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Old 26-08-2013, 09:07   #76
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

In reply to Mark J. The boat was a semi-production boat, an older dedicated deck salon cruiser who's make escapes my badly befuddled mind at this point, but the name of the boat was Almesian. I'll have to find the operations manual for it, which I still have stored somewhere, the manual was highly detailed for all the systems and operation of the boat but there was nothing in the safety section, that in itself should have raised an alarm in my mind, but I didn't read anything into it at that time, the captain had made the trip many times.
I had put my gear aboard prior to the owner leaving for Bermuda so I wouldn't have to lug it on the plane, we were signed up for the return trip. The bag had my inflatable vest in it as well as my good offshore foulies and gear, I figure there's some dirt poor guy in Haiti sporting a really nice set of weather gear">foul weather gear these days, a gift from the sea.
All around it was a sad story of a series of mistakes and bad decisions leading up to the demise of the captain when the boat itself was still solid and sailable. I still believe you shouldn't be getting off a perfectly good boat until your stepping up to the life raft, if the boat is solid and intact with just some storm damage it's still a better bet than trying to board a life raft in a storm.
I also don't believe the salesmen who tell me their model deck salons don't need storm covers, maybe I'm too conservative. I really like the deck salon designs of a couple builders and would be buying a newer one if I had the money but would either have them make a set or make them myself before heading off to parts unknown, you always hope you won't need them but they would be nice to have if you did. Just sayin.....
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Old 26-08-2013, 14:27   #77
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Exactly right! The failure is quite often having the whole port assembly, frame and all, shoved through the hull or cabin side and into the interior.

Cheers,

Jim

Quite often. But how often?

I say this because I have seen various degrees of damage on boats that went thru bad storms, but I have never seen a stoved in port nor window.

b.
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Old 26-08-2013, 14:57   #78
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

The vessels name was Almeisan, if you google sailing vessel Almeisan you'll get a lot of hits on information about the sinking and subsequent loss of life. Most of the articles you'll see are from a book that was written some time after the incident. I never read the book but have read some of the passages in magazine articles after the incident, let's say the author was dramatic in his rendering. I found the Coast Guard report far more useful, some of that report was published in Soundings, of course I wasn't on board at the time so I don't know what the overall consensus was.
As for how often large deck salon ports fail, I couldn't say, there are many out there that haven't, I don't think it's a function of design or boat building quality, (as some sales people would lead you to believe), I think it's a matter of circumstance. Build quality certainly goes a long way, but no one can predict what you'll encounter once at sea, what level of risk are you willing to live with? Smaller holes in a hull mean smaller places for water to enter. Abandon ship? Not if you've got a scared guy with a bucket bailing, fastest way to get water out of a boat I've ever found. It's amazing how much water can be removed when you take the most frightened person on board and hand him a 5 gallon bucket. But it's better not to be in that predicament in the first place. Got big deck salon ports? Cover them with big storm shutters before the storm gets too nasty. Don't let it deter you from purchasing one if that's what you want, just use prudent judgement in how you prepare for heavy weather once you have a boat like that.
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Old 28-08-2013, 06:50   #79
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That's vintage design philosophy from an era when a waterline of 34' was considered huge for cruising boats. But look at the difference between LWL on a Valiant 40 (34') and the Beneteau 473 (43' 10")

Given the choice between circumnavigating in either of those two boats, I'd choose the Beneteau in a heartbeat. A substantially larger boat is going to handle seas substantially better. It will be far more comfortable in a seaway, and will make passages shorter. More room for the type of gear one needs on a circumnavigation, such as bicycles, and a lot more liveable at anchor.
I'm familiar with the claim that this time is different, that with faster, modern designs the old rules don't apply. To some extent it's true - fiberglass can be thinner than it once was due to cores and sails can be bigger with modern equipment. However, going 8 knots instead of 6.5 will not protect you from the sea or guarantee that you can avoid a weather pattern. When it hits the fan, a large cockpit taking on water is bad, flimsy ports are bad in a knockdown, and narrow cluttered side decks will still increase the chances of falling overboard. A choice between a valiant 40 and a beneteau 473 is a slam dunk for the valiant. You can have your waterline.
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Old 28-08-2013, 11:49   #80
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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A choice between a valiant 40 and a beneteau 473 is a slam dunk for the valiant. You can have your waterline.
your in a tiny minority

big open cockpits are no issue, the fact is they are open. the water drains away fast. Fast controllable boats are better in heavy weather. good hydrodynamics, low wetted area( within reason) spade rudders etc, all excellent in bad weather. good reliable engine helps enormously too

Cluttered side decks , on a nearly 50 foot Beeny, you don't know a lot really,

slam dunk to the Benny , why sail in the 19th century.

dave
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Old 28-08-2013, 13:37   #81
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

I am not quite clear why pitch a Bene against a Valiant. I think both can do the job, if their structure is sound, maintenance done well and their skippers know how to sail and understand limitations of their boats.

I think a Valiant may have an edge in that it was actually designed to take on extended ocean crossings. They are simple, strong boats, easy to fix and easy to sail.

