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Old 27-04-2015, 10:05   #106
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Ignoring your intentional misreading of my comment (No one ever said or implied the laws of physics change).
Just having (lots of) fun with ya!
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:14   #107
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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indeed, the real heroes of the night were the lifeboats, every boat from CourtMac to Dunmore East in Ireland was out that night, the crews were lucky they were sailing in one of the most rescue asset dense territory there is .

THE RNLI and the rescue helo crews both. Best in the world bar NONE.

I had a favourite spinnaker inherited from my sailmaker's 1979 Fastnet boat, Pinball Wizard, sadly whilst it survived that infamous Fastnet ( probably saw little use in it ) it exploded on us one day in a Yacht club local inshore race when whilst we were trying a tad too hard, #1 son let the sheet fly inadvertently then recovered it by flipping turns back on the winch and stopping it dead, we got knocked flat for a few seconds, righted immediately on the sheet release, then when the wind re-filled the kite it just blew (exploded) to shreds. I asked the sailmaker who was a friend too, if he could repair it for me and he was still laughing hysterically days later, but said he could re-use the luff tapes maybe!
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:14   #108
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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And the whole point of the Fastnet investigation is that very VERY experienced sailors died in that race in less than optimal boats, while optimal boats survived just fine.
Racing boats are very often designed quite differently from cruising boats, and what happens in a race is not even close to what happens when cruising. Beware of equating results from a race disaster too closely with what might (and/or should) happen while cruising.

For several extreme examples of how the sailor makes more difference than the boat, take a look at this page:
http://www.microcruising.com/famoussmallboats.htm

Most people would not consider ANY of those boats to be "bluewater boats." And yet, many of them safely delivered their occupants across oceans.

Things that make you go "hmmmm."
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Old 27-04-2015, 11:19   #109
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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And the whole point of the Fastnet investigation is that very VERY experienced sailors died in that race in less than optimal boats, while optimal boats survived just fine.
Thats not what the conclusion of the report stated. It stated the primary cause was the severity of the conditions and not down to any specific failings of boats.

Quote:
The answers received show a consensus of opinion that it was the severity of the conditions rather than any defect in the design of the boats which was the prime consideration. In narrative answers, however, there are five accounts of boats which spent between 30 seconds and 6 minutes totally inverted. As the period of the waves was no more than 13 seconds it can be inferred that these five boats attained positive inverted stability during the passage ofthree waves, All five boats did right themselves, but all were subsequently abandoned,
although only one actually sank, These five reports give grounds for concern about the ultimate self righting ability of certain boats and a full stability analysis of two boats, one of a type which reported remaining inverted for five minutes and another which reported very rapid self-righting, was commissioned.
and

Quote:
∑ Much of the damage to yachts and many of the abandonments stemmed from yachts being knocked down substantially past 90į, While it is accepted that under the prevailing conditions some of these knockdowns were inevitable it is believed that the incidence of bad knockdowns was unacceptably high, It is also believed that boats in classes 3-6 with wide shallow hulls are at greater than average risk under these conditions,
so while there may have been some specific issues, it wasn't a failure of boat design as a whole
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Old 27-04-2015, 12:06   #110
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post
The mailman delivered my physical copy (not available in Kindle) of Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts.

What a fascinating read. I will preface this by saying that many of the "best bluewater boat" threads end up with a ton of "it's the sailor / skill that counts". Well... hmmm...

I am only through chapter 5 but it has led me to the conclusion that nope, it is NOT primarily the sailor that determines the viability and safety of my boat out at sea - where the big winds and waves are. Some boats are inherently more seaworthy, sometimes much more seaworthy. Some just plain unseaworthy.

The book has discussed (just so far) the influences, good and bad, of racing on cruise boat design. Boat size - length, beam and weight - on stability. How and why boats capsize, and as importantly, what happens next. How and why some boats are better than others in this regard. Keel and rudder design on directional stability, steering, and what happens when gusts or large waves hit. How these issues can cause loss of control in precisely the weather where that control is critical to staying upright and afloat.

LOTS of info. The book does a good job of explaining in words as well as graphs and diagrams how all this stuff fits together. I am really just beginning the read but so far the cost has been good value.

