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Old 02-06-2010, 16:33   #1
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Size Does Matter ?

Hi, this is my first attempt at a post. I am really enjoying reading all the excellent advice and ideas for the experienced sailors.
Duncan and I are planning our NZ-UK sail for 2012. We are trying/sailing all sorts of Yachts in an attempt to find our new home. I have quite a few 60 foot yachts on my list and and Duncan has a list of 40ish foot Yachts. I would really appreciate any family sailers who have travelled with 3 children to lend some advice on layout. I like the idea that everyone has their own private space (3 small single areas and 2 doubles (hubby is well over 6 foot) Duncan thinks we will find a smaller yacht less stressful to sail and anchor and the compromise on space will be worth it. I really like the feel of the ocean 60 and he really likes the Sparks and Stevens 47 or the Beneteau 411. Which of us will realise the error of our ways 10 days out from land? Thanks you for any advice.
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Old 02-06-2010, 17:10   #2
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#1 the 60's are exponentially more expensive to maintain and dock or moor than what hubby is looking at
#2 the 60b are harder to handle unless you are very watchful of approaching weather. yes bigger boats are slower to react to changes in wind strength and are able to handle more wind but this can also lull your attention and get you into trouble, but all things considered i would take a 60 anytime over my 37 just for space below and hell 60's have more fluid lines in my eyes (CCA style)
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-06-2010, 17:11   #3
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Kiwi family -

Which boat would you prefer to be on when Duncan falls down and breaks his leg and you have to get the boat (and your family) back to port by yourself?
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Old 02-06-2010, 17:14   #4
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You'll manage just fine with whatever boat you end up with.

But a tiny little hint: the advantages of a smaller boat are basically only cost (acquisition, docking, and maintenance). They are not less stressful to sail or anchor, on the contrary. Within reason (and 60 feet is well within reason), a bigger boat will be better in just about every other way. Not only accomodation, but will have better motion, be more stable and safer, at sea. Will anchor better, because you will carry a heavier anchor and more chain.

Well, docking a bigger boat is more stressful, that is true. But that's about the only thing.

So if you like the Ocean 60 (you mean Southern Ocean 60, right? the Richard Roscoe design, made in Poole? Great boat!! Although the Stevens/Hylas 47 is also fantastic), then keep nagging him. It's a good cause.

If you are looking at a Southern Ocean 60 ketch, then that is not really like a 60 foot boat. This has only 7 1/2 feet draft and a 15 foot beam, and the sail plan is broken up for even easier handling, so a doddle for a sailing couple. Certainly no more trouble than a 47 foot sloop. A fantastic boat for sailing halfway around the world; better than the others you are looking at given equal condition and equipment.
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Old 02-06-2010, 17:36   #5
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yes its the Ketch version. You are assuming FS mike that the man on board has the superior captain skills. Sadly I suppose this may be the case for many couples. Good tip though. I will watch my step.
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Old 02-06-2010, 18:40   #6
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big boats

The bigger the boat the smaller the waves.
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Old 02-06-2010, 18:48   #7
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yes its the Ketch version. You are assuming FS mike that the man on board has the superior captain skills. Sadly I suppose this may be the case for many couples. Good tip though. I will watch my step.
Great boat, PERFECT for the task. Go for it.

If you are the real captain in the family, then pull rank, and insist on the right tool for the job.
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Old 02-06-2010, 20:20   #8
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-- You are assuming FS mike that the man on board has the superior captain skills.
Excellent! My lady and I are a bit firm on the subject of couples having (as near as possible) equal skills.
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Old 02-06-2010, 20:42   #9
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I have owned a 32', 36', 42' and 60' sailboat. The motion and comfort of the 60' at sea was hugely different from the 32' and 36'. The 42' I have not yet taken offshore so waiting to see.

I did not have a problem handling, anchoring, docking the 60' but you do need proper, first class winches, anchor windlass etc to do it. With a 60' boat if your anchor windlass conks out you will not be able to handle the anchor by hand and will have to jury rig a line to a sheet winch or something to move the anchor.

Also, when I first sailed the 60' the sails were stored below. They were far too heavy to move by hand so had to use halyards to haul them out of the locker. Even then two strong men could not lift the main sail, could only drag it across the deck and took three of us to bend it on.

Might want to consider some of these details thinking about the bigger boat.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:26   #10
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Yeah, it's no problem to sail a sixty footer with a husband and wife. Have to change a jib, just send the little lady to the bow dragging the sail behind her, no sweat, she'll just slip it into the groove and hoist it away. Raising the anchor, raising and reefing the main, furling the jib, sheeting in the sails, the effort neede goes up geometrically with displacement and length. Well maybe husband and wife are not strong enough to handle all that, we'll just get powered everything and that will take care of any strength issues. Of course, you'll need an electrical engineer with a machinist background to fix things when those little electrons don't want to do what you want them to do. Handling the boat around a marina, just point it at the slip and close your eyes, the wind and current will cooperate and everyone else will get out of the way. I guess a bow thruster could make things survivable but it has to work.

Actually sailing a large boat can be done with a very small crew in most situations. It's when things get stinky out there and stuff doesn't go as planned that a big boat becomes a BIG BIG problem. There's a compromise that needs to be made between size and displacement, the needs to house 5 people and their ability to handle the boat in every condition. Maybe an ultralight boat to get volume to spread out with out the size issues that normally come with length. Still 50' is about as large as I'd care to go and I wouldn't feel all that confident in being to handle that, either.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:50   #11
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If someone offered me a straight trade on my boat to a 60 footer I would take the 60.

