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  #1  
Old 08-22-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

I see many posts on here about how u will need a bigger boat for sailing offshore, but does it really matter at all? I read Jeff_H said that watermakers arent reliable, but what about hand ones that dont use electricity? they might take a whole hour to make a gallon but that gallon will last you a day. You can always catch and eat seafood so that u wont have to stock up on as much food, i just really dont think the size matters mabey in a 40-50ft u can fit more supplies but it will be slow and take alot of muscle, where something like 25 feet you could sail quickly and u could use a hand pump watermaker and eat seafood. hmmm
-Josh
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Old 08-22-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Or i could just get one of the expensive electric watermakers, that would be alot better- although i would need bigger solar panels, ect. But still Jeff_H why do u say these watermakers arent reliable?
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Old 08-23-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Re: Watermakers
The PUR Survuivor Hand-operated watermaker makes less than 0.5 gallons/hour (vigorous pumping). This is not adequate for a planned water supply.
The small 12VDC R/O units, like the Power-Survivor series (30/40E/80E) have a TERRIBLE reputation for pump failure. Myself aside, I''ve NEVER met anyone who described good (or even satisfactory)performance & service-life from these units. Larger units, with a better reputation, are very expensive, large/heavy, and power-hungry.
BTW, I had a 35, which made all my water, over 7 winters in the Bahamas (7 x 6 months = 42 months), before the membrane failed. Note that I carried 35 Gallons of fresh water, and was never more than 1/2 day from a shore-side replenishment, if needed.
Notwithstanding my good experience, you would not want to rely upon (passagemaking) a fresh water supply, with so many terrible reviews, and that requires about 3-4 Amp-Hours of elect. power per gallon of water (where will you get that power?).

Re Passagemaking in a 25 Footer:
Such a small boat will have a very small cargo carrying capacity, and a moderate speed (short LWL) - hence you may not have enough displacement to carry the provisions neccesary for a 30 - 45 day passage.
I think it would be exceedingly foolish to begin a journey, knowing you will (soon) end up in a survival hunter-gatherer situation! Fishing & etc are only a means to supplement, and provide variety to, an already adequate food supply.
Almost all of us have been "caught out" in bad weather; and this might (often) be described as bad luck. Those who start out in bad weather, that gets worse, cannot complain of bad luck; but must accept their own responsibility for the consequences of their foolishness.
Likewise, it wood be foolish to begin any journey, knowing you do not have the resources at hand, to safely complete the journey - at least under the expected conditions, if not the worst-case scenario.

Conclusion:
Although I am a proponent of both:
Do it now, and keep it simple (don''t wait for the day when you might have everything you could possibly WANT) ...
I belive there are a few things that you abssolutely REQUIRE, including:
*Enough WATER & FOOD to complete your journey
...
OMO
Regards,
Gord
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Old 08-23-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Don''t get me wrong Josh, I am a proponent of voyaging in the smallest by which I mean the lightest displacement boat that can support your needs. (I see displacement as a better and more relevant measure of ''size'' than length.)I am also a proponent of keeping things simple.

In my 20''s (in the early 1970''s)I lived aboard a 25 foot folkboat. I was happy as I could be. It was as simple a boat as you could ever imagine. No engine, no electrical system, no through hulls, no fixed water tanks (There were pad eyes to hang an inverted a one gallon jerry can that acted as ''day tank'' and gave me "pressure water"). My auxillary power was a long oar, my running lights were kerosene (no longer legal), head was a simple bucket and chuck it, as was the galley sink. It worked quite well although everything required a lot of labor and I hated dumping the head on a rainy night and to this day feel badly about dumping my waste into a rather clean Biscayne Bay.

But that is very different than an ocean crossing. As a solo, coastal sailor where fresh water and new food stocks are rarely more than a week away, you can get by with a small very basic boat like that and life can still be pretty good.

But if I remember your post, you wanted to sail from Maine to Spain with 4 or 5 people and that requires a substatially larger boat to feed and house and support that many people. While 40-50 foot boats take better hardware and a bit more strength to sail, they will also be able to carry the kind of gear that is necessary to make a passage with that large a crowd on board. I do not know why you think that a 25 footer would be faster than a 40 or so footer but you could not be more incorrect. All things being equal boats get faster not slower with greater length. All things being equal a forty footer could easily complete a long passage in half of the time of a 25 footer loaded with the kind of weight implied by your crew size.

As has been said before, you cannot depend on supplying enough water to maintain life off of a hand cranked watermaker in the kind of strenuous environment implied by a transatlantic passage. It is one thing to maintain life in a life raft for the period of a week or so that these deivices are designed for. It is quite another to support a crew of people on a hand pumped watermaker. And, yes, they are notoriously unreliable.

