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  #41  
Old 10-28-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

When I started sailing, there was a rule of thumb that suggested that 2 1/2 to 5 long tons (5,500 lbs to 11,000 lbs) of displacement per person was ideal for a cruising boat. Obviously, a lot has changed in the 50 plus years since I started sailing such as better winches and lower friction hardware, better sail handling gear in general, lower drag hulls, higher relative stability hulls, and more efficient rigs. Offsetting the changes which make sailing easier, are changes which push the opposite direction. People expect a boat to be something 'closer to home' and so have a lot more stuff on board, and that requires more power and that adds weight, and that adds fuel and that adds weight, and that makes a longer boat. It used to be that the type of people who went to sea were pretty fit and rugged, but now people of all physical condition are going to sea, so as boats are getting bigger, perhaps physical strength and endurance is declining some. And all of these things tilt the symplicity, divided by ease of handling, multiplied by length and weight, equation one way or the other.

And of course as boats become further mechanized to deal with the above, they require more stored power, perhaps bigger battery banks, energy collectors, and fuel, and that adds weight and that again pushes towards bigger size and perhaps more complexity to handle that bigger size and weight.

Its a vortex that makes me dizzy just thinking about it.....

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 10-28-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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  #42  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

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Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
...

A mini 650 meets all the ISAF cat 2 safety requirements, and so long as the keel stays on it would be hard to find a safer ocean boat. A well built self-righting monohull that won't down flood in a broach, has up to date rigging etc, and the proper sail selection will be seaworthy almost regardless of size with a good skipper at the helm. Floating cork principal, gives me supreme confidence that no matter how bad I mess up out in open water, the most likely worst case scenario is I float on my side until I can release the sheet or halyard causing the problems. Racing teaches u that lesson well.

That said, being in a seaworthy floating cork isn't very comfortable and it takes a special kind of person to single hand a mini 650 transat :-)
Peter, the Mini 650 (22ft) is one of the safest offshore boats.... for their size...but they are still waiting (for 15 days) for the weather to improve to start the mini-transat (high winds on the Biscay) while the Transat Jaques Fabre will start tomorrow with no problem for safety. It will be raced by racing Multihulls (50 and 70ft) and racing Monohulls (40 and 60ft).

That means that they consider a racing multihull with 50ft more seaworthy than the mini class racer monohull. I would say that a 40class racer is more seaworthy than those 50class racers and an Open 6o more seaworthy than a 40class racer. Any sailor that knows all those boats will say the same.

On the other hand I regard the last Jester challenge mostly with old small boats (less than 30ft) almost went to disaster with the majority of the boats having to retire from the race...and they are proposing a new one

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Regards

Paulo
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  #43  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
That's just bad design.

Regarding the reliability of the Trintella, probably that's why they went bankrupt while HR continues to grow.

Look I am not saying that a coach is not more reliable than a car or that if you manage to keep it simple you will get more reliability. What I am saying is that some systems made life easy for sailors and allow them to sail faster and safer boats, bigger boats. They are an advantage not a disadvantage.

A genoa furling system is less reliable that an old clip on sail on stay. Even if not frequent they can jam and broke. The same thing with an anchor winch. Or an electric autopilot. Nobody questions today the advantages they bring over the inconvenients.

That's the kind of thing I am saying. Regarding boats over 40ft I would say the electric winches and furlers have reached the same kind of acceptance on the market. They have many advantages and a great reliability allowing older people to keep sailing and a smaller crew. Wireless commands for the winches (anchor and sail ones) and to the auto pilot have become increasingly popular and reliable. They have been developed on the solo racing circuit and have become a big asset there as they are for cruising.

All these systems can be operated manually as a back up, so there is not a difference regarding them to be automatic in what regards reliability, only advantages. The same with lateral thrusters. If you have a malfunction you can still operate the boat has if they were not there.

Again, a coach is more reliable than a car and a car hugely more complex but you can believe it that with time a sailboat will be more like a car and less like a coach in what regards simplicity and reliability just because a car is a lot more comfortable than a coach and faster (bigger boats being sailed by couples).

