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Old 09-01-2015, 10:16   #46
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
..
So I thought, what about looking into participants in the tougher sailboat races, the ones where there is some open bluewater you have to traverse, but also ones where "the common man" boats participated? Sidney-Hobart, Fastnet and Newport-Bermuda came to mind. Why races? Because you have to go when the gun goes off. No waiting for a nice weather window.
....
Within the parameters of this thread, what criteria would you use?
After some kidding from my part (and others) I guess you deserve an honest answer fro my part.

As many had said already, different sailors, even circumnavigators, given the same budget, would chose different boats.

Yes, some would chose fast performance boats because they say the a "faster passage is a safer passage" but they like to sail fast and prefer to live with the compromises of a fast boat than with the compromises of a slow boat. So the first question is; do you really like to sail fast, twink the sails, have fun to take out all performance the boat can have, catch and overtake the boats that appear on the horizon or you just want to put it on autopilot and go?

Remember that many times a faster boat is also a more uncomfortable boat, not because it would be more uncomfortable at the same speed but because with a fast boat you will go faster and with speed the waves will just come faster and stronger, specially upwind. Downwind it is the opposite an a faster boat is normally a more comfortable one.

Then we have your budget and your needs of space and that will also restrict or not the boats that can be an option. Finally it comes the seaworthiness: Do you want a boat to sail on high latitudes, remote places and out of the " sailing season" (meaning when the possibility of storms are higher) or do you just want a boat with seaworthiness enough to circumnavigate by the Panamá channel that is what most that circumnavigate do?

If so I will post here the Counsel of a famous German circunavigator and writer, Andy Schell, that has a contemporary view about the subject (the choice of boats fit to circumnavigate out of High latitudes):

"The boats are all better, bigger and perhaps more seaworthy, at any rate faster than the former timber and heavy steel boats.... Of course, the quality of today's production boats that - despite all its shortcomings - regularly are miles better than the boats on the last century....

Today it is no longer a feat to select a suitable vessel. If the size is correct (let's say between eight and 14 meters) there is no offshore yacht on the market that would be potentially inappropriate for a circumnavigation on the trade route. Whether plastic, aluminum or steel, all fit for a circumnavigation out of high latitudes. A good used around the cans cruiser-racer or an ex-charter boat from a reputable company will be suitable for it...

..Production boats are sometimes better than high-priced (complicated) luxury yachts. Above all, do not forget: If a yacht is good enough for the North Sea, it is good enough for Passage sailing. Its the crew that makes a "good bluewater yacht"."


What is your budget and your approach regarding sailing, I mean do you enjoy sailing per se, or it is just a way to a mean: cruising inexpensively?
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:17   #47
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
This is not a good measure of the information you seek. Here's why.

The people that race in these races are racers, and they go with the boat they have, or they are casual cruisers looking to get their feet wet in the ocean. I know, because I've participated in a few, served as a safety inspector in a few, and know quite a few people in all sorts of boats who have participated.

Most participants who take the boats you have mentioned or similar fall into two camps, almost exclusively.

First are the weekday/weekend racers who dream of racing offshore as something to knock off their bucket list. They are very good racers, probably very good sailors, and they want to go. These offshore races, despite the fact that you have no control over your departure window, are relatively safe. First of all, you have the OSR that you need to comply with and it often takes people over a year to get their boat ready if it is not already equipped for offshore. It's a set of requirements born out of the infamous 1979 Fastnet race and updated each year. Most races also require various crew certifications including first aid/CPR, Safety at Sea, etc., and participants are actively tracked by the committee and the Coast Guard.

Second is the group of coastal cruisers who want the offshore experience and see the races as a basically controlled, mentored, and monitored avenue for having it, and they are not wrong. You want to cruise to Bermuda? What better way to get there than with 150 other boats, tons of oversight, and a big honking' party when you get there?

I'm probably doing the Annapolis to Newport race this spring on a Beneteau First boat. It's a fun race boat, and I have no qualms heading to Newport in it, but that is in part because I know that if things go pear-shaped that help is breathing over our shoulder. It's a light boat, tender as hell, rigged for buoy racing. Would I sail it deep offshore, out of reach of the Coast Guard and away from the company of dozens of other boats? Not the way it's outfitted, and maybe not regardless of how it was outfitted. Would I cruise on it for an extended period? No.

In short, taking those races as an example of a boat's sustained ocean/cruising going fitness is I think a mistake. Most of these boats won't ever do it again, and so the issue of stress cycles at sea is moot. I'm not saying they're not fit, only that their participation in the race proves nothing regarding their fitness other than the fact that they float.

