Click for ITS Click for Walker Click for Llebroc Click for Abeking Click for United

Largest yacht for experienced owner/operator?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by theav8r, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. theav8r

    theav8r New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Pompano Beach, FL
    what would be the largest yacht for an experienced owner/operator that could safely be operated either solo or with a small family ??


    let's also say that the yacht is either pod powered or joystick retro fit (like zf jms) ..... so it has a very good joystick control system .......

    60' .... 70' .... 80'.... LSX120 ??
  2. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,146
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    As is always the case with these kinds of questions, it depends on your use. Day trips? Fair weather cruising in summer and on weekends? Or are you talking about passage making?

    Fleming, Grand Banks Aleutian, Westport Pacific Mariner, and others build boats in the 60', 70', and 80' range that are essentially designed as owner operator - couples cruisers.

    Your joystick - pod control comment is curious to me. It's irrelevant to your question. An "experienced owner" should be able to safely operate his boat whether it has ".....a very good joystick control system" .....or not.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,296
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    well, the joystick question isnt' curious because it is marketed to make folks think that it is the miracle solution!

    I find that docking and close quarter handling is not the biggest issue an owner/operator will face once (s)he gets into boats over, 50, 60, 70 etc... It's really maintenance and dealing with the systems. I dont' mean just being able to fix something, there are many handy owner/operators capable of dealing with many failures, but the time it take.

    while under way cruising the east coast or the bahamas for a month, the routine maintenance, upkeep etc... can be overwhelming and too time consuming, making that vacation time part time working!

    now if you jsut do short trips and have someone to take care of the boat when you come back, then it's a non issue.

    as to single handling, well there is a lot more to joystick control. I feel the actual layout of the boat is a lot more important.. being able to get from the helm to your spring lines is the number one criteria. Backing into a slip, having controls on the aft deck is also at the top of the list. i guess, gadgets like remote controls can be helpful, but a fancy set of joystick inside the boat requiring a long walk to your line is going require an experienced mate for line handling.
  4. theav8r

    theav8r New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Pompano Beach, FL
    i understand your points .......

    i came for the aviation world where modern avionics have allowed some pretty sophisticated jets to be certified for single pilot ...... the work load has been reduced to a level where the faa has approved single pilot operation ......

    it's not just the maneuvering system but all the electronic systems that support it ..... navigation, communication , emergency systems ....etc .....

    lets say the yacht would be used to cruise the caribbean and not very demanding locations .....
  5. travler

    travler Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    roche harbor wa
    driving the boat is the easy part it;s just like flying it is when things start going wrong that it gets real busy in a hury even with all the best operating systems there are still the basics that need to be addressed , a lot depends on where you are going and what you expect to do on the way and when you get there

    good luck just some thoughts travler
  6. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,221
    Location:
    Is Everything!
    I'm 100% comfortable on a GB59 by myself, until I need to sneak into a tight slip. Yes, the remote controls are a godsend, the aft controls are as well, but at the end of the day, you have to have absolute nerves of steel to do it regularly. (I can't). Electronics, nav systems, chart plotters, radios, etc. All that stuff for the most part runs itself.

    That being said, should you choose to operate on your own, you'll quickly learn to think hours ahead of you, then minutes ahead of you, then seconds ahead of you. Stupid things like getting fenders hung earlier than you normally would with a hand on board.

    Maintenance is the next topic which has already been discussed. Yes, engine room, but then exterior, interior, and let's not forget break and fix in flight troubleshooting.

    My Wife on board makes it so much easier in the rare cases where it's just her and I. Even if it's the 3 minutes to duck down and check on an alarm, a tank, a line, a switch, etc.

