Join Date: Apr 2008
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Re: Sailing "big boats"
I like big boats.
We moved to the larger boat for passage making because it's much more self sufficient for remote areas and more importantly we can accommodate crew. A group of People aboard make the passages much more interesting (providing you are sociable). In heavy weather it's far less tiring if you get a decent sleep between watches. A bigger boat is also more comfortable in a seaway.
Also when coastal cruising at your destination you always have some who happy to stay onboard when everyone else wants to go ashore. People especially women also appreciate decent showers and private heads in places comfortably usable at sea. So you keep good crew if you want them.
My 65 footer ( Approx 40 ton ) has a simple ketch rig with no furlers, storm sails are the working sails reefed and everything self tacking except the main. Everything is dropped and hoisted and stores on booms or in bags along the rails.
I had a 57 footer for a while but it was cutter rigged and too hard to handle despite electric furlers and winches. The ketch I have now is very easy to sail in all weathers and has no furlers and simple winches. I've had shredded sails and a large boat knocked down trying to furl them in a sudden front hitting us unexpectedly.
I find it's easier, quicker and safer to run and release the halyard and drag the sail down and lash it to the rail.
Sometimes We don't even touch the sails for days and the autopilot steers, everyone cooks, eats talks, learns each others languages and plays games music and even paints pictures. Then the passages are actually really fun and memorable. And when you make port the crew can stay aboard.
We have 6 good sea berths another 6 in fairer weather or cruising rather than passage making ( a queen sized double and 4 bunks up fwd) all in 4 separate sleeping cabins. In fair weather during the day people are usually on the aft deck and the deck space is another plus for big boats !
I also have a 45 footer performance cruiser I sail single handed. It's fun but it has a pokey head a shower in the cockpit and I get seasick on it in heavy weather. I don't get a twinge of mal-de-mare on the bigger boat even in real survival weather.