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Do magazines (and forums) focus too much on larger boats...

Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
... though endurance in rough conditions, or even the hot sun, can be less.
By endurance I mean the traditional definition--the number of days or months a vessel can stay at sea b/f having to return to shore to take on supplies and stores. Big boats have more tankage for water and fuel, storage, room for batteries, room for solar panels and etc. If a vessel cannot remain at sea (or at anchor in pristine areas w/ no services) for at least a month with two people aboard it has too little endurance for my needs (and wishes). Now, of course, a watermaker would help to extend a boat's endurance, but you need a place to put one and the power to operate it, etc.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,855
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
Thinwater,
You point out some of the differences between big boats and small boats.
...They need big tenders because they can't get close to shore. They need instruments, because they have isolated themselves from their senses.
In those last two statements, you may have come upon another angle. When I was learning to sail and living on a 56' schooner in the 70's, those statements weren't true. Tenders, sure, for convenience in unusual circumstances. Marinas were less crowded, there didn't seem to be as many mooring fields because there were docks available, usually. The instrumentation was basic. My father used a sextant when out of range of lorran. We didn't start out with a weather station. On our 56' 3 three masted schooner, we had Vhf radio, an EPIRB a compass and a chart table. Small boats harken back to a time when sailing wasn't complicated. New boats, like new cars are coming with more extras that soon become necessities we could never live without.
Cars: a/c, electric windows, automatic transmission, radios, stereos, satellite radio, blue tooth, navigators, seat warmers, tire pressure sensors, auto starters, ..., each generation of cars comes standard with more luxury extras. My kids can't drive stick. I love cruise control. But we have to be encouraged to consume more so new cars come loaded with more. I had to special order a standard transmission in my truck. Those little add-ons become what is called "perceived value" the '57 Chevy was actually bigger but carries way less clutter.
There is an appeal to simple, uncluttered sailing. That sure is hard to find.
-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,529
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
There is an appeal to simple, uncluttered sailing. That sure is hard to find.
Not if you do not buy the clutter of which you speak. However, hardly anything could be more simple than standing at a helm station, pushing a button to an electric winch to raise the mainsail up the stick of a 50-ft boat in a minute or so. Reload the electric winch with the boom vang, or main sheet, to trim the mainsail with the touch of a finger. Or back out of your slip and then push the button for the bow thruster to swing the boat's bow around, etc. Once under way, push the button to the autopilot; turn on the chart plotter, set a couple of alarms, then go below to fix up a quick cup of coffee. So, I say--don't knock it unless you've tried it.

On Hanse495 BC'17W.JPG
 
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Aug 1, 2011
3,957
Catalina 270 255 Wabamun. Welcome to the marina
The most noticeable thing when sailing upwind with the wind input to the AP driving the boat, besides the fact that it is more responsive than I could ever be, is that the folks we usually sail with take notice and correct to it. Usually after we've passed them.
Our mooring neighbour is quite wise to the trickery and usually adopts a strategy of pinching. Sometimes it works.
The point here is that the expression of sailing is different to everybody. What we lack in waterline is irrelevant. The lake is 11 miles long, and totally captive. Where the heck you gonna go that you need a forty footer.....
 

