Another Caliber Question... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Another Caliber Question...

I'm hoping to get some feedback from folks who own or have experience with Caliber boats. I've done a LOT of reading and I'm looking very hard at the Caliber boats, primarily b/c of how seaworthy they are supposed to be and how they are equipped.

As some of you may know, I'm a newbie that's seriously considering jumping both feet first into sailing. I've been doing a WHOLE lot of research and reading and I have a couple of questions.

From what I've been able to gather, 40' is about as big as most folks want to go if they are going to be singlehanding. That being said, as far as seaworthiness goes, the larger the boat the better. It's also my understanding that larger boats have a little more comfortable "ride", not to mention more living space.

I've been looking at the Caliber 40's and the Caliber 47's. The 47 looks like a much more comfortable boat for living aboard and I would imagine it would handle rough conditions better. I do plan to do some open ocean passages once I gain the necessary experience...so here's my question:

Is a 47' boat (the Caliber in particular) exponentially harder to sail singlehanded than a 40' boat??? Is it doable for someone who puts in the necessary time to learn what they are doing? How much harder would it be to sail a Caliber 47' boat, singlehanded over the Caliber 40???.

If it's doable, I'd like to err on the side of the bigger boat for the reasons mentioned above. I will be living on this boat for at least the next couple of years...so comfort/room/seaworthiness are very important things to take into consideration.

I've already been "schooled" on the fact that the way I plan to do things is probably not the best/easiest way to learn to sail but I have a time window of my life I'm trying to fit this in and that window does not allow for a slower approach. So please, if you don't have anything to offer except for criticism of my plan...please don't answer at all. I've already heard the reasoning against it.

I'm just looking for an honest answer to an honest question. Thank you!!!
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-26-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

Well the 47 is 30000 lbs vs 21600 lbs so it is a lot about 1/3 bigger, and loads are going to be a lot more. Heck a 40 is a lot of boat to single hand, and will possibly require electric some winches to make it easier to single hand. The 47 is going to take a lot more electronic assistance to make it realistic to single hand. Sails will be much heavier, but more importantly the loads on the sails will be much bigger! So on a 40 you might be able to easily trim a jib, but not so much so on a 47. Ongoing expenses will likely be double for the 47 than they would be for the 40, because not only is everything bigger in size it is of larger gauge. So a stay may only be on third longer, it is likely one or two sizes bigger around so likely two or three times the cost. Then those fittings are bigger and again more expensive. I think you really are going about it the wrong way, you really should be looking for the smallest boat to do what you want in comfort, not the biggest you can get away with. So if a 47 foot boat (assuming since this is a serious cruising boat you are really going cruising as in circumnavigation), is going to cost twice as much to run at least you will likely only be able to cruse for half as long. Thing is for say two couples a 40 foot boat is going to be just as comfortable as a 47 foot boat for the most part. After a point you don't really gain much more usable space unless you are thinking you are going to be hosting large groups all the time and have an unlimited budget. Plus the prices the 47 appears to be close to three to four times the price out the door.
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-26-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

Dude, that is a BIG boat for one person to handle. 51' overall when you count the bowsprit. It is also an expensive boat. If you have $300K for a boat, why sail alone? Another thing, while a bigger boat may be inherently more seaworthy, having just one guy on board such a large boat during rough weather pretty much negates all such safety advantage. Safety is in balancing the ability of the boat and the crew.
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-26-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

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post #5 of 10 Old 01-26-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

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Originally Posted by sharkbait View Post
I've never heard anything bad about Calibers
I have heard plenty of bad things about the looks of the 47, but not besides that.
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

Thank you for the feedback folks! This is precisely the kind of information I am looking for!
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post #7 of 10 Old 01-26-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

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I have heard plenty of bad things about the looks of the 47, but not besides that.
That is what I was thinking when I looked at pictures. It has that wedding cake look to it, one would think on a 47 foot center cockpit they could have made it look better. But I guess to get full standing walk under that is the price to pay.

For one guy and some dogs I see little reason to go over 36 feet. Not like you are going to get more usable space. And this "one time purchase" is really not how life works. How many houses do most folks buy in a lifetime? not many buy one and stay there for the rest of there lives (especially if you calculate in apartments, dooms while in college/military). Needs and situations change over time. As they say S*(* happens!
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-18-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

We have been living aboard and sailing our Caliber 40LRC since 2010. Most winters were spent in Maine. The 40 is not that hard to single hand. Having all the lines led to the cockpit helps a lot and a boat with singlehanding miles on it ensure that it has been setup correctly. No electric winches needed. The hardest thing to handle is raising the main but a good batcar system helps a lot. My wife can raise our main when needed. We considered the 47 but found it to be too big for the two of us and our dog. The 40 is just right. It is one of the biggest 40s I have ever been on.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-18-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
I have heard plenty of bad things about the looks of the 47, but not besides that.
I've always found the line drawings of the Calibers to be a bit abrupt and lacking some artistry.. (like the designer had never heard of a spline tool ).. these boats are exceedingly rare in the PNW so I've never see how that translates to an 'in the flesh' view. Almost all boats have an 'optimum' viewing angle, along with a not-so-optimum aspect (aesthetically speaking)

The Calibers certainly do seem to enjoy a high level of owner satisfaction.

Ron

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-18-2016
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Re: Another Caliber Question...

Caliber 40 has always been on my short list. Seems like a really smart design. Not the most attractive boat in the world, but not bad looking.

The 47 on the other hand......




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