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  #61  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
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.
This seems like an outdated generational thing, when women were homemakers, and men were out chopping wood or something.

Among my peers (~early 30s), I don't find there are women who need "hot showers, a reasonably usable galley and some creature comforts" any more than some men do. Some do, some don't.

My 32 year old wife enjoys being on our no-frills 26' boat for weekends or weeks at a time, and she'd never stepped foot on a sailboat prior to this one. And if you suggested that she need a "usable galley" (cuz her place is in the kitchen), you're sure to get a fairly quizzical look.
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Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by caberg View Post
This seems like an outdated generational thing, when women were homemakers, and men were out chopping wood or something.

Among my peers (~early 30s), I don't find there are women who need "hot showers, a reasonably usable galley and some creature comforts" any more than some men do. Some do, some don't.
I agree there a lot of boat discussions seem sexist. I like the same things my wife does which why we have together 33 years.
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  #63  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I need a useable galley. Wife is nimble -I'm a Klutz. Need a c shaped galley so I can lean against something and don't fall on my sorry butt making my coffee.
In a larger boat I can bend over and get to pots under the stove. I can have a separate freezer and frig. I can have a bigger stove and oven so can cook a meal all at once instead of in stages.
Similarly can have two heads and a separate shower room with a place to hang wet foulies. Have enough water and on demand hot to take a shower anytime. Wife will get by with PTA bath but I love a hot shower.
Can have multiple staterooms with doors that shut off those spaces from the common areas.
Even with two aboard on the PSC34 we were crawling over each other. Got tired of "please move". Got tired of taking this out to get at that.
Yes I'm a lazy hedonist and proud of it. I'm envious of those who have the skills and resources to have the 55- 65 foot boat. But as said by others mid 40s fits the bill for most couples and us.
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  #64  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post

I wonder how many people who are scared of the idea of a large boat would change their opinion if they actually experienced the benefits ? I changed my view decades ago just after one 5 day passage on a 70 footer, compared with my 40 footer at the time it was bliss.
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I actually have experienced many of the supposed 'benefits' of larger boats, and I'll stick with my preference for boats of a more modest size, thank you...:-)

Big boats don't really "scare me", of course, they can be exhilarating to sail when everything is right... But my perspective is informed by my experience of 30+ years delivering other people's yachts, which has included sailing some pretty big, and very expensive toys... These trips are always done single or shorthanded, and always to a schedule. Having things break or fail is inevitable over time, but my primary concern is lessening the damage when such failures might occur, and being able to physically manage them when they do...

Take something like a gooseneck failure, for example... On a boat like mine, cobbling together a workable repair or jury rig would not be a big deal. On most 40-footers, still doable... But on a 60-footer with a Leisure Furl boom perhaps weighing several hundred pounds, probably not so much...It's that sort of prospect that "scares me" when sailing a larger boat. If I were alone, or had only one other crew, the task could easily overwhelm our physical abilities, and could easily result in injury, or a massive amount of damage to the boat before the boom might be stabilized or secured... I think most sailors were asked if they were forced to deal with a dismasting in heavy weather offshore, if they would rather have to deal with or jettison the rig on a 35-footer, as opposed to a 65-footer, I would guess most would choose the first scenario...

Loss of a rudder or steering, of course, could be another likely scenario... Any jury rig, or the use of an emergency tiller, is likely to rely on a completely manual operation by the crew... Again, if you were forced to get a boat home by the use of control lines, or the trimming of drogues, would you rather be dealing with the forces involved on the smaller boat, or the larger?

Bubblehead mentioned earlier that he knows of only one boat considerably larger than his own that he'd be tempted to own. I'm guessing he's referring to Beth & Evans' 47' HAWK. That sort of boat would be my choice in a larger boat, as well - primarily due to its comparative simplicity... That's a huge component of my "fear" about delivering larger yachts, dealing with the incredible complexity of the systems typically found aboard such boats. Increasing size rarely goes hand in hand with 'simplicity' on today's boats. As a delivery captain, I want to have as few 'issues' during a trip as possible. It's always good when you can keep 'The List' of issues reported to the owner to a minimum, and simply be able to clean up the boat, and get started on the next delivery with as little fuss as possible... And, while my own boat is certainly not devoid of her share of creature comforts, I rate one of the things that helps keep my cruising as pleasant and stress-free as possible, is her relative simplicity...