If you want to pursue the issue, look at the post-race reports of which boats dropped out of a given race due to breakdowns and/or difficult conditions. You can find a few by Googling, although maybe all it will tell you is who has cajones and who does not. After all offshore racing is like sitting in a cold shower with your clothes on tearing up $100 bills, as the saying goes.

Lastly, just because someone is confident that their boat can do it, does not mean it can, or that it should. A number of entries get scratched from these races before the start because the owners had inflated confidence in vessels that the inspection did not support. There are those that passed inspection which you wished had not because you did not have a good feeling about the skipper's competency.
Much of what you pointed out here is the kind of information that can be valuable to someone trying to determine the capability of a given make of boat. It's exactly why I feel races can provide solid, unbiased information about the manufacturer. You simply can't know all you need to know about a given brand unless you have years, decades even, experience on their boats. So you have to use some other reliable information and that won't come from boat owners, friends, brokers or even surveyors.

For me personally, once I get on a boat I can get a pretty good feel for it. That comes from thousands of miles sailing and maintaining two different boats. But what if you aren't interested in the brand of boats you know well? Who has the time or the desire to go see every boat that sparks your interest? Becoming self-educated shouldn't be the only option.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:35   #48
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior 90 View Post
Hi
I am a newbee

In my unexperienced opinion this topic is certainly one of my top priorities and thanks to all that spent the time and effort.
It seems like there is no easy answer.
After all todays sailboats are tecnically advanced to the point, where some one like me could get the idear that sailing with the help of technology could be easier than at Cristbal Columbus times.
Fortunatly I finallay realized that my list of do´s and do nots be fore I should go sailing has grown to epic dimensions and that´s just evaluating the little I know compared to what I most likely don´t know.
I honestly beleave if I keep on going this track I will need more than a life time

The obvious next question is. What am I gonna do now
Well, there are some options.....
I just go out there and buy a boat and take it one step at the time.
My instincts tell me that this not the right way and playing with fire
On the other side ..if I keep on doing what I am doing right now I will never go sailing and my dream will be a pipe dream.

Just thought I let You guys know

May be that´s the typical newbe desease
I feel sick...are there any pills

THKs for time
Warrior, I agree. It's easy to fall into analysis paralysis. My journey, after being away from sailing for over ten years and mostly inland lakes experience with a season on Barnegat Bay (very shallow water), has been to first eliminate traditionally defined blue water boat with full keels, heavy displacement, etc. They have advantages I don't need and disadvantages that are deal killers for me. I want/need a so called coastal cruiser.

Of those, a decently maintained Catalina 30 is my benchmark. With single handing a priority, a Freedom 28, 30, 32 are high on my list (but also high on my price scale). Next are a Sabre 32, Sea Sprite 34, Hunter 34, C&C Landfall 38, Niagara 31, and a Cal 31. If the right Pearson comes along, that's also on the list. It's taken me months to narrow it down to these few. A major criteria is that these are all located in NC... I don't want to spend the time and money to look at far away boats or incur the risk of sailing an unknown boat back to the NC coast.

Someone suggested picking a specific model then looking for the best example you can find that meets your budget. I will likely end up with an excellent Catalina 30 after all is said and done. If you are going to buy a boat and take your chances, the C30 would not be a bad way to go in my opinion based on info on this and other forums. These guys have been very helpful, some in a kind of back handed way. Jeff_H has the most practical advice from my perspective as have some of those who own or have owned Freedoms. Good hunting... it's actually the one of the best parts
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:55   #49
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
...
10. High aspect appendages. High aspect spade rudders and high aspect, thin, bulb keels, offer dramatically improved hydrodynamic qualities, which make a boat sail much better. At the same time, they are dramatically more prone to damage, because the high aspect ratio increases the lever arm and makes it harder to attach the appendage in a robust manner. It's a straighforward tradeoff between sailing qualities and robustness -- only you can decide what the sweet spot is. Spending more money can ameliorate the tradeoff somewhat, because more expensive marques may spend more money on more robust bearings, flanges, and keel stubs. But you still have to choose how far to go with this. Most long-distance cruisers, including me, prefer less high aspect, and more robust appendages than cruiser-racers have, trading off some sailing quality for extra strength, but would not go as far as a long keel or full skeg rudder.
...
14. .. As far as I know, there is not any modern cruising boat made which is dangerously unstable -- stability is just not an inherent problem for boats with ballasted keels. But a sailor who wants to sail in all conditions might think twice about the most extreme modern designs with very flat bottoms and chines which are highly dependent on form stability. Have a look at the stability curves, and AVS, to be sure you're not getting into something which will have less stability than you would like.
....
I liked generally your post but regarding these two points I would add something:

