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View Poll Results: how would you classify your planned cruising boat
a full "blue water" boat in all regards 88 61.97%
a "coastal cruiser" that I never plan to blue water in 9 6.34%
a coastal cruiser that I will upgrade as needed and then blue water in 25 17.61%
can not classify but if I feel it is a safe boat I will take it anywhere 23 16.20%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 22-09-2010, 16:50   #46
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Ok I will admit that my boat is not a blue water boat. It is a Cape Dory 31.
It has a narrow beam and short waterline so there is no room for a wet bar.
The mast is keel stepped, yet something else in the way of comfort.
With 90 gallons of water capacity I would be limited to only a month or two off shore.
The ports are small so it would be hard standing watch sitting on the U-shaped couch because of the lack of huge picture windows. U-shaped couch? I aint got one of those either.
The cockpit is small so I can’t entertain people I what to impress
And what’s up with this stinkin bridge I got to step over to get into the cabin. My friends Catalina don’t have one.
Then there is this full keel with attached rudder thing. Boy was that stupid!! It don’t even bolt on. How the heck can I see if my keel bolts are breaking if I aint got none?
I am dam glad I found this site. I have not sailed this boat across an ocean so who would I be to say if it is a blue water boat. This reminds me of my friend who worked the night shift. The supervisor accused him of sleeping on the job because he found a bed in the shop. My friends answer to this was how do you know if it’s a bed until you sleep in it.
Now I heard about a man who made a crossing in a bath tub. Now that would be the perfect blue water boat!! Tough cast iron construction, good view and I bet you can hold 60 gallons of water in it.
And yes it is the crew that makes the boat seaworthy. This seems to be the majority opinion on this forum. From I can tell from the crew finder sites, the perfect crew member should be female with no experience needed.
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Old 22-09-2010, 17:04   #47
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When I had my Westsail 32 I was 110% sure I had a blue water boat. I still feel that way about my Westsail. The concept of blue water boat is clear in my mind when I talk about monohulls.

I am not exactly sure what a blue water catamaran means. We sailed ours around the world, and we always felt safe on board Exit Only. Our catamaran was very robust, but I never had the blue water feeling about my catamaran like I did about my Westsail 32.

I feel safe offshore in my catamaran, but I feel safe in a different way. My Westsail 32 felt indestructable, and my catamaran feels unsinkable. My Westsail 32 was forgiving one one type of mistakes, and the catamaran was forgiving of others. I enjoyed them both, but I enjoyed different things about them. I sailed them both, but I sailed them in different ways. I guess they are both blue water boats, but they are very different.

I guess my definition of blue water boat must mean that I feel safe when sailing it offshore.
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Old 22-09-2010, 17:04   #48
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Cro-magnon man here....
The Hurley 22 is a blue water boat.... built in long fin with skeg rudder, heavy displacement for her size...
Can ride out 50+kt winds and 9metre seas in the Biscay... so the big Atlantic troughs are a cakewalk.... heaves to under triple reefed main.
A single handers dream boat... a poofs nightmare

Watch the decades pass and watch the priorities change..... LMAO
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Old 22-09-2010, 18:19   #49
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It seems that a better designation or debate should focus on safety at sea rather than a label. The debate on safety is a good one and a wise one IMO. Just because I can go over the falls in a barrel does not make it a good idea. Likewise just because someone went across an ocean on a raft of questionable engineering does not mean that it is a wise decision or deserves a designation as a blue Water vessel. In my mind Blue Water vessel intends a degree of survivability in extreme conditions.

Of course ONE of the most important factors in any endeavor in which man takes control of a craft and ventures out into the sea, air or space is wisdom and adaptability to a given set of conditions. As a helicopter pilot and former deep sea diver equipment is vitally important to my feeling of safety and security. I think that this is what a debate on Blue Water cruiser or costal cruiser or future dive site needs to focus. Wisdom, experience and education aside the question is one about equipment NOT the operator in this particular debate.

I think most people realize that aircraft are designed to take and fly through numerous flight conditions. If caught in a thunderstorm, regardless of how I got there, would I want to be in a Cessna or a 777. If I had an engine failure would I care if there was another one attached to the airframe. The answers are obvious in these situations.

So a well intentioned debate about the survivability of a particular sailing vessel is a good and noble debate. I am not sure why so many on this board say that whatever vessel you choose is a “bluewater” boat. I don’t think that answers the intent of the question and is poor guidance. Those answers add nothing to the debate and are a waste of time.

