Sensible Small Boat Cruising


Sensible Small Boat Cruising

A group to discuss cruising in small boats. (25-36 feet). That's not set in stone, but I'm partial to that kind of cruising.

Members: 109
Latest Activity: Feb 19, 2015

Discussion Forum

Chesapeake Bay Sailing Destinations

Started by Bill Creadon. Last reply by Captain Ron Jan 5, 2011. 2 Replies


Started by Rodger Cooper. Last reply by Fat Cat Anna ~~~ \\^^// ~~~ Feb 13, 2010. 6 Replies

Swinging Instrument Holder for Companionway

Started by John Storring. Last reply by John Storring Jan 21, 2010. 10 Replies

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Comment by Mike Anderson on April 11, 2008 at 8:35pm
You may want to expell me from this group as I cruise 396 Carver, However what I have read in the comments is very interesting to me as I love to cruise i.e (take a trip by boat). I have taken my old boat( 32 Carver aft cabin) up to Lake Michigan twice. Absolutely an adventure but very expensive!! Maybe you sail guys have something there. I also made the trip from Chattanooga Tn. to St. Louis, Mo. My home port. This location allows you to get to just about anywhere. I hope to do the LOOP when a few things iron out in my personal life such as money, convincing the admiral, etc. etc..
Comment by Richard on April 4, 2008 at 10:24pm
I forgot the windlass in the last post. If you're really into cruising and divorcing yourself of the yellow umbilicus of a shore cord then you need good ground tackle. I spent nine months poking arount Mexico, Belize and Guatemala and was at a marina dock one time in each place, so I anchored out all the time.

My boat had 125 feet of chain rode and that's the only way to go, believe me. My boat also came with a Simpson-Lawrence manual windlass and when you're dealing with chain every time you want to move to a new piece of paradise you don't want to be hauling it up hand over hand. My windlass was a vertical model and operated by a winch handle. To me it was nearly as essential for the pleasure of my cruise as was the windvane.
Comment by Richard on April 4, 2008 at 10:17pm
Let's see if I can stir up a little discussion here.

What do you consider to be the LEAST important piece of equipment on a small sailing vessel? Why?

What do you consider to be the MOST important piece of equipment on a small sailing vessel? Why?

As far as I'm concerned, the least important piece of equipment would have to be an inboard engine, either diesel or gas. First of all, you're on a sailboat and you're supposed to sail it. Essentially I believe an engine is an evil entity waiting to fail at the most critical moment. They're nice to spin an alternator to keep the batteries charged and the fridge cold if you're lucky enough to have one.

When I was running an 85' motor sailer it had a pair of Gardiner engines that were wonderful pieces of equipment. On my 26' Kaiser the engine had been removed and an 8hp Suzuki outboard on a bracket served as the main power for both the sailboat and the hard bottom Avon. Sure, there were about three times in the six years I owned her that I would have liked to have had an inboard but all things considered I liked the storage space that was created with the removal of the engine and fuel tank.

I have TWO pieces of equipment I consider absolutely essential...1) a windvane self-steering system and 2) a windlass. Note, I said wind vane and not an auto pilot. Electrical powered auto pilots, to me, are in the same category as engines...just waiting to crap out when you need it most. The key word in wind vane, though, is WIND. No wind no work. On my passage from Key West to Isla Mujeres on the Kaiser I was becalmed for three days. My outboard pushed me along easily at hull speed (speed through the water, but speed over the ground sucked bucking into the Yucatan Current and an inboard wouldn't have made any better time) but I spent two days and nights at the tiller. It is in instances such as that when a Tiller Pilot or other electrical steering system would be benificial.

Your ideas.......
Comment by Richard on April 4, 2008 at 6:04pm

Just got off the web looking up the Saturna33. VERY nice boat. Certainly something to be proud of
Comment by Richard on April 3, 2008 at 10:37pm
Why am I partial to small boats?

Lower cost of purchase
Lower cosr of maintenance
More easily single-handed.

But finding a REAL ocean-going pocket cruiser is rare though there are some out there. Most of the smaller boats, those in the range of this group are really coastal cruisers, but the older ones, like the Kaiser as well as the Pacific Seacrafts, Pearsons, Tartans that were built in the late 60s and early 70s were generally "over built" because the builders weren't that sure of fiberglass as a building material.

I also like those boats because they usually had full keels and classic lines.

If you want to find out more, get ahold of Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach, by Don Casey and Lew Hackler. But beware, reading it may change your life.

Another thing is: A small boat and a suitcase full of money beats a 40 footer tied to a bank.
Comment by Serenity on April 3, 2008 at 9:53pm
I am interested in hearing more about other experiences in this range, It is what I would likely choose. Insurance would be 1 factor, but ease in marinas, lower draft, I am thinking more versatile as a vessel. But I like quiet places.
So why are you partial to them?

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