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Old 19-03-2017, 15:55   #16
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

So when I bought my first monohull knowing I'd be sailing distance, I went for a heavy, small boat with full keel

A Bristol 27 .........
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Old 19-03-2017, 16:19   #17
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

Larger boats are clearly more comfortable and costlier to acquire and keep.

As boat size increases over 30 feet you get standing room in the main cabin. Anything below that size is a cave. It is still a cave above 30 ft but once you have standing room in the front and main cabins it becomes way more comfortable. Next, around 35 feet and above you get privacy in the aft cabin which makes the boat much more suitable for extended cruising for more than one as you have three independent areas with limited privacy. Next, around 40 ft and above the sail plans typically become difficult to handle by a single person which ultimately limits quality time on the water. For me, these three inflection points are most important.
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Old 19-03-2017, 16:26   #18
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

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Larger boats are clearly more comfortable and costlier to acquire and keep.

As boat size increases over 30 feet you get standing room in the main cabin. Anything below that size is a cave.
Just a quick point, I can stand up in my Bristol 27 and I'm about 6' or was when I was younger!

It's a pretty good size boat for a singlehander...........

I paid $2,000 for it and have been sailing it for 6 years.

It can also quite easily be converted into an offshore cruising boat

The Bristol 27 Sailboat : Bluewaterboats.org
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Old 19-03-2017, 16:58   #19
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They'll take you places the big boys cant go.. and all the places the big boys can..
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Old 19-03-2017, 17:10   #20
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

I look at sail boats as similar to airplanes in that the smaller they are the more responsive and fun, larger is more comfortable but using them is more "management" and less visceral fun. A Cub or Pitts is great for recreation but less suitable for a long trip that a B747. A sailboard or kite board would be a blast for an afternoon but not adequate for a weekend run to Catalina Island or doing America's Great Loop.

If you don't know what you want go small. If you want weekends with a friend that enjoys camping a 20-25Ft should be plenty. If you want to live on it I would need at least a really heavy 32ft or more moderate displacement boat in the 36-42ft range. Weekends with occasionally another couple? Somewhere in between those.

In looking at 36-50 sail boats I was amazed at the added expense of sail gear of a 45ft boat over a 38ft while the 38ft gear was more than the stuff for a 30ft but the difference didn't take my breath away.
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Old 19-03-2017, 17:41   #21
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

Fwiw, if you have a chance, visit a boatyard where sailboats of various sizes are hauled out. Take with you a sanding block, and look up at the bottoms of various size boats, holding that sanding block between you and the hull. See how much more area you'll have to prep for bottom paint. Imagination only takes you so far, the experiment will be informative.

Ann
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Old 19-03-2017, 18:18   #22
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Fwiw, if you have a chance, visit a boatyard where sailboats of various sizes are hauled out. Take with you a sanding block, and look up at the bottoms of various size boats, holding that sanding block between you and the hull. See how much more area you'll have to prep for bottom paint. Imagination only takes you so far, the experiment will be informative.

Ann
Haha! Brilliant!
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Old 19-03-2017, 19:24   #23
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

If you're in my cruising area, the greatest advantage of a smaller boat is to be able to hide out further inland under the fixed bridges and in the well protected places when the hurricane is blowing through!
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Old 19-03-2017, 19:28   #24
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

I'm now the owner of two boats, a Pearson 35' medium displacement, full keel center boarder and a medium displacement, fin keel Sabre 28 footer that I just bought. The 35' has the typical maneuvering issues of a full keel boat, too much boat to muscle around which limits getting it going solo. Especially the way I've set it up, it is an easy boat to single hand once out on the ocean. The main is large and a struggle to raise but easy to handle once up and lazy jacks made it easy to lower. I can handle most any task on the boat without help

The 28 is half the displacement of the 35. It'a easy to muscle around, in fact sailed it into the slip on my first sail solo. Something I'd never even think of trying on the Pearson. Largely because it's a fin keel, boat is a lot more maneuverable in tight quarters so taking it out is easy by myself. The salon and galley area is within 2 feet of the size of the bigger boat. Cockpit is smaller though not by much but the head area is minimal and the forepeak cramped. What is really missing is storage areas but then I'm not heading to SoPac in this boat. Oh, and for those with pituitary malfunctions, headroom is 6', down a few inches from the larger boat.

