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Old 24-10-2006, 14:24   #16
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I am still on my first boat. As a new sailor, I wanted a boat I could handle, so I purchased a 27' hunter. Mind you, this is not something that I can take around the world, but SWMBO and I are learning very quickly. In 5 years, we are looking to purchase a large boat, hopefully something like a Maine Cat 30. I do not understand why there is such a need for these oceanliner sailboats that everyone is purchasing. My daughters brother in law and his wife lived on a 25 for 10 years. Yes a larger boat gives you advantages in speed and overall room. But I hate to paint / wash / maintain / steer / ... that much boat. BTW, how do you singlehand something like that? Now if I can only survive the next 5 years...
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Old 24-10-2006, 14:36   #17
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I dont know if you were replying to me directly Joli....

While I agree with much of your sentiment, I never said we had no sailing experience. I grew up living on Lake Lanier here near Atlanta. For my 8th birthday I got a sunfish. As a teenager my father and I sailed a Thistle and we also had a Catalina 27. I crewed on various boats during my teenage years at what passes for yacht racing on the lake. The wife and I have done bareboat charters and will continue to do so before we buy a boat in several years. So we will not be jumping into a large boat with no clue about how to sail. I just sold a Sea Ray 340 Sundancer so we know a good bit about boat systems and maintenance.

Sailing is not flying... to compare learning to sail in a largish sailboat to learning to fly in a 747 is a tad over the top I think. That said, I have a hard time picturing someone who has never been on a sailboat before buying a 50 footer and just jumping on to give it a go. But if they hired a professional captain to teach them full time for 3-4 weeks and did further learning while sticking to easy coastal cruising for a while coupled with lots of reading I think they would probably be fine.

"Don't dare go out there if you dont have LOTs of experience!!!" How do you get lots of experience? By going out there.....



Terry
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Old 24-10-2006, 15:14   #18
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Aloha Joli,
The reason I agree with you so whole heartedly is that anyone who has ever sailed will have hit another boat, gone aground or will go aground. It will happen more often with a new sailor. They might be able to afford a mega-macboat and all kinds of insurance and going aground will become their (and the irreplaceable environment's problem). If it was me they hit and damaged, I have sailing time that is lost before repairs can be made, my boat might sink with all my worldly irreplaceable possessions and no one will ever repair my boat to my satisfaction. They can shout over their transom that their insurance company will take care of it, but that time and those possessions will not be replaced. It just plain is irresponsible.
My apoligies in advance to all sailors who are responsible big boat owners who are extremely cautious. Unfortunately IMHO you are a minority.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 24-10-2006, 15:26   #19
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No Terry, my comments are not directed at you. They are directed at anyone that is considering buying a large boat with minimum experience. And by large I mean anything over 24,000 pounds.

And yes, to get experience you need to "go out there". But do it on something that is manageable. Learn the lessons that don't hurt too much when you screw up on the smaller boat cause trust me, your gonna screw up.

I don't think it is safe to garner experience on a boat that carries 8 tons on the genoa sheet when it's blowing 27 over the deck. Oops I surged the genny without looking and a kid or a wife lost fingers instead of just getting a nasty boat bite. Understand?
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Old 24-10-2006, 15:56   #20
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I wholeheartedly agree with John. Although there are plenty of folks on this thread suggesting that it's OK to fly a 747 as your first plane, or to drive a 40 foot class A motorhome with car towing behind as your first car, it is a damn sight irresponsible to learn on that type of platform when you are in close proximity to others. That's the main point. Sure... out at sea you can make mistakes... mistakes that cost your life and the lives of peopel aboard, but that's the risk you take. My beef is that the risks these people are taking are with my home. How would they like it if I backed my car into their $8,000 hand crafted front door? This is just what they did to me.

Someone who does not take the time to learn (as in if you are that rich and inexperienced, you can afford the lessons!), is just plain irresponsible and has very little compassion for others, as shown by the new marks on my dinghy. But then again... to afford such large toys on a whim, mabye it took a certain amount of evil in pre-boat life to amass such funds?

Anyway, I certainly am not saying someone should buy small - I'm saying they should START small by taking lessons to learn how to control a boat before just carelessly smashing into others possessions, which in my case, is my home.

