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Old 25-04-2014, 11:44   #31
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Exactly. What I would love to do, is in say 30 years, see how many of these modern production boats built in the last 10 years are still around and what condition they're in compared to how many and what condition boats built in the 70s and 80s are in today. I know numbers wise the sheer volume of production boats means there will be more around, but percentage wise, I'm not so sure. I've got a feeling we're going to see very few boats (percentage wise) from this era still actively sailing by then.
Exactly. The older production boats out there today are there because they were well built and have been well maintained. I don't believe there will be as many of today's common production boats in service in 20-30 years, regardless of how well they have been maintained, because they just are not built as well.
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Old 25-04-2014, 11:48   #32
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

Comparing cars to boats actually does have some value. Try fixing your brand new car/boat in the middle of nowhere (such as 1000 miles off shore) compared to fixing a much simpler 70s car/boat many miles from anywhere. A good friend of mine used to tease me about driving a 20 year old truck. He bought a brand new pickup about 2 months ago, and it has been towed back to the dealer 4 times already. Yes! I have teased him. There seem to be a lot of people that think a fat bank account is what makes you safer. An American Express card wont do you any good off-shore. Just another opinion. ______Grant.
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:28   #33
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
Properly engineered a spade rudder is less susceptible to damage than a skeg hung rudder. And yes, one should care about that...
If you really want to see what a good cruising boat should look like. look at boats that experienced cruisers design (or buy) for themselves. Boreal for example. Ovni. Allures...
With all due respect, BS!
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Old 25-04-2014, 13:29   #34
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

The argument that "newer is inherently better" by virtue of its modern design and construction is just abject fallacy. As an example, twenty years ago we lived in a condo on the beach and absolutely every piece of metal in that condo rusted badly within a few years, with the sole exception of a stainless steel cheese grater from...Sweden...that my grandma had passed on to us. It's still in perfect condition today. The "modern" kitchen utensils from (China) would be worthless in less than 6 months.

I think the same can be applied to boats. As others have alluded, the reason we can have this discussion is because 40+ years ago builders put together some capable designs of decent materials. "Capable" being the operative word as opposed to relative degrees of comfort, speed, or spaciousness.

For most of us economics dictates a smaller, older, but capable craft or nothing at all. For less than $50k all in it's possible to take one of these classic "bluewater" boats from the past and completely refit and prepare for long distance voyaging. Even a small (by today's standards) new boat puts you back over $200k. So given the choice between a capable older boat and $150k in the cruising kitty or a new boat and no money left to go anywhere...we relegate ourselves to these older designs and all their apparent short comings.

Then again, last month I met a gentleman with two boats parked next to each other; one, a well-maintained older 34' Pacific Seacraft for sale and the other, his brand new Catalina 355. In his words, there was "no comparison" as he thought the design and construction of the new Catalina, along with the space and layout, made for a far superior boat in every way.

Personally, I'd have kept the Pacific Seacraft and the $100k+ difference and cast off.
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Old 25-04-2014, 14:21   #35
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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With all due respect, BS!
I'll second that BS!
Whether or not you are pro Spade or anti-spade for cruising, a spade being less suceptible to damage just doesnt add up.
A simple engineering diagram of a beam supported one end and a beam supported both ends will show the huge difference, even though this is not a perfect example of that situation.
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Old 25-04-2014, 14:49   #36
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

We met a couple sailing a Bavaria 42 cruiser only a couple of years old, from Turkey to Australia via the Caribbean, they had very little maintenance problems or issues, whereas many on older "sturdier" boats were plagued by age related issues.

If you were going on a 2-5 yr trip a nearly new modern boat will certainly require a whole heap less maintenance and stands a lot less chance of stress related rigging/rudder issue /failure and a whole heap less engine/wiring problems.

Now if you were buying a boat to keep your whole life or to sail round the capes or high latitudes then a different choice would most likely be made.

Personally id rather do a trade winds circumnavigation on a nearly new production boat than some 70s "sturdy boat", id spend a whole lot more time having fun enjoying myself, than in sweat and grime repairing things.

