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Old 30-04-2015, 05:03   #166
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

Now if you plan to sail latitude 40 or higher, winter passages, late season offshore south from New England to the Caribbean, messing around the tropics in hurricane season and similar extreme sailing then it would make sense to go for an extreme boat.

Latitude 40 extreme? You are aware that most of Europe is above latitude 40?


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Old 30-04-2015, 05:13   #167
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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None of us sailors that have read the book etc but don't have long distance cruising experience have said you can't cross oceans etc in decent boats be they fin keel, spade rudder or what have you.
I didn't say there were claims that "you can't cross oceans". What I said was there were claims that "to sail blue water you must have a heavy duty......." No one can deny that oceans have been crossed by all manner of boats many that were clearly unsuited and unsafe for the voyage.


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We are simply pointing out the more seaworthy features of some of the older designs such as the S&S 34 and the Swan 36.

Perhaps that was your position. As I mentioned, I quite following the thread in detail. However there were plenty of posts that did not just point out seaworthy features of various boats and designs but stated quite clearly and unequivocally that that going to sea in anything less that boat type X or Y or Z was extremely foolhardy.

Regarding boredom, never been bored on passages, even long passages. In fact always welcomed a quiet day that allowed a bit of time to read.
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Old 30-04-2015, 05:34   #168
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Regarding boredom, never been bored on passages, even long passages. In fact always welcomed a quiet day that allowed a bit of time to read.
Yep, it's definitely more suited to certain types.

My idea of a pleasant day would be to do a short workout to include pushups, pullups, curls stretching then bike maybe 25 miles and run 3 miles. I've shortened the distances now that I'm getting old (er)

After racing small boats for so long, the big boat thing is slow but a good substitute.

This old boat I have has taught me a lot, and I get to experiment sanding and painting it. Also, it's quite the workout sanding the entire bottom and top side hulls......then painting.
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Old 30-04-2015, 07:13   #169
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

I do not buy the argument that people without boats or people who do not sail are lacking anything when it comes to discussing things blue and offshore.

Imagination is of paramount importance. And there does not seem to be any unjust distribution of imagination between the landlubber and the one who sees (himself/herself) as an old salt.

Experience may count, BUT experience is formed while sailing specific boats on specific waters.

So I say I am 100% fine with blue/offshore whatever visions and prejudices made by each party.

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Old 30-04-2015, 08:07   #170
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

So let's throw another consideration in: The combination of boat and crew.

I can't find the link but I recall reading about a study (might have been the navy) looking at crew comfort and performance. Basically there was a strong correlation between performance and comfort. If they were under constant stress from poor living conditions, thier performance suffered and more mistakes were made.

So if you compare a crew that must be strapped into a bunk with lee boards and must be strapped to stove to cook all while having to climb around at a 20 deg heel for days even weeks, etc..

Vs sleeping in a regular bed and standing, walking, sitting comfortably, able to cook a nice hot meal even when fairly rough, etc...

Which crew is likely to be more able to react when needed?
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Old 30-04-2015, 08:56   #171
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
So let's throw another consideration in: The combination of boat and crew.

I can't find the link but I recall reading about a study (might have been the navy) looking at crew comfort and performance. Basically there was a strong correlation between performance and comfort. If they were under constant stress from poor living conditions, thier performance suffered and more mistakes were made.

So if you compare a crew that must be strapped into a bunk with lee boards and must be strapped to stove to cook all while having to climb around at a 20 deg heel for days even weeks, etc..

Vs sleeping in a regular bed and standing, walking, sitting comfortably, able to cook a nice hot meal even when fairly rough, etc...

Which crew is likely to be more able to react when needed?
Great point, and one which rarely seems to come up. For some, seakindliness is as desirable a feature as seaworthliness, both in terms of long-distance comfort as well as avoiding fatigue and thus being willing to trim the boat to maximize its performance. After owning my 20-ton, modified full keel Bristol for a few years, for example, I was surprised to learn that it was designed & built with the Bermuda races in mind. Not that it's slow, but still hard to believe given where offshore racing designs are now. But perhaps it came out of an era where greater emphasis was put on seakindliness, especially in often less than ideal conditions & on less desirable points of sail.

For me anyway, I tend to evaluate a boat based on how it performs in the worse conditions, figuring I can always get it to work well when things ease up. But as always, to each his own . . . .
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Old 30-04-2015, 10:55   #172
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
So let's throw another consideration in: The combination of boat and crew.

I can't find the link but I recall reading about a study (might have been the navy) looking at crew comfort and performance. Basically there was a strong correlation between performance and comfort. If they were under constant stress from poor living conditions, thier performance suffered and more mistakes were made.

(...)
+1!

