Join Date: Jan 2011
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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.