Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size
When I started sailing, there was a rule of thumb that suggested that 2 1/2 to 5 long tons (5,500 lbs to 11,000 lbs) of displacement per person was ideal for a cruising boat. Obviously, a lot has changed in the 50 plus years since I started sailing such as better winches and lower friction hardware, better sail handling gear in general, lower drag hulls, higher relative stability hulls, and more efficient rigs. Offsetting the changes which make sailing easier, are changes which push the opposite direction. People expect a boat to be something 'closer to home' and so have a lot more stuff on board, and that requires more power and that adds weight, and that adds fuel and that adds weight, and that makes a longer boat. It used to be that the type of people who went to sea were pretty fit and rugged, but now people of all physical condition are going to sea, so as boats are getting bigger, perhaps physical strength and endurance is declining some. And all of these things tilt the symplicity, divided by ease of handling, multiplied by length and weight, equation one way or the other.
And of course as boats become further mechanized to deal with the above, they require more stored power, perhaps bigger battery banks, energy collectors, and fuel, and that adds weight and that again pushes towards bigger size and perhaps more complexity to handle that bigger size and weight.
Its a vortex that makes me dizzy just thinking about it.....
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
Last edited by Jeff_H; 10-28-2013 at 12:20 PM.