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Old 25-04-2014, 07:08   #1
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Can't Wrap my Mind Around this "Bluewater" Thing!

I have been looking for my second boat for a while now. Am I the only one that struggles with the thought that humans have been crossing the 7 seas for thousands of years on anything they could find, but todays technology that costs a small fortune is said to not be capable of the task? I understand the price point building practices, built for chartering, and all the other arguments. I just can't wrap my mind around the thought that todays materials, research, and corrections from past mistakes, doesn't make for a vessel way more capable than previous vessels. Are we snubbing tomorrow's cherished "bluewater" prize today because it wasn't built in the 70's? Did sailors in the 70's trash talk new boats and designs only to find out today they were completely capable of the task? Will we be out of inventory in twenty years when all the 60,70, and early 80's boats are gone?

I like classic but am not a fan of constantly performing unnecessary maint. I also don't want to upgrade an older boat to make it new (been there with last boat 1984 Hunter). I would like a 32-36 foot newer model. Realize it wont have as many hand holds at sea, not the best for cooking while underway, etc, etc, etc. I just really struggle thinking a newer model boat (and yes I am talking production boat I can't afford modern boat built for crossings) just hitting the first "bluewater" wave and crumbling to Davey Jones Locker. But then again, I have never been in the middle of the ocean.

I know anyone can upgrade rigging and reinforce this and that, and it would most likely be necessary on any boat. I just can't help but think todays boats are more than capable and in twenty years I wonder which ones will be cherished "bluewater" cruisers
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Old 25-04-2014, 07:46   #2
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

For what ever it's worth (if anything) here's my take.

1. 99% of what's needed to insure a safe passage in a boat, any boat, is the captain and crew, not the boat itself. A good captain can make a safe voyage in a less than perfect boat, knowing and working with the limitations of the vessel. An incompetent captain can bring about a catastrophe regardless of the boat.

2. Forget the term Bluewater. It has no universally accepted definition and varies hugely depending on who uses the term and what they think it means or what it means to them. I have seen it used for a trip from Florida to Bimini which other boaters would consider a casual day trip. Better to specify exactly what your sailing plans are: cruising the ICW with an occasional hop outside, island hopping from FL to the Caribbean, crossing the Atlantic to Europe or sailing the roaring forties around the great capes?

3. Pick the right tool for the job. Remembering point #1, almost anything that will float can safely get you to the Caribbean from Florida. As long as you keep the water on the outside and the mast in the air I can't think of any boat built that will disintegrate under your feet in "normal" conditions. This of course assumes the captain isn't dumb enough or unlucky enough to get caught in a hurricane or smash into a reef, both 99.99% avoidable. On the other hand, if you are planning to circumnavigate Greenland or go around Cape Horn then the choice of a well built boat becomes a little more important.

Bottom line, the best boat you can afford is always good and if you plan to sail in locations or times of the year where you have high odds of encountering gales and big waves then worry about "bluewater". If you aren't going further than the Caribbean then get whatever boat you like and can afford and pay attention to the weather and navigation.
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Old 25-04-2014, 07:54   #3
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
For what ever it's worth (if anything) here's my take.

1. 99% of what's needed to insure a safe passage in a boat, any boat, is the captain and crew, not the boat itself. A good captain can make a safe voyage in a less than perfect boat, knowing and working with the limitations of the vessel. An incompetent captain can bring about a catastrophe regardless of the boat.

2. Forget the term Bluewater. It has no universally accepted definition and varies hugely depending on who uses the term and what they think it means or what it means to them. I have seen it used for a trip from Florida to Bimini which other boaters would consider a casual day trip. Better to specify exactly what your sailing plans are: cruising the ICW with an occasional hop outside, island hopping from FL to the Caribbean, crossing the Atlantic to Europe or sailing the roaring forties around the great capes?

3. Pick the right tool for the job. Remembering point #1, almost anything that will float can safely get you to the Caribbean from Florida. As long as you keep the water on the outside and the mast in the air I can't think of any boat built that will disintegrate under your feet in "normal" conditions. This of course assumes the captain isn't dumb enough or unlucky enough to get caught in a hurricane or smash into a reef, both 99.99% avoidable. On the other hand, if you are planning to circumnavigate Greenland or go around Cape Horn then the choice of a well built boat becomes a little more important.

