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Old 25-08-2011, 10:18   #16
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Great advice! I have been told to buy the smallest boat that will do the job. I understand the thought of one you can afford to lose, but I doubt I'd want to lose any boat, and mine will probably be uninsured for comp and insured for liability.

I began all this getting motivated by Laden's micro cruisers and sailing up and down the east coast and Bahamas in a sharpie under 15/16 feet. Then that Srvin (sp?) guy in that tank-like built sharpie rounding Cape Horn and on put the icing on the cake for me. Then, realizing I needed more room for the GF and stuff and more stuff and more comfort, I'm now up to thinking the 27 to 32 foot range. As the boats get bigger, they have deeper draft and it's now starting to limit where I can go. Seems safety off shore means heavy and length to take the wave length for surffing and cresting the tops. Bigger is better, but the financial constraints, experience and maintenance kick in and force the size back down. I can see that it's not the size so much too as it is how it is rigged, design and stability.

I guess there are many correct options and even more that are less desirable and accepting the trade offs is the key.
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Old 25-08-2011, 10:41   #17
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Having watched these discussions over the years, it seems to me people fall into two schools of thought, both mentioned above. These seem to be the arguments as far as I can tell:

Buy the smallest boat you can live with - you will always wish you had more space, but you save a lot of money and will sail more often.

Buy the biggest boat you can afford - you get a nicer boat, but it is more expensive and you are less likely to sail it.

If you are planning on going cruising, and money is a factory, the first option will allow you to leave sooner and/or cruise longer. The second will allow you to live in more comfort.

So it really comes down to what your priorities are and how much of a factor money is.
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Old 25-08-2011, 11:04   #18
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Jobi, it's not the seaworthyness the issue with the Islander 30, it's the tights quarters and limitted storage space.

Thanks

Daniel I hear you, when I started looking for a boat my choice was an alberg 30ft...Id just goten seperated after 20 years and my only wish was to sail away.
I didnt find any alberg at the time, I stumbled on my HR28 and remember thinking it was a fin keeled pearson triton??
then I visited both an ablberg 30 and a triton and discovered that my HR28 had way more storage space then either...in fact its a superior design in many ways.

Then my new girlfriend talked me into a bigger boat (islande trader 41ft) simply said GOD may have built this vesel especialy for me...I mean everything about it makes my spine shiver in a good way.

However and I say this regardless of my little to no experience, just out of pure logic...the hr28 is a much better choice for my needs, it can take me anywhere I want to go and back, in comfort and safer then many larger contemporary sailboats...but most of all it alows me freedom to mouve when and where I want and financial freedom...unfortunatly the 30,000lbs trader41 dont alow this freedom, in fact shes a money pit that will either tie me to land, dock, or legal liabilities (the list is exustive when you think about it) and never forget that a boat is a simple posesion that can be seized easyer then your car...with my divorce a $100,000+ boat is something alot would like to sink there teeths inn.

My ex wanted to visite the trader41 with her lawer the minuts she new about it...but she never bothered with the old hr28

all in all the c&c 35 and 40 are something to behold...best luck in your serch.
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Old 25-08-2011, 11:13   #19
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

I am reading a book which discusses this topic. Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach. They raise several good points, many of which are addressed here. They suggest that the bigger the boat, the more we may remove ourselves from the natural experience. That may be due to the costs simply preventing us from going or due to the increased freeboard and the creature comforts allowing us to get further away from the water.
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Old 25-08-2011, 12:32   #20
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Good question. Bigger boats may offer more space, but none have the space of a one bedroom condo. You also have to consider the cost equation...not just that everything (dockage, maintenance etc) costs more, but generally, for the same cost as a smaller boat, a bigger boat will be older and may not be in as good condition.

Until fairly recently, most cruisers were out there on boats under 40ft. Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger did their first circumnavigation on a 37/38 footer. Liza Copeland, her husband and 3 boys cruised for 6 yrs on a 38. Capn Fatty Goodlander and his wife have been out there for 15+ yrs on a 38. Hal Roth and wife cruised and circumnavigated on a 35. Of course two of those four folks are now sailing boats over 40ft.

I met someone that cruised for something like 9 yrs on a 40 footer with her then husband. They loved it so much, they sold that boat and bought a 60. A couple years later, they were divorced and in debt.

A smaller boat out sailing, beats a bigger boat tied to the bank.

I have been living aboard full time and sailing my boat, a Wauquiez Hood 38 for just about 6 yrs now. It is very comfy and has two private staterooms. I can single hand it well and while I have had quite a few people aboard, I can take off anytime I want, solo (and have done that most often). I have had all kinds of adventures aboard and this has been the best thing I could ever have done. I just love it, and a big part of that is the boat.

