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Old 10-18-2007
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displacement for a couples cruising boat

Hi all;

My wife and I are starting to get more serious shopping for a cruising boat. Right now, our needs are coastal cruising, but were are considering a two year cruise in the near future. This would be east coast, and islands for however long things were fun, and money holds out.

So Gretchen likes fast boats. She raced in school. We are looking at all kinds of boats, from full displacement cruisers, to more performance oriented ones.

This post is prompted by one boat that we are interested in, a 32' "performance cruiser". It is well built, and has some of the requisite design features. It is, however, 10,000lbs, with dimensions of 32'x10'9"x5'3'. Fin keel, spade rudder. The design carries the beam pretty far aft. On the light side of medium displacement?

So my quesiton is this. If we load this boat with 2,500 lbs of gear, fuel and water, what is going to happen to the sailing characteristics? I know we will lose performance, that is ok. What is less ok is bad motion, and bad anything that would make the boat less seaworthy. We have zero bluewater experience, and have never sailed on a lighter boat that is loaded up.

Has anyone reading this cruised for a couple of years, two people, on a smaller boat, with lighter displacement? I would love to hear how things went, what comprimises you had to make, and of course, would you do it again?

Chris
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Old 10-18-2007
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Caliber Yachts...

I was impressed with the innovative design features on the new Caliber 47 LRC ...look here

http://www.caliberyacht.com/Models_47_Main_Window.htm


Edit: I don't know what I was thinking when I made this post...it has little to do with the OP questions...oh well, I must have had something else on my mind...like a brick...

Last edited by T37Chef; 10-19-2007 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 10-18-2007
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The answer greatly depends on the particular design in question and your own willingness to live without a lot of 'stuff' but in a general sense the traditional rule of thumb is that you needed 2.5 to 5 long tons (2240 lbs) per person to go cruising. Boats for a couple would have been traditionally a little longer than the boat in question. That puts you at the very bottom of that rule of thumb, which is not to say that it can't be done, but more to say that it takes some serious compromising.

On the other hand a 10,000 lb 32 footer isn't especially light. (Performance 35 to 37 footers in that weight range aren't all that unusual.) And from a different perspective a 10,000 lb race boat will often carry 1,800 lbs of crew weight and another 500-1,200 lbs of food, personal gear and consumables on a distance race without a noticable problem, but they would have a substantially longer waterline than your 32 footer and will have a greater water plane which means fewer submersion inches for a given weight.

Jeff
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Old 10-18-2007
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Here's a very good calculator that can give the amount of pounds required to lower a given boat one inch in the water. It's also good for other useful info.

http://www.image-ination.com/sailcalc.html
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A big factor in that motion question would be related to just where the extra weight is carried. Is it all relatively low, are are you gonna be hanging bookshelves in the thing?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I know little about the best blue water boats, but was impressed with the innovative design features on the new Caliber 47 LRC ...look here

http://www.caliberyacht.com/Models_47_Main_Window.htm


Edit: I don't know what I was thinking when I made this post...it has little to do with the OP questions...oh well, I must have had something else on my mind...like a brick...

Now I remember, the Caliber seems well suited for a cruising couple or small family.
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Old 10-18-2007
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We are fortunate enough to get to sail with friends in the Caribbean each year - they have a Beneteau 36.7 (arguably a "racing design") displacing just under 12,000 lbs.

They spend 6 months/year living aboard in the tropics, enjoy fast, exhilarating passages between the islands and feel that that amount of boat is something the two of them can handle in most conditions.

They are minimalists in many ways - shop almost daily, do not need to keep everything refrigerated, and they KISS principle all that they do. Their lifestyle may not be for everyone. But that boat is adequate for their needs.

Cruising in less comfortable climates would, of course, require some changes and additions to their formula for success. Not ever needing to keep warm makes a huge difference in clothing needs, heaters and other means of shelter like dodgers etc.
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Old 10-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
The answer greatly depends on the particular design in question and your own willingness to live without a lot of 'stuff' but in a general sense the traditional rule of thumb is that you needed 2.5 to 5 long tons (2240 lbs) per person to go cruising.
It is amazing how much "stuff" adds to the laden displacement. My 12000lb 30ft cruiser has 3000lbs of gear/spares/books not including the dingy and outboard when on deck, and that is for coastal cruising. So, unless that water maker and washer/dryer doubles as an anchor, leave it at the chandraly.
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Thanks Charlie. I have visited that site before, but I did not find anything that allowed a calculation like you mention. Did I miss something?

Chris

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
Here's a very good calculator that can give the amount of pounds required to lower a given boat one inch in the water. It's also good for other useful info.

http://www.image-ination.com/sailcalc.html
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Old 10-18-2007
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The biggest reason for us looking at smaller boats is $$$. not just in the initial purchase price, but in outfitting and upkeep. But another, seeming just as important reason is simplicity. Larger, more complex boats seem to take an inordinate amount of owner's time just keeping things right. I want to find out OUR balance of simplicity, comfort, and safety. Any advice on this subject is welcome.

Concerning gear: I know that thngs just add up. But how I really have a hard time coming up with 4480 pounds of gear and such between the two of us. Maybe I just need to start a spread sheet and start adding up stuff.

One of the cool things I am finding about smaller boats, and needed cruising gear is that many pieces of boat stuff weighs less. 100 feet of 1/4 HT40 chain weighs "only" 76 pounds.



Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
The answer greatly depends on the particular design in question and your own willingness to live without a lot of 'stuff' but in a general sense the traditional rule of thumb is that you needed 2.5 to 5 long tons (2240 lbs) per person to go cruising. Boats for a couple would have been traditionally a little longer than the boat in question. That puts you at the very bottom of that rule of thumb, which is not to say that it can't be done, but more to say that it takes some serious compromising.

On the other hand a 10,000 lb 32 footer isn't especially light. (Performance 35 to 37 footers in that weight range aren't all that unusual.) And from a different perspective a 10,000 lb race boat will often carry 1,800 lbs of crew weight and another 500-1,200 lbs of food, personal gear and consumables on a distance race without a noticable problem, but they would have a substantially longer waterline than your 32 footer and will have a greater water plane which means fewer submersion inches for a given weight.

Jeff
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