I also need to address a few of Brads comments , MY RESPONSE IN CAPITALS.

I'm in complete agreement - newer cruising monohulls are much better in every respect. OK, sure, the move towards wider beam has increased inverse stability - but who cares? Interior volume is more important.

NO OFFENSE BUT A BEAMIER BOAT WILL BE HARDER TO CAPSIZE IN THE FIRST PLACE AND YES INTERIOR SPACE IS OF HUGE IMPORTANCE TO LONG DISTANCE CRUISERS MORE SO THAN COASTAL CRUISERS.

Sure, the flat sections aft and the lack of rocker can lead to pounding and a less sea-kindly motion - but again, who cares?

IN 15000NM OF TRADE WINDS SAILING WE POUNDED LESS THAN A COUPLE OF DAYS.

Comfort at the dock is far more important for the offshore sailor. The huge portlights that are currently in vogue may be unsafe in heavy seas - but who cares?

YES I WANT TO LIVE IN A COFFIN!!! I CANT RECALL OF READING OF ANY LARGER PORTLIGHTS GIVING IN UNDER BAD CONDITIONS,I DONT SAY IT CANT HAPPEN...

A bright interior is far more important when offshore. Plumb bows may lead to a wet foredeck and to problems with the anchor striking the topsides, but who cares? They look sexy and increase the waterline.

A NICE PIECE OF STAINLESS ON THE BOW DEALS WITH THAT ISSUE AND ON LONG PASSAGES I BET MOST PEOPLE RATE AN EXTRA 10NM A DAY WORTH THE EXTRA WATERLINE LENGTH.

Spade rudders may be far more susceptible to damage than ones on skegs/partial skegs/mounted aft of the keel, but who cares about that in a cruising boat? There is a performance advantage and that is all that matters.

YES I AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS ONE, THE PROBLEM IS, WHO MAKES SKEG HUNG RUDDERS NOWADAYS? ONLY A VERY FEW EXPENSIVE BUILDERS DO.

Relatively flat underbodies may produce minimal bilges, but who cares? What boat will ever take on water when underway?

WELL AT LEAST YOU'LL NOTICE THE PROBLEM QUICKER! RATHER THAN RELYING ON A BILGE ALERT , ASSUMING YOU HAVE ONE AND IT ACTUALLY WORKS! A 10CM BILGE WILL PROBABLY CONTAIN A GOOD COUPLE OF THOUSAND LITRES OF WATER ON A 40FT BOAT BEFORE GETTING ABOVE THE CABIN SOLE (OK COULD SLOSH IN BAD WEATHER)


Things like proper sea-berths are a waste of space - who needs to be secure when heeling or in heavy seas? No, huge doubles are the way to go!

WELL MOST CRUISER SPEND 80 PERCENT OF TIME AT ANCHOR AND WHEN SAILING, ID SAY WE SPENT LESS THAN 5 PERCENT OF TIME HEALED OVER ENOUGH FOR A SEA BERTH TO BE DESIRABLE AND EVEN THEN YOU IMPROVISE, YES THOSE BIG DOUBLES ARE THE DIFFERENCE TO A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP FAR MORE OFTEN.

Large dedicated nav stations? A ridiculous waste of space.

YES EVERYONE USES ELECTRONIC CHARTS NOWADAYS AND IN EMERGENCY THE SALON TABLE WILL DO FINE FOR PAPER ONES

Proper wet lockers near the companionway? Ditto.

THATS CALLED THE FORWARD OR AFT HEADS, BUT ONCE YOU HIT THE TRADES YOU DONT GET WET MUCH.

Manual pumps (even as a back-up) for the galley? Come on, when do electrical systems ever fail?

TWO TANKS, TWO PUMPS WITH SWITCHOVER AND A SPARE JUST IN CASE, THEY ARE LIKE 80 BUCKS, ALWAYS A BUCKET AND STRING FOR COMPLETE FAILURE A PROPER CRUISER WASHERS WITH SEA WATER, THEN A FRESH WATER RINSE

I'm in total agreement. There is absolutely nothing to commend any aspect of the design of older cruising boats.

