Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Liberty Landing
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size
Anyway, I'm not sure I would be comfortable handling a 55' sloop by myself relying on electric winches etc. But generally bigger has to be better for ocean sailing to a point. I find my fathers 32' sloop a handful when things go awry, compared to the 25 and 26 footers I usually sail on. The genny is work to tack. The masthead kite especially can load up, and the spin/whisker pole is quite heavy. There are ways to improve this boat for short handing, but dealing with a bigger genoa than this would be more than I would want to do. It's an argument for frac rigs, or cutter or ketch rigs, for sure...
That said, the difference in motion that a few feet of loa can provide is remarkable...
And bigger boats tend to have dodgers etc, and due to higher freeboard are generally drier to boot.
A mini 650 meets all the ISAF cat 2 safety requirements, and so long as the keel stays on it would be hard to find a safer ocean boat. A well built self-righting monohull that won't down flood in a broach, has up to date rigging etc, and the proper sail selection will be seaworthy almost regardless of size with a good skipper at the helm. Floating cork principal, gives me supreme confidence that no matter how bad I mess up out in open water, the most likely worst case scenario is I float on my side until I can release the sheet or halyard causing the problems. Racing teaches u that lesson well.
That said, being in a seaworthy floating cork isn't very comfortable and it takes a special kind of person to single hand a mini 650 transat :-)