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  #31  
Old 02-03-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I like big boats.
We moved to the larger boat for passage making because it's much more self sufficient for remote areas and more importantly we can accommodate crew. A group of People aboard make the passages much more interesting (providing you are sociable). In heavy weather it's far less tiring if you get a decent sleep between watches. A bigger boat is also more comfortable in a seaway.
Also when coastal cruising at your destination you always have some who happy to stay onboard when everyone else wants to go ashore. People especially women also appreciate decent showers and private heads in places comfortably usable at sea. So you keep good crew if you want them.

My 65 footer ( Approx 40 ton ) has a simple ketch rig with no furlers, storm sails are the working sails reefed and everything self tacking except the main. Everything is dropped and hoisted and stores on booms or in bags along the rails.

I had a 57 footer for a while but it was cutter rigged and too hard to handle despite electric furlers and winches. The ketch I have now is very easy to sail in all weathers and has no furlers and simple winches. I've had shredded sails and a large boat knocked down trying to furl them in a sudden front hitting us unexpectedly.
I find it's easier, quicker and safer to run and release the halyard and drag the sail down and lash it to the rail.

Sometimes We don't even touch the sails for days and the autopilot steers, everyone cooks, eats talks, learns each others languages and plays games music and even paints pictures. Then the passages are actually really fun and memorable. And when you make port the crew can stay aboard.

We have 6 good sea berths another 6 in fairer weather or cruising rather than passage making ( a queen sized double and 4 bunks up fwd) all in 4 separate sleeping cabins. In fair weather during the day people are usually on the aft deck and the deck space is another plus for big boats !

I also have a 45 footer performance cruiser I sail single handed. It's fun but it has a pokey head a shower in the cockpit and I get seasick on it in heavy weather. I don't get a twinge of mal-de-mare on the bigger boat even in real survival weather.
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  #32  
Old 02-03-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
..

My 65 footer ( Approx 40 ton ) has a simple ketch rig with no furlers, storm sails are the working sails reefed and everything self tacking except the main. Everything is dropped and hoisted and stores on booms or in bags along the rails.
....
You mean not even furlers for the forward sails (Genoa), Code 0, Geenaker?
Do you sail that one alone? I believe this discussion had to do with a big boat that could be sailed alone or with a little help from the wife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
I also have a 45 footer performance cruiser I sail single handed.
Can you tell of what boat you are talking about? I am sure it is not your case but some talk about what were 20 or 30 years ago performance cruisers as if they could still be considered performance cruisers when in fact their performances and weight are now similar to the one of a contemporary cruiser. What people call a performance cruiser is not always the same. Just to understand better of what you are talking about.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 02-03-2014 at 09:14 AM.
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  #33  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
You mean not even furlers for the forward sails (Genoa), Code 0, Geenaker?
Do you sail that one alone? I believe this discussion had to do with a big boat that could be sailed alone or with a little help from the wife.

Can you tell of what boat you are talking about? I am sure it is not your case but some talk about what were 20 or 30 years ago performance cruisers as if they could still be considered performance cruisers when in fact their performances and weight are now similar to the one of a contemporary cruiser. What people call a performance cruiser is not always the same. Just to understand better of what you are talking about.

Regards

Paulo
Paulo

Adams 45 is the design of the 45 foot performance cruiser. It's very easy for me to sail alone.

Yes on the 65 footer ( Length on Deck) I have no furlers for any sail. Furlers are nice and easy but they add weight aloft, a lot of windage and they take time to furl on a big boat. I find it safer and quicker to drop the whole sail. I wouldn't go back to furlers again I had too many problems and even shredded sails and boats knocked down due to delays getting sail in with furlers.

In clement weather there is no problem sailing a big boat alone for shorter legs, but it's nice to have a self tacking autopilot. Alone you are always on watch in any sized boat which is a limitation.
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  #34  
Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
Paulo

Adams 45 is the design of the 45 foot performance cruiser. It's very easy for me to sail alone.

Yes on the 65 footer ( Length on Deck) I have no furlers for any sail. Furlers are nice and easy but they add weight aloft, a lot of windage and they take time to furl on a big boat. I find it safer and quicker to drop the whole sail. I wouldn't go back to furlers again I had too many problems and even shredded sails and boats knocked down due to delays getting sail in with furlers.

In clement weather there is no problem sailing a big boat alone for shorter legs, but it's nice to have a self tacking autopilot. Alone you are always on watch in any sized boat which is a limitation.
I can find lots of different boats under the designation of Adams 45, none I would call a performance cruiser. Even some steel ones.

It is something like this?:

Adams 45 Yacht for sale in Marmong Point NSW | Adams 45 Yacht

Regards

Paulo
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  #35  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Paulo
Yes similar boat but mines 12.5 tons laden. I'd put that in the performance cruiser bracket. It sails at 8 knots pretty easily with the lee rail well out of the water. A bit light for long distance cruising and I get seasick on it !

But lets talk about big boats :-) My 65 footer I have had 4 years now and had no problem adjusting to the size. I love it.

Whats the largest you have skippered, how did you get on ?
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Paulo,
What is the make and model of your 65, curious. I am 65 on the deck as well and I love the deck unless it's time to wash it.
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  #37  
Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

IMHO, the size of the sails is a factor as much as the size of the boat. Our 50 footer does not have the tall mast, which I believe makes her easier to sail solo. I believe the poster with the ketch is seeing a similar effect with managable sails even though the boat is big.