"The blue offshore gizmo should be designed so that ..." AND also with top priority given to crew comfort and well being.

This comfort comes from a number of factors. Like the way she moves, the protection she can afford, the way her interior is laid out around the "being in the seaway" mode. Etc.

This is, in fact, where I often split views with many (but not all) long time, long range, cruisers. I find the never ending roll of long downwind passages in a classic hull next to torturous. But then again, such classic hulls were not designed for that. Still, the misunderstanding of what the best tool for a job is remains.

Cheers,
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Old 30-04-2015, 10:56   #173
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Yep, it's definitely more suited to certain types.
That is certainly true but also I've found that it's not always a matter of learning to deal with boredom but that there's frequently plenty to keep one busy on a passage.

I am not generally happy to sit for hours and days doing nothing. Going to the beach and sitting on a towel to me is incredibly boring. I do enjoy watching the waves or sitting on the bowsprit looking back at the boat and sails...... for a short while before I am itching for something to do.

So, on a passage, even offshore and cruising, not racing, you may want to tweak the sail trim frequently. Is the wind increasing or decreasing, time to change sails or reef.

Then there's navigation, checking weather, maybe calling friends or family on the SSB, fill in the log at the end of each watch. Other boat management issues to do like battery power monitoring and charging. How often are you pumping the bilge, is it increasing over time? Anything chaffing?

And normal life goes on so there's cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times which of course leads to washing dishes and cleaning house. In between there's showers, laundry, clipping your toenails.

No, I'm not often bored at sea.
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Old 30-04-2015, 11:06   #174
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
That is certainly true but also I've found that it's not always a matter of learning to deal with boredom but that there's frequently plenty to keep one busy on a passage.

I am not generally happy to sit for hours and days doing nothing. Going to the beach and sitting on a towel to me is incredibly boring. I do enjoy watching the waves or sitting on the bowsprit looking back at the boat and sails...... for a short while before I am itching for something to do.

So, on a passage, even offshore and cruising, not racing, you may want to tweak the sail trim frequently. Is the wind increasing or decreasing, time to change sails or reef.

Then there's navigation, checking weather, maybe calling friends or family on the SSB, fill in the log at the end of each watch. Other boat management issues to do like battery power monitoring and charging. How often are you pumping the bilge, is it increasing over time? Anything chaffing?

And normal life goes on so there's cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times which of course leads to washing dishes and cleaning house. In between there's showers, laundry, clipping your toenails.

No, I'm not often bored at sea.
Ditto! Seems like if I'm not actually doing something, I'm always thinking about doing something! In fact, I'm always amazed how quickly time goes by when I'm on passage.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:47   #175
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Great point, and one which rarely seems to come up. For some, seakindliness is as desirable a feature as seaworthliness, both in terms of long-distance comfort as well as avoiding fatigue and thus being willing to trim the boat to maximize its performance. After owning my 20-ton, modified full keel Bristol for a few years, for example, I was surprised to learn that it was designed & built with the Bermuda races in mind. Not that it's slow, but still hard to believe given where offshore racing designs are now. But perhaps it came out of an era where greater emphasis was put on seakindliness, especially in often less than ideal conditions & on less desirable points of sail.
Absolutely... Always amazes me how these vitally important factors get lost in these discussions, I think they are at the heart of what makes some boats more suitable for offshore than others... Fatigue or the degeneration of crew morale is one of the greatest dangers for any crew, especially aboard cruising boats that are so often being sailed shorthanded. It probably leads to more poor judgements being made than any other factor, and I've always thought the tragic loss of RULE 62 after they bailed out of the Caribbean 1500 a few years ago is the classic example of this... The decision to attempt to enter an unlit cut in the Bahamas, at night, during a rage, seems unfathomable - and can only be explained by the likelihood that those people simply wanted off that boat so badly, they were willing to do anything to make it happen as soon as possible...

Unfortunately, many of the features which sell production boats today, are at odds with those that can afford comfort and security offshore. Expansive, wide open cockpits, for instance - desirable for lounging and entertaining at dockside or at anchor, can also have dimensions that are scaled wildly out of proportion to the human body... When absent of ways to easily brace oneself to counter the boat's motion offshore, fatigue and discomfort will ensue far more easily, and rapidly... Same thing with sea berths, or helm positions... The twin wheel configurations that have become all the rage these days, can have a considerable downside in dirty weather offshore, placing the helmsperson closer to the 'corner' of the hull where the boat's movement will be most exaggerated, and where he will be most exposed to the elements, more distant from any protection from a dodger, and so on...

