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Old 21-06-2017, 13:51   #46
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

There's no perfect boat for anyone, but many that are more than adequate for everyone. Have fun in the search.

Whatever you end up with, it seems more important to not make the mistake of spending too much time and money upfront getting everything just so. That's what I did. Some never leave the boatyard.

Everyone's got a different cruising style. And it's really really tough to know until you're out doing it. Even beyond that it's a moving target, and changes with geography.

As long as you don't err too widely in your choice of boats upfront, it's easy to conform the boat to your wants/needs. Just give yourself time to make the dumb mistakes before you're too far afield, and before you've spent all your money.
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Old 21-06-2017, 23:29   #47
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

laika said "Whatever you end up with, it seems more important to not make the mistake of spending too much time and money upfront getting everything just so. That's what I did. Some never leave the boatyard", & he is so right.


I have seen so many reading all the books & magazine articles while sitting on their first boat at the marina. Often they spend a fortune changing a perfectly good boat to fit the opinions they have read, making it less good. Then after the first overnight passage, or a bit of rough stuff, can't get far enough away from a boat.


I bought my 40 footer on Christmas eve & went off for a months 450 mile cruise on boxing day. It had no motor fitted, a camping stove lashed to one side of the mast support, & an icebox to the other. It did have a couple of good bunks & a really nice grog locker, but not much else.


I spent a few months fitting out the things I had learnt I really needed, then went for a 4000 miles cruise from Sydney to the Barrier Reef & back. That taught me what I really needed. It also taught me not to buy too many toys before you leave. Along the way I met many folk with lovely toys, but no money or food. I acquired some great hunting gear, scuba gear, & other toys for a fraction of their value.


I then had a good laugh at myself later. After 40,000 miles when based in Rabaul New Guinea I had been looking at the beaut new reefing gear, travellers & tracks they were on the market. Obviously after 40,000 miles successful cruising I did not need any of this stuff, but couldn't resist. I spent a kings ransom, & 3 weeks fitting all this pretty stuff, before heading off for more extended cruising.


Perhaps the most telling thing is that in the next 13,000 miles I never once used that beaut reefing gear in anger, just in practice.


I believe that about 33Ft load water line is about minimum for real extended cruising. Any less & the boat can not handle the weight necessary for months away from civilisation. What you don't need is the latest & greatest gear.
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Old 21-06-2017, 23:49   #48
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

"There's no perfect boat for anyone, but many that are more than adequate for everyone. Have fun in the search. "
111AAA!
...& it's getting better & better (hasbeen!)
after 3 rtws I can only confirm: all one needs to keep in mid are the two post prior to mine!!!
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Old 22-06-2017, 01:33   #49
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

Mike OReilly says "Boats are bigger today b/c most cruisers are richer. Nuthin’ wrong with that ". There is some truth in that of course.


However I think he is missing one factor, & that is handel ability. My first yacht was a heavy 35 foot, beamy, clipper bowed thing, with a small motor. Her shallow draft, a long straight keel & a conservative rig was typical of the day. She was no ball of fire to windward, & the clipper bow gave the small motor a hard time when motoring into a head sea.


Worse though was she did not have a single winch on her. Hoisting sail, & tacking to windward was heavy hard work in more than nice conditions. It spoiled what was a lovely boat at anchor or as long as the wind was behind the beam.


A more powerful motor, & a suitable number of winches would have made her a much better proposition, but such things were expensive, & not all that radially available 50 years ago.


Today quite powerful motors are smaller & lighter, making them more suitable for yachts, & winches are strong, powerful & much less expensive. With this gear now on most yachts, small crew, & single handers can handle much larger boats, with much bigger gear. The same goes for anchor winches. An electric winch capable of handling the gear needed for a 50 footer was just too big & heavy, even mechanical winches 50 years ago were huge great things. Sailors today are very lucky todays equipment makes cruising larger yachts possible.
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Old 22-06-2017, 01:39   #50
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

Thanks for your help. My problem is that I would not like to deal with buying and selling, always painful. It would be great to start with the right foot.
I know, a diffucult task
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Old 22-06-2017, 02:13   #51
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

Yes, renting and trying is my strategy. Of course the range of boats available on charter is narrower than what we find on the market.
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Old 22-06-2017, 02:55   #52
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by pcav View Post
Thanks for your help. My problem is that I would not like to deal with buying and selling, always painful. It would be great to start with the right foot.
I know, a difficult task
"It would be great to start with the right foot" -- yes. Buying and selling boats is a real nightmare compared to cars, and even to houses. I don't agree with the advice to just buy some kind of "starter boat", then sell it and buy something else. In my opinion, you should try to buy something you believe you will want to use for many years. Another reason for this is that it can takes years and a lot of expense to get a boat into just the right condition and configuration which suits you -- time and money you lose when you sell the boat.

As to the "right size" -- you will know from the comments that there is no answer to this question. You should spend some time on other people's boats to get a feel for what differences in size mean.

If you are sailing coastally and not living aboard for long periods of time, then there is less need for a bigger boat, in any case. If you are sailing longer distances and spending months at a time on board, then many sailors start to like bigger boats, than they thought they liked. My own personal subjective taste -- I like a boat which is big enough that you can walk normally on the side decks in a seaway without crawling, and has usable deck space altogether. In my personal subjective opinion, no boat is too big once you're out of sight of land. In harbors and tight marinas, of course, it's different, but I would still go a little bigger, if I change boats -- maybe about 60'. I prefer boats over 50' even single-handing, maybe especially when single-handing -- they are much more stable, and you can move around on them and work on deck more safely. It's somewhat more expensive to acquire and maintain a bigger boat, but the difference is not exponential. The only really painful difference in cost ,is the cost of sails, which DOES go up exponentially with length.

But that's just my taste -- people cruise happily on boats from 20' Flickas to 100' Swans and probably even outside of that range.
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Old 22-06-2017, 04:52   #53
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

As others have said it depends on you.

My observation (my opinion based on what I've seen):
- 32'-45' is typical. Big enough to have the mod-cons (fridge, freezer, separate head, big bed, etc..) and small enough that your average couple can handle it, all while not getting crazy expensive for a middle class couple.
- Below 30' is mostly cost driven. People picking up 40yr old 25' boats because they are dirt cheap. Often solo sailors. There simply aren't a lot of 25' ocean crossing boats being built today.
- Above 50', usually money is less of a concern and they often resort to extra crew (which they have space for). Many, while capable, are dock queens as the owner needs to work to pay for their baby instead of going out cruising (of course this isn't uncommon with smaller boats but the bigger the boat the more this seems to be the case).

Obviously, there are exceptions to all of this. We've met couples on 25' boats who are simply happy with small and we've met couples on big boats who handle it themselves but they are the exception based on our observations.
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Old 22-06-2017, 22:19   #54
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Re: How much is enough? Good size for a voyage boat

Thanks to all, a very interesting thread. Of course there is not *an* answer to this, but many of you gave interesting and useful advices and data.
Keeping on reasearching.
All the best.
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