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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this is maybe a dumb question, but I was wondering, if a really big person, like 350lb or more, climbs on to a common fiberglass sailboat, like 30 footer, any problems with that?
 

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Hey, on our boat (a 30 footer) we call it/them "ballast". We have a good friend that is 480lbs. We've been trying to get him out sailing for years, maybe this season he'll go for it. We hope the wind will pipe up so we can put him on the lea rail and not have to reef until it hits 25+.

I didn't mention that this guy is a great guitar player and has all the moves of Stevie Ray. The guy can really "get down". So mobility is not his problem, he can handle himself real good. His only issue is when a sailboat heels,,,,, geeezzzssssh.
 

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Consider how much wieght full fuel and water tanks are. Or another way to look at it: 350 lbs is a decent size guy and his girlfriend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Consider how much wieght full fuel and water tanks are. Or another way to look at it: 350 lbs is a decent size guy and his girlfriend.
But the difference is that all the weight in one person is concentrated in one space, not spread out. It makes all the difference in most things. Also, the fuel tank is in a spot designed to hold a fuel tank. The deck above my cabin was not ;)
 

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Old as Dirt!
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Jarcher--

A very large person may not be a problem for the boat per se but he/she can be a problem. The unfortunate fact is the many "large" people do not have the strength to support their own weight nor the balance they need on a smaller yacht to move safely. And a 350# or greater object falling even a few feet can represent a serious hazard to themselves and whatever they happen to land on--and if that happens to be a lifeline, they're over the side.

We had a very large fellow (400#+) that lived aboard a Catalina 27 in our marina for awhile. He was a teacher and a very nice guy that loved sailing. He also loved to eat and drink and did so with gusto. He was sitting behind us in the restaurant adjoining the marina one night when the chair he was in gave up the ghost. He was injured in the resulting fall and nearly crushed my 5' tall 100# wife whom he crashed into on the way down.

Some months later he happened to loose his balance while boarding his boat one night (the yacht would roll down 15* or more) and tipped into the sea. The SS boarding ladder at this stern would not support his weight (read broke) and he could not hoist himself over the ships rail tho he could reach his chain-plates. Two dock neighbors heard his shouts and went to his rescue but couldn't hoist him over the rail either. They rigged the MOB recovery tackle to his halyard but with his weight, the halyard shieve jammed and they couldn't get him up that way either. The Coast Guard finally got him out of the water by putting a swimmer in who manually hauled him to the near-by sea-wall where a tow-truck with a crane was able to lift him out. It took 5 guys to get him on a stretcher for the EMT's to get him to the hospital.

Not long after his sold his boat and moved ashore. He finally admitted that had he gone overboard anywhere but the marina, it would have been the end of him.

FWIW...
 

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I was selling a home-built 8' sailing pram last year and had gotten inquiries from all over. One gentleman in Florida emailed and was very interested in it. He'd always wanted to get into sailing and my little sailing pram was just perfect for him. As he was about to send payment and arrange shipping, he mentioned that he weighed in excess of 300 pounds and was 72 years old. He asked if I thought there was any problem with him sailing the boat.

I diplomatically explained that he'd be well advised to try out local boats, take a class or two, and then make that decision for himself. I'm frightened to think what might have happened if he had purchased my tiny boat and sailed away from land and helping hands.
 

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I am in this range (let's not get too specific), but do exercise and manage to get around just fine. I frequently singlehand my Catalina 27 in San Francisco Bay, and haven't had any problems. I started off on 22 footers and have sailed on boats up to 63 feet with no issues. My biggest problem has been finding foulies that fit...
 

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Jarcher--

A very large person may not be a problem for the boat per se but he/she can be a problem. The unfortunate fact is the many "large" people do not have the strength to support their own weight nor the balance they need on a smaller yacht to move safely. And a 350# or greater object falling even a few feet can represent a serious hazard to themselves and whatever they happen to land on--and if that happens to be a lifeline, they're over the side.

We had a very large fellow (400#+) that lived aboard a Catalina 27 in our marina for awhile. He was a teacher and a very nice guy that loved sailing. He also loved to eat and drink and did so with gusto. He was sitting behind us in the restaurant adjoining the marina one night when the chair he was in gave up the ghost. He was injured in the resulting fall and nearly crushed my 5' tall 100# wife whom he crashed into on the way down.

Some months later he happened to loose his balance while boarding his boat one night (the yacht would roll down 15* or more) and tipped into the sea. The SS boarding ladder at this stern would not support his weight (read broke) and he could not hoist himself over the ships rail tho he could reach his chain-plates. Two dock neighbors heard his shouts and went to his rescue but couldn't hoist him over the rail either. They rigged the MOB recovery tackle to his halyard but with his weight, the halyard shieve jammed and they couldn't get him up that way either. The Coast Guard finally got him out of the water by putting a swimmer in who manually hauled him to the near-by sea-wall where a tow-truck with a crane was able to lift him out. It took 5 guys to get him on a stretcher for the EMT's to get him to the hospital.

Not long after his sold his boat and moved ashore. He finally admitted that had he gone overboard anywhere but the marina, it would have been the end of him.

FWIW...
I'd try to lose the weight before I'd sell the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, some of these stories are amazing. Its just that I have a visitor coming in June who wants to do a little sailing. I have no problem telling people their children are too young when that's true, people always understand that. We're talking people who don't ralize sailboats are not power boats of course. But this is a different situation entirely.
 

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put that guy in to a harness and get him to lean out more and the boat would heel into the wind
No traps on Bucc18s.;) But this guy is one of the best sailors in the class. Must be pretty agile too, to get around that cockpit. Remember, John Belushi could turn handsprings like a Romanian gymnast.

A big person may need to shift more often to achieve crew trim, but the OP shouldn't worry too much. Take anyone sailing who wants to go.
 

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What is too young to go sailing? or too small? or too large for that matter?

I know of one local couple that had a 2 week old on a SC27. That is a small boat for a 27'r! Doing local races no less!

As far a large goes, again, you would have to make sure they can manuver around the cockpit, get into and out of the cabin etc. If not, then they do not go!

marty
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What is too young to go sailing? or too small? or too large for that matter?

I know of one local couple that had a 2 week old on a SC27. That is a small boat for a 27'r! Doing local races no less!
If the kids are not old enough to run steadily and follow directions reliably, I prefer not to take them on my boat. Not that I let kids run on the boat... When I have a boat full of non-sailors, I have enough be responsible for already.
 

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Big Sailors

I'm 6'2" nearly 275 lbs and I have no problems on my 30 footer. Just be careful stepping over lifelines because when you step off the boat shifts back up they will try to trip you. Also, you personally affect boat trim. :)
 

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What is too young to go sailing? or too small? or too large for that matter?

I know of one local couple that had a 2 week old on a SC. That is a small boat for a R! Doing local races no less!

Marty

My son grew up on the boat. I mean that literally, he was less than a month old when he was first on the boat. The funny part was he got to the 3th or 4th grade before he realized that not everyone had a boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My son grew up on the boat. I mean that literally, he was less than a month old when he was first on the boat. The funny part was he got to the 3th or 4th grade before he realized that not everyone had a boat.
Oh just to be clear, I don't have any problems with kids and boats in general, none at all. I would take my own daughter out anytime and when she was young I did. My concern is with other people's kids, that I don't know well, who have never been on a boat, and may or may not do what they are told.
 
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