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Old 12-05-2008, 04:36   #1
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Is a 52 foot boat too big for world cruising

My wife and I are selling up our business and house and hoping to buy a nauticat 521 to live aboard and sail around the world has anyone got any experience of this boat or comments on the size re costs etc.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:03   #2
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The Nauticat 521 is a nice Motorsailor.
The Nauticat 521 - information for cruising sailors
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:10   #3
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The only time a boat feels big enough is when your docking. Then it's too BIG!!!!! LOL
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Old 12-05-2008, 09:15   #4
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
The only time a boat feels big enough is when your docking. Then it's too BIG!!!!! LOL
Nah.... mine's a dream - and no bow thruster. Practice makes perfect...

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Old 12-05-2008, 13:44   #5
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In fact, a big boat is easier at times. It can slow everything down. I mean, the wind takes longer to get it moving, response to steering changes are slower and so on. The only negative is the size of the Berth looks smaller.
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Old 12-05-2008, 13:52   #6
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The only negative is the size of the Berth looks smaller.
...while the cost of the berth is exactly and diametrically opposite to the look (Wheels Law #156).
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Old 12-05-2008, 15:04   #7
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Alan,

That was my whole point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-05-2008, 17:06   #8
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Buy as large of a boat as you can afford. I think most people would rather have larger than what they have now..that's just my guess and I am certain there are exceptions. Other than money, the limiting factor is how many people you need on board to manage the boat. A couple friends of mine are cruising a 70 foot monohull all over the South Pacific quite comfortably...with just two people onboard.

Boats can be rigged for a minimal crew or they can be rigged like a race boat where it takes a whole team of people just to get around a race course. So its not so much length as it is money and how the boat is set up as to what is your limiting factor is going to be.
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Old 12-05-2008, 17:15   #9
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So its not so much length as it is money and how the boat is set up as to what is your limiting factor is going to be.
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Old 12-05-2008, 17:39   #10
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Alan's very right about "slowing things down". In my experience weight has a far bigger impact than length. I moved from a 42ft 22,000lb boat to a 55ft 50,000lb boat. I find the bigger one easier - so does my wife.

If you stop a 50,000 lb boat at a mooring ball you can "walk" not "run" to the bow to pick up the mooring pennant. It takes quite a while for the wind to start pushing the bow away. In the same way, when approaching a dock you can approach very slowly without fear that a gust will spin the bow off. With a little practice you'll find that you can make spot-on "wouldn't-break-an-egg" landings.

You'll also be more careful. No one is going to "fend off" a 50,000lb boat that's about to hit the dock. It's going to hit. When landing, I always wait until someone is standing by on the dock and then I approach carefully. I didn't do that with the 42. This will also mean a slightly bigger line item in your cruise kitty for "tips" to guys on the dock.

While it isn't cheap, I would consider putting in a bow thruster if one isn't installed. It give you a lot of options - especially to push the bow out when leaving the dock.

The downside to weight is that everything is - well - heavier. It can take a lot of muscle to raise sail or drag a jib around the deck. Consider putting in some electric winches - it will allow your wife to be a full partner. And if the mainsail isn't on a furler, consider one. The boom furlers don't require a new mast or rig and have come a long way.

Carl
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Old 12-05-2008, 18:22   #11
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I agree with the above that the bigger they are, the easier it is to handle and like everything else, just takes some practice. We are 65ft and my petite girlfriend and I have no problem docking and actually prefer to do it without help. Same with all the sails as they are all Profurl to manual winches, so you let nature help you to adjust.

The biggest downside to going big, is that the maintenance jobs and associated cost in time and money…is also bigger
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Old 12-05-2008, 19:54   #12
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Once you get used to a big boat there is nothing to them. When I went from my 17' Chris*Craft to Amanda Faye at 61' it was scary now nothing to it.
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Old 12-05-2008, 19:59   #13
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The perils of a fluid medium

I agree about the wind not being quite so quick to get things moving on a big boat, but perhaps not so the current. I recently sold my Corsair 36 trimaran and bought an Amazon 44 steel pilothouse cutter... about 7 times the weight and the same actual length (including the bowsprit and rudder/OB stuff on the tri) though of course not so beamy... thus weakening my argument with dockmasters about needing an end tie.

The close-in maneuvering differences between the two boats are dramatic (and Carl is sure right about "fending off"). The other day we were backing out of a dead-end slip with a substantial current, and thus ensued an extremely embarrassing dance of trying to get turned around for decent steerage whilst periodically bristling the hull with feet to avoid involving insurance companies. All worked out fine eventually, but there was a fair bit of red-faced chagrin involved!

With the tri, it would have been a quick shove and a bit of forward/reverse vectored thrust with the outboard coupled to the rudder. Though once, during the original demo sail of that boat, the fellow showing her accidentally hit the hydraulic outboard-retract switch while backing out of a slip... and the wind blew us right back in but no longer centered, pickle-forking the concrete piling and yanking the bow net wire anchor right out of the ama.

There are so many ways to screw up when you require steerageway in one fluid medium while being driven to and fro by another!

I'm building what I call a "redneck bow thruster" for my new boat - a deployable stainless frame that hangs of the bow, winches back with a vee against the stem, and allows a pair of Minn-Kota trolling motors to be driven at full speed in one direction or the other. Not very elegant, but also not $14,000 like a friend with a gorgeous Hinckley just spent...

Cheers,
Steve
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Old 12-05-2008, 21:09   #14
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Too big? at 55 feet we are 'just right'.

No Bow Thruster and it's just my wife and I.

Not for everybody, but we wouldn't trade it for anything.
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Old 12-05-2008, 23:50   #15
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Plus you tend to get a little more respect with the bigger boat. The small guys get out of the way.
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