45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh? - SailNet Community
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

Hi everyone

I just finished reading the article here on sailnet by John K about his ''statistics'' on the most popular cruising boat. I really enjoyed the well researched and well written article, but had a couple thoughts. Since I do not know the author''s email address, I thought I would post them here. And we might have some fun with this.

The conclusion of the article (so you don''t have to click back and forth) is that 45ft CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats. Obviously this is without regard to crew size or cost. The author supported this claim with anecdotal info from a Ft L boat broker and his owner mathematical analysis of two data sets: the SSCA cruising bullitin''s and his own delivery experience with 44 yachts.

The author found the AVERAGE to be 44.6ft. LOA. I hate to quibble, but having studied statistics and being a working scientist, I tend to think the analysis needs to be calculated using the median not the mean. Any limited population of cruising sailboats has got to be skewed by the very wealthy and the not so wealthy. And, at any rate, if the data set IS normally distributed the median will equal the mean. SO....if Mr. Kretschmer is reading this, I would be very interested in a re-analysis of this data set.

Seriously, I do think it would provide some valuable insight to many of the discussions we have here. Further....and I would volunteer to do this, I wonder what statistics could be generate if the set were analyzed by crew size, age, nominal wealth and type of sailing (performance, livaboard, etc).

I also wonder what everyone else thinks of the authors supposition that 45ft cutter rigged CC''s are the most popular (thus the most ideal) boats to cruise in.

Just a thought.

Hope this generates some discussion ...and...if the author is reading, I would love to correspond.

My best to all.

John
s/v Invictus
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Old 11-17-2003
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

I immediately also had the "average" versus "median" thought. Clearly the median is what is needed. Otherwise, if you have all 30 footers and only one 100 footer, the average will be a lot higher than 30, clearly a misrepresentation of the true situation.

M Murphy
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

Good job, John.

I just got finished reading this article and called my wife. She said, "Those people must be rich." Maybe not. The few Petersons and Tayanas I looked at all had cruising equipment like radar and some even had self-steerers, so they were far from stripped out coastal cruisers.

Anyway, I''ve got to say that a center- cockpit 40- to 45-footer with a midline, queen-sized, aft berth is in line with what we''re looking for also.

I''d like to know a few more bits of data, though. For example, what is the median draft and water and fuel tankage? How many have radar, windvane self-steerers or wind generators? How many have integrated navionics packages? And how many have no refrigeration?!

I found this short article to be very helpful. And, it seems, it was very provocative. After all, how many times has the question been asked on this forum, "What is the best cruising boat?" John is the first person I''ve seen who has even begun to attempt a simple answer this question, with the observation that (in the immortal words of the advertising slogan) "9 out of 10 of the world''s cruisers cruise on a..."

Chas
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

I don''t put too much stock in this. First of all, I would expect that the majority of people who hire a delivery captain would fall in the subsets consisting of either the wealthier and/or less experienced subset of the sailing universe.

I don''t think that this is a universally correct sample. When ever I have spent time in popular cruising grounds (or even less popular or remote cruising grounds), I have generally found that the majority of distance cruisers are less than 40 feet with very few boats over 42 feet.

With regards to rig, for 30 years the cutter rig has been pushed as the only rig suitable to go offshore. This has been pushed with such a religious fervor that we see folks talking about screwing up an perfectly nice Cal 34 in the belief that its sloop rig is unsuitable to go offshore. It is no wonder that cutters are the most common offshore cruising rig. Does that make the cutter the best rig for offshore work? Hell no. When you look at current thinking on offshore rigs from the best of modern designers, fractionally rigged sloops make a lot more sense for the average cruiser but it is hard to buck the mythology of any religious cult. 8^)

Jeff
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

Jeff,

I think I have read somewhere that cruising couples are choosing bigger boats now, in the 40- to 50-foot range. It wasn''t said whether this was because most cruisers had more money to spend or just American''s like bigger things. Do you think that people that have chosen smaller cruising boats do it for reasons of expense, or because of a more minimalist philosphy, or some other reason?

Chas
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

My guess, bigger boats equate to more comfort and faster crusing runs. Today, More people are less apt to live in "tight" restricted and minimalist conditions and less are willing to "slog at sea" for a longer time.

I thinks its a comfort factor thing and if people have the money to spend for it then they will. Today many systems make that possible for more and more people.
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

I have not see the data set so this is pure speculation. But I think that in general there are many older couples coming into sailing with an intererst in cruising as a retirement dream. One or the other of them many not have sailed much. That coupled with the fact that many retiring people have much more money these days, makes me believe that boat selection is about trying to get all the comfort of home and having the money to pay for it.

I also agree with Jeff H, there seems to be some urban legend about cutters and CC''s. I suspect the reality is quite different.

The lower cost (100-150k) boats that the author mentioned, Tayana V42, CSY 44 and Petersen 44, do not - to me - have anything in common with the modern deck salon CC''s that are so sought after. And, quite frankly, the T V42 at 30,000lbs and the CSY at 37,000lbs....have huge penalties for couples working these overly large sail plans (Jeff H points this out often and I agree...more displacement means handling more sail and no matter what equipment you have that is work). Further, none of those boats have the modern sailing handling gear unless someone invested thousands to install it.

