Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: New York
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Too big to handle?
I noticed something in the thread about what factors you consider in buying a boat. Many people made statements to the effect that they want a boat a certain size because they feel they can't handle one bigger (either single handing or whatever).
I have to say, I think there is a misconception there. Larger boats most definitely are more expensive. And the sails are larger, which indeed does mean the forces are greater, so I concede that is a consideration to some degree. But it's a consideration that is greatly ameliorated by better sail handling gear (roller furling, larger and electric winches).
After that, however, I believe people are overly fixated on the notion that handling a larger boat is more difficult. I for one do not believe a 45' boat is any more difficult to handle or sail than is a comparable 35' boat. Once you get used to the boat, you get quite comfortable sailing her no matter what her size. People say things like docking the larger boat is more difficult, but in my experience that's just not true. You need a larger dock space for sure, but marinas squeeze smaller boats into smaller spaces, so the room you have to "spare" generally is not appreciably different.
I used to be concernd about handling a larger boat, but having gone from a 22 to a 34 to a 36 to a 45 and now to a 49, my personal experience is that the 49 is no more difficult to handle than was the 34 (and I say that with no hubris at all; I do not consider myself more gifted a sailor than the average bear). And in some ways, the 49 is easier. The 22 was a bit different because that was like being in a dinghy, but I'll tell you, there are some aspects of handling the 49 that are easier than the 22.
And something else, our 49 fin keeler is MUCH easier to handle around the docks than was our 36' full keeler. No comparison frankly.
Again, cost, maintence, etc., I agree wholeheartedly. But that's not the point of many of the posts. People seem concerned about actually handling underway a 45 footer v. a 40 footer or what have you. I just don't see it that way.
So, to all of you who think handling a larger boat is more difficult, how come?
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