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Old 09-30-2007
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What is the magic boat length size to be enough

I think I would like a 40' sailboat with a room fwd and one aft and two heads. I suppose I could get along without a second room aft and a second head but I like room to grow. I just realized in my thinking of size that if I hold out my hands that distance (about 3 feet) would be all I would be missing to instead get a 37' boat.

Do you miss 3 feet of length that much on a sailboat? What length boat is enough for you? I hope nobody replies saying a 15' dingy is all they need to live on
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Old 09-30-2007
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SanderO is an unknown quantity at this point
I suppose that depends on the way the designer uses the interior volume. Not all same length hulls have the same interior volume.

I've seen 42 foot interiors which are no bigger than 35's. And this all depends if you live aboard or weekend. I would like a stand up aft cabin for no other reason that in our aft cabin double one person has to move for the other to get out of the bed. And perhaps a second head because of the privacy IF the V is occupied. We don't usually have anyone sleeping forward to walking 12 feet to a head is certainly not an issue.

I think around 40 with the increase in beam and volume would be optimal for a couple living aboard... and still keep the forces controllable.

jef
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Old 09-30-2007
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I never lived on a 15 but I have lived on a 22 and for many years lived on a 26. I now live on a 34 (largest boat I ever had was 42 but I lived on my 26 at the time and raced the 42) and don’t think I will get much larger then that. When you think about the 3 foot reach it’s not just that the boat is 3 feet shorter but instead the boat is shorter, narrower and much lighter. When you change the length of a boat you are changing something in three dimensions and the effect is much greater the just the change in length. Add 3 feet and add sail area, docking expense, strain on sheets and other rigging, larger anchor etc. Three feet is a large change when you are talking about 30 to 40 foot boats.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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majic size

I have a 40' for several years and lived on board during the winters. it was the perfect size to live on. However, something in the range of 35 is easier and that much cheaper to sail and maintain. most all my friends had 40-42'. the smallest liveaboard was a single guy- 30'.
handling is not an issue now-a-days, draft, space, electricity are..
pm
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Old 09-30-2007
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When I asked that question a good few years ago, 40 ft seemed the most common answer, until I asked about single handed cruising, then the answer came down to 35 ft. I got 38 ft. In practice, I think I could happily handle 40 ft or more alone. There are so many more ways of making life easy than before. The extra few feet are in the fattest part of the boat, so it's a lot of volume difference. However, how the interior of the boat is designed makes a huge difference. The newer boats pack standard stuff like tanks and engines much better than the older designs. On the other hand, as a cruiser, the newer boats have far too little storage space, preferring large open saloons and spacious looking berths - in my view.
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Old 09-30-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kldzx9r View Post
I think I would like a 40' sailboat with a room fwd and one aft and two heads. I suppose I could get along without a second room aft and a second head but I like room to grow. I just realized in my thinking of size that if I hold out my hands that distance (about 3 feet) would be all I would be missing to instead get a 37' boat.

Do you miss 3 feet of length that much on a sailboat? What length boat is enough for you? I hope nobody replies saying a 15' dingy is all they need to live on
The answer to that question today depends a great deal on the age of the boat. There are older 40 footers out there with less "space" than a modern 30 footer. But as a liveaboard it's the storage than comes into play, and as Idiens points out the new "spacious" boats generally are seriously lacking in that area. They've spread the accomodations out so far there's no room for lockers outboard or elsewhere, and all the under bunk space is for tankage.

Also some of the new boats are so spacious that proceeding the length of the cabin at 30 degrees heel risks a 8 - 10 foot tumble if you lose your grip on one of the few handholds along the way. (but perhaps that's not an issue with an at-the-dock liveaboard)

PBeezer seems to be quite comfortable living and cruising on a 32 footer - but often that comes down to individual personalities and their ideas of necessities and requirements. Find the compromise of space vs storage vs managability that works for you.
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Old 09-30-2007
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There are a lot of threads discussing this and it seems that they all come to about the same conclusions- 35-40' is about right for a liveaboard couple. It seems to me that it is also a matter of personal preference, some are perfectly happy and comfortable with a 35' and others need the space of a 44', or larger. There is no one single factor that determines this but rather a complex personal formula that involves the type of sailing anticipated, costs (purchase, maintenance, etc.), storage capacity, physical size and strength of the owners, and on and on.... I have concluded that taking all the factors into consideration that 38' is the minimum that I will be comfortable in and 41' is about as large as I would want to buy. This is based on decades of owning boats of different sizes, and I am only planning to live aboard from 3 to 5 months of the year. I just met a couple that had a 42' for many years and concluded that now that they are full time liveaboards that 35' is perfect, so they had a custom all aluminum cutter built and they couldn't be happier. As with most things there is no "formula" that works for everyone.
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