The big difference between the two is cost of ownership. Everything on the larger boat is at least one size up and often two with a commensurate increase in cost. Primary winches are 44's while the 28's are oversized 40's. Sail area is a third less. When it comes to slips, the smaller boat is nearly $200 cheaper in expensive SoCal and, more importantly, slips are available. Bigger boats have waiting lists for boats that stretch into years in some marinas.
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Old 19-03-2017, 20:59   #25
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Fwiw, if you have a chance, visit a boatyard where sailboats of various sizes are hauled out. Take with you a sanding block, and look up at the bottoms of various size boats, holding that sanding block between you and the hull. See how much more area you'll have to prep for bottom paint. Imagination only takes you so far, the experiment will be informative.

Ann
HA! Come on over with your sanding block to my boat in a few months when I haul out and I'll give you PLENTY of sanding experiment time! Free of charge!
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Old 20-03-2017, 02:45   #26
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

Smaller is better...until it's not.

Having sufficient space to be comfortable carry the stuff you want while being no larger than needed is ideal.

For the rare cruiser that can be a 20' boat. For another is may be 60'.

I think you will find most long term cruisers (aka: not just weekends) tend to fall in the 30-45' range. That gives you stand up headroom, separate room for the head, separate room for the berth, carrying capacity. All while being small enough for a couple to handle without great difficulty.
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Old 20-03-2017, 03:53   #27
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

I think that for most people to cruise full-time (assuming a couple), anything less than about 35 feet will be too small after a fairly short time.

Sure, there are exceptions, I once met a couple who'd been all over the place on a 27 footer, but they were definitely 'camping'.

Longer term, some creature comforts become desirable, and being able to carry all the crap that most people want to have aboard sort of dictate a minimum size. I'd put it in the mid-30's. Get up to 40', and life aboard becomes much nicer indeed.

Of course, if a smaller boat is all you can afford- Well, the discussion is academic anyway. You sail what you can afford.

I do want to push back a little bit on the notion that big boats are hugely more expensive than smaller ones.

This is really only true in the sailing equipment department. (and the difference is indeed painful here) But, provided the boat is not loaded down with every gadget that you can fit, the operating costs of a bigger boat are not really that much higher than a small one. Sure, slip fees are marginally higher, but if the average long distance boat is in the 40' range, going to 50 is only a 25% difference. Certainly, the notion that the cost doubles each time you go up by length 'x' is not true in our experience.

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Old 20-03-2017, 04:13   #28
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chriss.
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Old 20-03-2017, 08:05   #29
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

We've owned a 12ft Kite, then an O'Day 20, next a Hunter 450, and now an Oyster 53.

Bigger is better. I can't think of a single advantage a smaller boat has to offer. Our next boat will be either a 50ft catamaran or an Oyster 66. If there is a next boat.
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Old 20-03-2017, 08:07   #30
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Re: Advantages to have a small boat

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We've owned a 12ft Kite, then an O'Day 20, next a Hunter 450, and now an Oyster 53.

Bigger is better. I can't think of a single advantage a smaller boat has to offer.
Maybe, but bigger doesn't have the same advantages as smaller.

See previous posts which point out some of the following:

Slips are less expensive

Sails are less expensive

Running rigging is less expensive

You can get to places on a small boat with shallower draft where larger/deeper draft boats cannot

Bottom jobs are easier

They are easier to dock single handed

You can replace the diesel with an outboard

You can manhandle a small boat if you ground it. You can damn near push it off in some instances

For weekend, vacation, and cruises lasting less than a couple months smaller boats work great with much less invested

The list is endless.........
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