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Old 07-09-2015, 02:34   #31
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Originally Posted by familycruisers View Post
Interesting thoughts. Definitely do some offshore sailing before jumping in. Make sure the other half comes too. Mother nature could give two hoots about you and looks really friggen mean when the weather isnt nice. Had many a thought on a rough passage as to "why the hell I am out here" Also, 60 foot is a lot of boat to handle, handling that same boat in force 5 or worse is a whole different game too, big sails , big sheets. Can be frightening.
"Mother nature could give two hoots about you and looks really friggen mean when the weather isnt nice."

Very well said! This is very true, and applies to anyone who goes to sea on a vessel of any size whatsoever

This, however: "Also, 60 foot is a lot of boat to handle, handling that same boat in force 5 or worse is a whole different game too, big sails , big sheets. Can be frightening." is misleading. The larger the boat, the LESS frightening rough weather is. Platform is more stable; it's safer and easier to move around on deck; the vessel is harder to roll or pitchpole; you have less green water on deck. "Force 5 or worse" made me chuckle -- "or worse"? Like F5 is "bad"?

F6 is about optimum for our boat for brisk passage-making, and we will make a "go" decision in up to F8 as long as wind will not be ahead of the beam (otherwise F7). Unless there's wind over tide, it's not really hairy in a boat our size until you get to F9. And that is one of the big differences between large and small boats. This is very relevant to higher latitude sailing, where normal winds are stronger.

Larger boats are easier to handle at sea. They are more difficult in docking and harbor maneuvers, however.
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:48   #32
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Hello,

We fall right in the middle of your size range, with a very deep draft, and here are our thoughts.

We've sailed this boat from California through the canal, then up to Newfoundland this summer, and are now in Maine on our way back to the Caribbean for another season, so we have a pretty decent cross section of destinations behind us.

First, I agree that something under 60' is probably too small to have crew. We sail with just the two of us, and find that having somebody else on board for more than a couple of weeks gets to be a drag. Everyone's different, but I would second that there needs to be some sort of separate crew quarters if you are wanting to bring along some hired help. If you're buying a new, semi-custom boat, you may be able to figure this into a design in the upper end of your range, and then turn it into a workshop or something after you're comfortable managing the boat on your own.

Regarding marinas, it's true that there are a lot of places that we can't get into, but we have not found this to really be an issue. What we give up in gunkholing ability, we more than make up for in passagemaking ability and comfort living aboard.

Bottom line, it's all a compromise, but we have no regrets going to a boat this size. It just requires a little more planning. Most of the places that you mention are not exactly 'marina' type places anyway, so you'll be anchored.

I say go for as big as you like. Certainly, the big boats have a lot going for them. Speed, ability to handle weather, stability. That said, however, you will be relying on mechanical/powered sailhandling systems, which can be problematic in the event of a failure, obviously. We have a single electric winch which does the majority of our heavy lifting, and we find that to be ok.

Good luck on the new venture. Perhaps our paths will cross.

TJ
Thanks for advice - shall look forward to running into you (not literally ) on the road......
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:52   #33
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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"Mother nature could give two hoots about you and looks really friggen mean when the weather isnt nice."

Very well said! This is very true, and applies to anyone who goes to sea on a vessel of any size whatsoever

This, however: "Also, 60 foot is a lot of boat to handle, handling that same boat in force 5 or worse is a whole different game too, big sails , big sheets. Can be frightening." is misleading. The larger the boat, the LESS frightening rough weather is. Platform is more stable; it's safer and easier to move around on deck; the vessel is harder to roll or pitchpole; you have less green water on deck. "Force 5 or worse" made me chuckle -- "or worse"? Like F5 is "bad"?

F6 is about optimum for our boat for brisk passage-making, and we will make a "go" decision in up to F8 as long as wind will not be ahead of the beam (otherwise F7). Unless there's wind over tide, it's not really hairy in a boat our size until you get to F9. And that is one of the big differences between large and small boats. This is very relevant to higher latitude sailing, where normal winds are stronger.

