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  #91  
Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
...
On the other extreme are the points raised by ... Paulo. Paulo rightly points at very large designs which are well designed and engineered to allow a couple to safely handle them in a broad range of conditions. These are truly amazing boats that demonstrate what the ingenuity of man can accomplish. But again, few of us can afford to buy one these, and frankly few of us have the skills that it would take to sail one of these well, and safely, and to repair any possible critical element that might happen to fail mid-passage.

And even if (and I know that is a big 'if') we can agree that these particular larger boats can be safely handled by a couple if properly engineered and equipped, that does not apply to all larger boats. For as good as these examples may be, the majority of big boats out there are neither designed, or equipped or even easily adaptable to being safely sailed by a couple.

And at the end of the day, the reality is that boats at neither end of the extremes truly make sense for any of us. In an ideal world, we have each analyzed our specific needs in terms of how and where we sail, comfort requirements, purchase and operating budget, need for speed, tastes, skill sets, and physical abilities, and purchased the exact right boat that is the precise mix of virtues and liabilities to unequivocally correspond to our needs. And that boat is precisely the right sized boat for safety. (At least, until our needs and our corresponding analysis once changes one way or the other.)

Jeff, agreeing generally with what you say let me clarify what I have tried to say regarding bigger cruising boats:

Older production cruising big boats (between 50 and 60ft) were not designed to be sailed solo or by a short crew. Today practically all cruisers, including mass production cruisers of that size are designed to be sailed solo or by a couple. I will not post about all the improvements in rigging and power aids that had made that possible since I am sure you know them. It is a question of design and technology.

Regarding the rest I want to say this:

The OP had sustained in generic terms that smaller boats are not safer than bigger boats and I assume he is talking about offshore sailing otherwise all this would not have any sense.

The thread is a discussion about that assumption. He said on the first post:

"Over the last week, I have read a number of posts, here and other places, regarding not feeling safe in open water in smaller boats. Now days that seems to mean less then 35 ft!

How many out there equate size to safety? Does it have anything to do with it? If you think size does provide safety, why? ....

.. Dave Chamberlain... (sailed) a 20 ft. boat from the West Coast to Hawaii.
...
I have never understood how or why people equate size to safety."



The answer to this quite, objectively, is that clearly safety and seaworthiness of a sailboat has to do with size. We are not talking about any particular case but as the OP has putted it, generically.

This means that a 35ft designed along the same lines of the 27ft the OP sails, will be safer, a 40ft even more seaworthy and if for the sake of the discussion we would consider a 100ft, much safer.

Off course a 100ft would have to have an adequate crew to handle the boat but that as nothing to do with the point in discussion. I am sure that the owner of a 100ft will have the money to pay for an adequate crew.

The point is that generically, as the subject was presented, the OP is wrong:

The size of a boat has to do with its seaworthiness (not particularizing any type of boat), generically speaking. For the same type of boat the bigger will be more seaworthy and the reason is the bigger boat has a bigger stability.

Assuming that size has nothing to do with seaworthiness makes not any sense and it is dangerous as it is dangerous to assume that it is safe for a 20ft boat to sail from the West Coast to Havay or even that generically a 27ft boat is as appropriated to be used offshore as a considerably larger boat, generally speaking.

The discussion regarding if a bigger boat can be handle for one, two or three has nothing to do with the generic principle in discussion and is an altogether different subject that has much to do with the skipper experience, the type of boat and the way the boat is rigged.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 11-01-2013 at 06:17 PM.
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  #92  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Paulo approached this purely in terms of basic physics and he is correct. I tried to approach this question in human terms as there is no question a well made small boat such as a BBC at 28' or a Westsail at 32' can survive terrible things. However, it seems death of boats and souls aboard more commonly reflect poor decisions by exhausted terrified crew so I approached this in human terms.
Still think even with all the whiz bang gadgets there is too big and too small. Still think for most of us that ideal size is in the mid forties.
Would love to see a survey of cruising couples to see what size they end up after a few years. Limited crowd I know are in the low to mid forties.
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  #93  
Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Ok I'll chime in I have been sailing offshore since the mid 80's Im 45 and started off with a 65' boat. I now sail and liveaboard a 22' boat. I have about 75,000 offshore miles under my belt and have been through 2 hurricanes and countless other lame situations. I have delivered dozens of boats thousands of miles. I have never once equated size with safety be it 27' or 150'. I do admit my boat is very small but not at all uncomfortable or unsafe. I have owned 11 boats and find my current one to be the safest and most comfortable of them all. When I purchased my current boat I did it with the knowledge that it is the safest boat I could afford to pay cash for. If I had a baziilion dollars to spend the apple wouldn't fall far from the tree but I might be persuaded to drop 600 grand on a new BCC
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Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
.....
The discussion regarding if a bigger boat can be handle for one, two or three has nothing to do with the generic principle in discussion and is an altogether different subject that has much to do with the skipper experience, the type of boat and the way the boat is rigged.
.........
Paulo, ALL,

I am the OP.

When I asked about “safety”, I AM speaking of the total subject! NOT just the specific design parameters of this boat or the other.

I am sorry I was not more specific in the original post regarding my views. I am speaking in terms of the typical cruising couple, maybe with a child or 2. They bought a boat and are out for the adventure of a life time. I am NOT talking about an aircraft carrier or cruise ship.

