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  #21  
Old 01-01-2008
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One last observation: moving down in size is interesting! Went from the 40 to a 33 footer. Back when I had the 28, even 33 feet seemed a whole lot bigger. Now, 33 feet doesn't seem like all that much...
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  #22  
Old 01-01-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freesail99 View Post
I'll second what Brezzin is saying. Bigger is easier because of the reaction time.
I will third it. My first boat was a 33 footer and my father-in-law (a boatbuilder in his own right) said that was a good size because it was more "forgiving".

He was right, for various reasons I don't care to relate...

Having said this, however, I would say the average sailor with average skills who hasn't spent time and money to arrange his lines for single-handing will find 35 feet about the upper limit of comfort without some sort of aids, like autopilot to steer head to wind while you get the main up, or remote control for the anchor so you can drop it from the helm and back down (unless you are good at anchoring under sail, which few are these days).

As for docking, I dock whenever possible in neutral, which I go into from dead slow about five boat lengths before I reach the dock in the old racer and seven lengths and a sharp turn before in the new full keeler, which "coasts" more. I always leave the boat amidships with a line cleated amidships, which I drop on the aft bollard to stop the boat. In my other hand I have a boathook and I tie off the stern line. Then I grab the bow line and the second spring.

If I am encountering unfavourable winds, I will power in and cut speed at the last few seconds with a sharp "S" turn into my slip, which slows me greatly. At all times I attempt to make prop walk and prevailing winds work in my favour. This means I have to THINK about the forces in play and sometimes switch lines to the opposite side of the boat and go in stern first, using prop walk to "get my arse in" or even using a warp.

All this stuff takes practice (preferably against a plastic marker buoy or on an unoccupied sea wall with lots of fenders), but it is simply an extension of what you already know. A very good thing to do first is to motor the new, bigger boat parallel to a wall, go into neutral and see just how far she will "coast" and at what speed you really lose positive rudder control. Next, throw the boat into neutral and do "S" turns...see whether you can come alongside a marker at nearly zero speed.

I found that practice makes, if not perfect, vastly improved. I got to use a mooring for the first time in 2006, and found I liked sailing off it so much that I've started to sail off my dock in the new "clumsy" boat when the breeze is right. It's nice and slow, it's quiet, and most of all, it's seamanlike to handle a boat without an engine.

But I digress...good luck.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2008
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When I was making the size decision, the advice was 35 ft as optimum between have the volume to carry stuff and the ability to single hand the boat. I happened to buy 38 ft, because I fell in love with the boat, but I think I could handle 40ft with modern gear. Yes an autohelm to me is absolutely essential and I would unwillingly hoist my anchors by hand. My next aid is going to be a self tacking jib, to make up wind work in restricted waters more feasible (instead of the iron foresail).
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Last edited by Idiens; 01-02-2008 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2008
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My ship is a 36 ft double-ender, displacing about 23,000 lbf.

It is heavy, relatively slow and forgiving.

Yes, the forces are much greater than the last boat, a 24 ft twin keel thing from Hungary weighing about 1/6 of the 36 footer, but I would sooner, much sooner, have my 36 footer.

There is no comparison between them.

36 ft is about the limit of what I would want to sail alone, and only when I have to sail alone.

There is a lot of ship there in a 36 ft long keel sailboat but it dwarfs the 24 ft boats nearby.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2008
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I went from a 21' Venture with a displacement of 1165# to a 40' Classic yawl with a displacement of 15,000#. Other than the greater inertia when docking, there's been no issues, only benefits.
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  #26  
Old 01-02-2008
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What boat do you have Rockter?
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  #27  
Old 01-02-2008
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Wow... a lot of long answers. Well, being lazy, I'll just make a "me too" post instead of reading all the others. It'll probably end up being like saying "Booth Bay" on the "Where is this" thread.

Anyway, we moved up from a light displacement 23' boat to a heavier displacement Bluewater 40' boat last year. You get used to it pretty quickly and it's not a big deal. Our 40' is a lot slower to do everything (like bury the rail). The only thing I had no clue about (but thought I did) were the costs. I had no clue.
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  #28  
Old 01-02-2008
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And you wanted to get an HR 53...
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Originally Posted by labatt View Post
Wow... a lot of long answers. Well, being lazy, I'll just make a "me too" post instead of reading all the others. It'll probably end up being like saying "Booth Bay" on the "Where is this" thread.

Anyway, we moved up from a light displacement 23' boat to a heavier displacement Bluewater 40' boat last year. You get used to it pretty quickly and it's not a big deal. Our 40' is a lot slower to do everything (like bury the rail). The only thing I had no clue about (but thought I did) were the costs. I had no clue.
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  #29  
Old 01-02-2008
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And you wanted to get an HR 53...
Actually, that was at the forefront of our mind and another one of the several reasons we decided to hold off. Based upon our experiences maintaining a 40' boat, we're assuming 2x-3x cost increases going to a 50'-55' boat. The HR53, with its complex electrical system, might be even higher. It still may happen though!
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  #30  
Old 01-02-2008
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