Larger boats are easier to handle at sea. They are more difficult in docking and harbor maneuvers, however.
Sage advice....I once asked a stranger for a restaurant recommendation....he raved about a local BBQ place so we went....it was dreadful but it turns out that the fellow that recommended it was a great McDonalds fan..... its all about perspective...... I am sure that the view from a 26ft dinghy is different from a 55 boat......
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:35   #34
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Interesting thoughts. Definitely do some offshore sailing before jumping in. Make sure the other half comes too. Mother nature could give two hoots about you and looks really friggen mean when the weather isnt nice. Had many a thought on a rough passage as to "why the hell I am out here" Also, 60 foot is a lot of boat to handle, handling that same boat in force 5 or worse is a whole different game too, big sails , big sheets. Can be frightening.
Do you have any experience with bigger boats?
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:38   #35
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Think 125' aluminum hull with 3 engines and 30knt cruising speed.


------------------------------
Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
Spent my working life working out fuel burns, alternates and weather thanks.... looking forward to hoisting the sails and getting where we are going when we get there....no more relying on a given fuel quantity for me thanks!
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Old 07-09-2015, 03:40   #36
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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As you can see...lots of opposing opinions which are really a difference in priorities.

I have a 65ft Mono that my girlfriend and I can easily sail ourselves.... I do have a fulltime deckhand simply to handle the maintenance chores and for extended cruising.

Increased Size per crew ratio translates to improved comfort at sea, privacy at anchor and with same design, a faster hull speed.

Ironically, you often find more available berths in the 60 to 75ft range than the more common 35-45ft size.

In Europe and many remote places, you will need to tie up stern to a dock or commercial pier, so access from the stern is a good feature and therefore....length is not an issue.

Most importantly, being content and self sufficient at anchor lends itself to a larger yacht for those who don't accept a camping standard.

If that is high on your priority, then manageable size is important.

Just make sure your boat has a suitable planing tender RIB with good seakeeping abilities, so that transit to and from shore is not a slow or white-water rafting experience in choppy conditions.

Good luck with your research and these shots of my Stargazer at a remote anchorage and underway, are what keeps me paying the bills
Pretty boat - I can see why you keep writing cheques! The availability of a decent tender is another reason I favour a larger boat...
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:14   #37
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Originally Posted by No boat yet View Post
Sage advice....I once asked a stranger for a restaurant recommendation....he raved about a local BBQ place so we went....it was dreadful but it turns out that the fellow that recommended it was a great McDonalds fan..... its all about perspective...... I am sure that the view from a 26ft dinghy is different from a 55 boat......
A Pearson Triton is a good solid sea boat (I had a Pearson 365) and not a dinghy, and tremendously seaworthy for its size, but the key phrase here is "for its size". Seaworthiness and seakeeping ability go up dramatically with size, so, yes, perceptions of what is frightening weather versus a nice brisk sail are completely different, on different size boats.

If your main interest is high latitudes, you will certainly want the largest boat you can afford to maintain, but if I may drift the thread a bit, there are certain design features you will want which are not common on off-the-shelf new cruising boats:

1. Very good hull insulation. This is really important in very cold water, even more for condensation control than for warmth. So at least a fully cored plastic boat (that excludes Oyster which is solid plastic), or better yet a well insulated metal boat.

2. Resistance to ice. This is a real danger if you go very high. Metal is king here, but in any case, you want a boat designed with several watertight compartments.

3. Really good heat. Up there, this is life and death, not just comfort. Read the extensive discussions in the archives. Ideal setup is probably a hydronic furnace (Eber, Webasto, etc.), maybe two redundant ones, backed up with a pot type heater. See: https://www.morganscloud.com/2009/12...ating-systems/

4. Pilothouse. Even at the latitudes where I sail (50N to a bit over 60N), I suffer somewhat for the lack of an enclosed helm position.