A debate about hull integrity, rig integrity, sail integrity, system redundancy, communication equipment, compartmentalization, watertight integrity, fire suppression, navigation equipment, safety gear is what we are after. Will the boat float if flooded? Will it snap in half in forces produced by 30, 40, 50 foot breaking waves?

Granted many of these questions cannot be answered without data but some can. Does anyone test them besides the manufacture? Most likely not but people who have been through rough conditions telling there tale can give us insight into what works and what failed.

As someone who is looking at world wide cruising I am after insight into the gear as a part of my research. I know that most aircraft mishaps, boating mishaps and vehicle accidents are caused by the idiot at the wheel or stick. At times I have been the idiot at the wheel. However, debate on equipment is not to be taken lightly.

2 Cents J
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Old 22-09-2010, 19:59   #50
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Thought I'd supplied some of that info.... the nights I was riding out that blow 25 miles north of La Coruna (Costa del Morte) 11 fishermen died in 3 separate incidents... two sank, one went on the rocks(their boats were 60ft+).... within a 50 mile radius of my position....
The bigger your boat is the greater the forces it has to deal with... the wider the gap between bulkheads the greater the weakness... lay on your back in a modern 37ftr as green water flows over your deck hatches and watch the flexing...
Think about it.. in a hurricane which is going to fall first... the 2ft high wall or the 6ft high one. Simple mathematics...
All this stuff about the bigger you are the safer you are is not necessarily true.... its an illusion... a bit like... if you stay out of Brixton you won't get mugged.
Ok so I'm a flip SOB.... but hell... if you get obsessed by 'Safety Factors' your never gonna sail... you can stay in bed for years in safety but... one day that roof might collapse...lmao
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Old 22-09-2010, 21:04   #51
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A blue water boat is the one you choose to voyage in.....
Rory And Cookie
PS; I've owned one of these and they are fantastic sailing boats....
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Old 22-09-2010, 22:53   #52
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Wow, a circumnavigation in a 21 foot Wharram Tiki that would be one tough trip!
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Old 15-10-2010, 01:30   #53
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My boat is a William Atkin design boat, the sort of boat I would take to sea ahead of 95% of the boats in the harbor, a "classic blue water boat".
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Old 15-10-2010, 20:30   #54
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I think if I could seriously upgrade the second best thing in my life she could take me nearly everywhere I want to go.

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Old 15-10-2010, 20:44   #55
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Hey Barnie, I think the trick is to get her there first...then she will go anywhere you want. Barnie, My favorite uncle!
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Old 15-10-2010, 22:19   #56
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ask any captain that has delivered a vessel on her hulls across an ocean what constitutes a blue water vessel. They all talk about the hull thickness, rigging, sails, equipment, and size of port holes, hatches, on and on.

One told me that he made it across the Atlantic in a coastal cruiser, but vowed he would never do it again. Others have told me that the ocean smashed the glass in the large port holes. another issue, besides proper equipment and safety gear, radar, communications gear, epirb, life raft, on and on and on....is the hull configuration. A keel that tracks well with auto pilot or self steering wind vane are far and away preferable. That leaves out fin keels.

Read magazines such as Ocean Navigator. Check out the boats those folks use. Find out what sailors use that regularly make ocean passages. You will find that port holes are small, keels are at least 3/4 full keels with skeg rudders and the detail in the equipment list goes on forever.

Just my 2 cents worth after starting from complete ignorance exactly 3 years ago and finally purchasing 2 months ago. We now have the boat and are upgrading and equipping it. There is nothing simple about it.

Emotional appreciation of some particular boat brand will not save our ass in the middle of the Pacific. A real blue water boat will do it, if properly equipped.

Really...imagine yourself in the dead center of the Pacific in a howling gale with absolutely no one to help you for days on end providing your EPIRB signal would even been received. You dang well better have your **** together out there folks. BS will not keep you alive.

Just because ocean passages have been accomplished in coastal cruisers does not mean it is safe, comfortable, or preferable or even a good idea.
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Old 15-10-2010, 23:15   #57
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Read magazines such as Ocean Navigator. Check out the boats those folks use. Find out what sailors use that regularly make ocean passages. You will find that port holes are small, keels are at least 3/4 full keels with skeg rudders and the detail in the equipment list goes on forever.

Just my 2 cents worth after starting from complete ignorance exactly 3 years ago and finally purchasing 2 months ago. We now have the boat and are upgrading and equipping it. There is nothing simple about it.

