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Old 26-07-2006, 10:34   #46
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Also check out www.projectbluesphere.com Alex Dorsey is leisurely cruising around on a Westsail 28
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:14   #47
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Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
Originally, I had planned on getting a Pearson 28-2. Cost being the main factor, plus a size I was comfortable singlehanding. Fortunately, as it turned out, I found an Ontario 32 I could afford, and bought that. It has more storage than I've needed so far, 6'4" headroom, well built, and sails well. It's also as big as I want to go by myself. For one person, or even two, I can't imagine a more suitable boat. I spent 3 yrs researching boats and had thought getting one would be out of my price range, but lucked into this one. In my mind, I think 32-35 feet is a good size coastal cruiser.

Funny post, (not funny Ha Ha, just funny in a quirky way). My sailing mentor has a custum built Spencer 46, which is well built and seaworthy but he is still talking about owning an Ontario 32. What is with that boat that makes it so desirable?.....Allan
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Old 19-08-2008, 19:06   #48
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Enough space enough boat

Hi folks, ,

the new "kid" on the block here. I live aboard my Chrysler 26. I have 6' head room (I'm 5'4") have a large V berth and a large Aft berth since the boat is equiped with an outboard. Tiller steering w/auto pilot. I live alone with my Miniature Long Hair Dachshund. We Have a small fridge and an A/C mounted in the companionway, a small stove, separate head, TV and Laptop with GPS and charts besides the VHF radio plu hand held radio and GPS.

The boat is Ideal for the shaloow waters of Lake Ponchartrain and the Gulf Coast (my stomping grounds} since it has a retractable keel. Ideal to go far up a Bayou and hide. The boat is unbelievably solid. Our marina, Oak Harbor, was totally destroyed by Huracane Katrina and our boat did not even get a scratch or a drop of water in it. We were not in the boat since we had to evcuate.

Space has not been a problem since we lived in a Studio apartment in the City (New Orleans) that I kept after my last divorce and leaving leaving the farm we owned in MS.
I work partime whenever I want (I sell Life Insurance and Annuities) since I'm self employed.

I'm the second smallest boat in the expensive marina but probably the happiest. I'd like to hear from small boat cruisers. Thanks for having me,

Al Peters
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:17   #49
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Thumbs up ...smallest boat in the marina but happiest......

Al,
Quote:
I'm the second smallest boat in the expensive marina but probably the happiest. I'd like to hear from small boat cruisers. Thanks for having me,

Al Peters
The C-26 is a good little boat, and I bet you spend a WHOLE bunch less time aground then those with bigger boats. Nice thing about a boat that size is even if the keel is up, running aground can often mean just jumping in and pushing off.

There are a couple of C-26 cruisers on the site in my signature, you can also read about our travels in our 26' Pearson Ariel 'Faith' if you are interested.
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:37   #50
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Small is ok by me

I'm also a small boat owner (SS 27) and love being able to get out there by myself any time.

I spent 4 months on this great little yacht doing a coastal cruise, I had plenty of stowage spaces and had to be able to carry enough water / food etc for two months due to the isolated cruising area.

Another unexpected realisation was that I was able to keep up with two yachts in company, one 35 ft and the other 46 ft. The reason was I was able to reef / trim my sails and therefore carry good sail area for the conditions whilst my mates always had too little sail up (we were all single handed and the wind strength changed greatly each day).

On one occasion we departed Broome and spent 3 days before arriving at our selected anchorage south of Port Headland, on the first night we all split up due to a strong wind warning and rough seas (strong tide opposing the wind). After all that time (3 days / 2 nights) we arrived at the same WP outside our selected anchorage within 10 minutes of each other.

Love my boat and love to get out there!!

Tim
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Old 20-08-2008, 09:50   #51
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I have gone small, and I have gone big. Both times I went with what I could afford. When on my 30footer I was 15 years younger, so comfort was not as important. With age my comforts make the sailing more enjoyable. The sunsets, and the company met along the way. They hold the same amount of pleasure. The size of the boat matters not for these 2. My vote is go now, and with what you have. There will be no regrets if you go!!!!!!!
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Old 20-08-2008, 10:12   #52
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Having seen this thread reminded me of an article that I wrote a couple of years ago, which whilst UK/European in content is probably equally applicable on the pond's west bank too: -

