How big is too big for one man? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 60 Old 07-17-2014 Thread Starter
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How big is too big for one man?

For a circumnavigation, what is the minimum size of sailboat one should have and what is the maximum size for one man?
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post #2 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

The great Sir Francis Chichester apparently said that a boat needed to be one foot long for every year of a man's age to provide the necessary comfort.
That means I need a 68 footer!
However I know I could not handle anything so big without a crew.
Personally, I think the ideal size for solo is between 29 and 35 feet, but there's way more to it than length. Search these forums for much discussion on what makes a good offshore boat.
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post #3 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

I think Arvicola Amphibus is on the money.
You could go smaller, 24- 26 if you really wanted to in the right boat.

For me 35ft would be my magic figure depending on what kind of boat we are talking about.

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post #4 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

I would probably settle on something in the mid 40's. Large enough to have a good turn of speed, enough space to allow reasonable storage without having to get tubby. A little much to handle in a harbor solo but doable.

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post #5 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

Hey--If you want to go large, you could emulate Alain Colas who single handed the 72 meter, four masted schooner, "Club Mediterranee" in '76, eh

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #6 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

Short version: Depends on what that one man is comfortable handling.

Long version: And in what conditions. There are way too many variables, way too many different types of people, and way too many options on boats and equipment these days. You could have a boat be virtually push-button with electric everything, which would mean a lot larger boat could be handled, but not everyone wants that.

Myself, I wouldn't think anything more than 40 would be what -I- would need, and would still be comfortable around on my own.

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post #7 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

It depends on many, many factors. What would be best on a passage is not best when you are anchored somewhere or having to fit into a crowded marina. I am quite comfortable sailing my heavy 45 footer but i can't imagine trying to dock Med-style (stern in) in a marina. In our travels the single handers have been on boats from 27 to 38 feet, but then again there are not that many single handers out there. Seem to be a lot more single handers sailing on the Internet.

Heading back to Lake Ontario for this summer. Ainia is back in North America for the first time since 2010. Currently in Long Island Sound.
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post #8 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

Well Jeanne Socrates has completed 2.99 circumnavigations on a Najad 380.

She turned 70 on the last one.

So that might do.

I have a 44 ft cutter and single hand that at age 68. Possibly time to replace the spi with a code zero on a furler though. Handling the pole is getting to be a bit to much for me.

Last edited by TQA; 07-17-2014 at 11:33 AM.
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post #9 of 60 Old 07-17-2014
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

Evongelo,

You posted a number of questions in the forum. No issues, that's why we're here. However, you said in your introduction that you don't know how to sail and you are new to all this. May I suggest that you spend time in the Learning to Sail and then the Seamanship forums? I think you'll find that many of your initial questions have been asked by multitudes before you who are/were in your same position.

Learning to Sail - SailNet Community
Seamanship & Navigation - SailNet Community

The book recommendation thread may also be helpful:
Recommended Reading
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post #10 of 60 Old 07-17-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: How big is too big for one man?

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.
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