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Old 24-06-2013, 07:49   #1
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Blue Water Boats ........Again.

I was looking at the Mahina Site (the boat list) again and noticed for example the Islander 36 wasn't on it. Nor were some of the smaller Tartans, and no Hunters at all yet all the Cape Dory boats above 30' are included and the Bristols from 27' and above.

I saw a post on the Luder 33 not long ago that said those type boats (classic full keel Cape Dory, Bristol, Contessa 26) are just better for ocean cruising. Is this a true statement?

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Old 24-06-2013, 08:36   #2
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

I think you have to consider your anticipated use of a boat against the boat build and age, and determine what best meets YOUR needs.

I find that these lists provide some useful information, but using them as a litmus test for a boat is probably a bad idea.

Some more lightly built boats will be fine for offshore work (particularly if you strengthen some components of the boat), and some boats on this list will likely no longer make the cut due to aging components and defects from lack of maintenance over time.

I get the impression that some use this list as a security blanket, when it should more appropriately be used in developing an approach to better analyzing one's needs.
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Old 24-06-2013, 08:38   #3
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

But if you reword the question a bit, and ask if full keel boats are better than more modern designs of keels for bluewater cruising, I'd be interested in hearing what the community thinks.
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Old 24-06-2013, 08:55   #4
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
But if you reword the question a bit, and ask if full keel boats are better than more modern designs of keels for bluewater cruising, I'd be interested in hearing what the community thinks.
I'm not just talking the keels, I'm talking the whole design to include the narrowness of the boat and the overhangs etc....

Plus the old boats are overbuilt. Say you are sailing solo and while asleep you hit something. Maybe the older overbuilt design could survive. For example, did Steven Callahan build his boat to lightly since he was racing?

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Old 24-06-2013, 09:44   #5
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pirate Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
I'm not just talking the keels, I'm talking the whole design to include the narrowness of the boat and the overhangs etc....

Plus the old boats are overbuilt. Say you are sailing solo and while asleep you hit something. Maybe the older overbuilt design could survive...?
Time marches on. This has been well-discussed with the consensus being about split as I recall.

The modern view is that one should NEVER be asleep at the wheel. That said, the electronics should save you. Why hit a container when your forward-looking sonar reaches out 1000 ft? Radar is covering the above-water scene. Then yer got yer AIS, yer SAT stuff, and yer LSMFT.

So the modern boat is safer by far than the slower, older tanker. I personally like the older heavy full keel boats I grew up with but it's way more fun on a faster fin keeler. They tack right now, and save time and miles to weather.
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Old 24-06-2013, 09:59   #6
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

Everything is relative and everything is a compromise. A full keel boat on a long blue water passage is going to be, all things being equal, more comfortable because of the easy motion of the boat...the bow of most fin keelers is rounder, with less wetted surface and can pound mercilessly in a seaway. Her rudder is also protected by and supported by the hull along it's entire length. But she is also going to be considerably slower and less agile.

There are many modern blue water boats that are not full keel, so that is not the be all and end all of blue water boat design by any stretch.

Here's another interesting resource for you to look at. I think in the end a boat's blue water credentials are defined by a combination of the fitness of her construction and the purpose of her design. Catalina's were never designed (until the 47) to be blue water boats, and so were generally not built to be blue water boats. But I would bet that more Catalina's have circled the globe than any other sailboat for the simple fact that there are so many of them and they are affordable.

http://bluewaterboats.org
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Old 24-06-2013, 10:04   #7
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
I'm not just talking the keels, I'm talking the whole design to include the narrowness of the boat and the overhangs etc....

Plus the old boats are overbuilt. Say you are sailing solo and while asleep you hit something. Maybe the older overbuilt design could survive.

Is that REALLY how you want to make your decision on boat purchase? I'd say there are a lot of other things that you'll encounter first.

Perhaps better electronics would help. Or getting another crew member to help keep watch when you're crossing oceans.

