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Biggest Boat without crew?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Hexxen, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Hexxen

    Hexxen New Member

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    I want a boat but I don't want to hire a crew. What's the biggest/longest boat I can get?
  2. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    If you keep falling out of a canoe, Id start there.
    Lots of experience would be required for anything larger.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Do you really expect intelligent answers without telling us what your boating experience is?

    With no experience 40’ is probably going to be as much as you can handle, if you can even get insurance for a boat that size with no experience

    It also depends on the boat layout. Some boats are easier to handle than others. Flybridge only boats for instance can be more challenging when single handling because it s a long way down from the helm to your lines
  4. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Well, not if they're still tied up and dragging in the water from the last port. A dockhand can grab them on your approach. What could go wrong with that?
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    How many ports are in Lake Lanier?
  6. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    It depends. Largely on your experience and skill. Some 35' boats are more difficult than some 60' boats.

    A serious answer needs more info about you, about where and how you might use a boat, whether you'' usually have "non-hired" crew (and their experience), etc.

    -Chris
  7. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I'm 68 feet currently, and I often single hand. Doing so takes detailed planning, some scheming aboard for line placement, and the hope that someone is available at the dock that is trained and agile. It's not for the faint of heart, and it's not for challenging conditions. Keep in mind that you cannot always rely upon quality help at the dock upon arrival. Even merely a warm body can be more detriment than assistance. Spring lines are your friend.

    But, basically, don't do this.

    It's really, from where I sit, an impossible question to ask, because everything relies upon your skill, the willingness of the weather and tide, the nuances of the vessel you're handling, and the restrictions of the dock you are approaching. I've seen plenty of experienced hands look like amateurs aboard a small center console.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    You nailed it about dockside help. So many times we ve had near misses because the dockhand doesn’t follow instructions and tie a line on the wrong cleat or piling, or just hold the line hoping to pull the boat in... this is usually the case at marinas where the staff is not used to larger boats. With crew I usually decline help unless we know the place and staff. I ve offended a few snowflakes boaters when we tell tell them we don’t need help.
  9. MBevins

    MBevins Senior Member

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    Often times my worst nightmare is when people want to help me.
    We're now to the point that we only send an eye ashore and keep the bitter end on the boat, that way we can control the spring lines. (end of thread hijack)
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We now throw the night ashore and instruct whoever is trying to help to pass it behind a specific piling or clear. This way we re in control and when ready to leave lines are doubled up and ready to release from the boat
  11. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Lol, nothing like popping out of the pilot house to catch glimpse of the lone dock hand holding your vital spring line in his hands as if he's going to somehow arrest the 140,000 pound movement with a tug of the rope. When short handed, that's when you KNOW you're in the soup.
  12. MBevins

    MBevins Senior Member

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    We do that also for security and ease of departure
  13. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    FWIW, we sometimes do both. Eye ashore, get docked, re-tie ourselves with lines doubled.

    In any case, we've certainly encountered our share of dock hands who are either mentally deaf or dumb (with apologies to folks who actually have those physical handicaps).

    But then, we also just met a new-to-him boat owner who complained about the way the marina dock hands tied him up in a 4-way slip. This complaint was three days after arrival, as they were preparing to depart. It happens to be a marina with usually-decent dock hands, and it looked to me like they gave him a good, safe arrival tie-up, with a decent spring line so he didn't back all the way into the main dock, and likely expecting him to adjust however he liked. He apparently accepted the way they did it, didn't check, didn't know to improve it afterwards...

    In the meantime, no feedback from OP, no idea whether he (or she) is experienced or not...

    -Chris
  14. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    Since OP is silent and I am curious on folks opinions, let me be more specific in his stead... Let's assume competent husband and wife crew. Not new to boating, they've moved up from expresses, sportfish, etc. They now are looking at a traditional motor yacht with walk around side decks. Typical cruising is Atlantic ICW and Bahamas. Maybe Carib. Combination of Anchor, Moore, and some dock time. I tend to think the limit practical limit is somewhere in the 65ft range. Seems like the bigger limiting factor is the couple's ability to take care of the boat in terms of systems, cleaning, maintenance. Not so much the issue of them being able to physically handle the boat as long as they are prepared and the boat is suitable.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I disagree. Our personal boat is a 53 Hatteras MY and the office is an 84 Lazzara skylounge. There is very little difference in workload between both. Sure the lines and fenders are a little bigger and there is more boat to rinse but otherwise they both have the same number of system except for a second genset on the bigger boat and a few more air handlers

    The old hatt has excellent access to system otherwise I would argue that bigger boats are easier to maintain and handle routine cruising maintenance because of better access. I ve run smaller boats before the 84 and routine stuff while cruising is a lot easier and faster to handle than for instance in the 70 Johnson I ran before. Things like strainer cleaning, genset oil change, watermaker filters access to waterpump and air con pumps... less time, fewer bruises, ...

    we often spend a few weeks at a time on the Bahamas and the two of us is fine running the 84. We do have a third crew on charters or with owners on board but that’s just because of the larger number of people on board.

    In case of a couple owner / operator you can easily use a boat washer when at a marina and even an interior day worker to deep clean

    There is no difference in physical abilities between a 53, 70 or 84. If you rely on muscle to secure the boat you re doing it wrong...
  16. Prospective

    Prospective Senior Member

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    I guess if you're willing to hire out every job you can't handle then it significantly opens up the range. But then it's just semantics. Your "crew" is either a bunch of sub-contractors that you hire from time to time, or are they are full time employees. Either way, your not really doing it yourself. As for the actual ship handling.. I guess too much depends on the type of boat and the experience of the operators. I have to believe at some point the size becomes dangerous for even a well skilled captain and mate but not sure what that size would be.
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Hiring sub contractors is common at every level starting with divers to clean the bottom, refrigeration specialists or a cleaning lady (are we supposed to say cleaning person now?) Not much different from a home owner bring a lawn service or hedge trimmer.

    On a boat it is cheaper than having a full time extra crew member
  18. ranger42c

    ranger42c Senior member

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    Hard to tell what OP meant by "crew." Could have been only about operating the boat, docking, etc. Or could have also included cleaning, maintenance, and service chores...

    We don't count our washers/detailers or the yard guys who powerwash/paint/wax as "crew" but we've gotten to the point where I just don't want to do some of that stuff myself anymore. OTOH, that's not really a length-influenced decision, either.

    For actual operations and docking and so forth, given an experienced (and reasonably mobile) couple, I could see the upper range being anywhere from 40-80'... depending on the boat configuration. That said, inside cleaning alone could easily become a much more significant burden as size increases...

    -Chris
  19. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    IMMO, without a lot more context, the OP's question is unanswerable. Maybe he's thinking about a sailboat for instance