What size boat before it changes how you boat?

tellch00

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Very subjective question i know, but curious. We currently have a 235 and as you know it's simple to operate. When we decide we want to go out, we walk down to the dock, untie it and on our way. At what size does this not happen, or it has to be a more thought out trip? how big a boat would you run alone? 30, 35,40?
 

everwhom

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I feel very comfortable running my 33 on my own, esp as it has a bow thruster. I think key factors are easy access from the helm to the dock (i.e. not having to scramble down from a flybridge to grab a dock line) and the ability to control the boat from the dock by yourself when the wind is blowing... I think I could go up to 40 without doing anything really differently.
 

Cregan13

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I had a 273 Chase, and when I went to a 330 Express, I was afraid my solo cruises were over. About 5 or 6 trips into owning the 330, I felt fine rolling solo. You will get used to anything in time. The better question is, how big can you go before the work of opening it up and then packing it up is not worth the effort!
 

seasick

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I don't think the size makes that much of a difference for solo sailing within reasonable limits.
Docking on the other hand is a different issue as are prep time and post sailing maintenance as mentioned.
Now, going smaller probably has more of an impact than going larger:)
Go to the dock, jump into that 19 Whaler and go...
 

mr_mbuna

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I could launch, run and retrieve my 22' solo. I don't think I could solo launch my 27' confidently so I now keep it at a dry stack where they launch it on demand. I can run the 27' solo. It feels like 35'-40' might be where solo trips would be challenging but like others here said it is probably highly dependent on the deck layout.
 

K2Freak

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I had a 17 GlasPly that was a very nice boat for crabbing, fishing, etc., but when I went to the 226 my boating changed dramatically. All of a a sudden it was no big deal to be gone all day and run 35-70 miles. Total game changer I tell you! 8^)
 

magicalbill

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I had a 273 Chase, and when I went to a 330 Express, I was afraid my solo cruises were over. About 5 or 6 trips into owning the 330, I felt fine rolling solo. You will get used to anything in time. The better question is, how big can you go before the work of opening it up and then packing it up is not worth the effort!
THIS...^^^

My Marlin is a marvelous boat; We enjoy it thoroughly, but I can tell you that we'll go no bigger because of the hassle of cleaning, packing, unpacking, maintenance & upkeep.

Any bigger boat for us, and it wouldn't be worth the effort, as Cregan says.
 

Viking88rd

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Ya know, that is a great question! My wife & I had the same discussion when we went from the 232 Gulfstream to our new to us 300 Marlin. I was asked the question a thousand times by my Mermaid...."is this boat too big for you to handle alone?". So....we now have nearly a full season under out belts. And here are my thoughts. When everything is going well.....No differences. When $*#*%& hits the fan like last weekend when my anchor/windlass tried to pull up an old mud filled lobster trap.....not so much. lol.
Docking, and close quarter maneuvering is more of just the "learning curve" sort of thing. Perhaps a little more forward and prep thinking regarding getting dock lines ready, fenders in place, etc. The weight of the boat is a game changer. Horsing the Gulfstream by hand at the dock if needed was a breeze. Not so much with the weight/inertia of the Marlin. because of that, the honed skill of close quarter skippering is magnified with a larger heavier boat. I've been forced (a good thing) to become a much better pilot.
The answer to the Mermaid back in May....."no problem, I've got it". The seasoned answer.......a lot of practice at the dock when no one was looking (getting used to the bow thruster was actually a lot of fun) and plain ole experience. Now I can say honestly, "no problem".
Back to the anchor in the lobster trap calamity......I had to pull alongside a 60+ ft. multi-million dollar sail boat for assistance (I was alone on my boat). Came along side like a pro. He commented in an understated sort of way...."nicely done". I was a nervous wreck.
Short of it I think. Practice and getting intimately familiar with any size boat in good going is where it all starts. Honestly, a previous poster commented that as long as the logistics of getting from the helm to the dock lines, etc remains the similar...go big. The devil is always in the detail. Anyone can pilot a 100' motor yacht in a straight line in good conditions. In a harbor.....its a You Tube video in the making.