Benes are designed to provide space and comfort: charter fleets, family weekends, etc. But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders.

Oceans have been crossed in anything. It is all personal choices.

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Old 29-08-2013, 09:02   #82
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I am not quite clear why pitch a Bene against a Valiant. I think both can do the job, if their structure is sound, maintenance done well and their skippers know how to sail and understand limitations of their boats.

I think a Valiant may have an edge in that it was actually designed to take on extended ocean crossings. They are simple, strong boats, easy to fix and easy to sail.

Benes are designed to provide space and comfort: charter fleets, family weekends, etc. But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders.

Oceans have been crossed in anything. It is all personal choices.

b.
Have to agree. While I personally favor the "old" boats that were built specifically for open ocean sailing, as long as you feel safe in your boat and take all reasonable precautions prior to and during your trip, you'll be fine. People were crossing oceans in dugout canoes long before we started. Find the boat that makes you happy and is safe, and go for it.
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:05   #83
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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I think a Valiant may have an edge in that it was actually designed to take on extended ocean crossings. They are simple, strong boats, easy to fix and easy to sail.

Benes are designed to provide space and comfort: charter fleets, family weekends, etc. But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders.

Just examine that statement above

* Saildrives, actually many Beneteaus have shaft drives ( and specifically whats the issue with saildrives anyway)
* discontinuous rigging, almost 100% common on larger rigs ( Oyster HR, etc etc)
* Huge cockpits, yes but with open transoms, actaully drain way quicker then older enclosed designs with pipes for drains. ( see Vendee ocrean racers)
*Spade Rudder - not aware there are surface rocks on an ocean, coastal sailing yes., Spade is a way superior hydrodynamically , and now common on all major brands , including high end.

So hear you have old chesnuts trotted out , completely out of context, with no real relevance to modern designs or the user feedback that results in 1000s of them being used

Its really time we left this stuff behind I mean how many Valients were made, its almost exclusively a US boat, designed for the peculiarities of US fashion and sold to a very niche group. Ive seen one in Europe in 20 years.

Its time we moved into the light and acknowledge science and engineering based designs and move away from the nonsense that suggests ,merely because the builder hadn't a clue about composite science , that he built a better boat.

dave
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:19   #84
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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I understand you can get caught in a storm by surprise, but c'mon, it's 2013, there's weather forecasts so you should be at lest able to keep out of the really bad weather, right?
The accuracy of weather forecasting seriously degrades when you move way from areas that professional meteorologists (NOAA, etc) maintain. If white people aren't going to lose money in the area, count on shitty weather forecasts. I'm barely 1000 miles south of the US/Mexico border and we had a forecast for three days of 0%-chance-of-precipitation at the same time a named storm (Juliette) was fifty miles away.

I haven't read all the replies but I'll just add that there's a reason heavier boats, whether they be warships, sailboats, or fishing boats, are favored for offshore use and lighter boats are favored for racing.

Lighter boats also break a lot more. 9 times out of 10 when you see a broken spar there are a bunch of guys with matching outfits running around on deck wearing polar fleece and oakleys.
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:28   #85
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Just examine that statement above

* Saildrives, actually many Beneteaus have shaft drives ( and specifically whats the issue with saildrives anyway)
* discontinuous rigging, almost 100% common on larger rigs ( Oyster HR, etc etc)
* Huge cockpits, yes but with open transoms, actaully drain way quicker then older enclosed designs with pipes for drains. ( see Vendee ocrean racers)
*Spade Rudder - not aware there are surface rocks on an ocean, coastal sailing yes., Spade is a way superior hydrodynamically , and now common on all major brands , including high end.

So hear you have old chesnuts trotted out , completely out of context, with no real relevance to modern designs or the user feedback that results in 1000s of them being used

Its really time we left this stuff behind I mean how many Valients were made, its almost exclusively a US boat, designed for the peculiarities of US fashion and sold to a very niche group. Ive seen one in Europe in 20 years.

Its time we moved into the light and acknowledge science and engineering based designs and move away from the nonsense that suggests ,merely because the builder hadn't a clue about composite science , that he built a better boat.

dave
Modern production boats are built primarily to function as they are used: to daysail and sit in a slip. I can run over a lobster pot or long line with a full keel and enclosed rudder. My boat also heaves to like a champ and I have sampson posts that are thicker than my legs, glassed directly into the stem.

Looking at those "antiquated" features in favor of "better engineering", like removing the backstays on a hunter to facilitate a more entertainment friendly cockpit, shows the trend in modern production boats is exactly in keeping with their fair-weather owners.

With all these folks buying catamarans and modern production boats, do you honestly think anyone will be proud to own them in 40 years like West Sails, Valiants, Mariners, and other stoutly built ships are? The maintenance (or lack thereof) in a 40 year old boat is the deciding factor to be sure, but the idea that "new=better" certainly doesn't apply to the hull blistering, lost rudders, furling-du-jour style, tiny water and fuel tanks, and other "modern" improvements.
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:34   #86
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders.
The people who take boats with these features around the world non-stop in the Southern Ocean (multiple times even) don't seem to have any hesitations.

