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Old 24-02-2007, 10:17   #1
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Ocean-Going

What are some of the thing that determine an ocean going sailboat from one that does not belong there?
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Old 24-02-2007, 11:08   #2
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Any manufacturers that begin with Hun, Catali, Bene, for a starter should not be considered for serious offshore use IMO.
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Old 24-02-2007, 12:38   #3
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I think you will get as many opinions as there are boats. Firstly though, I am not experianced at taking long off shore trips yet, but I'll add my two cents and the following is what we based the decision of buying our boat on.
The first area would be interior layout. It's lovely to have an open spacouse layout, but in open water, that can be deadly. You need to be kept safe physicly. So reducign distances that you can be thrown and impact on is essential. Sharp corners are a no no. Narrow passage ways that you can brace yourself along when walking is great. One thing we really like about our Galley is the "wrap around" feel that it has. Not that you are cooking much, but you still need to prepare some food and drinks.
The next essential is storage space. Dry storage space. You simply can't ever get enough storage space. You need lockers from small to large. Plenty of food storage and that needs to be dry and able to be kept dry in all but the worst situation (that would be sinking)when food would be the least of your worries. Cltohing of course, you need plenty of good breathable lockers for clothing etc. and verticle lockers are the best as clthes can be hung and the maximum air flow can be around them. Of course, this room is luxury on smaller boats and may not be possible or practicle.
Being able to retain everything. I am talking all the little things like plates, cutlery and all the little nicknacks you have on display. You may find the everything stays in place in normal conditions and normal heeling angles, but get into ruff weather and you soon learn you have to find better ways to hold stuff.
That then takes me to the mechanical side of things. Engines MUST be held down with captivated engine mounts. Batteries MUST be retained incase of the worst situation happening, a Roll over. Good bilge pumps, plenty of them and well placed through out the boat.
Outside, the fitrst critical area would be hatches, ports and windows. All need to be blue water capable. Large Pilot house windows while nice, have to be able to withstand enourmouse water pressures. One cubic metre of water weighs a tonne. Now send it against the window with some speed and the impact is simply scary. I am using a toughend glass with an impact strength equal to 100mm(4") of normal glass. But it isn't just the glass. What and how it is held in needs to be equaly as strong.
Good cockpit drainage. It's not the first wave, it's the second and third, can the cockpit drain fast enough to ensure water does not build up adding emmense weight high up. Are companion way doors well sealed from water and water build up from flooded cockpits.
Saftey rails and jacklines. You need to be kept safe and well held in the worst of circumstances should you have to go forward. Having rails around the mast can be a pain in many circumstances, but when it is ruff and you have to stand at the mast, you will fall in love with the rails. They make an almost impossible job possible and keep you safe.
The rest is personal stuff you can easily add afterwards, like Lifraft, EPIRB, flares, lifejackits, MOB pole(colour of your choice;-) etc etc.
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Old 24-02-2007, 13:11   #4
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Olin Stephens when asked this question answered: a strong one. Nothing much has changed.
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Old 24-02-2007, 13:49   #5
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I believe Allen described the qualities of an offshore vessel quite well. It doesn't mean bigger is better, stronger is better.

There are a lot of worthy sea vessels out there and generally speaking, the mass production boats are not the ones. I've been to several boat shows and shutter sometimes as to how awful it would be to be out there in a storm with many of these boats. They are perfect for hanging out at a marina tied to a dock with their shore power cords or coastal sailing when weather can be predicted and shelter is always near by.

I had a mid 70's Pearson 33 for several years. We didn't do much off shore travel with her. When the wind did pipe up, she was a handful as she pounded hard and dropped her rail deep into the water. She weighed only 11,000 pounds. None the less, she was a lot better than some boats being produced today.

It is easy to determine offshore boats. Most have an established reputation for handling weather and seas and have done ocean crossings. Those are the ones to focus on.

