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Old 12-05-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
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Size Does Matter

Do any of you cruise solo?* What would be considered*a maximum length (trawler design) that could be operated (cruised) safely by one person?
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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RE: Size Does Matter

Have cruised solo many times over the years, probably the longest trip was Seattle/Petersburg one year when the wife was held up in Seattle.

What makes WESTERLY easy to single-hand at 37 feet, is that the deck level is not far off the floats.* Access to the dock can be made easier with thrusters to hold you in position.*

If you*anchor out most of the time, a larger vessel is doable.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:09 AM   #3
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RE: Size Does Matter

Thanks. I do plan on spending a lot of time on the hook. An old salt once said "buy the biggest boat you can afford'. Not sure if that holds true for soloing (is that a word?)
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:51 AM   #4
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RE: Size Does Matter

How the boat is operated will be the biggest factor , assuming a handy boat.

IF the engine controls are only a step away from where you would be to toss a brest line or short spring line I would say size doesnt matter much.

65 ft should be easy with perhaps 80ft as a limit.

A huge, high 3or 4 story bloat boat might be a hassle from the wind taking charge , at any size, but a more "normal" boat would not need the bow and stern thrusters of the Roomaran.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:38 AM   #5
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RE: Size Does Matter

It definitely depends on how you are using it, your cruising grounds, etc. 50' can be no problem or it could be a nightmare. The problems are not typically in the cruising of the boat but in the DOCKING! Covered slips on an inland lake....heck- 110' houseboat is easy to solo. Coastal cruising, I'd be fine anything under 50', depending on the style and type of boat and docking situations. Not enough info to fully answer best? But- a 40' or below should be no problem though again, depends on your docking situation.

I will say this though....there are 2 lines of thought: A) Buy the biggest boat you can afford, and B) Buy the smallest boat you can live with. Biggest boat will cost more to run and maintain. Smaller boat is more economical and easy to run.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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RE: Size Does Matter

Thanks again. I plan on doing the ICW at least in one direction (depending on where I buy the boat), and the Bahamas and eventually points south. Do you think a boat with walk around decks (all around) would be advantages for docking purposes? I hope to spend as little time at the dock as possible.
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:56 AM   #7
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RE: Size Does Matter

Good and wide and level sidedecks are ideal for docking. Having a lower helm is potentially helpful, especially if it has opening doors to port/starboard allowing good access to side decks via the lower helm. If you don't have access doors to the side decks from the lower helm, the lower helm is basically useless in my opinion. A few friends of mine have the 53 hatteras motoryacht- they single hand that boat all the time. What you don't want if you are soloing is narrow side decks with poor access and difficulty moving around quickly fore and aft/port/starboard.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:05 PM   #8
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RE: Size Does Matter

Hiya,
** Mr/Ms. KJ, welcome.* What Mr. Woodsong said.* Some folks prefer a sundeck model for lounging/hanging out and the larger aft cabin BUT everyone is different.* I prefer what Mr. Woodsong describes with ready access all around the decks without having to run up and down stairs.* Getting on and off the raised sundeck CAN pose problems at certain docks and may be somewhat more difficult to handle in windy conditions due to increased "sail" effect.
** *As you will find out, if you haven't already, is ANY boat you buy will be a compromise is some fashion.* Do a site search on what you're considering now (galley up/down, single/twin engine etc.) * What you find MAY help you in choosing "the" boat for you.
** Enjoy the chase.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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RE: Size Does Matter

I was looking at a Defever, it was (is) a really nice boat, but it has no lower helm at all. Kinda dropped it down on my list because of that. Would you buy a boat without a lower helm?
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:06 PM   #10
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RE: Size Does Matter

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:

Good and wide and level sidedecks are ideal for docking. Having a lower helm is potentially helpful, especially if it has opening doors to port/starboard allowing good access to side decks via the lower helm. If you don't have access doors to the side decks from the lower helm, the lower helm is basically useless in my opinion.