Mark
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Old 29-08-2013, 10:51   #87
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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Modern production boats are built primarily to function as they are used: to daysail and sit in a slip. I can run over a lobster pot or long line with a full keel and enclosed rudder. My boat also heaves to like a champ and I have sampson posts that are thicker than my legs, glassed directly into the stem.
In general all leisure yachts are used in the manner you describe. There never was any "golden age" of yacht building or peak circumnavigation activity. In fact more people are sailing and sailing longer distances then ever before. ( look at the success of organised rallies in recent years )

Why would I want a samson post.?

Long keel , slow, large wetted area, hydrodynamically poor , a function of wooden boat building rather then design. ( square riggers didnt have them for example)

Heaving too is overrated in extremis, a better technique is to keep control.

Quote:
Looking at those "antiquated" features in favor of "better engineering", like removing the backstays on a hunter to facilitate a more entertainment friendly cockpit, shows the trend in modern production boats is exactly in keeping with their fair-weather owners.
Hunter is about the ONLY major production builder to use the B&R backstayless rig. Its hardly a "trend".

Quote:
With all these folks buying catamarans and modern production boats, do you honestly think anyone will be proud to own them in 40 years like West Sails, Valiants, Mariners, and other stoutly built ships are?
Ive seen beautiful 30 year old Beneteaus. I have no doubt I'll see beautifully owned and maintained ones in 2020 too.

West Sails ( home built in tiny numbers,not called Wet Snails for nothing ) Valients , full of osmosis, !!!!

Quote:
The maintenance (or lack thereof) in a 40 year old boat is the deciding factor to be sure, but the idea that "new=better" certainly doesn't apply to the hull blistering, lost rudders, furling-du-jour style, tiny water and fuel tanks, and other "modern" improvements.
Modern boats undertake circum-navigations virtually on the drop of a hat, Voyages that 30-40 years ago got you knighted, are today undertaken by mon and pop sailors.

Furling systems have proven to be reliable, arguably modern system are significantly more reliable then 20-30 years ago.


Then add in national proclivities. This fascination with old designs , is almost exclusively US based, Yet the US is a power boat nation not a sailing one. US sailors are older and often started sailing later. European and Antipodian sailors are the most numerous and dense. They tend to start sailing earlier, and with longer holidays , tend to sail further and more often. If you go to the cross roads of the world cruising community, US sailors are in a small minority.

Do you see this fascination with long keels and Valient style design in European and Antipodian sailors, No you do not. This is the sailing community , and they dont follow your views. ( no more then I dont need a 6.8l gas engine to do 140mph).


There are European cars all over America, theres virtually no US cars in Europe, Similarly, there are European boats all over AMerica, but the makes you mentioned have never been sold in Europe. Only Hunter , and not even Catalina made any inroads in European sailing ( or OZ or NZ). The other brands are tiny in comparison and have never sold in Europe.

What does that tell you ( perhaps youll argue that in driving down the wrong side of an interstate all the others are wrong!) .

dave
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Old 29-08-2013, 11:50   #88
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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The people who take boats with these features around the world non-stop in the Southern Ocean (multiple times even) don't seem to have any hesitations.

Mark
I am not clear what you might mean. You are not pitching that unfortunate Bene against an e.g. IMOCA or VOR, are you.

Of 'multiple' I only recall Ms Socrates. She sailed a Najad. And I am certain you are not talking of this boat.

Do you mean Delphia? Ok, that's a true paper boat. But please mind it was not 'multiple' and it was a publicity stunt by the boatyard.

Now c'mon give me the names of people who took their Benes multiple times round the world non-stop in the Southern Ocean.

OK. SERIOUSLY NOW. ;-)

Off course, Mark, I know, IMOCA racers, please do not pitch them as an example of what can or cannot be done in the cruising context. They are the cream of sailing skills, sailing the cream of technology: carbon, nomex, titanium and spectra, one-off, professionally prepared, team supported boats ...

And this is what I said: "...Benes are designed to provide space and comfort: charter fleets, family weekends, etc. But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders. ..."

And I stand by that statement.

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Old 29-08-2013, 12:00   #89
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

My fault - I did not read the entire thread and thought the old-saw argument about saildrives, rigging, rudders, etc was being dragged up again.

I did not realize you were specifically referring to one boat - your post read to me that the boat contained a list of features that circumnavigators hesitated to have in general.

So why are those features only undesirable in Benetau's? And didn't MarkJ disprove this whole thing a long time ago?

It would seem a good rule of thumb that only people who have done circumnavigations can debate the virtues of boats for that purpose.

Of course, we will make exceptions for people who have sailed from San Diego to La Paz.

Mark
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Old 29-08-2013, 12:12   #90
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Re: Advice on Circumnavigation Vessel

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And this is what I said: "...Benes are designed to provide space and comfort: charter fleets, family weekends, etc. But they do have a couple of points where a potential circumnavigator may hesitate: e.g. saildrives, discontinuous rigging, huge cockpits, spade rudders. ..."

And I stand by that statement.
Yes , but 1000s of deep sea sailors dont listen to them,funny they all mainly get home
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