Regards

Paulo
Paulo, I really don't disagree with any of your points, they're certainly valid in terms of allowing older or less experienced or fit couples to sail bigger and bigger boats... I simply think that's not necessarily a good thing... I see all the time, people out there in boats that in my opinion are way beyond their ability to manage physically, especially if some of these sailhandling systems go down... And yes, the loss of something like a bow thruster should not necessarily spell doom, and yet I see people today who really are incapable of docking without them, or of getting off a dock when pinned against it by the breeze, without such assistance...

For me, the essence of Seamanship is basically the constant posing of the question "What IF...?" What happens if we don't arrive a X before nightfall, what happens if I don't attend to the bit of chafe I'm seeing on that sheet, and so on... So, I look at that sleek, elegant mainsheet on that HR that disappears into the boom, and I wonder "What IF...?"





Here's how H-R describes the setup:

"The mainsheet system only has one single visible line. There is a hydraulic cylinder and line purchase hidden inside the boom. The hydraulic vang is very powerful."

Hmmm, HIDDEN INSIDE THE BOOM??? Seriously? Well, I'm sure it works nicely, certainly gives the boat a sleek and uncluttered look, but I sure don't like the sound of such a system, maybe a few years down the road...

Now, perhaps Selden has made the provision for inspection or servicing such an arrangement very convenient... Still, I don't like this modern trend towards hiding lines and other critical gear... "Out of Sight, out of Mind..." Any hydraulic cylinder will begin to leak eventually, will the first indication of the mainsheet failing on such a boat be a stain on the teak decking beneath the gooseneck? If that system develops a problem offshore in a blow, what then? How easy do you suppose it will be for an older couple to deal with servicing a large hydraulic ram (which often requires highly specialized tools and presses that can realistically only be done in a shop ashore) that is hidden inside the boom?

Again, perhaps it's just me, and I'm the only delivery skipper out there who has ever had the misfortune of having this sort of gadgetry go tits up... But, I'm guessing maybe not... :-)

I'll admit, my perspective on much of this stuff is different from most... In the delivery business, it's very common for me to be running brokerage boats that have sat unused for an extended period, or might not have seen the best of maintenance recently... It's one thing when these complex arrangements are new, or are being 'exercised' routinely... But when such boats sit unused in Florida for a couple of years before being sold, it can be a whole different ballgame, and simplicity rules the day... I really have to wonder about the longevity of much of this stuff, many years on down the road... The original owner will have long moved onto something newer and more slick, but the owner of boats relying upon such complexity 20 years down the road are likely to find themselves in a situation of a car owner who drives their cars basically until they die, and are eventually plagued with the failure of things like power windows, with no means of opening them manually, and so on...

No need to ask me how I know this... :-)
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 10-28-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
... People expect a boat to be something 'closer to home' and so have a lot more stuff on board, and that requires more power and that adds weight, and that adds fuel and that adds weight, and that makes a longer boat. It used to be that the type of people who went to sea were pretty fit and rugged, but now people of all physical condition are going to sea, so as boats are getting bigger, perhaps physical strength and endurance is declining some. And all of these things tilt the symplicity, divided by ease of handling, multiplied by length and weight, equation one way or the other.

And of course as boats become further mechanized to deal with the above, they require more stored power, perhaps bigger battery banks, energy collectors, and fuel, and that adds weight and that again pushes towards bigger size and perhaps more complexity to handle that bigger size and weight.

Its a vortex that makes me dizzy just thinking about it.....

Jeff
Yes, that is quite true but I don't think that is going to go on an on. If you look at the market it seems to have stabilized between 45 and 65ft meaning that most cruisers if they could (if they had the money) would buy a boat of that size. The magical number seems to be between 50 and 56ft. Those boats can have an house like feel with all commodities and can take the extra weight without making them slow, are very seaworthy with a much better sea motion than a smaller boat. Some good examples, besides the HR 64 that I have posted regarded the ideal cruising boat on the European imaginary:











There are another (smaller) tendency that prefers smaller simpler and faster offshore cruising boats, but not that small. I would say they would see the ideal cruising boat between 43 and 60ft, I mean if they had the money to have one. Those boats also use electric winches and wireless commands but in a much smaller scale in what regards the first ones:







There other (even smaller) tendencies in what regards the ideal cruising boat but not really anything smaller than 40fts if we consider any significant tendency. Normally ideal voyage boats tend to be smaller than the others between 44 and 56ft or at least it is what the market shows.





