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Old 24-02-2015, 10:13   #91
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

This is not meant to be an all encompassing list of how to evaluate boats for cruising offshore. Just some off the head ramblings. Many of the posts above are great and have opinions about the same things and have pointed out many others than listed here.

We just got another boat, specifically for going offshore. It is night and day compared to our previous offshore boat (which was a Whitby 42 - Ted Brewer design). It was very heavy, center cockpit (I love center cockpits for offshore), and was a ketch. The ketch rig meant the main mast was shorter which meant the mainsail was much easier to handle. The ketch rig gave it more options for sail configurations for different conditions, and, it had an inner forestay although it was not a "cutter-rigged ketch" really. It sailed Ok in reaching conditions, could hardly sail to weather in good conditions, but was solid, comfortable, and dry in lousy conditions. It had good seabunks with lee cloths on both sides of the salon - very desirable in my book. A narrow u-shaped galley. A solid powerful engine. Good tankage (may be too much). A cutaway full keel and a keel hung rudder. It's main was also an in the mast roller furler. It made handling/reefing the main so much easier in heavy conditions. It dramatically reduced the time needed on deck to reef. But it also was not an efficient sail.

All of the above I looked for in a new boat, except for a full keel. A full keel is more comfortable and handles "easier" in big seas. I did want a boat that points to windward better, and a faster boat. I wanted big tankage, but settled for less. The galley is not as compact or as deep as I would prefer. My wife has been thrown out of the galley and across the boat more than once when she did not have a belt on. A belt would be useful on the new but not as secure, but she the opposite side of the galley is a close-in wall so the damage would not be as great.

It is not a center-cockpit, something I looked for but could not find in my price range for a boat in good condition. The new cockpit is as close to a center cockpit as you would think for its design since 4 feet were added aft of the cockpit by the previous owner. I did want a heavy boat and got that. It is older and stoutly built. I required that. It does not have two seaberths in the salon, and the one is definitely not as secure as I would like. I worry about that - truly a compromise I may regret.

The cutter rig is tall and powerful so I can point well and fast(er). I don't believe for one second all the claims for fast rigs being able to outsail storms - especially to miss them, or even to get out of them faster. To do that you have to be in the right kind of storm going in the right direction. As far as just staying in port until the weather forecast is 100% favorable - that is fine unless there are always squalls and/or gales for the entire season in the course you have to take. We have waited 10-14 days several times and still got the crap kicked out of us several times.

100% on the mark is a dry boat. Keep the water on the outside. Leaking cockpits/portlights are depressing and expensive and more than an inconvenience. Friends have had their nav stations drenched ruining copious amounts of PCs, radios, gear, and books/charts. I have had to sleep in a berth with a continuous drip and there are very few things more miserable (never on one of my boats).

Of course, you want the thru hulls and hoses to be 100%. Stout, well-maintained, and properly installed. Otherwise you will have to replace them. That would affect which boat I would go for. The engine should be a well-known brand with parts available for wherever you intend to cruise, with lots of spares. I like seeing boats where the previous owner had stocked the important spares in advance as it gave me more comfort in how they thought and in how they maintained the important bits on the boat.

Handholds, handholds, handholds. Enough said. Protection on deck for moving around in big seas. Lines, blocks, and winches set up for ease of use in all conditions, with thought given to those heavy conditions. E.g. can you reef the main while short-handed.

Steering - critical as others have noted. Solid, backups, spares. Know how to use your backups and how to rig them. Not all boats are setup well for this. With a a windvane pilot or the ability to add one.

Protections from the elements in the cockpit is a major factor on my buying requirements. The ads with open cockpits and small dodgers where you can see the sails at the helm at all times look great in the ads. Not so much when it is pouring rain and green water from the bow. The sun is the flip-side and just as big a problem. I would not have an offshore boat without a good dodger that extends past the companionway and a bimini that gives some protection at the helm. Not so good racing or in good weather but worth its weight in gold in bad weather or intense sun. Nice to have some shade in your living room in the tropics too, or at anchor in the rain.

The list goes on and on as far as what I used to disqualify potential candidates. But there are always compromises on some things. Some things are musts though.

I know this is a years-old thread but many will look at it anew since this is an ongoing issue for the wannabe cruisers who are coming in to keep this lifestyle alive. Tons of books available too. One I just picked up is "The Voyagers Handbook" by Beth Leonard. Not the easiest to read if you are a newbie but it covers almost all the bases for three different budget levels with rationales given for all. But one thing is for sure - for every opinion there will be a diametrically opposite one. Good luck.
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Old 25-02-2015, 08:17   #92
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

I like the part where you say "someone gave me a boat." Isn't that every sailor's dream. Now, dream, meet reality. Please write often about the adventure.
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Old 25-02-2015, 08:28   #93
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Heavy weather sailing certainly has influenced our choice of boats. In fact, light air sailing did so as well. We goofed with the lack of standing headroom. Oh well.

In all my sea miles I would say again and again that the sailor/sailors makes the voyage more than the vessel. For example, as a delivery skipper with the owners aboard, we departed Ft Lauderdale for Boston aboard a well regarded ocean voyager, well regarded but not well prepared. We got as far a Lake Worth Inlet when we agreed the boat was not yet ready for the ocean. It was trucked North, refitted, and went off for a few years without further incident. Smart crew.

A feathering propellor will really improve offshore sailing, especially in light air and sailing to windward in all conditions. Yes, very expensive.
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Old 25-02-2015, 09:41   #94
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanMartin View Post
I like the part where you say "someone gave me a boat." Isn't that every sailor's dream. Now, dream, meet reality. Please write often about the adventure.
If that message was for me, I didn't say "someone" gave me a boat, I said God gave me a boat. But thank you for the encouragement.