BTW: Island Mike - congrats!! The boat sounds great and I'm familiar with Deep River. We did a haul there this past spring. Cute town, nice people. You have experience sailing prior to owning this boat, so of course you will do fine.

We were talking about the "Honey... let's get a boat today" crowd that doesn't see that along with a toy, comes some shred of responsibility not only to yourself, but to others. These are the folks we really are talking about... like the guy behind me with his 45' Sea Ray. Just got it this week, can't drive *any* boat and never owned one before. However, he just starts it up and drives it like it's a car. Only he forgets there is wind and that his new "car" doesn't have brakes while he's trying to park it. He hit me and scratched up other boats around us. I'm sure nobody on here would tell me this isn't irresponsible, when we have a boat handling school right in the marina, right?
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Old 24-10-2006, 16:30   #21
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Terry, these are the types of topics I usually shy away from because they get ugly fast. However, I seem to have a weakness today so here I go:

Your approach doesn't mirror my involvement in sailing, which encompasses 37 years of gradually gaining experience through racing and coastal cruising from 13' sunfish to 19' day sailor to 26' coastal sailor to 40' heavy displacement cruiser to 40' ocean catamaran to...(well, that's as far as I am right now). In principle, however, I lean mostly toward your viewpoint and am decidedly against the viewpoint that one must go through the path I took.

Let's put this in perspective. The physics and techniques do not change between a 26' and 46' boat, although there are some differences. If one is sufficiently intelligent, motivated to continually learn, humble enough to always seek improvement and engaged enough to be aware of one's surroundings at all times, then I think one is ideally suited for sailing and the boat size is a smaller matter than most believe. This type of person can be very successful in rapidly gaining experience while avoiding the dangerous aspects of a larger boat (I will come back to this part in a bit).

Docking or any other "coming alongside" is a pure experience-driven skill and mostly unrelated to boat size. Sure, a smaller boat is ostensibly easier to put into a given size space than a larger boat due to a greater margin of space, but many small boats have small outboards on the transom. I know from experience that maneuvering a small outboard powered boat in cross winds and currents is far more hairy than a larger, heavier boat with a properly matched inboard diesel and prop. I will back up my statement that this is purely experience-driven by noting that in my neck of the woods (Northeast, US), most people are on moorings and at most come to face docks to take on fuel once a season. I often see very experienced sailors screw up docking due to rarely practicing it. I also see very inexperienced sailors back in and out of their docks with ease, while promptly going hard aground outside of the breakwater due to navigational errors or inability to handle their boats in current and wind (in essence "sail" their boats). I witness few differences between large and small boats in this regard.

And I must admit that little, if any, of my vast sunfish experience translated to sailing my catamaran. In fact, only a handful of my monohull experience translates to the cat. Since I simply jumped on the catamaran and took off, does this mean that I was wrong for not graduating through a hobie beachcat, then a 27' heavenly twin, then maybe a 34' prout?

So what was the handful of my monohull experience that did transfer? The dangerous parts that I mentioned earlier (I'm leaving out the boat systems aspect). And this is true for any type of larger boat. The views expressed in this thread on the increased forces and loads involved with larger boats, as well as how bad things can become quickly are spot on. These are the types of things that truly become dangerous on larger boats and one must always be aware of them. But you don't need to go through ranks of small boats and short cruises to appreciate this. One just needs to exhibit the behaviors I listed earlier. This is more about thinking and anticipating than experiencing. Even if it did take experience, I bet you would learn after you lose your first finger or break your first leg! (there's a type of smiley that I wanted to put here but I can't figure out how to do it. Suffice to say that I meant that as tongue-in-cheek and humorous, but instructive)

There is one thing that I think you are naive about regarding larger boats vs smaller ones: most likely any boat you can afford or sail short-handed (two adults with some help from the younger ones) will not be big enough to avoid "camping in a tiny cave". And I'm speaking of the sizes of boats you are contemplating. This is a boat after all, and even a large one will have less space than your living room inside. I can assure you that size is predominatly a mental thing until you get into very large boats that begin to mimic a house (and only a small one at that). I have been on large boats with few people that felt very crowded and small boats with many people that felt spacious. Take this with a grain of salt, but if you are looking for space and separation (I mean on the boat, not a divorce), you should be looking at catamarans. While still having boat-sized "bedrooms", "bathrooms" and "kitchens", catamarans provide physical separation that translates into mental space, which is unobtainable in most monos. By this I mean that the kids can raise holy hell in one hull while you and your wife enjoy a quiet conversation or work in peace in the other. Not to mention the physical deck space.

