It's nothing to modify on a boat, but why in the world would one motor
along a lee shore with the mainsail
covered and not ready to set? With 3 reefs
in it, the boat might have been able to sail off shore adequately to save itself-- of course, the crew would have to want to try.
I think there is an illusion of safety
newbies often have; it seems as if they think driving a boat around is like driving a car, and it isn't.
Kenomac, in response to your questions about the modifications to yachts to improve their safety
, one thing we did was to have our new mainsail built so that at the first reef, we can leave both running back stays set and the sail clears, so that maneuvering in conditions where reefs
are required no longer requires fussing with the runners, leaving us free to deal with--whatever. I personally question whether cruising boats should have runners which have to be tacked all the time, but that's another issue. There are a number of cruising boats which need their runners to support their inner forestay.
The thread on "Fake Boats" has begun to go into what contemporary or older boats are suitable for modification for "bluewater work." Some suggestions for modifications there have been made. A few of them are: installation
of proper backing plates
for winches, cleats
, travelers; strongly engineered bow rollers (safety at anchor); adding layup
where there is flexing; raising the bridge deck
, or fabricating a higher one (could store duck boards therein); increasing rigging
size, and so on. Adding window boards to protect the ports
wasn't mentioned, but some of those huge windows could present a big problem when they blow out or the boat rolls. Inadequately secured tanks
was another, and I'll add securing the batteries to that. Handholds or finger rails to help you get around the boat and stay under control. Positive closure for cabinets and drawers. Our engine mounts have cable tie downs as well as being bolted down; I hadn't seen that before.
Many people add things to their boats that decrease their boat's ability to handle big winds: the huge cockpit
enclosures that add so much windage come to mind, as do objects that add weight aloft, like wind
generators. Personally, I like my beer
cold, so we have a wind
gen to help out when the solars aren't keeping up, but the solar panels
add windage and weight aloft, also. And so now we segue into the "all boats are compromises" discussion. [The gen-set for electricity and watermaking is also a compromise--more fuel
, more labor, more CO2 into the atmosphere.]
It might be interesting to ask the catamaran
owners what modifications they have made and what their compromises have been, too. They have some different issues, and perhaps they don't go to the same places--but we should hear from them, too , all my experience is in monos.
If the real issue of your question is something like "what may I not have thought of that I can do to improve my boat's user friendliness in heavy weather
?", then perhaps you as the Oyster
expert among us might have some interesting ideas we all could share. I'd really like to know what Evans has done to Hawk also. We have some pretty knowledgeable folks on the forum; we'll see who wants to add.
One of the tough things is that each of us has a budget
, and the smaller budget
guys and gals find it hard to relate to the larger budgets others have; this is a fact of life, and sometimes there's jealousy involved. In addition, there are some modifications too expensive for some to consider making to their boat.