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Old 08-19-2010, 02:35 PM   #1
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The question is easy: what is the LOA of your boat?

I am asking this because someone in an other forum seriously insists that 80 foot is not too much for a couple for circumnavigation.

(Maybe it is true for someone who lives on building too big boats for too rich people.)
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:11 PM   #2
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Mine is only 27 feet loa.

Despite the dimunitive length, a boat of the same class has crossed the Atlantic 3 times in each direction and another has sailed to Australia from Sweden.

Many others have distinguished themselves in long and tough voyages. Of course, 40 years ago this was more or less the normal size of most cruising yachts. It is not only the average person who has increased in size during that time.

The question of size is an important one. I think it to be just as wrong to go to big as it is to go too small. The boat should fit the crew and vice versa. In other words, 80 feet loa may be too big for just two people to handle just as no one would want to be on my boat with 5 or 6 people aboard. I tend to sail alone or with only my 11 year-old son so I would have difficulties if my boat was much bigger.

Horses for courses!

Aye // Stephen
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #3
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Today the size of the boat is defined by the demands of the owner.

I know two Danish who sail from Denmark to New Zealand on a small and lifely 26ft boat, without standing head room. They love it!¬*

But today's demands and expectations are indeed different: We want refrigeration, maybe air conditioning, full worldwide communication, flatscreen TV, hifi music entertainment - erything like at home.

We want seperate state rooms, guest rooms, seperate baths and showers and all conveniences concerning the gear. And spacious interiours, like at home. And why should we sit downstairs when a deck-saloon could provide a perfect panorama view over the anchorage?¬* It has to do with living on board as a life style. In former times it was sailing as a life style by giving up many anemities.

With this developement the ships grow. I am not sure, if the ships grow because ¬*we sailors ask for it or if the yachting industry offers ever bigger, better, spacier ships and therefor awakes new and higher demands on our side.¬* ¬*

At the end it is a matter of own demands and expectations: Living aboard can be done on on 16ft (Shrimpy) or on 26ft, or - more convenient - on 27ft with standing headroom, as Stephen pointed out, or on 32ft as we did it for more then 2 years. There is always a reason of a couple more feet in length.

Oh, not to forget, that the handling got easier over the years! Roller furling on main and headsail makes the handling so much easier, even on bigger boats. Bigger engines, bow thrusters. All that makes it very easy to move 60ft yachts with two persons - just pushing buttons. ¬*Just saw an ad of the new 20m long AMEL-Ketch. Wondeful, big, easy handling for two persons! The size and weight of sails that need to be moved do no longer restrict the size of the rigging.

And as today's pace of life is way faster than in the old times, ships have to be faster too. And big ships are faster than small ones. That's an important fact! Moving across the ocean at 4 knots, being under way for 4 weeks or going at 10 knots and arriving after 12 days.¬*

So, why should one settle with a small, slow sailing boat to live on if the marked and the own financial situation offers better solutions?

And this does not only apply to liveaboard yachts. It is a general developement in yachting.

There is no absolute minimum size when talking about living aboard.

Uwe

SY Aquaria¬*

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Old 08-19-2010, 06:08 PM   #4
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I have an Ingrid 38 and most would say that it would have a LOA of 38'. Then some might say LOD (Length On Deck). Or the marina manager wouldn't except anything less than Tip of BowSprit to (in my case) aft edge of rudder. So I pay moorage rent on about 45'.

Yacht design spec.s general refer to the LOA between a vertical line at the stem and stern (not including the outboard rudder). This LOA is useful in several calculation having to do with the boats performance and handy-cap, etc.

One important spec to cruisers and racers, is LWL or water line length and this is important to the boats Hull Speed. It won't matter how much sail you carry or how strong the wind, Hull Speed it a constant (limiting) factor. Once your boat reaches hull speed, performance drops off, the quarter wave move so far aft that the hull "squat" in the trough and can't climb out.

My point here is that LWL is important but if the boat size and equipment are too heavy for one person to handle then even a crew of two (couple) can't handle it for more than a day or two. Type of rigs effect this factor, a split rig means somewhat smaller sail areas and more combination to reduce too. With a too small a crew, daily run may be reduced since sail area will be reduce when only one person is on watch, or the crew may choose to reduce sail so the off watch crew member won't have to be called on deck if conditions change.

I sail single handed mostly, since I don't want to miss an opportunity to go sailing for want of a crew. However, when I reached my late 60s now early 70s, I find I don't get underway for months (and now years) since I'm not confident I can handle the sails on my Ingrid by myself. I can initially, but reduce and motor/sail when condition are unsure. I also anchor earlier now, to avoid problems in finding an anchorage or marina.

