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Old 17-07-2013, 14:06   #1
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Boat size question??

Hello All,

I have been on a quest for several months to find the right size cruising sailboat. Hundreds of hours on forums and yachtworld.com searching. I have read a cruising book by Liza Copeland and spoke with her by phone and e-mails about my needs. She is quite helpful. I really like the Beneteau 50, the one I have my eye on is early 90s well equipped with roller furling main, jib and stay-sail with electric winches, but wonder about my wife and I plus 4 & 8 year old daughters being able to handle a boat this size plus the extra $$$$. Our idea is to hang-out in the Caribbean for a year or 2 learning and then make the decision to keep going ( either towards Europe or South Pacific ) or back to the grind. I also have my eye on a mid 80s Beneteau Oceanis 430 that is nicely equipped right down to the water maker and would like to know if anyone is cruising a 430 and if there is ample room for the 4 of us plus occasional guest for extended cruising, or would the B50 suit my needs better. If it goes up for vote the women will win and want the 50
My experience is decades of powerboats including racing and 5 years live aboard and sailing on my Catalina 30 in the 80s in Southern Cal and Channel Islands.
My budget for cruising after purchase and refit/upgrades would be about $2,500 US per month and I would have some extra $$$ in the bank for emergencies

Thanks for any help

Mike
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Old 17-07-2013, 14:42   #2
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Re: Boat size question??

I would say the best size is a 45-5-' boat in the 3 berth (charter) layout.

Handling a 50' isn't going to really be any different than handling a 45'.

If you can afford it a bigger boat is always going to be more comfortable!
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Old 17-07-2013, 14:45   #3
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Re: Boat size question??

We are a family of four on a 42 footer. Yes, we had planned to be a family of 3 but life is nothing if not full of surprises! It still works at just 42 feet and the money we save in dock/haul out fees more than compensated for the loss of 8 feet.
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Old 17-07-2013, 14:54   #4
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pirate Re: Boat size question??

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Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
We are a family of four on a 42 footer. Yes, we had planned to be a family of 3 but life is nothing if not full of surprises! It still works at just 42 feet and the money we save in dock/haul out fees more than compensated for the loss of 8 feet.
+A1
1 boy 1 girl 1 couple... 3 cabins 2-3 heads and a salon... if you can get that in the 43 its the way to go...
The 50 will just give you financial grief in the long term.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:02   #5
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Re: Boat size question??

A professional yacht captain once mentioned that" one should buy the smallest boat that one could live with". Now just plug in your number.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:12   #6
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Re: Boat size question??

I guess we are nuts because we just spent a bloody fortune to have the front head taken out and are now having to finish up the work ourselves to make our boat a one head boat. The forward head was pretty much useless underway anyway and we paid attention to how we used the baths in the house. With very few exceptions, we pretty much used one bathroom out of 3!

Our boat has 2 cabins and a decent sized quarter berth. The settees work as sea berths when underway.

Just pointing this out because if you move away from the fantasy of an ensuite cabin for every crew member, you have a lot more options to choose from. The $2500 monthly budget would make me nervous on a 50 foot boat with 4 aboard. Not impossible, but you could be in for some really skinny months if/when you have maintenance issues pop up. I would not move up to a 50 footer with a budget less than 3k a month but then we tend to be on the very conservative side and like to come in under budget to be able to pay for Murphy when needed.

Yes, its cozy but its a boat- it was always going to be cozy. Our bedrooms might be tiny but our living room is huge.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:17   #7
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Re: Boat size question??

IMHO the Oceanis will be more than adequate for your needs. It really comes down to privacy and storage space, and that boat should have all that you need. The 50 is not going to give you anything more from a functional perspective aside from increased costs.

While a bigger boat gives you more room, it also layers constraints on you. It's more expensive, there are places it cannot go, and all other things being equal it's going to be more of a handful to crew and maintain.

It is a truism that you should buy the smallest boat that fits your needs. There are certainly exceptions, and plenty of people buy boats larger than they need and it's the right choice for them, but if you're trying to keep your costs in the ballpark you mentioned then the smaller boat would be a wise choice.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:20   #8
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Re: Boat size question??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimsy View Post
I guess we are nuts because we just spent a bloody fortune to have the front head taken out and are now having to finish up the work ourselves to make our boat a one head boat. The forward head was pretty much useless underway anyway and we paid attention to how we used the baths in the house. With very few exceptions, we pretty much used one bathroom out of 3!
I've never understood why anyone needs more than one head unless there is paid crew or a huge crowd on the boat. Yes, it's convenient sometimes to not have to wait 5 minutes for your turn, but the loss of cabin space and the increase in systems and complexity does not make it worthwhile from my point of view. But to each their own.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:27   #9
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I've never understood why anyone needs more than one head unless there is paid crew or a huge crowd on the boat. Yes, it's convenient sometimes to not have to wait 5 minutes for your turn, but the loss of cabin space and the increase in systems and complexity does not make it worthwhile from my point of view. But to each their own.
Obviously have no sense of smell or a good gas mask...
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:42   #10
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Re: Boat size question??

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My budget for cruising after purchase and refit/upgrades would be about $2,500 US per month and I would have some extra $$$ in the bank for emergencies
Your budget will go a lot further on the smaller boat.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:43   #11
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Re: Boat size question??

I have to agree with Boatie and Suijin.
Our boat now is a 46' monohull, with 3 cabins. You'd probably find that in a lot of ex-charter boats. The trick is finding it with adequate stowage.

In the unlikely event you're not aware of it, the 43 footer would save you money all throughout, on parts, berthage, insurance, replacement sails, possibly, even fuel.

I do believe the 43 may be more sturdily built than the 50, but not certain of that. Look carefully at the quality of the fittings, rig, etc.

Perhaps your womenfolk might consider the smaller vessel more seriously if you figured out a way to hire a vessel that size, and they could experience it. Most mature women do "get" the dollars and sense aspect of things. ;-)

However, if your wife is a petite lady, she may find the electric winches on the 50 a real plus. On the other hand, that's a pretty complicated boat with roller furler everything. Who's going to maintain it all? Yet, the kids will be getting bigger.... Honestly, 43 should work for 4, and be crowded with guests, but liveable for known periods, IMO.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:57   #12
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Re: Boat size question??

Thanks for the input. I don't think there is any better advice than from those actually cruising with family.

The lay-out on both boats are the same--- 3 cabin 2 head--- the 50 is just bigger

I'm guessing that 90% of the time is on the hook 10% sailing, so is the extra 7' in length and 2' of beam worth it.


Mike
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:03   #13
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Re: Boat size question??

Also, I'm looking at the galleys, my wife is a Chef and there is a lot more cooking area on the 50, but I;m sure she could figure something out, she always does
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Old 17-07-2013, 19:11   #14
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One problem when you look at a 50 foot boat then a 45 foot boat wow does the 45 feel small. But honestly in my opinion you are on the hook more than you are sailing so I would go for comfort. The things people forget to look at is ventilation opening ports hatches, fans etc
There's more to it than electric winches and roller furler once you get underway. I built the perfect boat after 30 years of sailing and guess what, it is not so perfect any more. My sailing style changed. So think about what you need
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Old 17-07-2013, 19:27   #15
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Re: Boat size question??

a 50 footer is a big boat to handle. My wife and I are experienced sailors, at the age of 50+ there were times I felt I couldnt handle the 47 footer. (both hands on the winch handle, foot on the coaming, could not move the winch! 2 spd winch) No matter what you look at, the bigger boat will feel better. But you dont need it if the smaller has the accomodations you require.
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