    Lest we not forget insurance requirements.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,782
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    To me that means solo, because if that "small family" means young kids, they will be your wife's primary focus. A lot depends on whether you're talking about cruises down to Shooters or runs to the Bahamas, etc. It also depends on what kind of boat that "experienced owner/operator" got that experience on. How big was your last boat? Also, is your wife experienced enough to take over and get the boat home if something happened to you? In any case I wouldn't recommend bigger than about 50' or so without knowing the answers to those questions. Don't just think in terms of putting a boat into a slip. Think in terms of what happens if the boat breaks down and you have to leave the helm; you get hurt or you get a really tight marina with strong winds and current.Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
  8. bmar

    bmar New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    san diego, ca
    As has been said, not only depends on your experience level but on what size boats. If your talking about say getting a new 76' Lazara that runs around 5 million, NO insurance company is going to insure you without a Licensed captain on board unless you can show a long history of ownership.
  9. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,152
    Location:
    Gold Coast Australia
    Agree with NYCAP here.
    Our family boating years ago meant that not only was I "solo" in charge but worse, "solo" on guard. I was far more concerned that my young children and wife were in a safe place, away from danger than I was in need of an extra hand with docking. At one time we had a 50' Ocean Alexander Mk1 displacement with 120hp Lehmans. Everytime I came into a different marina I had already prepared the boat as much as possible and NO-One was allowed out the saloon until she was tied up. Fibreglass is a lot easier to repair than bones and that boat needed a few minutes before it would change in any direction no matter how much throttle was applied.
    Made me a better boater I think but aged me too.
  10. Capt. Mike

    Capt. Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Nashville TN,
    I would ask what is the biggest yacht you have owned so far. I love driving my 103 and before this I had a 62' and loved to bring her in by myself. I would tell everyone don't touch anything until I stop the boat. I loved when the wind was 15 - 30 putting her in a tight spot and I have never had thrusters on a boat but I always got her in. I always felt this would make me a better Captain and it did. I feel I would have had trouble with my 103 if I had done like everyone else in TN, and sat out on the lake until the winds are ok to come in. I always loved the challenge of parking a boat. I could tell so many story's of parking. I pulled into this small tight marina one time just to get a coke and the guy gave me the coke and said thanks for the show.

    Now when I went to the 103 not many of the same rules applied. You can't reach the dock or just jump off and tie the boat off. it's a long drop down and you can't stop a 95 ton boat with a small rope. Truth is I am still learning how dock this yacht and it will just take some time but I know I can do it. I say drive a big yacht and you will know.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,782
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Agree with you totally cap, but let's make sure the OP doesn't miss this:
    His situation is a little different:
    No crewmember should ever attach a line or drop a fender without the OK of the cap, but that's different from the cap himself covering the helm and deckhanding at the same time. Also, things are a bit different down in Pompano Beach. The ICW there can get like I-95 at rush hour, and he's got several timed bascule bridges to deal with that are basically like roadblocks. He can easily end up standing station in close quarters with 20 other boats in a space 150' or less wide.
  12. theav8r

    theav8r New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Pompano Beach, FL
    i'm looking for yacht to mainly cruise the caribbean ......
    i have a 42' go fast boat but now with family i'm looking for a cruiser .....

    i seem to make good decisions in my boating as well as my flying ..... as the old adage goes ... "there are old pilots and there are bold pilot but there are no old bold pilots ....." .... i don't push my limitations ... don't even come close .....

    i know on a perfect day when everything is working well i could probably manage these yachts with my wife ......

    i love the lazzara line of yachts ...... which one ?

    lsx64, lsx78, lsx92 .......
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,782
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Assuming that your wife seriously knows how to deckhand, i.e. what lines need to go where and how to tie and set them, also fenders, and knows how to navigate, run and dock the boat. And assuming that your kids are old enough to stay out of the way and can be out of her mind for 10 minutes (or are old enough and capable enough to help). You could do maybe 65' or 70'. If she's ok and willing to help you're talking 50' maybe 55'. If however she's afraid of breaking a nail and you've got pre-schoolers. Stick with what you've got or be prepared to hire or bring someone who knows boats.
    As for your experience, a 42' go fast is more akin to driving a 30' Donzi than a 50' Viking.
  14. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,953
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    Aye mate, why go big...?
    A small family or a solo-sailor should not go beyond 40 to 50, but of course there is exceptions if you are out to prove balls or hairy chest:
    Dodge Morgan had to sail solo around the world on a 60' boat, **** the rules of the road and a family at home, just prove your man-hood. :rolleyes:

    If you have the money to buy big, then have a couple of crews on the pay-roll, or as stand-by/temps when the boat is idle.
    Then use a smaller boat for solo and small family journeys and the bigger boat for flash and party.

