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Old 22-01-2013, 03:40   #1
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Does size really matter?

In relation to yachts, I mean

Comparing a 50ft to a 48ft, how much extra will it really cost? 2ft extra in marina fees, haul outs, anti foul. Would it be a huge difference or just a little? I realize it depends on which marina, etc but just ballpark?

Thanks
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Old 22-01-2013, 03:59   #2
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Re: Does size really matter?

Well my wife said size matters. We had a Niagara 35 which we very much enjoyed but she said we needed to get a bigger boat or she would not go off cruising,hence the Bristol 45.5.

About cost, there is not a simple relationship. Some examples:
1. Most marinas charge by LOA so there is a linear relationship.
2. Sometimes you are charged for square footage, LOA x Beam, and for similar boats as length goes up so does beam so cost goes up accordingly. A similar relationship exists for bottom paint.
3. Some charges go up in steps with discrete boundaries. For example to transit the Panama Canal if you are less than 50 feet (and they measure everything) it is something like $650. Over 50 feet is $910 so one extra inch there can be costly. Some marinas charge like this with your LOA assigning you to a particular dock category, ie you pay for the dock size, not the boat size.
4. It is a bit trickier for things like what size sheets or ground tackle need to be. Here displacement matters, and displacement may or may not be closely related to length.

Like a lot of things in life, it depends.
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Old 22-01-2013, 04:06   #3
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Re: Does size really matter?

There would be almost no difference in ownership costs comparing a 50ft to a 48ft
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Old 22-01-2013, 05:45   #4
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Re: Does size really matter?

fuel/sails/rigging also more expensive on a bigger boat
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Old 22-01-2013, 07:02   #5
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Re: Does size really matter?

I notice this is posted in "multihulls", and while my familiarity with cats is scanty, I had reason to note a very interesting article on the topic of "how big is enough" as part of the discussion of what makes for a good cat:

Choosing the right offshore, live-aboard catamaran.
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Old 22-01-2013, 07:54   #6
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Re: Does size really matter?

Alchemy,

this guy is obviously selling Fontaine-Pajot catamarans. There are very valid arguments out there against many of the points this fella is making. Please read these for a little more perspective. The racing books are geared for dinghy catamarans, but handling is the same for big or small.


Try these:
"The Cruising Multihull" Chris White
"Multihull Seamanship" Gavin le Sueur
"Multihull Cruising Fundamentals" Rick White, ASA instructional text
"Catamaran Sailing from Start to Finish" Phil Berman
"Catamaran Racing: for the 90s" Rick White
"Multihull Voyaging" Thomas Firth Jones
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Old 22-01-2013, 11:35   #7
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Re: Does size really matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WingingIt View Post
In relation to yachts, I mean

Comparing a 50ft to a 48ft, how much extra will it really cost? 2ft extra in marina fees, haul outs, anti foul. Would it be a huge difference or just a little? I realize it depends on which marina, etc but just ballpark?

Thanks
48 to 50ft makes little difference to most costs. The dimension you might really have to worry about is the beam.

When I wanted to haul out in north Florida I was limited to pretty much one yard that could handle my 23.25 ft beam. Check with your local yards before you make an expensive mistake and buy something that can't be hauled out.
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Old 22-01-2013, 11:54   #8
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Re: Does size really matter?

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Originally Posted by Jeannius View Post
48 to 50ft makes little difference to most costs. The dimension you might really have to worry about is the beam.

....Check with your local yards before you make an expensive mistake and buy something that can't be hauled out.
That's a real good point. Most yards can only handle up to 21ft beams. A couple of years back Richard Woods and I tried every haul out in Port Canaveral, FL (there are a bunch of them) and failed to find any who could handle a 22 foot beam. He had to sail 50 miles south to Fort Pierce, FL where he did find a yard to handle him.
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Old 22-01-2013, 12:07   #9
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Re: Does size really matter?

The simple answer is no it wouldn't increase costs that much... It might cost you between $5 and $20 more per day in a marina. No more than $100 to paint the bottom, including high end paint.

