Items on a couple of favorite sailing blogs this week reminded me of why I've avoided so far any serious commitment to "big boat" sailing. (For me a big boat is anything significantly larger than my 14 foot Laser.)
First of all EVK4 who sails a Catalina 22 told us that he spends about one hour doing dock work for every hour of sailing. I guess if you love maintaining and fixing things that could be very rewarding, but it's not for me. This year I've probably spent a couple of hours on maintenance -- washing the boat, replacing a few lines -- and around a hundred hours of actual sailing. The Laser is sturdy, simple and relatively maintenance free. I like it that way.
Then Zephyr drew our attention to a boat in trouble near New Zealand. Much as the idea of cruising the Pacific has some romantic appeal I actually prefer to sleep in my own bed every night. Or at least in a hotel room near a regatta site. I have no wish to place myself in the situation of the sailors in the news story -- ripped sails, no diesel for the motor, GPS disabled, gale force winds, huge seas, waiting 24 hours for a rescue while wife sews up a wound in hubby's head.
I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from sailing whatever kind of boat turns you on. For EVK4 it's his Catalina. For Larry Ellison it's his 136 meter Rising Sun.
Thanks, but I'll stick to my Laser.