Regarding keel attachment even if what you said is correct, there are several boat brands that solved the problem linking the keel not directly to a reinforced part of the hull but to a carbon or steel structure that takes all efforts and distributes them by the hull. Probably there are more but I know that X yachts, Grand Soleil, RM and Salona use this type of system. This allow the use of a high aspect ratio keel with all its advantages and without the disadvantages. Other brands using high aspect keels and using only good structural engineering solved the problem satisfactorily even on lifting keels that tend to be even more fragile:



Regarding this : " But a sailor who wants to sail in all conditions might think twice about the most extreme modern designs with very flat bottoms and chines which are highly dependent on form stability. "

Each case is a case but that type of boats only rely on form stability in what regards initial stability, the one that is used for sailing (that's why they sail with less heel than narrow boats) but in what regards reserve stability and AVS they rely, as all others on ballast and a lower CG. The most paradigmatic case of a boat with chines, very flat bottom and extreme design is the Pogo 12.50 and his AVS and final stability is better that the one of a Vaillant 40 (that has a good one).

I agree with your suggestion to look at the stability curve of all boats, if available. Yes a very beamy "extreme modern design" has a huge stability and there are known cases of racing boats that have sailed many thousand of miles continuing racing after having lost the keel (and arriving safely).

Theoretically it is possible to design a cruising boat according those principles, a boat that sails reasonably well and has a dangerous reserve stability...but then they have all to pass RCD requirements for class A and that will warrant to all a decent AVS and a decent final stability. However they are not the same. Some have a decent final stability others like the Pogo 12.50 or the Elan 320/360 have a very good final stability and AVS.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:07   #50
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

Regarding this : " But a sailor who wants to sail in all conditions might think twice about the most extreme modern designs with very flat bottoms and chines which are highly dependent on form stability. "

So which designs is he talking about, this guy is knowledgeable and he's making a point and you have not addressed it as you dance around designs that are OK???
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:13   #51
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

Using races as one means of determining "seaworthiness" (whatever that might mean to you) was never intended to imply that race boats should be considered for someone wanting a cruising boat. But cruising boats do race. And the ones that show up for open ocean races, time and again, tell you something more concrete than what's normally available.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:16   #52
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

Julie Mor said:
"You have already established your needs and price point - one that doesn't make eyes pop out. Now you're focusing on build quality, earned reputation, how much the boat can take based on what you expect you'll put her through. "

Seems pretty simple to me:

- Pick a candidate boat
- Find 10 examples of that boat that have done or are doing what I want/plan to do
- Determine if any of them had problems
- If they were all able to do the job I am requiring - Hire a surveyor to verify my particular boat is in the state/condition that it was designed to be

In summary; I would be confident if many other boats of the same type were doing the job I wanted to do and my surveyor told me my particular boat is in good condition.

Why are all the respondents making this so complicated?

If I do a thorough and honest specification of what I expect from the boat (routes, cruising grounds, my attitude about sailing, my sailing experience, cost, comfort) and I can find many examples of that model doing what I want to do - why would I then doubt tmy copy of that particular boat would not do what I want it to?

This has nothing to do with what a cruising boat (or any kind of boat) needs to have or should be. This is purely an empirical comparison!

I want to do X
10 copies of Boat A have done X in the last decade
My copy of Boat A is as it should be
Therefore - my Boat A can do the same X as the other examples of Boat A did

Simple!
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:40   #53
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrior 90 View Post
Hi
I am a newbee

In my unexperienced opinion this topic is certainly one of my top priorities and thanks to all that spent the time and effort.
It seems like there is no easy answer.
After all todays sailboats are tecnically advanced to the point, where some one like me could get the idear that sailing with the help of technology could be easier than at Cristbal Columbus times.
Fortunatly I finallay realized that my list of do´s and do nots be fore I should go sailing has grown to epic dimensions and that´s just evaluating the little I know compared to what I most likely don´t know.
I honestly beleave if I keep on going this track I will need more than a life time

The obvious next question is. What am I gonna do now
Well, there are some options.....
I just go out there and buy a boat and take it one step at the time.
My instincts tell me that this not the right way and playing with fire
On the other side ..if I keep on doing what I am doing right now I will never go sailing and my dream will be a pipe dream.

