I could well have tempered my response. Your post:
I'm basically trying to gain knowledge right now. I've been doing a lot of reading on this topic, but it's so much to take in that it's nice to just ask direct questions instead of browsing for hours upon hours through the the internet or forums when you have one thing you want answered specifically.
hit me badly. I read your original post which is indeed a repeat of questions asked and answered many times. I'm not as organized as Jeff_H who seems to have a database of everything he has ever written to reuse. *grin* Me having a bad day is no excuse for over reacting. My apologies.
I also stated that I would and have been looking through the sight for information already posted, that I wouldn't continue to post broad general questions, I've also stated that I love research, and thus far I have been very respectful and grateful for any advice given to me.
If you like research you probably already have realized that the SailNet search engine leaves something to be desired. You may also know that you can use Google directly and include site:SailNet.com in the search terms to focus searching on SailNet.
Jokes are fine as I have thick skin, calling me rude when I have been anything but is not something I will tolerate.
Well actually I do not think "I was just kidding" is a suitable excuse for uncivil behavior. I wasn't kidding, I was over reacting.
FWIW, I disagree with the "buy a small boat" approach. It's fiscally wasteful and unnecessary.
Do the research, figure out what kind of boat meets your needs, shop among the boats that fills those needs, and buy your boat.
But wait, that doesn't mean that you should learn to sail on a 40 footer as your first boat. Go to sailing clubs. Borrow dinghies, crew on a variety of raceboats on Wednesday nights and distance regattas. You can build your sailing skills without owning an entire series of boats.
Once you build your skills, start sailing your own battleship. By then, you should have a fair clue about what you're doing.
Rich makes excellent points. Reflect on them. You might add some chartering in beautiful places like the Caribbean, Bahamas, and PNW.
If you have posted where you live I missed it.
thanks for bringing that up because I thought of that myself. With a fully enclosed cockpit the size would seem to be irrelevant. Of course sailing requires you to leave said cockpit and go out onto the deck, but still, full enclosure would seem to diminish any problems the size would cause. I imagine anyway....
The subject of enclosures can generate as much ire as anchors.
In my opinion they reduce flexibility, make good sail trim difficult, restrict visibility, dilute situational awareness, and separate the operator(s) from their environment. Many things on boat and sailing result from a series of compromises and many cruisers accept, with various degrees of understanding, the implications of enclosures which include lines led aft (with friction and inability to see the load being managed), additional winches, the loss of important space on the cabin top, and ingress of water through the dodger.
The impact of those compromises makes more difference offshore than near-shore or inshore.
Please note that vocabulary is important and many people use words differently. Consider context if you can't ask directly what people mean by critical words. For example, to me "offshore" means a long enough trip to be beyond the range of reliable weather forecasting. Others may consider Cape May NJ to Newport RI or Ft Lauderdale FL to Bimini Bahamas or Los Angeles CA to Catalina Island to be "offshore." I don't. Conditions can be sporty, dangerous, and people can get hurt but it isn't offshore. Newport RI to Bermuda is on the threshold of offshore. Norfolk VA outside the Gulf Stream to Tortola BVI is offshore. Bermuda to Azores is offshore. San Fransisco to Hawai'i is offshore. Accordingly, when I talk about preparing for going offshore it means something different from someone who uses the word differently and is referring to provisioning at Publix in Lake Worth FL for the hop across to the Bahamas.
For a circumnavigation, what is the minimum size of sailboat one should have and what is the maximum size for one man?
Back to your original question.
In my opinion particularly small boats and particularly large boats both require more skill and experience than moderately sized boats albeit for different reasons.
One can unquestionably circle the globe on a Dana 24 (just as an example). To do so will require a great deal of thought on using storage space for food, water, spares, and other items. Weather will be even more important than for others.
Similarly a Sundeer 64 could certainly do it but the operators will need to fully understand maintenance and repair of many more systems of substantial complexity. Jerry rigging to manage failures will be complex and require more spares.
I've single-handed boats to somewhere around 70 feet. Bigger boats require more forethought and are more dependent on systems (winches, electrical systems, and hydraulics). I wouldn't mind going bigger but the opportunity hasn't presented itself. *grin* For my own boat I'm happy with a 10 LT 40 footer. I'd take her anywhere. I'd go smaller before going bigger.
While I agree with Jeff_H's suggestion that displacement is an overall better measure of "size" than boat length we do tend to use length as a metric so I'll stick with that. Keep in mind that 40 foot boats can be as light as 12,000# or approach 40,000#.
For a circumnavigation 35 to 40 feet seems to be a sweet spot for single-handers. In addition, in marinas you'll find that availability of slips goes down and unit costs (usually $/ft) go up somewhere around 40 to 45 feet. This is likely to be a bigger deal while you are preparing to leave than underway when anchoring is the norm.
The longest run I have done single-handed was seven days. I don't recommend it. There will be a couple of runs across the Pacific as long as four weeks. Crossing the Atlantic will include a couple of three weeks passages.
With respect to your research my recommendations are the following:
- the Beth Leonard and Evans Starzinger website, and Beth's "The Voyager's Handbook"
- The SSCA Forum (you should join SSCA)
- Jimmy Cornell's "World Cruising Handbook" - at some point you'll want his "World Cruising Routes"
- Tania Aebi's "Maiden Voyage" (I don't think much of her later works, but this one is good)
- Richard Bode's "First You Have to Row a Little Boat"
- Joshua Slocum
- Lyn Pardey's "Care and Feeding of Sailing Crew" (I don't think much of their other works as it isn't relevant to the boats most of us sail today)
By the time you run out of those I'll have a list of the books that actually made it onto the bookshelf on Auspicious and stay there. Most of those are skills references. Where you are however it is more about the person than electrical or mechanical skills. As Rich said above, focus on you and experience. Figure out what the real questions are for you. Go sailing on as many boats as you can. Go racing. Charter. Pick up sails by walking the docks. For sure consider the source of information you receive. Not everyone with a boat really knows what they are talking about, or may have a very different context than you do.
I do regret my earlier over reaction. If you get to the Chesapeake I'll buy you a drink.