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Old 08-05-2012
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Question Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

As I am happily sailing for my first season in a Nordica 20, I am weighing the wisdom of investing more money into this boat (primarily considering new sails and a furler) vs. looking for the 'next boat'. In many ways, this boat suits us functionally, aesthetically and financially. The biggest downside is the small cockpit. That's only an issue when we have guests aboard, which is a minority of the time. Whether that's enough of an issue to justify trading up is a question in my mind, but of course all the other aspects of moving to a bigger boat enter into it. We are on Lake Ontario, but daysailing is the extent of things for the foreseeable future.

I note with amusement blogger Ugly Yachtsman's (UY's Main Menu) observation that the ultimate goal seems to be to acquire a boat that is 'too big to use'. I know that every boat is a compromise in one way or another, and I ponder: Is bigger always better? Do you ever stop wondering if 'two feet' would make all the difference?
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Nobody can answer that for you. A definitive answer may not even exist.

I can tell you I'm extremely happy with my 31 footer. There's no way I'd go bigger. Could go smaller. But would rather not. This is my fifth boat.
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

I had a hunter 23 ..for 11 months.. sold it.. because even though it was a nice boat I knew I wanted 30' or larger. When I did get my O30 it seemed gigantic.. now it seems very small. Spending time on a boat for days (or weeks) is nice on a boat that comes close to having the comforts of a large camper or small apartment I love it. So I does seem like you have "5 foot itis" A boat has to be awful big, like over 40 ft before it becomes too big; and the "Big" more applies to costs rather then handling.
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

I have never owned a nordica 20 but I have had the pleasure of seeing one and was very impressed. It is a micro traditional sailboat with efficiency and utility as its banners. It reminded me of a Havsfidra in its elegant traditional lines and hull and its spartan yet thought out interior. If I were offered one I would take it in a split second. The owner I know had only two complaits after 2 years of living on it.

1. it took him a while to get use to how it handles in fowl weather.

2. it took him only one time to figure out never sleep on the port sette' with the table down!

I guess it really boils down to how and where you sail, short hops or long hauls. Also, can it handle provisioning for those hauls.

Loving what you sail is important, if it is a proverbial FIT then there should be no reason to change unless the idea of your FIT changes.
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Living, even short term, on a 20' boat requires a special kind of person with a degree of agility. We are of compact size but at an age where the pup tent doesn't hold the same appeal as it once did.

Provisioning and even sleeping on the boat doesn't factor into the equation for now. We are fortunate enough to live 10 minutes from the marina. Schedules and preferences preclude anything other than daysails so there is no point in trying to create a house on the water.

I guess it comes down to the outfitting of the boat and whether to invest thousands more into this boat while my eye is still scanning the want ads wondering if the 'perfect' boat is out there. (That drives the first mate crazy.) That may never change.

It may be an unanswerable question, but I appreciate the insight of those who have gone down this path already.
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Nice boat for a daysailor, room for 2, but when the weather unexpectedly turns real nasty, which it can in your area, something over 30 feet makes life a lot more bearable and comfortable. I had a Catalina 27 for about 5 years, nice boat for daysailing, not too uncomfortable for overnighters and weekends, but after about 4 days aboard, especially during mid summer, that boat sure felt a lot smaller, especially when there were three of aboard.

Good luck,

Gary
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

>when the weather unexpectedly turns real nasty, which it can in your area, something over 30 feet makes life a lot more bearable and comfortable. <

How much of this comment refers to being holed up inside a larger boat during periods of inclement weather and how much to the handling of the boat in rough conditions? I'm not too inclined in this boat to venture beyond where I can beat it back in the face of an approaching storm, although you are right, they can come up pretty quickly.
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

yes bigger is always always always better
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

The Nordica 20 is a hell of a package, and for daysailing/occasional weekending is damn near ideal for lake ontario. Tough, stable, forgiving, with simple easy to handle systems , she may not be the fastest boat on the lake, but you'll be reefing and grinning while everyone else is hunkered and bunkered in their slips.
i think if you were to start searching for a boat you might be surprised how big you have to go and how much you have to spend before you have a result superior to your nordica.
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Old 08-05-2012
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Re: Is bigger always better? Nordica 20

Just my 2 cents, but if you are:
1) looking for something with more cockpit room
2) not going to be spending many nights onboard as you daysail it
3) On Lake Ontario
4) Budget minded

One boat I can definitely recommend is the Shark 24. I went from a Grampian 23 to my Shark about 4 years ago. The Grampian had the same issue as your current boat, a tiny cockpit.

Paid less for the shark than I sold my Grampian for and it is a great boat. I use my boat much like you do, and love the shark for it's size, great ability to point, and very budget friendly.

I do sleep on it a few times over the summer, and two people can sleep on it okay; with maybe a small kid in the V berth. Not much cabin room to be honest, but enough for my purpose.

If you look around, you should be able to find one for around $3000 or less. (Sure, some of the decked out racing ones are going for $10K). Plus, given the number of Sharks around Lake Ontario, there are a lot of used sails out there at reasonable prices. Based on the picture in your post, I would imagine there is a Shark in that Marina for you to take a look at. There aren't many Marina's on Lake Ontario that don't have a Shark or two docked.
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