My current vessel is one foot shorter and twice the weight. My wife and I sail often when the winds pipe up to 30-40 knots and she handles it with ease compared to the old Pearson. My wife feels safer and so do I. We no longer worry about wind. The boat is a better blue water sailor than we ever will be.

HERON
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Old 24-02-2007, 14:09   #6
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Stronger is not alway's better, especially in Multihulls, as this usually alway's equates to heavier, and I have seen plenty of heavier cat's that aren't as seaworthy IMHO as their lighter cousin's.

I have also seen heavy laminates fail in destruction test's for survey, where a lighter layup has proved stronger.

eg: chopped strand and woven rovings in polyester resin on foam VS stitched mult-axial glass in epoxy, or even vinylester resin on foam.

If strong = heavy and this affect's the vessel's performance, i'm agains't it, but if the vessel was designed with the extre weight in mind or other construction method's are used to retain strength yet lose weight and performance is not affected, well that's got to be good.

Dave
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Old 24-02-2007, 14:52   #7
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Dave, what you said I think comes down to the design Phylosophy by the designer. There are many ways to crack an egg. I guess research of the Designer would make that the first initial step. What blue water hulls has he designed in past and what is his reputation based on those. If the designer is reputable and he has designed a blue water hull, then I think you can rest a little easier.
So in saying all that, if the desing is good, then the weight, strenght and performance should be within balance.
Jeff would be able to speak in greater depth on this, but the strength of a laminate is not all it's about. It is transference of load and disappation of energy with out failure that is the criticle factor. The same material can be good in one hull design and wrong in another.
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Old 24-02-2007, 15:45   #8
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What are some of the thing that determine an ocean going sailboat from one that does not belong there?
The person in the cockpit.
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Old 24-02-2007, 16:21   #9
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Morgan Paul...I agree a lot has to do with the experience of that sailor, however an experienced sailor would not take any boat to places where he shouldn't which based on my experience no sailboat should be outside the bay...lol
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Old 24-02-2007, 17:42   #10
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You asked the question and got the expected majority answer - a slow heavy solid safe boat.

And if a majority of weather experienced was to be heavy - that would be the correct view.

But it's a sad fact that the majority of weather experienced globally (unless of course you sail extreme north or south) is light, warm and on flattish seas - so just maybe the more practical view make sense?

For what it is worth - when you do go out there you'll find plenty of more modern production cruisers that are lighter, faster, more comfortable and generally better set up to sail and live on board - happily sliding around the world.

Sure, in heavy weather you'd maybe feel more secure in a heavier boat.

But remember most of the time its those people in heavy boats still out slogging across the oceans long after the lighter faster ones have completed the passages - and sipping their rum in their spacious airy cabins and cockpits when at anchor.

I'll duck now as the 'heavy is alway best' brigade come back for a second go........good luck.

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Old 24-02-2007, 18:01   #11
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Not break...

Maybe we could replace "heavy" with "not likely to break under normal conditions".
I would expect that an old, light boat might not be a good idea.
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Old 24-02-2007, 18:23   #12
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A well designed and well built boat is what is wanted. Doesn't mean it has to be heavy and conservative. (albeit mine IS heavy and conservative and as she is mine she is therefore better ).

IMO a good starting point is "how much have you got?", but only cos' it kinda narrows the options down.
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Old 24-02-2007, 20:38   #13
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"The person in the cockpit" - "Well designed" - "Well built" - "Weight, strength and performance should be within balance"

Surprising what that can look like!

TEN FEET ACROSS THE PACIFIC* Gerry Spiess heads Yankee Girl toward Hawaii

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Old 24-02-2007, 21:02   #14
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Westsail, Pacific Seacraft, Hans Christian, Mariners, Halberg Rassey, Bristol, Swan, CSY, Endeavor to name just a few that come to mind. There are many more names that pop into mind when you mention good sea boats. Allied, Alberg, Luders.
C'mon guys you can think of more.
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Old 24-02-2007, 21:09   #15
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