I am certainly not saying that good seamanship isn't necessary, but that some very good seamen lost their lives on fundamentally bad boats (discussed in the Fastnet fiasco and the analysis after). And that being the best in the world would not be enough on a bad boat, but likely would on a good boat. And that the desire for the racing "look" and handling paired with the desire for creature comforts has pushed a lot of fundamentally poor choices choices into our cruisers. Sometimes potentially disastrous choices.

Having read the book, I will be in a much better position to choose among the available choices.

Highly recommended.
In the absence of fact it's opinion that invariably fills the void and which leads to so much debate on this topic.

The waves and wind are such broadband inputs that we need a heavy reliance on statistics to make evidence based decisions. Unfortunately we rarely have any data that can be classified as statistically valid.

However we do see trends that emerge that we can unarguably consider as good and necessary.

Necessary include vessels that are tough, have multiple redundancy and can be repaired at sea.

For good we see good seamanship, avoiding bad weather and intestinal fortitude of all the crew. We also see planning for the unexpected and the ability to make repairs or jury rig repairs until repairs can be completed.

If we take some recent events we can take a boolean selection for whether they were sufficiently good and necessary.

Case 1- the Gunboat Rainmaker
- ignored the weather
- owner and son were debilitated leading to USCG rescue
- vessel did not fail gracefully and was unrepairable

Case 2 - the Beneteau La Vagabonde
- the rudder broke free but was repaired before and during their Atlantic crossing.
- they planned and were lucky with weather
- they fixed things as needed with what they had available

Case 3 - Rebel Heart
- sat phone proved to be useless when needed. Apparently the new sim was in the mail.
- crewmember, an infant, was deemed to be in a life threatening condition so USCG evacuation was triggered
- they experienced some equipment failure they couldnt fix

So we do know its not just the boat that determines survivability. And that is the non functional requirement of interest here.

Survivability = robust, repairable boat that degrades gracefully + tough and adaptable crew + ability to repair while at sea in a degraded condition.

This is what IMHEO makes for a good blue water boat.

IMHEO = in my humble engineering opinion


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Old 27-04-2015, 12:44   #111
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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What I am trying to figure out is how, in recommending a 25 year old book as a good read, I was labeled as rejecting modern ideas.

(...)
Swallow it. Hard facts of agora life.

It is a forum and them, us, me and you will utter our opinions (at times vaguely dressed up as 'facts') and then we will argue over points that we all actually agree on. The corresponding emoticon is the one with the donkey.

I think the book may/must be a great read. I remember reading excerpts and quotes and can't remember disagreeing with any of them.

There are so many ways to put an offshore yacht together and much as this will stir some, I am always of the opinion that it is in the design, engineering and building that an offshore yacht gets its name.

VORs and IMOCAs are offshore boats as much as W32s and C32s are. One could be surprised to learn that none of the designs is actually CE A marked ...

I like this thread and I am glad you started it.

Cheers,
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Old 27-04-2015, 13:09   #112
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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I am working my way through that book. Actually I am working my way through half a dozen books.

Reading old books is an excellent way to convince yourself how great an old boat is.

1) Trends in design 1920-1986. Probably hasn't changed in the last 25 years since it only includes designs up to 1986.

You got to be kidding.
In the end it doesn't matter to me what boat you get and I hope you enjoy it for whatever reason you chose to believe.
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Old 27-04-2015, 13:16   #113
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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And finally, the modern developments simply don't make a whole hill of beans to me because my finances have me buying a boat from the 70s.
And in the end this is probably at the heart of the never ending boat type discussion. Older boats for the price, high end boats for the fancy, newer "production" boats to hold the middle till they get older and replace the "older" boat (because for the most part they were just production boats of their day).
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Old 28-04-2015, 16:04   #114
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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And in the end this is probably at the heart of the never ending boat type discussion. Older boats for the price, high end boats for the fancy, newer "production" boats to hold the middle till they get older and replace the "older" boat (because for the most part they were just production boats of their day).

Or it's just that some of the older boats are simply better for offshore sailing.

Many of the newer designs are for sailing across the creek or the bay to the marina and enjoying "boating."

Compare this "old boat" to some of the newer ones, and I think you will find this boat is way better for offshore sailing and much more seaworthy than most any of the newer designs.