Our Moderator (BowPeep), Brenda & David are exceptions in most of the above, since they sail a traditional schooner (they can tell us their Specs). I, myself, love to sail and set sail on a traditional gaff rig but my last experience was back in the early 60s when I had a gaff rigged yawl. I can't say it was a simple or uneventful experience, since I was de-masted off Pt Loma in San Diego. Even after that experience, I still rerigged her with a new main mast, gaff head.

Never had a winch until I got my Cheoy Lee (Clipper 33) in the early 90s. First self tailing are on my present Ingrid and now I have 6 big and nice two speed winches.

To be honest, I would have to point out, for a couple of retirement age, they should try for a boat with a LOA in the 40 ft range with a split, modern rig. Moderate to heavy displacement for comfort off shore. Then make sure they have plenty of good quality winches and anchor windlass (elect. with manual backup). Working anchors generally go one lb per ft of LOA with a much heavier storm anchor (stored low).

You get my idea, I'm sure. My opinion for what it's worth.

Steve

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Quote:
Originally Posted by magwas' date='19 August 2010 - 07:29 AM View Post

The question is easy: what is the LOA of your boat?

I am asking this because someone in an other forum seriously insists that 80 foot is not too much for a couple for circumnavigation.

(Maybe it is true for someone who lives on building too big boats for too rich people.)
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:47 AM   #5
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Thanks, Steve, for your thoughtful insights on many issues related to this topic. Magwas brings up a very, very important topic which we all had to think about as we went into the purchase of a sailing yacht. From the start, David and I knew that we'd either go very small, light, and simple OR we'd go with a quite large boat. For us, there was no in-between. All or nothing, it's always that way with us

How long one wishes to go cruising also plays a role in the decision process. One can do anything for a year or two but when thinking about a decade or more of living on a boat, one starts to consider many different things like hobbies and lifestyle issues. It is reasonable to do so--not everyone has the same needs or the same lifestyle. Nor is the use of money--lots of it--in the purchase of a suitable vessel a "sin" but rather a luxury that some people are lucky enough to have. Within reason, having a little bit larger boat can save a cruiser money in the long run simply because of ability to anchor out rather than always visit marinas, carry sufficient provisions (and provision big where items are cheap) and be happy on the boat rather than feeling like one "needs" to go ashore to get away from cramped living conditions.

I would happily cruise on a very small boat but we'd have to leave many hobbies behind which, though many are unrelated to yachting, are quite important to us. Thus, we're on a "big boat." Our definition of a boat that was the "right size" was one that could be sailed by two people alone for long periods of time, was less than 7 ft draft, had a pilothouse, charthouse or deck saloon for use with high latitude sailing (second inside steering station), was big enough to take a 17 ft canoe on deck without the canoe interfering with the sailing or the sailing damaging the canoe, was small enough to fit in most marinas (less than 60 ft) and big enough that if we had to anchor for months or years we'd not feel like we were camping out. We didn't fancy huge sails so wanted a split rig. We were agnostic about whether the rig was ketch, schooner, or yawl. Now that we have a schooner, we're glad that we ended up with one. One last, aesthetic issue was that we wanted a pre-WWII boat. Nothing practical about that, we just wanted to cruise and live on a historic vessel as we knew that would make us happy--and it does. However, such an old boat required extensive rebuild in order to make it bluewater capable again. And that was a costly endeavor as well.

Having said that--we're 46 ft LWL, 47 ft "verticals" (the USCG measurement from stem to rudder post), 53'4" LOA (old meaning) or LOD (new term), and a whopping 69 ft (we thought it was 67' until we actually measured... ) "sparred length" or LOA that the marinas make you pay for. When we ship (hinge up/inboard) the 11 ft bowsprit, we're 58 ft of paying length in the marinas. 29 gross tons displacement and 6'4" draft. Most important numbers--LWL and gross tonnage IMHO. The first will tell us how fast we can go, the latter will tell us how much momentum we might have to deal with stopping at the dock!

When we realized that we were going to get into a big boat and that we wanted a pre-WWII classic, we got very picky about the boat design to be handled by just two people. The boat we purchased was originally designed and built in 1931 for a man who specified that it must be able to be sailed and maintained by two people: by a yachtsman and "his man" (meaning his servant). Thus, two people. We know that original owner sailed without a servant but rather with his wife and their four small children. We also know that two other previous owners sailed the boat single handed for decades. Large boat, but rigged right, can be sailed safely alone. We spoke with the fellow who owned this boat in the 1970's and he even did a 1 month long passage from Hawaii to Washington State alone w/o an autopilot and w/o fancy nav equipment, radar, etc. The only calamity was that he broke a toe on the binnacle base and almost broke another on the staysail horse.