Brad
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Old 25-04-2014, 15:09   #37
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
We met a couple sailing a Bavaria 42 cruiser only a couple of years old, from Turkey to Australia via the Caribbean, they had very little maintenance problems or issues, whereas many on older "sturdier" boats were plagued by age related issues.

If you were going on a 2-5 yr trip a nearly new modern boat will certainly require a whole heap less maintenance and stands a lot less chance of stress related rigging/rudder issue /failure and a whole heap less engine/wiring problems.

Now if you were buying a boat to keep your whole life or to sail round the capes or high latitudes then a different choice would most likely be made.

Personally id rather do a trade winds circumnavigation on a nearly new production boat than some 70s "sturdy boat", id spend a whole lot more time having fun enjoying myself, than in sweat and grime repairing things.

................ Brad
No doubt you need to compare two boats in the same condition. Old boat rebuilt or new boat. That's not a design thing, that's a condition thing. Anything over 8-10 years old is the "needs rebuilt " category for rounding the capes. Rigging, spar, chainplates, engine, rudder etc.
Your boat needs to be up to prime before you leave home. Then the maintenance comes in. My newest (not new boats) were the highest maintennce... but that not a fair comment... why? because they all the bells and whistles on them! My ancient simple 30 footer required almost nothing.
I love sailing spade rudder boats, and for just cruising the Caribe or something like that why not? Although my friends put two rudders on their spade rudder Pearson 38, the spade is not very forgiving anchoring in shallow water and not being conservative!
I had two real hard groundings in my Passport 47 at about 5 knots. The only damage was a scrape on the keel. A charter boat I managed had a 5 knot grounding on a rock, the hull cracked fore and aft of the keel, the engine bed came loose, the cabinetry on the galley came partially loose. It was major damage. That's the differnce. If you are perfect and make no mistakes light is good. A great rock climber can do it without a tether, but should he?
This is a great discussion BTW, it brings out a lot of things for anyone considering "what to buy".
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Old 25-04-2014, 16:34   #38
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Several things come to mind.

Firstly everyone says " new" isn't as good , my grandfather was saying the same 60 years ago. In GRP. Everyone said you needed to buy before the oil crises to get good GRP. Yet funnily all those boats from the 80s and 90s are all still out there 40 years later and you know what. Most are in damm fine condition.

Secondly people are comparing boats that originally cost many multiples of a working mans salary, certainly 8-10x with boats that cost today maybe 3-5x. If you want to compare , at least look at the equivalent value of money.

Thirdly, despite, all this almost exclusive US orientated fixation on old hull forms, it's worth remembering that ( a) US sailors are a low percentage of those out there and ( b) US boaters are power boaters not sailors.

If you want the opinion of prolific blue water sailors , ask a French sailor , or a Nz sailor. See many full keels coming out of these nations do- ya ?

This is about sample size. Basically the US sailors are just passing the same few boats around between themselves. Ultimately there will be none left. Then, it's crying into the iced tea, time. The majority of the sailors elsewhere are just getting on with it, sailing modern designs.

These threads are just puerile at this stage. I'd prefer a gun debate.

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Old 25-04-2014, 16:51   #39
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

New is great, wish I could afford a good, high quality boat, they are still being made, but they are upwards of $750K for 40' .
What I thought the argument was that a new Hunter/Junneau/Beneteau was better than older much more expensive boats in their day.
No way my 87 Island Packet is as good as a new Island Packet, but mine was 1/10 the price of a new one.
I thought the argument was if you had X amount of money, what's the best deal, new production boat or older less higher number production boat?
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Old 25-04-2014, 16:55   #40
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Originally Posted by Barefootnavigat View Post

Good read, thanks for sharing. To me this speaks more to boat prep (or lack there of) than overall quality, but it's definitely worth the time to read it.
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Old 25-04-2014, 17:57   #41
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

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...people are comparing boats that originally cost many multiples of a working mans salary, certainly 8-10x with boats that cost today maybe 3-5x. If you want to compare , at least look at the equivalent value of money...
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...if you had X amount of money, what's the best deal, new production boat or older less higher number production boat?
It has to come down to how much $ one can rationalize spending on a boat.

