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Old 04-05-2014, 19:00   #181
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Polux, how many 5 man crews do you know of out cruising? Not racing as the example you gave are doing. But out doing long term cruising? Most crews I would wager are two, maybe three people. I also note in the info you posted about the boat, saftey was their THIRD consideration. Speed was first, followed by seakindliness. Most cruisers (not all) put speed quite far down the list of requirements for a vessel. Most list saftey and comfort one and two.

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Old 04-05-2014, 20:24   #182
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
Harries may have a functional design but its near the top of my ugly list ...
Hmmm, not every day one hears a Jim McCurdy design classified as "ugly" :-) I'm not a fan of the look of center cockpits in general, but I've certainly seen worse...



As far as being "functional", well... That boat circumnavigated South America under previous owners, then Harries has put over 100,000 high latitude miles on her, several trans-Atlantics and venturing as far north as Svalbard, and twice winning the double handed division of the Newport-Bermuda Race...

So, yeah, I'd say she probably qualifies as being "functional"...

Perhaps even a bit more so than most... :-)
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Old 04-05-2014, 20:38   #183
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Hmmm, not every day one hears a Jim McCurdy design classified as "ugly" :-) I'm not a fan of the look of center cockpits in general, but I've certainly seen worse...

As far as being "functional", well... That boat circumnavigated South America under previous owners, then Harries has put over 100,000 high latitude miles on her, several trans-Atlantics and venturing as far north as Svalbard, and twice winning the double handed division of the Newport-Bermuda Race...

So, yeah, I'd say she probably qualifies as being "functional"...

Perhaps even a bit more so than most... :-)

OOPS yeah I was referring to the "Adventure 40" aluminum design below, The yacht you are referring to I have to agree with you.

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Old 04-05-2014, 21:51   #184
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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OOPS yeah I was referring to the "Adventure 40" aluminum design below, The yacht you are referring to I have to agree with you.
Hmm - I was under the impression it hadn't yet been designed, and that the view posted is little more than a discussion-starter cum place-holder. I could be wrong, I haven't followed it closely, because it's not my sort of vessel.

But I have great respect for that sort of vessel, and if one were to accidentally follow me home, I'm sure I wouldn't turn it away.

I think it's an interesting aspiration John is attempting, to cut through the marketing obsession with "nice to haves", and provide a character test for people who claim to want a wholesome, coherent, no-frills vessel where all the compromises are openly declared.

Obviously any single product will only appeal to a subset of those people, but the interesting question will be, of those whom it DOES appeal to, how many will pass the character test, of foregoing all the fripperies and geegaws that have infested the "cruising" fleet.
(oops, avoid emotive language: adorned? No, too far the other way ....)

It seems axiomatic to me that a single person needs to drive such a project. I think it's a bit of a shame for that person to be an owner-skipper, particularly one with relatively little sailing time on the sort of yacht he's trying to "project manage", but I certainly can't fault him for staying 'on message', politely but firmly declining the entreaties of those who argue for the inclusion of "nice to haves"

Mission creep is a huge issue with consultative design processes, and a firm person is needed in the hot seat to keep a cool head. That's how I see it, anyway ...

It's fatally easy, when trying to please everybody, to please nobody.

Anyone who has ever tried to run a social club will know that to their chagrin.
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Old 04-05-2014, 21:55   #185
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Indeed. Thanks for a thoughtful take on the proposition.

The designer would almost always prefer to fill this role, and in a perfect world they're the ideal person to do that, but in the real world, even if they have lots of ocean crossing experience in similar circumstances to the client, they're often heavily invested in a certain ethos or way of doing things.

Successful designers are often rather strong-willed, and once they've decided they understand what the client needs, it can be hard to influence them. It's important to adjust any misdirection as early in the process as possible.

Also, they may need but not have engineering support (or if they do, they may have someone unsuitable)

... so the 'same direction' referred to by Teddy, if the designer gets to dictate it, may diverge somewhat -- especially when it comes down to the finer points not evident from the study plans, -- from what would suit the client's needs, aspirations and abilities.

I think the ideal project manager for boats in the 40 - 70' range would have filled more of a sailing master role, working for a variety of owners and skippers, rather than being primarily an owner-skipper, a pro skipper, or a delivery skipper.

Skippers tend to have too much autonomy to truly learn how to understand and respect other people's ways of doing things, and delivery skippers tend to have to 'make do' in ways which would probably make them insufficiently demanding for the role. Too few constraints in the first case, and too many in the second.

Above 70', possibly a 1st Engineer from a maxi or superyacht background would be a better fit than a sailing master. Provided they had spent a lot of time on deck, and had pursued a keen interest in sailing manoeuvres and sail handling.



