Tuesday, March 10, 2015
So, what exactly does small mean anyway?
How things change...
Back in 1996 when we were in the Canaries waiting for the the trades to kick in so we could sail to Martinique, our boat, "Loose Moose 2", at 38 feet was actually larger than the average cruising boat. My guesstimate at the time was that the typical cruising boat averaged somewhere between thirty to thirty-two feet though I'm pretty sure if I had really done the math in a serious study, I'd have discovered that the average cruising boat might have been closer to twenty-nine feet.
At the time I don't recall ever hearing anybody complain about not having a big enough boat... That said, I often heard, especially among older experienced cruisers, the desire for a smaller boat.
Of course, today any boat under forty feet is considered small... Judging from the number of boats I see here in the Caribbean I'd expect you'd find that the average size of boat cruising is now hovering somewhere around forty-five feet.
So, where does that leave VolksCruisers size wise? Offhand the numbers that pop into my head for a size range is twenty to forty-two feet. Less than twenty is simply unworkable for most and over forty-two feet is just too expensive. The sweet spot being the twenty-seven to thirty-six foot zone because there is a lot of good classic plastic in that niche going for very little.
Right now I'm looking to downsize to a smaller boat around thirty-feet partly because a thirty-foot boat would be substantially cheaper to cruise and less work to sail/maintain than a thirty-four foot one. The other main reason for downsizing is I really miss serious shoal draft which would also go a long way to making cruising cheaper and easier for my future plans...
Like the man said "small boats, small problems" makes all kinds of sense and, while it might seem to be going against the trend, you really might want to be thinking smaller rather than larger.