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  #81  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
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.
Well if the requirement becomes no mechanical advantage we are down to things like little Hobie cats with no winches.

I've taken my main off on my 43' boat solo before and even got it kind of folded in in the bag on a nice calm day. But once it was in the bag it was a chore to carry it to the cockpit without dropping it or me over the side.
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  #82  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
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.
Well, the Genny is huge. Even on the side deck, it will lie almost back to the cockpit and there would be zero room for you. Without some form of folding, you would never jam it down the companionway, let alone any hatch. She's a monster. Much bigger than the main. I know this because we barely got her down when we did fold her on deck and dropped it coming down the companionway. It exploded into a big mess and had to be jammed up the stairs to get it out. A proper flaking is impossible on our deck. Not enough room.

Just to repeat, I reference a blown out genny, when I said I would consider abandoning. Understanding that could take many forms, I was thinking of a trashed sail that was flogging and catching wind incorrectly, so that it had to come down.
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  #83  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
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.
Uhhh, I don't think so... I've yet to see one of these "bulletproof" sailing yachts of which you speak... :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
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.
Well, that may be true of your boat, but most of the overbuilt battleships I've sailed, or seen, are barely capable of getting out of their own way under sail in lighter air, and are often seen 'sailing' on perfect days using this rather curious 'sail configuration'...



Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
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.
Uh-oh, don't get me started on hydraulic steering on sailboats... One of my least favorite features on many larger yachts, sailing without feedback through a wheel or tiller IMHO is akin to having to wear MULTIPLE condoms... :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
Autopilots don’t 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.
Well, I realize windvanes have almost completely fallen out of favor these days, but I don't view having to actually pay attention to changing conditions as necessarily being a bad thing... The 'Set It & Forget It' methodology that seems to be increasingly prevalent among many sailors today can often produce less than optimum performance under sail, not to mention inviting unfortunate navigational consequences...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
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.
Sorry, but that's simply an example of poor seamanship, and a misuse of one of your pieces of equipment... Sailing to a vane in coastal waters or within range of other dangers, then going to sleep, is begging for trouble, bigtime...

Not to mention, an autopilot is not immune to producing a similar result... Jeanne Socrates' first attempt at a circumnavigation came to a disastrous end less than 100 miles short of crossing her outbound track, when her AP malfunctioned, and put her on a Mexican beach while she was grabbing a bit of sleep:



Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJohns View Post
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.
I hear similar claims from time to time, but I'm still surprised that downwind poles are so rarely used by so many cruising sailors...

Many times, one simply has little other option than to sail DDW, in coastal waters, constricted channels, and so on... In a long, narrow choke point for shipping such as the Old Bahama Channel between Cuba and the Great Bahama Bank, for example... You may be happy gybing back and forth across such busy shipping lanes, but I'll happily sail DDW in prevailing conditions, favoring the Bahamian side, and staying out of their way... Back in December, I spent the better part of a delightful day sailing DDW down the tight channel through the Indian River, while being passed by several boats under power...



Tacking downwind can sometimes be an effective strategy on some modern, lighter displacement flyers that can maximize their speed by reaching off, and compensating for the longer distance sailed... But most full displacement Bulletproof Battleships that you seem to be referring to, by the time you're tacking downwind at high enough sailing angles to get the headsail out from behind the shadow of the main, you're really gonna be struggling to produce sufficient extra speed to make up the difference - particularly when you might be sailing at or near hull speed DDW, to begin with...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 02-08-2014 at 02:53 PM.
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  #84  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

One point you all seem to be missing on "big boats" is that many have work shops and the tools to repair and/or fabricate items onboard. On one larger vessel I operated, if I needed a part, I could just go down into the engine room, crank up the lathe, the welder and the drill press and fabricate it, even at sea. We always carried stock aboard and could create anything from an engine part to that gooseneck someone mentioned above. We could weld a crack in a boom or mast, fabricate a scuba tank holder or even make a bolt by threading rod and using two nuts, right there onboard. That definitely cuts the costs of operating a bigger vessel.
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  #85  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
One point you all seem to be missing on "big boats" is that many have work shops and the tools to repair and/or fabricate items onboard. On one larger vessel I operated, if I needed a part, I could just go down into the engine room, crank up the lathe, the welder and the drill press and fabricate it, even at sea. We always carried stock aboard and could create anything from an engine part to that gooseneck someone mentioned above. We could weld a crack in a boom or mast, fabricate a scuba tank holder or even make a bolt by threading rod and using two nuts, right there onboard. That definitely cuts the costs of operating a bigger vessel.
Well, that's a valid point, I suppose...

But as for me, stepping up in size would end well before I'd reached the point where I could have a virtual machine shop on board, in order to save money by fabricating my own bolts... :-)

I believe I could manage quite nicely by ripping out the berth in the starboard quarter cabin on a Sweden 390, and converting that space into a utility room/workshop and day head/wet locker...