Since I'm in for the controversial penny, I'll go in for the pound and risk being thrown off this site by leaving you with one word:

bumfuzzle

BTW: WELCOME!

Mark
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Old 24-10-2006, 16:32   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan
I'm sure nobody on here would tell me this isn't irresponsible, when we have a boat handling school right in the marina, right?

Not just irresponsible.... but stupid. A 45' Sea Ray isnt that difficult to handle, much easier than a single engined sailboat of a similar size. But if someone is as you describe and is unconciously incompetent then it doesnt matter how easy it could be if they bothered to get educated on whats involved.

I do know what your talking about. I once worked at a marina that did dry stack storage. I drove the boats from the giant fork lift to the dock where the owners would pick them up. The repair guys did a constant business fixing idiotic stuff the clueless owners smashed. Interesting thing was the same boats were always getting fixed.... some incompetence, some alcoholism....



Terry
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Old 24-10-2006, 16:40   #23
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Mark,

THANK YOU for a very thoughful reply, I honestly appreciate it. I have to run to an appointment tonight but will reply later.

One quick note: I do understand that a "big" 47' - 55' boat is not exactly big when it comes to living space and such. I also get your point about catamarans and have given that good bit of thought. Seems there are great arguements on both sides of that one. One wierd thing though..... im one of those funny sorts where aesthetics mean a good bit and to me a cat is just butt ugly. Not that I couldnt overcome this handicap!



Terry
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Old 24-10-2006, 17:08   #24
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Yup... just had one graze our tender yesterday as they were trying to get into the slip. Bow thrusters and all, they couldn't manage to dock it without hitting every other boat around. tsk tsk
I live on a canal system and am also on the inside of a corner where all the boats coming and going have to make a 90 degree turn. We have a 2 knot speed limit which is generally obeyed. It's interesting watching how people navigate that turn. One of our neighbors has a 50' Navigator powerboat with dual diesels. To turn, he doesn't even use his rudders or reverse one engine. He uses his bow thruster! Not exactly what I would consider good seamanship, but I guess it works.

I'd hate to be around when he's in a tight spot.

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Old 24-10-2006, 17:19   #25
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The bigger the boat, the bigger the BUCK, the smaller the cruise kitty!!
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Old 25-10-2006, 06:00   #26
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Yep, we worked our way up to a big boat and was always amazed at the bunnys who could'nt handle their boat's.

We sailed O.P.B's for years and then got a 22ft mono as our first boat, a little cold moulded thing that cost $5000 Aud and sailed her around for a few years until the speed bug bit. We could'nt get any more out of her and after blowing every fitting up or out of the deck we got a 30ft Diamond.

30 ft Diamond class is like an Etchell on steroids, ply construction crew of 3, 2 on trapeze like on skiffs, fully battened roachy mainsail but gee we learned how to sail real fast,and learned real quick what you can and can't get away with when pushing a boat. She had no motors and cost $3500 Aud.

More speed needed and a bed so got a seawind 24 for $8000,great boat and I reckon every multi-hull owner should have something like this as a first boat. Fast ,wet,fun and get a real idea as to the sailing differences between mono and multi. Needed a larger fornicatorium and a decent dunny for the girl and after spitting 2 rigs and nearly parking her upside down [ you really do have to flog 'em to flip 'em] we went onto the 30ft version.

After building "Love Child " we could not immedietly afford a Yammie 9-9 4 stroke so had to learn to sail a 30 x 21 ft cat in and out of its berth, those years on the Diamond were paying off. Because of the experience we never felt it was a problem not having a motor and took great delight in manouvering around crowded anchorages under sail. It's something every one should be able to do. Mind you I was very happy when I could buy that new Yammie 9-9.