I'm always surprised how many people seem to accept that if a boat hasn't 'failed' in some catastrophic manner, it is deemed to have completed a passage successfully. I have never experienced such a major failure myself, but I certainly have stepped off my share of boats at the end of a trip, with a great sense of relief that it was finally over, and with no desire whatsoever to ever take that particular boat offshore again :-)

We tend to lose sight of how much it can be the 'little things', in the long run, that often matter the most... IMHO, 2 of the things that can contribute the most to discomfort, fatigue, and loss of morale aboard are topside leaks, and noise... There is nothing more aggravating than having to battle topside leaks, or having to listen to the sort of pounding flatter bottomed hulls can so easily produce, or the creaks and groans that can emanate from bulkheads or joinerwork on boats of lesser quality... Such things can easily drive one crazy over time, robbing one of much of the rest and relaxation that crew require during an off watch in order to be able to meet any challenge effectively, and in good spirits...

Someone in this or the other "bluewater" thread dismissed the oft-heard notion that a good boat for offshore should "take care of" the crew... I understand the point he was making, but I've always read that comment a bit differently. To me, it simply implies that a good boat for offshore doesn't require an excess of 'management' by crew to be sailed safely and comfortably, and will have a tendency to 'behave' if she has to be 'left to her own devices' for a bit... The advantage of a boat that can be made to heave-to with relative ease, as opposed to one that cannot, cannot possibly be overstated... perhaps the single biggest consideration in a cruising boat likely to be sailed shorthanded, IMHO, yet it's amazing to me what a lost art that simple tactic has become these days, or how unsuited to it some modern boats have become...
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:38   #176
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

Jon raises some very good points (again)!

Last night I watched a video on youtube that shows two middle aged couples (or retired age) delivering a very nice 45 foot or so catamaran from South Africa to Europe. The trip took weeks.

While the cat looked nice, the trip looked miserable for several reasons. For one, the skipper suffered a bad back and was laid up for weeks. Ouch. Lesson? Things can happen that incapacitate a crew member and there is nothing to be done about it but continue shorthanded.

One thing that was shown in the video was that the stateroom portlights leaked, causing the double berths to be soaked. They could not stop the leaks, so they wound up sleeping in their foul weather gear! That looks pretty miserable, and no way to get good rest after a long cold watch.

A leaky portlight drip, drip, dripping above one's head in the berth is something that can cause a lack of sleep, great aggravation, discomfort and poor morale. Water torture!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:44   #177
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
Absolutely... Always amazes me how these vitally important factors get lost in these discussions, I think they are at the heart of what makes some boats more suitable for offshore than others... Fatigue or the degeneration of crew morale is one of the greatest dangers for any crew, especially aboard cruising boats that are so often being sailed shorthanded. It probably leads to more poor judgements being made than any other factor, and I've always thought the tragic loss of RULE 62 after they bailed out of the Caribbean 1500 a few years ago is the classic example of this... The decision to attempt to enter an unlit cut in the Bahamas, at night, during a rage, seems unfathomable - and can only be explained by the likelihood that those people simply wanted off that boat so badly, they were willing to do anything to make it happen as soon as possible...

Unfortunately, many of the features which sell production boats today, are at odds with those that can afford comfort and security offshore. Expansive, wide open cockpits, for instance - desirable for lounging and entertaining at dockside or at anchor, can also have dimensions that are scaled wildly out of proportion to the human body... When absent of ways to easily brace oneself to counter the boat's motion offshore, fatigue and discomfort will ensue far more easily, and rapidly... Same thing with sea berths, or helm positions... The twin wheel configurations that have become all the rage these days, can have a considerable downside in dirty weather offshore, placing the helmsperson closer to the 'corner' of the hull where the boat's movement will be most exaggerated, and where he will be most exposed to the elements, more distant from any protection from a dodger, and so on...

I'm always surprised how many people seem to accept that if a boat hasn't 'failed' in some catastrophic manner, it is deemed to have completed a passage successfully. I have never experienced such a major failure myself, but I certainly have stepped off my share of boats at the end of a trip, with a great sense of relief that it was finally over, and with no desire whatsoever to ever take that particular boat offshore again :-)

We tend to lose sight of how much it can be the 'little things', in the long run, that often matter the most... IMHO, 2 of the things that can contribute the most to discomfort, fatigue, and loss of morale aboard are topside leaks, and noise... There is nothing more aggravating than having to battle topside leaks, or having to listen to the sort of pounding flatter bottomed hulls can so easily produce, or the creaks and groans that can emanate from bulkheads or joinerwork on boats of lesser quality... Such things can easily drive one crazy over time, robbing one of much of the rest and relaxation that crew require during an off watch in order to be able to meet any challenge effectively, and in good spirits...