A very good friend livesaboard a 42 footer. He never ever leaves the dock without at least one crew aboard (and since he is single, he hardly ever leaves the dock).

Someone once wrote that you should look at boats based on displacement, not LOA. It is a better measure of size. My boat is 22,000 lbs....which is about the size of most 40's. And as I said, she is very comfy, given me great service and can be single handed ... which also means that the crew does not have to be very experienced.

But someone also said, don't worry about it...the boat finds you. And that indeed is good advice.

Hope this helps

Fair winds,

John
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Old 25-08-2011, 12:55   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Drake
But someone also said, don't worry about it...the boat finds you. And that indeed is good advice.
Excellent advice. The boat finds you.
(Just don't be surprised if, seven years later, a bigger boat finds you.)
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Old 25-08-2011, 12:59   #22
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

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Originally Posted by RainDog View Post

Buy the biggest boat you can afford - you get a nicer boat, but it is more expensive and you are less likely to sail it.
Why do say this????? I'm sure I sail my boat at least as much as anyone else at my marina, and probably more.
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Old 25-08-2011, 15:03   #23
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

I.'m like you Don. I go out more than the rest of the boats in my marina, we're tied with another boat as the biggest in my marina. Albeit. there are only 20 sailboats in our marina.

But, we will NOT go out on weekends and holidays because the weekend sailors are scary and don't know which way is which. Our area is extremely busy. more boats than people.

Had 3 boats come out of the Boardwalk marina, one right after the other with no sound signals and not stopping or slowing down to see if it was clear.

But, we do go out once or twice a month, we do live 150 miles from the boat...
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Old 25-08-2011, 15:13   #24
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Someone would have to explain how can a bigger or a heavier boat can't be single handed? Assuming we are talking about a sloop. A 22' and a 50' both have 1 hallyard for the main sail and 1 halyard for for the genoa assuming the boat is not equiped with a furler for argument sakes. It's the same process to raise the sails on a 22' as it is on a 50'. Now that you are under way, you need to manage 1 sheet for the mainsail and two sheets for the Jib or Genoa. that's 3 ropes and you only need to pull one at the time unless you decide to jibe. I may be missing out on something because I just don't get it?
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Old 25-08-2011, 15:56   #25
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

If one more person comes walking down the dock & expresses their opinion that we should be doing our trip on a bigger boat, someone is going in the water! Everytime it happens, I can see the little hairs standing up on my wife's neck!

Dangen,
The type of boat is far more important than it's length. Yes, storage area is very important for cruising. I think that what you should ask yourself is whether you want to raise/lower much larger sails & poles, purchase/ deploy bigger anchoring gear, etc. . If you are looking at the used market, also keep in mind that X dollars will, on average, get a better-quality/condition smaller boat, than larger boat.

I started out looking at boats in the 38'-45' range, at $50k and under. I ended up with a 30' boat for $5k and have put much $K into her, doing the work myself to this point. It is really what you're comfortable with, if you have a friend that has a 40 footer, I'd suggest you ask to go for a sail & ask him/her to "standby", while you solo-sail the boat. If you could arrange an over-nighter at an anchorage, you should be able to decide what will work best for you by the time the trip is over. If you can do the trip in a good blow, even better. Best of luck with your decision!
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:00   #26
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

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Originally Posted by Dangen View Post
Greetings,
I would like to have some real life opinion on the difference between a 35' an a 40' boat, I currently have a 30' Islander that the previous owner modified with a taller mast, longer boom and bigger sails.
There's a "big" difference a 30' and 40' boat. Just go to someplace like Yachtworld and compare weights to length ratio; there's a big difference. As for choice I believe it's important to stay within your limitations. If you're not capable of singling a 40 footer, then your question is answered. Friends of ours have a 37' and were blown away by the sheer volume of our "43'" (a model difference in length of only 8') who's volume is nearly 2X their boat.
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:10   #27
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

Dangen

The difference in your example is the weight of the mainsail. a 50' sloop will have a mast of 70-75' (at a guess) will be a heavy sail to hoist, however that's what winched are for.

