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post #11 of 56 Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

I have a Sea Sprite 23. At least one of these has been sailed across the atlantic. If a 23 can do it.. your 28 can manage the voyages you envision. Remember, it is not the boat that gives up most times, but the captain and crew. Many a vessel has been abandoned in a storm and recovered still afloat afterwards

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post #12 of 56 Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Assuming that going south means to Grenada or thereabouts I agree with the go now crowd. You know your boat intimately which is a big plus. Read the Thorny Path and follow it and you should be fine. It is not like you are doing many day long passages.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #13 of 56 Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

A well found boat is a well found boat, large or small. IMO, the only real difference between a larger boat and a small one is comfort. If you are comfortable living on your present boat and feel she is safe to be at sea on, I would not wait.
Sailing east from the Bahamas until you pick up the easterlies upon which you could reach south, would probably make much more sense for a small boat, than the "thorny path" which entails a whole lot of beating into stiff trade winds. It would be 8 to 12 days offshore in moderate weather, not too bad a trip with little chance for anything worse than a few squalls, from the northern or central Bahamas to the Virgins or Puerto Rico. A lucky weather window and it could be a "cake walk". Obviously NOT in the hurricane season!
Things are changing very quickly in the eastern Caribbean, so I would advise everyone trying to decide when to go, to go as soon as is feasible. I remember when there were no costly, insecure moorings or "marine preserves" which are really just "locals only fishing areas" and an excuse to bleed the yachts dry. There were many quiet anchorages not crowded to overflowing with other boats and theft was a rarity not the norm.
Good luck and safe voyaging.

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post #14 of 56 Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
Things are changing very quickly in the eastern Caribbean, so I would advise everyone trying to decide when to go, to go as soon as is feasible. I remember when there were no costly, insecure moorings or "marine preserves" which are really just "locals only fishing areas" and an excuse to bleed the yachts dry. There were many quiet anchorages not crowded to overflowing with other boats and theft was a rarity not the norm.
Good luck and safe voyaging.
That is a very good point, and not only applicable to the Caribbean...

Read a piece recently, can't recall exactly where, that detailed the rapidly increasing costs of cruising... Fatty Goodlander was astonished how much the costs of clearing in and out, marina fees, 'anchoring fees' where there had been none before, etc - had risen between the time of his first and second circumnavigations...

With cruisers becoming better-heeled all the time, taking off in ever bigger and bigger boats, the proliferation of Cruising Rallies and the like, this trend certainly won't be reversing any time soon...
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post #15 of 56 Old 08-18-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

The Pardeys said it Go Small Go Simple Go Now.

With a reliable engine and autopilot getting to St Maarten from the Bahamas is doable in 28 feet as lots of others have proven. Be patient study Van Sant's book and choose good weather windows.

After that the Windwards and Leewards are all less than a day apart. Cruising Heaven.
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post #16 of 56 Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

As the owner of a small sailboat, it seems to me that NOW is a historic opportunity to buy a larger sailboat cheap. People are practically giving them away. Just a couple of feet makes a big difference. In addition, the fees for a larger boat are generally the same as for a smaller one. ON the larger boat you can carry more, more food, more water, more .....everything. Including safety.

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post #17 of 56 Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

At 57 you are not getting younger and have a chance of dying if you save for 2 or 3 years.

People need to think their lives out before that age and younger people reading this thread should take that on board.

You say you want to sail south... How far south? The Eastern Caribbean is south enough and its a pretty tame sail from the Bahamas.

Bahamas to Caribbean is basically day hops/short over nighters.

Once in the Caribbean you can safely sail up and down for years, decades... For ever.

As for the general discussion re size of boat: I belive every extra inch increases safety and the feeling of safety. I have sailed long range on a 68 footer and a 65 footer. They were both vastly safer than any 28 footer. Its been many years since I have been in the ocean in a small boat of 31 feet. The 65 beats it and any other hands down for comfort and safety.
One needs to stop kidding themselves, I sail a 39 footer and its better, safer and more comfortable that a 28 footer.

That being said: All of life is a risk. To have a great retirement you will be fine in a 28 footer sailed only in good weather windows. Once down here in the Caribbean it will all be worth it. It really is a great place to live and sail.


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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 08-19-2013 at 08:02 AM.
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post #18 of 56 Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Sounds like the consensus is to go now with your S2. I agree. It's clear you love the boat and know the boat well. If you trust her and your own skills/experience, take what you have and go where you want!

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post #19 of 56 Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Another vote for the well-found boat you have now. No matter how big the boat, the ocean is bigger so you'll never be big enough to avoid that. As long as you have the time, like Capt Force we wait for good, really good, weather. We've been happy on our 33-footer, fulltime liveaboard for 11 years. (and even happier when we get the bills, compared to larger boats our friends have)


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post #20 of 56 Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Seraffyn was a 25 footer that saw more open ocean than any other boat that I know. When hove to, she'd disturb the breakers as well as the other "ocean going" vessels. I think it's about the abilities of the captain and crew in more cases than the boat failing them.
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