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Old 04-06-2014, 09:04   #16
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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Old 04-06-2014, 09:32   #17
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

In the common usage, blue water boats are slow heavy full keel boats that are miserable to handle in marinas or other tight spaces, you live in a deep dark cave with only a few tiny windows way up high. They are generally the worst option for 95% of cruising which is anchored out or moving along a coast (which most blue water cruisers do a fair bit of) as they sacrafice living accomodations to a large degree. The saving grace is on the open ocean, you can furl the sails, tie down any loose gear and brace yourself on the cabin sole and the boat will take care of itself. Except for a few small number of purists, no one is buying these boats anymore.

There are also flimsy coastal cruisers that have no buisness more than 5 miles from a port but reality is most boats will handle far more than you can. If you just want to run down the coast, thru the canal and cruise the caribean, you are much closer to the coastal cruising anyway.
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Old 04-06-2014, 17:02   #18
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Classically, "coastal" boats were more nimble and faster and come with shallower draft keels to deal with the shallow waters near most coasts. However, the old "blue-water" boats were heavier, more stable, did not like to turn or back up and could take beating and keep on tickin, so to speak. The hull shapes of the two styles was different with more flat or canoe bottoms on the coastal boats and more wine-glass or deep V-full keeled blue-water boats.
- - In today's world were folks have been known to cross ocean in just about anything that floats, the distinctions between the two styles is more historical than functional. Manufacturers are building boats to sell in all the markets possible so you will see many "coastal" boats sailing around the world just fine. With advanced navigation and communications systems avoiding really bad weather at sea is a lot easier than in the old days. So the requirements to have a blue-water boat built like a "brick-shithouse" has become a personal preference rather than a requirement.
- - Some cruisers like the nimbleness and speed of coastal cruisers used out in the oceans and use these attributes to speed up crossings versus "enduring" them in a slower more stable boat.
- - So now, I think, it is more a personal choice of what boat fits your idea of a good place to live and travel the oceans.

I think you pretty much nailed it, except you didn't really cover brand-name bragging rights on internet forums and at the docks.
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Old 04-06-2014, 17:12   #19
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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Have it your way, just note that I omitted the 'cruising' part. I talked a coastal boat versus a blue water boat. I am no expert on cruising. I know a thing or two about boats though.

Demands on the boat are one, demands on the skill and training of the crew are another thing. Sometimes these things come together, at times they go apart.

My thinking was generally, not specifically, along the lines:

CE category

Coastal cruising may be more demanding than ocean cruising. Except that at times you will have this extra option of ducking into a harbour or simply beaching a boat. Oftentimes you will also have better weather forecasting options, rescue services within 24 hours, etc.. No such free lunches offshore.

A boat designed for offshore work can sail anywhere, a boat designed for coastal cruising better stay coastal.

Oceans have been crossed in kayaks too. We all know it. This fact does not make a kayak a blue water boat. Not in my dictionary.

Cheers,
b.
IN my experince high latitude coastal cruising is far more demanding then say tropical or near tropical ocean cursing, ocean cruising is more the art of endurance rather then sailing in a lot of cases.

Anyone sailing say Atlantic coast of portugal or the west coast of Ireland , will know that you often cant : duck into a harbour" or even "beach the boat " ( round here that called suicide). Typically wave motion in coastal areas is significantly more abrupt, disturbed and often bigger then offshore. Couppel that with tides, tidal gates, nasty rocks, shipping and you have a potentially very arduous environment.

The term blue water boat is utterly meaningless, because if you ask different folk you get widely differing opinions on what that means.


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Old 04-06-2014, 23:35   #20
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

People have written books on the subject but a good blue water boat will be able to carry all your personal belongings, food and water for at least 30 days as well as spares/tools and all the extra crap we feel we need. It should be easy to handle with a 2 person crew and be able to deal with strong winds and large seas. Many modern production boats make great weekend and coastal cruisers but they lack a proper layout below that works at sea with proper sea berths as well as all the storage/fuel you need for long trips. of course many of them can be modified to get the job done assuming they were well built to begin with.
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Old 05-06-2014, 00:17   #21
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

All the talk about "high latitude" sailing being rough and tough and how production boats really get tested as well as the skills required to coastal cruise in these conditions is in my opinion overstated to the maximum. Those folks have weather reports just like everyone else and believe me other than a few very hardy and experienced sailors when its blowing everyone sits in port. Its the same everywhere, it doesn't matter whether its high latitude or in the tropics when the wind starts to blow the marinas and anchorages are full so the boats don't get tested in these conditions nor do the sailors.
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Old 05-06-2014, 06:38   #22
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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People have written books on the subject but a good blue water boat will be able to carry all your personal belongings, food and water for at least 30 days as well as spares/tools and all the extra crap we feel we need. It should be easy to handle with a 2 person crew and be able to deal with strong winds and large seas. Many modern production boats make great weekend and coastal cruisers but they lack a proper layout below that works at sea with proper sea berths as well as all the storage/fuel you need for long trips. of course many of them can be modified to get the job done assuming they were well built to begin with.