RussC

.
Sep 11, 2015
1,520
Merit 22- Oregon lakes
The point here is that the expression of sailing is different to everybody. What we lack in waterline is irrelevant. The lake is 11 miles long, and totally captive. Where the heck you gonna go that you need a forty footer.....
^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Yup :thumbup:
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,855
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
hardly anything could be more simple than standing at a helm station, pushing a button to an electric winch to raise the mainsail up the stick of a 50-ft boat
:poke:
Ha ha ha
:clap::laugh:
That does sound simple. However, I suspect the order form alone was complex, forget about any repairs. My dream boat has a fully enclosed deck house where everything is run from inside if weather is too harsh. That boat is 50' and designed to sail around the World. I would build her of steel and she'd have big twin electric engines/generators in a stand-up engine room, windows in the bottom so my grand kids, should I ever have them, can watch the dolphin play in the wake from underneath, a mid - ship dive hatch because that's just cool, and a center board that allowed for a draft shallow enough to step into knee deep water on the beach. However, I can afford an O'day mariner 19 that I am having a great time dreaming up custom upgrades for that I can actually afford to complete. I want to build a boom tent that I can stand up under with a shower curtain and compressed air water tank for taking showers with. I have an awesome idea for a mast raising design that doesn't have to be assembled and disassembled from the boat. It will be a single clip of the forestay, pull on the lifting line, insert the lock pin, go sailing. Reverse to drop. I want to put a solar panel on an arch to charge batteries for her electric aux motor, add a boarding ladder, install an electrical system for nav lights, make a dodger and customize her look with art work like I have for my hatch boards ( https://forums.sailboatowners.com/i...atch-boards-very-lengthy-project-post.188874/ ).
I am also going to make a collapsible yuloh for emergency self-power. Setting Dragonfly up for extended cruising will be an excersize in creative self-reliance and adventure. I might actually get some of those projects done along with changing the self-bailing system and painting her.
I am an engineer at heart and can't leave well enough alone. I'm excited for these prospects:dancing:
Having Dragonfly sends my imagination running:wink:
- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
By endurance I mean the traditional definition--the number of days or months a vessel can stay at sea b/f having to return to shore to take on supplies and stores. Big boats have more tankage for water and fuel, storage, room for batteries, room for solar panels and etc. If a vessel cannot remain at sea (or at anchor in pristine areas w/ no services) for at least a month with two people aboard it has too little endurance for my needs (and wishes). Now, of course, a watermaker would help to extend a boat's endurance, but you need a place to put one and the power to operate it, etc.
Heck, I've done two weeks doing technical climbing in the mountains with just a pack. I was 10 years younger and the wife was not along, of course. A month is more a matter of priorities than size. I also no longer have that desire. I got it out of my system, I guess. I like where I live. But it is certainly valid.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
My usual answer to the big/little question is "which would you rather drive, a bicycle or a Winabago?"

In fine weather, and not too far to go, the bicycle is more fun than even a car, and those who can't see it that way have forgotten how to be kids.

For a longer trip, take the car. Kinna fun, your legs won't give out, and you can carry more.

If you are spending the night, take the Wini. It is about as exciting to drive as a house. It will feel rewarding to some people, much like mastering a large boat. But once mastered it is dull and certainly pointless for day trips. Same with a big boat. My cruising cat was beginning to bore me, not be cause she didn't sail well (she was upgraded for speed), but because unless it was blowing like stink, it was just easy.

So I've moved down to a sports car, which feels right for now. I like small cars. They're more fun to drive.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,855
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
As far as endurance goes, that's part of the challenge. I do a lot of hiking here in the White Mountains, my wife and I are on #26 of the 48 4000 footers. we sometimes stay out for several days with an average of 30 pounds of gear each, water filters, gas stove, dried food, tent, tarp, sleeping gear, clothing and headlamps with xtra batteries. Even my 19 footer would improve on that limit enormously. Plus, there is modern tech solar that would work on Dragonfly, hand operated reverse osmosis watermakers or stills, fishing options, more comfortable bedding, etc. that would make a month out feasible. There are a lot of though hikers on the AT here. I wouldn't suggest that that kind of sailling is appealing to everyone. Probably not to most but, I love the idea of it and have read a lot about others who do it. I've met single handed sailors and couples in boats in the 30' range sailling across the Atlantic. My father is friends with Webb Chiles. That is what he does. He defines himself by those adventures. We all do that in our own venues.
Webb's books sell, he has a following on the Web. There is a market.
-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
As far as endurance goes, that's part of the challenge. I do a lot of hiking here in the White Mountains, my wife and I are on #26 of the 48 4000 footers. we sometimes stay out for several days with an average of 30 pounds of gear each, water filters, gas stove, dried food, tent, tarp, sleeping gear, clothing and headlamps with xtra batteries. Even my 19 footer would improve on that limit enormously. Plus, there is modern tech solar that would work on Dragonfly, hand operated reverse osmosis watermakers or stills, fishing options, more comfortable bedding, etc. that would make a month out feasible. There are a lot of though hikers on the AT here. I wouldn't suggest that that kind of sailling is appealing to everyone. Probably not to most but, I love the idea of it and have read a lot about others who do it. I've met single handed sailors and couples in boats in the 30' range sailing across the Atlantic. My father is friends with Webb Chiles. That is what he does. He defines himself by those adventures. We all do that in our own venues.
Webb's books sell, he has a following on the Web. There is a market.
-Will (Dragonfly)
I remember some wonderful days climbing ice in the Mt. Washington Valley a few years ago. Pinnacle Gully is classic. Dracula. Elephant Head Gully. Cinema Gully was cold as hell.