* Port/starboard pilothouse doors and walkaround deck were two primary factors in selecting the Coot.
*
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:13 PM   #11
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RE: Size Does Matter

When it gets rough, cold or wet, you will wish for a lower helm, you will also when docking or locking. My previous boat had narrow side decks I really like the wide walkaround decks on my present trawler.
Good luck,
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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Size Does Matter

Quote:
KJ wrote:

I was looking at a Defever, it was (is) a really nice boat, but it has no lower helm at all. Kinda dropped it down on my list because of that. Would you buy a boat without a lower helm?
Which Defever model were you looking at? *The 47 POC? *Most of the defevers have good lower helms but the 47 I know does not have side doors....some have the lower helm, some don't.

For your use of the bahamas, etc.- it's a tough call. *Most FL boaters say they never ever use their lower helm. *Our previous boats never had a lower helm and it always bugged me. *If it rains you can't see much of anything out of the eisenglass. *I LOVE our lower helm on our trawler and would not want to be without it. *So it really depends on personal preference and location. *If I was in a northern climate, a lower helm would be critical. *If I was strickly FL/warm places, well, maybe not so critical. *It depends on what you want and how you like to drive your boat. *Some want the lower helm for FL so they can sit in the air conditioned cabin all day! *

*

And Steve- I agree- we have the same boat- I LOVE the side decks on the Monk- amazing how easy a boat it is to get around!


-- Edited by Woodsong on Monday 6th of December 2010 01:23:46 PM
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #13
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RE: Size Does Matter

Hiya,
** Without a doubt, wherever you will be boating, get a lower helm.* JMHO
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:08 PM   #14
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RE: Size Does Matter

Thanks for the info. As for doing site research, I have done quite a lot and as far as I can tell you guys are the best resource for hands on knowledge, i.e. you've already been where I'm going. Two more inquiries have already been brought up. First, the pros and cons regarding up galley vs. down galley. Second, the sundeck design is really nice, however, I will be doing a lot of diving and I think a model with a cockpit would be essential. I was going to ask the scuba divers among you if a cockpit is essential, as I couldn't imagine hauling tanks and bc's up a high transom. I have seen some designs that have a cockpit and a sundeck, giving up space elsewhere I guess. Yes, buying/owning a boat is a study in compromise, but then again, most things in life are.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:14 PM   #15
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RE: Size Does Matter

Hiya,
** Your profile doesn't say where you are but this may be what you're talking about:

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1993.../United-States
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:25 PM   #16
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RE: Size Does Matter

Yes, it is a Defever 47 POC. It's located in Newport, RI. Beautiful boat, but definitely no lower helm. I will be using the boat mostly in warmer locales, maybe fall in NY/NJ area, but then south. I am in California now, but will be relocating within the next year (retirement).
Thanks for the info on the Carver, however, not really my kind off boat.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:44 PM   #17
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RE: Size Does Matter

Hiya,
* KJ.* Not suggesting the carver was for you.* It was just an example of a cockpit MY.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:06 PM   #18
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RE: Size Does Matter

Question for Woodsong; you said that you have some friends that have a Hatteras 53. I was looking ay one that was really nice (sold pretty fast), but I read an article by a surveyor that said these boats were grossly underpowered. Did your friends ever say that they had an issue with power? I understand that it was (is) one of the more successful boats in its class, regardless of being notorious for blister problems.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #19
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RE: Size Does Matter

KJ... as you can see, I did buy a trawler with only the upper helm. *All boats are compromises, and this was one of mine. *Handling the boat single handed is pretty simple until the wind is over 20 knots, but even then with a full keel, I'm surprised how straight it goes. *Doing spring lines is easy to amidships or the bow, while sterning in really gets you going up and down the ladder access to the veranda like Tarzan, and I've designed a trap door access to the pilothouse from a lower companionway that I may implement after I get soaked and cold a few times (it's actually only about 10 ft. of unprotected exposure to the pilothouse). *I like lower helms and wouldn't purposely choose a boat that didn't have one, it's just that this boat was never designed to have one, and by far, the bulk of my cruising will be FL and the Bahamas.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:19 PM   #20
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RE: Size Does Matter

Thanks HH,*good info. Perhaps our paths will cross in those cruising grounds.
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