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Old 27-10-2003, 08:48   #1
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Go Small - Go Now

Another Opinion

STOLEN from DON CASEY (With whom I sometimes disagree - but not this time):

If there is a single key to realizing the dream of cruising, it is restraint in what you spend for the boat. Cruising dollars are nearly always better spent on something else. Think about it. If you sell your house for $250,000 and sink $240,000 into a boat, you can cruise frugally for less than a year on what is left. But if you spend $50,000 on the boat—a realistic price on the used market for a "well-made, thoughtfully laid out boat under 35 feet"—just the interest on the money that remains exceeds $10,000 a year, meaning your cruise is fully funded in perpetuity.

A fatter kitty also means you can visit places that might otherwise seem too expensive, stay in marinas (if you like), eat at restaurants, rent cars, take inland excursions, and fly home. None of these benefits accrue from spending more on the boat, only from spending less.

A smaller investment in the boat will also reduce mental stress. When your boat represents a substantial portion of your personal wealth, the mischarted rock or out of season cyclone is never far from consciousness. A fat insurance policy can dull this worry, but away from domestic waters, hull insurance is shockingly expensive, sucking up cruising dollars in direct proportion to the value of the boat. Most long-distance cruisers go without. If you elect to insure, expect contractual restraints, such as requirements to take on additional crew for offshore passages and to be beyond a certain latitude prior to a specified date.

Nothing here should be construed to suggest buying a boat that is anything less than uncompromisingly seaworthy. A good cruising boat will also be comfortable, but that does not mean complicated. The simpler the systems aboard, the better suited the boat will be for cruising. In the most desirable places to cruise, competent technical assistance is scarce and expensive. Even if you can handle the repairs yourself, breakdowns are still a distraction. You are enriched on a cruise not just by what you gain but, paradoxically, by what you leave behind. Travel light.

Luxury, real luxury, is spending an entire day reading a good book, or enjoying the companionship of someone you love, or marveling underwater at the colors of tropical fish. And knowing you can do the same tomorrow if you want to. And the day after. Neither perfect joinery nor five extra feet of length have much to do with this—unless they prevent you from going.

I identify a cruising boat not by her D/L ratio, her centerline sink, or her inner stay, but by the white gash she cuts in a blue ocean, the spread of shade cast by the harbor awning, the mingled ring of laughter and smell of bread drifting downwind. I can't tell you her length or beam or sail area, but I know she is big enough to carry food and water and dry clothes; a small library and big anchors; and the dreams of her crew.

The best cruising boat of 2003? That's easy. It's the one that takes you cruising in 2003.

With apologies to the author,
Gord

And a link to another intreresting viewpoint:
http://www.sailnet.com/collections/...rman0007&tfr=fp
Cruising


Don’t recall where I plagiarized these from, but I kinda liked them:

Overheard on the VHF [not ]

“Carnival was great huh?”
“For you sure.”
“Excuse me?”
“Your boat’s a Sabre 452."

“Nice Sunset!”
“Not from my boat.”

“Did you Drag anchor last night?”
“No chance, my boat’s a Morris 34.”

So, as the Pardey's said: "Go small, go now".

OMO
Gord
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Old 14-06-2006, 11:28   #2
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Gord that was awesome... I have been considering selling my boat and working for a few more years to get a bigger boat… I am facing a great deal of mental & physical problems having gotten out of the army after a serious incident… I found this forum a few months ago and this is my first post…

Thank You

Rich
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Old 14-06-2006, 12:45   #3
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Good post, good points.
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Within a dream, we may find a fantasy,
But never within a fantasy, will we live a dream.
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Old 14-06-2006, 13:12   #4
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Excellent Post. It confirms my suspicion that I should have settled for a smaller boat. I would have been cruising for two years already instead of having two more years of work on the boat to do.
35/36 feet is plenty of boat for a couple and it keeps all the costs of new items much lower than a 42-45 foot boat.
Don Casey has written my bible This Old Boat. My new testament is From a Bare Hull by Ferenc Mate.
Thanks Gord May for the great post. Regards, --John--
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Old 14-06-2006, 14:20   #5
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Here, here. Now that I have a kind of large boat (45' + davits and 14" beam, and too many complex systems), I long for the days of just sheeting in a sail with my hand and cleating it. I see little boats with very interesting lines and get jealous. Big boats aren't better to live on... they're just bigger.