All these boats are designed to be sailed by a couple and that would be unthinkable some decades ago. That is only possible now due to advances in technology and motorized equipment that takes the effort out of sailing.

I don't say that I like it or at least all of it, specially in what regards the first type of boats that I would discard immediately even if I had all the money in the world, but they are without doubt the ones that are most present as the ideal cruiser for most European sailors, have them the money to have them.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 10-28-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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  #45  
Old 10-28-2013
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

In reading a lot of the replies, I get the idea that the “feeling” of safety at sea, or the choice of what boat to go to sea in, is drastically influenced by the age of, and actual experience of the posters.

Greg
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  #46  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Paulo, I really don't disagree with any of your points, they're certainly valid in terms of allowing older or less experienced or fit couples to sail bigger and bigger boats... I simply think that's not necessarily a good thing... I see all the time, people out there in boats that in my opinion are way beyond their ability to manage physically, especially if some of these sailhandling systems go down... And yes, the loss of something like a bow thruster should not necessarily spell doom, and yet I see people today who really are incapable of docking without them, or of getting off a dock when pinned against it by the breeze, without such assistance...

For me, the essence of Seamanship is basically the constant posing of the question "What IF...?" What happens if we don't arrive a X before nightfall, what happens if I don't attend to the bit of chafe I'm seeing on that sheet, and so on... So, I look at that sleek, elegant mainsheet on that HR that disappears into the boom, and I wonder "What IF...?"





Here's how H-R describes the setup:

"The mainsheet system only has one single visible line. There is a hydraulic cylinder and line purchase hidden inside the boom. The hydraulic vang is very powerful."

Hmmm, HIDDEN INSIDE THE BOOM??? Seriously? Well, I'm sure it works nicely, certainly gives the boat a sleek and uncluttered look, but I sure don't like the sound of such a system, maybe a few years down the road...

Now, perhaps Selden has made the provision for inspection or servicing such an arrangement very convenient... Still, I don't like this modern trend towards hiding lines and other critical gear... "Out of Sight, out of Mind..." Any hydraulic cylinder will begin to leak eventually, will the first indication of the mainsheet failing on such a boat be a stain on the teak decking beneath the gooseneck? If that system develops a problem offshore in a blow, what then? How easy do you suppose it will be for an older couple to deal with servicing a large hydraulic ram (which often requires highly specialized tools and presses that can realistically only be done in a shop ashore) that is hidden inside the boom?

Again, perhaps it's just me, and I'm the only delivery skipper out there who has ever had the misfortune of having this sort of gadgetry go tits up... But, I'm guessing maybe not... :-)

I'll admit, my perspective on much of this stuff is different from most... In the delivery business, it's very common for me to be running brokerage boats that have sat unused for an extended period, or might not have seen the best of maintenance recently... It's one thing when these complex arrangements are new, or are being 'exercised' routinely... But when such boats sit unused in Florida for a couple of years before being sold, it can be a whole different ballgame, and simplicity rules the day... I really have to wonder about the longevity of much of this stuff, many years on down the road... The original owner will have long moved onto something newer and more slick, but the owner of boats relying upon such complexity 20 years down the road are likely to find themselves in a situation of a car owner who drives their cars basically until they die, and are eventually plagued with the failure of things like power windows, with no means of opening them manually, and so on...

No need to ask me how I know this... :-)
I don't disagree with you on this. Maybe only on a question of perspective: Systems that allow older people to sail bigger boats come to stay and boats like cars or everything else will be more complex and better with time.

Bigger boats are faster, more seaworthy, more comfortable in a seaway and can offer a more comfortable interior with better storage and tankage and it is normal that cruisers went for them as soon as it become not difficult to sail with a couple (at least if they have the money to afford them).

I agree that any mechanical system that has not a manual back up is not a good system. I don't know if that mainsheet on the HT64 has a manual back up or not.

That tendency for bigger boats and mechanized help started not many years ago. Some systems like some that you described on the Trintella are plain dumb. Systems will go in the direction of reliability and the ones that are not will not survive.