My point would be, I think the raw statistic of average LOA and the fact that just over 50% are CC''s should not point anyone in that direction. There is a lot more to it than that. I will also contend that older 70''s era around \$100k 42-44ft CC designs (Whitby 42, TV42, CSY 44 and Petersen 44) have just about the same space down below as a more modern 80-90''s''s era 38ft aft cockpit sloop.

I can see the attraction of an aft cabin..especially for a couple. But in my mind, a CC design invariably robs space from the cabin down below. Why would I give up space in the salon for a larger berth than my 6''6" x 7'' vee berth mattress?

Still, I would really like to see the raw data set and do some real stats analysis on it. And am still interested in what other''s think about this.

My best to all.

John
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Old 11-18-2003
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

While the tone of the last post was moderately negative about the 45CC boat, the facts are for the most part right. Count me in the 40-45CC early retiree class. Early 50''s couple wanting to retire and "cruise the islands". I''ve 35 years of sailing experience, including a wide mix of: racing, Other-Peoples-Boats (OPB''s), chartering, deliveries, offshore. Also a stint with powerboats when kids were small.
When we were younger, the 30+'' capable boat was fine--sailed to Bermuda and more with no refrig, few electronics, no showers, sextant for nav, etc. Today, we want many of the comforts of home. The good autopilot, inverter, coffee maker, stereo & DVD player, email, Iridium phone, electronic charting, pressure hot & cold water, refrig/freezer. And the nice aft cabin, with lots of teak and some room to stretch out. We prefer to sleep aft, where the slap of the waves isn''t loud, and where were not "playing footsey" in the V-berth with little footroom. The CC gives us a real engine room, separate salon and aft cabin areas, a v-berth primarily for storage--the layout really works for us.
Is this bad, good or indifferent? None of those. Just different strokes for different folks. We still want decent sailing performance, but comfort at anchor is also important.
Did we upgrade the rig--sure. Big new 58 ST winches at \$3K a pop. Furling on genoa and main. Removable inner forestay. Lines led to the cockpit. Big anchor windlass. Dual fuel filters. May heavy weather give us some challenges--sure--but hopefully 35 years of sailing experience and better judgment will offset the larger boat, greater forces, and less athletic ability. One can argue the merits of this rig vs that one all day. Very smart experienced people will come to different conclusions. We can all learn from their experience and ideas. And many posts on this neat BB do just that--share these great ideas. But in the final analysis, it is up to the individual cruiser what works for them.
So count us among those for whom the "42.5 CC" is ideal. Will we go around the world, or just island hop in the Bahamas and Caribbean? Who knows? Others have taken this model boat around the world, and it has survived major storms, so it is possible. But I suspect that if and when we stop cruising, it will be more for lack of creature comforts found on shore than for any other reason. So balance between sailing and comfort is important.
If we were 30, instead of 50+, we would get the 30-35'' aft cockpit well-built boat and just go. But at this stage of life, that is too much like camping, and too likely to shorten our cruising.
Cruising too is all about acceptance. I admire the folks in their 20''s and 30''s (or older) who take off in a 30'' boat--in many respects I wish we had done the same. So, don''t be critical of folks who make a different decision. Don''t automatically assume they know nothing about sailing or the sea or are making stupid decisions, or would reverse themselves "if they had only known". They might have thought it out very very carefully and made the judgment that was right for them.
The only advice that is appropriate, IMHO, to others thinking of the cruising life is: Don''t blindly follow ANY stereotype. Get experience, get advice, then make the decision that works for you.
Peace.
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

I am sorry if anyone took the tone of my last post to be negative. I think I was being analytical and also speculating as to why there may be a trend towards 45ft CC''s these days. My comments come from my personal observations. Obviously a generalization for the purposes of discussion that cannot fit all cases. To be sure, a nice newer 45ft CC that is well built and well designed and has good modern sail handling gear would be a good boat to have if one can afford it. Therein lies the point.

As stated, I believe you illustrate my point. That it is difficult to find an AFFORDABLE (eg 100k) 42-45ftCC for offshore cruising. And if one does, that boat will like require significant upgrading.....like adding \$3000 a pop winches.

I do not think 45ftCC''s are poor choices. I personally would love an Oyster 46 or Hylas 46. I do think most would agree that type of vessal takes a certain amount of money and crew to possess.

In my price range, just as an example, the choices were between a higher quality 38ft aft cockpit sloop that had excellent sailing qualities, a very spacious main salon and large vee berth or an older 42 and 43ft CC whose design robbed space from the main salon to create an aft cabin and whose build quality and sailing character was not what I wanted.

Very true, it is about many different needs and choices. Which is what we are discussing, I thought.

Respectfully

John
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Old 11-18-2003
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45 CC cutters are the most popular cruising boats...huh?

John Drake and mlc101 both presented their take on the subject in a cogent, non-confrontational way, yet there is always that tendency to feel that "your choice" is being attacked. It happens to most (all) of us, I suppose.

As for me, our first purchase next year is looking like she will be a 36 foot (approx.) boat of newer vintage (under 10 years old). Considering that just 2 years ago my wife thought a 42-44'' boat would be the minimum she would be comfortable in, the 36 is on the smallish side. However, I am now of the mind that I can buy and maintain a 36'' boat with the funds I have available, while a larger boat of the same vintage would jeopardize our cruising plans.

I completely agree that we each have to do what works for us.

Regards all.

Duane

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