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Old 20-02-2011, 21:58   #46
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

IMO smaller is better to a degree.
I have a friend who owns a 5,000 square foot house on 10 acres with a vineyard, a 2,000 square foot beach house, a Corvette, 3 Porsches, a racecar or 2, a Ferrari, a 40' motorhome, a bunch of racing go karts, horses, dogs, a big swimming pool, etc., etc.
I have another friend who owns a VW van and some clothes.
They met once and the guy with all the stuff said he really envies the guy with nothing.
You see, the guy with all the stuff spends every waking hour running around getting oil changes, vet visits, tires, pool cleaning, landscaping, vineyard maintenance and so on. He doesn't even have a lot of time to work anymore, just runs around spending money.
The other guy hangs out at the beach playing guitar.
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Old 21-02-2011, 01:28   #47
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Stevensuf,

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
I'm not so sure about that. I have seen 52' Irwins reduced to scrap in minutes in a storm where 35' HRs and comparable designs were safe and sound. Bigger is only better when the other factors are equal.
I think this is a really important point - size actually matters less than you may think when the weather gets bad.

If I had a choice between a 50 foot Bavaria or a 35 HR, assuming both were well maintained and well outfitted, I'd choose the HR any day.

It's a big jump from 40 to 50 feet, everything is larger, heavier, and more cumbersome to work with, and power-assist is relied on to a greater extent. This needs to be considered carefully by both members of the crew prior to purchase.

BWS
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Old 21-02-2011, 01:35   #48
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Im not familiar with irwin yachts, but if they are anything like american cars..... (nb no offence to americans) i lived in phoenix for a bit, america has its good and bad points, but when it comes to cars.... not sure about american boats

Anyways if you look at most yachts sunk in storms they are mostly all smaller, size most certainly does matter, look at fastnet for instance not one boat over 45 ft was lost, under thats size it made very little difference what make or model, experienced or inexperienced skipper made little difference either, it was size that mattered.

In europe the avs for smaller boats has to be higher as boat size increases it is allowed to get smaller as it takes far more wave energy to capsize a larger boat than a smaller boat, this is physics, very simple, a smaller boat with a great avs may bounce back quicker, but chances are mast n rigging gone, a bigger boat even with a lower avs is much harder to capsize.
i have a little 17 foot jet drive boat will do 70 mph,great fun, totally stable upside down, but foam filled wont sink, a bit like a cat, wont self right but wont sink, i have a 25 foot motorboat, totally positive avs ie completely unstable upside down will self right immediately, but it is sinkable.

there was a saddler in 2010 arc with full skeg it still lost its rudder, and yes bolted on keels can fall off, rare but can happen, lying ahull to the sea a full keel performs no better than bulb or fin, go research the science,but youd need to be a nutter to lie ahull in breaking waves, just asking for trouble. Anyways im drifting off topic here.

Simple fact it takes far more wave energy/size, to topple a 14 ton 50 foot boat than a 6 ton 35 foot boat, regardless of design.
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Old 21-02-2011, 01:48   #49
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Sww 914 i did man number 1 for a whie, working my way to man number 2 but with some pennies in the bank
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Old 21-02-2011, 03:22   #50
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
Simple fact it takes far more wave energy/size, to topple a 14 ton 50 foot boat than a 6 ton 35 foot boat, regardless of design.
I would argue that it's your job to use your best judgement to prevent that from happening, regardless of size. Isn't that the whole point of getting safely where you want to go?

Respectfully,
BWS
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Old 21-02-2011, 03:48   #51
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

I totally agree.....
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Old 21-02-2011, 05:23   #52
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

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It's a big jump from 40 to 50 feet, everything is larger, heavier, and more cumbersome to work with...
I agree with most you write but it is your choice of words (cumbersome) that tell me you never owned a good big boat Big boats are a dream to handle, much better and much easier than smaller boats. I have sailed everything from 10' up to 64' and can tell you handling only gets easier when you go bigger.

Yes, you need a bigger winch. No, that big winch isn't more difficult to handle.

About safety: a 60 footer is safer than a 36 footer when all else is equal.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-02-2011, 05:52   #53
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Been an interesting read because there hasn't been a big vs small thread in a while. (I think this is really a large vs less large boat discussion.)

