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Old 11-02-2010, 08:09   #46
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Obviously, to some extent it depends on how many are onboard. My wife and I have lived aboard a Baba 30, Niagara 31 and now a Wauquiez Pretorian 35. If it were just me, I would be very comfortable on any of them but with two I'd want the extra room of the Pretorian. I think 30' would be comfortable for most people single-handing, but for a couple 35' is usually considered ideal in terms of comfort and ability to handle.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:46   #47
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I've come to believe that the size of the boat is completely irrelevant. The only questions concern the sailor.

Why do you want to do this? Fun, adventure, challenge, or to prove something?

Are you being drawn or pushed into this dream? Is it an escape from the shape and flavor of your present life?

What do you imagine will be the result of this accomplishment? Is it even something you can admit out loud?

In short, what's wrong with you now, and how will it be fixed if you do this?

That's pretty personal stuff, but a clear understanding of the answers will tell you exactly how primitive, dangerous, or cheap this undertaking needs to be. If fun and non-heroic adventure is your reason, than a modicum of comfort and safety is right FOR YOU. And the reverse need not be contemplated.

Someday we will all applaud the courage and mastery of a twelve-year old orphan who circles the world on a Hobie 14, while being followed by a Coast Guard Cruise with a helicopter. When that happens, the news of a thirty-something desperado doing it on a 40 year old 25' Mexican Clipper will appear only in the personals, or in the admission report at an institution.

But for the very largest part of us, our dream is to go where it's good, and do that when it's easy.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:57   #48
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:58   #49
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I've come to believe that the size of the boat is completely irrelevant. The only questions concern the sailor... [etc.]
There are numerous 300-500 page cruising tomes that never manage to speak with such clarity… A bit of wisdom here, me thinks…

Good stuff...
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:06   #50
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Unsafe no, but there are quite some limitations to smaller boats though, especially if it gets rough. Had a 5 day fairly wild trip on a Hustler 26 (maybe 28, can't recall now), which is quite a seaworthy boat. It was to Norway. But it was a bloody uncomfortable nightmare having to live in that small space for (just) 5 days. And it was only the three of us. Never ever again.
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Old 11-02-2010, 15:02   #51
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Also remember the Question, and the fact not everyone is lucky enough to be able to afford a boat 28ft+.......,,,,

For Christs Sake stop scaring the average Joe who just wants to sail and is discouraged by talk of 40ft plus being the only "Safe" thing.... I've put up with Head Shakers and TutTut'ers for years... a lot of them are still sitting at the dock or in their armchairs "Perfecting" their plans or boats.. years after I've sailed...
GET A BOAT..... GET A LIFE...
Top comment! I was just lucky a good 28’ boat came up in the same price range as the decent 24’ – 26’ models. I have spent a lot of time at sea, but as of yet am probably not the most refined sailor in the world. In the meantime, I am just going to take your advice and get out there and go for it as I did back when I only had a share in a half seaworthy Hunter 19.

The 19 boat was a mess, but this did not mean I did not have FUN while learning the ropes. The only reason I did not put money into getting it fixed was because of the sketchy share arrangement.
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Old 11-02-2010, 15:10   #52
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Get the book - A SPECK ON THE SEA by William Longyard - its worth a read to appreciate small boat voyaging
Thanks – I just added this title to my Amazon wish list and will be ordering it and a nice hardcover edition of Joshua Slocum’s book soon! If you go to Amazon you can view the contents and first few chapters of both free.

Amazon.com: A Speck on the Sea (9780071440295): William Longyard: Books

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Old 11-02-2010, 15:14   #53
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I've come to believe that the size of the boat is completely irrelevant. The only questions concern the sailor.

Why do you want to do this? Fun, adventure, challenge, or to prove something?
Thanks - so well said! Eloquently summed up my personal opinions/motivators/questions without offending others.
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Old 11-02-2010, 15:31   #54
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But am I allowed to say I wouldn't go with anything under 40 ft as it is just not comfortable? No way I would go in a 28ft accross the ocean. I am not into SM.
Each to their own and best of luck to you! I have had blokes moored next to me ask how I could live in such a small boat and we ended up having quite civil conversations where I explained it is a lot more comfortable than my solo mountaineering tent.

Then applying Dandy Daugherty’s philosophy I might as well admit that I do enjoy a bit of S&M. It is just the politics and egotism of my local BDSM scene are worse than anything I have experienced in the yachting community (including my recent Island incident). Pushing pain barriers for fun is also why my heroes are polar explorers and circumnavigators. I was also born to the call of the sea so how much more healthy an aspiration for life could I have than planning solo offshore passages in my small boat?