5. Flexible sail plan and modest SA/D. Above 50N, the typical winds are stronger, so you want a shorter, more modest sail plan, with SA/D not much over about 16, and you want options for shortening sail beyond just reefing. So that means you want a cutter rig, or a ketch, not a sloop. Cutter goes upwind better, but ketch is even more flexible -- take your choice.

6. Large engine. A normal cruising boat these days will have 4 to 5 hp/ton, but a good high latitude boat needs more, in case you have to power out of a bad lee shore situation, or motor sail into strong winds.

7. Generous tankage. Up there it can be hundreds or thousands of miles between ports, so you need to be able to carry enough fuel to keep the boat motorized (ironically, there is a whole lot of dead calm up there, besides wild storms) and supplied with heat and power for long periods of time. For a boat my size, with 100hp main engine, about 1.5 tons or twice what I have, would be optimum. Off the shelf boats are not built with this kind of tankage.

So buying a new boat designed for average cruising at modest latitudes might not be the best approach. You might be better off finding something purpose built, perhaps a metal boat.



That's just a start. My experience goes only up to a bit over 60N; there are some other guys on here who have been much further (Evans Starzinger for example) who can give you more exact advice and correct any errors in what I have written. I have been studying this for some time as I also love high latitudes, and am working on the organization of a rally from Finland via St. Petersburg through the Belamor Canal, White Sea, Barents Sea, up over Nordkapp, and back to the Baltic, for two years from now. That's a good piece of the Arctic Ocean and up to over 70N, and some pretty exotic places, but still only a little taste of higher latitudes since the Barents Sea and NW coast of Norway are warmed by the Gulf Stream.

Nevertheless, you can see stuff like this:

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For further reading on high latitude sailing, this guy: https://www.morganscloud.com/ is a gold mine of information. Also Evans and Beth Starzinger's site.


Read for sure also the Morgan's Cloud cautionary article about the Northwest Passage, as it is sometimes done by people just wanting to tick the box: https://www.morganscloud.com/2014/10...ssage-already/. I agree with the premise of this, which is that things like this should not be done just for bragging rights, but rather out of real love for these places and craving to see them and be in them, and willingness to make a real commitment to pay the dues and acquire the necessary skills (which is hugely satisfying in itself).

You are already way ahead of the game having decided to hire an experienced professional crew.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:24   #38
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Spent my working life working out fuel burns, alternates and weather thanks.... looking forward to hoisting the sails and getting where we are going when we get there....no more relying on a given fuel quantity for me thanks!
Ha, ha! Excellent preparation for long-distance cruising. I'm afraid that you will still be pretty dependent on fuel. You have to heat the boat, generate electrical power, motor into and out of harbors, and do a certain amount of your miles motoring or motor-sailing no matter what a keen sailor you are.
The quantities are small compared to aviation, however. I just sailed 1500 miles from Eastern Finland to the South Coast of the UK, against the prevailing winds, and arrived with 1/3 of a tank left over (so I used about 400 liters). But last year I needed two tanks full or a bit over a tonne of fuel for the same trip.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:34   #39
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

If your main interest is high latitudes, you will certainly want the largest boat you can afford to maintain, but if I may drift the thread a bit, there are certain design features you will want which are not common on off-the-shelf new cruising boats:

1. Very good hull insulation. This is really important in very cold water, even more for condensation control than for warmth. So at least a fully cored plastic boat (that excludes Oyster which is solid plastic), or better yet a well insulated metal boat.

2. Resistance to ice. This is a real danger if you go very high. Metal is king here, but in any case, you want a boat designed with several watertight compartments.

