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Old 04-03-2021, 12:24   #1
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New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Hello, I'm a new member to this forum and look forward to learning (a lot) and where possible offer some input to others. I should mention up front I have zero experience sailing and have been a life time powerboater. Grew up on Long Island, NY before settling in southern California after college. I have owned many different styles of boats including recently three (3) Nordhavn and one (1) Helmsman trawler which I assisted the builder in redesigning. I have been active on the Trawler Forum, written articles for major magazines and published a small book related to Living Aboard. I also enjoy assisting others with anything related to boating. Fast forward 35+ years and my wife is done with spending time on the water so I figure its time to try something different as I near retirement. Why not sailing?

With no experience I recognize my journey starts here and I will likely ask many dumb questions so don't laugh (too hard). One of the great things about discovering something new is your mind can travel with no real boundaries. This allows me to desire a Northeastern build wooden classic with beautiful lines while recognizing I likely need more of a pilothouse design for comfort. Below is my initial requirements list as far as I know today using what I call the 90% rule (who will be aboard and how will I use the boat 90% of the time).

1. Need to be able to single handle the boat (should I insist on electronic winches to help with the lines)
2. Start out on San Diego Bay then once comfortable start coastal cruises with 60 - 90 miles between ports.
3. Desire a heavy high quality design
4. Assume a good portion of time motoring (up to 50%)
5. Size between 30' - 40' with protection from the weather (yes, still spoiled with the trawlers)
6. Enjoy the new boat build process so would like to start with a new build and customize
7. I think I want the minimum number of sails to manage??

This should get us started and shows how much I don't know.

Thanks everyone.

John T
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Old 04-03-2021, 12:45   #2
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

1. & 5. : For a sailboat between 30' and 40', electric winches aren't necessary. Saves some complexity. If you're getting old, you might look into some electric winch handle like this: https://www.ewincher.com/en/



7: About the rigg, it doesn't matter much, choose what you like best for whatever reason. Everything common can be handle alone. If you want a ketch with a cutter rigg, you end up with 4 smaller sails, the classic bermuda rigg just has 2 sail. All of them can be used single handed.



1: The ability to to single-hand a boat is more about cockpit layout than anything else as long as you don't overdo the size of the boat (stay below 45' to be safe). Having some sails on furlers makes single handing easier, but it's quite possible without.



3 & 4: Heavy isn't always good. Speed is also safety. Also heavy means more motoring in light winds, whereas a lighter designs can sail in similar conditions. My boat really doesn't like to move with less than 8 kn of wind, which is often a pity.



In the end, it doesn't matter how you decide, as long as the result gives you the fuzzy warm feelings.
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Old 04-03-2021, 13:12   #3
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and your boat make & model or “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

If you need further help let me know, I would be happy to.
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Old 04-03-2021, 13:15   #4
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Hi John, welcome aboard! First, have you done any sailing at all on anyone else's boat? I ask because I know you are used to powerboats, but I think once you feel the fun of sailing your preferences in boat choices may change. You may want a heavier but also higher performing boat. Do you have a budget?
Personally I'd say start with some sailing time on others' boats or in classes so you can see if it appeals to you. There certainly are boats that are motor-sailers and they try to straddle the divide and appeal to both sides, and many of those have pilot houses which I think is what you are looking for in terms of protection from the weather. There are boats built by a company called Fisher that are motorsailers that might be what you are thinking of like this one:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/fisher-34-ms

If you really catch the sailing bug though you may end up craving something a bit higher performance though.
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Old 04-03-2021, 13:21   #5
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

If you are in San Diego now I can start taking you sailing once I get a jab.

30-37’ is a good size for a couple. For boats this size electric winches would only be desirable if you were kind of frail to begin with, but then why would you be moving to sail then.

For cruising cutters are often seen as the best rig for short handed crews.

If you really want a new build and money is no object then Contessa 32. There are several other possibilities.
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Old 04-03-2021, 14:04   #6
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

G'day, John,

Welcome aboard CF.

