #38
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Smile Re: How big is too big?

Wow...lots of opinions...One round for all reading... !! On me!
I had a 26 foot sailboat where I needed another person onboard to handle her. I had a 52 foot sailboat for the last 16 years and have sail her singlehanded all over the Caribbean and the Pacific... A larger vessel gives me the feeling of security and of course has the systems that allow me to single handed her all these years where the smaller one did not.
I have seen lots of 40-50 foot sailboats that were very complicated and were difficult to move around on deck. So, the design is a big factor. Look at a design that does not have a complicated deck or systems layout. All sailboats have an engine..can you access the normally maintained parts with easy? (alternators, belts, oil change, coolant....).
Also, the ground tackle is uncomplicated - a good anchor, chain, windlass and the place where the chain lays does not accumulate water. I have seen smaller boats that require 2 people on deck and one below to retrieve the anchor and chain.
Most important is that you can drive her by yourself with easy - a good autopilot is a must. The winches and sail arrangements are well organized so one person can sail her with all the sails up and up to winds of 25 knots.
That is my sailboat.. I could not sail alone some smaller sailboats 35 to 45 footers that I have seen around. I am not that good of a sailor.
My boat does not have any electric winches but you can use a drill and a special bit to drive your winches. I don't have a wind vane or anything to help other than an electric autopilot with a hydraulic ram. The simpler the system the less the headaches. good luck in your search.
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:14   #39
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Re: How big is too big?

I like to respond in a not very respectful manner: if you have to think about money already now - buy the smaller boat, a 40/43f one, it will cost you anyway more ...
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:38   #40
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Re: How big is too big?

My wife and I have cruised extensively with South and North Atlantic cossings plus some time in South Africa, south America, and on the other side Ireland, England and Scotland. A long time ago a famous South African round the world solo sailor, Bertie Reed, told me don't go bigger than the weakest one of you can handle by themselves!!

So we have been doing this cruising Quite comfortably on a 34 ft Sadler, actually 35 ft. On a recent crossing crom Bermuda to Chesapeake we comfotably managed 146 to 156 ml days. We do all our own work as the boat is mangaeable in size and it does not cost a fortune to repair or maintain. we have come across many couples and singlehanders from Brazil to Key West to the Azores who are basically stuck, not living the dream because they ended up with "a boat too big!"

On our 34 we have all the comforts of home, hot water, fridge, AC, heaters, water maker and the list goes on

I am 64 and shortly we are jumping off from Virginia to go visit friends in Bermuda. Basically our moto is "have passport will sail". Don't be sucked into too big a boat, you will regret it!
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Old 11-04-2015, 15:50   #41
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Re: How big is too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by exnatalia View Post
My wife and I have cruised extensively with South and North Atlantic cossings plus some time in South Africa, south America, and on the other side Ireland, England and Scotland. A long time ago a famous South African round the world solo sailor, Bertie Reed, told me don't go bigger than the weakest one of you can handle by themselves!!

So we have been doing this cruising Quite comfortably on a 34 ft Sadler, actually 35 ft. On a recent crossing crom Bermuda to Chesapeake we comfotably managed 146 to 156 ml days. We do all our own work as the boat is mangaeable in size and it does not cost a fortune to repair or maintain. we have come across many couples and singlehanders from Brazil to Key West to the Azores who are basically stuck, not living the dream because they ended up with "a boat too big!"

On our 34 we have all the comforts of home, hot water, fridge, AC, heaters, water maker and the list goes on

I am 64 and shortly we are jumping off from Virginia to go visit friends in Bermuda. Basically our moto is "have passport will sail". Don't be sucked into too big a boat, you will regret it!
Sadlers are lovely boats!

But I don't understand this post. What does size have to do with whether you can handle it alone, or not? Docking, maybe. But at sea, size is only good. Not long ago, I had to sail somewhere directly upwind, in a gale. Single handed. I shudder to think what it would have been like in a smaller boat.

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Old 11-04-2015, 16:10   #42
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Re: How big is too big?

Anyone can throw a line, what about systained winds at say 45 knots, what about riding a squall with say 50 knot downdrafts? To my mind sailing means just that. If you want to motor everywhere buy a motorboat. If one member of the couple team is injured, a fall say, the other must be able to do everything themseles. At 125 lbs my wife can. As for beating, the key is good sails knowing how to set them and a boat that goes to windward
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Old 11-04-2015, 16:22   #43
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Re: How big is too big?

So glad you asked! I just did this exercise and here is how we made the decision. First for nine years we sailed a jeanneau 40.3 and it was perfect--two cabin, one head version and it was perfect. Very comfortable took it all over NE never a problem. BUT as the kids got older and our house too big we decided on a major life change. So come August we are living aboard and moving our "house" down the Atlantic seaboard -- and back again. But we are also continuing to work so we had to have a boat that was big enough to be very comfortable and give us two work spaces. Best thing I did was go to the Annapolis Boat Show and having decided we needed at least 50 feet really looked at boats side by side. We narrowed in on the Dufour 50GL, the Jeanneau 53 (the 50 had some oddities that weren't good for us) and the Hanse 50. While there we also looked at some 55's.

Bottom line 55 was too much boat, we weren't getting anything more of what we really needed and the extra length, beam and draw made it more difficult to get into some of our favorite harbors. That meant the 50 then the question was design, both below and above. We finally -- after many discussions decided on the Dufour. Here's why (all the boats had sooo much to offer it was a difficult decision) The Dufour is well designed to be sailed by one person if need be. The placement of everything on deck is great and the self tacking jib is very useful. Secondly, it feels not so different than the 40 meaning you feel comfortable with the extra space but not overwhelmed. Finally, and for us living aboard below decks is just incredible. It is designed with maximum storage, nav-stations that move out of the way for more seating in the salon (as in when the kids are on board) and there is a place for everything. it reminds me of those tiny houses everyone talks about.The galley being aft the salon really opens up the space without deceasing cooking space. So for us -- living aboard the 50 feet was needed and we had to find a design we could live with. All of the ones we looked at were great and the Dufour does not have a crew cabin in the bow which I would have liked, but the three cabin design suits us and our visiting children. The elegance factor is also there so you can feel like you have a super yacht you just don't need to have a crew to drive it. Over 50 I think extra crew especially on longer hauls becomes a factor we wanted to keep as an option not a requirement.

Good luck! it is a lot of fun looking -- but a bit frightening when you have to commit. No matter which boat you are talking some serious money.
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Old 11-04-2015, 16:30   #44
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Re: How big is too big?

We sail a 42' ketch. Lots of room for 2 and smaller sails that mean easier handling. Great liveaboard!
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Old 11-04-2015, 16:31   #45
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How big is too big?

I agree with TJ D.
When you look at the MacGregor 65 for example.
This boat is low maintenance cost and can be handled by two people.
It has plenty of space, is fast and keeps its value.
And nowadays a bow thruster helps to make docking easy.

I think its a matter of taste. When you can live without being surrounded by wood -which requires care in a humid environment- look for a boat without or less.
Sure, if you have space you are using it. Discipline is required to avoid too much clutter.
It all depends what kind of person you are and what you would like to have.
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