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Old 13-10-2005, 19:05   #16
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Different Miles

I think that there are very different sorts of passages and miles that you put on any boat. While I'm not a fan of the robust nature of the Beneteaus -- there are a lot of less substantial boats that have crossed oceans.

The attraction of the Beneteaus are "price" vs. volume vs. comfort as well as a sleek design -- if you're into that. They are relatively fast (expecially off the wind) compared to other similar cruising boats.

I don't like their motion in a seaway -- I think they have a snap and slam that's less comfortable than some other designs (Say a Sabre or J/boat for example). But then the flat mid-sections that give you that volume have their price.
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Old 20-01-2006, 13:28   #17
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Production boats 461 Beneteau

Here we go again. The thread says, it is an OK coastal cruiser but I would not go offshore in one.

This is simply not reality. The Beneteau 461 is a Farr hull design. It is a terrifc boat. It will take anything the ocean can throw at it. It will not break. You will call the Coast Guard way before the boat gives up.

The gird system, which keeps coming up in these threads is simply good engineering. Bridges have grids, buildings have grids, airplanes have grids. It is just a name for an integral bonded structure where the outer skin is supported as needed by an internal structure. There is no point in making the boat 18 inches thick throughout the hull, it would wiegh tons. But the grid is in places 18 inches and provdes strength. ( Ever been in a submarine, guess what, another grid.)

The 461 was a hige success as a boat. I have sailed on them. I have owned its replacement, the 473. A somewhat different boat ( Group Finot design a bit of a knock off of the Open 60) Still another terrific boat. I have salied her in 50 knots and she was fine.

Yes twenty years ago, before computers when no one knew how to build a fiberglass boat, they made the hulls 12 inches thick and hoped they got it right. But that has nothing to do with modern designs and materials.

Also the notion of coastal cruisers is also a misnomer. I have been way offshore, the water is the water. Coastal gets storms. Coastal gets waves. In some respects coastal is harder ( there are things to hit and things to avoid. Off shore is easier. Put her on autopilot and let the boat go. Waves may be bigger, but, in my experience the periods ar longer and they are often less difficult on the strucutre than coastwise when waves can be short and steep.

Also, to point out the obvious in our woinderful litigious society, there is no future in a manufacturer making a "coastal" boat which is not strong enough for the ocean. The law suits would be the end of them. This is why there is no such thing anymore as a cheap ski binding, or a cheap motorcycle helmet, or a cheap airbag. There is really only standard for safety and to somehow design to a lower standard is ridiculous. This is why private planes cost $1,000,000. and there are no cheap ones.

So give up on the this coastal cruiser idea, I wouldn't take my family offshore in one rethoric. It is about 15 or 20 years out of date.

I don;t even like Hunters or Catalinas, but you know what- they don't break and they will sail around the world. Probably twice. There are boats for stlye or esthetic reasons I would rather take. But I would get there.

Same point with modern cars. Any modern car off a new dealer lot will run, be safe and start and stop. You can drive it around the country. You might like a Mercedes more than a Subaru. But the Subaru is a modern car. Crash testeed, with airbags and safe.

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Old 20-01-2006, 13:33   #18
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Production boats 461 Beneteau

Here we go again. The thread says, it is an OK coastal cruiser but I would not go offshore in one.

This is simply not reality. The Beneteau 461 is a Farr hull design. It is a terrifc boat. It will take anything the ocean can throw at it. It will not break. You will call the Coast Guard way before the boat gives up.

The gird system, which keeps coming up in these threads is simply good engineering. Bridges have grids, buildings have grids, airplanes have grids. It is just a name for an integral bonded structure where the outer skin is supported as needed by an internal structure. There is no point in making the boat 18 inches thick throughout the hull, it would wiegh tons. But the grid is in places 18 inches and provdes strength. ( Ever been in a submarine, guess what, another grid.)