Try using the Google Custom Search (under the Search button), putting in "transitioning from power to sail boats". I got too many hits to post all the links here (getting lazy in my old age), but I think you will find much of the discussion to be helpful.

With regard to the question of electric winches, they are quite expensive bits of kit, and most sailboats have a minimum of 6 winches (2 halyard winches on the mast plus primaries and secondaries in the cockpit), to say nothing of the anchor windlass, with which you are already familiar. Someone mentioned the "wincher", and if you use that Custom Google search again, you will find CF threads about the problems with them. What Jim and I use is a 28 v. Milwaukee right angle 1/2" drive drill motor, with a "winchbit" drill bit. It IS heavy for me (5'2"), but not too hard to manage, just have to hold it balanced, sort of like how I held newborns. It is very fast, faster by far than I could sheet in the genoa without it. It is also good for hoisting Jim up the mast to do work aloft. No other connection than as a customer. When the batteries were new, it was good for either all day or two trips aloft, and having two batteries for it, plugging the finished one into the charger to the inverter, we've not yet run out of electricity for it to do it's job. Eight years old, now.

After such boats as you have already owned, you may find a 30-35-40 ft. sailboat pretty cramped. Make sure the berths are big enough for you to be comfortable, when sleeping, and the headroom is adequate. We have a lady singlehander friend, her boat is a custom built aluminum cutter, and she has numerous circumnavigations in it. It is 40 ft. overall, built in Holland, where many of the nicer metal sailboats hail from. For sailboats, if you lower the overall displacement, you can get by with less person power on winches. This boat [see avatar picture and info] displaces about what our 36 footer did, and the people power required to run her is about the same.

If you will share more of how you think you would like to use the boat beyond 60 -90 n. mi. from San Diego Bay, it will help the rest of us make recommendations. There is an old, slow, heavy, full keel boat faction here, and a fin keel one, too. In both types you can find safe, good boats, but if you've been a Nordhavn boy, I suspect, for yourself, you're looking at a circumnavigation capable boat, but I don't know if you are drawn to the high latitudes, which take very different recommendations.

Another issue I'd like to hear more about is this business about motoring half the time. Sailboats are usually happier sailing than motoring into adverse current and wind. Part of the fun of sailing for some of us is feeling in harmony with the elements, and developing the skills to move the boat to windward efficiently. You will cut yourself off from that source of pleasure if you motor half the time.

Given your point #6, you might investigate both Kloopman's and Bestevaer in the Netherlands, to discuss in depth how you would want to use the boat. There's a thread here called "Bestevaer 49" about the building of members "noelex77 " and "Seaworthy Lass" cutter, and it discusses their design considerations, and details the construction of a very special sailboat. Again, use the Custom Google Search, CF's regular search is case sensitive, and requires an exact match: the Google one does better on almost everything.

As to minimum number of sails, well, I think a cutter would serve very well. Our own boat has both swept back spreaders and is a Solent rig forward, 7/8 rig. Imho, inline spreaders and a traditional cutter rig would be easier to singlehand. If you're at the highest quality end of the market, you will have no trouble selling it on if you tire of it and want a change.

Ann
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Old 04-03-2021, 14:42   #7
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Thanks to everyone who has already responded to my post. My head is already spinning with all the options (not as simple as a trawler) and the strange (to me) language. I will be on Google tonight looking up many of the terms used.
Fun stuff.....

A few answers to help you all help me include;

1. Budget staying under $500K for this boat (prefer new build)

2. Longest trip after learning how to sail and building confidence would be to Cabo (900 miles) with others. Possibly the Baja Ha Ha run.

3. Understand the point about heavy = slower. Something for me to think about. As with any boat its all about trade offs. I understand the Island Packet line of boats are "love them or hate them" is this due to their keel design and heavy displacement?

4. I will update my profile next

Thanks again.....
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Old 04-03-2021, 15:39   #8
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

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3. Understand the point about heavy = slower. Something for me to think about. As with any boat its all about trade offs. I understand the Island Packet line of boats are "love them or hate them" is this due to their keel design and heavy displacement?

