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My 37 ft. Gozzard has 19,000 lbs. displacement and 6800 lbs. ballast. I am considering purchasing a 44 ft. Gozzard with 30,000 lbs. displacement and 10,800 lbs. ballast. What are the issues and limitations I should be aware of with a heavier boat. Can I handle it?
 

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Hey,

Are you sailing fully crewed, short handed, or solo? Everything associated with the boat is bigger and heavier. How heavy is the main sail and the headsail? Can you carry the sail around by yourself? Can you take the sail off by yourself for servicing? Can you reef the sails by yourself? If the main is not a furling unit can you lower and flake it? How will you handle approaching a dock with a breeze blowing you off the dock?

Fully crewed should be no problem. Solo is not something I would want to do in anything but benign conditions.

Barry
 

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Last move was from a psc34 to a 30000lbs. outbound. Had bigger boats before the psc but you forget quickly what a bigger boat means. Surprisingly bigger boats are easier to sail if appropriately set up. Things move slower and boat is more forgiving of mistakes. Getting in Irons is harder. Getting near or to hull speed easier. With some experience and a bow thruster close quarters handling not an issue. Moving about is much easier as well.
But getting in and out of a slip is harder. It’s a longer distance from deck to dock. You can’t man handle it. It’s a longer distance between bow midship and stern lines/cleats. I have no issue singling the boat. Even all passage watches are done solo by crew unless something is up. But I still need some one to catch or cast off lines unless there’s no adverse current or wind.
When out cruising and only using moorings or anchor solo is fine. Even side to a dock isn’t bad. Get a bow or stern line fast, jump off get a spring and then use a bit of idle to keep the boat close to the dock until sorted out. But if using slips you’ll need another person.
Gozzard makes a fine boat-enjoy. Wife thought the layout was weird so never had one but I kind of think it makes sense.
 

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Until we got on the 'downsize' track, each subsequent boat's ballast was equal to the previous boat's total displacement.

There's a very short period of adjustment as you get used to the differences, the greater momentum probably being the biggest. Since you're sticking to the same essential boat type I expect your adaptation will be short lived indeed!
 

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Four years ago I moved up to a 40' boat, from a 34. In general it is easier to sail. I usually single-hand, or sail with my wife. Larger winches, efficient gear and well thought out systems all make it a joy to handle. The issues for me are when things go wrong, there is a lot more load and weight involved. I'm more careful to anticipate these loads as the wind comes up. I reef a bit earlier, and don't push quite so hard. I'm 69 years old now, so that is also a factor. The trade off is that the boat is more comfortable. With all things considered, I believe that it is a safer platform for our sailing.
 

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Biggest we owned was 52 for 10 years, smallest 22, now 38 with a 36 and a 28 in between over 40 odd years of messing with boats. I know, make up your mind you're thinking.

In favor of bigger:
- It's faster under sail
- It's faster under power...don't underestimate the value of being able to power into sea against the wind and make hull speed when you want to get someplace
- It's more comfortable by a lot both in motion and at anchor
- You can load it up with more stuff for a long passage
- You will be able to live on it for longer periods of time without longing for the space of shoreside accommodations
- When everything works it's easier to sail than a dingy

Downsides:
- Operating costs
- Complex system maintenance...although it's not necessary to load up your bigger boat with complex systems, no one I've ever met has the personal discipline to keep it simple...I include myself in this.
- Weight - might need 2 people to hank on a sail due to dead weight, cannot brute force the boat into a dock, cannot brute force sail forces, dependence on working systems for furling, winches, power winches, bow thrusters, etc.

IMHO, if you are going long distances, living on board, and have the funds, bigger is generally better. If you are a weekend/coastal cruiser with occasional passages, at least for us, moderate size is better. I don't think with the 52 I ever sailed it for a whole day when all systems were working. Let's see, the list was power furling hood main, power primary winches, bow thruster, generator, 3 reverse cycle AC's, 15 electric pumps, engine and 110volt power fridge, separate engine and AC powered fridge, 2 head hunter power flush heads, water maker, I cannot remember how many batteries including separate for the thruster, big windless, .....I'm sure I'm forgetting something. The maintenance choice is either time or money. Even if you have unlimited money, none of us have unlimited time. Down time is time you never get back, and it always happens in some beautiful place when the weather is perfect, your friends have just arrived for a cruise, and the wind is blowing just the right direction. Why is that?

It's a choice. Gozzard's are big for their length. Sure would be comfortable, but go in with your eyes open.
 

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@Cappecoda's post really nails it. It's a cautionary tale. Big is more of everything... and his point about "down time" for service and maintenance is spot on. In a fantasy world your big boat is in maintained in perfect condition and nothing fails and all you do is enjoy its benefit. That sounds like a luxury charter.

Live aboard cruisers MAY have the time to devote to care and feeding of their boat. In fact I suspect many actually LIKE messing about on boats and don't see this as "down time"... but different time. Of course with lots of mechanical systems and even more components the chances of a failure messing with your plans is exponentially larger than with a smaller simpler boat which might even have easy work arounds.

I also suspect that most boats are sailed by a couple.... with the occasional guest(s) and one has to ask... how much space does a salty couple actually need to be comfortable? I suspect the sweet spot is in the low 40s.
 

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There is definitely something to be said for bigger will have more stuff to break. However, I very, very infrequently have something that prevents a sail. I even had my bowthruster break, leaving the fuel dock, on my departure for a two week cruise. Sailed 5 hours that day, anchored, slept and fixed it over coffee the next morning. Kept on rolling.

I do whatever I am able and have time for. I pay to have the rest done. There have been a few occasions, not many, with guests coming the following weekend, that I’ve had to pay to have some thing repaired, because I didn’t have time to get to it. It’s never been anything that couldn’t have equally failed aboard any length boat.

Having three electric heads, increases the odds of a single failure. It also allows redundancy and I literally carry a spare pump for every single version aboard. From engine raw water, to fresh water, to waste. If it fails and I need it, I fix it at anchor.
 

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For sure you can handle it!
My 1st mate feared the same when we transitioned from a G36 to a G44. No problem she now says.
The ride is smoother. You go faster. You can’t hold a sheet barehanded, better to use the winch.
What G44 are you considering?
 
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