You also cannot expect to be able to support life on the fish you catch at sea. Even good fishermen describe making very rare catches far out to sea. Most of the fish that you might catch and consume live in comparatively narrow areas of the ocean within reach of the nutrients of the coastal shelves. In the mid-Atlantic, when you are far out to sea, it is quite rare to actually catch an edible fish. Since you lack the necessary fuel supplies (or deck area to place a large enough array of solar cells) sufficient to maintain refrigeration, a fish will only remain safely edible for a matter of days (if salted which means more water before you can eat it) and you could go weeks without catching another.

You might get by carrying dried foods which is a bit expensive but workable assuming that you have an adequate water supply. But even dried foods take up a lot of space and you will not come close to having the amount of space on a 25 footer to store the amount of dried food that you need to support 4 or 5 people for a 45 to 60 day transatlantic crossing.

I admire your enthusiasm and your ''can do'' spirit, but your posts show a basic lack of understanding of the realities of what it takes to make this kind of passage. I would respectfully like to suggest that you focus some of that enthusiasm into researching the realities of this kind of voyaging and the equipment that you are proposing.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 08-23-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Jeff_H,

I recently sailed on a Dovekie...sounds very similar to the folkboat you described here. It was quite an experience and an adventure since first time out we were caught in an unexpected squall and winds at about 25.
If I was alot younger I think that it would be a terrific boat...I would love to camp and explore the shorelines in just such a boat...simple and without power. But it was a strenuous trip (even before the storm) just as you said requiring alot of labor. I do have great respect for anyone doing alot of time in one of these boats though. And it was a sail that I am glad I did.

Kokopuff
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Old 08-23-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

I have always loved the Dovekie''s. I can''t imagine a simplier yet better thought out little boat. The one that I sailed on was down in Georgia and was great for the shallow winding marsh lands down there as long as you had the luxury of waiting out the tides. As a kid I once went cruising with a friend on Long Island Sound in an open 17 footer, sleeping under a boom tent on the duckboards at night. I think fondly of it as certainly being amoungst the nicest cruises of my life. There is something to be said for the simplicity of an open boat. (Of course, we were not crossing an ocean with 4 other people.)

Jeff
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Old 08-24-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Josh,
one of your earlier posts you were saying that you have enough experience sailing and dont have a problem with it.
But from this post I understand that you are not as knowladgable as you claim to be.
Every sailor knows monohulls gets faster as they get longer(hull speed formula)unless they have planing hulls.
I suggest you brush up your sailing skills(both theory and practical) before attempting a trans- ocean cruise like you mentioned before.

Respectfully,
Al
S/V Doubleplay
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Old 08-24-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

well if you are near the coast or somewhere that there are not strong winds, a large sailboat will be very slow
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Old 08-24-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Josh,

If you truly think that, all other things like sail area to displacement ratio,
ballast to displacement ratio, etc. being equal, a "larger" (longer waterline
length) boat with proportionately larger sail area is slower than a smaller,
shorter length boat with proportionately smaller sail area, along the coast
or inland, I invite you to try racing against 30 foot cruising boats in a 22
foot cruiser. You will lose a lot of races.

If you look at PHRF ratings (a handicapping system meant to level the
playing field) for boats of similar design, such as catalinas, beneteaus, s2s,
ericsons, etc., almost invariably the smaller the boat, the higher the rating
(meaning the slower it is compared to its larger cousin). See, for example,
the extensive list of ratings at:

http://sail.ssimicro.com/Text/PHRF%20Sailboat%20Ratings.htm

Allen Flanigan

Alexandria, VA
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Old 08-24-2003
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Does size even matter at all?

Sorry Josh,

If you take two boats of equal SA/D (sail area to displacement) ratios and equal D/L (displacement to waterline length) ratios, the bigger boat will always be faster in all conditions, light or heavy. In light air the taller rig of the larger boat operates higher in the gradient wind range and in heavier air the longer waterline and greater stability of the larger boat means that it will have greater speed.

If you look at PHRF ratings you will see that in a general sense as boats of similar sail area and weight ratios get bigger they get faster.

I think that your error may be derived from comparing light displacement smaller boats to relatively heavier displacement larger boats. But when you talk about a small boat carrying all of the gear and consumables that is required for longer passages, the smaller boat will by necessity have a substantially heavier L/D ratio and substantially less sail area in relation to its displacement and so be significantly slower. This occurs in a couple ways but as a simplification, while the sails and gear needed by the boat is in proportion to the size of the boat, the amount of food and water per person and tools needed to maintain the boat are the same whether the boat is large or small. Further compounding the problem, given that small boats really are slower, they actually need to carry more food and water per person than would be required on a larger boat making the same passage.

With all due respect, I suggest that you really do need to spend more time on the water and do a little more reading.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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