....
With apologies to IP owners, 'cause I know you love your boats....

Well, it is a combination of factors, and i'm less knowledgeable than some here, so I may miss some of them, but you have total displacement to sail area, you have hull shape and type, and then you have more esoteric things like what are your sheeting angle possibilities and the capabilities of your winches.

The IP's are known to mostly be strong for grp (fiberglass = glass reinforced plastic) construction. People with more performance oriented sailboats think of them as having less good performance, and acknowledge that they have their enthusiasts. We see them motoring in conditions we sail in. We set a high value on sailing capability, but many cruising sailors don't.

Until you get some time in on sailing boats, you may not know where you'll fit on that continuum. Mostly cruisers from a racing background (even if low level) tend to care more about "how does she move in light airs?" and take pride in making the boat goo where one wants at low speeds, than people who come to sailing later in life and have never raced. You have to have a particular type of point of view to enjoy getting the boat to go where you want when there's only the slightest cats paws on the water, and some people don't have the patience for it--sometimes, I do, and sometimes I don't. Less, now that I am over 70 yrs old, actually. I don't "hate" IPs, but I would prefer a quicker, more fun to sail boat.

On another note, at your budget, you will probably not be getting involved in the design of the boat, but there are books you can find about yacht design that may help you choose what you think you want.

Ann
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Old 05-03-2021, 09:40   #9
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

I think there are only 2 kinds of sail boats. One you swear at, the other you swear by. Best to find the latter. If you single hand, you want a foxhole buddy, the kind when you open your eyes and he just winks and says "I got you," except in a boat.
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Old 05-03-2021, 10:54   #10
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Here's my 2 pennies worth.

Have you owned a wooden boat before? These days you need to plan on being able to at least direct any repairs and wooden shipwrights are now a rare breed. Also on wood there are some excellent medium or heavyweight classics but some lighter weight racing designs can be quite short lived and difficult to repair, especially if under 35'. Not many yards left that still build classic wooden boats mainly because the labour cost are so high. May be worth looking abroad to somewhere like Morocco, India or the Baltic states.
A cutter, ketch or sloop is easier to sail solo than a single mast 2 sail rig. Much easier to drop and lash a sail than reef it. They also tend to maintain better balance under shortened sail which means the auto pilot works better and draws less power.
Second what others have sail about power winches, unnecessary on anything under 50'. That sai pay attention to the design when it comes to lines, the friction losses can mean that sail that would be hoist-able by hand once routed to the cockpit needs a substantial winch. While this is not a problem for a crewed boat when solo it can make maneuvers a lot slower. The two situations you want to think about are reefing for a squall and short tacking up a river. How many things will you need to do and how long will it take.

A point others have made that I would challenge. It is often said that heavier boats are not good in light airs. I have disproved this numerous times by sailing past much lighter boats. What counts is sail area to displacement. The classic design with bowsprit and at least a full length boom or a ketch with a boom well past the stern where there for a good reason. The power available from the wind is proportional to the square of the wind speed so to have a boat that sails well in 15kn sail equally well in 10kn you need to double the sail area. You simply cant get enough power from a modern race based and skinny 2 sail rig. Putting it is car terms its like trying to tow a big camper behind a sports car. Long luffs and narrow sails generate lots of power like lightweight sports car engines. To drive a heavier boat you want lots of area without an over-tall rig, equivalent to a high torque truck engine. What you also get with a heavier boat is momentum. I a light and fickle wind a lightweight boat is constantly slowing or stopping in the lulls or if there is a chop and needs lots of attention to sail efficiently. A heavier boat will have the momentum to keep moving.
Last point. The best way to make the transition is to spend some time sailing a small open dinghy. You learn the feel of things in a way you never will in a cruising boat.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:40   #11
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

Have you thought about a 38 foot cat ? You would most likely need to give up the wood boat idea but I bet your wife would like it more. You could buy a decent Lagoon at your budget and have money left to do a interior upgrade. A one week charter might change your mind.
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Old 05-03-2021, 11:55   #12
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