Bottom line, the best boat you can afford is always good and if you plan to sail in locations or times of the year where you have high odds of encountering gales and big waves then worry about "bluewater". If you aren't going further than the Caribbean then get whatever boat you like and can afford and pay attention to the weather and navigation.
Hear! Hear! Well stated Skip! Well stated!
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Old 25-04-2014, 07:59   #4
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

Its just that some old buggers can not afford new boats so they have to justify the old tubs by deriding the new.

Buying a 1970s boat is like buying a 1970s car.... Is anyone really that deluded to think the 1970s one is better than a 2014? No. Thats why very few dive 40 year old heaps of poop down the highways. And if the do, the go slowly, wobble, rattle and blow smkoe.
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:08   #5
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Its just that some old buggers can not afford new boats so they have to justify the old tubs by deriding the new.

Buying a 1970s boat is like buying a 1970s car.... Is anyone really that deluded to think the 1970s one is better than a 2014? No. Thats why very few dive 40 year old heaps of poop down the highways. And if the do, the go slowly, wobble, rattle and blow smoke.
I'd agree with the above statement. There are some exceptions like the Bowman for one example, which was built like a tank for word cruising. But of course any yacht from the 60's and 70's would need have had an extensive and costly refittings in order to be up to the same qualifications as some of the sailboats being produced today. Plus the newer boats have something else going for them... they are new, and not old and worn out.
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:27   #6
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

While I personally prefer the older designs and feel safer on them, in almost every case, the boat can take far more punishment than you can on a crossing. Buy what you like and if its not up to YOUR standards for "bluewater" work, upgrade it till it is.

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Old 25-04-2014, 08:28   #7
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

I too was looking for a newer boat, one of the higher productions boats as those interiors were what the wife wanted and I wanted a newer lightly used one as I didn't want a project, I wanted a boat to sail, not re-build. Came very close to buying a 2003 one, I'll leave the name out as I don't think that particularly important, but during survey we found a couple of very glaring structural shortcomings. This was not a beat to death, rode hard put up wet boat, it was beautifully well maintained, it was the design that was lacking, not the care or maintenance.

I ended up with a much better made / designed / constructed, but older boat for the same price.

Now she is older, she's 27 yrs old, but truthfully I doubt if that other much newer boat I almost bought will make it to 27 yrs old.

I don't think comparing boats to automobiles is similar at all, automobiles are much more mechanical beasts, I think comparing boats to houses is more similar, I see lots of houses being built that I know will not be around in 50 yrs., but can show you many well built houses that are over 100 yrs old. It has everything to due with the quality of construction.
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:31   #8
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Hear! Hear! Well stated Skip! Well stated!

Thank you. Guess you can tell that I do have some feelings on the issue, but I'm sure there will be dissenting opinions.
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:37   #9
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pirate Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

[QUOTE=Kenomac;1526636]I'd agree with the above statement. There are some exceptions like the Bowman for one example, which was built like a tank for word cruising. But of course any yacht from the 60's and 70's would need have had an extensive and costly refittings in order to be up to the same qualifications as some of the sailboats being produced today. Plus the newer boats have something else going for them... they are new, and not old and worn out.[/QUOTE]

Unlike their skippers....
But on a more serious note... I've owned and/or sailed 60's and 70's boats long distances across so called dodgey waters... I've also owned and/or sailed 2001 to 2013 boats over those same waters...
I'm happy in either new or old.. but then I'm not one who believes that everything needs doubling up in strength.. replaced maybe if boogered like rig or sails.. but refits that take a year or more..? That's serious paranoia in my book.. new or old.. they break in one way or another out there and better you know how to make do than carry 10ton of spares you'll never need..
But then.. as MarkJ says... I'm just an old bugger..
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Old 25-04-2014, 08:54   #10
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
For what ever it's worth (if anything) here's my take.

1. 99% of what's needed to insure a safe passage in a boat, any boat, is the captain and crew, not the boat itself. A good captain can make a safe voyage in a less than perfect boat, knowing and working with the limitations of the vessel. An incompetent captain can bring about a catastrophe regardless of the boat.