It's all there in your book. You are just upsetting folks that didn't read the book before they made their purchase.

It's an S&S 34.

S&S 34 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 28-04-2015, 16:14   #115
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Or it's just that some of the older boats are simply better for offshore sailing.

Many of the newer designs are for sailing across the creek or the bay to the marina and enjoying "boating."

Compare this "old boat" to some of the newer ones, and I think you will find this boat is way better for offshore sailing and much more seaworthy than most any of the newer designs.

It's all there in your book. You are just upsetting folks that didn't read the book before they made their purchase.

It's an S&S 34.

S&S 34 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
LOL, maybe!

That boat has one heck of a bal/disp ratio. Should be kinda stiff!
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Old 28-04-2015, 16:19   #116
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

Hard to forget that the Norsemen likely explored in some tough old boats. Considering their local waters a boat had to be tough.


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Old 28-04-2015, 16:51   #117
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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That boat has one heck of a bal/disp ratio. Should be kinda stiff!
It's seaworthy for sure, but watch out for the old wide body boat/stability argument.

Fact is that S&S 34 will roll back up vertical should it go over.

Just picture yourself 500 miles offshore and you are not getting good weather reports etc. You get caught in bad weather. You are alone and the CF guys are not there keyboard sailing with you. I'd go by what the book says as far as a which boat is more seaworthy.

A boat like the S&S 34 might get you through it.

Here's another old boat that is also a very good boat which your book will probably support but maybe some that didn't read the book won't.

SWAN 36 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

Looks samey same.

Btw, if you want to read a fun fictional novel featuring the Swan 36 read Ship Killer by Justin Scott.

Some folks believe if they pay a lot for their boat it has to be good.

I paid $2,000 for mine and it's quite seaworthy.

I attached a picture that showed it unpainted which some would consider unseaworthy since it wasn't nice and pretty so I added one with $20.00 worth of paint on it. Makes it much more seaworthy for some................
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Old 28-04-2015, 17:14   #118
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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(...)

Fact is that S&S 34 will roll back up vertical should it go over.

(...)
Fine. But not fine enough.

I think we can safely assume the following scenario: will not go over.

And we know a S&S 34 will ...

So "offshore" boats like S&S 34 will be second best.

As long as they are re-designed to allow for the fact. Call it mods.

Which is not the case.

Look at Mini companionway.

Now what we want is a S&S with Mini-like companionway and thus we arrive at something somewhat closer to desirable characteristics of offshore yachts.

I hope my drift is evident.

Many older boats considered the hardcore off offshore cruising sailing are in fact light years away from what we can discuss as desirable offshore characteristics.

We must think forward. Look at how others did things better, then go to what was the top of the shelf X years ago and try to mod up / merge and improve.

I like S&S 34. I just would not be in one that rolled back back up vertical. Unless one likes swimming pools and cold drinks.

Cheers,
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Old 28-04-2015, 17:17   #119
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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It's an S&S 34.
I don't care and it doesn't matter to me, if you like it go get one! But to me it is just a small old boat that would make an uncomfortable cruiser.

It's as simple as that.
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Old 28-04-2015, 17:20   #120
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Re: Characteristics of Offshore Yachts

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Most people misread the stats. The lower death count today is 99% related to people almost universally using seatbelts. Had the same percentage of people were using seatbelts back when you would have seen a similar drop in fatalities.

But that's not teh only thing what I am saying when I say that the older cars with heft are inherently safer than the modern tin/plastic toys. By the logic of pro-modern car crowd if you keep your new 2015 car in the garage and get no fatalities it is an inherently safer ride than an older MB which is on the road 24/7.

I am saying - put one person behind the wheel of a 70s gas guzzler and another behind a 2015 Corolla. Neither are to use seat belts, nor air bags (disabled) etc, etc and crash them head on. Which car would you rather be in? That's an apple and an apple comparsion.

Hmmmm.... A Midsize 1970 Benz, like a 300d, weights almost the same as a 2015 Camry/ Accord. Both vehicles are 3400 pounds and both are in the midsize category. Cars really haven't gotten lighter within the same size class.... safety items are weighty!
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