I thought the Keel part of your question was interesting. The "I need a thicker hull in case I hit a container", that's just one factor. It's a consideration, but EPIRB and a good liferaft are likely a better investment, along with knowing what to do if your hull gets a hole in it.

I think it's an interesting question, because there are many who have the same one, as they try and select a boat for cruising the Caribbean.

If you're crossing the ocean single handed, maybe you want a boat on the Mahina list, and spend the money for a good refit. For everyone else, my point was to consider what features are most important for your needs.
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Old 24-06-2013, 10:55   #8
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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The modern view is that one should NEVER be asleep at the wheel. That said, the electronics should save you. Why hit a container when your forward-looking sonar reaches out 1000 ft? Radar is covering the above-water scene. Then yer got yer AIS, yer SAT stuff, and yer LSMFT.

So the modern boat is safer by far than the slower, older tanker. I personally like the older heavy full keel boats I grew up with but it's way more fun on a faster fin keeler. They tack right now, and save time and miles to weather.
So as a singlehander when are you suppose to sleep when you are sailing say to Bermuda? You have to sleep which I think some folks forget.

And you say " So the modern boat is safer by far than the slower, older tanker. " But you gave no reason to support this assertion.

During the Singlehanded Transpac Race (SHTP) from San Francisco to Hawaii all sorts of interesting ways to sleep aboard (while sailing at full speed) have been developed.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:08   #9
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Is that REALLY how you want to make your decision on boat purchase? I'd say there are a lot of other things that you'll encounter first.

Perhaps better electronics would help. Or getting another crew member to help keep watch when you're crossing oceans.

I thought the Keel part of your question was interesting. The "I need a thicker hull in case I hit a container", that's just one factor. It's a consideration, but EPIRB and a good liferaft are likely a better investment, along with knowing what to do if your hull gets a hole in it.

I think it's an interesting question, because there are many who have the same one, as they try and select a boat for cruising the Caribbean.

If you're crossing the ocean single handed, maybe you want a boat on the Mahina list, and spend the money for a good refit. For everyone else, my point was to consider what features are most important for your needs.
I already purchased a boat from the Mahina List (it was actually Atom Voyages but samey same in many ways) for $2,000. I bought it to train me on monohulls as compared to small racing catamarans, but the more I sail it the more it appears it will do just about anything I need it to. And folks talk about other monohulls being "fast?" which mean it might be 60-90seconds faster per mile than my old slow boat if the skipper knows what he is doing.

As far as electronics, I'd rather go less than more (except the AIS if sailing offshore). And the Epirb, liferaft and so forth are a given for offahore sailing. I bought the book "The Barefoot Navigator " instead of a better GPS for example.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:14   #10
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
I was looking at the Mahina Site (the boat list) again and noticed for example the Islander 36 wasn't on it. Nor were some of the smaller Tartans, and no Hunters at all yet all the Cape Dory boats above 30' are included and the Bristols from 27' and above.

I saw a post on the Luder 33 not long ago that said those type boats (classic full keel Cape Dory, Bristol, Contessa 26) are just better for ocean cruising. Is this a true statement?

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If that is all you noticed about the list you aren't thinking about it too much.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:21   #11
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
If that is all you noticed about the list you aren't thinking about it too much.
You are correct, I should have already known Hunters wouldn't be on there............just kidding. Actually, I'm looking at an Islander 36 and a 11.0 S2 and was just thinking how I see them as nice boats but when I see an Alberg 37 or a Bristol 32 all fixed up looking good, I really like those boats! (even though that Bristol 32 only has a 22' waterline for example)
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:31   #12
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

If the question here is 'which boats are most seaworthy' - which is not quite the same question as 'which make better blue-water crusing boats - then i think it's pretty clear cut that the older, narrower-beamed, full-keel boats have it. The argument about electronics is not valid because 1) there's nothing to stop you installing those electronics on an older boat and 2) lets face it, most of us don't have the forward-facing 1000-foot sonar that you speak of.