The concept of the project manager is good, but having worked on several large custom builds I have to say I have yet to work with one who was worth a damn in practice. As far as I can see their true role ends up being just liaison between the owner and the builders, and blowing lots of smoke. The key skill set seems to be the ability to bullsh*t owners, designers, chemical engineers, surveyors, the owners wife, and any other factions involved. They all seem to be real characters, and not necessarily in the best sense of the word. A massive ego seems to be another prerequisite, and a desire to hog the glory. It's always "look at this boat I built", when they didn't personally build a damn thing...


Perhaps I've just been unfortunate in this regard. But I dunno, seems shockingly universal from here...
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:02   #186
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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What is the NA that you are talking about with no offshore sailing experience?

Just to give you an example of one that designs many of the new Beneteau, here you have Pascal Conq.
He is posing with the full crew of a cruising 50ft Pogo that on the racing class make 2th in real time on a recent ARC. He is also the designer of that boat. On is youth he was a top racer having won the 1985 sailing "tour de France".
This is typical example what happens when people have no clue what is short handed cruising
50' Pogo with full crew, well... LMAO
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:06   #187
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Guessing most owners expect the builder to manage everything. And don't want/need a middleman to taint the owner/builder relationship.
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:16   #188
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Re Project Managing:

I remember once thinking it was a career option I could enjoy - but then I reflected on the rich owners I had known (with a few exceptions) and thought perhaps not.

(actually that's a lie, I thought NO effing WAY!)

The one thing which I cannot STAND about the typical very wealthy owner, (sweeping generalisation warning !!!) is the way they generally get bored with the project before the boat ever hits the water.

The great majority are alreadly listed for resale before that date.

I could never put heart and soul into any aspect of a build project knowing it would become a monument to ADD (or whatever it's called these days) before it was even complete. And there's no other way I know to participate.

And yet all this time the owner and the spouse will have hummed and ha-ed and changed their minds thirtyeleven times and made the builder and designer and PM's lives miserable about a procession of irrelevant but difficult and consequential details, most of which set them apart as having NO taste, NO appreciation of the soul of the craft, etc etc, and which consquently the new owner will rip out in the first refit.

So (thinking about what minaret posted) maybe the sort of people who present well to this sort of person (and can abide this treatment) are a self-selected bunch. And/or maybe many of the very rich get sucked up to, so long and so hard, that they lose the sensitivity of their antennae, their bullshit detectors?
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:21   #189
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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So (thinking about what minaret posted) maybe the sort of people who present well to this sort of person (and can abide this treatment) are a self-selected bunch. And/or maybe many of the very rich get sucked up to, so long and so hard, that they lose the sensitivity of their antennae, their bullshit detectors?


Maybe. Or maybe they become so accustomed to bullshit that they expect it and feel uncomfortable in its absence?
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:27   #190
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

I think in the real world most of these discussions take place in a different way. In my mind the first thing on the list is money..how much can we afford to spend on a cruising boat? From there the balancing act begins..the lower the budget the less choice the sailors have. None of these folks would ever consider having a consultant help them design a boat. This course is open for the very few and I mean the very few so much of what is being discussed is make believe compared to the real world.
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:40   #191
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Guessing most owners expect the builder to manage everything. And don't want/need a middleman to taint the owner/builder relationship.


Oh, no. Above a certain size/cost threshold, that's just what they want. They don't have the time, and (perhaps wisely) don't trust the builders to be left to their own devices. PM's are standard fare on large custom builds. Last one I did, they installed web cams all over the shop and a phone either end of the building. You couldn't do anything without the phone ringing and shouts of outrage from some wronged faction. Owner, owners wife, NA, engineers, insurance, surveyors, mechanics, electricians, riggers, etc etc. No one can agree on anything, and the battle can be epic. In theory, it is the PM's job to orchestrate all of this, but I have yet to see one pull it off with any degree of success. But they sure do seem to revel in all the drama!
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Old 04-05-2014, 22:45   #192
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

robertsailor: sure, the Stanley Parises and the Be Good Toos are not in the common herd (especially the former) but it seems to me that's not to say there are not instructive lessons for the rest of us.

We will never (it seems) know what happened on RH, like the great majority of 'common herd' abandonments, but we DO know a lot about what happened on Be Good Too, and it seems to me a fantastic learning opportunity.

I think Doane has to be commended for NOT being a mindless cheerleader; I don't always agree with what he writes, but I'm pretty confident HE does. There's no suggestion from what I've read that he is p*ssing in the pocket of the builder.

Maybe a middle ground for middle sized projects (especially what I've called "big platform" projects, where structural challenges are numerous and difficult) would be to retain an engineer to at least give an impartial opinion on critical engineering matters.

Rudders with steering arms held on with setscrews is not suggestive of a builder who can be trusted to "supervise a pissup in a brewery", and that might have given the owners an early warning, at which point they could perhaps invest in some more in-depth oversight, or even consider pulling the pin.

In earlier times, there were a couple of the UK yachting mags which did a fantastic job of researching and writing up incidents. The MAIB has, I suppose, taken over that role ... (and in NZ, the Maritime Safety Authority) but I sometimes wonder how much of the detail they capture these days is of interest and use to sailors, rather than being more of a box-ticking exercise, focussed on information of value primarily to rescuers and potential rescuees.