Things important to our ability to use the boat singlehanded or short crew include sail area and size of each sail. We have 1650 sf sail area (600+ sf Bermuda main, 500+ sf gaff fore, 200+ sf smallest jib, 200+ sf staysail). The mainsail weighs over 100 lbs with its heavy bronze sail cars. There is no way for one person, alone, to bend on that sail. Luckily, one wouldn't have to do so, though. The foresail is almost as large, weighing about 80 lbs and lacing onto its spars. It can easily be bent on by one person alone, though. If I had to climb out onto that bowsprit, I'd never set the jib. We have no furler or roller reefer but will consider getting a wire-luff type furler at some point. Right now, we use a tricing line and downhaul to douse the jib in a hurry. That works, but it takes 2 people to manage sheet, halyard, and tricing line. The sheet and tricing line go back to the cockpit where the helmsman (me) can manage it and the halyard is managed at the foremast on the foredeck. While we do have the luxury of sheet, halyard, and reefing line winches, much of our rigging is just as it was in 1931--and it works amazingly well to sail this boat with just two people. The gaff-rigged foresail is a dream to work with--now that we have proper lazy-jacks/boom lift system that is. It has a 4:1 purchase with the blocks on throat and peak halyards--while that means miles of running rigging it also means that even a wimp like me can raise the sail without problems. The mainsail, on a track, is run up and then requires a halyard winch and a strong arm to set it tight. It is very difficult to reef either main or foresail unless there are two people doing the reefing. Thus, if one person is sailing alone, one would have to drop an entire sail (easier than reefing) rather than reef both. So, some things are a bit "much" for a single (weak) person like me. Others are just fine.

Big boat means big chain, big anchor, big everything. It all costs more and it all weighs more. There are many things I have a hard time lifting and many things that we must use a halyard or boom to lift and move around deck. It goes with the territory of big boat to have a power windlass and to have to be a little crafty about dealing with all that "big" stuff.

We've yet to actually install the autopilot and use it--even though we've sailed (with 3 people) up the coast of California from San Diego to San Francisco and we've been sailing around So. Cal and now SF Bay for oh, a year and 4 months now. That's because this big, heavy boat tracks amazingly well and handles the seas amazingly well. So, while "little" has its many pluses, "big" works out amazingly well, too. We don't have refrigeration and lots of yachty gizmos on this big boat. Many folks would be unhappy with our simple life. Our boat, well, she's just...big...and that works for us.
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:23 AM   #6
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My wife and I have a hobart 57 stretched to 64. Like others have said it is a personal choice, We live aboard 24/7.They were designed as a Motor Sailer and that is how we use her. When on our own we may only raise a jib and coast along at two knots, when in a hurry we have the ability to do 1900 nautical miles on power. Mind you very rarely in a hurry...We just like the room and the ability to be able to take others at times with us wandering around the Kimberley coastline and islands with little trips over to Christmas Island to see the land crabs spawn. We chose such a large vessel for a few reasons, we live on it in comfort, we have desalination and power generation ability so have a good work room as well, Recharge our own scuba tanks, carry a decent size tender and camping gear for when we wander on some of the islands or up some of the rivers and generally the room to get out of each others space at times...
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:24 AM   #7
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There is a lot to be said for boats in the 40 foot range.

When I was shopping about, trying one boat over another, I found that with the right rig and setup I can single hand a 40 footer comfortably. Anything larger than that and I have to have crew. So it's about the largest size boat that can be single handed, while being around the smallest size boat that can be comfortably lived aboard (for one's own personal idea of "comfort" which for me includes a eutectic fridge, freezer, standing head room, and an aft cabin). I am also a big fan of a forward facing nav table, and they are much harder to come by on boats less than 40 foot.

I can do without the scuba tanks, camping gear, and the tender (I have an inflatable which does fine) but I do like the ability to get all sails up and down on my own if needs be.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel' date='20 August 2010 - 12:18 AM View Post

There is a lot to be said for boats in the 40 foot range.

When I was shopping about, trying one boat over another, I found that with the right rig and setup I can single hand a 40 footer comfortably. Anything larger than that and I have to have crew. So it's about the largest size boat that can be single handed, while being around the smallest size boat that can be comfortably lived aboard (for one's own personal idea of "comfort" which for me includes a eutectic fridge, freezer, standing head room, and an aft cabin). I am also a big fan of a forward facing nav table, and they are much harder to come by on boats less than 40 foot.

