Originally Posted by outbound
If you plan right and don't go so large that you are totally dependent on the power winches and can switch over to DR and a winch handle I think the honeymoon will never be over and your honey will greet you with a kiss at the change of watch. Problem is there are increasingly fewer true sea boats being built and more and more condos.
We were very cognizant of going too big, and deciding not to downsize (but also not upsize) took a lot of debate and discussion. Part of how we felt about our Formosa 41 was that she was too big in some ways. She wasn't too big for us before, but now that we have a kid (and another on the way) she WAS too big.
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn't it? Basically, she wasn't set up for single-handing at all, and we quickly realized that once the little tyke goes mobile, boating becomes a single-handing operation with one parent on kid watch and one sailing the boat. Suddenly, "honey can you help me flake the huge mainsail" or even "can you hold her head to wind" aren't possible. So, a boat we could easily single-hand was top of the list.
Many of the conveniences we have support that idea (and lots are just total fluff). The lesurefurl boom for example is a great asset as reefing, raising and lowering the biggest sail on the boat is now easy. They have a good reputation for reliability and unlike in-main furling there is less to go wrong and raising and lowering can be easily achieved the old fashioned way if it breaks. This may mean not needing to disturb the off watch for reefing. That would be nice. The bow-thruster may enable single-handed docking more often than without.
The electric winch is totally unnecessary. The running rigging zig-zags all over the boat and the angles are horrific. I'm looking forward to re-running some of the rigging and I expect I can reduce the friction in the system significantly.
As for the rest of the toys, I see tggzzz's point and that is always going to be a fear with the choice we've made, but on the other hand, I hope that Outbound is right. We've been doing this for 15 years without any of the toys and I don't plan to let myself get dependent on any of them. I may use them, but I don't plan to become dependent on them.
You know what my favorite new toy in the picture below is? It's the full sized chart table that sits right in front of the wheel! The toys to the right are toys to be enjoyed, but the chart table right at the helm is the real seller for me!