General limitations of small sailboats - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 09-29-2011
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General limitations of small sailboats

Greetings. Looking for suggestions regarding smaller "daysailer" type craft on open waters. Specifically for an 18' craft with drop-down heavy keel, small cabin and 10 hp kicker motor. I consider myself adventurous but not reckless, and also fairly content and patient to endure lengthy passages under austere conditions (note small cabin).

At some point, weather permitting, would a trip to, say the Bahama banks (from south Florida) be out of the question, or "do-able but dangerous"???

No doubt, this topic has been addressed many times in some form or another, If you'll forgive a new member for "jumping in", I'd greatly appreciate some advice!
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Old 09-29-2011
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People have circumnavigated is less NOT for me but they have

10HP is huge on and 18' boat and would suck fuel with no real upside 4Hp is plenty

As far as the boat my 11' race dingy was way more seaworty tan my Victoria 18

The real issue becomes what safety gear( like a life raft) or none you feel you need and the amount of water and food you need to store to stay alive for time X
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Old 09-29-2011
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Old 09-29-2011
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Agreed, 10hp on an 18ft sailboat seems extreme and unnecessary. A longer shaft might be more welcomed, mostly because a little wave pounding and an outboard will be out of the water more often than in.
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Old 09-29-2011
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Crossing from the Keys to Bimini and then on to the rest of the Bahamas is possible in good weather conditions. I would make sure the boat has positive flotation as you will not have much room a life-raft.

I have crossed 20 times and a quarter of the time it was in benign conditions and not much wind.

I would not argue with a 10hp long shaft if I was in the Gulf Stream. Get a second hand 2 stroke to keep the weight down.
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Old 09-29-2011
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I'm a small boat sailor myself, 17' to be exact. I plan on doing some cruising down in the keys in a couple months, then hit the Bahamas next.

I think my 17'er is very capable of the trip. Mine is a Montgomery 17, they are known for their seaworthyness compared to boats similar in size. That being said, is your boat seaworthy? Do you trust it?

What boat do you have?
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Old 09-29-2011
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18' is too small, even for me.
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Preparation, seaworthiness and weather window....

Doable but does depend on the boat in question as long as the crew is capable.
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The difference in cost of a properly set up 18 footer and a properly setup 25 footer is not worth the hassle and lack of carrying capacity of the smaller yacht.

You can do ocean trips in most small boats but its easier and more affordable with a boat sized to carry the gear rather than a small boat beefed up to carry the gear.

As for outboards Tohatsu have an excellent extra long shaft 6hp four stroke which will push most small boats at hull speed into a reasonable headwind. I am not saying buy that outboard but I would start looking at it and comparing others to it until you figure out what suits you and your skills. If you need to motor for several days, the fuel savings on the four stroke are worth considering. If you are just motoring for a few hours then a two stroke with its lighter weight may be more suitable. The extra weight of bigger outboards is not worth it, stick with a small outboard for weight.

I cruise in protected waters with a 24 foot yacht and carry about 70 liters of petrol, enough to do the cruise then motor home without worry.
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Old 09-30-2011
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A useful link perhaps

Hi,

Have a look at this link and go from there. I have a 22 foot Yankee Condor and live in Nova Scotia Canada. In the next 2 years I intend to take her to the Caribbean and cruise the islands as well as Central America with her. I think you will find your biggest constraints being the stores that you can put aboard for prolonged passages.

Anyhow the link should give you an inkling as to the seaworthyness of your boat.

Seaworthiness Test

There will be two of us on this voyage. All lighting has been converted to LED's. We will have 20 gallons of water tankage. A small MSD with seaside pump out. A small 2 burner propane stove and ice box. We intend to take most food for passages in dehydrated or freeze dried format. We'll also have a 180 watt solar panel to keep the dual house bank of batteries charged. Total house bank being 300 ah. I feel confident that we can make a 600nm passage with our current configuration.

Brina
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