The 461 was a huge success as a boat. I have sailed on them. I have owned its replacement, the 473. A somewhat different boat ( Group Finot design a bit of a knock off of the Open 60) Still another terrific boat. I have salied her in 50 knots and she was fine.

Yes twenty years ago, before computers when no one knew how to build a fiberglass boat, they made the hulls 12 inches thick and hoped they got it right. But that has nothing to do with modern designs and materials.

Also the notion of coastal cruisers is also a misnomer. I have been way offshore, the water is the water. Coastal gets storms. Coastal gets waves. In some respects coastal is harder ( there are things to hit and things to avoid. Off shore is easier. Put her on autopilot and let the boat go. Waves may be bigger, but, in my experience the periods ar longer and they are often less difficult on the strucutre than coastwise when waves can be short and steep.

Also, to point out the obvious in our woinderful litigious society, there is no future in a manufacturer making a "coastal" boat which is not strong enough for the ocean. The law suits would be the end of them. This is why there is no such thing anymore as a cheap ski binding, or a cheap motorcycle helmet, or a cheap airbag. There is really only standard for safety and to somehow design to a lower standard is ridiculous. This is why private planes cost $1,000,000. and there are no cheap ones.

So give up on the this coastal cruiser idea, I wouldn't take my family offshore in one rethoric. It is about 15 or 20 years out of date.

I don;t even like Hunters or Catalinas, but you know what- they don't break and they will sail around the world. Probably twice. There are boats for stlye or esthetic reasons I would rather take. But I would get there.

Same point with modern cars. Any modern car off a new dealer lot will run, be safe and start and stop. You can drive it around the country. You might like a Mercedes more than a Subaru. But the Subaru is a modern car. Crash testeed, with airbags and safe.

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Old 20-01-2006, 19:27   #19
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This is a pretty short response, but...

There are only but a few rules:

1) Know the weather/seas
2) Know your boat
3) Know yourself & crew
4) Prepare for any eventualities (meaning liferaft, EPRIB, good ditch bag, etc...)

With these few rules in effect, you could take a kayak across the Pacific. Pretty much solves the debate.

PS: I am reminded of the only sailing story I ever saw that I actually said, "What the HELL was this guy thinking?!?" It was an article about some guy named Jarle who took a small boat with no heat and no comfort at all to Anarctica. I think it was in Cruising World. He didn't ponder rule #1 or #4. To me, you can't leave without knowing all 4.
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Old 20-01-2006, 20:32   #20
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Good rules even for a daysail.
I have to say though, that not having certain amenities does not necessarily mean he was unprepared. I did not read that article, so i do not know his particular voyage. I would not imply that someone sailing without GPS, Liferaft, and EPIRB was foolish, but those items can certainly make up for other shotcomings in a sailor's skills.
I know very little about these particular boats, but I do agree that almost any boat can be capable of the journey you intend to undertake. The question you really need to ask is, will this boat fulfil your needs?
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Old 21-01-2006, 08:06   #21
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Good rules even for a daysail.
I have to say though, that not having certain amenities does not necessarily mean he was unprepared. I did not read that article, so i do not know his particular voyage. I would not imply that someone sailing without GPS, Liferaft, and EPIRB was foolish, but those items can certainly make up for other shotcomings in a sailor's skills.
I know very little about these particular boats, but I do agree that almost any boat can be capable of the journey you intend to undertake. The question you really need to ask is, will this boat fulfil your needs?
Very true, Kai Nui. I also know little about the details of these boats as well - other than walking aboard sister ships at boat shows.

I guess I didn't elaborate on that crazy journey to Antarctica. It may have been something you did have to read to fully appreciate. The way it read, with the sailor's commentary, you got the distinct feeling it was an unsafe voyage.
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Old 21-01-2006, 08:55   #22
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No boat will take "anything the ocean will throw at it" and to say so, especially to a less experienced sailor, is irresponsible. I have had capable friends die on the ocean.

