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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Another 10 feet ...
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Thread: Another 10 feet ... Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-31-2009 03:10 PM
SpcAlan1
I am in the same situation ( question )

I have a 1978 Catalina 25'.
My first sailboat.

For some reason I am wanting to move up to a 30+ sailboat.
For what reason? I DONT KNOW.

Maybe the bigger cabin, maybe ( size does matter ), maybe I am crazy.
01-04-2008 07:52 PM
Jeff_H So many of these discussions often end up being a 'How long is a piece of thread? type of discussion but I must say that this one has been much richer in its responses than it could have been, and that I feared it might be when it began. I had hoped to respond sooner but work got in the way. Darn!

I have a little different take than perhaps some in this discussion, and come at this from a different direction. As some of you long time readers know, I look at displacement as being a much more relevant determinant of the size of the boat in almost all ways.

When you talk about stepping up in size, the increased cost and labor to purchase and maintain, increased carrying capacity and increased space, are generally proportionate to the increase in displacement more than increased length.

When you talk about ease of single-handing a bigger boat there are a lot of components involved in what makes something 'easy' or hard', which is why you see such different opinions about whether bigger boats are easier or harder to sail. If you sift through the tread above, individual posters have focused on most of these components without necessarily linking them together.

To me, when it comes to deciding how much more difficult it is to handle a bigger boat there are two parts to this, the physical exertion aspect and then the sequencing of the tasks aspect. To me, until you get up to boats big enough to motorize winches and sail handling gear, the physical exertion required is directly proportional to the boat's displacement. a 10,500 lb 32 footer takes just as much physical strength and effort to sail as 10,500 lb 38 footer (and if of a similar vintage, quality and level of maintainance, equal displacement boats of different lengths will cost roughly the same to buy and roughly the same to maintain.)

Historically, the rule of thumb for offshore cruising boats was ideally 2 1/2 to 5 long tons per person (5,500 to 11,000 lbs per person). Modern equipment has pushed those numbers up some. But for me I find that somewhere around 12,000 lbs is a practical limit for relatively easy single-handing.

When it comes to sequencing the tasks, it gets much harder to say whether a bigger boat is easier or not. Things do happen slower on a bigger boat, but this comes at a price that there is more line to overhaul, more distance to travel to get around the boat, bigger mechanical advantages and higher losses to friction.

Often it comes down to the gear on board. You can often get by on smaller (lighter) boat with lower grade hardware and less effective hardware layouts. But as a boat becomes bigger, deck plans and hardware quaility become critical to the ease and safety of operation. Because of the longer distances involved, and higher friction and loadings, hardware design and placement becomes critical. Items like cabintop mounted mainsheet travellers , mast mounted halyards and reeflines become very questionable choices as a boat gets longer. Care must be taken to clear the mast and deck of items likely to snag sheets and other running rigging. If halyards and other control lines are run aft, as a boat get larger, low friction blocks become necessary throughout the system. Sheet winches need to be placed near the helmsman so that the helmsman does not have to stand up to make adjustments. and so on.

More on this later....gotta run.
Jeff
01-04-2008 06:07 PM
Valiente
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
You know, Valiente, that's not a bad idea at all, but to be honest I am feeling pretty good about it. I guess all I needed was to know it was possible, and knowing that it's possible is enough to get me to do it. Reading the responses on this thread it's obvious that people do have these boats that I consider to be larger boats, and that they can single hand them, so I should be able to learn too. I certainly will be committed to working with the boat and getting experience on it once I take the step, I think I can do it.
If you can handle the 25 footer smartly, there's no real issue other than timing and getting used to the fact that if you want to turn sharply in one boat length, you have to realize that the pivot point is 17 feet or so aft of the bow!

As has been said in other threads, if you wish to single-hand a lot, I would go for a tiller, because you are better to sit high-side with an extender to see forward and to judge sail trim. Again, I'm in the minority here, because I see sailboats in terms of sailing, not in terms of having drinks at the dock.
01-04-2008 04:29 PM
sailingdog Someone's a bit biased here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
Or try a catamaran perfect to single hand, stable as all hell.
01-04-2008 04:03 PM
chucklesR Or try a catamaran perfect to single hand, stable as all hell.
01-04-2008 03:38 PM
wind_magic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Windmagic...why don't you ask to crew on a 35 footer and ask for some lessons from the owner? Try before you buy, and in order not to alarm the owner, try maneuvering tightly around a "soft" buoy, like an inflatable race marker, until you feel comfortable with the speeds and forces.

I find on smaller boats that everything happens too damn fast...
You know, Valiente, that's not a bad idea at all, but to be honest I am feeling pretty good about it. I guess all I needed was to know it was possible, and knowing that it's possible is enough to get me to do it. Reading the responses on this thread it's obvious that people do have these boats that I consider to be larger boats, and that they can single hand them, so I should be able to learn too. I certainly will be committed to working with the boat and getting experience on it once I take the step, I think I can do it.
01-04-2008 02:03 PM
Valiente Windmagic...why don't you ask to crew on a 35 footer and ask for some lessons from the owner? Try before you buy, and in order not to alarm the owner, try maneuvering tightly around a "soft" buoy, like an inflatable race marker, until you feel comfortable with the speeds and forces.

I find on smaller boats that everything happens too damn fast...
01-04-2008 03:11 AM
wind_magic Thank you all for the great responses, there were too many to respond to individually. This thread has really influenced some of my thoughts about moving up in boat size. I am not quite as anxious about it as I was. I think my big concern was that I would not be able to control the boat out on the water, that the sails would get away from me, etc, and it sounds like with some practice I should be able to get it. I do want a bigger boat, I want the speed but I also just want more room, just more boat to be in. My mid-20's boat is great, but I can't really live on it easily, mostly because it doesn't have a head, but it also lacks some other things that would really make it a reasonable place to be all the time.

So, thanks again.

Much appreciated.
01-02-2008 09:33 PM
Rockter Idiens...

This is my ship, a Union 36, from Taiwan, 1977...

http://s217.photobucket.com/albums/c...summer2007.jpg

...and about on the limit of what I can handle alone.

I have no autopilot at present. I need one for sailing alone, really.

A good ship though.... not perfect, but a good ship. I am keeping this one.

Rockter.
01-02-2008 02:48 PM
RAGTIMEDON Did I read "full Keel" and "sharp turn" in the same sentence? I went from a 7800 pound O'day 28 fin keel to a 20,000 pound Endeavour 37 with a full keel, and the most noticeable thing about docking is that she does not turn as quickly! We go in slow on either boat, and the inertia is noticablely greater both in stopping and in turning. Windage has not been a problem due to elevated roadways around our marina. Single handed sailing in a boat this size virtually requires an autohelm and anchor windlass. Be certain to have a windlass switch at the helm. I don't do well manually dragging a 20,000 lb boat upstream (we sail on the Mississippi) to lift the anchor. But to echo Denise, both the 28 and the 37 are easier to dock than the 25 I had previously, because the outboard on the 25 was down below the edge of the transom. To me, whether single handing or with crew, the bigger boat is well worth the additional cost (which definitely is exponetially greater.) Among other things, both my wife and I can stand up straight inside! My dream would be an Island Packet 465 center cockpit, with its 7'3" headroom!
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