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Old 10-09-1998
John Kretschmer John Kretschmer is offline
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The Pros and Cons of Smaller and Lighter

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The Pros and Cons of Smaller and Lighter

1. Pro: Better sailing
Changing to a smaller lighter boat almost always results in better sailing. The truth is: Light air is more common than heavy air and most sailors tend to avoid heavy-air days.

2. Con: High-motion boat
A lighter boat tends to be more active in the water and the motion is not as friendly. A disadvantage of downsizing is that the rapid motion of light boat is tougher on the stomach.

3.Pro: Lower loads, less muscle required
Smaller and lighter boats don't generate the same loads as heavier boats, meaning that they don't require the same strength and you don't have to muscle things as much.

4. Con: Low payload capability
Lighter boats can't carry payload as their heavy cousins can. Even if you cruise only occasionally, you will still need to load up the boat with provisions and gear, which can effectively spoil the boat's performance.

5.Pro: Crew not required
Small boats don't require crew. Rounding up people to go sailing is a never-ending problem. Also, smaller lighter boats make singlehanding more of an option. There are few things as rewarding as spending an afternoon sailing by yourself.

6.Con: Narrow structural tolerance
Smaller and lighter boats need to be well engineered and constructed to maintain the same structural quality of heavy boats.

7.Pro: Advantages of high-tech
Smaller and lighter boats benefit more from recent technological advances, ranging in improvements in sail shape and cloth to composite-construction techniques.

8.Con: World cruise demands for comfort and seaworthiness
If you do actually sail around the world, chances are you would probably enjoy it more on a heavier boat. Speed is relatively unimportant on a world cruise, whereas comfort and seaworthiness are prime design factors to consider.