Through hiking was never my love. My longest trips were in the Wind Rivers, where mileage was often unavoidable.


 
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Jul 12, 2011
971
Catalina 36 1771 Ft Pierce, Florida
Rather than "small boat", perhaps you could work on "small crew". I typically single-hand or sail with only one other person - spouse or friend. My goal is to equip my boat like my car - I can jump in alone, in any weather, and go wherever. Most boats that I've seen, in boat shows or used, are cruisers equipped to comfortably 'entertain' a half-dozen people at the dock or anchored, but only for short periods. Who has ever used all those bunks on a 30+ foot cruiser? Some are racers, where you'd need at least three to undock and move it around the bay.

I'm with Kings Gambit - give me simple, no maintenance (I saw those teak decks, Kings!), and single-hand ready.
 
Mar 1, 2012
2,177
1961 Rhodes Meridian 25 Texas coast
Rather than "small boat", perhaps you could work on "small crew". I typically single-hand or sail with only one other person - spouse or friend. My goal is to equip my boat like my car - I can jump in alone, in any weather, and go wherever. Most boats that I've seen, in boat shows or used, are cruisers equipped to comfortably 'entertain' a half-dozen people at the dock or anchored, but only for short periods. Who has ever used all those bunks on a 30+ foot cruiser? Some are racers, where you'd need at least three to undock and move it around the bay.

I'm with Kings Gambit - give me simple, no maintenance (I saw those teak decks, Kings!), and single-hand ready.
That's kinda where I have arrived also. Used to have a wife who was a great sailor- she could and would take our boat out for weekends, or a week, single hand.

Those days are sadly gone, so I mostly single hand, or just day sail with a friend, locally on our many adjoining bays.

But the boat is perfect for two, with very little electonics- a depth sounder, a VHF and a hand held GPS. A 32 watt solar panel ( I'd replace with a 50 watt if it crapped) that served me just fine during a 2 1/2 year tour around the gulf and east coasts, plus the Bahamas. Just the right size boat
 
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Apr 8, 2010
1,600
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
We owned and really enjoyed a 4K# 26 footer for ten years, and then moved to a 10.6K# 34 footer. I have sailed and cruised a lot on this 34' boat also, for over 20 years, single handing and double handing.
I do not think of it as a "big" boat. It's well designed for single handing, and it has loads of room for a couple to live aboard for a month at a time.
I have done deliveries on boats up to 44 feet, and have noticed that docking and tight maneuvering get a lot more "intense" on the larger boats. :)
Everyone has a different mental picture of a Small or a Large boat, but if I had to put it in round numbers, once the displacement goes over about 13K or 14K, they seem "large". Also then, it's really great to have enough boat to have standing headroom (6'2") and an 8' quarter berth. It's also a lot easier to keep your spouse or SO enthused when the boat has a well designed interior. And, everyone likes crewing on a well designed boat.
A long time ago a NA said that the best racing boats often make the best cruising boats. I would occasionally disagree, but still..... easy performance under sail excites everyone on board!
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,855
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
a NA said that the best racing boats often make the best cruising boats.
I think that may have been more true then, not so much now. Race boats are not setup for the comfort and independent cruising that most cruisers would want. That is not to say They can't be. Racing hulls, is strong enough for ocean cruising, can be just as easily fitted out for cruising. The added weight would change the sailing characteristics but, that doesn't mean it wouldn't be good.
- Will (Dragonfly)
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,910
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Rather than "small boat", perhaps you could work on "small crew". I typically single-hand or sail with only one other person - spouse or friend. My goal is to equip my boat like my car - I can jump in alone, in any weather, and go wherever. Most boats that I've seen, in boat shows or used, are cruisers equipped to comfortably 'entertain' a half-dozen people at the dock or anchored, but only for short periods. Who has ever used all those bunks on a 30+ foot cruiser? Some are racers, where you'd need at least three to undock and move it around the bay....
Excellent point. Any cruising boat should be conveniently singlehanded. Most cruising is short handed, guests may not want to help, your wife can be ill or simply asleep. The reasons are endless, and yet most designs give this no consideration.

So "single-handing adaptations" are always needed. This is true on both large and smaller boats, though the nature of the changes is generally very different. On small boats it is about access to sail controls within reach. With big boats it is a good autopilot and systems to make sail handling (not just trimming) physically reasonable. Docking is simply different; a big boat requires better understanding of the forces, but things move a lot slower, which helps.
 
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