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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #21  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

We have complete redundancy in the steering system, two complete systems in fact, but the rudder- well no... I've thought about it some though, we have a vertical transom so I imagine some sort of track and a drop in rudder, at some point somewhere I've seen something like this. We would have a problem with the swim platform though. Something to think about more though rudder failure is a scary thing to think about. There is always the sea anchor, the rig balances well so there are options if I had the time and depending on the sea state. I have no idea whether I could get her to sail up wind at all with no rudder. Our rudder has been reinforced and updated, but that doesn't mean a heavy grounding couldn't set up such a situation. Love to hear thoughts on this topic.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I made my first, and only, open water crossing on a Catalina 30 from San Pedro, Belize to Houston, Texas. I thought that I had hit the big time gaining passage on such a large and provisioned boat, and there were four of us! Honestly, even if I had Bill Gates' money, I can't see owning anything bigger than 40', unless I was a charter for hire.
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Prior sisterships have used dropped blade and tiller to allow inclusion in blue water races or hydro vanes with emergency rudder add on. Big selling point of hydro vanes is they can be mounted off center. When coastal take rudder and vane off. Having the hydro vane deployed makes backing down and slow speed maneuvers more difficult from what I understand. Some sisterships have gone with monitors with emergency rudder add on. Don't see how that would work for me due to configuration of existing hard dodger/ davits etc.
May be forced to go the 2 autopilot and auxiliary emergency rudder route.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Our boat is really our summer home and we sail her nearly every weekend for 6 months per year. Having enough room and amenities to be comfortable is important to us. We also have guests nearly every weekend and they're not always family or close enough friends that we would be comfortable camping on top of each other.

Our boat absolutely sails like a dream. Easily handled by 2 and, while I've never taken her off he dock alone, I have effectively sailed her solo with my wife down below many times. Essentially everything is in the cockpit.

Certainly, the larger boats get your attention with every maintenance bill. I fully agree with the comment above that we are always met with a huge smile from maintenance yards. They are absolutely accustom to seeing dollar signs, when they see a bigger boat. Our bills are going to be bigger than a smaller boat, but they can really reach for it, just to see if you'll pay. Let's face it, there are some uber-rich owners that just want it perfect at any moment and do pay for that kind of attention. I manage my own maintenance, doing what I can and contracting out what I can't or don't have time for.

The one thing my wife often complains about is the size of the fenders and dealing with them. We use 12" x 36" fenders. Six of them. You would too, if you've ever had a bad storm destroy a 30k paint job. From time to time, I think about buying inflatable mega-fend fenders just to stop the complaining, but that would be $3,000 in fenders!!

We sometimes dream of moving up, but certainly don't need to. Who knows, maybe in retirement, if things go really, really well between now and then. But the idea of less expensive, easier, etc, can't escape one's thinking either. If it were just the two of us, no guests, we could certainly be comfortable in something smaller.

Then we rented a 36 foot Bavaria for just the two of us in the BVI last winter. Fenders the size of my wrist! While there was plenty of room for two people, it drove us nuts. Boat speed, galley storage, having to climb around the helm wheel or having to remove it at each anchorage, and on and on. I absolutely could not wait to get back to the helm of our boat!! It was great therapy.

The reason we know we have the right boat for us, is we are always comparing every other boat we are on to it. We've toured similar sized Oysters, Hylas, etc and, while acknowledging their quality, still prefer many of the features of ours over them.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I think it is very dependent on the boat. I'm very happy with our 53'er and I really don't think we 'd be happier with a smaller boat, nor do we really need a bigger one.
The two main points we find great about the 50'er is space and comfort. This is our home; everything we own is aboard and we have plenty of room to store it all away. We have a guest cabin with head, and a smaller cabin used for storage, which enables us to take advantage of picking up large quantities of items like milk, tp, paper towels, canned goods, etc. when they are cheapest and going for months without having to pay the outrageous prices that some islands charge. For instance, my mate loves milk, but it can be upwards of US$2.00 a quart for UHT milk in a lot of places; in Martinique it's less than a buck a liter. We can buy ten cases at a time, saving hugely.
Every time we cross a channel, we are reminded that the size and weight of our boat provides us with a drier, faster and much more comfortable trip than the smaller boats we see around us. Of course, a hundred footer would do that even better, but we probably wouldn't be sailing a hundred footer with just two of us, and our time alone together is very important to us. With all roller furling, she is the easiest boat I've ever sailed; we sail off and onto our anchor almost every trip. At anchor, we are definitely more comfortable than a smaller boat; it is nice to be able to drop the board and have a 10' draft in a rolly anchorage.
When I was single handing her, she was quite obedient powering into any dock. Again, with the roller furling; sailing was a breeze.
Of course, there is maintenance to do, but does the refer unit on a 42'er require less maintenance than one on a 53'er? Sure, haul outs cost more, as does the paint required, etc. but it's a small trade off for the comfort and space a 50' boat can provide.
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Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I sail a 36' boat and with a reverse transom it's really more like a 34' boat. While I have thought of getting something a little larger and heavier for long distance cruising, I'm not ready to cut the docklines yet and not convinced we need a bigger boat. Yet.
So, 40' might be really great to have but I also know I DON'T want 50' and bigger. I don't want to have to rely on complex systems, electric winches for everything, and above all I don't want to feel like I'm tending to a computerized ship. Big boats just don't seem to have that intimate interface that mid sized boats (and especially dinghys) have. Having sailed on BIG boats, most recently TransAtl. on a 65' Oyster, it didn't feel like sailing. Comfy and lots of toys to play w/ but I felt somewhat removed from the experience of SAILING.

I really like the fact that I can take my boat out by myself in most conditions that one would want to go sailing and not have to scrounge up crew if the Admiral is working. And we went cruising for 9 days this fall and never felt cramped. Maybe if we had to go for a month w/o replenishing I'd feel different but for now it's fine.
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  #27  
Old 02-01-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

While there are not too many sailboats here in Atlantic City (Some mega power yachts though) I Have noticed that the "sweet spot" for use seems to be between 28 and 40 feet.

Smaller than that, and people only go out on bright sunny days.. larger than that and it is a major undertaking to go out.. so the 28 to 40 footers seem to go out the most.

My personal opinion is that 30 to 35 feet is the perfect compromise between usable space and cheaper running, hauling, and mooring costs.
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  #28  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Sailing the boat is not the problem. Once out there one person should not have issue with anything <50'. Rather it's the hard edges. Nice to have someone catch a line or snag a mooring or see the side you can't at the wheel or watch for coral heads or dead heads. Once it's too big to handle without power, or too big that you need two to stand watch for me it's too big. Short of that bigger is better,more comfy,safer,faster,and more leading to greater independence. Can wait to get water,fuel, food. Can expect a greater"days work" so more choices. Difference in quality of life in our psc34 and the current boat is huge. Both are great boats but simple things like having the room to carry more pots/pans and having to forgo the extreme space discipline a small boat requires makes the bride smile.when she smiles life is good.
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  #29  
Old 02-02-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I helped crew a 90 footer once, for a week. Once I saw what 90 foot prices were, for everything, I quit dreaming of having one.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I would not want a boat that required crew.
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