3. Really good heat. Up there, this is life and death, not just comfort. Read the extensive discussions in the archives. Ideal setup is probably a hydronic furnace (Eber, Webasto, etc.), maybe two redundant ones, backed up with a pot type heater. See: https://www.morganscloud.com/2009/12...ating-systems/
So...... this must be photoshopped? I think "Billy Budd" might even be for sale. A beautiful Oyster we saw last season in Sardinia and the one pictured.

Please don't tell Bully, he shouldn't be up there.... Or, Katharsis 2 an Oyster 72 that completed the Northwest passage in 2012. I hope they weren't too cold. :-)
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:44   #40
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

Katharsis 2 lookin' cold.
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:46   #41
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Ha, ha! Excellent preparation for long-distance cruising. I'm afraid that you will still be pretty dependent on fuel. You have to heat the boat, generate electrical power, motor into and out of harbors, and do a certain amount of your miles motoring or motor-sailing no matter what a keen sailor you are.
The quantities are small compared to aviation, however. I just sailed 1500 miles from Eastern Finland to the South Coast of the UK, against the prevailing winds, and arrived with 1/3 of a tank left over (so I used about 400 liters). But last year I needed two tanks full or a bit over a tonne of fuel for the same trip.
Whilst it is true that one can't have too much fuel unless one is on fire the consequences of running out on a boat seem a little less immediate and absolute than doing it in an aeroplane......not that I am advocating running out of fuel in any vehicle....... there will be extra fuel on board....I am not considering Wintering in the Arctic although I may spend one Winter in the harbour at Godthab or Sondestrom .....
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Old 07-09-2015, 04:48   #42
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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So...... this must be photoshopped? I think "Billy Budd" might even be for sale. A beautiful Oyster we saw last season in Sardinia and the one pictured.

Please don't tell Bully, he shouldn't be up there.... Or, Katharsis 2 an Oyster 72 that completed the Northwest passage in 2012. I hope they weren't too cold. :-)
Read some of their blogs....sounded like a fun trip!
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:13   #43
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Originally Posted by familycruisers


Also, 60 foot is a lot of boat to handle, handling that same boat in force 5 or worse is a whole different game too, big sails , big sheets. Can be frightening.
Just the opposite is true. Go inside a larger well-built boat in a force 8 or above, and it will have a calming effect, no wind noise, nothing being thrown about, it will feel... Solid and secure.
Well, that's nice, I suppose, when you have to retire below to escape the sound of your staysail trying to flog itself to death in those conditions, because the leech cords are impossible to adjust due to the size of the sail, and the extreme risk posed by going forward to do so...

;-)
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:14   #44
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Larger boats are easier to handle at sea...
Well, as long as nothing breaks, perhaps... ;-)

The forces that can come into play aboard boats of such size can be truly impressive, indeed even lethal. Unfortunately, we were reminded of this in recent days, with the death of one of the crew aboard one of the Clipper Race 60-footers, when something went amiss while reefing the main in Force 6 conditions...

Not to mention, the late Andrew Ashman, 50, was a pretty experienced sailor, and had been sailing since the age of 16... Probably just me, but recommending 60+ footers as a 'starter boat' for newbies is just something I'm not entirely comfortable with...

;-)
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:19   #45
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Re: Size is important ....or is it?

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Well, as long as nothing breaks, perhaps... ;-)

The forces that can come into play aboard boats of such size can be truly impressive, indeed even lethal. Unfortunately, we were reminded of this in recent days, with the death of one of the crew aboard one of the Clipper Race 60-footers, when something went amiss while reefing the main in Force 6 conditions...

Not to mention, the late Andrew Ashman, 50, had been sailing since the age of 16... Probably just me, but recommending 60+ footers as a 'starter boat' for newbies is just something I'm not entirely comfortable with...

;-)
Your post would suggest that experienced people are having difficulty as well.....there are certain events that experience can't effect....ever flown the Atlantic in a single engine aeroplane? doesn't matter if you have Chuck Yeager on board if the engine stops...

Obviously there is a risk associated with all activities....lets no over dramatise it, more people die on the roads etc....
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