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  #71  
Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Thanks Capta- That's just sad. Seems a shame someone would incur such a large expense as a boat and not spend the time to learn how to use it. Totally out of my league. I guess my comment just shows my ignorance. Don't understand how having owner aboard would increase time to destination when doing let's say Newport or Norfolk to BVI. Where are you going to stop to make it a pleasure cruise?
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Thanks Capta- That's just sad. Seems a shame someone would incur such a large expense as a boat and not spend the time to learn how to use it. Totally out of my league. I guess my comment just shows my ignorance. Don't understand how having owner aboard would increase time to destination when doing let's say Newport or Norfolk to BVI. Where are you going to stop to make it a pleasure cruise?
See, that's just the point. It may begin as a Nport-Norfolk BVI run, but then they want to stop in Charleston, because they've heard it's a nice place, "Let's spend a couple of days exploring". Then why not Nassau, it's really right on the way, isn't it? What are the T&C like? And on and on.
It may be sad to you, but it's a job for a professional delivery captain, who may have several other jobs lined up after that one.
Lastly, try living with your boss for a week or two (24/7) then get back to me. What happens if he just doesn't feel like taking his watch one evening? What do you do if he gets scared, but everything is just fine, if a tad rough, far from land? And what happens if he decides four days out he knows more than the captain (but doesn't; that's why he hired a captain in the first place) and states it's his boat and things will be done his way? Trust me, all this has happened, and much more. No thanks. Harsh, perhaps, but at sea there are no second chances, or "take backs", or "I'm sorrys" after an owner has made a bad choice, leaving everybody, and his boat, in peril.
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  #73  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

You know at one time I aspired to do your job. You still get to do something you love- sail. Guess why work is a four letter word.
If I ever hired a captain it would be let's go from A to B. We leave around -/-/-- or when nearest window window allows and get us there as quickly as safety allows.
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  #74  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by outbound View Post
You know at one time I aspired to do your job. You still get to do something you love- sail. Guess why work is a four letter word.
If I ever hired a captain it would be let's go from A to B. We leave around -/-/-- or when nearest window window allows and get us there as quickly as safety allows.
There are good days and bad, good owners and not so good, but all in all, being a delivery captain is just as much a job as any other. You have a responsibility for the lives of those onboard and a vessel worth a considerable sum, operating a vessel which, more often than not, is not exactly in pristine condition, lol. There are no successful prima donna delivery captains. But I did love it, except those times when I was head down in a cockpit locker, repairing the (insert here; engine, transmission, generator, steering system, compass light, running lights, exhaust hose, etc).
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  #75  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
........... 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 ..........
But consider if you were the owner and you had free reign in fitting out and adapting your own boat, then your concerns about gear breakage could really be put to rest.

Any boat can be customized to be as robust and as simple, or as complex as you want. Itís really up to the individual owners preferences and what they can afford or achieve themselves and what design they have chosen.

You donít have those advantages as a casual paid skipper, you just have to worry about what the owner bought and what you and the surveyor didnít notice or the designer screwed up.

A large boat is a lot less weight sensitive to robust gear with a high factor of safety. You can easily make equipment like steering components or goose necks bullet proof. You can also add as much equipment redundancy as you want. As I do for critical systems, my bigger boat is actually a significantly safer proposition than my smaller one.

For an example my 65 has two completely separate hydraulic steering systems, one is just a backup and the rudder and steering gear are well over engineered. So too are most parts of the boat, and the additional weight is pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. Anchor handling is no problem and I have redundancy there too but have never needed it as the main windlass is pretty robust.

Windvanes have their proís and cons and Iím not worried about not having one on the 65 footer. I have a flemming major on my 45 but I still prefer the autopilot.

Autopilots donít need checking regularly the way wind vanes do and in a lot of conditions I've had to disconnect the vane and the autopilot then often copes just fine.
A wind vane very nearly saw me on the beach a couple of decades ago and it was the sound of the surf that woke me, just an un-forecast wind shift and exhaustion and a few hours 70 degrees off course at 6-7 knots. I've never been that happy with a wind vane since then if there's an autopilot that can be used instead.

