So here it straight, it is not easier to sail a bigger boat than a smaller boat unless you are a skilled sailor to begin with. You may learn enough to get by, but if you are out there long enough, there will come that time when only boat handling and skills learned from a sequence of experiences will get you through. Automation may make the sailing physically easier, but it’s no substitute for knowing what you are doing. People get into this sport thinking they can buy some big boat and somehow just get by; some may have a good experience, but most that I have known leave the sport disappointed. You may chose to gamble with a big, complex mediocre constructed boat, and think that a few trips with a captain will teach you all you need to know, but frankly if that is how you look at it, at this point you really don’t understand the problem.
This is not meant as a put down. We all had to start somewhere. It is meant as a heads-up and a “what-are-you-thinking?”
Very nicely said, Jeff - and based on some of what I've read in this thread, your post probably deserves to be posted a THIRD time, and everyone should be required to read each and every one...(grin, bigtime)
Little I can add to yours, I'll just address a couple of other posts…
I think you'll find that a lot of Sense 50 owners are 1st timers. The key to any undertaking, as you know, is planning, patience and the ability to be taught. Doesn't matter to me what anyone says; always, I will say it again, ALWAYS buy the biggest boat you can afford and sail her well.
Sorry to disagree, but if there is ONE thing I have learned from my 35 years in the yacht delivery business, that’s a pretty reliable recipe for a boat being ultimately used far LESS than anticipated, and being put on the brokerage market sooner, rather than later…
Not to mention, in these times of extreme economic uncertainty, buying the “most you can afford” of anything
– much less a toy you’ve never played with before – well, I don’t know…
Your mileage may vary, of course…
With today's boat, the manufacture will appropriately make their bigger boat andeasier to sail, it is their goal to make every successful couple to sail without going to hell of learning the hard way.
Sense 50, Jeaneau 409 and 473 are the good examples. With the furling jib and boom furling main, reversible electric wrench, bow thruster and rotational sail drive, we can learn it in half day and good at it than those take years to develop there skills.
Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more, I’m afraid that’s an extremely naďve assessment…
Sure, furling headsails and in-boom mains have become quite the convenience, but are by no means bullet or foolproof… In fact, I believe a lot of the problems that arise with such systems today are the result of inexperience, a lack of basic understanding of the manner in which sails impart their loads upon such systems, and so on…
The ever-increasing reliance upon electric winches, windlasses, thrusters and so on by sailors with relatively modest experience is one of the scariest trends I see out there today… Many people have no idea or sense of the appropriateness of loads on this gear, and a lot of broken gear and exposure to potential injury is the result… when you’re grinding a winch yourself, it’s much easier to appreciate when something is possibly amiss… Pushing a button on an electric winch or Leisure-Furl, or your foot on the deck switch of a Lofrans Tigres windlass, well, not so much….
Frankly, I’m surprised this sort of grisly accident that occurred in Antigua last winter isn’t more commonplace today, as boats keep getting bigger, and their owners less experienced:
A reportedly experienced Venezuelan cruiser visiting Antiqua in early March and a fellow sailor who came to her aid were seriously injured in a freak accident involving an electric winch. The woman was hoisting her husband up the mast using the electric winch instead of manually because of a recent shoulder surgery. When the electric winch wouldn’t shut off, she called for help. Somehow the woman became entangled in the halyard lines and got her left arm trapped in the winch. In an attempt to free her left hand, the woman’s right hand also became trapped. The first man to come to her aid could not help and called for further assistance. The second man on the scene, a Swiss sailor, got his fingers entangled in the winch in his efforts to aid the woman.
The winch eventually stopped on its own, and the woman’s husband was lowered to the deck without injury. The woman’s left hand was completely severed at the wrist, while her right hand was crushed, resulting in several broken bones. The good Samaritan who also became entangled severed eight of his fingers.
The two were rushed to Mount St. John’s Medical Center, where doctors attempted to reattach the severed hand and fingers. The woman was eventually transferred to a hospital in Miami, while the gentleman spent five days at the local hospital.
Obviously, some people need to spoon fed from 22, 30, 37, 43, 57 and 60 foot. If 60 meets your need, go with the 60. However, just be practical on what you really need and what areas you will sail her.
LMAO! Well, if there’s one thing a visit to Sailnet is almost guaranteed to produce, it’s a reminder of what a wimp I’ve become by today's standards…
Last fall, I had to pass on a delivery of a 62-footer from New England to the BVIs, that’s just WAY more boat than I want to be responsible for offshore…
I can’t even fathom owning a 50-footer, 42’ or thereabouts is as big as I’d ever want to go…
But that’s just wimpy ol’ me, obviously… (grin)