Boats

Sailboat rigging costs scale disproportionately with size

Size can be deceptive, particularly where a boat's purchase and operating costs are concerned.

Let's consider the cost of a sailboat's rig. We'll assume that the annual cost of maintaining and repairing the rig is a fixed fraction of the cost of building the rig in the first place, and this fraction does not change with size- an assumption, yes, but likely a reasonable one for yachts of typical design and modest size.

TL;DR: The rate at which you spend money on a sailboat's rig increases faster than the increase in boat size. This expenditure can be minimized by designing long, slender, efficient hulls that can be driven to good average speeds with relatively small rigs compared to shorter, fatter boats of the same size.

Proper Dimensions for a Boat Launch Ramp

I am tired of lousy launch ramps.

Bad launch ramps aren't usually that way on purpose. They're usually lousy because, when they were built, nobody involved knew any better. In the interests of making life better for all trailer boaters, then, here are some pointers on how to build one correctly- and a free plan you can give to your contractor as a starting point for your own ramp design.

Assessing crew risks on a powerboat

Should you require all crew on your boat to wear lifejackets? If so, under what conditions? Should you restrict access to some parts of the vessel when underway? Should those rules change in different weather conditions, or with different kinds of boat traffic nearby?

I suspect that many skippers make these decisions based on gut feeling and on who they side with in bar or forum arguments. Frankly, I don't think that's the best way to make critical safety decisions.

Risk assessment is a very well-developed art. Not every decision calls for a formal risk assessment, but putting a bit of logical thought into your key safety policies is certainly a prudent idea. Today, I present an informal walk-through of this process for the Starwind 860 trimaran we're currently building.

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