Stus-List Bigger Boat Question

Chuck S cscheaffer at
Wed May 29 23:08:55 EDT 2013

Good questions. You'll do fine finding a good boat. 
I never had "two foot itis". I started with a 13' Sunfish, to a Cape Dory 22', sold that and windsurfed for 15 yrs, and then fell in love with our present 36 footer, the 34R. So much depends on what you want to do with the boat and how many new skills you want to learn. If your whole family is cruising, be sure to consider them in the new boat decision. 

Bigger boats cost more overall, a little more bottom paint, longer dock lines, higher slip fees, new sails, storage charges. But many costs are the same, like the common items like new dishes or fire extinguishers, flares, dinghy, VHF, bilge pumps and head and electronics cost the same if you put them on a big boat or small boat. The bigger boat can serve as a getaway/weekend home. 

My one tip: be more agressive as a buyer: Get aboard some bigger boats. Ask owners if they might consider letting you crew on bigger boats to see what they are like? Offer to crew for a race, offer to bring beer or rum for a sail. Ask them later if they might consider selling? There are many owners who have enjoyed their boats and would love to sell but don't want to go through the emotional rollercoaster of selling through listings or a broker. 

Size: Boathandling is fun to learn and demonstrate. I learn tricks all the time. Like how to set all the fenders and prep all docklines before I approach the dock, and docking single handed in cross winds, or in strong river current, and when to ask for help, and when not to ask for help. 

1990 C&C 34R 
Atlantic City, NJ 
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Mark Bodnar" <drbodnar at> 
To: cnc-list at 
Sent: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:01:56 AM 
Subject: Stus-List Bigger Boat Question 

I'm still looking at boats, reading emails from this list and learning 
lots. Right now I'm sitting back, watching the market, looking to new 
boats that come up, and trying to figure out where I want to end up. 
Maybe some more experienced listers can offer some thoughts (on or off 

I know that everyone has there own criteria - but I'm trying to figure 
out the right boat for me. My Mirage 24 is quite small - 5ft of 
headroom (only my 8 yr old can stand up), not enough space to sleep 5 
(me and 4 kids), lacks an enclosed head, no functional galley, noisy and 
smelly outboard. 
I envision wanting to do some more sailing - little further out of the 
harbour, some overnights (effectively boat camping with the kids), maybe 
a long weekend away with the girlfriend. 

But we've all heard the cracks "2 best days in a boater life - the day 
he/she buys their boat, and the day they sell it", or "A boat is a hole 
in the water you pour money into" - not really encouraging. So, why, if 
they are so terrible does everyone get 2 foot itis? 

Feel free to espouse on why did you end up with the boat you have? Do 
you wish you stayed smaller/cheaper/simpler? 
What would you say to yourself if you could go back and offer advice? 
Was this the best decision ever? If you could make a change what do you 
want? A bigger galley? Bigger cockpit? 

My temptation was to find a 29-30 foot boat that would work, thinking 
that would last me for years with the kids and still be a manageable 
size when they are off. Keeping costs reasonable, maintenance 
manageable and enough boat to venture further afield. 

Right now I could buy a local C&C 33 (with and Atomic4), or a local C&C 
30 (diesel), or there are 29's, 30's and 34's within reach - the prices 
are similar. I plan on climbing aboard a few different boats to get a 
feel for size and space, but I'm trying to figure out what I'm getting 
into without having to learn the painfully hard way! I'm leaning 
towards a diesel (only because that seems to be common opinion and gas 
on my current boat has it's downsides), wheel steering and something 
fairly stable (so kids and girlfriend aren't barfing over the side -- 
which I gather eliminates the 29's from the list). Price wise I'd like 
to stay below $20000. 

I have the cash set aside to buy the boat, but clearly bigger is not 
always better, the maintenance and insidious upkeep costs can add up 
quickly. I was able to do a quick sand and bottom paint on my M24 in 
2.5 hrs. Assuming the cost and workload multiply with the displacement 
I'm guessing a 30ft (being twice the displacement) would be double the 
effort, a 34ft 3 times the work. At what point is it more work and you 
wish for a smaller/cheaper boat? 

Thanks in advance for the advice, 



Dr. Mark Bodnar 
B.Sc., D.C., FCCOPR(C) 
Bedford Chiropractic 

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. 
- George Santayana 

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