Anyday.


Especially with 3 children. It gives you 59 feet to tie them to the pulpit when they are naughty so you can sit aft and chill out


Mark

(PS I dont have kids! )
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:11   #12
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Yeah, it's no problem to sail a sixty footer with a husband and wife. Have to change a jib, just send the little lady to the bow dragging the sail behind her, no sweat, she'll just slip it into the groove and hoist it away. Raising the anchor, raising and reefing the main, furling the jib, sheeting in the sails, the effort neede goes up geometrically with displacement and length. Well maybe husband and wife are not strong enough to handle all that, we'll just get powered everything and that will take care of any strength issues. Of course, you'll need an electrical engineer with a machinist background to fix things when those little electrons don't want to do what you want them to do. Handling the boat around a marina, just point it at the slip and close your eyes, the wind and current will cooperate and everyone else will get out of the way. I guess a bow thruster could make things survivable but it has to work.

Actually sailing a large boat can be done with a very small crew in most situations. It's when things get stinky out there and stuff doesn't go as planned that a big boat becomes a BIG BIG problem. There's a compromise that needs to be made between size and displacement, the needs to house 5 people and their ability to handle the boat in every condition. Maybe an ultralight boat to get volume to spread out with out the size issues that normally come with length. Still 50' is about as large as I'd care to go and I wouldn't feel all that confident in being to handle that, either.

You make a mistake of calculating everything as a linear function of length. A heavy weight 50 foot high performance sloop is not easier to sail than a docile, light displacement, narrow 60' ketch like the Southern Ocean. On the contrary. That boat displaces only 20 tons and has only 15 feet of beam. The modest sail plan is broken up to main, mizzen, yankee, staysail, none of them as big as the 135 percent genoa on a decent performance 45'.

That will be a very easy to handle boat, perfect for a couple. My boat, a 54 foot cutter, has a taller mast, bigger sails, a broader beam, and displaces more, and it's fine for a couple too. We haul up and down the very large yankee sail by two people just fine, although with roller furling this is a rare operation. Offshore, it is much safer, more stable, and easier to handle than a smaller boat. We have had it out to sea in vicious weather, 50+ knots, and shed tears of gratitude to be in such a stable boat. That's where size really pays dividends.

Besides expense (of course), docking is the only real drawback, but with a bowthruster it's not tragic and gets easier with practice. The original poster will not be docking too much; she will be crossing oceans. That's where -- size matters. Yes.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:06   #13
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Can't add much on the large boats. But maybe my thoughts in my search might help. There are some great posts and important information shared already above. Caution, is a good word in my mind.

In my search, I guess I started out thinking... Oh 40+ would be great, should be able to handle it not a problem. Then I went to the boat show. OMG!!! 40+ is HUGE! Ok yes, I did admire the Volume inside and the huge/vast deck area to spread out on... dreaming of southern pardise ancored off a white sandy beach. Glorious day dream!

Then I looked at the rigging, ropes, mooring lines... walked the deck to the bow.... and took a look back. EEEK! 40+ is a long way up front. Then I saw the ancor and chain. Dear DOG! if the ancor winch broke what would I do.... ok use a halliard and winch... but what if it was "Nasty" conditions. Would I realy want to deal ancor on the end of 200' of huge chain something that's combined weight was WELL over my weight?
I didn't even look at the sails.

Granted I'm the type that plans for the worst first. In my mind, what ever happens after that must be Great! It's the way I look at things in general. Maybe that's good... maybe not. I've learned to think this way though over the years and through tough times and years in recovery from "mistakes".
I no longer look at things from only the "Good" perspective. Yea, that may mean that I don't get the "Best" experiences possible, a 60' boat would be on that list. But also, I no longer have the "Disasters" that I've experienced in the past. Guess I look for a more stable and even keeled life.

However, I'd think that a 60' boat would be great with a "Crew" of capable people. Maybe your thinking should include another "Couple" for the trip? Somone to help out with the "rugrats"... maybe one of thier own... would be possible on a 60' boat? A boat is a boat is a boat... no mater what the size, it's still "Close" quarters. So thinking 60 is enough for privacy... Not.

Take my post for what you will, I'm not you or know your family, only you know what's best for you.

Cheers, happy sailing and post pictures of your choice and trip, lots of us love to see dreams come true.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:49   #14
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While I agree that in many ways large boats are as easy to sail as small boats, sail area becomes a concern the bigger the boat gets. At the point you get beyond 45-50 square meters on a sail, it becomes difficulty to carry, to hoist, and to trim. A split rig helps with this, of course, as do such conveniences as in-mast furling. (BTW, at this point in the conversation, ignore all the little-boat guys screaming about performance loss of in-mast furlers--you'll pass them all out on the water.) The point here is that the larger the sails, the more reliant you become on technology if you're going to sail shorthanded. Assuming you're not going with coffee-grinder winches powered by a pair of deck apes, you need to think about whether or not you're going to want to become reliant on power winches, a power windlass, et cetera.

Our decision has been to cap off at an LOA of 14 meters. It's large enough that we get the speed and displacement of a big boat, and yet small enough that my wife and I can still carry a sail.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:06   #15
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Liza Copeland and family (Hubby and 3 boys) circumnavigated on a 38' boat. Socially, space is what you make of it.
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