When I was 18 my friend Sandra would always describe my life as such, nothing through the years has changed. I just got an email from one on my favorite YouTube sailing couples. I won’t name them here and ruin their surprise surprise but they are downsizing and had a few questions about Flicka’s and Falmouth Cutters. When they spill the beans I’ll throw it up here but they are already a household name and killing it on YouTube. Small is beautiful but over the years yachting rags have done their best to convince us that 36′ is the minimum and that 46 is even better and safer. Lies, lies, lies.
Just yesterday I met the happiest man on the planet earth. His first circumnavigation was on a 26′ twin keeler. He went on to sail another 95,000 Miles in his 31′ cutter including removing a perfectly good running diesel and sailing back to Washington from New Zealand sans engine just for the zen experience, now he’s buying a Falmouth Cutter to continue on with his voyage.
Big boats aren’t safer, they are rarely more comfortable and often substantially more dangerous and less comfortable. Have you ever tried to lift a 80lb anchor while dragging through a dark crowded Anchorage with a broken windlass? Fighting huge sails is another issue with larger boats as is being a target when you anchor your 350k yacht off a beach where the average residents family income is under 10k. Expense is the biggest issue as is time to maintain it all. Maybe I’m just a selfish jerk but I’d much rather spend my time with my sailing partner or locals or exploring the far flung ports I’ve worked so hard to arrive at.
I actually have grown to enjoy warm beers and was the first person on the planet earth to start pushing consuming white wine warm, it has so much more and better flavors when enjoyed this way. Nothing on a boat needs to be refrigerated. The more real foods you consume the less space it takes. Honestly if I had Just pocketed 2.8 million by selling all my bitcoin at 16k I still would never consider a boat over 28′
I’m having a complete mental breakdown over selling Sookie for a larger version. The more real this all becomes the more I’m asking myself WTF am I thinking. Sookie is a very well proven sailing machine, has more than enough space and as far as my life goes I don’t have a single complaint. When’s the last time you sailed into an unknown harbor and had someone rowed out and thank you for sailing your beautiful yacht into their harbor? Happens to me all the time.
I’ve heard the age old myth that a faster boat can outrun a storm. This myth is perpetuated by people who have never sailed offshore, have never experienced squalls and micro Burts, no weather forecasting on the planet can alert you to these. There is also the fact that a faster boat can actually sail you into bad weather that a slower boat would have missed or put you on the dangerous side rather than the safe side of a TRS
I’m a minimalist and a sailor, if I want to get anywhere fast I’ll ride my bike or fly in a jet, even the fasted cruising boats on the planet are slower than my gimpy old legs can turn my pedals, speed does not equate to safety unless maybe you are running from the law and your car is faster than theirs.
The only yacht that I have ever come across that has a better booze section than me is Delos when they loaded in 1000 cans of beer and 200 bottles of wine but there are seven of them and I’m all by my lonesome so my 8 cases of wine and 100 cans of beer will do, I always carry a few gallons of rum for emergency’s. On top of that I can still carry 4-6 months of food if I plan right and enough water for a nonstop to anywhere. Sailing small boats also gives mass creds in the cruising community when you drop the hook in some remote location and the next smallest boat is 40′
I’m so frustrated with the mega yacht culture I’m actually contemplating turning this into a minimalist sailing blog just to share the real benefits of going small. I think the tides will eventually turn and small well designed sailboats will again rule the cruising world. You don’t have to be rich and famous to enjoy these simple pleasures. Go small, live simple, live now.