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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Let's make it unanimous. Go now. You don't know what tomorrow will bring, and, disagreeing with MarkofSea's gloomy view of approaching 60, I think it has nothing to do with your current age. A life fully lived is unpredictable at any age- I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, and the fact that I am younger than you didn't help me a damn bit.

Just go. Life is about saying "I will", not "I wish."
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post

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.

Hi Mark

The guy is going to single hand. 65 to 68 ft is way to big for even a couple to SAFELY sail. Sure as long as the electrics hydraulics work all is well.

But the anchor will be too heavy to recover manually, a sail problem with 20 knots blowing becomes a something that the only way to deal with it is to cut it away.

We both know of couples with boats that size who are always scratching around for crew.

Less can be more.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Captain Bobby taught me a few things, one of which is
"Big boat, big problems. Little boat, little problems." The more
I read this board the more I find this saying to be true. I myself
have a Nor'sea 27 which a few of them have circumnavigated.
When they aren't out seeing the world they are stored behind
the house for free.

If you buy a bigger boat like you said it will take a few years to get her
ready. Those are years you could be sailing.
Rhapsody-NS27 and TJC45 like this.
No such thing as a free cat, and that goes for boats as well.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Logisitcs kill more sailing dreams than anything else. Your boat seems to have the logistics problem solved right now. I'd probably go with it.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

My understanding is that S2's are well-built boats.
I guess you have the 8.5 or 8.6 shoal draft.

It is definitely true that you can pick up a larger boat for a very low cost, but the question is- How long will it take you to bring it up to the condition of your current boat?

I would also say that it's not only size that inspires confidence, it's design. A poorly designed 35 foot boat may feel more scary in snotty weather, than a well designed 25 footer.

If your current boat is well-maintained, and you are confident in the boat, then I advise you to "run what you brung" instead of starting over.

Since you have upgraded the engine, your boat is well suited to driving down the ICW, and then hopping over to the Carribbean. If you are truly comfortable with the cabin space in your boat, then it shouldn't feel like a prison to you while you cruise and anchor.

My personal preference, is a 30 foot boat and about 8,000 to 10,000 lbs. For me, 30 feet is the magic number for confidence, comfort, ability to singlehand, and affordability of maintenance. I wouldn't take my Pearson 30 across the Atlantic, but I would sail it from New Foundland, to the Carribbean, without using the ICW.

So far, my sportiest sail has been upwind in 35kts with a reefed main and a 90% jib in a short chop. The boat handled like a dream, and I was pleasantly surprised. I was driving for a race's starting line. The rest of the race was downwind, so I got to drive on multiple points of sail in that mess.

If your boat gives you that feeling of confidence, then you may as well save your money and stick with what you've got.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

On the ocean size truly doesn't matter, it's always bigger that you are.

If the boat is well found, go find it, whatever 'it' may be.
Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Yes, She is an 8.5M S2 shoal draft now with a Yanmar 2GM13 with oversized PerfectPitch prop. All controls lead back to the cockpit. Internal ballast. No complicated "systems" (water, electrical, electronics, etc) to go wrong. In spite of this simplicity, I do find myself "fixing my boat in exotic places" (the definition of cruising). Last year aborted a trip from Little harbor in Abaco, home of Petes Pub to Spanish Wells in the Eluethras due to a leaking High pressure diesel line (got up that morn, "Why do i smell so much diesel", then, WTF, there's lots of diesel in the bilge), what can I say, a 30 yr old engine even well maintained has some weaknesses. (epoxy applied over fiberglass tape held long enough to easily motor back to Marsh harbor with no wind).

Because I am self employed and because I love my work, my cruising style is very different than most. I can only bear to be away from work for about two weeks before I really want to get back to try some new crazy thing. Short periods of cruising seem to recharge my desire to make useful stuff.
Consequently, I am never trying to cruise on a tiny budget that long term cruisers have. I can afford to anchor out only half the time and spend the other half in marinas. Because the boat is small and I have no charges for water or power, my marina fees are smaller than most too.

My major worry is the ravages of age and misadventures on my 57 yr old bod. A chronically bad back threatens to put me on the floor at any random time. If this happed at the wrong time...........
Knees that will need replacing from too much crawling in caves remind me when I go up and down the companionway ladder.
Extreme sweating from a medication side effect threatens to dehydrate me. Because it has happened twice, my crew has orders to force me to drink water every 20 minutes.
Bad eyes unfixable even with glasses. No, I won't go blind but dim lighting makes it impossible to read.
Does a bigger boat make these things easier? All boats have a companionway. A bigger boat would have better lighting and an actual chart table instead of using the cabin floor. I worry about hauling the anchor. It has never been a problem but I can imagine pulling just the wrong way and then being on my back unable to move....... A bigger boat would have a windlass (another damn thing to fix). With a bigger boat, I could use an inflatable dinghy with a motor and stop being so absurd about rowing all the time. (no place to stow a small motor on the 28').
A bigger boat MIGHT be faster. Right now, with the engine, I easily do 5.5 kts even in moderate chop and 6.5 in small chop. Under sail, she normally does at least 4.5. From Green Turtle to Marsh HArbor we did an absurd 7.8 kts under sail alone. When I plan to motor sail from Little Harbor to Spanish Wells, (50 miles over open water) I plan on 10 hours and that is realistic. Would a bigger boat be enough faster to make ti worthwhile?
Would a slightly bigger boat make me less hesitant to go out? I have spent days in harbor telling the crew "it will be uncomfortable for a boat this size and it would be hours of that" knowing that a heavier boat would have a more comfy motion. Would the 14000 lbs of a Morgan OI 33 be that much more kindly than my 8000 lb 28' S2?
Then there are the marina fees. Many places have a minimum charge/ft charging a minimum of 34'. I can generally get around this when the marina realizes it is absurd however eventually somebody will enforce it. At that time it might not pay to have a smaller boat. Will that happen soon, I dunno.
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Go now. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
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"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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Old 08-19-2013
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Will actually wait till November when it isn't so hot.
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Re: Go bigger or go now?

Hi Frog,

Even though I'm new to sailing (first started taking classes last year at age 42 and just bought my first dinghy a couple of months ago), I have to concur with just about everyone else: GO NOW. I kept wishing I could learn to sail when I was younger, but never got around to it. Finally reached the point of "Sail up or Shut up" and did it.

Life's short, enjoy the now.

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