90% of the production sailboats over 30' meet your requirements with little or no modifications (as long as you don't go crazy big with only 2 people but bigger boats are usually considered more sea worthy, so...). It's just what level of comfort do you want.
- Ie: with a 120 gallons of water, 2 people get 2 gallons per day for drinking but no showers (you can bring some 5 gallon jugs to boost the capacity if you feel the need). If you have 500 gallons, you can throw in a low usage shower every few days.
- Also, if you have a modern boat that averages 6kts instead of 5kts on a trade wind run, your hypothetical 30 day crossing drops to 25 days. If you run into light winds, the difference can be even more dramatic as lighter modern boats can often keep moving while heavy full keelers are at a virtual stand still.

You have more margin for being stupid on a heavy slow full keel boat but reef early and use good seamanship and most production boats can handle some really bad weather if they haven't been allowed to rot and have been properly maintained. Of course even the "blue water" boats can meet conditions that overwhelm them, so its a gray area.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:31   #23
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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All the talk about "high latitude" sailing being rough and tough and how production boats really get tested as well as the skills required to coastal cruise in these conditions is in my opinion overstated to the maximum. Those folks have weather reports just like everyone else and believe me other than a few very hardy and experienced sailors when its blowing everyone sits in port. Its the same everywhere, it doesn't matter whether its high latitude or in the tropics when the wind starts to blow the marinas and anchorages are full so the boats don't get tested in these conditions nor do the sailors.
As long as everything goes to plan, your correct. It's for when I get caught out in un-forecasted weather that I want the "blue water" boat.
I hope to never use my boats capabilities, just as I hope to never use the EPIRB or liferaft, fire extinguishers etc. As long as the plan holds, I've wasted considerable money on those things, boat too.
I'm an old helicopter pilot and to quote Harry Reasoner

"That's why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant, extroverts. And helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble."

So, I'll keep a "blue water" boat, hoping I'll never find out it's capabilities.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:42   #24
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

It must also be said that the old tanks, full keel sailboats, are pretty well constructed.

I haven't heard of any keels being knocked off or rudder problems with these old beasts.

Here a comparison:

Cape Dory 31

CAPE DORY 31 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com


Beneteau 31

BENETEAU 31 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:49   #25
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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People have written books on the subject but a good blue water boat will be able to carry all your personal belongings, food and water for at least 30 days as well as spares/tools and all the extra crap we feel we need. It should be easy to handle with a 2 person crew and be able to deal with strong winds and large seas. Many modern production boats make great weekend and coastal cruisers but they lack a proper layout below that works at sea with proper sea berths as well as all the storage/fuel you need for long trips. of course many of them can be modified to get the job done assuming they were well built to begin with.
This is an excellent point. For longer trips, don't count the number of berths, look at water and fuel tanks, and storage. It tells you a lot about the intended purpose of a boat.

Those nice berths are just going to become open storage if you don't have enough.
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:16   #26
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

you can read the thread Ive got going on this same subforum. It's got loads of useful advice about sailing from BC to California.

I can sum it up for you in one sentence though.

Buy your boat in San Francisco
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:29   #27
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

+1, northoceanbeach... good one! Cheers, Phil
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Old 05-06-2014, 16:49   #28
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
It must also be said that the old tanks, full keel sailboats, are pretty well constructed.

I haven't heard of any keels being knocked off or rudder problems with these old beasts.

Here a comparison:

Cape Dory 31

CAPE DORY 31 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com


Beneteau 31

BENETEAU 31 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

of course the Cape Dory will have the hydrodynamic efficiency of a sea slug, rudder stalling at the slightest hint etc.


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Old 05-06-2014, 17:07   #29
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
All the talk about "high latitude" sailing being rough and tough and how production boats really get tested as well as the skills required to coastal cruise in these conditions is in my opinion overstated to the maximum. Those folks have weather reports just like everyone else and believe me other than a few very hardy and experienced sailors when its blowing everyone sits in port. Its the same everywhere, it doesn't matter whether its high latitude or in the tropics when the wind starts to blow the marinas and anchorages are full so the boats don't get tested in these conditions nor do the sailors.
Amen. That is also our experience cruising. In fact, I will be controversial enough to suggest that the people who stay in port the longest waiting for the calmest weather are often those with full keel, heavy "blue water" boats. Maybe this is just the Caribbean, or perhaps only our local experiences, but most of those nattering on incessantly about weather windows and describing in detail how much they have been beaten up by weather in the past are almost invariably on "blue water" boats. Meanwhile, all the Benetaeus and catamarans are coming and going at will. When we do see many of these boats out there, they are motoring in the dead calms they have been waiting for while constantly sending position and weather reports out to others at anchor.

Now, don't get me wrong - I don't think this has anything to do with the style of boat. I think it speaks more to the mindset and experience level of those people who deeply believe they need one of this style of boats to survive in normal cruising grounds.

Unfortunately, many of them are also the ones banging on constantly against other types of boats being dangerous, as those boats leave the harbor for a good sail to their next destination.

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Old 05-06-2014, 17:19   #30
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Re: Coastal Sailing vs. Blue Water Sailing

+1 Sounds about right
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