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Old 21-08-2009, 00:36   #16
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Its probably better to define a blue water boat by what it does than what it has.

1. It supports human life for at least a few weeks at a time in decent comfort.

2. It can get beat up by a storm and survive.

3. You can repeat the cycle often without having to totally rebuild the boat...
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Old 21-08-2009, 00:56   #17
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Old 21-08-2009, 02:13   #18
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I just assumed sailboats were manufactured for specific purposes in mind as with power boats. Yeah generally they were built to sail but i would think that the manufacturer had something specific in mind. With power boats you run accross ski boats, bass boats, pontoon boats, etc all with a specific purpose in mind yeah you can use a bass boat and such for skiiers and such but thats not its intended purpose. I was just under the assumption certain boats were more beefed up structurally and included more tankage and such for longer trips.
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Old 21-08-2009, 03:30   #19
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Originally Posted by aspiringsailor View Post
I just assumed sailboats were manufactured for specific purposes in mind as with power boats. Yeah generally they were built to sail but i would think that the manufacturer had something specific in mind. With power boats you run accross ski boats, bass boats, pontoon boats, etc all with a specific purpose in mind yeah you can use a bass boat and such for skiiers and such but thats not its intended purpose. I was just under the assumption certain boats were more beefed up structurally and included more tankage and such for longer trips.

Well, yes... sometimes, other times blue water is used more as a marketing term. Here is what I've noticed: a lot of times what a person thinks they want and what they really want are quite different. I'm not even including the simple stuff like needs. For example, a lot of folks think they want a blue water boat, assuming that means durable and supporting a vague notion to go somewhere but not taking into account that some of the key features of a blue water boat are not what they really want. For example, would you want a boat that makes you feel claustrophobic but has a lot of overhead hand holds? If you are out at sea and that means you only get tossed 2í vs 8í, yes. But if you really are going to be costal cruising and want the open interiors, the answer is no. This is part we canít help you with because your stated goal may not be what you want. Or once you try it you may hate or fear it.

The reason why we say it depends so much on the sailor is almost no boat can withstand the full brunt of the ocean. So you canít fight but instead must go with a combination of using but mostly avoiding. A good sailor will make the decision on whether to go or not based on weather and experience and if caught will reef early, all examples of avoiding.
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Old 21-08-2009, 05:08   #20
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I think "blue water" is more matter of fit out and equipment items. After that what you should really be asking is what type of sailing and motion comfort you want to have. I'm sure my Cal-39 is capable of blue water , but there some fit out items I want to change before it takes me (noneof which is stopping the boat from being able to go anywhere as it is).

Now days it a capitains fault if the boat ever really has to survive the "max" event anyway. But the boat probably doesn't care, which why most boats that get abandoned at sea are later found floating just fine.

I think the better question to ask yourself isn't about blue water, but about what makes a boat a good cruiser.
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Old 21-08-2009, 08:21   #21
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Mine is 26ft LOA 3500 Kg (+/-7500 lb) disp.. Took me and my mate safely (only one knockdown - mostly due to skipper's complacency ;-) around the world. The design from 1967, built 1981.

Blue water capable? Definitely.

Could I go around in a smaller one? Definitely.

Would I go again in the same if I could upgrade? Big question.

The blue waters starts at the Antarctic and end in that blue lagoon in the West Indies. And somewhere at the coast of RSA even big freighters get crumbled by the wave and sink ....

To me, the blue water capability = a design/built that minimizes the chances of serious breakdowns/knockdowns/wipeouts while maximises the chances of recovery from any such. This includes the ULDB like Minis.

I would say that aside from very many little shooters that are blue water capable, almost any 28+ feet design from the top-end designers (Crealock, Valiant, HCh, HR, Najad, Wharram, Catana, etc.) is blue water capable.

