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  #1  
Old 01-20-2010
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The Boat's too big, but the price is sooo low

Got thinking about this as the snow falls.

Sometimes when looking for a sailboat, the buyer comes upon
a larger boat than he/she anticipated purchasing. Not so
large as to make a purchase crazy, but larger than the boats
this particular sailor has in mind. The owner shows the boat
to the sailor, and she is in good shape. Then the owner says
"I'm really sick of this blank blank boat, I haven't sailed it in 5 years,
all I do is pay the marina for storage, give me $XXXX for the boat
and take her off my hands".

I'm sure this happens, has not happened to me, but I'm sure it
does happen.

What could the buyer do? Say the buyer looks at the boat and thinks,
she is longer than I wanted, but figures he/she could overcome that
part of her operation. And then the buyer looks at the rig. The buyer
looks at the mast, the set up, and thinks... whew; that will be lots of
sail area.

Is it conceivable, use smaller sails on a particular mast. To reduce the
power of the boat, so the operator would be under control?

Would this just be a waste of time?

What about a smaller mast? Is is ever wise to reduce the mast size,
replace a ?? racing boat mast with a ??? cruising boat mast, therefore
reducing the sail area etc?

Is it hard to sell a mast, and then find another one to take its place?

I got thinking about this as I was reading some old cruising boat books.

It seemed to me, that the length of the boat isn't the overwhelming
obstacle, it is the rig, with the large sails, etc.

And then I thought :: what if .. ???

Snow stopped, for now.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2010
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You could always sail reefed.
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Old 01-20-2010
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Yes,, I realize reefing is part of the plan, but for fun, I wanted to
think way outside the box..
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Old 01-20-2010
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People do put smaller sails on boats all the time. I know of some 210 sailors who use Rhodes 19 sails when it is windy or in the winter. There is nothing wrong with doing this but you will find the boat very underpowered in anything but heavy air.

You also need to be concerned with how well the smaller sails were constructed. They might well be made of lighter material and while the sail area might be correct for a windy day, the sail itself might not be able to take it.

Changing masts seems like a huge headache due to custom rigging, new mast step, etc.
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Old 01-20-2010
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Having a shorter mast will be real helpful when you roll over, heck you may even keep the stick up. However, most people would just sail with a reefed main and a smaller jib. It is possible to rerig any boat, but you might find it prohibitively expensive. If you buy a longer racer cruiser and spend $15k making it into a smaller cruiser, you will have a boat with very little resale value that is probably just as good as the small cruiser. It will have cost you more to buy, and be worth less.

So it is possible, but not an economic choice. Then again, couldn't you say the same thing about boats?
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Old 01-21-2010
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We knew someone who had built a sistership to one of our former boats, (actually bought the molds so it was the final hull) but planned to cruise it shorthanded so they put a 10' shorter rig on the boat. The original rig was pretty powered up anyway, and they seemed to manage fine.

But it's a tricky business keeping the balance right, and you risk ending up with a bit or an oddball that might be a tough sell down the road....
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Old 01-21-2010
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My answer is to buy a boat most closely suited to your needs and intended use. I am tempted by bargains, but end up with stuff I don't use.
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Old 01-21-2010
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My grandma used to say "just because it is a good deal, doesn't mean you have to buy it."
If you desire to sail singlehand, you do a lot more than just handle sails. Anchoring is a big deal, tying up or moving in crowded spaces, paying for bottom paint and a haul out, the list goes on and on......
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Old 01-21-2010
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I see this several ways. On one hand, its is not unusual to adapt a particular design for a particular use by altering its sail plan or keel configuration. In fact, it is pretty common to see tall rig and short rig versions, or deep keel and shallow keel versions of most production boats so an owner can adapt the boat to their sailing venue.

It is also not unusual to develop a sail inventory based on conscious decisions that account for a specific venue and type of use. (For example, the racing sails for my boat were designed to perform best in a narrow wind speed range and with a lot of weight on the rail. Since I single-hand my boat, I had a series of smaller, high tech/low stretch sails cut as 'all purpose' sails, each of which are effective across an extremely wide wind speed range, but are not as effective at any point in that range as the narrower wind range sails used for racing.)

On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind, that the size of a boat is really dictated by its displacement and so cutting down the mast or boom is not likely to help all that much since it will mean carrying larger overlapping sails to get enough drive. As counterintuitive as this may seem, in terms of ease of handling, you would actually be way ahead of the game starting with a boat that has a large SA/D and then design high aspect smaller sails and therefore ending up more efficient and easily handled sails.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 01-21-2010
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"I'm really sick of this blank blank boat, I haven't sailed it in 5 years,
all I do is pay the marina for storage, give me $XXXX for the boat
and take her off my hands".

I'm sure this happens, has not happened to me, but I'm sure it
does happen.

What could the buyer do? Say the buyer looks at the boat and thinks,
she is longer than I wanted, but figures he/she could overcome that
part of her operation.

Since economics (I 'want' vs I 'need'), let's frame answers to your questions accordingly:

Length affects cost of moorage. Volume affects the cost of everything else.


And then the buyer looks at the rig. The buyer
looks at the mast, the set up, and thinks... whew; that will be lots of
sail area.

It might be, but then you need to look into methods, means, and costs of sail handling gear. What's already on the boat? Lazy jacks? Furler? A nice luff car system and fully battened main? All of the above? None? If none, then what's it going to cost to manage that sail area? By the way, what condition are the sails in? If they're beat, then you'll have to budget for that as well. If they're beat, but you're going to get by with them, be aware how much a bagged main will negatively affect the performance and ease of sail handling on your $XXXX boat.

Is it conceivable, use smaller sails on a particular mast. To reduce the
power of the boat, so the operator would be under control?

Sure. Use a non-overlapping headsail instead of a genoa. Make sure you have a good reefing system for the main. (I'm partial to good old slab)

Would this just be a waste of time?

What about a smaller mast? Is is ever wise to reduce the mast size,
replace a ?? racing boat mast with a ??? cruising boat mast, therefore
reducing the sail area etc?

A new rig is an expensive proposition. Unless it needs one, I'd stay away from this idea... very far away. We haven't even talked about all the $ needed to re-cut sails to fit your new rig, and yes, it isn't cheap.

Is it hard to sell a mast, and then find another one to take its place?

Depends on the boat, but in general, yes, it's hard to unload an old spar. Finding a new mast isn't that difficult. Selden, Hall Spars, Ballenger, etc... make great spars. Again, it's just that pesky $$$$ )

I got thinking about this as I was reading some old cruising boat books.

It seemed to me, that the length of the boat isn't the overwhelming
obstacle, it is the rig, with the large sails, etc.

And then I thought :: what if .. ???

And here's where the volume comes in.. Bottom paint. General maintainence. Running rigging (higher volume, higher loads, bigger gear, beefier line required.. it's expensive), hardware, sails (bigger to push that volume) Bottom line, there's a very good reason boats nearly double in price for every increase in 5' of length. Honestly, you might be better off keeping your smaller boat and buying a ski pass for you family during the winter months. You'll come out way ahead!
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