Done some stuff, installed bulkheads, removed Samson posts (they were broken and wooden-want SS), installed some shelves, and am in the process of re-building the galley, specifically at this point, the sink & counter.

If anyone is interested, I'll take some pictures and (attempt to) post them.

Gotta lotta plans for S/V Jenna Simone as she has many rough weather attributes designed into her: Small cockpit (basically just a helm station), a deck bridge, a tiller vs. a wheel, it's a cutter rig, double ender, sketched rudder, things like that. She also has a very good capsize screening ratio- 1.74, although I realize capsize screening ratios are nowhere near definitive.

She's sizable, she's heavy, and my 6' 3" stature gives me standing room with her interior cabin height of around 6' 5".

So I'm happy. Need finish her out. Dying to get her stick up and head out.

Slow process, but God willing . . .

Fresh breeze and calm seas
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Old 25-02-2015, 09:49   #95
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Duly noted and I will thank the gift giver by name.

What is your sailing dream? Head out to where?

Norm
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Old 25-02-2015, 10:20   #96
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Ahhh, wonderful question, Norman. Answer: wherever the bow points me.

Actually, I do have a specific dream, one of casual yet intentional import.

I'd like to find three other like-minded sailors with their own boats and sail the globe. Circumnavigate.

Just picture it. We all, tandem or abreast, take off for the open ocean, headed to any point on the map. When we get there, we stop for three hours, three days, three weeks, as the mood strikes. Then, when we've had our fill of Tailand, Australia, New Guinee, whatever, we weigh anchor, raise sail and make wake for the next port on the list.

Then after a few or several years we find ourselves back in and on the opposite (or same, if the Horn was braved) coast of the old US of A, sitting in an outdoor bistro, sipping suds or lattes and reminiscing on our just completed adventure, planning our next voyage, if we so desire.

Mmmmm . . .
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Old 25-02-2015, 10:31   #97
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

That IS a sweet deal. Even Noah had to *build* his own boat, with nothing but divine guidance.(G)
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Old 25-02-2015, 10:45   #98
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Amen, brother.
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Old 25-02-2015, 11:03   #99
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

My friend, Tim, headed out a few years ago and found sailing partners everywhere he went. Some from his home port. Others from far away.

His blog: hardlyanythingworks.com is a fun read.

Another blog and book series I have enjoyed is sailingthewaterhouse.com

another, relevant tho no longer maintained: interviewwithacruiser.blogspot.com

Don't let anyone get in your way!
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Old 25-02-2015, 11:07   #100
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Thanks, Norm, I'll check those out.

And to the other advice, no, I won't.
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Old 27-02-2015, 12:01   #101
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Hey Norm, checked out the Kelly's Waterhouse blog. Yes, very nice. I especially liked the repairs articles.

Very nice, thanks.
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Old 27-02-2015, 14:59   #102
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

I agree, a very nice couple.

I spent over twenty years as a sailing instructor, mostly at the advanced levels. In doing so, I read about every book on voyaging, coastal cruising, and racing I could get my hands on. For me it was my continuing education program. As a genre, the field varies in quality widely if you are a literary snob. I am not. The boat knowledge is remarkable in its diversity and depth.

One of my favorite reads of recent time is Breaking Seas by Glenn Damato. You might find his story interesting.

Norm on Cape Cod
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Old 28-02-2015, 08:18   #103
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Hey, Norm, I'm sure I will find Damato's book interesting. I'll check that out too.

Like you, I'm hungry for books on cruising, sailing, adventures of sail craft at sea, anything I can get my hands on. Read many already, and still devouring.

Unlike you, I'm green. Not very much experience on the water, though I do have some. Trying to fill my mind with knowledge while I'm land-bound so when Jenna Simone is finally sea-worthy, I will have 'imbedded' the cranial contents with so much of a barrage that some sticks to the walls. And I love the stories, anyway. Currently in Moitessier's First Voyage of the Joshua, now. I have Mad Men (title?) on the way. That's the '69 Golden Globe Singlehanded Non-stop around the world story. Moitessier's, Johnston, Crowhearst story. Can't wait for that one!

Wish I could crew for you on a passage. Probably learn a lot.

Thanks for the book suggestion.
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Old 28-02-2015, 08:57   #104
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

By the way, just ordered Damato's book. Looks right up my alley. Can't wait. Thanks, Norm.
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Old 28-02-2015, 09:11   #105
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Re: Has Heavy-Weather Experience Influenced Your Choice of Boat?

Don't forget Hal Roth, Lin and Larry Pardy, Robin Knox-Johnson, and the Argentinian, Dumas on Leah II of the early modern era. Then in the ancient era you have Slocumb on Spray, Harry Pidgeon on Islander, Captain Voss on Tilikum, Captain and Mrs. Crapo on New Bedford, Howard Blackburn on various, and for the moment I have run out of names.

If you have the time and money, take a week long cruising course in the Caribbean. You'll rub elbows with the cruising life and find out just what you like and don't like.

A short and true story. A student on one of my cruising courses returned the next year with a lady and plans for a week long charter. He said to me quietly at the outset, I sure hope this works out because if she doesn't like sailing I am going to have to find a new GF. She came up to me after the cruise and said, quietly, I sure hope he sticks with cruising, I want to marry and not stop sailing with him. Variations on that theme have repeated themselves over and over again. Nice to know.

Details in Deb Cantrell's book, Changing Course.

The can of worms has been opened....

sail on.
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