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Old 04-01-2011, 20:28   #1
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Have You Crossed an Ocean in a Cruiser and a Cruiser / Racer ?

I'm mostly interested in the difference between a big, heavy, full keel cruiser and a production boat like a benny or a Hunter, something like that.
Just wondering if you've done it both, how did it compare?
What was true and what was false about our speculations?
I don't intend to start a year long bash fest, I think that production boats are right for most people's uses and they're generally more affordable. There are a lot more of them, too. Are they better in the bad than some people say?
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Old 04-01-2011, 20:53   #2
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All I can tell you is my personal experance and our choice.. Being we came from the California Delta, boating has been in our blood for a good number of years..
When we decided to sell the ranch and go cruising, the boat we were so taken by was the Hans Christain 38 mkll and the 42 of the same design.. Bueatifull boat but we took one out for a week in the San Juan Islands of the North West on a charter and after a week on the boat we started looking at more of a performance built boat. We found that tacking the HC, we often had to start the motor to get her to turn, I also had the fear of running aground and not knowing how to get the heavy weight off a shole, and being from the Delta, we've done a good share of running aground but my biggest fear was being caught out in bad weather, as I kinda figure myself as a fair weather sailor..
We found the same lay-out of the HC 38 mkll in the First 38 of the Beneteau, and about the same time, I had read a couple of the books from Liza andf Andy copeland and they're trip around the world in they're First 38 with they're 3 sons.. and knowing Andy was not only an experanced sailor but also a yacht broker and he felt more than safe in a 38..
We sailed a FIRST 38 in Open Ocen Conditions and were hooked.. we found the comfort to be better in the 38 than the HC as we were moving forward instead of just wallowing around and moving slow..
Couldnt find a 38 so we bought a FIRST 42, which bty the way has the exact same lay-out as the HC42... More times than I can count, we've made an anchorage or a marina when a storm was building, when friends of ours were caught in the crap due to slow speeds..
We havent crossed oceans but have sailed the First 42 from the delta to Alaska twice and to Mexico twice.. In the last 7 years I have not regreted once, the choice we made to buy a Beneteau over the HC.. and we had the funds, and still do to buy either boat.. Our First is fast, comfortable, roomy, and a dream to sail and to live in.
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Old 04-01-2011, 20:57   #3
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i sailed the gulf of mexico in a performance cruiser--i will NOT use one for my own cruising. is a lot of work and storms sukk. sloops are more work than ketches in storms--we watched a full keel ketch blow our sloop away in a storm as we bashed the daylights out of oursleves, they had up only jib n jigger and flew.......
granted , when the seas and winds were right, we absolutely flew--- but those times are rare and th heavy displacement is a lot more comfortable. i have not crossed atlantic or pacific in either-- but the gulf is good enough to tell for me.
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Old 04-01-2011, 21:01   #4
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Have not sailed a full keeler across an Ocean yet.. was raised in the days when they were the 'Holy Grail'...
I have friends who own them and have day sailed with them.
Have sailed 2 Beneteau's and a Hunter west to east across the Atlantic (the hard way) and they were just dandy...
A full keeler...? maybe one day... as a delivery...
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Old 04-01-2011, 21:33   #5
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From doing deliveries I've done a lot of blue water miles in both. I don't really see any difference and the extra performance of a faster boat is always better.( we had a 5 knots and the motor goes on policy and we used a lot of diesel on heavy boats let me tell you) I don't agree with the motion at sea thing. Often some of these comments are because performance boats have a tendency to be overpressed by crews. Slow em down in a blow and they're just as comfortable. In my view full keel boats are a function of their age and the lack of hydrodynamic knowledge. ( and some of them are damm wet boats - they're a real PITA)

Particularly heavy ( and often under canvassed) boats are an utter dog in my opinion , most of the weather one meets in normal cruising is light airs. Then you might as well have bought a mobo

The manoeuvrability, hydrodynamic efficiency and all round performance of a modern conservative fin keel and spade
rudder are hard to beat.

Ps zeehag if a full keeled ketches outperformed you it just means it was better sailed that's all full keel is slower end if story.
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Old 04-01-2011, 21:59   #6
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crossed the biscay this year in a 45 ft full keeler ,slow rolled like a pig but built like a tank used lots of diesel.
last year did the same delivery in a new 43 ft beneteau,fast, easy to sail,used hardly any diesel.
conditions this year were much more favourable than last year......................
i know which one i would choose.......................
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Old 04-01-2011, 22:58   #7
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I've owned a few boats over the years, daggerboards, bilge keels, swing keel, fin keel and full keel. Yes, performance fin keels are definitely faster, full keels show a kinder motion, and as I advance in age, it's what I like, but would never condemn another for their choice. The key is to just do it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 23:24   #8
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I'm definitely a fin keel guy.

You wouldn't believe the bitching and moaning you get from full keel owners when land and shelter are to windward of a weather front. Typically, they can't point above 45. They are more stable downwind however and are stronger should you ever hit something.