As for poles, I never pole anything out if it can be helped except in light air sailing. The big heavy alloy poles are too dangerous if the wind pipes up especially at night. Also I never run dead downwind in my boat since it's the worst point of sail and we roll the masts out. I find I get stability from the sails and a better run taking the wind reasonably on the quarter and gybing every watch.
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  #76  
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I have read this thread and find some of the replies farcical. To the point of nearly calling BS. Yes it is possible to solo sail a large sailboat 50+ but you will need all the mechanical advantage that progress has availed to us. One man can not carry a 100% well folded and packed cruising head sail for an average 65 footer, let alone a wet sail newly doused. To be able to get that sail down and stowed in any kind of sea would be a legendary feat of strength. But very doable if the sail is on and left on a fuller.
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Last edited by SimonV; 02-08-2014 at 09:20 AM.
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  #77  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Have 46' solent rig. Main is big but manageable . On Dutchman with just clew/ foot attached. As you drop it take out battens but leave on Dutchman. Use sail ties to keep in sausage shape as slides come off. Take fishing lines of Dutchman off and roll. Put in bag. Quite do- able by average couple. Would believe in split rigged 60 footer same would apply.
Just saying.
Real issue is the genny. Have to wait for windless day to drop and fold on side deck as it comes down. Would think same would apply to a main in a leisure furl set up. Helped sistership with leisure furl. We brought her to the fuel dock and dropped sail on to dock. Made it easier to get to mandril and disconnect. Had two men,two women but with some effort and no wind probably any two could handle it.
Agree with prior posters. If you go >50' a split rig and no in mast furling ( to much loose sail) may be way to go.
Agree unless you are truly buff above >50' sails get heavy but below modern sails are quite light enough for one to carry.
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Last edited by outbound; 02-08-2014 at 09:56 AM.
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  #78  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I will confirm, the only way you would get our sails down when double handed in heavy seas is in a very ugly, lash them to the deck sort of method. Zero chance you will get them folded and down below without an army. Singlehanded, you're screwed. I've seriously consider what I would do, if far offshore in a storm and I blew out the genny. I think I would have to drop her, disconnect and abandon her overboard. Major motivation to have only a storm sail flying with those conditions threatening.

We have taken our sails down underway, poorly folded them on limited deck space and put them below, with just the two of us. It was fairly calm conditions and so exhausting and frustrating, I would dread the idea of every doing it again. We did it to prove we could. We also proved we couldn't in harsh conditions, as a result.
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  #79  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
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.
Well, you would be wrong about that, actually...

The H-R with the ridiculously heavy spinnaker pole I referenced had been sailed by the owner to the Caribbean from Europe in the ARC the previous fall... With a crew of 6 men, who would have been far better able to work the foredeck than a singlehander, or a typical Mom & Pop cruising couple...

Much of my delivery work comes from owners who simply do not have the time to do the trips themselves... Many guys who send their boats south for the winter, would prefer to spend their available time using the boat in Florida or the Caribbean, rather than using up the weeks or month it might take simply getting it down there and back ... The single boat that I have more miles on than any other, was one that was raced in the Fastnet, a couple of Bermuda Races, the Pineapple Cup, and went south every winter... But even the most well-heeled owners sometimes have to work to support their sailing habit, hence the occasional need to hire someone to move the boat from points A to B...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
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?
Not necessarily, but I know I at least have a better chance of physically managing some of the loads and forces on smaller boats, as opposed to larger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
Sailing a big boat is all about fore thought, strength is a "non factor".
We'll simply have to agree to disagree on that one, to suggest that strength is a "non-factor" as boats grow in size is certainly not my experience... And, I see so many older cruising couples out there that are so clearly 'over-boated', sometimes struggling with something as elemental as docking their boat in a marina on the ICW, I doubt that perception is mine, alone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shockwave View Post
You better think things out well ahead because mistakes on a big boat are dangerous and expensive.
Well, that would seem to run counter to your argument that there is no great difference in the forces involved between sailing smaller boats, as opposed to larger, no?

Trust me, as one who has spent the overwhelming percentage of my time on the water alone, I am somewhat familiar with the notion of thinking/planning ahead...

Hence, my preference for avoiding sailing what I deem to be excessively large boats, to begin with... :-)
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Last edited by JonEisberg; 02-08-2014 at 10:30 AM.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I will confirm, the only way you would get our sails down when double handed in heavy seas is in a very ugly, lash them to the deck sort of method. Zero chance you will get them folded and down below without an army. Singlehanded, you're screwed. I've seriously consider what I would do, if far offshore in a storm and I blew out the genny. I think I would have to drop her, disconnect and abandon her overboard. Major motivation to have only a storm sail flying with those conditions threatening.

We have taken our sails down underway, poorly folded them on limited deck space and put them below, with just the two of us. It was fairly calm conditions and so exhausting and frustrating, I would dread the idea of every doing it again. We did it to prove we could. We also proved we couldn't in harsh conditions, as a result.
I'm a bit confused by your statements. Why would you even think of folding a sail "when double handed in heavy seas"? When we had to pull the Yankee off in a full gale in the stream NPort-Bermuda, we stuffed it (not even bagged) below in the salon (no way I was opening the foredeck hatch in those conditions) and we slept on it (quite comfortably, I might add) until the wind calmed enough to reset it. Of course, we turned down wind to drop and stow it, but really, folding a sail underway has never occurred to me; stuff, stow n go, at the most.
Abandon the genny? Why not just drag it down the deck (again, running off to ease the situation) and stuff it down the companionway into the salon, and bag it down there? I'm just not rich enough to be throwing sails over the side.
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Last edited by capta; 02-08-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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