Sunday, 17 February 2008

Does Size Matter?

I don't care what you tell your loved one but, in my humble opinion, size really does matter out here in the cruising world!

We sail a forty footer so of course I think that is the perfect size, especially for two aging, unfit, wannabe adventurers. Although I seriously think that if we were to begin again I would have to consider something in the 36-38 foot range. We have a second small double berth which most of the time sails the world with us...empty. It is an open invitation to clutter the boat with 'stuff' that we are almost certain to never use It is currently filled with cockpit cushions, an icebox, books, clothes, more books, tools that need to be put away and a myriad of small 'useful' items.

It's a bit unusual on the book front as we have just been the lucky recipients here at Mario's of two cruisers dumping their lifetime about a feeding frenzy over at the bookswop!

But I digress. One of the reasons that size is uppermost in my mind is that our youngest, Lucy, and her boyfriend, Alex, have announced that they are going to buy a boat and come cruising. I am delighted I can think of no better experience for young people, and I am also so jealous that they are having the sense to do this at an early age( 22 and 28). What a fabulous life choice.

So, of course, we are starting to look out for boats for them. Money is obviously the principle criteria but it's a good time to be buying. With the depressed dollar and the housing price in the US there are huge numbers of boats on the market on this side of the Atlantic.

Lucy is talking of a boat the same size as ours but we are doing our best to persuade them that something smaller will be, in the longer term, far more viable. She had a twenty seven footer but felt that was too small for two people to live aboard in any degree of comfort. I have to agree that the boat she had, a Halcyon ( folkboat) derivative, was in the old narrow design. Excellent sea keeping qualities but made a pretty cramped living area.

Ideally we would like to find one of the older, small Island Packets.Probably one of the first designs that incorporated a serious living space with excellent safe ocean going design....So we are trawling the internet and alerting our friends that the hunt is on!

Personally I can't understand why they don't just come with us! Still I am dead chuffed that they approve of our lifestyle so much that they want to do it too.....

On our domestic front we have had a bit of a blow as TBH blew a gasket on the outboard yesterday. Such a shame after all his recent work in rebuilding the thing. We had been talking about buying a new one, old faithful is over 10 years old now. Anyway, as in most things, the decision was made for us and we are now the proud owners of a new 5hp Yamaha. The same as our original! Small is beautiful in this case! Mainly 'cos I can't lift anything bigger and we don't want to clutter the stern with any more stainless steel constructions.

As I keep pointing out to the owners of larger outboards as they zip past us, it's not the size that matters but how you use it!


Blown Here said...

My name is Craig and I enjoy the few pages of your writing that I have seen. Especially Size cmments.
I found a few Island packets. They seem to have lots of them in Florida, but this is not too odd since there seems to be more boats than people in Fla.
Here is a link,38/Zip-85602/Radius-any/Sort-Length:DESC/
They look like great well built boats. I was glad to hear of them and may want one myself,some day.
Right now I have a Grabner inflatable 18' Kayak. If you want to sea a picture of it you can at

Gerry said...

hi Craig and welcome to my world!
You may be interested in this site /
We met these guys in Portugal and you should have seen how they loaded their kayaks!
Happy traveling.