No need for electric winches unless a medical necessity or on a boat so big you need one which would probably not be the case because you are talking single hand sailing.
If you are buying new they will come with them but in case you don’t, self tailing winches are what you are after for the main sheets. Not necessarily for halyards IMO.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:08   #13
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

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Originally Posted by N4061 View Post
I have been active on the Trawler Forum, written articles for major magazines and published a small book related to Living Aboard..........Fast forward 35+ years and my wife is done with spending time on the water so I figure its time to try something different as I near retirement. Why not sailing?
Perfect, then why not buy something completely different you probably wouldn't even think about. Forget those long keeled slow slugs, you need something fast and thrilling to sail which means its going to be French. Sailing in France isn't a hobby, its a religion They don't do slow boats.

Pete


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Old 05-03-2021, 12:20   #14
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Hi John, welcome aboard! First, have you done any sailing at all on anyone else's boat? I ask because I know you are used to powerboats, but I think once you feel the fun of sailing your preferences in boat choices may change. You may want a heavier but also higher performing boat. Do you have a budget?
Personally I'd say start with some sailing time on others' boats or in classes so you can see if it appeals to you. There certainly are boats that are motor-sailers and they try to straddle the divide and appeal to both sides, and many of those have pilot houses which I think is what you are looking for in terms of protection from the weather. There are boats built by a company called Fisher that are motorsailers that might be what you are thinking of like this one:

https://sailboatdata.com/sailboat/fisher-34-ms

If you really catch the sailing bug though you may end up craving something a bit higher performance though.
This was also the boat that came to mind when I read your original post, but Don beat me to it. It checks a few of your boxes (heavy, protection from the elements, plenty of power.)

Since you've got a pretty decent budget, take a look at these, as well. They are sailboats with deck salons, not motorsailers (there was a torturous thread about the difference recently), and they are customizable both in layout and keel type. So you can really tailor the boat to your needs and expectations. Great reputation for quality workmanship, lots of stowage and tankage, lots of features that make it easy to sail shorthanded.


https://www.sirius-werft.de/wpsirius/en/yachten/35ds/

Because they are a small company, it will take you time to buy, which will give you time to sail with people, or do what I did and join a club to sail cruisers. (But don't do what I did and decide you cruising on other people's boats more than owning.)
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Old 05-03-2021, 13:08   #15
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Re: New Member - Going the opposite direction?

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Here's my 2 pennies worth.



A point others have made that I would challenge. It is often said that heavier boats are not good in light airs. I have disproved this numerous times by sailing past much lighter boats. What counts is sail area to displacement. The classic design with bowsprit and at least a full length boom or a ketch with a boom well past the stern where there for a good reason. The power available from the wind is proportional to the square of the wind speed so to have a boat that sails well in 15kn sail equally well in 10kn you need to double the sail area. You simply cant get enough power from a modern race based and skinny 2 sail rig. Putting it is car terms its like trying to tow a big camper behind a sports car. Long luffs and narrow sails generate lots of power like lightweight sports car engines. To drive a heavier boat you want lots of area without an over-tall rig, equivalent to a high torque truck engine. What you also get with a heavier boat is momentum. I a light and fickle wind a lightweight boat is constantly slowing or stopping in the lulls or if there is a chop and needs lots of attention to sail efficiently. A heavier boat will have the momentum to keep moving.
Last point. The best way to make the transition is to spend some time sailing a small open dinghy. You learn the feel of things in a way you never will in a cruising boat.
I have to very much agree with the above. A few days ago I was at sea east of Brisbane doing a delivery at night aboard a heavy displacement cutter, cold molded wood and launched 2003, with a very large sail area in barely any wind and a beam swell that would have stopped a light disp boat with normal sail area. I was simply stunned. You hear about this but when you experience it you become a believer. A heavy displacement boat also has a nicer movement at sea. And I'm a light displacement type of person...... or was. Now I'm confused. I agree about having a cold molded wood boat too. If you hunt around you can find them. NZ still loves them.
This boat was in the NE recently for sale in your price range and was quite new and beautiful condition. Was well over $1,000,000 when built.
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