We all had to start somewhere
As for the small boat preference, I could expound on the benefits of a small boat all day, but the bottom line is the perfect boat, is the one that is perfect for you. I am another one who has suffered greatly from mal de mer, but I only seem to get sick on power boats. Even the Oakland ferry
makes me quezy, but plowing along through big seas aboard my 28 footer does not bother me in the least. In fact, the only time I ever get quezy on a sail boat is running DDW. When everyone else is comfortable. Go figure?
I have spoken at seminars on choosing a boat, and interesting enough, each and every speaker describes a totaly different boat as "the perfect boat". I have fought a 500 sqr ft jib
in 20kts on the fore deck
, and you can have that. I would much prefer to deal with my 250 sqr gennie in those conditions. The other concern is the crew. I will not have a boat that my wife can not sail. She is a small women, and the idea of putting a reef in a 500 sqr mainsail
, while being beaten up in rough seas is just not happening. Going back to previous comments, the more she likes sailing, the more I get to sail. That being said, it sounds like both Mark and PJ are comfortable with handling the 52 footer, or at least PJ is, and she is the more experienced sailor, while Mark feels he will be. That in mind, I say go for it. Also refering to my prior post, dinghy
sailing is the best way to hone your sailing skills. Take it out and sink it a time of two, and you will get a real idea of how a boat reacts to different conditions. From experience, I can say that an 8' fatty knees
, with a sail that can not be reefed will literally sail under in 20kts of wind
. I had fun though
Thanks to a well trained dog, I recovered my shoe, but my little transister radio
Another point that was brought up on one of my shows is comfort vs use. Most cruisers spend far more time anchored and in port, than underway, so if you get a boat that is too small to be comfortable while in port, just because it is comfortable and safe in rough weather
(a very small percentage of the sailing experience), you will not be happy. Finding a balance where you will not get cabin
fever sitting in an anchorage for a month, but will allow the weakest member
of the crew to put a couple of reefs
in the main when you get into the soup is the challenge we all face.