Whenever I deliver larger boats, I'm always struck by how little many are likely to be actually SAILED by their owners. Downwind poles are usually the leading indicator, it's obvious many have remained stowed on the mast for years. Often there is no provision whatsoever for the running of fore and afterguys, or proper preventers for the main, docklines run to less than ideal attachment points sometimes have to be pressed into service. Of course, one of the primary reasons many people don't use downwind poles on larger boats, is their sheer weight, and general unwieldiness. I ran a larger H-R back up from the islands last summer, we were DDW much of the way. The aluminum pole on that boat was an absolute bear to manage by myself, and represented a real danger whenever we had to jibe, or strike or reset the pole. Once you get above a certain size, carbon fiber is an absolute necessity in a pole IMHO, yet it amazes me how rarely I see owners of larger boats spending the extra money to do it right...

One other thing, a purely personal preference that no doubt is shared by few... But I would never want to go offshore, or for an extended cruise, without a windvane... That pretty much limits you to boats under 50', as a general rule...

Finally, ground tackle that I can physically manage in a blow or an emergency, is a HUGE consideration, for me... On my boat, my Big Bertha storm/kelp/kedge anchor is a 36 lb stainless folding Northill... The equivalent anchor on John Harries' 56' MORGAN'S CLOUD is a 150 pound Luke fisherman... I can't even begin to imagine dealing with such an unwieldy beast in a rising gale, or an emergency situation - even my modest Northill can be a real bear to bring back aboard, over the bow pulpit or lifelines once it's gone over the side...

If I had more time, I could go on...and on...:-) But hopefully, you've gotten my general drift, it's largely about one's physical ability to manage some of the forces that sailing aboard larger boats can involve... Others' mileage may vary, as always...
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 02-07-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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  #65  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
This seems like an outdated generational thing, when women were homemakers, and men were out chopping wood or something.

Among my peers (~early 30s), I don't find there are women who need "hot showers, a reasonably usable galley and some creature comforts" any more than some men do. Some do, some don't.

My 32 year old wife enjoys being on our no-frills 26' boat for weekends or weeks at a time, and she'd never stepped foot on a sailboat prior to this one. And if you suggested that she need a "usable galley" (cuz her place is in the kitchen), you're sure to get a fairly quizzical look.
You are not liveaboards, nor cruising, so I'm sure your lovely wife can put up with, and even enjoy, your "no-frills 26' boat" for a while. It's not her home.
When you talk of a boat as your "home" then things change radically. Hell, when I was in my "~early 30s" I couldn't have cared less about creature comforts, the galley (sandwiches were just fine, or even a cold can of baked beans) or anything else, including the weather; just put up the gear and go for it on anything that might actually survive the voyage.
I'm talking about taking a woman, professional or housewife, who has lived in a nice home her whole life, and putting her on a boat, hopefully for as long as they physically can, and sail over the horizon. Even a younger woman wants a few simple comforts in her "home".
As for, ""usable galley" (cuz her place is in the kitchen)"; for me it's always been about division of labor. If my gal is maintaining the mechanical equipment, helping with general maintenance and repairs aboard, then I'm in the galley a great deal more than I would be otherwise. No bullsh*t about a "woman's role"; on a boat, we all contribute where we can. If I'm on the helm for 40 hours in a gale, then I damn well expect (and appreciate) a few hot cups of coffee and a few warm meals, prepared in a (useable) galley in which these things can actually be produced in a gale. There are no "admirals" sailing with me!
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Last edited by capta; 02-07-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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  #66  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
You are not liveaboards, nor cruising, so I'm sure your lovely wife can put up with, and even enjoy, your "no-frills 26' boat" for a while. It's not her home.
When you talk of a boat as your "home" then things change radically. Hell, when I was in my "~early 30s" I couldn't have cared less about creature comforts, the galley (sandwiches were just fine, or even a cold can of baked beans) or anything else, including the weather; just put up the gear and go for it on anything that might actually survive the voyage.
I'm talking about taking a woman, professional or housewife, who has lived in a nice home her whole life, and putting her on a boat, hopefully for as long as they physically can, and sail over the horizon. Even a younger woman wants a few simple comforts in her "home".
As for, ""usable galley" (cuz her place is in the kitchen)"; for me it's always been about division of labor. If my gal is maintaining the mechanical equipment, helping with general maintenance and repairs aboard, then I'm in the galley a great deal more than I would be otherwise. No bullsh*t about a "woman's role"; on a boat, we all contribute where we can. If I'm on the helm for 40 hours in a gale, then I damn well expect (and appreciate) a few hot cups of coffee and a few warm meals, prepared in a (useable) galley in which these things can actually be produced in a gale. There are no "admirals" sailing with me!
I'm not trying to argue, I just don't think your point is really a gender thing as much as an age thing. As in, it's not women who require a larger boat, it's older folks. It does seem that many people's boat size goes up commensurate with age. Whether that's because of finances, or needing those "creature comforts" on a larger boat, I don't know. Maybe a combination of both. Personally, I can't see us ever on anything larger than 35' or so--even if living aboard--but I guess only time will tell.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Jon- real interested in your comment about windvanes. Do you think the emergency rudder scenario and total loss of electricity are that frequent that leaving having an oversized AP with appropriate spares ( ram, rudder indicator etc.) is not sufficient. For a lot of boats either due to speed DDW, displacement, stern configuration or other issues a servo pendulum may be quite difficult to install and function. What's your cut off for a Hydrovane or like product? Have trouble believing anyone's promo literature.
Thought between two battery banks, wind, solar, generator and oversized alternator supply to the AP is as bulletproof as I can make it. Thinking was with two complete systems or one installed with extensive spares odds of hand steering were low. See fewer and fewer vanes on backs of boats as A.P.s have gotten better.
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Last edited by outbound; 02-07-2014 at 01:56 PM.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Couple things;