Someone in this or the other "bluewater" thread dismissed the oft-heard notion that a good boat for offshore should "take care of" the crew... I understand the point he was making, but I've always read that comment a bit differently. To me, it simply implies that a good boat for offshore doesn't require an excess of 'management' by crew to be sailed safely and comfortably, and will have a tendency to 'behave' if she has to be 'left to her own devices' for a bit... The advantage of a boat that can be made to heave-to with relative ease, as opposed to one that cannot, cannot possibly be overstated... perhaps the single biggest consideration in a cruising boat likely to be sailed shorthanded, IMHO, yet it's amazing to me what a lost art that simple tactic has become these days, or how unsuited to it some modern boats have become...
This is where it gets more subjective and depends on the actual conditions.

If your goal is to pound a 1000miles to weather, I might agree that the traditional heavy full keel boat may be more comfortable. I've only been on daysails a couple times. They do get a nice solid feel pounding into a headwind and waves but once you turn away from the wind, the constant rolling wore on me very quickly. You really need the small tight spaces because of the motion demands that you wedge yourself in and constantly go hand over hand as you move about the boat. Of course once you get to your destination, you are stuck with the small tight spaces.

For most common crossings that try to run down wind, a cat is actually ideal with a very comfortable motion and ease of living. Yes, you need adequate hand holds but in most conditions, you move about and live without excessive effort. A wide flat bottom mono would be second best as they still stay more upright and don't wallow as much in a following sea.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:02   #178
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Jon raises some very good points (again)!

Last night I watched a video on youtube that shows two middle aged couples (or retired age) delivering a very nice 45 foot or so catamaran from South Africa to Europe. The trip took weeks.

While the cat looked nice, the trip looked miserable for several reasons. For one, the skipper suffered a bad back and was laid up for weeks. Ouch. Lesson? Things can happen that incapacitate a crew member and there is nothing to be done about it but continue shorthanded.

One thing that was shown in the video was that the stateroom portlights leaked, causing the double berths to be soaked. They could not stop the leaks, so they wound up sleeping in their foul weather gear! That looks pretty miserable, and no way to get good rest after a long cold watch.

A leaky portlight drip, drip, dripping above one's head in the berth is something that can cause a lack of sleep, great aggravation, discomfort and poor morale. Water torture!
Just to clarify: A bad back and leaky hatches would be miserable on a full keel boat also. With the lower typical speeds, it would be miserable for a longer period of time.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:07   #179
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
That is certainly true but also I've found that it's not always a matter of learning to deal with boredom but that there's frequently plenty to keep one busy on a passage.

I am not generally happy to sit for hours and days doing nothing. Going to the beach and sitting on a towel to me is incredibly boring. I do enjoy watching the waves or sitting on the bowsprit looking back at the boat and sails...... for a short while before I am itching for something to do.

So, on a passage, even offshore and cruising, not racing, you may want to tweak the sail trim frequently. Is the wind increasing or decreasing, time to change sails or reef.

Then there's navigation, checking weather, maybe calling friends or family on the SSB, fill in the log at the end of each watch. Other boat management issues to do like battery power monitoring and charging. How often are you pumping the bilge, is it increasing over time? Anything chaffing?

And normal life goes on so there's cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times which of course leads to washing dishes and cleaning house. In between there's showers, laundry, clipping your toenails.

No, I'm not often bored at sea.
Got it.

I do like a little aerobic exercise so I can relax, but sometimes I do go a week or so without it.

Could be that I haven't had the time to get properly acclimated to offshore sailing.

My longest trip so far on my "big boat" has been 5 days where I sailed up the bay about 80 miles. It was sort of rough the first day for the upwind sail with NE winds around 22-23 knots or so for the open bay crossing which made it interesting. Day 2 brought on Squalls just before I was about to enter my destination creek. I heaved too, had a beer (or 2) and waited them out. This was sort of nice.

By day 4, I was itching to sail back and caught a ride on winds from a front that had passed in the night. After I got the boat out into the bay without being pushed aground, the winds piped up to around 30 and stay between 24-30 for about 4 hours.

That was a nice workout because I only had an electric autopilot and it couldn't keep up so I had to steer. I also had too much sail up for this downwind run.

So, on day 4, night 4, and day 5 no more boredom.

Day 4 coming down the bay before the winds got to 24 knots: 14 June 2014 (I have since updated my lifelines with Dyneema/polyester line)

The old Bristol seemed to be in it's element in this downwind stuff. ......once the winds got up a bit.

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Old 01-05-2015, 10:11   #180
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

I think that maybe a better question to ask, in order to better flesh out answers to this question, is, what are the characteristics of near Coastal yachts that differentiate them from 'Offshore' types. Now if there are no obvious differences in design and construction, then the question itself has no real set of answers. Size, condition, and ability of sailors not withstanding.

If someone says, look, this is a near coastal type craft for inland-coastal cruising, then one should say, why is that ?
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