Does Size Really Matter? – The thoughts of a Low Tech, Low Cost, Liveaboard

With limited funds and experience but an abundance of hope and expectation; we decided to give the Cruising Lifestyle a lash and having travelled extensively by motorcycle some years ago, have found that many of the lessons learned then were transferable; not least our belief that if you’re comfortable with what you’ve already got; then stick with it! Any perceived gains in buying something which the ‘experts’ might deem more ‘suitable’ are likely to be more than offset by the inevitable cost of making the change, the aggravation of having to learn the idiosyncrasies in both operating and maintaining your new boat and the potential for despair in finding the underlying reason for it’s having been put up for sale in the first place – what you’ve got may not be perfect, but it’s foibles are unlikely to provide any nasty surprises and as our experiences have shown, many of the pre-conceptions we held at the outset haven’t stood the test of time: -

Accepted wisdom appears to be that for a couple to undertake an extended cruise, you need an 11 metre plus yacht with all the bells and whistles; which even very second hand is likely to cost £40k and upwards. Whereas if you’re afloat in something smaller and simpler; for much less than £25k (our Albin Vega, including the upgrades we made stands us at about £12500, plus a bit of labour) the balance will provide a very substantial cruising fund in itself to which you can add further substantial and fairly obvious ongoing savings, in your insurance, mooring and maintenance costs.

‘A bigger boat would be safer and more comfortable in heavy weather’ – Partly true perhaps; though having now had the experience of sailing on several much larger boats, some of which we’d be loathe to take very far from a secure harbour in anything but the most benign weather; we’ve decided that this is far from an absolute truth. In reality, when the seas are short and steep, all yachts are uncomfortable; it’s just a matter of degree and as we along with 99% of long term cruisers tend to stay put when the weather’s bad anyway; it’s also largely irrelevant. One of the great joys in this lifestyle is that we’re no longer obliged to push a dodgy weather forecast to get back to our home port by Sunday evening and on the odd occasion when we are caught out by an unexpected blow; it’s much easier for the small crew to reduce sail and safely handle a smaller yacht anyway. The more common problem which we cruisers endure is in trying to make progress in light winds and again it’s easier for us to hoist and safely handle a cruising chute or spinnaker than for the bigger yachts: therefore we do it more readily and so spend more time with the engine off – increasing our pleasure and further reducing costs.

‘A bigger boat would provide space for visitors’ – Certainly true but again largely irrelevant. Whilst we had lots of friends and family advising of their intention to join us for a holiday, before we set off; there have been very few who’ve actually made it and conversations with other cruisers indicate that this is the norm. The sailors amongst those who’ve visited seem more than happy to ‘squeeze up’ for a few days and for non/occasional sailors, it makes for better harmony on both sides if they stay in a hotel and just day sail anyway. It’s only the larger yachts which appear to accommodate visitors regularly and this often appears to be primarily because the regular crew want/need some outside assistance to comfortably sail their boat; especially when there’s an extended passage to be made. An additional consideration which we’ve noticed is that the most common reason for boats sitting around for extended periods in unexciting/expensive marinas or perhaps more seriously, in pressing-on despite unpleasant weather; are their attempts to co-ordinate their cruise with the holiday plans of their visitors. On a day to day level, we’ve hosted a dinner party for seven and drinks parties for a dozen-or-so on our twenty-seven footer; if there’s any more than that, well the odds are that at least one of the guests will have a bigger boat; so just relocate the party to theirs instead!

‘A bigger boat would have a proper shower’ – Do any; other than Super-Yachts? Our experience is that in marinas, we all use the shore-side facilities and at anchor, even a large majority of those with below-deck facilities use either a solar shower bag or cold water-deck shower. Why? Because boat showers appear high on the list of items which break-down and even when serviceable, the effort of cleaning/drying out the heads compartment and bilges afterwards is often not worth the benefit. Whilst the cockpit option might not provide the same degree of privacy, we’ve found that we and others are willing and able to look the other way for a few minutes. Even on days when there’s no solar gain to be had, a kettle full of hot water added to your shower bag works just as well and if we occasionally feel that the weather is just too unpleasant to bare all in the cockpit, well we obviously weren’t in such serious need of a shower as we’d first thought!