Ironically, we only use 2/3 of our boat anyway for our living space.
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Old 14-06-2006, 15:11   #6
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OK but the math is still the same... 2/3 of 30 is less than 2/3 of 45. Somewhere in there lies our individual comfort zone
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Old 14-06-2006, 15:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpj23
OK but the math is still the same... 2/3 of 30 is less than 2/3 of 45. Somewhere in there lies our individual comfort zone
I think that says it best. We too have a larger boat and are using a really good portion of the useable space so I'm really glad we have it .. however if it was a choice of going now with less [within reason - not sure what the lower limit would be but can safely say probably about 38ft give or take or hair] or not going that's an easy decision.. GO
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Old 14-06-2006, 16:18   #8
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Everybody has their plan and unfortunately mine includes keeping a small farm to occupy the wife while I cruise, so sailing comes out of my beer money. I've always argued that if I had $50k to buy a boat I would buy a $50k boat and if I had $500k I would still buy that $50k boat. The best cruising boat is truly the boat you cruise on today.

But Gord, I'm surprised that you would sing the small boat song sailing a C&C 29!
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Old 14-06-2006, 16:24   #9
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Pura Vida:
Why surprised?
I don’t value a smaller boat over a larger one. It’s just a matter of doing what you want, with what you (can) have. As the song goes: “...If you can’t be with the one you love - then love the one you’re with ...”
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Old 15-06-2006, 06:59   #10
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Or......

"If you can't sail on the one you lust (after)
Sail the one you got!"


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Old 15-06-2006, 08:19   #11
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Gord, the link in your article doesn't seem to work?

John
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Old 15-06-2006, 08:54   #12
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Some “Sailnet” cruising articles:
Cruising Lifestyles: An introduction to life afloat and what you can expect.
Getting Underway: Making the transition from life ashore to life aboard.
http://www.sailnet.com/collections/c...yles/index.cfm
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Old 15-06-2006, 12:49   #13
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Great post!

I have a catalina 27, which I got very cheaply and have been poring a lot of sweat equity into, and I see a lot of people at my marina who look down at it and wonder how I can spend so much time on it (it being so small in their opinion). But you know what? I have all the room I truly need, I don't have a lot invested in it, have no loans or debts in life and all my systems are very simple ones (solar water heater, no pressure water, etc.) But I do get to sail short hops at least 1-3 times a week, and weekend trips all the time with my kids, and I planning some longer ones, while I see many -- almost all - of their bigger boats still tied to the slips, some since before I got there. Of course, they have all the things I don't, which are considered so essential, like pressure water, water heaters, generators, auto pilots, 10 sets of sails, great canvas work, electric winches and windlasses, you name it, and can't understand why I don't.

Like you, Gord, I consider time to read a true luxury. I also enjoy playing chess (I do have a computer onboard, as I am a computer consultant) and reading interesting newsgroups like this one. I also consider the freedom to take a simple nap in the middle of the day true wealth (I wonder how many naps Bill Gates ever takes?). I don't have a true "blue water" boat, it's "just" a catalina 27, and I have been told all the things that are wrong with it (I love the guys who point out that the hatch is "dangerously" too large, that a following wave could broach me and flood the boat in a big sea, etc., all from people who don't leave the dock but are sure they are ready to round the Horn in their boats -- just as soon as they can untie that dockline that hasn't been un-done in 2 years).

I remember in an anthropolgy class in college where I learned that cultural anthropologists calculate wealth by subtracting how many hours a day the average person in a specific culture need to work to provide the essentials that keep them alive and satisfied. The end product is the time left over to pursue what someone wants to pursue, instead of HAS to do. By that standard, the Kalahari bushmen were the wealthiest people in the world, working an average of 2 hours a day, I believe. interesting!

Anyway, as Henry David Thoreau said, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Thaks again, Gord, I needed this thread! lol
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Old 15-06-2006, 16:50   #14
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The Catalina 27 has circumnavigated as has the Cal 25. Seaworthyness is as much the sailor as the design of the companionway.

And Gord I was joking about the magic 28' dividing line between a "big boat" and a "small one".

As my uncle said after his years in the Navy: "There is no big boat in a typhoon."
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Old 15-06-2006, 19:37   #15
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Exclamation Myself

I went as big as I could get but small enough to handle it myself. The wife is not much of a sailor and is taking a long time to learn. But she does like the ride and starting to catch on.

We like to be able to move around without banging in to stuff or having to crawl over something. Get'n old I guess! We have just enough room to make it comfortable.

We have a 40' but in reality to today’s builds it's more like a 36'. It just has a lot of positive buoyancy. Room for bigger sails as well, for them light wind days.

Although, the expenses are like a 40' due to the heavy rig. We would like just under 50' but it would take a crew and mo $$$$.

We like the 23' because of the low expense and maintenance but it still took a couple hours to get underway. And our necks can't take the impacts anymore.

Personally, I think the worst size of boat is the ones too big for a trailer and too small to have a shower. I see more of these idle in the marinas then anything else.

My $.02.............................................. ._/)
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