I can think of three advantages that newer boats have over older ones:

1) They are more maneuverable (due to lower wetted-surface area, higher boat speed and a center of lateral resistance that is further forward), allowing you to maneuver more effectively in heavy weather or to avoid a floating obstacle.

2) They tend to be faster, allowing you to make a passage faster and avoid bad weather

3) If you have no operational engine and are on a lee shore, you have a better chance of being able to beat to weather.

The advantages of an older, heavier boat with a full keel are extensive however:

1) Centre of effort is further aft, so they track better, are much more kindly on the helm in a following sea and hove-to easily.

2) They are more heavily-built, and will therefore withstand a collision better (and are moving more slowly to begin with).

3) The heavier displacement, narrower beam and less-flat bottom tends to make for a more comfortable movement and less slamming in a heavy sea.

4) The angle of vanishing stability - something that is quite important in my opinion - often approaches angles near 160 or 170 degrees, meaning that in a heavy breaking sea the chances of being stable while inverted are very small indeed. These boats tend to roll through 360-degrees and come up again on the other side (albeit often without their masts remaining intact). This is due largely to the large ballast / displacement ratio, the narrow beam and the presence of a deck house. Compared to a light-displacement modern fin-keel boat, this is much safer. Some of the modern boats barely make 90-degrees. To take things to their extreme, consider a J24 (not a cruiser by any stretch of the imagination, but a good example of what happens when you go too far with the characteristics that are typical of modern designs). I've sunk 2 of them............

5) The shallower draft tends to make these boats slide down the sides of large waves rather than being tossed on their beam-ends violently and potentially rolling.

I'm sure there are others that you can think of.

Having said all this, i don't have an old, full-keel, heavy-displacement boat and i'm quite happy with mine!
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:33   #13
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

a protected rudder is best... but that doesnt mean necessary. I have seen quite a few damaged spade rudders, mostly bent shafts from grounding. But one has to weigh that against the short waterlines and narrow beam of the older boats. By my way of thinking, a person should focus on a boat of a certain Waterline length... not overall length. So If you want a 30 foot boat, you may end up with a 36-38 old design or a 32 newer design....
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:36   #14
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
I already purchased a boat from the Mahina List (it was actually Atom Voyages but samey same in many ways) for $2,000. I bought it to train me on monohulls as compared to small racing catamarans, but the more I sail it the more it appears it will do just about anything I need it to. And folks talk about other monohulls being "fast?" which mean it might be 60-90seconds faster per mile than my old slow boat if the skipper knows what he is doing.

As far as electronics, I'd rather go less than more (except the AIS if sailing offshore). And the Epirb, liferaft and so forth are a given for offahore sailing. I bought the book "The Barefoot Navigator " instead of a better GPS for example.
90 seconds a mile turns into an two hours and a half on a 100 mile day. So, well, that's something. That faster boat may well get the better anchorage, and be finished dinner by the time you arrive.

As for knowledge over a better gps, I'll go along with that.

But considering one boat "ideal for blue water cruising" because the hull is thicker or it has a full keel just isn't factoring a lot of elements into the equation. It depends on the need and the condition of the boats.

If one boat makes your heart thump a little louder than another, well, that's a different kind of need. And sailing is about 90% passion at the end of the day.

So I'd say go for the one you like, whether or not it's on someone else's list. Even the people who make those lists will tell you that.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:40   #15
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Re: Blue Water Boats ........Again.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
a protected rudder is best... but that doesnt mean necessary. I have seen quite a few damaged spade rudders, mostly bent shafts from grounding. But one has to weigh that against the short waterlines and narrow beam of the older boats. By my way of thinking, a person should focus on a boat of a certain Waterline length... not overall length. So If you want a 30 foot boat, you may end up with a 36-38 old design or a 32 newer design....
A 24'- 26' waterline seems to be able to handle a lot on the right boat. I believe the Contessa 32 has a 24' waterline (rounded Cape Horn) and the Alberg "Offshore" 37 has a 26' waterline.
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