1) The fact that you are delivering these boats indicates they are not being sailed by the owner. Why are you surprised gear is unused, in dis repair, miss used or missing? These are fashion statements that are not actively sailed, understood or maintained. An example of this is can be seen in a recent aborted delivery.......

Yachts that are actively owner sailed don't hire delivery captains. They have workable systems to handle the loads, have time on the boat to understand how their boats behave and have developed a methodology that allows them to efficiently sail the yacht.

2) You think you can physically manage any thing on a boat weighing more then 24,000 lbs.? Can you pull a 800 pound rig out of the water on a 42 footer any more then you can pull a 2,000 pound rig out of the water on a 58 footer? Can you handle 650 sq ft of sail any more then 1,100 sq ft of sail when it's blowing 35?

Sailing a big boat is all about fore thought, strength is a "non factor". You better think things out well ahead because mistakes on a big boat are dangerous and expensive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post

Whenever I deliver larger boats, I'm always struck by how little many are likely to be actually SAILED by their owners. Downwind poles are usually the leading indicator, it's obvious many have remained stowed on the mast for years. Often there is no provision whatsoever for the running of fore and afterguys, or proper preventers for the main, docklines run to less than ideal attachment points sometimes have to be pressed into service. Of course, one of the primary reasons many people don't use downwind poles on larger boats, is their sheer weight, and general unwieldiness. I ran a larger H-R back up from the islands last summer, we were DDW much of the way. The aluminum pole on that boat was an absolute bear to manage by myself, and represented a real danger whenever we had to jibe, or strike or reset the pole. Once you get above a certain size, carbon fiber is an absolute necessity in a pole IMHO, yet it amazes me how rarely I see owners of larger boats spending the extra money to do it right...

If I had more time, I could go on...and on...:-) But hopefully, you've gotten my general drift, it's largely about one's physical ability to manage some of the forces that sailing aboard larger boats can involve... Others' mileage may vary, as always...
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

My impression is some times owner is on board with delivery captain. May be necessary for insurance reasons or owner's desire for experienced, skilled crew. Some of these boats are actively sailed. Don't have sense of how often this occurs but know folks who do the annual migration to eastern Caribe with a captain. Be interesting to know Jon's experience.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
My impression is some times owner is on board with delivery captain. May be necessary for insurance reasons or owner's desire for experienced, skilled crew. Some of these boats are actively sailed. Don't have sense of how often this occurs but know folks who do the annual migration to eastern Caribe with a captain. Be interesting to know Jon's experience.
When I was a delivery captain, fees would double if the owner wanted to ride along. Few, if any owners can be relied upon to be proficient, knowledgeable or reliable crew and many wish to turn a delivery into a pleasure cruise. Delivery seasons are finite and a week or so of extra time "cruising" can seriously cut into that period. A delivery is not a pleasure cruise, nor is it a sailing lesson for the owner (that can certainly be done at another time); it is the conveyance of a vessel from point A to point B as quickly as possible, with zero damage and with as few expenses as is practical.
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