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Old 03-12-2015, 12:54   #1
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57 foot too big?

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)
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:59   #2
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Do it. That's not to big. Sounds about right to my way of thinking!

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Old 03-12-2015, 13:02   #3
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Woohoo!
That's what I need, a hands down, no prisoners, leave out the BS call to action response!
Nice! and thanks....
funny how, when you're on the verge of decision making, all you really want is someone to tell you to go ahead and do it :-) lol
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Old 03-12-2015, 13:14   #4
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Re: 57 foot too big?

As a person who has never sailed a boat that big I'll take a crack at it. I'd guess a lot has to do with how well it's set up, and if properly set up it would make things easier, that and to be blunt, if you can afford such a boat, then you could probably afford a Professional Capt. to teach you on your boat until you feel comfortable.
What I don't know is does the additional safety of a larger vessel off set the much higher forces and workload in a storm situation?
I'd be approaching this with that thought, not can we sail her, but can we handle her when it hits the fan? I don't know the answer to that, others might
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Old 03-12-2015, 13:29   #5
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Re: 57 foot too big?

I singlehand my 57' boat all the time. It just takes a bit of preparation when doing close-quarters maneuvering; once underway there's little or no difference to a smaller boat apart from the higher forces and, of course, the faster travel speeds.
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Old 03-12-2015, 13:32   #6
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nzmal View Post
...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?
Yes.

Paul
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:18   #7
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Re: 57 foot too big?

ok Paul.... I'm ready to listen. What are the key points that we're overlooking here?
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:22   #8
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Re: 57 foot too big?

How old?
Some of his boat now from the 80s would be a maintenance nightmare
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:23   #9
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nzmal View Post
will a 57 foot schooner be too much for a couple to handle?
I don't know you both, so hard to answer.

But look at it this way: if each one of you can handle the boat single handed, even in bad weather, it'll be fine.
If (one of) you can't, then the answer is yes, this boat is too much for you to handle.
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:36   #10
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Re: 57 foot too big?

I will just say this: two of us (fairly small people), about 50 YO, on a 47 footer: when the wind piped up, a couple instances we could not crank the winches in on the Jib (120%) Feet against the coaming, two hand winch handles. Big lewmar 2 spd tailing winches.
OTOH, long waterlines are wonderful for speed!
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Old 03-12-2015, 14:39   #11
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Re: 57 foot too big?

I have a Moody 49 with a rib on davits. I am experience in handling 55 and even 67 foot boats in harsh sea conditions but with lots of crew. I am going around the world in my Moody 49 and have spent this year getting to know her. She is a dream on the Ocean and anchoring etc BUT get it close confines with current and wind and the stress levels get up. I looked at a 56footer and I am so pleased I managed my expectations down.


Given your experience to date (22ft)I would really think hard about a big jump to 57foot unless you will be on the ocean (at anchor) all the time.


Maybe go 46 -50 (especially with a boat on davits) and then up size when you and your crew have more experience and strength.




Have fun. oh and Lizzie Bell is right on the money!
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Old 03-12-2015, 15:11   #12
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
How old?
Some of his boat now from the 80s would be a maintenance nightmare
Ah...yes...boat built in the 80's are nightmares...
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Old 03-12-2015, 15:14   #13
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Re: 57 foot too big?

They only seem big when you're in a marina.
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Old 03-12-2015, 15:47   #14
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Do a search for wind wanderer, if Vic and Sandy can do it I think you guys can manage it. Believe me as someone with teenage kids....that boat will seem small. As those kids get bigger you will have good crew.

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Old 03-12-2015, 16:17   #15
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Re: 57 foot too big?

Hi Nzmal,

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.

Good shopping. TJ
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