So Jon -In your view what's the upper cut off for the typical mom and pop cruiser? 40'? 45'? 50?. Or is it by displacement ? Or sail area?
I can't answer for Jon, but I think its fair to say that you know the answer to that question is really not a simple one. By mom and pop, are you referring to two extremely experienced round the world live aboards, or are you talking about a couple that days sails and goes out for an occasional weekend sail with maybe a few weeks once a year out to the Bahamas?
Ours is a slightly different situation as we have two teenage boys as crew, they have been sailing since before they were teenagers and well they can handle most anything on our boat. Our boat is big, yes, but she has the equipment to make her as safe as possible for our family. We enjoy sailing her very much and I feel comfortable that we can handle most any reasonable situation that might arise. Yes the sails are big, the split rig helps, but the sails are a handful on the deck anyone who says otherwise I would seriously question. Our head sails are on Harken roller furlers and they have not given us a single problem in many thousand miles of sailing her. As I mentioned before our main and mizzen are on Leisure furl boom furlers. The boat can be sailed from the cockpit without need to go forward. We have many sail configurations to choose from and we have the right equipment on board to handle the increased forces and weights... sometimes we may be slower as a result which as has been said above can be dangerous without forethought. Early on sailing her we had our spreaders nearly in the drink when we couldn't get sail in fast enough on the head sails when caught in a blow off New Zealand. This was lack of experience purely. We've never had this problem since... we get our sail in early every time now.
The purists won't like this one but... I don't have an issue with the lack of sail in the picture above. We have not a single issue with dropping sail and heading dead into the wind on motor alone. If one can afford to maintain a 65 foot boat the price of fuel isn't going to kill them. Bottom line is there are a huge number of cruising couples on POWER boats out enjoying the same sights we are with single engine trawlers... My gosh I wonder if they completely avoid lee shores just in case their engine dies. Our boat motors wonderfully and in places like Malaysia I thank God she does, because the wind there is unreliable at best.
Some things I'd hate to give up... Dive compressor w/cascade, 10 dive bottles. Shop compete with welder, a lathe would be nice, but it would occupy a little more space than I'd like. Washing machine (we have kids enough said) Generator and large refrigeration and we love to run the air conditioning from time to time, we have five of them. Our dingy is our family ski boat compete with all the toys she is on a hydraulic lift. Love the hydraulic lift- it makes the best dive platform and we do a lot of diving. I like to cook and I love all the galley storage. I don't have to store food all over the boat because a great deal of it fits in the galley. I like the Ca King in the master, but in a seaway the cloth must be fitted to sleep in it or i'd roll a long ways hahah. Oh and spares we carry a lot of spares. The lazarette is the garage and is around 100 sq ft. complete with shelves for massive storage. (The dive compressor and cascade take up space here in our case) For the girls their privacy is nice they have their own staterooms and can shut the doors. Just makes a good home.