I still haven't found a marina charging by the square foot, but I have heard there are some on the eastcoast. Most marinas I have stayed in go by what the documention says, which is my case is beneficial since it says 46.6 feet, but my overall length is 51.5 feet.

The more complicated answer to your question means you would have to provide details, like the difference in engine sizes, rig sizes and hull types/shapes...

All of those could add significantly to the cost of a boat... ie: the 48 foot has a 75 hp engine, the fifty foot has a 100 hp engine... More cost in both parts and diesel consumption. Or how about the difference between rigs... Maybe one is tall rig and carries more sq. footage of sail, increasing both sail and rigging costs.
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Old 22-01-2013, 13:50   #10
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Re: Does size really matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
Alchemy,

this guy is obviously selling Fontaine-Pajot catamarans. There are very valid arguments out there against many of the points this fella is making. Please read these for a little more perspective. The racing books are geared for dinghy catamarans, but handling is the same for big or small.


Try these:
"The Cruising Multihull" Chris White
"Multihull Seamanship" Gavin le Sueur
"Multihull Cruising Fundamentals" Rick White, ASA instructional text
"Catamaran Sailing from Start to Finish" Phil Berman
"Catamaran Racing: for the 90s" Rick White
"Multihull Voyaging" Thomas Firth Jones
While it's clear there's an agenda at work, he also favoured Robertson Caine models, like the Leopards (I like the look of S. African cats the best, I think, for taking on open ocean). I only posted it because width and "fatness" of the amas seems to play into how comfortable they ride in a seaway, and neither is "length", the dimension we usually focus upon.

Thanks for the list...while I'm in the mono world, I haven't ruled out chartering a cat for the experience.
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Old 22-01-2013, 15:04   #11
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Re: Does size really matter?

Size isn't about costs! If you can afford it most people would go larger (both sides will come up with a means to justify either the smaller or larger boat) .

Size is about comfort!!! But if you are a couple this has a point of no return afterwhich the extra size becomes about comfort for guests.

My first boat was 39'. My current boat is 43.5'. The comfort and interior volume increase is HUGE! But if I were to step up again as a couple we wouldn't go beyound 46-48' as after that we don't get anything other than some increased costs.

PS - since I stay on a mooring in the summer and am hauled out in the winter the extra costs from 39' to 43.5 has been about $250/year.
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Old 22-01-2013, 15:13   #12
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Re: Does size really matter?

It's comfort for sure and this is the number one reason people buy catamarans to begin with. But when you go bigger, there is a limit to what a single hander or a couple can comfortably handle. I would single hand a 40' catamaran these days, but not a 48' Cat. It's too demanding.

Oh... trimarans have 'amas' . Catamarans have hulls.
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Old 22-01-2013, 15:17   #13
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Re: Does size really matter?

I have to agree that small size increment in LOA can mean huge volume increases. I went from 43 to 49 and felt like I'd doubled my interior volume. Then going from 49 to 57 was another order of magnitude and at first I felt like I'd need to lay a trial of bread crumbs to find my way around the boat.
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Old 22-01-2013, 16:02   #14
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Re: Does size really matter?

Quote:
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Oh... trimarans have 'amas' . Catamarans have hulls.

Um, the Polynesians, who invented multihulls, would beg to differ...

Parts of the Hawaiian Canoe
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Old 22-01-2013, 16:04   #15
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Re: Does size really matter?

I would say that in many cases that two-foot difference in length wouldn't mean much, but in certain circumstances it would mean a lot. For example, if you get over 20 meters in length all sorts of different equipment and regulations kick in. Some areas you suddenly fall under navigation restrictions and charges that wouldn't impact smaller vessels. Same happens at 12 meters, but the rules aren't quite as dramatically different. Some areas, like here on the East Coast of the USA, bridge height restrictions mean that you are extremely restricted with where you can go if you can't clear 65-foot bridges. Plus, sometimes there are marinas that have a maximum length--most don't, but some do.
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