Personally I never have believed some of the cost comparisons thrown out between the maintenace costs going larger. I think they are fairly minor when spread out over the years of use. If one can pay for the larger boat to start with the extra $1-2,000/yr probably doesn't matter much compared to the nejoyment of the larger boat.

While most will always say get the smallest boat that fits your needs; I have come to the decision that you should get the largest boat you can budget wise. Docking is the only downside to me and you just have to learn to deal with it.

In the orginal question the question to me comes down to what you want to do more of:
1 - enjoy sailing and time on the boat (get the larger boat)
2 - enjoy partying on the beach and in doing land things (get the less large boat)
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Old 21-02-2011, 06:00   #54
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pirate Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

On boat size I'd say get the size you can afford to keep up together... to me size is not that important its sea keeping abilities that count... and I'll have to disagree with your bigger is safer line... but then thats just my opinion and experience... you get out there and get yer own...
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Old 21-02-2011, 06:16   #55
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

This thread has become very insightful.

What I have found, is that my 53' is much more comfortable to sail than my 40' was. I feel safer, better protected, am able to store more equipment and provisions, don't suffer claustrophobia or cabin fever, as I have two completely different sections of the vessel, have twice the deck space for repais or entertainment and a center cockpit that takes me out of the weather and away from breaking seas.

I do agree that more toys are bad, if those toys are high maintenance. Keep it simple. Try to add only systems that are elementary mechanical systems and the fewer moving parts, the better.

I have tried to reduce my reliance on complex electrical systems. A simple example is the head. Have had nothing but trouble with a macerator type electric toilet, yet my second head, a Groco hand pump has been reliable thoughout, and very easy to service.

So in that veign, if budget is a concern, through the AC overboard, keep your electrical system simple, spend your money on rigging, sails and ground tackle and go big!
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Old 21-02-2011, 06:55   #56
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

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I'll have to disagree with your bigger is safer line...
Please note that my line is "bigger is safer when all else is equal" Simple laws of nature, not point of view.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-02-2011, 07:02   #57
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Well Nick... I have fewer stantions, my holding tank it built out of the hull itself, I have fewer through hulls and plumbing, the lights are smaller, and with half the distance to run, the mile + of wire is smaller, We only use a small $120 window air conditioner and "cube" heaters, The fridge is only 2 cu ft and it's compressor is only about half the size & weight, for hot water showers we use a 1 pound black plastic garden sprayer (solar heated), our watermaker is 1/4th the size one would put on a larger boat, (its 3 gal/day just keeps our 30 gal tanks full), the radar is half the size of the larger boat's radar, the inverter is only 120w and about a pound, the SSB is also small and half the size, the 5" tall GPS has no plotter & is 1/3rd the size, the windlass is a fraction of the size and much more importantly.. the wire that services it, (the wire to a large windlass can run over $1,000)... My engine is only 18 hp and sips diesel, there is no oven at all, there is only one head to maintain, The RIB is a "light weight" and smaller than a larger boat's, the OB motor is half the size and expense as well, and I have 1/3rd the life jackets, harnesses, and all forms of "boat gear"...

Being a trimaran... I made all of the interior "flat panels" out of light weight composite materials, to make up for the above extra weight as well...

The larger boat has exponentially more stress & expense in every single piece of hardware, their fastenings, backng plates, running & standing rigging, spars, sails, ground tackle, more ports / hatches, ETC ETC ETC.

The protected anchorages that are the best in a winter front, or to spider web in for a hurricane, are 10 times more numerous for a smaller boat with less draft, as are the small marinas and boatyards.

In the places "I" prefer to cruise, like Belize,s barrier reef, Glovers reef atoll, the Bahamas, etc. The difference between 5.5' draft and 6.5' draft is OFTEN the difference between being 200' off of a protective windward beach, or 1/2 a mile... Happens ALL the time.

If this has not been your experience, I doubt that you go from one third world country to the other, with no power or almost no power at their rickety little docks. OR try to haul out with their rickety little travel lift.

Having spent thousands of hours scrubbing boat bottoms, and tens of thousands of hours installing, maintaining, and repairing boat systems... I can assure that the effort to do ALL of these things goes up exponentially with boat size! This is a "no brainer"...

