How big a boat is too big? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #11  
Old 02-08-2011
Barquito's Avatar
Barquito
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,906
Thanks: 0
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 7
Barquito is on a distinguished road
Daysail on a 22' boat for a few years in protected waters. Trust me, this will provide enough adventures for at least a few years.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #12  
Old 02-08-2011
JaredC's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
JaredC is on a distinguished road
hellosailor is speaking the truth. I've been sailing for 15+ years. My munchkins are 8 and 5, and I don't take them out on a J22 for more than an hour or two. I would also not take them out without another competent adult. The oldest kid? Maybe. Certainly not both. They'll have fun, but they will get bored, and any sailboat is a very dangerous place for a bored and unsupervised child.

As far as the rest of your plans... Sailing any big boat alone, with your current level of experience, would be madness. Doing so offshore would be irresponsible.

Pilots don't jump into a business jet after a few classroom sessions or ride-alongs, and sailing should be no different. Spend the next year or two sailing on Other People's Boats whenever you can. Be railmeat for some buoy races. Take a class.

Read up on the story of the Morning Dew. That guy was just motoring his new boat south on the ICW. He got lost, and after a few unfortunate errors, the result was his death and the deaths of his crew.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #13  
Old 02-08-2011
denverd0n's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 834
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 7
denverd0n is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinyDeep View Post
Obviously bigger is better...
No, bigger is not necessarily better. In fact, in a lot of ways, smaller is better.

I would suggest that you not even THINK about buying a boat until you have done some sailing on boats that you charter, or as crew on someone else's boat. Or, if you really must buy your own boat right away, buy the absolute smallest boat that you can tolerate. Preferably something that you can trailer behind the car that you have now (so that you don't have dockage costs).

I know you are in a hurry to start your adventuring, but really, in the long run you will be FAR ahead to learn more about boats and cruising before you spend a lot of money on a big boat that does not really suit your needs.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #14  
Old 02-08-2011
Jeff_H's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Posts: 6,525
Thanks: 5
Thanked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about Jeff_H has a spectacular aura about
Learning to voyage

To begin with, you are asking very basic questions about what it takes to go voyaging and so the thread has drifted toward that discussion. Although this was not originally meant as a direct answer to your question, I had written this a while back for others, like you, who are considering 'going out there'.

The dream of voyaging under sail can be a powerful one. There was a period when several times a month I would receive an e-mail from someone who was considering doing just what you are proposing. I have watched literally dozens of folks go through this. Some are successful in getting 'out there', some discover that they really enjoy sailing and find that they really have no need to 'go out there’; some have discovered that the sailing life is just not for them, and others have not even gotten past the dreaming stage.

From what I have seen, the most successful (especially when children are involved) have been the ones who have been somewhat systematic about going. There is a lot to learn before one can safely venture offshore. No one would assume that they could buy a jet airliner take a few lessons and be able to fly around the world. I think most rational people would expect to start with a small plane and work their way up. But for some reason people assume that they can just go out and buy a big boat, take a couple lessons, read a few books, and then go safely cruising.

While there are people who literally taken a few lessons, read a few books and went out cruising, those that were successful following that route are far more rare than those who have done some kind of apprenticeship. Learning to sail and learning to cruise involves a lot of knowledge and no matter how much you know, there will always be more to learn, but I suggest that you at least take the time to learn the basics, and that just about can’t happen if you buy ‘a big sailboat’ and move your family aboard.

I find myself saying this a lot lately but here I go again. We all come to sailing with our own specific needs, our own specific goals and our own specific capabilities. The neat thing about sailing is that we all don’t have to agree that there is only one right way to go sailing. There is no more truth in expecting that there is one universally right answer about many aspects of sailing than there is in trying to prove that vanilla ice cream is universally better than strawberry ice cream. One area of sailing for which there is no one universally right answer involves the amount of knowledge one requires to go sailing.

For some, all they need or want to know about sailing is just enough knowledge to safely leave the slip sail where they want and get back safely. There is nothing inherently wrong with that approach. Lack of knowledge will impact the level of risk, cost, comfort, and performance, but if you want to get out there with minimal knowledge it can be done. But for others, like myself, there is much more to sailing than simply developing a rudimentary knowledge of sailing basics. If you fall into that camp, it is next to impossible to learn to sail really well on a boat as large as the one in question.

While I am in no way suggesting that this makes sense for everyone, for those who really want to learn to sail well, I strongly suggest that they start out owning a used 23 to 27 foot, responsive, light-weight, tiller steered, fin keel/spade rudder (ideally fractionally rigged) sloop (or if they are athletically inclined then a dinghy.) Boats like these provide the kind of feedback that is so necessary to teach a newcomer how to really sail well. Boats like these have small enough loads on lines and the helm that you and your children can all participate and learn together. Being able to learn and participate, the children will be more engaged and less likely to be bored and feel kidnapped.