G'Day all,

I don't know what there is about the phrase "blue water boat" that gets folks so stirred up... fascinating!

But the above advice to use Ocean Navigator, or any other magazine, to determine what is actually being used to cross oceans and do "cruising" is coming from the wrong direction. Magazine articles are written by... writers. These folks have varying degrees of expertise and experience, and tend to submit their works to mags that support their prejudices. Editors in turn tend to buy works that support the things/services that advertise in their publications. All in all not the best source for unbiased info.

As someone advised earlier in this thread, a good look around anchorages in off-shore cruising destinations will demonstrate that people are successfully and happily cruising in ALL SORTS OF BOATS. Keels that range from full to fin/bulb things, rudders hung from about anything aft of the keel, hulls numbering from one to three and made of steel, aluminum, glass, glass/foam, glass/balsa, timber, timber/glass, concrete, or likely papier mache (sp?), masts numbering from none to three, and so on. Despite these vast differences in design and construction, each and every one has in fact demonstrated that it is a "blue water" capable vessel, 'cause it has arrived there intact and in most cases will soon depart for some other distant destination.

Yes, there are some boats that haven't made it... lost or abandoned at sea for
whatever reason. Again some perusal of the limited data about these losses shows that BOATS OF ALL SORTS have been lost, including ones from both extremes of the modern vs traditional spectrum.

All of the above is predicated upon folks staying in the usual band of cruising latitudes and seasons. If one is driven towards high latitude cruising, or pushing the window of cyclone seasons in the tropics, a more rigorous set of requirements might well be advised. There is lots of info available about what might do well in extreme conditions, and if you must do these sorts of things, please don't base any decisions on stuff you get from well meaning amateurs on the internet!

Now, for Don Lucas: Insatiable II certainly doesn't fit any of the traditional ideas about proper cruising designs. She's fairly well down in the disp:length ratio, fairly well up in SA to D, built of (gasp) timber and epoxy and a little glass, has a fin keel and the rudder has only a narrow partial skeg, and she's blunt on one end, pointy on the other. So, do I consider her a "blue water" boat" Hell yes! The PO (and builder) did 8 years in her, from Oz to Japan to Alaska to the canal to the Caribe, back through the canal and home to Oz. We've had her 7.5 years, done 35K miles, all in the SP, but covering latitudes from the forties to the teens. Is that "blue water"? I dunno. Would I like to do the great capes in her? Not really, mate, but at 72 my desire for extreme conditions is running thin!

I guess that I'll stop ranting now. Most of us cruisers love and respect our boats, and at least some (me anyhow) don't want to change to another one, no matter what category she may be placed into.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Sunday Ck, Hinchinbrook channel, Qld, Oz
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Old 21-10-2010, 05:17   #58
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The problem arises when a blue water boat is asked to go elsewhere. Remember there are places where water is not blue anymore and you want the real thing. Barents is not Bahamas.

Then again I look at those young intrepid types sailing the NW passage in inflatable kayaks and I think to myself ...

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Old 21-10-2010, 05:43   #59
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I reckon the term 'Blue Water Boat' is used mainly by companies/brokers pushing their wares and by 'Newbies' who's lack of knowledge/experience to know better lead them down this dodgey path...
There's no such thing as a 'Blue Water Boat'.. its a phrase concocted for purely commercial reasons and no other... different types/styles yes... but Blue Water, Coastal, etc, etc; is all down to mans insatiable desire to label/box/categorise everything.
Any boat in the world is only as safe as the person commanding her... not how thick her hull is or what shes made of... Christ.. there's enough examples out there of 'Estuary Cruisers' circumnavigating or crossing Oceans to prove this idiotic obession with labeling a false premiss.
All it boils down to is a lack of self confidence and a form of buck passing... the boat invariably can/does survive much more than you can... and will stay afloat in awesome conditions... the point is... can you stay with the boat.. or will you commit suicide by abandoning her and jump into your highly questionable 'Blue Water Liferaft' when your bottle goes.
You want a classic example watch 'Perfect Storm'... the small yacht that was abandoned in panic was later found afloat with relativly little damage
Don't confuse Comfort with Capability...
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Old 21-10-2010, 06:42   #60
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You want a classic example watch 'Perfect Storm'... the small yacht that was abandoned in panic was later found afloat with relativly little damage
Don't confuse Comfort with Capability...
But then that was a Westsail, clearly a "blue water boat".
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