All boats have a limit, and exceeding that limit has as much or more to do with the crew than any other single factor. I do not think Beneteau is singled out. All boats can be fairly critiqued and a smart sailor should work to learn the strengths and weaknesses of his or her specific boat....so they understand the limits and upgrade or modify to improve the boat...within their means.

I would prefer a newer Beneteau to my old Bristol, but the money end does not make sense for me...depreciation is substantial. I'll take the Oyster over the Beneteau (duh) if money is not an issue.

If surveyors and other industry professionals are critical of a boat currently under production, that can only help us all, because the builder will work to improve the product and it's image. "Quality" is probably the most abused word in the english language.

Here's how I get past the "suitable for offshore" issue. I buy what I can afford, I do what I can with my limited funds to improve the odds, and I go. If the other option is to never go, I'll take my chances. I have been offshore several times, and never in a boat that could be certified for the task.
Why do so many people want someone else to assure them it will all be okay ? Sailing boats on open ocean has a risk. The level of risk you choose to accept is a personal decision. This board offers a lot of intelligent advise. Use the information. Make your own decision. If you can't accept risk - play golf.

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Old 21-01-2006, 08:56   #23
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When one 'reverse-engineers' those venerable old blue water designs one striking fact stands out - redundancy of design and Safety Factor. Safety Factor is the inbuilt / purposely overbuilt stress design that would cover the 'unknown/unforseen loads' and contingincies that would affect rigging loads, hull strengths, etc. When I attempt to reverse engineer the more notable designers of 'blue water' vessels I keep arriving (back engineering) at a safety factor of 4X (sometimes to 5X), especially in the rigging and rigging to hull interface loads. I'm certainly not a boat designer; but, do have more than a modicum of advanced stress analysis expertise and do well understand the need for safety factor and redundancy in structures that are exposed to varying and 'unknown' dynamic forces.

Certainly the 'scantling history' (historical and insurance record) seems to bear that for blue water cruising design that the 4X safety factor this is a safe amount of 'overbuild'. But, since there are very rare failures of these designs reported, one can perhaps make the assumption that the recent 'traditional' blue water designs are indeed 'overbuilt' (disregarding fatigue endurance limits, etc. by the nature of such 'heavy' design).

On the opposite end of the design spectrum one only has to look at the recent Americas Cup Challenge series and the widespread structural failures of the current Volvo Ocean Race, the current keel root failures of some Bavarias, etc. where apparently the inbuilt safety factors have been apparently so reduced to save weight, cost, etc. .... that its quite obvious that designers are now getting a better 'handle' on the *limit* of what it takes to produce a reliable 'blue water design. This is a continual 'design evolution process'.

So from my (conservative and non-boat related) engineering perspective a proven blue water design would seem to have an inbuilt safety factor of 4X (or greater); a coastal design at 3X, a 'pushed to the wall' race design would be somewhere near 2X. The 'scantling history' seems to bear this out. Obviously a boat design as a 'whole' cant be pre-tested by dynamic testing methods as a whole as would aircraft or dynamic structural steel components, so forensic history (scantling history) of success or failure is the primary method of selection.

So if one follows the 'historical model' one should probably more closely follow or ask/verify the inbuilt safety factor of a design when deciding on whether a design is suitable for the open ocean (notwithstanding crew expertise, etc.)... rather than simply basing such a decision on 'emotion' or 'marketing data or hype'. If my personal assumption holds any truth then the simple question when selecting an open ocean design would be: is the design safety factor at 4X or more; a good coastal design at 3X, etc.

Comments?
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Old 21-01-2006, 10:46   #24
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Quote:
Richhh once whispered in the wind:
If my personal assumption holds any truth then the simple question when selecting an open ocean design would be: is the design safety factor at 4X or more; a good coastal design at 3X, etc.

Comments?
A quck comment-- I have to admit that I like some of the "new blood" users who have been posting in the last days and weeks. Seeing some different views is fun and exciting, even if my own views don't change radically.