Before anyone starts to think I am slightly insane and a bit perverted (although this may or may not be true) I note I am fastidious about planning, safety and research and am not a fool. Likewise, thanks for all the great posts on this thread!
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Old 11-02-2010, 16:11   #55
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SurferShane: point well made. Basically we think the same, but from different angles. I don;t enjoy what you enjoy and vica versa. But I don't judge you on it either and by what I read, you don't judge me either. So that's cool! Enjoy whatever you feel you want!
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Old 11-02-2010, 16:27   #56
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I think the size of the boat is just about the comfort level you are willing to accept. I can not see me doing it is less than a 36-37' depending on layout. My Cal-39 is acceptable to me, but would like a little larger for tankage/storage. To me the 42-45' range appears right as it seems after than the boat is bigger, but not more usable space. And on almost all 42-45' boats on my watch list have only 1 head (yes it's bigger and that's it's plus). After the 45' it seems just get better stateroom for guests and I want them visit, but not overstay!
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Old 11-02-2010, 16:40   #57
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Each to their own and best of luck to you! I have had blokes moored next to me ask how I could live in such a small boat and we ended up having quite civil conversations where I explained it is a lot more comfortable than my solo mountaineering tent.

Then applying Dandy Daugherty’s philosophy I might as well admit that I do enjoy a bit of S&M. It is just the politics and egotism of my local BDSM scene are worse than anything I have experienced in the yachting community (including my recent Island incident). Pushing pain barriers for fun is also why my heroes are polar explorers and circumnavigators. I was also born to the call of the sea so how much more healthy an aspiration for life could I have than planning solo offshore passages in my small boat?

Before anyone starts to think I am slightly insane and a bit perverted (although this may or may not be true) I note I am fastidious about planning, safety and research and am not a fool. Likewise, thanks for all the great posts on this thread!
Read a book by a guy in the 1950's who converted a 14ft wooden dinghy in N America and then sailed it from New York I think, to Cornwall, UK..... now that is S&M.... but he did it and I wish I could remember the name of the book. A real tale of someone with a dream and the grit and dertermination to follow it through.... he was'nt some starry eyed kid either... married with 3 kids if memory serves me....
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Old 11-02-2010, 18:30   #58
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I think the size/safety thing gets overrated here. 28 is not unsafe if sailed by a competent skipper and in the good season. A bigger boat could be safer but it could just as well be less safe, no hard rules here.

Other factors may have more influence on safety - like the level of skill and knowledge of the captain/crew, or fatigue (esp. if going solo).

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Old 11-02-2010, 20:23   #59
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G'Day all,

"Read a book by a guy in the 1950's who converted a 14ft wooden dinghy in N America and then sailed it from New York I think, to Cornwall, UKRead a book by a guy in the 1950's who converted a 14ft wooden dinghy in N America and then sailed it from New York I think, to Cornwall, UK"

I think the chap in question was named Manry or something close to that, and the boat was called Tinkerbelle. From memory it wasn't a timber hull, but that isn't really a factor... he was close to my definition of nustso... but he did it such a say that he risked no one other than himself. No radio, no EPIRB, no way to call for help as I recall, so if he got in strife (which he did) he hadda get himself out. I seem to recall a couple of capsizes in mid-Atlantic, but in the long run he made it, and good on him!

But, i do differ from all of the above pundits that say that size has no effect on safety. It is pretty well established that the minimum size wave that is likely to induce either rollover or pitchpoling is closely related to length of vessel, as well as many other factors. I guess that this wouldn't necessarily rule out going in any particular size of yacht, but it would certainly have an effect on the probability of completing a voyage.

As for me, I'v crossed oceans in 30, 36 and now 46 foot boats. All were seaworthy enough for the task at hand, but the smaller boats were surely far less comfortable... as many above have commented.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II ling Broken Bay, NSW, Oz
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Old 11-02-2010, 23:52   #60
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Read a book by a guy in the 1950's who converted a 14ft wooden dinghy in N America and then sailed it from New York I think, to Cornwall, UK..... now that is S&M.... but he did it and I wish I could remember the name of the book. A real tale of someone with a dream and the grit and dertermination to follow it through.... he was'nt some starry eyed kid either... married with 3 kids if memory serves me....
Back when I started thinking about doing passages in my ocean kayak I borrowed a book from a mate about various incredible journeys in small craft. Likewise I can’t remember the exact tittle, but can remember a lot of the feats involved the Atlantic. I will have to catch up and see if he still has the book (or search to make sure it is not hidden in my collection).

It was also pretty funny that when I was buying my boat I was asking one broker about getting something capable of offshore passages. Laughing, she told me the story of a bloke she sold a cheap little Hood 23. Next thing she was getting postcards from all around the world. Go to another broker and they would have told me I needed to spend no less than 100,000 K.
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