I can do without the scuba tanks, camping gear, and the tender (I have an inflatable which does fine) but I do like the ability to get all sails up and down on my own if needs be.
Agree about the forward facing nav table. In our case, it resides in the charthouse so I have a view all around while doing my nav work. That view is wonderfully helpful.

What makes 40' the size for you regarding rig? Is it a cutter/sloop you're talking about? What is the sf of the main and foresails? I imagine that they're similar to a larger split rig like we have. Manageable sail size is critical to successful short handed sailing for sure. One of the gaff rigged boats we looked at was a mid-50 ft ketch with almost equal height foremast and mainmast and similarly sized sails. Each sail was 650 sf. The owners were a retired couple in their 70's and they were selling the boat because the wife (a very petite woman, I might add...) could no longer raise the sails by herself--thus they felt it was not safe for them to cruise on the boat. Being a classic old boat, they didn't want to ruin the traditional rig by changing it to Bermuda or adding winches (the boat had no winches but rather it relied on blocks as our foresail does). I'd find it very useful to learn what size sails people are finding "too big" or just right. We don't have huge headsails while many sloops and cutters do. I'd be overwhelmed by such large headsails as many cruisers fly on much smaller vessels.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:09 AM   #9
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Having extended my 42ft catamaran to 52ft - found that the advantage of beaching, also provided the opportunity of giving the hulls a good wipe down BUT 52 x 2 = 104 ft of port and starboard. Seldom enough time to finish the job before the tide turned.
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Old 08-21-2010, 06:57 AM   #10
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Having extended my 42ft catamaran to 52ft - found that the advantage of beaching, also provided the opportunity of giving the hulls a good wipe down BUT 52 x 2 = 104 ft of port and starboard. Seldom enough time to finish the job before the tide turned.
Multiple tides....And take your time...We stayed tied to mooring posts for a few days...
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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I was lucky enough to be able to go cruising for 7 years in my 40s and had a 38 foot steel ketch. which was ample for two.

Now I am retired on my forever boat and will spend my days gunkholing around the Caribbean. She is a 44 foot cutter, a cruising boat built into an old IOR hull. . I can singlehand her and she is MUCH faster than my old tin boat and has the BIGGEST shower I have ever seen on a boat. Think Travis Magee and the Busted Flush.

I have an electric anchor winch the only major upgrade I made and I regard this as essential. If I do not like my anchor spot it is no big deal to recover and anchor again, even in 60 feet with 200 feet of chain out.
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:52 AM   #12
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I think size is directly proportional to the size of the wallet!?? :-)

Many think a big boat equalls lots of room... true! HOWEVER.. that room soon gets filled as you simply buy more to fill it! Your boat also doesn't take care of itself. The more hull the more paint, scraping sanding, the bigger the berth (sorry.. "slip") fees, and haul out fees. then as many have already said, can you safely handle the ship SINGLE handed? How much crew would you need? Remember, you could be stuck in a harbour somewhere trying to find crew to sail with you (can you trust them?). Bigger boats do tend to attract more attention and sort of make you seem richer than the bloke with a 30 foot sloop... the WRONG kind of attention! For live aboard where the social life could be a little hectic then a large cockpit with lots of room for the guests and drinks would be great. for serious off shore voyaging its YOU that counts. Not so much the size of the boat.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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Older post, but important to many... Too many people today look at their boat as a measure of themselves, rather than what they have done with their boat. If the above mentioned folks feel that they can afford and need to cruise an eighty footer then more power to them. I will have the same views that they do in our little 34 footer! We will be happy to take the dinghy out of our our protected anchorage to find where they had to drop the hook and invite them to the beach party. As far as cruising is concerned, they will be rapidly welcomed as one of the family! Individuals are certainly welcome here!!! I hope that they can afford crew, as I would not like even the cleaning chores on that boat. We are pleased with our boats, which are both under 35 feet, even if by mere inches... but there are days when bigger looks better, and days when smaller looks more affordable. Many marinas off of the beaten path can't handle anything more than what we sail now. I shy away from thinking that I know what is best for anyone else, and have proven myself correct more than once. Ours is big enough for us... What they need is not within my scope of knowledge.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:37 AM   #14
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35' LOD, with a raised saloon and lots of headroom. Cutter rigged with both the genoa and staysail on roller-furling and a lazy-jacks / MackPack system for the main. All the controls were led to the cockpit, but since almost everything on the cabin top is in desperate need of re-bedding I've got the halyards run to the base of the mast for now. It's got an electric windlass to handle the all-chain (3/8th) rode, but I haven't gotten that working again so it's a long haul by hand to raise the 55# Rocna.

It's more boat than I need, but my dream boat is still a little bigger: a Freedom 40 center cockpit. Maybe someday, but until then I'm happy with what I've got!
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