By sailing well, I mean understanding the nuances of boat handling and sail trim in a way that cannot be learned on a larger boat. Used small boats generally hold their values quite well so that after a year or even few years or so of learning, you should be able to get most of your money out of the small boat and move on to a bigger boat actually knowing something about which specific desirable characteristics of a boat appeal to you as an experienced sailor rather than the preferences of some stranger on some Internet discussion group.

From the advice that you have already gotten you can tell that there will not be a consensus of opinion on how to go distance cruising. In any event, I think that you have the right idea about taking sailing lessons. If I were in your shoes, I would sit down and put together a list of all of the things that I would want to know before I set off voyaging such as:
· Boat handling
· Sail trim
· Rules of the road
· Weather
· Routing
· Boat husbandry, repair and maintenance
· Diesel/ gas engine maintenance and repair
· First aid
· Heavy weather tactics
· Legal restrictions on leaving and entering foreign countries
· Navigation, (Piloting, Celestial, dead reckoning and electronic)
· Provisioning
· Radio operators license exam requirements
· Safe and dangerous fish to eat
· Sail trim
· Survival skills
· Etc………..

Once I had what I thought was a complete list, I would set up a schedule to try to develop those areas of skill that I was currently lacking. As much as possible I would try to involve all those involved in as many of those aspects as each is capable of understanding. This process could take as little as a year, but more often takes two to three years. The process itself can be very rewarding and can build the kind of family bonds that are required to be cast away on that oh so small island that a boat underway represents. At that point, you should be able to answer the question of how big is too big for yourself.

But in broad general terms the right size for your boat will not necessary be a length. I know that it is very common for people think of length as being the predominant determinant of the 'size' of a boat. When you talk about a boat intended for long distance voyaging, length is far less significant of a determinant of size than displacement (which is the weight of the boat). In other words, while it is tempting to search for boat solely on length and the need for specific accommodations, the displacement of a particular boat says a lot more about its 'real' size.

Traditionally, the classic texts used to suggest that a distance cruiser needed two and a half to five long tons (2,240 lbs) of displacement person. In the past, when the typical L/D (length to displacement) ratio was in the mid to high 300's this meant that an ideal single-hander was somewhere around 29 feet and an ideal cruiser for a couple would be somewhere around 32 to 35 feet or so. If you look at the boats that were used for distance cruising in the 1930's on up to the 1950's this was pretty much the case.

In recent years improvements in materials, engineering, sail handling gear, and the like, have reduced the ideal L/D ratio so that these days boats of a similar weight to the boats that were used for distance cruising in the 1930's on up to the 1950's, will more typically be in the range of 38 to 42 feet.

All other things being equal, if you compare two boats of equal weight, one being longer and the other being shorter, the longer boat will offer better motion comfort, be more seaworthy, be easier to handle, have an ability to carry more supplies, and be faster. In most cases, if the boats are of equal weight they will have a similar cost to buy, and maintain.


Respectfully,
Jeff
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies

Last edited by Jeff_H; 02-08-2011 at 03:15 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #15  
Old 02-08-2011
denverd0n's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 834
Thanks: 0
Thanked 16 Times in 16 Posts
Rep Power: 7
denverd0n is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaredC View Post
Pilots don't jump into a business jet after a few classroom sessions or ride-alongs, and sailing should be no different.
Good analogy. No offense to the OP, because your... let's call it "enthusiasm," is extremely common and perfectly understandable. Nonetheless, these kinds of postings (which we see here pretty much every week) are fairly equivalent to someone going onto a forum for pilots and saying, "I've got about 10 hours of flying [probably in a Cessna 152] and now I've decided that after I get my license I'm going to buy a jet for flying back and forth between the coasts, and maybe the occasional hop to Europe or Hawaii. Should I buy a Learjet or a Swearingen?"

The best answer is, start out by buying a Cessna 152 or 172 (something like a Catalina 18 or 22). There will be plenty of time later for buying the big cruiser. And the best part is that you will learn so much on the smaller boat that, by the time you're ready for a bigger boat, you won't need to ask a bunch of strangers on the internet what you should be buying.