Just thought I let You guys know

May be that´s the typical newbe desease
I feel sick...are there any pills

THKs for time
Yes, just go out and buy a boat. Don't spend a ton of money and don't look for a "unicorn". There are NO perfect boats all are a compromise in many ways. You will learn more owning and maintaining this boat than years of reading. You will also learn how "you" will use it not how you thought you would. This will be the most useful information in buying the next boat. Don't try to buy your ""forever" boat the first time.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:48   #54
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Don't try to buy your ""forever" boat the first time.
sorry but this is stupid. Sail about 10-20 years take your time - about a year - to make a list what you want to have on your boat - and then prepare to upgrade it to your standards. That is thoroughfull preparation. And I love my boat and it is not just a car that I replace every two years or so it's my bride.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:57   #55
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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sorry but this is stupid. Sail about 10-20 years take your time - about a year - to make a list what you want to have on your boat - and then prepare to upgrade it to your standards. That is thoroughfull preparation. And I love my boat and it is not just a car that I replace every two years or so it's my bride.
So you bought your last boat the first time? I would say that makes you a very rare individual.
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Old 09-01-2015, 13:06   #56
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Regarding this : " But a sailor who wants to sail in all conditions might think twice about the most extreme modern designs with very flat bottoms and chines which are highly dependent on form stability. "

So which designs is he talking about, this guy is knowledgeable and he's making a point and you have not addressed it as you dance around designs that are OK???
I think I have clearly addressed what he was saying: The most extreme cruising boat that I know off regarding the characteristics dockhead is referring is the Pogo 12.50 that has a better AVS and a better reserve stability curve than a Valiant 40. I believe we all agree that the Valiant 40 has a good reserve stability and a good AVS.

Regarding the boats he is talking about, dangerous extreme boats with a low AVS, you have to ask him. All cruising boats sold in Europe has to be RCD aproved and here we are talking clearly about offshore boats that are class A certified and that means that in what regards final stability and AVS they have to have one that does not make them dangerous boats in what regards that.

Besides, being all things equal, meaning also the AVS and a good reserve stability, a beamier boat will have a bigger overall stability then a narrower boat. that is one of the reasons most cruising boats went that way: more stability and more stiff boats is something good to have offshore.
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Old 09-01-2015, 13:16   #57
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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I think I have clearly addressed what he was saying: The most extreme cruising boat that I know off regarding the characteristics dockhead is referring is the Pogo 12.50 that has a better AVS and a better reserve stability curve than a Valiant 40. I believe we all agree that the Valiant 40 has a good reserve stability and a good AVS.

Regarding the boats he is talking about, dangerous extreme boats with a low AVS, you have to ask him. All cruising boats sold in Europe has to be RCD aproved and here we are talking clearly about offshore boats that are class A certified and that means that in what regards final stability and AVS they have to have one that does not make them dangerous boats in what regards that.

Besides, being all things equal, meaning also the AVS and a good reserve stability, a beamier boat will have a bigger overall stability then a narrower boat. that is one of the reasons most cruising boats went that way: more stability and more stiff boats is something good to have offshore.
OK I will admit that I do not know anything about the man who made this statement so what I hear you saying is that he is/was uninformed and does not have knowledge on this subject and should not be listened to.
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Old 09-01-2015, 13:25   #58
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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Using races as one means of determining "seaworthiness" (whatever that might mean to you) was never intended to imply that race boats should be considered for someone wanting a cruising boat. But cruising boats do race. And the ones that show up for open ocean races, time and again, tell you something more concrete than what's normally available.
In fact in most races, even top ones like the Fatnet, Sydney Hobart, Giraglia or Middle sea race, most of the boats are not race boats but performance cruisers that many that like old slow boats call race boats...and then things get confused and confusing

I was talking of boats like the Salona 44, the First 45, the Wauquiez Centurion 45, the Dufour 44, the Grand Soleil 45, Dehler 44, Comet 45 all performance cruisers that are very good offshore boats with a superior stability and speed....but if that is the type of boat you want or would like to sail, only you will know. For that I would so some charter to see if they fit or not.

You can find these boats used between 10 and 5 years old at a reasonable cost needing very few work, if any, to put them in very good condition. Obviously I don't know if they are inside your budget but that would be what I would choose If I was looking for a particularly seaworthy boat for extensive bluewater cruising. Off course I enjoy to sail fast and I am among those that think that a faster passage is a safer one.
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Old 09-01-2015, 13:32   #59
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

I think we can narrow this down:
How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?
Buy it, sail it around the world without changing it. If you return it was!
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Old 09-01-2015, 13:44   #60
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Re: How Do You Determine If A Boat Is "Seaworthy"?

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So you bought your last boat the first time? I would say that makes you a very rare individual.
My dad did that. Had the boat 23 years, until the day he died. Never once thought about buying another.
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