Boat Size!
By Becky Coffield

How Small Is Too Small?

When thinking of boat size many people wonder how big a boat they must have to take a "cruise" on. In fact, I have met many who have spent literally decades saving money for the "big" boat so they can take off.

Does Size Matter:

Most of these people are shocked when they find out that my husband and I lived and traveled aboard a Cal 2-34 for six years. "Wasn't that kind of small?" almost to a person they ask.  The yacht in the photo above was the smallest to sail round the world.

No!  A 34' boat is not too small to take cruising, if the boat is sound.

Lynn and Larry Pardey took their first trips on a boat much smaller than 34' and were quite happy!

And safe! (Boat pictured below)  The same is true for Robin Graham on Dove. I have seen 26 and 27 foot boats that were sturdy little cruisers.

Size does not make a boat safe. Seamanship, based on experience, is the big factor in boating safety.

I must hasten to add, however, that the gear on the boat, including the rigging, rudder, and overall composition of the boat, is vital to the boat's safety in passage making.

Does Boat Size make it Safe:

I have seen incredibly unlikely vessels, however, make it across oceans. I once saw a lake day sailor in Fatu Hiva that had sailed across the Atlantic from France, through the Panama Canal, and then across the Pacific.

The fact that a few people row across says something...either about luck or...well, I won't go there.

I have had numerous people tell me they have a 34 footer that they day sail, but wonder if they need something bigger to spend several months on. Egads!

I suppose it depends on how much stuff you want to lug around with you, how many kids you take, and maybe how much personal space you need. 34' can be a sumptuous amount of space!

Boat Size Should Not Stop You:

When my husband and I travelled, I will admit we were one of the smaller boats in almost all the foreign ports or anchorages we went to.

We did not, however, have to pick up people along the way to crew for us. Either of us could single-hand the boat if the other were sick or injured.

The boat was well-rigged, with the mast and rigging off the Cal 46. And we had done our homework, doing lots of coastal cruising to learn the limits of our boat...and ourselves. The boat proved to be much tougher and more resilient than we were!

So do not let size keep you from your adventures! Go now while you still have the strength and stamina to do so.


Becky Coffield is the author of Life Was A Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, A Boat, and a Big-A** Ocean, a humorous, nonfiction travel account of her and her husband's six years aboard their Cal 2-34, traveling more than 25,000 miles.  All Coffield's books are available on amazon and the publisher's website

Article Source: Ezine Articles by Becky Coffield





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