‘A bigger boat has more storage space’ – Again, our experience shows us that this is far from true in practice. Besides which, a truism we found on motorcycles and which is even easier to apply on the boat, is that the amount of gear you think you need will fit into the available space, any excess is only due to the gear which you think you want. Having started with that basic premise, and then reviewed what you actually use, you will find that most of the stuff you thought that you wanted and even some of that which you thought you needed, is surplus to requirements – so dump it. At which point you’ll find that everything you actually need and want, will fit easily into the available stowage space. Which items fall into which category you must decide for yourself on our part we’ve found that folding bicycles fell from a need, to a want, until having realised that we’d used them only twice last summer, dropped them firmly in the ‘thought we wanted’ category – they were last seen in a Spanish boatyard. Conversely, we’ve met one couple, on a relatively small yacht, for whom a karaoke machine is a need and we can’t fault their reasons for carrying it. A surprise has perhaps been that on yachts of all sizes, we’re one of the few to put ‘real’ wine glasses firmly into the need category, though I wasn’t surprised to learn that we’re not the only yacht whose dinghy outboard won’t get replaced when it dies.

Beyond the fairly obvious economic benefits of berthing a smaller yacht which I mentioned earlier; we’ve also discovered a less obvious advantage in this area too. Because the majority of cruising yachts are in the 11/12 metre range, this is where the greatest pressure is felt in securing high season/weekend visitors berths; whereas only three times in three years and to be fair one of those was Monte Carlo; have we been turned away from our chosen destination. In raft-up situations too, we are positively welcomed, insofar as we won’t put much load on the inner boat and being small, are less likely to have further yachts tag onto the outside of us. Similarly in even the most crowded anchorages, we’ve been able to find space by carefully manoeuvring inshore of our larger neighbours and even gained the added advantage of being better sheltered and closer to the beach/dinghy landing.

‘A bigger boat would have a proper galley’ - The only items which we felt Spring Fever lacked was an oven and a fridge, though perhaps not surprisingly, the further south we sailed the less we’ve needed the former and the more important has become the latter. Having been recommended a ‘skillet pan’ (I can’t remember who makes them, but they always have a stand at the Boat Shows) the oven question was quickly sorted: they are brilliant! Lesley’s been known to use ours even when we’re at home during the winter with a full set of domestic appliances to choose from. The fridge we built ourselves; using a Waeco compressor and plate, bespoke stainless steel box and lots of insulation. As a result of the last in particular, we have to date managed far better performance and reliability than many of the boat-builder fitted units which we’ve seen on larger yachts.

‘A bigger boat has standing-headroom’ - This is perhaps a cheat as we’re both under 5’ 9” tall so the Vega affords us that quite easily, but there are plenty of other yachts out there too which can match or even better it. The Nicholson 26, Halcyon 27 and Elizabethans (The 31footer really is a Tardis) all spring immediately to mind as being sensibly sized/priced and capable of taking you anywhere. If you’re less interested in performance and aesthetics then the Pembroke, Longbow, etc. stable of Westerly 31’s seem good value too. I know I ought and would apologise for not having placed the 26’ Westerly Centaur very firmly into this list too: but despite fulfilling all of our requirements it’s just so damned ugly!
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Old 20-08-2008, 10:54   #53
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bobnlesley,

It almost sounds as if you are bashing a boat larger than 27ft. Every boat has it's pluses, and minuses. Be it mono, cat, large, or small they all carry some baggage of sorts.

Not all large boats are gin palaces. Some are meant to truly sail, and not be dock queens. I am glad you are enjoying your vessel, but I do find it a wee bit rude to denounce as you have anything that does not fit your style.

May heaven forgive you if later in life your income increases, your knees hurt, and you find you wish to take along more than a 27ft boat will carry. As I posted the sunsets, and the company you meet along the way are equal to any other boat in the anchorage. BEST WISHES in continuing to enjoy your vessel, and all that goes along with sailing
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Old 20-08-2008, 11:13   #54
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Quote:
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I'm the second smallest boat in the expensive marina but probably the happiest...

Hi Al, good to see your post… This was an old thread that, perhaps, should be re-explored every now and again…

We’ve got a Chrysler 26 in our marina, although not as a live-aboard… our marina management says no live-aboards (to satisfy the town edict, I think), but, they add, you can stay a really, really long time… and no one seems to blink at folks who have obviously set up housekeeping for a several season or so…

The sense I get from this thread is that almost any boat can be the proper size for someone… We don’t live-aboard any longer, but when I did it was on a more “customary” sized ketch – 42’ LOD, 15 tons, near 14’ beam; the usual… was a nice boat, dockside, but way, way larger than I had originally wanted… after several iterations in-between looking for the “perfect boat” -- first larger, then decidedly smaller -- we’re content with our little chunk – a reality-sized 24’

Ours is a bit of a sailing-project, we rehab a bit and then sail a bit… we’re in the middle of a six-month project that will probably run 4-5 years… but, we’re enjoying ourselves… anyway, I think the premise of this thread is that one should not immediately rule out smaller cruising boats… many sailors would feel underdressed in boats less than 35’ and that’s okay, but if the finances, inclinations, penchants, boat availability or a simply fortuity seem to point toward a mid-or-low twenties boat, then I think there is every reason to consider it; so long as the crew is happy…
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Old 20-08-2008, 11:37   #55
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Imagine,

I guess I read bobnlesley article a bit different and did not think he was bashing boats larger the 27 foot. But then again, Jill and I have been cruising on our Nor'Sea 27, Guenevere for over 4 years now.

