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yellowwducky 11-16-2008 03:36 AM

two person monohull, how big?
Hi all,

Just curious, how large a monohull is it reasonable for two people to crew for round the world type cruising? Hearing 40-44 feet is about it on the catamaran front, how about monos? It probably is a mute point as I am pretty sure my wife is catamaran only but just curious in order to see what you would pick-up in amenities on a mono with a 'sailing equivalent' sized mono (for lack of a better description).


noelex77 11-16-2008 03:59 AM

Our mono 47 foot cutter is fine for a husband and wife team to sail. Above this size you start to need powered winches and hydraulics.

Rockter 11-16-2008 05:22 AM

Depends on resource. A 36 ft will do it, and won't break the bank.

xort 11-16-2008 07:31 AM

With little sailing experience, my wife and I are doing fine on our 42.

Idiens 11-16-2008 07:44 AM

The boat should be sail-able by crew number minus one. That is, your wife needs to be able to bring it back to harbour alone with you incapacitated below. The advice on how long that is has been going up over the years. It used to be 35 - 37 ft, now its over 40 or even 50 ft. So I don't think that length is a deciding factor any more. In practice, I think parking the boat is the real issue, the bigger it is, the fewer parking places there are.

It is expense that makes most people settle on the final boat choice. For a couple, I think below 30ft is undesirable and above 40 ft unnecessary, but if you can afford it, go for what you fancy.

noelex77 11-16-2008 08:27 AM

The advantages our 47 foot boat has over a typical 40 foot yacht are:
Room to pull up and store in seconds an RIB dinghy on the stern
Greater fuel, water, supplies, spare parts and toys storage
More room. A workshop. A walk around Queen size bed with standing head room
More stability at anchor
Faster passages

None of these advantages are necessary, but are nice to have.
The only real drawback is greater cost.

If you visit marinas a lot (we don't ) a bow thruster solves the problem
If the weakest crew member struggles with the sail area in an emergency solo (my wife can manage OK), then set less sail area. On a passage, a 47 foot yacht setting the sail area of a 40 foot yacht is likely to have similar passage times and will be easier to handle.

But if I could only afford a 30 foot yacht you would still find me cruising.

Robby Barlow 11-16-2008 08:37 AM

Well I certainly hope you like cats, cause if you plan to live aboard & sail around the world with the wife who appears to be cat struck, you won't get very far unless she's happy. In theory I too would prefer a cat for the venture, but for practical reasons, and also the costs involved, my choice would be a 40'-45' mono. Good luck.

noelex77 11-16-2008 08:58 AM


Originally Posted by Robby Barlow (Post 402691)
you won't get very far unless she's happy.

Smartest post on this forum so far:D

sailingdog 11-16-2008 09:25 AM


Idiens' advice on the boat being sailable by either you or your wife singlehanded is one I've given you before. Anything larger than about 40-45' is going to be very difficult for you or your wife to singlehand. Electric winches don't help flake and stow sails, as I've said before.

Larger boats have higher on-going costs... smaller boats are far more economical to cruise on long-term... so a lot depends on what your plans are, how much "gear" you need and so one. If you and your wife require creature comforts of a land-based life, you really may want to re-consider what you're doing.

Living aboard and cruising is often uncomfortable and requires that you often do without some of the creature comforts found in a land-based life. While this is less the case today than it was even ten years ago, getting a boat large enough to have the comforts of a land-based life is very expensive.

yellowwducky 11-16-2008 09:41 AM

Ah, see I saw the post about how a cat 40 was like a monohull 55 (can't remember the exact number). So I thought maybe that was meaning that 55 footers were couple sailable in mono format. I pretty much think she wouldn't consider a monohull but want to ensure comparing equally sailable type stuff for our discussion purposes. We are going out on a 40 foot mono next weekend but with 4 people. Should be fun regardless.

I believe her major concern on monohulls is the ballast and sinking. Maybe a steel hull solves that, dunno.

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