None of this will help me much with the 50 foot power cat though, I reckon the only time she'll see a marina berth is when putting in her 4 monthly supply of Diesel, we'll do our usual thing and anchor the dinghy somwhere and pretend its a berth and get used to handling her we'll away from other boats, but at least I'll have a fair idea about what to expect windage wise and how much room is required to pull her up etc. before looking the fool in front of the Yachtie.

Point being is that we always had a fair idea what to expect when coming in as we had practiced,practiced ,practiced and tried various scenarios out before coming in and being the "Master of Disaster" at that nice anchorage or marina. Also a perfect time to practice those man overboard drills with a large water container almost filled to give you an idea of weight, we're not all as light as a life jacket.
Get that storm jib or blade out of it's bag for a look, do you know what it look's like??? And practice putting in that 3rd reef. Blowing a gale is not the time to see how they work.

I'll stop now.

Dave
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Old 25-10-2006, 08:55   #27
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Maybe an analogy would be in order to explain my amazement.

Would you learn to how to drive in a Class A Motor home? Would you learn how to fly in a 747? Of course not but it seems many are ready to jump into a rather large sail boats with little or no skill.
Oh give me a break.... what skills do you need to drive a Class A motorhome that you do not need for a car? Well DUH - it is bigger... so pay attention. By the same analogy you would buy a 1BR house for your first even though you could afford a bigger home AND be more comfortable in it. Those big houses have very complex systems... there must be at least 200 ft more of plumbing in them...and more windows!

[/quote] Of course you can learn the skills required to sail and maintain a large boat. So why not a bit of development in a smaller boat prior to making a big commitment? [/quote]

Well... so why not go through the SAME development in a larger boat? If you're adventurous enough and can afford it, why not?

Being wet and miserable while bobbing around on a small boat will likely affect your cruising experience / outlook eh? So if you need to learn the skills anyway, why not do so in greater comfort - AND on the size vessel that you want to cruise aboard. Preferably on THE boat you fall in love with and hope to cruise. How many spouses get enthralled with the idea of circumnavigating while hanging over the windward rail of that Laser??

I think it really goes to the personalities of those involved - how adventurous are you & your cruising mate(s)? I know a guy who to this day is afraid to use the cruise control in his car.... coincidently he also sails a Laser....

So why not let each choose his own poison - and skip all the criticism and 4-letter words? If it makes no sense to you, then fine. Sail for a few years until you feel ready to move up - if that's what you want to do. IMHO either path is acceptable, and will work equally as well.

Yes big boats are intimidating - but with the right outlook and desire to succeed it can be done. Name one skill that you cannot learn on a large boat that can be learned on a small one?

Not that I have any strong feelings about this....

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Old 25-10-2006, 09:37   #28
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Confident people on big boats are fine by me as long as they don't hit my boat when they get out of shape. I've seen plenty of cashed up people who think because they can buy the hat and the fifty footer that they can then go out and terrorize the waterways, mind you they would probably do the same in a 12 ft tinny. Have a look at the clowns they let loose on charter boats. Do the 1/2 hour course and get let loose on a 40ft Beneteau or the 42 ft Lagoon cat.

Keep away from me please, Oh thats right, I park away from everyone else 'cause i'm sick of getting my boats hit.

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Old 25-10-2006, 10:06   #29
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Actually I applaud what the Bumfuzzles are doing. And they are learning in a boat that is easily managed with the experience level they have.

Mark wrote: "Well... so why not go through the SAME development in a larger boat? If you're adventurous enough and can afford it, why not?"

It is not about money or moxie. It's about the skills that someone has to manage a large platform. Gain experience and learn on something that can be managed as you learn. Making mistakes on a 65,000 pound boat is much more severe than making mistakes on a 10,000 pound boat. And if you have limited experience it is better to make mistakes on the smaller boat. People do not get hurt as severely and wallets do not get drained as quickly.

I don't think I used any four letter words?
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Old 25-10-2006, 11:31   #30
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Mark (of Song): You're a good guy, but I think you're missing the point. It's not like buying a large house because you can't crash your house into mine. On the water it isn't all about you. It's also about those around you. I like you, so no ill will intended.

Guys loaded with cash, a huge boat and no skills rarely consider others in my experience - especially in NJ where I am right now.
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