I also did not take it as “bashing” when you said, “ May heaven forgive you if later in life your income increases...”. It's all just the decisions we each make.

For the record, Jill and I chose our Nor'Sea to cruise on. We make the choice each year weather to move up in size or stay with our 27 foot boat. We are sticking with Guenevere.

Also for the record, we took the difference in money we would have had to spend to get a properly outfitted 40 to 50 foot boat and invested it. As of now, our cruising kitty is larger than the day we departed. Even taking into consideration the 18 day NCL cruise around Cape Horn that we took last year! NOTE: A GREAT TRIP! If you can, take it!!

Money is NOT always the driving force behind the decision on what boat to cruise on. It's just part of the overall picture that dictates what each of us decides on as our chosen cruising boat.

For some, larger is needed, for others, it's the whole experience that counts. May we ALL enjoy cruising (what ever your idea of it is) to the fullest!!


Greg

Below is Jill with a new friend on the Falkland Islands
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Old 20-08-2008, 11:44   #56
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having travelled extensively by motorcycle some years ago, have found that many of the lessons learned then were transferable...

Interesting write-up… I’ve run into a few who have borrowed from motorcycle touring (or field military) experience to foresee stowage/habitation solutions in small-vessel cruising… I didn’t take your article to be anti-barge as much as it was enthusiastically pro-microcruiser… Nothing wrong with larger vessels, but I get particular enjoyment out of a quasi-minimalist existence that is both relaxing and comfy… When motorcycling (been at it for well over 40 years, ride about 30K miles a year and blew through my 60th birthday some while back…), I can’t recall the last time I stayed in a motel/hotel when solo… generally set up the bike so I can comfortably sleep in the saddle, and I find a similar (nautical) philosophy works nicely for sailing as well… The goal is to be comfortable, snug, warm dry; or at least a dry as can be expected – but I find achieving that is as much an attitude as anything, especially when crew is involved… there a little extra pains are necessary and admittedly some crews just won’t feel comfortable in a vessel under XX (whatever) feet… that’s fine, it’s just that for every sailor and crew there are options… some are more viable than others, depending…
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Old 20-08-2008, 12:24   #57
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Delezinsky,

My apologies if I read his post wrong. I myself single-handed from Frisco to Cabo, and back on my Columbia. I had just us much fun on my 30ft. Columbia as I do on my 46 ft. Cat. I will never love my cat like I did Frolic, but then again it was my first boat. It just seemed to me he feels empowered by his boat.

I was 41, and now I am 57. A lot changes in between those years. Income, and the wants of more comfort being my example. When you are younger you can tolerate a lot more than when you get old, and cranky.lololololol. At least for most people this would be true.
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Old 20-08-2008, 12:33   #58
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Imagine,


NO apologies required. I was just making a point about others like and ideas. It's often hard to get a gut feel for what some one is saying in writing, as apposed the when we can talk face to face.


Thanks for the complement! I try to never consider myself (or Jill) to be “like most people”.


I am now 59. But still love to sail and am most cumfy aboard Guenevere. We all have our own comfort ideas.


Greg
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Old 29-08-2008, 14:13   #59
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Size matters

We lived on both a Flicka 20 and a Wasterly 22 and found them completely unsuitable for long term cruising for a couple. We now live on and are planning a world cruise on a Allegra 24 and it seems giant. Maybe we need half a suitcase filled with cash and a thirty footer. While we would never go down in size again we wonder if there is any simple boat slightly larger that might suit our needs. So far nothing even close is on the market.
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Old 29-08-2008, 19:12   #60
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A few years ago we donated a very well equiped 27 O'Day to a local charity. A young couple bought it for a few hundred bucks and spent the summer traveling the Chesapeake. After 4 months of cruising they truly know they want to continue the trek. They sold the ODay and have moved on to the Caribbean. There are many well found small boats in marinas everywhere. Look at the registration stickers and if they are a few years old give the owners a call. Many would trade the boat for the current marina fees. If you are able and willing to do some work there are many boats waiting for you.
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