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  #51  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

To people currently sailing a 30' boat a 40' one is big. My first boat was 39' and after 2 years I replaced it with a 43' boat, it seemed HUGE at the time but was easier to sail.
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  #52  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
How can you comment on sailing a larger boat when you haven't?
I really did not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
For anyone who says they can handle a 60-70 foot boat easier than a 30-40 foot boat, I'm just not sure what to say to that. My personal experience solo sailing ranges from dinghys to a 40 footer, and I currently sail a 26' boat with plans to be in a mid-30 foot boat. So, I guess I can't really speak to the 60-70 foot range, but from all the talk above about bow thrusters and extra dock hands.... no thanks!

However, not sure I need to solo a 70 footer to know that it's more difficult to get in and out of the dock than on a 30 footer....
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  #53  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I singlehand my 50 foot ketch and aside from docking not much different from my old 37 foot cutter.
Also too the more expensive split rigs yes more of everything but at smaller sizes which offsets some of the cost.
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  #54  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Most of us on 50'+ boats are probably not day sailors, but liveaboards, and day sailing was not our intent when purchasing our boats.
When I circumnavigated in the 70's, it was generally accepted that 42' was the biggest boat an experienced sailor could reasonably handle alone, in any conditions, should your crew become incapacitated. But we didn't have roller furling, cockpit led halyards, selftailing winches and stack packs, or even GPS, so that was a pretty realistic size.
As technical innovations improved, larger boats became more easily managed by smaller crews, and it became possible to have more comfort, space, speed and safety, to the ridiculous point of Alan Colas's 236' Club Med, which he single handed. I never would have considered a 53' ketch as a single handed cruising boat in the 70's, but this one is actually easier to sail than any other boat I have ever sailed, single handed or with crew.
One point which I'd like to mention about 50'+ boats as a choice for the modern day cruisers, is your women. Those of you who desire to retire to the cruising life with your one true love, or ever expect to have a sailing partner for your adventures that has not been raised to the sailing life, can be quite certain that very few women can easily make the change from a house to a tiny boat, comfortably. Hot showers, a reasonably usable galley and some creature comforts can go a long way to a successful transition.
I've met very few women over 50 who'd happily bathe on deck with a sun shower, for their whole cruising life. That extra 8' to 10' of boat length can make a huge difference to the livability of a boat for a woman and the length of time she will remain aboard.
A bigger boat is actually easier to handle in most docking situations; things happen slower and you have more time to make decisions. If you can handle a 30 footer under any conditions, you'll be able to handle a much heavier 50 footer without any problems, once you get used to the extra few feet of boat. Don't sell yourself short; if you can handle one boat, you can handle any boat, once you get used to the peculiarities of that boat.
MikeJohns, ctl411 and Bob142 like this.
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  #55  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I have sailed boats from 24 feet (J24) throught 62 feet (Beneteau CNB) since 1978.

In my view, the ideal size of cruising vessel for a couple is between 36 feet to 44 feet, more or less.

Here is the thing about "big" boats:

1) The difference in size between a 62’ and a 42’ boat is much more than these numbers indicate, as the weight, sail areas and forces required to maneuver go up by the power of two, or even of three. Bigger crew needed, especially if things get gnarly out there.

2) The cost materials/equipment/parts is significantly higher. Usually, ther is more electronics, equipment on-board to service/replace. Berthing cost is higher. Usually on big boats, more electrics such as electric furler, winches mean more battery power needs. Maintenance/service costs per hour should be about same but it takes longer to paint the hull, etc.

3) A big boat owner is susceptible to the "rich mega yacht owner" syndrome, as you mentioned.

Fair Winds,
Steve Szirom

Last edited by Sail444; 02-12-2014 at 05:46 PM.
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  #56  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Having owned, raced and cruised boats from 12 foot to 60 foot I would not want to go back to a 40 footer for cruising. I like the space, speed and load carrying of a 60 footer. Yes it's more expensive but it is a much easier boat to sail in all weather compared to a 40 footer.

