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Old 11-01-2018, 23:00   #1
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A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

I think the most common question that I see on this forum is "what is the best sailboat for me?" Most of the replies are advice about the trade-offs for each style or mfg.

This article is the best I have seen that really explains the difference between a coastal cruiser and a true bluewater cruiser.

https://www.sailmagazine.com/cruisin...ter_SAIL180111
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Old 11-01-2018, 23:44   #2
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Nice piece. Confirms much of what I know about sailing my full keel cutter.
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Old 12-01-2018, 00:15   #3
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

I disagree, average article. Nothing new here. So many variables not accounted for, so many generalizations. There's so many types of boats out here, describing boats by their underwater shape, keel etc is just very narrow thinking.

I had a full keel 25 ft top hat 48% ballast displacement ratio etc , if I had of crossed the Indian ocean in that gunnel to gunnel rolling boat I would have deliberately driven it onto a reef when I got here. My 47 foot fin keel spade rudder was very comfortable.

My point is there's just so many variables when it comes to boats, boat size, boat age, boat design, boat condition, skipper experience etc etc. So much determines whether a boat is safe and comfortable, and alot isn't addressed in that article.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:55   #4
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Love my keelers especially offshore.
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Old 12-01-2018, 06:03   #5
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Not a bad article, and it does bring out some valuable information. Mostly, though, it seems to reflect the biases of the author. Not unlike all of the postings here when the same subject comes up.

Bottom line is that each person has to decide for themselves what they consider important, and then look for that in the boat that they buy. I think the big mistake that a lot of boat buyers make is getting a boat for sailing around the world when the reality is -- if they were brutally honest with themselves -- they are never going to go more than a day or two away from their home port.
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Old 12-01-2018, 07:49   #6
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

I think for those with limited funds it is valid to want the option to build on what you have if you do decide to brave the oceans, rather than having to sell up and start over.

And in the meantime, if you've traded some cabin comforts or speed upwind etc in favour of greater safety, those are also valid choices, long as they're made consciously.
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Old 12-01-2018, 08:56   #7
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

As usually what one thinks best and all vision about sailboat preferences has to do with personal and subjective tastes that are revealed by the type of boat the one that is talking (or writing) about has.

The author of that article owns a Mason 44 a 35 year old design, a full Keller and a very heavy boat (382 D/L)
This explains the opinion of the writer in what concerns the article and general point of view.

We have a member of this forum that had for many years a Mason 44 that he sailed extensively offshore and that substituted, some years ago, by a modern bluewater boat with many of the characteristic the writer of the article considers not good for comfort or safety: a beamy boat, a light boat (182D/L) and a fast boat if compared with the Mason.

Steve's opinion was that his new boat was a much better offshore boat than the old heavy Mason in all aspects.

So nothing wrong with the article if your preference goes to heavy old designs but not much to learn about if you prefer modern or fast performance bluewater boats.

Regarding those preferences in what regards sailor's average tastes, they are expressed on the market by the offer and you can see that boats like the Mason 44 are not built anymore. No offer because the ones that would want them is much more reduced than even the number of guys that prefer very fast, very light bluewater boats like the Pogo or the JPK (there is a considerable offer regarding these boats).

The Average will want boats like the Oyster or the Halberg Rassy that today are medium light fast boats with all those characteristics the writer dislikes.



Besides the article is not about (as you say) : "what is the best sailboat for me?"

But about how to chose a bluewater boat and there are very few that make bluewater sailing their preferred type of sailing. 99% are coastal sailors that eventually make some offshore passages and eventually cross oceans (for doing more coastal or island to island sailing).

For 99% of the sailors a boat fully adapted to bluewater conditions will not be the best boat. For almost all, the boat that makes sense would be a boat designed to be very good in coastal conditions (that allows to enjoy life and a has great living interior) that has also the capacity to sail offshore and cross oceans from time to time.

Compromises in what regards design are different regarding the two goals and most modern boats, the so called main market boats (big production or not) show the design compromises I had talked about on the paragraph above, the ones that suits most sailors.

Also most of the sailing and cruising is done where the conditions are nicer to most, warm climates like the Med or the Caribbean or somewhat protected waters like the Baltic.

For the 1% or less, that wants to sail in high latitudes, or during the winter, the choice of boat would be different but then we would be way out of the "the best sailboat for me?" since "me", as a generalization, would refer to those 99% and not to the 1% (probably less) that want a sailboat to sail offshore on cold high latitudes.
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:25   #8
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

As one old sailor said, "one chooses a boat as the best response to their greatest fear and insecurity."
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Old 12-01-2018, 10:39   #9
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

To be frank - whenever "true blue water cruiser" appears I think there's a part of my brain that just disengages.

If it gets you there, however it gets you there, it is worthy.

