We come from more traditional cruising boats, and I once held the opinion that bigger boats were a liability offshore
Then we bought a big boat (55', ultralight and very powerful), and now that we've logged around 10,000 miles offshore
on her, I can say unequivocally that it was a good choice for us. There are a few caveats, though.
First, boats in the 50' plus range are not generally very forgiving of mistakes
. The loads are very large, and when things do get out of hand it can be significantly more daunting than on a boat in the 40's. We tend to shorten sail a little sooner than we did on our other boats.
Second, the boat has to be properly set up. Many boats of an earlier vintage didn't really have the deck
layout optimized for shorthanded cruising. It's relatively a relatively recent development that your typical cruisers were riding around on boats this size. 57 footers usually had a pretty big crew, and were set up that way. I have no idea about your prospective boat, but it does need to be looked at.
Third, it's sort of hard to find a slip in many places. A lot of marinas
just aren't set up for our size. Often it's the T-heads or nothing. 57' is pretty big around the dock
, as others have noted.
Anyway, we have not found it to be terribly difficult to switch to a big boat, but we had a ton of experience on 36, 41, and 44' boats. I would not have wanted this to be my very first cruising boat. I think that it would have been too intimidating for that. Your experience might be different. Definitely take the time to start slow if you do pull the trigger on this.