Comparing a smaller "ketches" rig replacement bill to a larger "sloops", is ridiculous! (apples to oranges) A boat that is similar in rig design, but 15' longer, will generally cost over twice as much to re rig. This goes for the sails, running rigging, and blocks, as well.

It is obvious that you are a millionaire in a millionaire's boat, do NOT go off the beaten path, did not build any of your boat or install it's systems, do not do your own repairs, OR scrub your own boat's bottom... You hire these things done! I doubt that you hike 10 miles in one day looking for the only local laundry lady, or do it yourself in a bucket, as well. This is the ONLY way I can imagine that you would have the perception that a vastly larger boat is not exponentially more stress, more complicated, more expensive, and more hassle to own.

I am happy for you that you can afford your lifestyle, but for many, perhaps even most of us, a huge boat is not only out of the question from the purchase price, but we install or maintain every inch of the boat, from the hull & rig to its systems...

For this group, if you want to get to know the local culture and mingle with the people, going to the laundry or village grocery store regularly... If you have made great sacrifices in your life, like not owning a house while cruising, or doing without hull & health insurance, (like we did)... If you are on a "cruisers budget" and do your ALL of your own work, then: THE SMALLEST BOAT THAT WILL SERVE YOUR NEEDS, IS THE LEAST HASSLE, LEAST EXPENSE, AND MOST FUN!

A 44' boat is not just a "bit" bigger than a 40'er. It is TWICE the size! Longer, deeper, wider, taller, more cubic volume, heavier, more stresses, thereby MUCH more expensive for almost E V E R Y T H I N G that is proportionate to the boat.

Something to consider for folks that are closer to the ground financially, and looking for a different sort of adventure... Mark
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Old 21-02-2011, 07:32   #58
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Chics dig bigger boats.

So the other night at the pub I was chatting up this (dumb) (blonde) (6/10) girl and told her my boat is 58 feet.

If the first few visits are at night (after a few rums) she won't know the difference

Mark
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Old 21-02-2011, 07:32   #59
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

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Well Nick... I have fewer stantions, my holding tank it built out of the hull itself, I have fewer through hulls and plumbing, the lights are smaller, ...
Ohhhh my ! :-)) So you have fewer thru-hulls? Would you believe that a Sundeer 64 has only 1 (one) thru-hull? Wake up call Mark

I can see the type of boats you are comparing yourself with but you must know that there are simple big boats too (and complex small boats that have all the toys).

We have lived aboard in 3rd world countries since 2003, non-stop. We have seen 20 countries around the Caribbean incl. the ones you talk about. I anchored so close to beaches in the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos that my stern was only 30' from the surf at times. Jedi didn't touch a dock for 5 years as we're always at anchor if at all possible. The Kunas know us and our cats by name. Every viable anchorage along the Caribbean coast of Colombia has seen Jedi enter and anchor there. There's big boats that get everywhere and there's small boats that are marina queens and the other way around too. Don't think you are better than me because you have a smaller boat; I've sailed a 30 footer for 17 years too and that was after 10 years of racing Lasers and windsurfers.

My radar is just a simple dome like all other simple boats have; my SSB is the same old Icom-710 as 99% of the cruisers out here. I have 4 life jackets aboard, and also a window A/C unit like you, and my GPS is just as small as yours. I scrape my own hull just like you and I might well beat you in time as you got 3 hulls to do vs my single bigger one.

The wiring to my windlass is 4/0.. so what? You think it'll break down quicker than your thin wire? That's just silly. If you want to say that your boat is cheaper, I won't deny that... but that's just some money, why make a big deal about that?

You can try to make me look like something I'm not but that doesn't really work. I think your target should be the big motorboats or the big sailboats that have a crew running them with the owners drinking champagne.

How come we never met you? Looks like we met the same Kunas



cheers,
Nick.
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Old 21-02-2011, 07:36   #60
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Re: Larger vs Smaller Boat

Well in the case im thinking off the larger boat has aircon and generator and eclectric winches, they are about the only systems more than the smaller boat, same heads, fridge, single engine, stove and all other systems, and all the extras on the larger boat could quiet easily be on the smaller boat, Lets face it you could quite easily have a larger boat with no toys which is cheaper to maintain than a smaller boat with all the toys.
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