The wealthy always could afford to satisfy their good taste with a custom built yacht, whether or not they did so. Those much less fortunate pickup derelicts for a few hundred $ at some dock master's auction and DIY. Those to avoid are the damaged or neglected or charter-beaten boats that need everything and will always be tainted.

True bargains are not cheap boats. They are the well kept cream puffs that have been lovingly cared for and intelligently outfitted and responsibly upgraded over the years by their knowledgeable yachtsmen owners.
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Old 25-04-2014, 18:04   #42
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Going against the trend here, but then I'm old and past it.....
My boat is a production vessel from the 70s. She is well built and to a standard that I just don't see these days. The glass laminate is tight and dry and a uniformly dark bronze color without pits or voids anywhere - someone obviously took a lot of care with the layup. The bulkheads are well installed, the against hull edges bevelled and then fully taper tabbed 12 inches out onto the interior hull on each side. All the internal wooden structures, bulkheads, bunk fronts, galley units etc are from 7 ply mahogany plywood, not this crap chipboard that many big-time builders use today, and the list goes on and on......
And regarding cars, the vehicle I remember most fondly was a 1961 Morris Minor. I could lift the bonnet and actually recognise the machinery as a four cylinder petrol engine. I completely rebuilt that car from the ground up using not too much more than a screwdriver and an adjustable spanner. And I used to drive it under my fig trees and stand on the roof to pick the fruit. Try that with your modern cars. I know we've moved ahead in so many things but then my son expects to inherit my boat when I kick the bucket. Will production boats churned out today have a 50, 60, 70 year life expectancy? My boat didn't when she was built but the quality that went into them in those days has insured that she has.
Thats my rant for the day, now wheres my Zimmer frame........
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Old 25-04-2014, 19:22   #43
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

Not much manufactured today is sufficiently repairable. Interior woodwork, the laminated rubbish, also doesn't appeal.

The main issue for us relates to the very efficient manufacturing of today. It benefits the manufacturer and not us.

That's why we bought a liberty 458. 1984 vintage interior made from real air dried wood, hull overbuilt and everything is repairable and maintainable.

I think it's an illusion that a new yacht will require less maintenance than an older vessel.



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Old 25-04-2014, 19:36   #44
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Re: Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

The comparison with 70s cars is misleading, to my way of thinking, because roads have got better since then, at least the roads which the vast builk of new car buyers use have.

In places where roads are still shocking, like sub-Saharan Africa, 70s Landcruisers, Hilux pickups, and late 60s - early 70s VW Beetles are still preferred, because that's what they were built for, (and they can be fixed anywhere).

The reason most modern boats are not built for shocking seastates is the same reason most modern cars are not built for shocking roads: there's no money in it.

Even "serious" SUVs will now often invalidate the warranty if you drive across a river. The electronics in the wheel hubs do not take kindly to submersion.

The overwhelming majority of new boats sold will hardly ever leave a marina, let alone cross an ocean. It would be a stupid waste to make them suitable for something they will not be asked to do.

So provided you have faith in your ability to avoid shocking seas, crossing oceans in most modern boats seems to me like a fair gamble. What's the worst that could happen?
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Old 26-04-2014, 04:19   #45
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I'll second that BS!
Whether or not you are pro Spade or anti-spade for cruising, a spade being less suceptible to damage just doesnt add up.
A simple engineering diagram of a beam supported one end and a beam supported both ends will show the huge difference, even though this is not a perfect example of that situation.
But a skeg hung rudder is not "a beam supported on both ends". In the end the skeg is also only supported on one end.

You have just changed the problem from "how do I design a rudder that is strong enough" to "how do I design a skeg that is strong enough". I'm not making this up. This is right from the pages of Steve Dashew, who is both an experienced cruiser and designer.

Hit the bottom with a skeg hung rudder, and you might end up damaging the bottom bracket so it won't turn anymore (or worse, remains stuck at an angle). Hit the bottom with a rudder designed by Dashew and you lose the bottom part, but you can still steer...
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