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Old 10-22-2012
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How Big Should Your's Be?

I'd like to ask what's is the smallest boat that one sould take blue-water sailing; but at the same time what is the biggest boat that can be sailed single-handed? I've seen the stories where someone crosses in a 23 ft. 'whatever' but on the other hand it seems a lot of people stay in the 30 something ft. range when alone? I know a lot depends on experience but then with the experience within the SailNet community I'm quite sure there are those who would, through experience, say if you do "this," with "that" you are asking for it.

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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

Simply put the definitive answer to your question is: It depends.

On a couple hundred things. Seriously.

Rephrase the question with a LOT more parameters spelled out.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

I know a chap who has circumnavigated in a 25'er. Now he's older, married and they have a sprog .... upsized to around 40'. Another mate cruised extensivley in a 26'er but he was 6" shorter than me and I could never get comfortable on board his boat.

You simply cannot answer that question. As a very simple example , large bodied people need a bit more beam than smaller. Another mate cruised extensively in a 26'er but he was 6" shorter than me and I could never get comfortable on board his boat.

As chuckles says, more parameters needed.
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

People with lots of cruising experience offshore seem to settle on 35 - 38 feet as optimum. Bigger gives you more comfort and luxury but exponentially more trouble and expense. Smaller causes too many compromises.

The forgoing is accurate to within + or - 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

Shane Acton circumnavigated [ cheaply ]1.5+ times in a 17' 6" plywood Caprice.

OTH I am retired 65 and rumbling around the Caribbean, singlehanded much of the time, in a 44 ft cutter.

Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur circumnavigated [ at speed ] in a 75ft trimaran.

All of the above are the correct answers to your OP.
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

Boat? What's the boat got to do with it? First tell me about the sailor, then we can talk about the boat. You might need a cruise ship for all we know!

A couple gets pulled off their large sailboat by a coast guard helicopter after a couple of rough days into their cruise to Hawaii. Months later their drifting boat is found, in Hawaii!

A guy crosses the Atlantic, single handed in an 11 foot boat.

A 16 year old girl circumnavigates.

Gary H. Lucas
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

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Originally Posted by GaryHLucas View Post
Boat? What's the boat got to do with it? First tell me about the sailor, then we can talk about the boat. You might need a cruise ship for all we know!

A couple gets pulled off their large sailboat by a coast guard helicopter after a couple of rough days into their cruise to Hawaii. Months later their drifting boat is found, in Hawaii!

A guy crosses the Atlantic, single handed in an 11 foot boat.

A 16 year old girl circumnavigates.

Gary H. Lucas
Exactly and well stated!

I saw a boat at the transient dock late last yr name Braveheart of Sark, a piece of artwork. Only 2 onboard, guy singlehandedly left the dock. yet my 30ft can give me fits leaving and docking. No two boats are the same nor 2 sailors.
I guess my point is that it really is up to the sailor. Many boats of various size have traveled across oceans, I think it more up to the sailor than the boat. Cal 20 did the TransPac this year!
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

When I was a teen, a Japanese kid sailed from Japan to San Francisco on a 19 footer.
Alan Colas singlehandedly sailed and raced the 236-foot (72 m) four-masted schooner Club Mediterranée.
So how big do you want YOURS to be?
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
When I was a teen, a Japanese kid sailed from Japan to San Francisco on a 19 footer.
Alan Colas singlehandedly sailed and raced the 236-foot (72 m) four-masted schooner Club Mediterranée.
So how big do you want YOURS to be?
Even Colas himself admitted that the plus 200 footer was a fiasco. What's more he had something like a crew of 21 who set the thing up and jumped off just before the start. Not a good example.

A good sailor can handle a bigger boat than a clod like me but even so it does get very tiring if your are out there by yourself in poor conditions and I have never single handed in more than 35 knots. Of course if you have the buckazoids then you can go electric everything but for most of us I still think that somewhere around 35 - 45' is about the limit for single hand and that size may well depend on displacement as much as LOA.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: How Big Should Your's Be?

After you've sailed enough to know your capabilities and limitations and...

After you've made numerous short runs that became longer and longer as you gained confidence and experience and...

After you've been tested by squalls, gales, knockdowns, equipment failures, groundings, torn sails, etc and...

After you've honed your navigation skills to the point where you don't need electronics to know where you are...

Then you will know what size boat you need for blue water sailing. You won't need to ask.
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