YMMV
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  #57  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
The Ketch is a much easier rig to an equivalent area cutter rigged sloop. I can drag around and hank on every sail on my 65' ketch that I couldn't on my 57 sloop. But ketches perform better on the wind the closer they get to an equal masted schooner and with some separation between the mainsail clew and the mizzen tack.
.....
It has that advantage but also the disadvantage of a more complex rig with more lines and with the need to go out of the cockpit to take care of the sails.

A modern tendency that I start to see used on several modern designs is a relatively slow mainsail, with the mast pulled back and three staysails on furlers: A big one, Code 0 or asymmetric spinnaker, a mid sized genoa and a jib.

The jib is almost central regarding the boat length and that means that the boat can be sailed defectively under Jib alone in really high winds and the smallish main with three or four reefs makes its use easy.

Regarding furlers there are many qualities and types but the ones that are designed for extreme conditions have been tried extensively in incredibly bad conditions. their bigger problem is to be expensive and I agree, it is not what you find on the typical cruising boat.

This sail configuration was been developed in solo Open 60's and his now passing to the big cruisers, were easiness is as important as in solo racing even if the sails have less then half the size

Regards

Paulo
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  #58  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sail444 View Post

In my view, the ideal size of cruising vessel for a couple is between 36 feet to 44 feet, more or less.
I think cruiser age factors in. I now feel that 46-48' is the perfect size. That is the size when you can get good tankage and a centreline berth so you and your partner aren't crawling over each at night to go pee. After 46-48' you just get more space to fill up or allow to be occupied by guests.
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  #59  
Old 02-06-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
......................... very few women over 50 who'd happily bathe on deck ............. That extra 8' to 10' of boat length can make a huge difference to the livability of a boat for a woman and the length of time she will remain aboard.
And it's nice for the men too, not only to have the 'significant other' aboard on passages but to have the creature comforts of home for our own use

Also women are more prone to mal de mare than men are, and a bigger boat has a much easier motion. My wife doesn't get sick in gales any more on our larger boat. I have known many couples give up the distance cruising dream because she finds the motion too miserable to tolerate.

To try and put figures to this, generally for similar styles of boats in the same conditions and looking at roll pitch and yaw accelerations a 60 footer will be 5 times more tolerable than a 40 footer or 1/5 the motion. Even a factor of 2 is significant. That easier motion also makes the deck a much safer place to be in rough weather.

Passages can become not only tolerable but can even be fun rather than just the miserable existence out there between ports of call.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
A bigger boat is actually easier to handle in most docking situations; things happen slower and you have more time to make decisions. If you can handle a 30 footer under any conditions, you'll be able to handle a much heavier 50 footer without any problems, once you get used to the extra few feet of boat. Don't sell yourself short; if you can handle one boat, you can handle any boat, once you get used to the peculiarities of that boat.
Agree, boat handling is easier, not harder. When coming alongside a dock or picking up a mooring, the bigger boat stays on station much longer and gives you a lot more time to pick up/make fast the line(s).

If you read the older sailing books late 1800's through to the 1950's people often circumnavigated short handed in very heavy displacement sailboats well over 50 feet without problems. These days we have the huge benefits of all the technology they didn't have. We can use the same seamanship techniques that they necessarily had to use, unfortunately a lot of boaters today are unaware of many of the techniques that make big boat handling easier.

An example mentioned before would be maneuvering using a midships spring line, many smaller boat sailors don't even have anywhere they could attach one and don't understand how it's used, so they miss out on understanding how a much larger craft could be controlled with one line when arriving or departing shoreside.
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  #60  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Just another story! about big boat sailing, My first big boat ay 20yrs old was a 54ft. van degraff steel cutter; no winches, all block and tackle,canvas main, heavy cotton Yankee and canvas staysail(god they where heavy when wet, could clime up the 68ft mast without a boson's chair, I am now skippering a 54ft. new Beneteua, bow thruster,electric winches 'honestly a five year old could sail it's with any vessel day sailing,coastal or off shore it still comes down to the top 3 per cent of the head. If you think you need to reef do it.
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