In speaking of “safety” at sea, the crew compliment MUST be taken into account. I am not specific as to the capability, assuming any single member of the crew can handle the boat. BUT, the size of the boat has a large impact on that. If, as in the video posted, the crew is not large enough to handle the boat when things go to crap, the boat is NOT safe! The size of the boat, “big” did NOT add safety to that boat.

A crew of 2 can handle a 30 foot boat with all electrical systems down, can't say that for a 60 ft boat.

In my view, “safety” takes ALL aspects of the craft and crew into consideration!

By the way, barefootnavigator,

We have hot and cold pressure water aboard our 27 and have taken hot showers at sea! AND, I can tell you after a freezing watch, it is heaven. We also have a fireplace and use it a lot. Our range under power is between 500 and 750 miles. Smaller boat uses less fuel.

Greg
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  #95  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

barefoot gotta respect what you say.you are way more experienced then me even after 35+ yrs at it. ( work that 4 letter word). still different strokes for different folks. seriously doubt I could get my bride to live on your boat especially if she feeds me chili.
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Greg gotta respect what you say too. that norsea sounds sweet. still suspect under power bigger boats with bigger tankage have longer range before fuel/water run out. Know we can go farther than you state. Agree size doesn't equate to structural integrety. Especially as forces multiple to some degree when loa increases linearly.
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootnavigator View Post
Bigger does not mean higher hull speed unless you are talking about motoring all the way. Sure a longer water line may mean higher hull speed in ideal conditions. Last time I was long distance cruising we averaged less than 10 knots of wind, rarely were the conditions optimal. Speed does not EVER equate to safety, safety does. On the other hand I cant even imagine what a hot shower on a boat is like. We all find a happy medium out there, you sound like you have found yours. The joy of sailing is the joy of sailing regardless of size
By the way Barefoot,

A photo just for you....

And as we have on our web page......
Cruising should be entirely for pleasure, and when it ceases to be so it no longer makes sense. Of course those who want to beat out what little brains they have in a night thrash to windward should have a strong, stiff racing machine, a very expensive contraption, one which has sacrificed the best qualities of a cruiser. But the little yacht that can snuggle alongside of some river bank for the night and let its crew have their supper in peace while listening to the night calls of the whippoorwills will keep its crew much more contented. They will be particularly happy and contented when the evening rain patters on the deck and the coal-burning stove becomes the center of attraction. Then if you can lie back in a comfortable place to read, or spend the evening in pleasant contemplation of the next day's run, well, then you can say "This is really cruising."

L Francis Herreshoff

Greg
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  #98  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

I eat like a king but I have to agree, getting a girl on a 22' boat is near impossible. My primary propulsion is a sculling oar but occasionally my outboard works, I have a range of 25 miles on those rare occasions. As far as experience is concerned I have to admit that half of my sea miles were as crew in training ie a glorified passenger.
One last though. This summer I was invited to stay for free at a local marina. Several of us were sitting in the cockpit playing music eating a huge meal cooked from scratch with great wine and candles everywhere. There was a 65' luxury yacht moored in front of us on its way back through Panama after a summer cruising in the Salish Sea. The owner of the boat came over to complement us on our life and admitted that he was envious of us. As he got up to leave several hours later he also complemented us on our wine selection and said it was the best he has ever had. We might not have big boats or all the bells and whistles but on Sunday night when everyone is rushing back to work we sail on. I cant think of a single complaint I have ever had when it comes to my boat, she is perfect...for me
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
Paulo, ALL,

I am the OP.

When I asked about “safety”, I AM speaking of the total subject! NOT just the specific design parameters of this boat or the other.
Yes, and generically, type of boat for type of boat, a bigger boat will be more seaworthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
I am sorry I was not more specific in the original post regarding my views. I am speaking in terms of the typical cruising couple, maybe with a child or 2. They bought a boat and are out for the adventure of a life time. ...

In speaking of “safety” at sea, the crew compliment MUST be taken into account. I am not specific as to the capability, assuming any single member of the crew can handle the boat. BUT, the size of the boat has a large impact on that. If, as in the video posted, the crew is not large enough to handle the boat when things go to crap, the boat is NOT safe! The size of the boat, “big” did NOT add safety to that boat.
Even considering handling the boat and if we consider a 27ft, even an heavy one like yours, a bigger boat (same type) is safer and more seaworthy.

Sure I understand what you say regarding handling the boat and there are limits for that, related with the size of the boat with the type of rigging and most of all with the experience of the skipper, but certainly you would have no problem handling the same type of boat you own if it was a 35ft.

It is not needed much experience to handle that type of boat and a 35ft is a lot more stable, has considerable more stability and will make all work forward or near the mast more safe.

Of course, another question is to know if that for the type of sailing you make your boat has all the safety you need and probably it has.

But the question was if a bigger boat was safer and more seaworthy. And the answer is: Yes it is, assuming the skipper has enough experience to handle it.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 11-01-2013 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 11-01-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Paulo, I respect your opinion but I firmly disagree, bigger is not always better or safer. You can run a thousand computer models but you will never be able to simulate real time cruising on a computer. In some cases a larger boat may be more comfortable and may be safer and in many it wont. This is fun to chat about but also pointless as there are millions of variables than have nothing to do with sea state when it comes to being safe at sea.
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