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Old 07-05-2012, 23:44   #1
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What is the Smallest Boat That You Would Sail Outside of Coastal Waters?

What is the smallest baot that you would sail outside of coastal waters. And when I say coastal, then lets say 50-100 mi. I ask because I wonder what the an average sailor would saill. someone not out to set a record and that wants to sail safe. So what, 20 ft, 25-30ft?
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:30   #2
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Hey LT, good luck trying to get an answer to your question....I started a similar thred right around the same time you did in the seamanship forum and .....and thats right ....no answers.....you probably like me with a pocket cruiser and limited experience itching to get it out there knowing that it is not a "true blue water" boat.....my only guess is this topic has been discused by the old timers over and over so I would recomend messing around with that Search button....I have and I did find some stuff.....if I decide to go out in my 19 ft West Wight Potter I will let you know how that turned out...ifI will make it back........heheheheh.......I only say that hoping someone will feel sorry for us and answer our questions( the life that they might be saving might not be their own)........unlike you I only plan on being 10 15 miles off of the coast of North Carolina, though......good luck and be safe........Constantin
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:44   #3
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Size is not everything. the skill and experiance of the crew are no 1 the construction and design are important too. then there is the off shore its self most would consider high latitude as more dangerous than trade wind.
if you check out the micro transat boats you should get a good idea of seaworthy.
but in size terms you need shelter from elements, food and prep area,water drinking. you dont need full standing head room but it will make changing into dry sleep clothes easier. the bigger the hull the better speed.

I rate this advice as 3 out of 5, handy but not legal or the ultimate.
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Old 16-05-2012, 17:24   #4
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Robert Manery sailed a 12.6 ft. boat across the atlantic.He built a small cabin and stocked it with provisions and took off...no auto pilot..I have seen people from the Pacific Islands take off and come back weeks later on boats that appeared to be little more than logs lashed together...On the south coast of Jamaica they go out in handmade wooden boats 60 -100 miles and fish for weeks at a time..if it will float jump on it and go if thats what you want to do...if its a real boat what could go wrong?ha ha ..
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Old 16-05-2012, 17:35   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt.
What is the smallest baot that you would sail outside of coastal waters. And when I say coastal, then lets say 50-100 mi. I ask because I wonder what the an average sailor would saill. someone not out to set a record and that wants to sail safe. So what, 20 ft, 25-30ft?
Lt. - what is the difference between 50 and 100?

What is the difference between 100 and 1000? And the answers are not 50 and 900.

To answer your question it depends on the boat, the sailing area and the skippers experience.

I personally would take my boat (25-26 feet) but would not take a J24. This is due to comfort. My boat is nominally 1,000 kilos heavier than a J24. I have had both out in 40kts and thunderstorms. Way more comfortable in my boat.

I have done 50 miles in daylight and 100 miles over 2 days. To me 100 miles is still daysailing.
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Old 16-05-2012, 17:37   #6
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

I used to take my Hurley 20' 100 and more miles offshore regularly. Saw 45knots, 8-12 seas more than a couple o times. It's not the size so much as design and construction...oh yea...and the sailor. Know what you are doing... even then, stuff happens. Be smart. Be careful. No boat is a substitute for seamanship


mm
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Old 16-05-2012, 17:49   #7
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Quote:
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What is the smallest baot that you would sail outside of coastal waters. And when I say coastal, then lets say 50-100 mi. I ask because I wonder what the an average sailor would saill. someone not out to set a record and that wants to sail safe. So what, 20 ft, 25-30ft?
A Westsail 32 or a Southern Cross 31. Both are slow, heavy and proven, all of which keep the "average" sailor out of trouble longer.

These days, the average sailor rarely leaves sight of land, however.
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Old 16-05-2012, 18:19   #8
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

You could check out the links after my signature or read the book I've recommended there.
This is a subject that's been covered in countless books and articles.
Good luck in finding your right the answer. I'd take an International Folkboat 26 anywhere which is the same design as a Contessa 26. There are other boats smaller that would go but even more cramped in the interior.
kind regards,
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Old 16-05-2012, 23:50   #9
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

Dont worry about 50 to 100 miles off shore. Coastal cruise and enjoy it. Anchor every night that you can and build up your experiance. I took a Contessa 26 from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas and only sailed overnight about three times. I learned every small bay or cove on the Calif, Baja coast, and had fun. It gave me the experiance to go from Mexico to the Marquesas, Tahiti, and Hawaii. Start out with baby steps, and dont exhaust yourself or your mate with unnecessary overnight sails at first. The first thing you need to have is good heavy ground tackle, and learn how to use it. As I have said a number of times, MORE CRUISING BOATS ARE LOST TO POOR ANCHORING SKILLS THAN POOR SAILING SKILLS. Have a great time.____Grant.
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Old 17-05-2012, 00:51   #10
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

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The first thing you need to have is good heavy ground tackle, and learn how to use it. As I have said a number of times, MORE CRUISING BOATS ARE LOST TO POOR ANCHORING SKILLS THAN POOR SAILING SKILLS. Have a great time.____Grant.

I will support that.
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Old 17-05-2012, 01:10   #11
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This question comes up all the time on many sailing forums. I own two 32 foot sailboats that have both spent serious times in blue water. I personally would not sail them that way. It boils down to a man and his tools and what fate tosses at you. I think sailing on the skimp is flying in the face of god. Like proclaiming a boat unsinkable and not having life rafts. Westsail 32 mentioned would do nicely, but a Westsail 42 would make any crossing more comfortable.
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Old 17-05-2012, 01:50   #12
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

The two smallest boats I saw which had circumnavigated AS CRUISERS (opposed to record setters) were 21 and 22 ft. o/a. Jim and I sailed the (by comparison huge) 30 ft. to Hawaii from San Francisco and back in 1983. Friends circumnavigated in a beefed up Cal 27, with the only electronics a depth sounder. Incidentally, both we and they are still cruising.

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Old 17-05-2012, 03:21   #13
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

I would go with a 27 footer - but only certain designs and well sorted. Might push that to a folkboat. Might.

Not to say that anything smaller is not capable (or not more capable than me!) - just that for me would not be pleasant / fun enough.

For me the key would be 1 more person onboard (who knew what they were doing!) - as IMO the smaller the boat the more important that it be sailed by someone, rather than left to own devices / autopilot 24/7.

The easy way to find out is to go out 10 miles (or less) in crappy weather and say to self - "Would I be happy doing this for a week, non-stop?".......preferably not for your first voyage!
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Old 17-05-2012, 03:32   #14
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

African fishermen (not pirates) routinely come 100-150 nm ofshore in hollowed-out trees to fish for large tuna. When caught, they lash it to the outside the tree and paddle back to shore.

So it really depends on your desire and skill
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Old 17-05-2012, 04:38   #15
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Re: What is the smallest boat that you would sail outside of coastal waters?

I dont have very much blue water experience on small boats but I would take a falmouth 22 cutter or a flicka offshore based soley on reputation. Of course all systems up to handling off shore duty.
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