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Old 03-12-2015, 21:30   #31
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Re: 57 foot too big?

My 2 cents: As someone who for 25 years has raced/sailed extensively on boats big and small in and around NZ (earned a grad degree in Christchurch), West Coast of US, East Coast of US, Europe, and the Caribbean my experience informs me that big boats are literally much more stressful...in the sense that the loads are very high, component failure more acute, and mistakes less forgiving (as the length increases, so do the loads...exponentially) . OK if you have a larger crew, but not wise with just two adults and young children to share watches and deal with the inevitable surprises in the remote Pacific. Just tacking or trimming the sails can be a chore on a 57'. Based on the fact pattern you've presented, I think that it is doable with luck...but honestly your risks would be too high for me and with two kids I would not rely on luck.
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:55   #32
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Yup too big. Standing rigging alone will be over $20,000.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:01   #33
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Re: 57 foot too big?

We bought a 44" Alden (centerboard) cutter for our family and sailed it with our three young ones did sea trials etc. We sailed with a 7, 10 and 12 year old from New England to Newfoundland and across to Ireland (13 days) and cruised the Hebrides the coast of Ireland, Bristol Channel, Biscay, Gibraltar, and back via Madeira, Canaries, and Caribbean. We had spent 5 years trying out 40 footers in heavy weather, then chose the Alden. The 44 was perfect for us. We sold it the year after we got home. Now that same kids are 37, 40 and 43, and we have 10 grandkids, we are looking to buy a Bristol and become true live-aboards with "destinations".
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:04   #34
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Why write off the Cat so quick? We sailed our 50' cat to and fro Fiji and Tonga several times, one time left Opua with several large monohull so who all turned back.

That being said you'll get used to whatever you get. Maintenance is a concern as well as how much fun it is to actually gets the sails up and sail. If a ton of work less and less likely. Power main halyard winch?

Have a ball!
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:07   #35
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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We bought a 44" Alden (centerboard) cutter for our family and sailed it with our three young ones did sea trials etc. We sailed with a 7, 10 and 12 year old from New England to Newfoundland and across to Ireland (13 days) and cruised the Hebrides the coast of Ireland, Bristol Channel, Biscay, Gibraltar, and back via Madeira, Canaries, and Caribbean. We had spent 5 years trying out 40 footers in heavy weather, then chose the Alden. The 44 was perfect for us. We sold it the year after we got home. Now that same kids are 37, 40 and 43, and we have 10 grandkids, we are looking to buy a Bristol and become true live-aboards with "destinations".
Well yeah, a 44 footer is way smaller than a 57 footer. Big jump in boat. Agree a 40 to 45 footer would be way more appropriate and have the space they need than some big arc.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:11   #36
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Re: 57 foot too big?

I don't think that a solid 57 foot split-rig is too big. I own a Hinckley 50 yawl in Maine and a 50' classic schooner in Palma de Mallorca. I usually single-hand both of them. And I am 74 years old. I have rigged both of these vessels so that everything can be done from the cockpit (unless some piece of gear doesn't work forward). I have electric in-mast furling-main and mizzen -on the Hinckley controlled by switches at the helm; electric cockpit winches for sheets and outhauls. The big engine (Ford Lehman 120) and big 3-blade Max-prop can be a life-saver when docking in a crosswind that would blow smaller lighter boats across the harbor. I don't have in-mast furling on the schooner but lazy-jacks trap doused main and foresails until I can get to them. Halyards come back to and secured on two cockpit self-tailing winches. In my opinion a "big" boat is easier to sail and handle than a small one once you get to know her..
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:23   #37
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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I don't think that a solid 57 foot split-rig is too big. I own a Hinckley 50 yawl in Maine and a 50' classic schooner in Palma de Mallorca. I usually single-hand both of them. And I am 74 years old. I have rigged both of these vessels so that everything can be done from the cockpit (unless some piece of gear doesn't work forward). I have electric in-mast furling-main and mizzen -on the Hinckley controlled by switches at the helm; electric cockpit winches for sheets and outhauls. The big engine (Ford Lehman 120) and big 3-blade Max-prop can be a life-saver when docking in a crosswind that would blow smaller lighter boats across the harbor. I don't have in-mast furling on the schooner but lazy-jacks trap doused main and foresails until I can get to them. Halyards come back to and secured on two cockpit self-tailing winches. In my opinion a "big" boat is easier to sail and handle than a small one once you get to know her..

