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post #1 of 123 Old 01-31-2014 Thread Starter
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Sailing "big boats"

How many of you out there sail boats over 50' ? Do you wish you were smaller? bigger still? We sail an Irwin 65 that has been set up for world cruising and we absolutely love the space. We don't like the additional costs for EVERYTHING, though. I am getting ready to paint the deck, house and masts and the variation in quotes is dramatic. Some yards treat us like we are a mega yacht and want to charge INSANE rates, at others the price isn't bad at all. (all relative I guess). At this point though I don't know that I could convince the family to move onto anything smaller, and I'd really hate to give up my workbench, but I can't say that I haven't imagined a few less small people on the boat and a 45'ter for the the two of us. We do love our boat though.
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post #2 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I sail a 42 footer, and if I had the chance to do it without breaking me, I would go back to a smaller boat, 35-37 feet, or so.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


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post #3 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Hey,

I go through this every year. In the spring, when I'm working on the boat and sanding the bottom and washing the decks and buying things like bottom paint, I always think "Why wasn't I happy with a 28' boat?' Then, in the middle of a 3 day cruise, or when there are 10 people aboard I think "You know, a 42' would be pretty nice. I'm sure I could handle one."

Barry
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Barry Lenoble
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post #4 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Not in the 'over 50' range (not in boat length anyway ), but we had a 40 footer for 12 years and now down to 35.. We 'downsized' 9 years ago now, and the 35 is less expensive, easier to handle, still feels 'small and manageable' but we spend a couple of months aboard every summer in plenty of comfort.

While every once in a while we get an itch up upgrade/renew, it's never to go bigger, just maybe newer.. and then we can't see the benefit/cost ratio that makes sense and settle back to reality...

Ron

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post #5 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

Agree the cost is the main downside...4 times the 25 Macgregor...but the room and comfort level..no feeling of camping...

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post #6 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I used to watch the reviews and walk the boat shows just sort of looking at the big ones with curiosity, not really thinking about them personally.

Now I've reached a point where I could afford a much bigger boat and I've looked at big boats more seriously. Doing so, I've realized how much it would diminish my pleasure. Owning and running a 50' boat has two options. Either you do all the work yourself, in which case it's a tremendous amount of time and effort; OR you hire out much of the work. When you hire it out you don't really get to know the boat. It's not personal. It's not "your" boat anymore. Same thing with having a captain working for you to run the boat.

I used to think I could never have a 50+ boat because the operational costs are 10x to 15x what I currently see. Now that I can almost afford to piss away an obscene amount of money I begin to realize that it's not about the money. It just would not be as much fun. It turns into a management task, coordinating crew, reviewing plans with marina staff, scheduling dock space. You cannot just show up anywhere with a 55' boat and expect to find dock space. I don't want to do planning, I just want to go sailing.

GTJ
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post #7 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I used to sail duo an heavy 60ft steel boat and that was a big task for two (I was a lot younger and foolish). I doubt I would have done it now.

The difficulty of sailing a boat between 50 and 60ft has much to do with the weight of the boat. If it is a modern light one then it will need a lot less sail area and everything will be easier. Also it has to do with rigging. A lot was learned on the last 20 years regarding rigging for big boats solo sailed and a modern rigging adapted to it will make things much more easy.

Regarding interior space more modern boats have much more interior space and you can have the space you have in your boat probably in a boat 10ft smaller.

The big problem of managing a big boat has to do with docking maneuvers. Today not only the boats are lighter (and that makes it easy) as they have computerized docking systems that work with a joystick and that give to the boat the same agility of a smaller boat.

The problem with all that is that modern boats are expensive (because they are not old)...but maintaining an old one is expensive too.


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post #8 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by SailingJackson View Post
....
I used to think I could never have a 50+ boat because the operational costs are 10x to 15x what I currently see. Now that I can almost afford to piss away an obscene amount of money I begin to realize that it's not about the money. It just would not be as much fun. It turns into a management task, coordinating crew, reviewing plans with marina staff, scheduling dock space. You cannot just show up anywhere with a 55' boat and expect to find dock space. I don't want to do planning, I just want to go sailing.

GTJ
There are many 55 ft boats that can be easily sailed by a couple even solo. I don't know were you sail but in Europe it is the opposite regarding to find a marina place: you will have more difficulty in finding the space for a 36ft than for a 55ft simply because they are not interested in having spaces for small boats that occupy proportionally more space and are not so profitable. So they have lots of space for big boats and a much smaller number of places for smaller boats. The spaces for small boats are also on the ugliest place in the marina, away from everything.

Of course those big places costs a lot of money but since you can piss a lot of it, than it would no be a problem.

Here on the last years the size of the average cruising boat that you actually see cruising increased a lot. 12 years ago I had a 36ft and that was a small cruising boat. Today I have a 41ft and that continues to be a small cruising boat Most cruising boats are between 42 and 55ft now, at least the newer ones. If you look at the several mass market brads you will see that their flagship is always increasing in size. That increase is proportional to the demand of bigger sailboats.

Regards

Paulo


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post #9 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

I singlehand a 57' sloop and, for the moment, don't want to go back to a smaller boat. I really enjoy the two main advantages of the bigger boat: (a) longer LWL and commensurate faster passages and (b) the interior volume that allow me to keep all sorts of "stuff".


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post #10 of 123 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Sailing "big boats"

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
.... I don't know were you sail but in Europe it is the opposite regarding to find a marina place: you will have more difficulty in finding the space for a 36ft than for a 55ft simply because they are not interested in having spaces for small boats that occupy proportionally more space and are not so profitable. ...

Regards

Paulo
May I, humbly, point out that Europe is large, has a corresponding variation what regards "difficulty in finding space".

Best

J
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