Will I have a crew/family or am I single handing?
My answer was simple "I was going to single hand". Having family greatly increases everything and changes all the answers to the rest of the questions. Or having a significant other on board (which is what most of the cruisers we have met are), makes a difference. We have only come across two or three single handers to date who have become life long friends. That was of course before Jerry came along and bunged up the works! Not really, she is great and I wouldn't be without her now. I had fortunately decided to buy a boat that was big enough for the two of us. Well, most of the time anyway!
Here is an example of if any single answer changing then all the others, and having to go back and review or change them. If I hadn't decided on a large enough vessel in the first place I would have had to sell whatever I had purchased and go back to square one and look for a bigger boat and start asking all the same questions again but with the new crew inserted. Of course, since I had done the research it wouldn't have taken as long to find a boat.
Of course, for some people the size of the vessel is not as important. We have met a single hander, who has become a good friend and is sailing around in a 28' Bristol Channel Cutter (Mike on Tunsa). For him, this is the perfect size. We first met on our shakedown cruise to Mexico. That was in1996. Now we have come to meet again 1.5 years and 3,000 miles later in the Marquises in 1997. What a wonderful surprise. We have met another person in a 26' boat (Carl on Sannu II), but the majority of the boats out here are now quite large. The average size is about 45' for a couple and 55' for a family of four. This is much larger than the averages we had read about before we left. Our 36' is on the small side but still affords us the luxury we wanted, except we couldn't get the washer/dryer on board, which several boats are carrying on these days. But that's part of another answer!
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Revised: 19 September, 2005 .