Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why a Smaller Sailboat is Better!

For my particular situation, a smaller sailboat will fill my needs much better than a large sailboat. In the past two years that I have owned a 29' sailboat that stays docked at a marina an hour and a half drive away I have gotten alot of use out of the boat. The first summer of owning the boat every 3 out of 4 weekends were spent on the boat, that's a pretty good bit in my opinion.

The thing is, I have a 29' sailboat with potential to sail around the world (the Watkins 29 has circumnavigated) yet I haven't done a more than one overnight out on the boat at a time and that was still in my local bay! Talk about a little embarrassing. The question is why though?

A big part in it is that I had no one who actually wanted to do that to go with me. Every weekend it was mostly my girlfriend and I on the boat. She enjoyed it most of the time and I am very glad she put up with my wanting to go to the boat every weekend. She didn't like not having somewhere to hook her blow dryer up to, or having a shower that she didn't have to worry about using to much water, or being able to watch TV, or having A/C all night, or a refrigerator along with many of the other conveniences that you have at home.

Also, we have a 29' boat and I can think of only FIVE TIMES that we had guest sailing with us on board. Which makes me thing why do we need such a big boat?!? Never did we have anyone spend the night at anchor with us so we don't need a large cabin.

Really we didn't get to SAIL as much as I wanted to, no where even close. Because I knew that my girlfriend didn't want to get out when it was blowing over 15 knots.

In my heart, I want to SAIL, I want to GO SOMEWHERE, I want to SAIL THOUGH THE NIGHT on a one or two day hop, I want to SAIL THE KEYS, SAIL TO THE BAHAMAS, I want to do more than stick around the local bay and be stuck at the slip, I WANT TO GO!!!

How do I do this?

Well, it sounds like I need to be able to do it alone, which is perfectly fine by me. I don't mind roughing it one bit if I need to. To do it alone I would like a small boat that I can handle easily by myself, and that is capable of doing all the things I want to accomplish.

That is where a small trailerable boat comes in. There are trade offs with a trailerable boat then there are many advantages to consider also. Here are some starting with a few negatives:

-Less room and generally no standing head room
-Possibly more work getting underway, like stepping the mast
-Generally not as heavy as larger boats and therefore less seaworthy
-Not as much as a status symbol, who needs that anyways, but still an excellent eye catcher (especially a 17 footer)

+Initial investment is quite less
+Ability to sail different areas easily
+No slip/haul out fees
+Easier to complete your own maintenance
+Less bottom maintenance
+Less storage (which means that you can't spend more money on a bunch of unessential gadgets and what-not)
+Cheaper transient slip costs
+So many affordable options on the market to choose from
+Cheaper to outfit: sails, lines, winches, anchors and rode, less paint needed, less fuel consumption and much more
+The ability to row or scull if need be
+Cheaper Insurance
+Less invested and therefore if you loose your boat for some reason you are aren't out a fortune

So I think a smaller sailboat is just what I need, then I can get out there and fulfill some of my dreams!


Capt. Puffy Pants said...

We are on the opposite route as you it seems. We now have a trailerable and are dreaming of our next boat, which will be in the 28' to 32' foot range. My wife has the same dreams, so I have an advantage to be sure. We now have an 18' Precision and love it, but it is a stepping stone for us. We are also new to sailing, having only two seasons so far. We started with a 14' dingy, then the Precision, next, who knows. Good luck with your adventure.

Trip said...

A Precision 18? I really like Precision's line of sailboats, especially the 18 and the 23, they have strong reputations and are really good looking boats. A larger sailboat definately should open up alot new possibilities to the both of you. I really like your thoughts on a electric auxilary motor for your next boat, the ones I have seen on the internet have been pretty interesting. Thank you for your comment and good luck to you and your wife as well!

Anonymous said...

I'd keep the Watkins and ditch the girl. The boat will take you where you want to go. You can always find another girl. maybe one who likes to sail. They are out there if you look hard enough. But you may regret ditching the boat.

Anonymous said...

We have a 22 foot Edel and sail a small lake in Ontario Canada. The boat is perfect for sailing every day and we sleep and eat on it as often as we can (20 min. from home). However, if you plan sailing to the Bahamas or any bluewater I would recommend keeping your 29 or even getting something bigger. Living on a sailboat for extended periods of time and sailing open water you will love the feeling that the heavier boat will give, not to mention the space for your stuff. We just spent 2 weeks on an Express 35 sailboat in the Bahamas and cruised to a few different islands. There was enough space for the trip but more space would have been nice. Also, the seas kicked up a bit on one crossing and having the extra weight to crash through the waves instead of bobbing over them was nice. Remember, to each their own, and one foot of sailboat for every year you have been alive. Good Luck. caponeeagle