Here's a good place to start looking for information on the sort of first boat that you really should be thinking about... PocketCruiserGuide™
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #16  
Old 02-08-2011
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
BrinyDeep is on a distinguished road
Thanks guys, for all your helpful advice. Yeah I knew the kids would be a handfull even in a dingy, so extra adult supervision is required. Heck, they're a handful on LAND let alone the sea. Then, that also means more capacity for said adult supervison, etc. But you all have directed me toward smaller boats (and for excellen reasons), so now, I'm thinking maybe the kids are too small for my experience level. Good info all around. Maybe a trailer sailer and forget the long trips?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #17  
Old 02-08-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,690
Thanks: 10
Thanked 113 Times in 107 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
I didn't really focus on the kids being along with my thoughts above. As the boats get bigger, I find it much easier to have kids aboard. They are less likely to be underfoot, to be near the lifelines or in a position to fall overboard.

That said, I can't think of any boat where I would be comfortable to have three small kids along if I was sailing solo. At the least, it would be so stressful that it would defeat the purpose.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jeanneau 54DS

In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #18  
Old 02-08-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Concord NH
Posts: 202
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
omaho5 is on a distinguished road
It hurts me to say this, but I'm in agreement with JeffH. We can dsagree over anything. He's right this time and all past is forgiven.
That said, I sail alot in season, Three tmes per week. The reason I sail often is that I keep it as simple as possible.
My boat. A Cape Dory 22, A small quite sea worthy sloop.
I would not be sailing as much with a larger boat for a number of reasons.
Maint. Single handling in diffcult areas, Etc.
What you need is to SAIL often and learn... Size matters for frequent solo
2-8 hr sails.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #19  
Old 02-08-2011
BarryL's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 1,584
Thanks: 3
Thanked 23 Times in 22 Posts
Rep Power: 11
BarryL is on a distinguished road
Small(er) Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinyDeep View Post
Maybe a trailer sailer and forget the long trips?
I think that would be an excellent idea. Get something small, but with a cabin so you have place for the kids to get out of the sun, a porta potty, a place for the cooler etc. Boats like the Catalina 22, O'day 222, and others would be a great start.

A boat like that would be big enough for an overnight stay. If you can handle camping, spending a night on a 22' boat would be similar. You could sail to a destination, do some exploring, spend the night on the boat, and then return home the next day. That's certainly do-able, and if you and the kids like it, you can start planning for the future.

If you buy a boat in decent condition and keep it that way, it won't be hard to sell if you want to move up.

Personally, I started on a Catalina 22, moved up to a Newport 28 the next year, and then to my O'day 35 a few years later.

Good luck,
Barry
__________________
Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #20  
Old 02-08-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 825
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 9
chris_gee is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinyDeep View Post
Not sure about anything, other than I want to go coastal cruising, and possibly take a long ( a week or so) vacation possibly several hundred miles away. I've got three small kids, and divorced, so I may be solo on the long trip.
I am not sure what you mean here. If you have a weeks vacation (that may be long to an american but not to others) you have a limited range. Solo on a long passage in uncongested waters you might do say 100-150 miles a day on average assuming you can catnap. In more congested and coastal waters you will find forty miles more realistic. You might do it in 7-8 hours more likely ten. Add at least another hour for hauling anchor hoisting sails clearing anchorage and the reverse. A fair effort requiring a degree of concentration. It is preferable particularly with an unfamiliar location to arrive in daylight.

Say you did 3 days of coast hopping allowing just one day for rest up or weather then another 3 back. In practice depending on the location you could not be sure of the weather being suitable for your return. Also the distance is not always as the crow flies as you may well be tacking have adverse current etc.

Applying it here, one island is about forty five miles away. I have done it in a day, but many split it into two. You could then spend say 5 days pottering exploring if you could be sure of the weather for your return. Sometimes people are stuck there.

Even with a week assuming you are returning maybe you should look at a 100 mile radius and a 35 mile for a weekend. Even that would not work with kids. They seem to prefer a couple of hours, followed by going ashore swimming etc.
The problem with a trailersailer is the time you add for launching retrieval mast lifting, putting sails , rudder and motor on etc. A bit harder to do on your own especially if you have kids to watch near a ramp.
That said we used to have a great time in an 18' with two young kids.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WANTED: BASIC BOAT BBQ. CHARCOAL IS OKAY, BEATUP IS OKAY, ANY BOAT BBQ - $25 seattle stephenronning Gear & Maintenance 2 03-30-2009 09:21 AM
Coast Guard finds missing boat, still searching for other boat - FayObserver.com NewsReader News Feeds 0 05-11-2007 11:15 PM
Coast Guard finds missing boat, still searching for other boat - Access North Georgia NewsReader News Feeds 0 05-11-2007 10:15 PM
Coast Guard Finds Missing Boat, Still Searching For Other Boat - WSOCtv.com NewsReader News Feeds 0 05-11-2007 04:15 PM
Coast Guard finds missing boat, still searching for other boat - Myrtle Beach Sun News NewsReader News Feeds 0 05-11-2007 08:15 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:44 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.