We don't have any electric winches or in mast furling. Rather, we have a stackpack with lazy jacks. With nice size manual winches, sail handling is easy enough. I don't think I'd want to sail solo without the lazy jacks. And the stack pack means a simple zip-up protects the sail from UV.

We have an electric autopilot. If we were to do long distance cruising we'd want to have spare parts for it.

We have 4 kids, the oldest is now 6'3". The room on our 50 is good to have. I don't have to worry about storage or weight. We've had empty storage spots. (I finally put beer in one of them.) Our tankage lets us go for weeks without refilling our water tanks. We can hold a bigger battery bank and have more solar panels too. So there's no rationing of electricity.

As an electrical engineer, the electrical systems come easily to me. So it was a natural progression to add an inverter for the microwave, stanchion lights, long range wifi and other things. I read-up on refrigeration systems and with some advice from Cleave at SeaFrost, I put in our electrical refrigeration/freezer. Yes, I do much of the work. I thoroughly enjoy it. Maybe because I have a desk job, but it gets me outside and gets me some exercise.

Haven't done any passages yet, but the bigger boat makes for a different experience in the weather I've seen. What was described as a rough day by someone on a Catalina 37, was a beautiful day sail on our boat. On one trip from Block Island to Montauk, we actually played Parcheesi in the cockpit while motor sailing along with a lowered traveller. None of the little game peices fell over. And with some competitive kids, it was a raucously good time.

All of the above is to say that I like the size of our boat, can (and often do) sail solo, and don't feel any desire to go smaller.

Not sure about a bigger boat, since it would likely mean fewer day sails. Perhaps we all are comfortable with what we have and see bigger as meaning less sailing. It would be nice to have a raised saloon, that raised area midships that bigger boats have. You know, where you can eat breakfast inside and look out over the anchorage, or stand at the helm inside. If we ever got a bigger boat, that would probably be what led me to get it.

When soloing, I think the time it takes to get to the bow is a factor, for when anchoring, docking, or grabbing a mooring. If you are quick on your feet, you'll get "up there" quicker and you'll be more comfortable with a bigger-sized boat.

Good thread.

Regards,
Brad
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Last edited by Bene505; 02-05-2014 at 06:44 AM.
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  #38  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Think it's very different depending on the detailed specifics of the boat, the owners and the landside life of the owners. We looked at bigger and smaller boats. Saw that 90% of time the boat would be in effect singled. Either it would be me and the bride so then watch and watch. Or us plus inexperienced crew meaning I would need to be up and need to run the boat myself pushing crew aside if things got unsafe. Also things break, batteries fail, shyte happens. Our physical capabilities are not what they once were. Therefore, limiting factor was size of the main I could raise without power. If the windlass goes it will be painful.
Other problem was knowledge boat would be on slips for its first two years due to landside issues and they charge by the foot.
Split rigs are a joy but not as weatherly, more to maintain with more expense and complexity. Nothing like jib and jigger until you have two sticks to maintain.
Size is wonderful but I've had my scary times with centerboards and hate maintaining them so wanted a fixed keel. Then size means more draft and the first two years are eastern US seaboard/Bahamas so decided no more then 6.5'.
Seems as waterfront gets exponentially more expensive finger piers get closer and closer together. Even some fuel docks have no margin for error. As size goes up the in/out of harbors becomes a white knuckle affair for me. Prior poster mentioned boats not going out. Personally at my level of skill I have no issue singling my boat in any weather but still need a hand ( unskilled newbie is fine) to be a line handler going in and out. When its windy been known to anchor, launch the dinghy, pick up anybody to handle lines and then go in. Think with just a bit of fore thought any body can sail a big boat. I've sailed 86' without issue. Hydraulics are wonderful. But I think it's beyond my skill set to deal with anything >50-55' near the hard edges. If your only swinging on a mooring or at anchor size is a non issue and bigger is better. If you cruise in a deep water area size is no issue. But for most of us either due to finances, physical capabilities, absence of crew being a double handed couple or cruising region 40-50' makes a lot sense.
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  #39  
Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

30 feet and 9,000lbs (and upwards) is where it's at, for single-handers.

Smaller loads, less expensive to equip and maintain. Less expensive slips in marinas, and can squeeze into tight or semi-shallow anchorages depending on draft. Easier to dock, solo. Easier to DIY maintain.

I've sailed larger boats, and even with all of the lines led aft and set up for singlehanding, I felt that they would be a real handful if the weather ever got up. There is one large boat that I'd take on, solo...but I won't name her.

I'm a fairly solitary creature, so I rarely ever entertain more than 1-3 passengers. I have a head, a galley and music onboard, so I don't feel like I'm camping.

25 feet is too small. 35 feet would be my absolute max, and I probably wouldn't like it as much as 30. There are a slew of solid 30 foot, Good Old Boats out there:

Tartan
Catalina
Pearson
Ericson
Sabre
S2 9.1

I have a friend who's circumnavigated. He says that 30 years ago, people circumnavigated on 30 footers. Now, people will tell you that 30 feet isn't suitable to cross the Chesapeake Bay.
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  #40  
Old 02-05-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I can't imagine having a boat that I felt was too big to take out alone for a sail.

I can't count the number of times I've squeezed in a few hours of sailing, alone, when I sneak off from work, or wife and son have another engagement.

The cut-off point for "too big to take out alone" will vary (widely) from person to person and boat to boat, but that would be an absolute deal breaker for me on any boat.
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