Whether slow boating at 5 knots. Whether comfortably sailing VMG at 8 knots easy even when the wind is only 13.
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:55   #10
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

I always find myself annoyed by Tom Cunliffe. Poor fellow can't help it :-)!

THIS article, however, states succinctly and in easily comprehensible form a great deal of FUNDAMENTAL knowledge that those who come to us with the classic question - op cit - need to acquire. It matters not to me what choices the questioner makes once s/he has acquired that knowledge. To me it only matters that we have helped him/her to acquire a sound foundation on which to make those choices.

It strikes me that very often a newbie will ask a fairly simple question to which s/he cannot possibly be expected to know "the" answer, or ANY answer, and we, as a group, go tearing off laying before him/her all manner of sophisticated and abstruse matters which in and of themselves are boilerplate truth, but which for the questioner can only lead to further uncertainty and confusion unless they are underpinned by sound fundamentals. It strikes me further that we have lost a number of potentially sound members by doing that!

Let this therefore be a plea to the owner/mods to establish a separate section of the forum catering SPECIFICALLY to novices, a section akin to the newly established "manuals" section. A taxonomy of newbie-questions should be easy enuff to establish so that utter greenhorns can find their way about even without knowing "sailor-speak" :-)!

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Old 12-01-2018, 13:36   #11
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

If full keels are the way to go why are they not made today.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:02   #12
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosatte View Post
If full keels are the way to go why are they not made today.
There are MANY questionable practices by boat builders! Economics and fashion trends have much more to do with it.
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:31   #13
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

I didnít read the article as being particularly negative or weighted towards any particular design. The author, who has some credibility in the industry, went through some basic hull & rigging parameters. He discussed ever-so-briefly the kind of trade offs one can generally expect between these very general hull and rig designs.

The article is clearly an introduction to these design parameters. Itís in SAIL after all, which is mostly written for dreamers and beginners. His intention is clearly to get new cruisers thinking about the yin & yang of various design choices.

As he states: "No boat is all things to every sailor. The successful ones are those which have been chosen wisely to suit the character of their owners and the job they will undertake."
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Old 12-01-2018, 14:48   #14
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Quote: "If full keels are the way to go why are they not made today."

Let's qualify carefully :-)! It is not that "full keel" is "the way to go". Not always. Only in certain circumstances. That was the point Tom Cunliffe made. Those "certain circumstances" are, broadly speaking, those of making ocean passages, especially passages made by relatively inexperienced sailors and by singlehanders.

And THAT is why "full keelers" are not a paying proposition for the purveyors of "mass" produced, i.e. factory built, boats. Simply ain't no percentage in it! The number of potential buyers truly intending to cross oceans is very, VERY much lower than the number of those who are pretending that some day they may.

Boat factories have to make their profit by building for the majority, and therefore by definition, for the "lowest common denominator". There are obviously some who knowingly, upon consideration of sound desiderata, choose to buy the sort of boat Cunliffe contrasts to the "full keeler". A few of these very few people who buy fin'n'spade boats UPON SOUND CONSIDERATION do cross oceans in them. Quite successfully. But in those cases, tribute must be paid to the skipper and crew rather than to the boat design. Most buyers of fin'n'spade boats buy 'em cos that's wot's available in the market. A proper oozly-woozly bird it is :-)

It is the very essence of "mass marketing" to prevaricate and dissemble. It is MY opinion of the "glossy" yachting mags, that their purpose is to abet the bloviations of the producers who advertise in them. This article by Cunliffe is in the nature of a bone thrown to the dogs. The purpose of the "glossies" is to make money for the publishers, of course, and they can only do that by what I call "selling into a market of ignorance". Hard words, I know, but it will be VERY difficult to disabuse me of them ;-)!

Now for any budding yachtsman with the maturity to go steady, I would recommend WoodenBoat magazine over all the "glossies". Not that WB is not glossy. It is, in fact, a technically bee-yoo-tiful example of the compositior's and the printer's craft, but from my perspective its greatest merit is that it consistently - over something like 260 bimonthly issues by now - contains something for sailors of every level of competence and technical expertise. Stuff you can get your teeth into. A good deal of the editorial content addresses matters that are of interest to ALL seafaring folk, whether they sail in stick-built boats or in those fashioned from frozen snot.

And for the record: I wouldn't own a wooden boat if you gave me one, and I won't get paid a penny for the above commercial ;-0)!

Cheers

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Old 12-01-2018, 15:06   #15
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Re: A Good Article That Addresses The Most Asked Question On This Forum

Single masted, weighted dagger long keel, spade rudder, 45+ in length, integrated generator to keep batteries powered up, watermaker, AIS, autohelm w/ seperate funtion autohelm as backup, and a six man crew to run continuous 4 hour watches of 2 crew 24/7. Thats how I do it.
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