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Old 21-07-2010, 12:00   #1
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Does Size Really Matter ?

I know this can be based on many things but what do YOU feel is the best size for a single live-aboard. Say Medium skill, Limited experience, plan to someday (After experience grows) Singlehand to Europe, not the Pacific.

I'm thinking 29-35 foot.
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Old 21-07-2010, 12:21   #2
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It depends on how big you are. If you're under 6' and are slender build, you might be fine - otherwise, it could be a challenge.

You're going to need storage for both liveaboard and your eventual long-term cruising. That means sacrificing some internal living space.
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Old 21-07-2010, 12:49   #3
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I'm thinking 29-35 foot.
Sounds good, but choose something with at least one good sized bed for sleeping in harbour, a quarter berth would be a pain day in day out.

Certainly manageable in that size range single handed.

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Old 21-07-2010, 13:46   #4
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Sounds good, but choose something with at least one good sized bed for sleeping in harbour, a quarter berth would be a pain day in day out.

Certainly manageable in that size range single handed.

Pete
That's what I figured. Looking at a Hunter 33, but not ready to contact the owner yet. ($20,000) At that price I can add just about any gear it doesn't have that I want. Complete survey before offer though.
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:13   #5
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Size sounds,hunter to europe?marc
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:24   #6
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westsail 32.lol.......easy to handle and have wide flat decks and stoutness. will withstand ANYTHING..has been proven in perfect storm. what more could anyone want?? i like my 41 ft , however--lol and ketch rig....size in individual, same here as anywhere else in life and living...sometimes is relative and sometimes is important. find comfort and go from there--if you wish to cross oceans, research the kinds of troubles which kinds of sailboats discover and find what you are comfortable dealing with.
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Old 21-07-2010, 14:28   #7
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Don, will it look something like this one?

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com

Can't comment on the older hunters, my boss has a late Hunter 33 which suits her very well for coastal cruising, just not sure I would want to cross the pond in it. However I could live on it.

Plan on a full cockpit cover which instantly gives you an extra room.

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Old 21-07-2010, 15:04   #8
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Size sounds,hunter to europe?marc

Yeah, I own a Hunter 30, and have been very happy with it, but I can't imagine sailing it or even one a bit bigger across to Europe.

However, I don't think it's good to buy a boat based on what you dream of maybe doing someday. That may result in spending a lot more than you need to and having a boat that maybe does not best meet your current needs.

Buy what is practical for the near future and then upgrade when and if you move onto another step.
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Old 21-07-2010, 15:20   #9
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Yeah, I own a Hunter 30, and have been very happy with it, but I can't imagine sailing it or even one a bit bigger across to Europe.

However, I don't think it's good to buy a boat based on what you dream of maybe doing someday. That may result in spending a lot more than you need to and having a boat that maybe does not best meet your current needs.

Buy what is practical for the near future and then upgrade when and if you move onto another step.
Oh how true, a Contessa 32 would be good to choose to sail across the pond, but dreadful to live on whilst working ashore IMHO, a week was enough.

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Old 21-07-2010, 15:59   #10
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lots depend on how the sail plan is set up,,, i personally would not want something that small,,, i am looking for 45 to 55 foot pilothouse for extender sailing,, lots will be done solo,,, do not forget they race 65 foot boats around the world single handed,,,

IMHO bigger is better,,, more room, weight,,,longer waterline,,, you just have to make the sailplan and rigging right for a singlehanded
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Old 21-07-2010, 16:18   #11
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It depends on your youth and the amount of discomfort you are prepared to put up with. A few feet can make a big difference to that as in 36 v 32.
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Old 21-07-2010, 16:34   #12
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some 32s ar eso much larger than some 37s--lol-----i believe what ever causes your heart to grab and flutter--awakens the passion inside ye--that is the one to buy---plain and simple---is a very personal decision--kinds like finding a mate...LOL...
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Old 21-07-2010, 16:46   #13
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At least 1 has been around so decently built.
Plenty available so decent price.

A number of big name cruising writers (Roth, Pardeys, Hill) reccommend boats in the 28-35' range.

In 'The Capable Cruiser' by L&L Pardey, they discuss the lessons learned following the Xmas 1982 gale in Cabo San Lucas. One of the lessons they picked up was that it was difficult unto impossible for a couple to handle the anchoring gear on a boat 37' or longer in a real blow (pg 333).

In difficult circumstances at anchor, berthed or underway, a smaller boat will be easier to keep control of. This is not to say that a larger boat would be impossible to control in really bad conditions (ie Leonard & Starzinger their 47' boat or the Dashews on their 60'-70' boats,) but it will cost you a lot more in equipment and maintenance to be able to do so.
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Old 21-07-2010, 16:56   #14
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Everyone has different views - don't they! Have been on a Cape Dory 28 for 5 yrs, and while once in a while think that a few more feet in length or beam might be nice, realize that I don't need it, so I think that this works well. After following s/v Fenix's RTW, know that I could sail it across if I had the urge and got her ready, but don't!
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Old 21-07-2010, 17:12   #15
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It's not the size, it's the heft: the displacement. There are 34s to 40s that are light and trim with modest living space. Then there are 34s to 40s that are lumbering hulks that are indeed a handful to sail, but within which you can live with all the supposedly desirable accoutrements.

Personally, I think a 30 foot liveaboard, of any displacement, is too small.

There's only one way to find out: first-hand experience.
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