Smallest boat you can live with - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 138 Old 05-05-2014 Thread Starter
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Smallest boat you can live with

Some recent threads about frugality, dreams vs reality, and the small bluewater boats, have me thinking about my boat choice. I forget where I first read this, but the idea of choosing the smallest boat you can live with really has driven my choices.

I like this approach b/c it's about finding the right balance between too large and too small. Too large and the boat becomes unmanageable (both physically and financially), but too small and it becomes too austere, and limits your ability to be self-sufficient.

So I'm curious -- how did you choose your current boat?

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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post #2 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
...So I'm curious -- how did you choose your current boat?
Smallest boat with an enclosed head. We do mainly daysailing, and the enclosed head made my wife more comfortable with the idea of going out for the WHOLE day.

No regrets, since the boat is a good size for 2-4 day cruises too (in protected waters). Very easy maintenance, so we can focus on sailing and less on maintaining.

By having a smaller boat, we save enough in slip fees and maintenance to pay for chartering a much larger boat when we want to go out for a whole week. We've done that a couple times.


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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1994 Mason 44 Firefly on loan from my BFF (West River, Galesville, MD)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
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post #3 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

Mike most all of us want a larger boat then we have! I'd be "happy" on a 38-42 ft boat. I'd feel like the queen of the Nile if I owned a 100 ft + J- class antique yacht LOL
My Oday 30 is "adequate"

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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My boat is sold!
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post #4 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

My Columbia 29 MkI was just the right price. We liked the design and asthetics so it was a done deal. That being said it is for sale as we'd like something just a tad bigger!
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post #5 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

I chose my current boat, like most I have owned on being a good deal or value....at the time of buying it, and one I can refit to my liking etc...

it happens to be my biggest one yet, but definitely not large by any means...solo or doublehanded

I think for me it has always been about best value...only once did I set out to buy a specific boat and that was a folkboat...I looked for the best deal there too

once having it...that was at the limit size wise for myself...while I did hate crouching all the time...the known benefts in performance, ease of handling, single handing, ease of anchoring, maneuverabilty, size of outboard needed, low cost of refitting and replacing parts like rigging and sails all influenced me more than say the size parameters, it was 1 con versus many many pros in my mind at the time...

it had an enclosed head and fully legal holding tank with pumpout...not bad for a 25footer

still miss it

just for kicks mike there was a saying that was VERY popular for a while and might still be(although I see a new niche of frugal crusing again) that went something like this

"BUY THE BIGGEST BOAT YOU CAN AFFORD"

dont know why it became so popular but I think it started a trend where bigger was better and "safer" but based on hearsay not actual facts...

the reasoning for that crowd was that the bigger the boat you could afford the more comfortable, ease of motion and stowabilty you gained making cruising "easier"

but what people failed to see there was that often times they didnt calculate the cost of refitting, engine size, or repowers, cost of rigging and how it escalates so wildly when going up a few "boat" sizes etc...and they often ended with a subpar refitted boat whereas gooing a bit smaller size would of left them more cruising kitty money, or better equipment for the trip etc

a lot of people fail to realize who much costs go up exponentially when going up say from a 27footer to a 32 or 34footer...

there is really a big difference
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Planning maiden cruise for November-December 2015 to Panama Canal! The planning begins!!!
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post #6 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

When I was establishing the parameters for my 'forever' boat it had to be something I could manage single handed as I approach senility, have big water tanks 150g+, standing headroom [ I am 6'3" ] and have a long bed that is reasonably wide.

One of the features about the boat I finished up buying is the size of the shower. So many modern boats have fairly bijou shower compartments, not mine, I can shower with a friend and save water.
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post #7 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

sneaky!

Islander 36 no longer for sale...its MINE!
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Planning maiden cruise for November-December 2015 to Panama Canal! The planning begins!!!
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post #8 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

Our first "real" sailboat was a Chrysler 26 with an outboard engine for $4000. It slept 6, and we had great times on it.

Then we got a 1971 Irwin 38 that slept six. We had great times on it, but it was much more work.

Then we got a 1973 Tartan 41 that slept six. We had great times on it, but it was even more work.

Then we got a 2000 Beneteau 47.7 that sleeps six. We are having a great time on it, but work is substantial, and annual slip fees are more than the cost of the Chrysler 26. Thinking back, we had every bit as good a time on the Chrysler as the Beneteau. But we just sort of expect more now that we have grown.



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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Some recent threads about frugality, dreams vs reality, and the small bluewater boats, have me thinking about my boat choice. I forget where I first read this, but the idea of choosing the smallest boat you can live with really has driven my choices.

I like this approach b/c it's about finding the right balance between too large and too small. Too large and the boat becomes unmanageable (both physically and financially), but too small and it becomes too austere, and limits your ability to be self-sufficient.

So I'm curious -- how did you choose your current boat?
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post #9 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

Before you can decide which boat, you have to have a firm idea of how you'll use it. My 32' is perfect for me, and what I have done, am doing, and will do. Doing something else, I could go smaller or larger, depending on what the something else was.
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John
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Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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post #10 of 138 Old 05-05-2014
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Re: Smallest boat you can live with

Need - diesel power, enclosed head and shower, hot water , roller furling, gps, autopilot, power windlass and six berths.

Of those, I have..... gps.... :-(

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