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Newbe here...looking to charter a sailboat for 4 nights in mid August off the Amalfi Coast. We will be 4 people, 2 adults and 2 teens. We've never been on long open water trips on a sailboat.

Anyway, I an deciding between three options, the boats are:

  • Jeanneau Sun Odessey 54 DS,
  • Jeanneau Sun Odessey 45, and
  • Dufour New 360 Grand Large

Are we going to notice much of a difference in smoothness? Also, what's it like trying to lseep in upon waters on sailboats of this size on overnight trips?

The price difference is about $500/night w captain between each of the options, $1000+ difference between the 54' Jeaneau 54' boat and the 36' Dufour Large.

Also, what about sleeping on an overnight overwater trip on one of these boats? Can't it get very choppy and uncomfortable? By definition, and overnight 6-8 hour trip is very open water, no? Here it might be from Capri to Naples, or even further.
 

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Jeanneau 57
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The internal space is much bigger on the 54 vs the 45 and the 36 - I've owned a 43, a 49 and now a 57 and each time it felt like I'd double my intern volume. That being said, the difference while on passage offshore isn't that great, all boats will move about in weather and waves. But the 54 is going to be somewhat smoother and definitely much faster on passage which will reduce your time on open water. How many cabins does each boat have? The 45 and 54 will have a "coffin"(skipper cabin) for your skipper while the 36 probably doesn't.

At anchor or in the marina they will all act the same, assuming your skipper chooses a good place for the night.
 

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Beneteau 393
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Yes, as Zanshin says, you have to accommodate the Skipper. Do you want him living in one of the cabins with the family or a cabin with separate entrance?
I would go the 45 but the captain will be close to you all the time.

Mark
 

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Hi,

Regarding smoothness, sleeping, comfort, etc, the weather is way more important than the size of the boat. If you have calm seas then all of the boats will be fine. If you have rough weather the bigger boat will be better, but can still be uncomfortable.

If you have 4 people and a captain I would not consider the 360. Too small. If you don't have a captain, then the 360 would be fine for a couple and 2 teens.

The downside of the larger boats is difficulty docking and getting in and out of harbors. If you have a captain then this isn't an issue.

good luck,
Barry
 

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hmmm, underway and on a charter boat... Everyone sleeping in their cabin leaves the common area open for those on watch. I'm always more comfortable where the amount of "roll space" for myself on the berth is kept to a minimum. Sometimes that means more pillows.
As others have stated, the seas feel "dampened" on the larger boat.
FWIW, I've taken the family out in fun, but not exciting seas (daughter at the time 5, son 8) on the '54, offshore. Everyone was comfortable. And in the anchorage, doubly so.
 

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Wauquiez Centurion 40, Kelt 8
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Newbe here...looking to charter a sailboat for 4 nights in mid August off the Amalfi Coast. We will be 4 people, 2 adults and 2 teens. We've never been on long open water trips on a sailboat.

Anyway, I an deciding between three options, the boats are:

  • Jeanneau Sun Odessey 54 DS,
  • Jeanneau Sun Odessey 45, and
  • Dufour New 360 Grand Large

Are we going to notice much of a difference in smoothness? Also, what's it like trying to lseep in upon waters on sailboats of this size on overnight trips?

The price difference is about $500/night w captain between each of the options, $1000+ difference between the 54' Jeaneau 54' boat and the 36' Dufour Large.

Also, what about sleeping on an overnight overwater trip on one of these boats? Can't it get very choppy and uncomfortable? By definition, and overnight 6-8 hour trip is very open water, no? Here it might be from Capri to Naples, or even further.
Overnight choppyness depends on the weather conditions, not on the boat. If there is no wind your sleep will be disturbed by engine noice, is too much wind no one will sleep. A 54 boat seems very large for 4 persons and a skipper, but if money doesn't play a role why not. And I don't understand that you need a night trip from Capri to Naples (if you mean Napoli in Italy ?) which is only arround 30 sea miles? depending on wind and speed arround 4-6 hours?
 

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I think your captain will try to avoid sailing at night. However, if it is done and the crew plans to sleep during the night sail, take a look at the berths. If the wind is blowing and the boat is heeled over, there is always the potential for getting thrown out of the berth and onto the floor unless there is something to keep you in the berth (lee cloth for instance). This is true for any of the boats but more so on the smaller boats. I did look at the Sun Odessey 54 DS layout (4 cabin version) and only the forward most cabin provides both starboard and port protection from getting ejected from a berth. It would be a good idea to know your boats layout. Most manufacturers have a couple of layouts for their larger boats.
 

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We had 4 in a 35 in the BVIs a few years ago, and it was civilized but cozy. I'm assuming that the 2 adults will share a bed, but the two teens would prefer not to.

The Dufour 360 comes in a 3 cabin version, which means that if you hire a captain then either the kids will share a bed or someone will be sleeping on a settee. Doing so is fine, but it turns the entire boat into a bedroom. In the 2 cabin version it's be even more camping-like.

The Jeanneau 45 comes in a 2 cabin version that can accommodate 2 couples in luxury, or a 3 cabin version that can accommodate 1 couple in luxury and 2 other couples in less luxury. With 5 and two people not sharing a berth, again you end up with someone camping in the salon. I have been on this boat (the 3 cabin version), it's nice but it you have a hired captain it's not that nice.

There are 6 different layouts for the Jeanneau Sun Odessey 54 DS, all but one of them will accommodate a couple, a couple of siblings, and a hired skipper in luxury.

For all of the boats, the sleeping on a mooring or dock should be similar. The bigger boats will be a bit smoother, but not noticeably so. I can't imagine the charter company will let you take the boat out on an overnight passage, but it they do the front of the boat may be impossible to sleep in. The middle and aft parts of the boat will be fine on a bigger boat, but there will be a lot of motion.

I like scopolamine patches (available via prescription in the US) for seasickness prevention.
 
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