I know Evans S has been involved in doing some post mortems (regrettably that's generally apt) on incidents in US jurisdictions, and I've always been impressed both by the terms of reference and the output.


minaret: seems highly plausible. Hadn't thought of that option!
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Old 04-05-2014, 23:37   #193
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

I hear you Andrew and agree with much of what you say but I'm a skeptic by nature and I have always found that replays of the mind are always well filtered by self protection..ie: none of us like to be thought of as an unthinking idiot. So when someone like RH does a postmortem I know it will be his truth but I don't believe it will be the truth. We can learn a lot from others mistakes, I'm also a pilot and for years I rec'd all the accident reports from the MOT. They did a pretty good job breaking these down as we all know there are several steps leading to an accident in most cases right from a fight with his wife before leaving for the airport. These types of reports can be very useful and thats what you are getting at but we have to keep in mind that reports like this that are put together by experts with no bias hardly fit in the same file as someone like RH doing his own self appraisal.
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Old 05-05-2014, 00:17   #194
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

There used to be something in the Brit psyche (at least in the cruising community) that ran counter to that, robert sailor. Maybe it still does.

I think it might have been "Practical Boat Owner" which had a monthly column called "Sailing Confessional" or some such - which was embarassing to read, let alone feature in, and several of the better UK magazines regularly dissected incidents leading to rescue or fatalities, and the brutal self-disclosures sometimes made my skin crawl .

There's an excellent book that came out around the start of this era, which I recently found on the second hand market, called "Total Loss" by Jack Coote. It is a comprehensive collection of detailed, "no punches pulled" case studies of forty such events, from cruising sailors from various parts of the world.

Including one which befell a French acquaintance of mine, sunk by killer whales in mid Atlantic - and I know from hearing the inside story from him that the account in the book is not sanitised.

SO my bewilderment is: seeing these things are clearly possible, and in fact used to be commonplace, there must be more to it than the sort of timeless reasons which are mainly emerging in recent posts.
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:27   #195
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Polux, how many 5 man crews do you know of out cruising? Not racing as the example you gave are doing. But out doing long term cruising? Most crews I would wager are two, maybe three people. I also note in the info you posted about the boat, saftey was their THIRD consideration. Speed was first, followed by seakindliness. Most cruisers (not all) put speed quite far down the list of requirements for a vessel. Most list saftey and comfort one and two.
...
That thing about safety being a problem does not make any sense: There are 6.5m boats with that general design circumnavigating: About 80 cross each year the Atlantic without problem, some have circumnavigating, others are circumnavigating now. That one has 15m so you can imagine the difference on the safety factor.

Regarding the number of crew in a 50ft boat? Yes I know of plenty that go as two couples or as a family.

That boat was racing and crossed the Atlantic in a bit less than 9 days (Canaries to Caribbean). How many 50fts cruising boats do you know that can do that kind of performance with a crew of 5 oldies? Normally the crew of a racing 50ft doing that kind of performance is almost twice that number.

Going at a much slower speed is not only more comfortable as the needs of crew are diminished to the point that the boat can be easily sailed solo and even so be much faster than traditional voyage boats not to mention incomparably faster than older designs by a margin of several days on an Atlantic crossing.

I am not defending that particular type of boat for voyaging. There are some that prefer it and the advantages that come with speed, no rolling, huge stiffness (and stability), less heel and more fun sailing. Others will prefer the less sharp and more ample motion of an heavy displacement and its much slower pace. Because there are several preferences there are several types of voyage and long range cruising boats on the market adapted to several types of sailors.

I am not defending this one or the steel heavy displacement type, the aluminium centerboarder, the Amel type or voyage catamarans. They all have sailors that prefer the kind of advantages they offer over the disadvantages. I just get pissed with the kind of guys that stubbornly, with blindfolds, keep tryng to convince everybody that there is only a type of boat suited for long range voyaging or bluewater sailing. For me, each boat adapted to each sailor needs and tastes is what makes sense and is what really happens, as the market shows, regarding the different offers and the boats bought by long range cruisers.

Back to the Pogo 50, putting its disadvantages in terms of safety and easiness of sailing solo makes not any sense. Those are some of the advantages.

The disadvantages will be an interior that can be too spartan to some, a motion that will not be suited to all, specially if one intends to circumnavigate against the prevailing winds, or sail mostly on that point of sail. Given the size of the boat two will be able to carry all the load they need (even on very comfortable levels, AC and all) but if we are talking about long range cruising for six, the boat will have the loading ability for that, but while still being faster than almost all boats with the same size, the blistering performance will be lost, I mean the planning ability, except in very strong winds.

The boat offers many of the advantages a fast voyage Catamaran offers mixing them with some of the advantages a mono-hull offers in terms of final stability or an inverted stability much smaller than the positive one and a good AVS.

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