I've read books about heavy weather sailing, studied the Fastnet and Sydney Hobart races that were disasters, and I'm following the Volvo race.

Your assertation that a 4x or 3x safety design factor seems a little abstract without examples. Are you suggesting that anything less than a Westsail 32 or artic icebreakers is "wrong" to cross oceans with? Go fast boats with advanced keel designs will break because they're on the bleeding edge. The Bavaria keel problem was noted indirectly in some other posts, but in itself isn't evidence that all production boats are a joke.

Through NetFlix, I've seen a 1992 DVD called "Sailing in Heavy Weather" several times. It has interviews with Harken, Pryde, Warren Luhrs, Steve Dashew, John Neal and other big names in the industry about heavy weather sailing with the new production boat designs, and it had on-the-water segments about handling the boats in rough conditions. The techniques are different in terms of handling and running, but in the end the results may be safer than traditional boat designs.

So, simply saying "overbuild 4x" seems contextually removed.

Thanks!

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Old 21-01-2006, 12:06   #25
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OK I'll give you an example: Many of Bob Perry and Bob Harris designs seem to me to be on the upper limit of mechanical safety factor of 4 (or more) when you examine such structures as the chainplates, chainplate bases and their attachments. I suspect that they are designed to ductile failure criteria safety failure of 4X(+) .... four times as strong than needed in 'actual normal' service.

I'm not for one instance saying that any design is 'wrong', just that its the designers 'choice' ... and I may or not agree when it comes to what I have in mind when using the structure; and, some designs are simply better than others (based on engineering principals, etc.).

It appears (to me) that such structures are designed versus the maximum (normal) stress applied to such a stress connection - as an example: probably by measuring or calculating the max stress if the boat were heeled over at say about 45 degrees - calculating or measuring such stress and then building the actual component to be 4 times as strong as those calculated or measured loads, etc. Inotherwords the maximum stress versus the opposing bouyancy forces for a cap shroud/chainplate and the chainplate base would probably be at a maximum when a boat is at near 45 degrees heeled - then simply measure or calculate the force, etc. ; then making such structre components FOUR times as strong as what was calculated/measured. I'm probably pretty close or guestimating what is actually done to determine the load strength (and the applied and added safety factors) because I keep 'seeing' such 'magnification integers' of 3 (coastal) and 4 (blue water) in such 'strength components' of these designs.

This safety factor 'stuff' is pretty common in structural design. Static structures @ 2-3X, mobile slow applications at 4X, cranes & airplanes, etc. at upwards of 6X (or more) safety factor. Unless one statically or dynamically actually tests (take it out and break it) a certain design to failure/destruction under near equal actual operating condiitions and has developed good repeatable data; then, if you dont actually test then the usual course is to simply apply a 'safety factor' as good 'practice'. Inotherwords, you dont design TO a failure mode, you prevent it by making the structure several times stronger to cover all 'unknowns' and contingencies. .... and I keep 'seeing' stuff 4+ times as strong as it needs to be in older (proven) blue water designs. .... and I see much less applied safety factor in (weaker) coastal designs.
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Old 21-01-2006, 21:03   #26
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Richh, thanks for the detailed reply.

I understand your points about magnification integers, stress loads and safety factors. It's just that the critical side of my mind is looking for published example of stress limit tests or at least patterns of failure that prove the supposition that the Perry and Harris designs are superior to a Beneteau 461 or a Jenneau Sun Odyssey.

It's fairly easy to find isolated examples of production quality failures, even of Swans and Pacific Seacrafts. Instead of a personal assumption, I'd rather make a decision on actual performance/reliability data.

It's not that I'm a huge fan of Beneteaus or Jenneaus, but I have read reviews of both that have been surprisingly complimentary in terms of offshore performance, comfort and reliability for cruising. I've been reading both volumes of the Practical Sailor's boat reviews, and several of each are reviewed, and there aren't references to inferior chainplates or failures (for example).

