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Old 26-11-2012, 13:06   #1
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A Good Safe Passage Maker

I've been getting seriously abused for my questioning the choice of boat that a couple abandoned at sea, after some bad weather and damage. That particular boat was a Beneteau Oceanis 393, fin keel, spade rudder, not everyone's first choice in a passage maker, I should think. However, Beneteau says this about the boat, "This unique 39-foot passage maker answers a long awaited quest for the serious blue water cruisers".
Perhaps I should not have entered that thread with this question, so here it is;
What do you consider makes a boat a good safe passage maker, design wise? Not necessarily that Beneteau, or any other particular boat, just your thoughts on design, not even construction.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:27   #2
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Re: a good safe passage maker

Something that, should the weather turn against you, still leaves you with enough well-founded confidence to soldier on. That implies some foundational knowledge and experience with boat construction, maintenance and handling and weather conditions; as opposed to foolish bravado or fingers-crossed wishful thinking. Obviously, it could get rough enough to force you to change plan, so in that case a design that has enough balance in its attributes to leave you options. That said, even the best boat and crew can perish where a nooby or a fool in a bathtub might get through. It's never a guaranteed thing on the water....makes it kind of interesting. There, I think that's vague enough to give me wiggle room in the ensuing catfight....
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:38   #3
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Re: a good safe passage maker

Get a book for starters.. like this Bookstore
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:38   #4
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Re: a good safe passage maker

I would consider a Pearson as a good design for a passage maker but then I may be prejudiced.

Seriously I would first define the passage. I might specify a very different boat for a trade wind crossing from Spain to Antigua vs a boat for sailing from Punta Arenas to Capetown.

Design wize, I think with few execptions most any design will be safe, assuming the boat is reasonably well built and not falling apart.

Full keel, fin keel, modified fin, deep draft, shallow draft, centerboard, I see no inherenct risk in any of these. Just different advantages and disadvantages to each, so all are compromises but I don't think compromises in safety, just performance or convenience, like deep draft vs shallow.

Attached rudder, skeg hung rudder, spade rudder. I have to admit that there is some additional protection to the rudder if attached to the keel but in many boats at the expense of some manueverability. The spade rudder is more exposed but in well built boats is beefed up to compensate. I like the skeg hung as a good compromise.

Sloop (masthead or not), cutter, ketch, yawl, schooner, junk, lateen, etc., same answer. Properly done any can be safe at sea.

Based on the compromises between performance, convenience, comfort, ease of handling, flexibility I chose a cutter rig, modified fin, skeg rudder, center cockpit and I'm overall very happy with the choice.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:51   #5
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

Our boat has been around the world three times. I'd like to think of it as a solid passage maker. =]
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:54   #6
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

Here we go again. When will folks learn that it's not the boat, it's the sailor!
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:11   #7
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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Here we go again. When will folks learn that it's not the boat, it's the sailor!
And the skilled sailor knows when a particular boat is just too flimsy or otherwise unsuited for a prudent long-distance all-weather passage. Not all boats are suitable. Not all sailors are suitable. You need both. It's always a gamble, but you can stack the odds for or against you.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:12   #8
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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I've been getting seriously abused for my questioning the choice of boat that a couple abandoned at sea, after some bad weather and damage. That particular boat was a Beneteau Oceanis 393, fin keel, spade rudder, not everyone's first choice in a passage maker, I should think. However, Beneteau says this about the boat, "This unique 39-foot passage maker answers a long awaited quest for the serious blue water cruisers".
Perhaps I should not have entered that thread with this question, so here it is;
What do you consider makes a boat a good safe passage maker, design wise? Not necessarily that Beneteau, or any other particular boat, just your thoughts on design, not even construction.
I don't see any reason for a passagemaker to avoid a fin keel or a spade rudder. Provided they're engineered fit for purpose.

Neither would be my first choice, but both certainly come higher on my list than a full keel, a cutaway full keel, a skeg-hung rudder, or a keel hung rudder.

But NONE of these are inherently unsuitable for passagemaking, except perhaps on the wide, windy waters of the world wide web.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:26   #9
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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I don't see any reason for a passagemaker to avoid a fin keel or a spade rudder. Provided they're engineered fit for purpose.

Neither would be my first choice, but both certainly come higher on my list than a full keel, a cutaway full keel, a skeg-hung rudder, or a keel hung rudder.

But NONE of these are inherently unsuitable for passagemaking, except perhaps on the wide, windy waters of the world wide web.
Not only do I agree, but I would point out that a great many of us have indeed opted for fin keels as a matter of personal preference.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:33   #10
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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But NONE of these are inherently unsuitable for passagemaking, except perhaps on the wide, windy waters of the world wide web.
Certainly the most dangerous waters on the planet. I might rather sail the Caribbean in hurricane season or the Med in a meltemi or the wrong way around the Horn.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:45   #11
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Oh for fecks sake, are we going for the record of how many "bluewater" threads we can simultaneously not lead us anywhere closer to resolution?

Can someone call Guiness please?

Someone?

Anyone?

Have them bring me a pint as well whem they send their record keeper...
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:51   #12
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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Oh for fecks sake, are we going for the record of how many "bluewater" threads we can simultaneously not lead us anywhere closer to resolution?

Can someone call Guiness please?

Someone?

Anyone?

Have them bring me a pint as well whem they send their record keeper...
You know, old men still sit and talk about the weather, even though they've been doing the same for over a thousand years.

Try not to get your pants in a twist. People just like to talk.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:53   #13
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

I would go back and have a serious look at the construction criteria. Most boats get abandoned after dismasting and/or major structural failures. If you are going to get pitch poled going around the Horn there is probably not a lot you can do to avoid a dismasting. Regardless, the quality of the construction is going to do a lot to prevent major structural failure. Typical failure in "light on" boats seems to be stove in cabin tops, some even entirely being torn off.
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Old 26-11-2012, 14:56   #14
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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Our boat has been around the world three times. I'd like to think of it as a solid passage maker. =]
In general yes, but I think the determination is more of a bell curve with the middle comprised of pretty good boats and pretty good sailors.

When you get to the extremes of the curve you have very bad boats that could be managed by a very good sailor or overbuilt tanks that might survive most anything a very bad sailor might do.

As long as the sum of boat quality and captain quality equals one you have a good chance of success. Add lower quality in both and you have a good chance of failure.
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Old 26-11-2012, 15:05   #15
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Re: A Good Safe Passage Maker

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Originally Posted by foolishsailor View Post
Oh for fecks sake, are we going for the record of how many "bluewater" threads we can simultaneously not lead us anywhere closer to resolution?

Can someone call Guiness please?

Someone?

Anyone?

Have them bring me a pint as well whem they send their record keeper...
Well you see, it's winter in the US and everyone north of the Mason Dixon line has their boat hauled until May and nothing better to do. Wait another couple of months when they all start getting cabin fever to go along with boating withdrawal, then things will really get weird.
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