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Old 10-09-2021, 18:48   #1
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Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

If you were to cross an ocean alone, would you take a 26 ft Contessa or a 40 ft Jeanneau? Every very experienced person I ever heard of says take a small boat if crossing solo. If there is an emergency, one person will have a lot of problems with the larger boat. Especially with the two masts on the big Jeanneau. Would crossing with the Jeanneau 40 be considered stupid due to the potential dangers due to it being hard to control if a problem came up?

Take a look at that deep draft and very adequate rudder on the Contessa 26.



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Old 10-09-2021, 20:44   #2
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

That's a Jeanneau? Looks more like an Amel.....

zamber, please let us know your skill level for answering this question.

In very simple terms, downsides to tiny boats includes answering the storage of foods, parts and of course water question. Also, the motion can be rather lively. Upside is everything is smaller and easier to handle.

With a split rig like on the boat in the pic, the sails are smaller than on a sloop or cutter. So those will not be hard to deal with.

Either boat could do the job for you. Choose the one in better condition. If you are not a loner, the bigger boat would probably appeal more to a potential partner.

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Old 11-09-2021, 06:40   #3
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
With a split rig like on the boat in the pic, the sails are smaller than on a sloop or cutter.
Below are upwind sail sizes with where I got the specifications. If correct, the sail total is more for the Jeaneau Gin Fizz. 834-304=530, implying the largest mast has more sail size than all the sails on the Contessa 26. I used the upwind sail area because I could not find the actual sail size for both.

My concern from the original post is if there is an emergency. We know the Contessa 26 has enough storage because people cross oceans with it all the time.

Contessa 26
Upwind sail area 304 ft2
https://www.precisionsailloft.com/sa...a/contessa-26/

Jeanneau 40 (38’ 5”) Gin Fizz
Upwind sail area 834 ft²
https://www.boat-specs.com/sailing/s...nneau/gin-fizz
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Old 11-09-2021, 18:06   #4
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Contessas may have enough stowage if you like eating oatmeal every breakfast for 40 days.
On the Jeanneau you might be able to have pancakes and waffles with real maple syrup, or sausage and eggs, and it might only take you three weeks. People pick what they like and can afford.
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Old 11-09-2021, 18:26   #5
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

I have never crossed an ocean in a 26 foot boat, but I have in a 30 footer... and a 36 footer... and a 46 footer. All were successful voyages, but the degree of discomfort was most definitely inversely proportional to the OAL.

People have crossed oceans in the most improbable of vessels and lived to tell the tae. We have personal friends who have done so in 24, 25, and 27 foot boats (and the latter circumnavigated in her). In all those cases, those folks went on to travel further in larger, even much larger, yachts. They did not choose to carry on in the smaller craft.

There might be a lesson there...

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Old 11-09-2021, 18:46   #6
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

What ocean? What season? How are the boats equipped? I would lean toward the 40'
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Old 11-09-2021, 19:47   #7
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

The Contessa 26 is reputably a true blue-water cruising yacht. If I recall, that is the yacht of Tania Abei’s solo circumnavigation. “Maiden Voyage”; have a read of the book. Also, the yacht of the author of Channel Islands Cruising fame, Brian Fagan. So it’s a proven yacht for serious sailing. Its big sister, the Contessa 33, is reputed the most seaworthy blue-water sailboat ever built in that size class. The Jenneau 40 has no such fame of which I’m aware.
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Old 11-09-2021, 19:59   #8
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Not much of a choice ! I will stick with what I have I like a bit of comfort !
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Old 11-09-2021, 20:17   #9
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zamber View Post
Below are upwind sail sizes with where I got the specifications. If correct, the sail total is more for the Jeaneau Gin Fizz. 834-304=530, implying the largest mast has more sail size than all the sails on the Contessa 26. I used the upwind sail area because I could not find the actual sail size for both.

My concern from the original post is if there is an emergency. We know the Contessa 26 has enough storage because people cross oceans with it all the time.

Contessa 26
Upwind sail area 304 ft2
https://www.precisionsailloft.com/sa...a/contessa-26/

Jeanneau 40 (38’ 5”) Gin Fizz
Upwind sail area 834 ft²
https://www.boat-specs.com/sailing/s...nneau/gin-fizz
If you're wanting to compare sail size, divide the Jeanneau's by 3, for the working jib, mainsail, and mizzen sail. It may help, also, to bear in mind that each boat shall have the designed sail area that is to move their displacement in a multitude of situations.

The Contessas have a very good reputation, but I have no personal knowledge of them. Did meet a chap who bought one in the Marquesas, and sailed it to Oz. Nice looking boat.

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Old 11-09-2021, 20:55   #10
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Where do these choices come from? A Contessa 26 vs. a Jeanneau 40? How about neither one? Maybe keep sailing and keep looking for now?
My little boat is more like the Contessa, and she's great, for what I need her for. Neither of those would be my choice, but if they were the last two boats on Earth, I'd go with the 40 footer.
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Old 11-09-2021, 21:34   #11
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Have you every stood beside a Contessa 26? They are super tiny and you can't even stand up inside.

I wanted one at one time but that's because I was seeing them at a distance and they are nice to look at but to live on is a different thing.

You might try crossing a large bay on one before tackling an ocean. Not being about to stand below is going to get old real fast.

Also the boom is about chest high or so.

I know several have circumnavigated, but if you want to go small at least get a 26-27'er you can stand in

On top of that the side decks are very narrow which to me is a problem when going forward to deal with the sails.

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Old 11-09-2021, 23:07   #12
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

This guy sailed a Contessa 26 across the Atlantic Ocean a few years back. Listen to how "happy" he is after 2-3 days.

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Old 12-09-2021, 00:36   #13
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

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On top of that the side decks are very narrow which to me is a problem when going forward to deal with the sails.
This is possibly part of the reason why converting Contessa 26's to Junk Rig is becoming so popular.. no need to go forward for sail handling!
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Old 12-09-2021, 02:18   #14
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Where do these choices come from? A Contessa 26 vs. a Jeanneau 40? How about neither one? Maybe keep sailing and keep looking for now?
My little boat is more like the Contessa, and she's great, for what I need her for. Neither of those would be my choice, but if they were the last two boats on Earth, I'd go with the 40 footer.
Yeah, I'm with Don (and Thomm). Neither.

The Contessa has no standing headroom, which gets old really, really quickly - especially when you're trying to cook.

The Jeanneau is just too big for a singlehander. Plus, the whole back side of things: costs, costs, costs of "bigger-everything".

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Old 12-09-2021, 02:22   #15
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Re: Solo Ocean Crossing: 40 ft or 26 ft?

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
Where do these choices come from? A Contessa 26 vs. a Jeanneau 40?
Apparently: Yachts for sale at Yachtsnet - UK sailing yacht brokerage and boat sales

How 'bout their Westerly Storm 33, Zamber? That would make a great ocean-going boat.

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