There are some that are already used for many years that proved themselves reliable like furling genoas, furling mains, electric anchor winches, electric furling genoas and electric winches as well as wireless commands. Off course all these systems have to have manual back ups and from them the ones I trust in what regards back up are furling masts that are however very reliable but as you say...what if?

You are also right to say that a mechanical system is more dangerous than a manual one, not in this case but in all cases. You have a lot of power at the push of a button and you have to be careful with the use but the electrical winches for the rigging are not more dangerous than the winch that works with the anchor, one that is used by everybody for a long time.

You are also right into pointing out that these systems will not last forever and need adequate maintenance, specially the more complex ones. This will have not only a cost in the sailboats price (this systems are expensive) as will in the future will bring a problem when these boats become older and went on the used market. Refitting the boat would be much more expensive regarding the boat value.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 10-28-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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  #47  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
In reading a lot of the replies, I get the idea that the “feeling” of safety at sea, or the choice of what boat to go to sea in, is drastically influenced by the age of, and actual experience of the posters.

Greg
Off course, but most of all is influenced by the budget available and a small cruiser is certainly better that no cruiser at all

I would say that for sailing a smaller boat offshore one has to be more experienced and more fit than to cruise a modern much bigger boat offshore.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Off course, but most of all is influenced by the budget available and a small cruiser is certainly better that no cruiser at all

I would say that for sailing a smaller boat offshore one has to be more experienced and more fit than to cruise a modern much bigger boat offshore.

Regards

Paulo
Not a good assumption to make.

Jill and I are both of the social security age. Well, I will admit it, but Jill is my trophy wife at only 25. ;-)

We could, if we decided to, purchase most any of the boats listed. We chose to cruise our Nor'Sea 27 for many factors. Each year since we started living aboard and cruising we talk over weather or not we want a larger boat, it has always been a resounding “NO”!

Photo below is Jill and a friend on another excursion.......

Greg
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  #49  
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

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Originally Posted by Delezynski View Post
Not a good assumption to make.

...choice of what boat to go to sea in, is drastically influenced by the age of, and actual experience of the posters.
...
Greg
Greg it is not an assumption it is a fact: the budget available conditions the choice of the boat. It may not apply to you and I was not thinking in you specifically, but it conditions me and almost all of us. Unlike you most of us cannot afford to pay a million USD for a sailboat not to mention maintenance and the big berthing fees of a big boat.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 10-28-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Re: Sailing, safety, & size

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Greg it is not an assumption it is a fact: the budget available conditions the choice of the boat. It may not apply to you and I was not thinking in you specifically, but it conditions me and almost all of us. Unlike you most of us cannot afford to pay a million USD for a sailboat not to mention maintenance and the big berthing fees of a big boat.

Regards

Paulo
Paulo,

I would like to point out that of the about 15+ boats that departed the San Francisco Bay when we did, for “long term” cruising, we are the the smallest boat, AND we are the ONLY boat still actively cruising. Of the rest, two couples are still living aboard in a Mexico marina and have not sailed in years. The rest, gave up cruising, sold the boats and are now CLODs (Cruisers Living On Dirt). ALL of the boats I cite were fitted out with the best that could be offered in 2004. What is state of the art today, is obsolete next week, some times tomorrow! I can't believe people NEED a new phone every year!

I do not attribute us still cruising to anything special about us. I do think it has a lot do with how hard/easy it is to maintain and actively cruise a larger boat. Of the breakdowns, and we had a couple, we were FAR less impacted than the larger boats...... That is, we cruised more for less maintenance.

During 4 years in the Sea of Cortez, we were offered 3 times to trade our boat, straight across, for boats in the 41 to 45 foot range. And they were NOT trash boats!

Of a lot of active cruisers I know, we are NOT unique in cruising on boats far smaller than could be bought by the people cruising them.

I DO agree that many people run out, sell the house and purchase the biggest boat they can. I would also submit that all of those that we met along the way (MANY) gave up cruising in short order! I am always sad for those that go that route. Not for the loss of money, but for the dreams that go unfulfilled.

That said, in my line of work, when I was working, a “fact” was universally true. As you have said that Jill and I (along with others we know) do not fit your "fact", I submit it is only an assumption.

Greg
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