The voice of experience. Kelly has it right.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:23   #38
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Re: 57 foot too big?

We have a CT 56 which is 23m overall. Ketch rigged though so sails are a little easier to handle but with a 150% Genoa.

I generally single hand the boat most of the time as the wife is only 46kg but she will stand a watch and can furl the main and mizzen herself with the inmast furling. Nice thing about inmast is that you can furl without turning into the wind easily with some topping lift on and letting off the outhaul while continuing to fly the genny.

Would recommend upgrading main winches to power as this takes most of the work out and suggest reefing down at night so you don't get caught.

Biggest thing really as has already been suggested is the condition of the boat and the cost of maintenance/upgrades to get her where you want. With a couple of kids aboard you won't mind the extra space below and above deck.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:26   #39
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Its one thing for a rich old fart to haul around a big arch; quite another when a young guy with kids tries to do it unless he has a trust fund. Doubt if he is talking about a Hinckley type of boat. Heck, 73 year old Bosarge tools around in his 120 foot ketch. So length per se is not the issue, cost is.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:28   #40
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Go for it!

I have found that the bigger the boat, the easier it is to sail and handle. If your family is happy, you will be happy too.

However, you have described your boat options much like a house (or at the boatshow)...size of bedrooms (cabins). The real deal is how it sails, and how its equipped. For a boat purchase like that, I would hope a sea trial would be part of your requirements. A sailboat really comes alive when the sails are up, and the engine is off.

Personally, I see little difference between sailing a 45' and 55' boat. Its mostly about the money.

As to the post about "couldn't turn the winches"...a smaller jib is in order, or just roll some up. I assume you have 2 speed, or even 3 speed winches? They really help too.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:33   #41
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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Originally Posted by kellyp08 View Post
I own a Hinckley 50 yawl in Maine and a 50' classic schooner in Palma de Mallorca.
Wow...do you want to be my new best friend?
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:35   #42
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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In my opinion a "big" boat is easier to sail and handle than a small one once you get to know her..
I totally agree. I've sailed plenty of boats, big and small.
The toughest to sail is my daughter's laser.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:54   #43
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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Wow...do you want to be my new best friend?
One can never have enough friends.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:56   #44
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Re: 57 foot too big?

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So my wife and I are about to take the plunge and buy our first keeler with a vision of sailing it off shore from nz through the pacific and into Indonesia..
we have two kids with us, currently 11yr boy and 13 yr girl.
We've looked over a heap of yachts in the 40ft 42ft 46ft..... and unfortunately we just looked over a John Pugh designed 57 foot.
I say unfortunately because now that we've been on a bigger vessel, the smaller (sensible) options don't have the same appeal. The 57 footer is a delight to occupy and allows everyone a heap of space. We know that maintenance and mooring will be a lot more expensive, but my question is... will a 57 foot schooner (with in mast furling main and furling headsail) be too much for a couple to handle?
The old salty who owns it now sailed it single handed but as novices in the keeler world (experienced inshore sailors who currently own a 22 ft trailer yacht) are we being foolish in thinking this is a yacht we could handle?

We know multi hull is a good option for space but want to go mono. (potential high latitude sailing from NZ)
The space you fell comfortable in will dictate the length.

In mast furling on a boat that big would not be on my wish list. I'd switch it out for a Schaeffer boom furler. But that's just me.

Over 50' total length will limit a lot of marina options. Not a show stopper though.

What's the draft?

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Old 04-12-2015, 11:03   #45
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Problems at sea cascade to major s**t storms very quickly. Can turn your dream into a nightmare in a matter of minutes. Smaller boats allow easier handling in bad conditions.
40 footer=$$$....57footer=$$$$$$$
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