2. Forget the term Bluewater. It has no universally accepted definition and varies hugely depending on who uses the term and what they think it means or what it means to them. I have seen it used for a trip from Florida to Bimini which other boaters would consider a casual day trip. Better to specify exactly what your sailing plans are: cruising the ICW with an occasional hop outside, island hopping from FL to the Caribbean, crossing the Atlantic to Europe or sailing the roaring forties around the great capes?

3. Pick the right tool for the job. Remembering point #1, almost anything that will float can safely get you to the Caribbean from Florida. As long as you keep the water on the outside and the mast in the air I can't think of any boat built that will disintegrate under your feet in "normal" conditions. This of course assumes the captain isn't dumb enough or unlucky enough to get caught in a hurricane or smash into a reef, both 99.99% avoidable. On the other hand, if you are planning to circumnavigate Greenland or go around Cape Horn then the choice of a well built boat becomes a little more important.

Bottom line, the best boat you can afford is always good and if you plan to sail in locations or times of the year where you have high odds of encountering gales and big waves then worry about "bluewater". If you aren't going further than the Caribbean then get whatever boat you like and can afford and pay attention to the weather and navigation.
Hear hear.


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Old 25-04-2014, 09:18   #11
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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But then.. as MarkJ says... I'm just an old bugger..

Well, the handsome younger you in your new profile photo.... But I do wonder why you are looking down? Lose something?




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Old 25-04-2014, 09:23   #12
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Am I the only one that struggles with the thought that humans have been crossing the 7 seas for thousands of years on anything they could find, but todays technology that costs a small fortune is said to not be capable of the task? you aren't the only one and lots of us know that modern boats can do it and it doesn't need to be a fortune unless you just like fancy

I just can't wrap my mind around the thought that todays materials, research, and corrections from past mistakes, doesn't make for a vessel way more capable than previous vessels. Are we snubbing tomorrow's cherished "bluewater" prize today because it wasn't built in the 70's? yes

I like classic but am not a fan of constantly performing unnecessary maint. I also don't want to upgrade an older boat to make it new (been there with last boat 1984 Hunter). I would like a 32-36 foot newer model. Realize it wont have as many hand holds at sea, not the best for cooking while underway, etc, etc, etc. no reason "accept that because it mostly isn't trueI just really struggle thinking a newer model boat (and yes I am talking production boat I can't afford modern boat built for crossings) just hitting the first "bluewater" wave and crumbling to Davey Jones Locker. all those boats in harbors got there somehow without breaking apart

I know anyone can upgrade rigging and reinforce this and that, and it would most likely be necessary on any boat. same rigging as other boats I just can't help but think todays boats are more than capable and in twenty years I wonder which ones will be cherished "bluewater" cruisers
NOTHING on my bad mouthed production boat that was made by the builder has failed. It has never had any hull or deck leaks and hasn't had ANY hull or deck problems. Unlike those 70s "bluewater" boats with problems documented as far back as the 80s.

The same can not be said of the standard components in the boat that are used by all builders (but they mostly have not been a problem either).

Modern production methods just result in overall better boats! Get your mind wrapped around this.
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:42   #13
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Modern production methods just result in overall better boats! Get your mind wrapped around this.
Sometimes your right, but I'll take a laminated glass and Stainless Steel port hole over a plastic one any day, just as one example.
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:49   #14
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

Today's boats are plagued by their designers' aim to create a floating condominium just to appeal to the many who would just as soon own, but can't afford, a beach house. Boats built on such a skimpy budget for the purpose of appealing to the less moneyed masses who want some immediate floating status. Boats whose designers' efforts showcase the fact that the designer just got a brand new ellipse template he so desperately needs to use for just everything! especially swoopy side windows. Boats designed to be visually impressive, as opposed to seaworthy. Whose potential storage spaces have been given over to vast condo-like open spaces for "entertaining" dockside. Boats designed to pack as much living space as possible into the shortest, overpriced slip.
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Old 25-04-2014, 09:50   #15
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Re: Can't wrap my mind around this "bluewater" thing!

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Sometimes your right, but I'll take a laminated glass and Stainless Steel port hole over a plastic one any day, just as one example.
And that has nothing to do with modern production methods or even the builder of the boat. That has to do with pricing or putting the total boat together. Lots of "production" boats have SS frame ports.

When it comes down to it "better" does not mean the other is bad, just not as good.

BTW - my "cheap" boat has metal framed ports. In fact it has better ports than my last boat that was "higher" quality (for its day).
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