The Practical Sailor review of the Beneteau Oceanis 350, for example, acknowledges that it was not intended as blue water boat, but that it has made ocean passages. The Latitude 38 circumnavigators' list acknowledges that a Beneteau First 35 made the trip, and I've begun to read the book about that voyage (a family with three kids).

Now, I agree with Jeff H that individual stories about passages don't automatically mean that a type of boat is meant for or even adviseable for long passages, but I think we need to be critical of all suppositions. I think your concerns may be valid, but you note that the designs "appear" more robust, and I've found that appearances can be deceiving in modern design. In the Practical Sailor reviews, one boat singled out for true wrath concerning chainplates and inferior stainless was the Island Trader 37/38, a heavy "blue water" boat, which had fittings that could appear massive and strong to some.

The other issue that intrigues me is the entire percentages game. There's no question that Robin Graham was circumnavigating with an under-rigged vessel with his Lapworth 24-- he lost his mast twice. There's not much argument that he was out of the safety zone.

As for other circumnavigators, it's interesting to note that their at-sea "pre-storm" checklist includes locating and having the cable cutters on hand, no matter how strong, new or heavy their standing rigging and chainplates are. The point here is that there is no 100% safe chainplates or rigging if a cross seas roll the boat.

Using the same logic, one might say that only a fool would drive less than a Hummer to work, since its safety factor is X times higher than a 98 Ford Escort, a motorcycle, or (God forbid) a bicycle ride to work.

Sorry this is so long-- it's just that if we are to use posts on this board in the future to make major decisions, I think we need to be critical of the actual support of suppostions. This thread, for example, wasn't simply about the differences between coastal cruisers and blue water boats, but about a 46 foot Beneteau, and whether or not it was being fairly categorized.

A footnote: the more I read the responses by the mavens at Latitude 38 to questions about appropriate blue water cruisers, the more I appreciate their tact and knowledge. They are careful to knowlegde safety factors and strength, while also acknowledging the considerable amount of successful cruising done by sailors in less expensive craft.

Thanks again for your response!

Jim H
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Old 23-01-2006, 09:42   #27
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I dont think there is any way to 'quantify' a design comparison so narrowly as there are so many factors that would influence such an 'overall' or average outcome of performance, crew expertise, etc. etc.

1. As boat or any other design criteria 'evolve', vast improvements in 'technique', methodology and application are the result, many of these are the result of failure correction. Simply put the MORE designs that are offered the faster the 'optimization' occurs ... and with 'confidence' versus the 'unknown'.
2. Actual recorded and reported failures are quite helpful in the 'evolution' process ... just because a certain design does reach failure does not by any means imply that such a design wont be corrected later during its 'evolution'.
3. As time progresses its really interesting how modern materials and concepts keep 'pushing' the boundaries of 'safe'. One only has to consider the evolution from 'heavy' construction only 30 or so years ago to the brilliant (although sometimes failing) lightweight and 'optimized' designs of today ... be it boats, automobiles or aircraft.

To be conservative and secure, I think, one only has to look at the 'not so old' designs, see what hisotrically 'worked' and what didnt, and make a fairly reasonable decision based on 'not too recent' success. That 'data' and history is there, you just need to separate the hype, ego/personal bias and 'marketeering' from what's actually happening.

For me. I'd certainly consider a 'robust' modern coastal design and consider a 'sprint' passage where 30 years ago Id require a 'built like a tank' design ... my skills are better, the materials are better and the designers understanding and expertise is better, etc. Evolution !!!!!
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Old 05-02-2006, 12:10   #28
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Talking

This whole thing makes me laugh. If you call someones wife ugly your gonna get a punch in the nose.

Buy the boat you want, let others buy the boat they want, and if you can't be nice when offering an opinion don't offer it.

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Old 05-02-2006, 12:36   #29
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Yeah.
That's what I'm saying!!
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Old 05-02-2006, 21:30   #30
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