On all points of sail full keels are slower. I agree that if a racer/cruiser starts slamming you just shorten sail and the problem solves itself. Apart from sail changes, the 2000 lbs of cruising crap you will undoubtedly acquire slows and stabilises the boat automatically.
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Old 04-01-2011, 23:57   #9
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I've limited my trans-oceanic voyages to cruise ships. On 3 of 8 such voyages, I saw evidence (high winds, large seas, abandoned sailboat) that made me feel wise taking a large ship. Besides, it is much cheaper and comfortable on a ship.
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Old 05-01-2011, 01:37   #10
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I've limited my trans-oceanic voyages to cruise ships. On 3 of 8 such voyages, I saw evidence (high winds, large seas, abandoned sailboat) that made me feel wise taking a large ship. Besides, it is much cheaper and comfortable on a ship.
Mark,

This is about the nth time that you have beaten this drum on CF. OK, you think that crossing oceans in a sailboat is a bad idea, and perhaps for you it would be. I can't help but wonder why you are hanging out and posting on CF, where most of us either long to cross oceans in yachts or are actually doing it? Are you trying to tell us that we shouldn't be doing this?

And for the OP, Ann and I have crossed a lot of oceans now, and while Insatiable One was a retired fin keel racer, she was definitely heavy (heavy ship around 22000 lbs on a 29 ft LWL). Insatiable II is definitely light (heavy ship again around 23000 lbs, but on a 44+ ft LWL). In our experience, I-two is far more comfortable at sea, much faster, and a joy to sail. If driven hard, she will pound going to weather (at 8+ knots), but if one slows down to 6 knots or so or cracks off to 45 degrees or so apparent, why the pounding vanishes. Being of a very easily driven hull shape, she still goes well with drastically reduced sail area which drastically reduces crew effort. What's not to like? Well, she doesn't heave to very well and would require a drogue of some sort to really slow her down should that be required in heavy weather.

But in the long run, the choice between the "old" and the "new" designs of yachts is a matter of personal preferences. Asking for advice from others in these matters is, IMO, a waste of time. Ya gotta know what you like yourself, not what some unknown poster on the internet likes!

Cheers and good luck on your choice

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Towlers Bay, NSW, Oz
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:00   #11
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I crossed the Pacific mostly singlehanded in an ex racer and used to make the big sail area decision each day around 5 pm. It was always the last job before beer o'clock. If I felt like a good sleep I would furl the jib and pull out the staysail. With that rig I could still average 5 1/2 and sail up to 45 apparent.

She was smooth as silk, and more importantly, I didn't spill any beer and then . . . .

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

( Being overcome with a combination of curiosity and ignorance I just had to look up Towlers Bay. According to the net, it is slightly North of Sydney and has a population of 88. Woohoo ! The stuff you learn. )
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:21   #12
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I crossed the Pacific mostly singlehanded in an ex racer and used to make the big sail area decision each day around 5 pm. It was always the last job before beer o'clock. If I felt like a good sleep I would furl the jib and pull out the staysail. With that rig I could still average 5 1/2 and sail up to 45 apparent.

She was smooth as silk, and more importantly, I didn't spill any beer and then . . . .

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

( Being overcome with a combination of curiosity and ignorance I just had to look up Towlers Bay. According to the net, it is slightly North of Sydney and has a population of 88. Woohoo ! The stuff you learn. )
G'Day Savoir,

Towlers is a very pleasant anchorage here in the Pittwater area of Broken Bay. It's well protected from most of the normal winds here, has the Kur-in-gai (sp?) park on one side and a few discreet houses that were grandfathered into the park on the other side. Good holding in mostly sand, depths from 25 to 50 feet. There are a bunch of moorings in the corners that are owned by clubs, etc in the corners. During the week it is usually deserted, not so on weekends or now in the holidays. We're hanging out in the area for a while, for Ann had knee surgery (both knees) just before Christmas, and there's a lot of Physio to do before she's fit to go to sea again. Not a bad area to be stuck in IMO.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Towlers Bay, NSW Oz
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:25   #13
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Mark,

This is about the nth time that you have beaten this drum on CF. OK, you think that crossing oceans in a sailboat is a bad idea, and perhaps for you it would be. I can't help but wonder why you are hanging out and posting on CF, where most of us either long to cross oceans in yachts or are actually doing it? Are you trying to tell us that we shouldn't be doing this?
I love the sea and boats. I'm expressing an opinion. Everyone is entitled to choose their own "course."

Choose your "weather windows" carefully, sailors.

Perhaps I'm over-influenced by my first ocean cruise where we rescued three sailors, and then saw their sailboat drift, abandoned.
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Old 05-01-2011, 02:38   #14
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I have been in Sydney a year but never heard of that place. Anyway, I do hope you are aware that there's a mighty fine waterfront pub around 1/2 mile East of you.

While you are there be sure to explore the creeks to the West. Not much width but plenty of depth. This might help.

http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/docs/maps/cowanck.pdf

I'm in Sydney a mile or so west of Blackwattle Bay.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:40   #15
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I love the sea and boats. I'm expressing an opinion. Everyone is entitled to choose their own "course."

Choose your "weather windows" carefully, sailors.

Perhaps I'm over-influenced by my first ocean cruise where we rescued three sailors, and then saw their sailboat drift, abandoned.
I'd suggest to you that sailing is a very low risk activity as is crossing oceans. Most sailers get into trouble near costs.

I've been involved in two rescues , survived two very very bad storms and had a friend sailing with loose his boat in the same storm. None has dented my love of the sea and sailing.

Dave
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