    As for them joy-sticks and pods, etc:
    Good stuff if it works all the time and is guaranteed to do so.

    As you know from flying: Training for the Instrument Rating was on partial panel: You loose half the stuff and you are still able to go to the bar in the evening and have a beer because you trained for it and for survival.

    Say you get a big fancy boat woth lots of joy-sticks and lots of pods scattered all over the bottom and controlled by computers and by you.
    Then you get a lightning strike and all the electronics and pods die and you are left with a couple of diesel engines reverting to manual control:
    Dark and stormy night, the little family is down below hugging each other hoping for survival.
    You are now in charge of bringing the crippled vessel to shore and hopefully to a sheltered dock all by yourself.

    1) Do you wish to be in the biggest vessel you can afford tonight?
    2) Have you spent all your life at sea and this is peanuts to you?
    3) Have you trained for this in simulators (like flying) and you are confident of the outcome?
    4) Do you have to prove the size of your manhood like Dodge the Man and go regardless of risk and odds?

    No right answer, but be smart and get qualified crew, or go small with big anchors. (to stop any drift or damage close to shore if sh!t hits the fan)

    What he said

    Totally...Lately I have been boating with newbies who leave the power and rudder station in a mad dash to throw a fender or a line out while the boat is still moving, yet there is perfectly able crew members (moa) standing by to attach a line or hang a fender once the boat is motionless along the dock.
    Had to have man-to-man talks with these guys as they came from small boats and back then it was okay to solo and single-hand, jumping around the boat to secure or stop motion..Not on a 44' heavy cruiser like a CSY..40,000 lbs displacement..:rolleyes:

    Yes, a good Captain could of course drive a 120' mega yacht solo: Good weather, day light, 3 or 4 guys standing by at the pier to grab and to pull lines that was already pre-hung on the railing, slow coming with bow and stern thrusters, kissing the dock..not a problem, looking good there baby..

    I spent 15 years flying B-747s around the sky and with all the back-up systems and the automation I could do it solo and look cool if I had to..
    My crew members earned their dues instead and made me look good when the sh!t hit the fan.
    I have been buying them numerous dinners and drinks as I got the pay, the glory and the credit as a B-747 Captain, but the crew did the dirty work.

    ..Anybody could buy a Corvette and drive it 160 mph all day and be lucky.
    Same with an owner or "Captain" of a big boat trying to go solo because all them pods and modern BS...

    I would not..Get that 45' twin diesel trawler, learn to enjoy and to drive, then if the need to go big is still there, hire a couple of experienced guys to help you drive the 120'.
  15. Capt. Mike

    Capt. Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Nashville TN,
    I would hire one full time live aborad crew. If you look hard enough you can get one cheap. He/ she can help with the boat and make your life much easier.
  16. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2007
    Messages:
    3,315
    Location:
    9114 S. Central Ave

    Yeah, but that doesn't mean you can leave the seat to pull the chocks.
  17. theav8r

    theav8r New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Pompano Beach, FL
    i certainly respect the opinions of the experts here on this forum .....

    i guess i'm a little private .... i'm not really wanting a crew .....
    i also don't mind working hard to be a good captain .... i certainly did that with becoming a qualified and experienced pilot (ifr/multi/turbine) ......

    i do not want a yacht that can't be handled safely ......

    again, i do like the lazzara line .......

    maybe the new lmy 64 or lsx 78 at the very most ......

    thanks for your inputs ......
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    8,782
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Coming from a 42 go-fast I'm fairly confident that your insurance company will require you to use a captain for either of those boats for a period of time. From there you'll see how it goes. I'm currently heading into my 8th year with a fellow who felt the same as you. Eventually he found an insurance company who only required him to use one for a short period. 8 years later....
  19. PropBet

    PropBet Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,221
    Location:
    Is Everything!
    Fairly confident?
    I can tell you with certainty that they will.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,001
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    No vessel that is considered a yacht can be safely handled by 1 person. There are too many possibilities of risk: loss of propulsion, loss of steering, fire, electrical, acts of God. If you're getting into a 64' or 78' Lazzara, you need both an experienced Captain to run the vessel, and an experienced person to get the lines.

Share This Page