Until then, a Zyliss vise mounted on a work board in the cockpit of my little tub will have to do... :-)


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  #86  
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

So Jon -In your view what's the upper cut off for the typical mom and pop cruiser? 40'? 45'? 50?. Or is it by displacement ? Or sail area?
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  #87  
Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Sample sign for you delivery guys:

YACHT DELIVERY FEES

Plus all licenses, permits, fees, taxes, equipment, provisioning and fitting-out costs;

per crew member -- $175.00/day;

Delivery Captain, per day:
----- $275.00
----- $400.00 if owner aboard
----- $550.00 if owner 'helps'
---- $1000.00 if owner navigates
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  #88  
Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
So Jon -In your view what's the upper cut off for the typical mom and pop cruiser? 40'? 45'? 50?. Or is it by displacement ? Or sail area?
I can't answer for Jon, but I think its fair to say that you know the answer to that question is really not a simple one. By mom and pop, are you referring to two extremely experienced round the world live aboards, or are you talking about a couple that days sails and goes out for an occasional weekend sail with maybe a few weeks once a year out to the Bahamas?

Ours is a slightly different situation as we have two teenage boys as crew, they have been sailing since before they were teenagers and well they can handle most anything on our boat. Our boat is big, yes, but she has the equipment to make her as safe as possible for our family. We enjoy sailing her very much and I feel comfortable that we can handle most any reasonable situation that might arise. Yes the sails are big, the split rig helps, but the sails are a handful on the deck anyone who says otherwise I would seriously question. Our head sails are on Harken roller furlers and they have not given us a single problem in many thousand miles of sailing her. As I mentioned before our main and mizzen are on Leisure furl boom furlers. The boat can be sailed from the cockpit without need to go forward. We have many sail configurations to choose from and we have the right equipment on board to handle the increased forces and weights... sometimes we may be slower as a result which as has been said above can be dangerous without forethought. Early on sailing her we had our spreaders nearly in the drink when we couldn't get sail in fast enough on the head sails when caught in a blow off New Zealand. This was lack of experience purely. We've never had this problem since... we get our sail in early every time now.

The purists won't like this one but... I don't have an issue with the lack of sail in the picture above. We have not a single issue with dropping sail and heading dead into the wind on motor alone. If one can afford to maintain a 65 foot boat the price of fuel isn't going to kill them. Bottom line is there are a huge number of cruising couples on POWER boats out enjoying the same sights we are with single engine trawlers... My gosh I wonder if they completely avoid lee shores just in case their engine dies. Our boat motors wonderfully and in places like Malaysia I thank God she does, because the wind there is unreliable at best.

Some things I'd hate to give up... Dive compressor w/cascade, 10 dive bottles. Shop compete with welder, a lathe would be nice, but it would occupy a little more space than I'd like. Washing machine (we have kids enough said) Generator and large refrigeration and we love to run the air conditioning from time to time, we have five of them. Our dingy is our family ski boat compete with all the toys she is on a hydraulic lift. Love the hydraulic lift- it makes the best dive platform and we do a lot of diving. I like to cook and I love all the galley storage. I don't have to store food all over the boat because a great deal of it fits in the galley. I like the Ca King in the master, but in a seaway the cloth must be fitted to sleep in it or i'd roll a long ways hahah. Oh and spares we carry a lot of spares. The lazarette is the garage and is around 100 sq ft. complete with shelves for massive storage. (The dive compressor and cascade take up space here in our case) For the girls their privacy is nice they have their own staterooms and can shut the doors. Just makes a good home.
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Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Was not speaking specifically about us. But we are relative newbies. I've done multiple Newport / Marion Bermuda s. A few N.E. Bahamas caribe transports. Wife was live aboard summers on a motorboat growing up but other than non stop N.E. to Annapolis and a Norfolk to N.E. she just done local coastal cruising. She's seen some weather and did well. In two weeks she'll get BVi to Nassau done with I expect two 3-4d passages during that trip. So far other than docking 46' has not been intimidating and definitely if it's a well made and well found boat size equals safety in my view. That's why I was curious to Jon's view. As you mentioned on basis of simple physics that's going to be true. So question is his view of what size is not handable by mom and pop. Think we're nothing special and a fairly typical cruising couple starting out. What I see are similar couples in boats mid 40-mid50 range. Hylas,HR,Outbound, Passport, or older Swans,Bristols,Hinkleys etc. Seems these couples travel. Bigger seem jet set crowd with paid crew. Smaller seems get to an area and stay. Realize this is a gross generalization with many exceptions. Wondering if my impression based on little knowledge is accurate. Also Europeans coming over seem also to mostly be in the same size range. Kids are grown and gone so we don't have your joy of live aboard crew.
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Last edited by outbound; 02-09-2014 at 05:08 AM.
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Was thinking about above DDW comment
Below 20k no main. Parasailor.
Above 20. No main. Solent one side. Some genny other. CF poles are light.
Above 30. Solent on pole and strap of main on preventer.
Have used all of above. Did not feel stressed.
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