I sail my 43' solo a lot of the time and I believe everyone who has a boat should be able to leave dock, sail, anchor and return to dock and secure the boat solo.
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:18   #28
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

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Sorry, Don, I did not make myself clear. If one really gets out and about, goes offshore, maybe crosses an ocean, sails in the tropics during hurricane season, singlehands, that sort of thing, one runs into others, mostly shorebound, who seek to put limits on itineraries, schedules, crew requirement, etc. etc. I am not talking about friends and family. Rather, these can be government officials, but usually it is insurance companies. I remember, for instance, when planning on a Pacific crossing in my 33 foot monohull, that insurance companies simply said "we don't insure such voyages in anything under 37 feet, no matter what, and extra crew don't matter". Never mind that most of the great, successful cruises one reads about were done on smaller boats. There were other times when taking a third or fourth crew was specified. The point I was trying to make was that, for the experienced sailor, taking everything into account and making an informed decision one's self, is much better than doing whatever someone else, in an armchair, is requiring. But, if you depending upon those others to bail you out, financially or otherwise, then you are giving them those decisions. And that, in my opinion, is not as safe. Soooooo.....if you are going to sail uninsured, which many cruisers wind up doing at least part of the time, "sail a boat you can afford to lose". Otherwise, you will be turning important decisions over to whoever insures it, regulates it, etc.etc.

It is not a matter of which boat is more comfortable. Obviously a larger boat is. And it is not a matter of what is safer, all other things being equal, which is also the larger boat. The point is that not all other things ARE equal. I currently sail a 45 foot cat, and I am very comfortable singlehanding her. Just like my other boat, a 33 foot monohull, or the larger yachts I have been paid to sail.

The point is that on my 33 footer, which I could afford to lose, (but which I stayed on board, at anchor, as the eye of a hurricane passed overhead, precisely because I was determined NOT to lose her) my cruising was much less fettered by insurance requirements, maintenance, or regulations, than it is aboard my 45 foot cat, whose loss I would have a much harder time dealing with financially. Both boats have always been maintained and equipped to a very high standard. But the number of systems on the big cat make the work load the equal of a fleet of two or three of the monohulls. And much more dependent upon visits to outside technicians, or even boatyards, even though I do most of my own work.

It is no secret that the farther a boat cruises from its home base, the smaller it is likely to be, for all the above reasons. So, if you are planning on staying in your home area, go big, if you can. If you are planning on maximizing speed or comfort, go big. If your budget and the facilities available allow it, go big. If you can handle the boat yourself or with minimum crew (and I do think that far more people could do this than think that they can), go big. I absolutely love sailing, cruising, going fast, and living aboard my big cat.

But...if you plan on going far afield, if you don't love boat maintenance, which you will be doing yourself under those circumstances, if you want to preserve as much of your time as you can to actually savor the places you go, if you don't want to depend upon others occasionally to help you move the boat, think again. AND, if you want the last word on where you are going, when and with whom, then "sail a boat you can afford to lose". Just remember to work like the devil not to lose it! I also loved cruising my 33 foot mono, and I had lots less to worry about.

I have done this both ways, and have enjoyed it both ways, and am totally comfortable aboard or even singlehanding both boats. I have taken each boat many places, and would basically be happy going "anywhere", within reason, in either. But, clearly, they are opposite faces of the sailing "compromise". And, I have met many who don't understand this, and they are usually waiting for someone to help them in a marina, rather than in a beautiful, uncrowded bay.

Cheers,
Tim
+1 to you Tim, you and I share the same thoughts on this subject. Stepping up from a mono to a multi was an awesome experience and originally going to a smaller vessel didn't impress me and taking a 2 day trip on a 46' multi was heaven. So... after that little educational outing... out with the mono and in with a bigger multi. Damn the cost associated with it, it's only a couple of times a year and we won't be anchored or berthed in an expensive sailboat trailer park. LOL
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:23   #29
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

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Dangen

I sail my 43' solo a lot of the time and I believe everyone who has a boat should be able to leave dock, sail, anchor and return to dock and secure the boat solo.
That's very good advice! And I will do just that.

And before taking off, my GF will have to be ableto do the same and she knows nothing about sailing, hasn't been on a boat for 40 years. If she can't, I guess I'll be close enough to always get help. My doctor says I'm in good shape, but I could be injured. That makes up my mind, I will never buy too much boat. Thanks!
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Old 25-08-2011, 16:24   #30
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Re: Opinions On Boat Size ?

ive had 'em 21 to 47 feet. had as much fun in my 30 footer as any. having said that, it's hard going back... mostly due to speed. But you can say that about going back to a mono from a cat. To me 36-39 ft is great compromise. simply raising the main is a tiring task on a 47 footer. On my 30, a couple quick pulls with no winch did it. on a 38 footer you get the same amenities as bigger pretty much. (do you really need 2 heads?) the larger my boats got, the more I motored.
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