My no-go are the boats that are prone to failure due to bad design/layout or boats that were designed for day cruises/charter but are marketed as 'Category O - Unlimited Ocean Passages). This includes many new boats from plenty of now famous boatyards. They could make great blue water boats if they were built stronger, but the point is they are not. And they fail.

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Old 21-08-2009, 08:22   #22
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Actually I think Vigor's checklist in his book "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat" is a pretty good starting point in evaluating whether or not a particular boat is more or less suitable for offshore sailing.
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Old 21-08-2009, 08:46   #23
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there is no definition of a bluewater boat, the marketeers would have you think that is not the case..... YOu have to decide what qualities you want in a boat and then find it. Personally I am not in favour of the old school thinking about classic designs, full keel, heavy displacement etc ensuering blue water capability. Rhosyn Mor is a 38 Jenneau Gin Fizz, its on no list that I know of, is fin keeld ( but skeg ruddered) light, beamy, but she is a blue water boat, can take repeated pounding without needing a rebuild, has 80k miles under her keel et c etc.
Yes there are certain criteria that are common to all vessels that consistently ( and thats a key word) make long blue water passages, but its not a long list... and any boat you buy with the aim of blue water cruising will need a lot of upgrading and sytems changing, no matter the maker.
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Old 21-08-2009, 10:36   #24
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I agree with all has been said here but I believe things should be seen more like from many angles:

>> Full keel
disagree, but some form of protection for the rudder goes a long way; also - very fine racing keels with bulbs may not be the best choice for extended cruising,

>> Heavy displacement
seriously disagree, heavy displacement means more sail required to drive the boat and thus renders the boat slower=less safe, also - heavy displacement requires stronger/heavier rig and rigging, there are plenty of mid- and light displacement boats that make excellent blue water cruisers (e.g. Zaal's Atlantic series, Pogo 40 (cruiser), ia.)

>> Masts rigging and equipment "one size bigger",
not if originally designed for blue water, yes in case of many weekend boats marketed "Category Ocean" - but can you effectively make it one size bigger then? I seriously doubt it - it would take replacing all mast tangs, chainplates, etc., a task to be avoided, if not at all mission impossible,

>> 40' LOA or better,
yes/no - safer, more comfortable but also (often) more difficult to sail in heavy weather than a well laid-out below-40 footer, (esp. a "heavy displacement ...40 footer ...!),

>> Flexibiilty in sail plans,
yes/yes/yes - double stayed sloop, cutter, ketch ...

>> Center cockpit or double ended to resist swamping,
I'd rather say - a small cockpit well with huge drains. A big cockpit, double-ender or central, is a disaster waiting to happen. The only big cockpit that works is perhaps the open cockpit like in the newer racing designs. By 'small cockpit well' I understand things like they have in Hans Christians.

>> Flared bow shape to keep drier,
disagree, flared bow is a disaster upwind in heavy wether - the boat just stops every time breaking seas are big enough, but it is nice to have the drier boat - still, ours is a narrow entry, 2ft topsides and sails very dry,

>> Excellent auxilliary propulsion - powerful and reliable inboard diesel
System redundancy,
yes/yes/yes - we buy sailboats but there are times when a good engine can save your life. I would place good/strong engine very high on my list. I believe 5hp per ton (metric) is a lot and probably it is a welcome lot, and you will want even more if your boat is anything towards a motor-sailor.

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Old 21-08-2009, 11:16   #25
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A center cockpit is generally referred to as a very good place to get soaking wet when going upwind. Not that I'm against them--just saying the typical and common point of view is that it is a bad thing for a bluewater boat, which would be better off with a sheltered aft cockpit.

Something else I don't see mentioned here is centerboards. In the event of a rollover or pitchpole, a centerboard would become an axe chopping into the well as it went over. Or, tearing off in a roll. I confess to having spent little time with centerboards but haven't heard of any that can be strongly affixed in the down position.

Personally, I would suggest "bluewater" is best defined as a boat that can handle bad weather. And handle it well enough so that even after being rolled or pitched, everything on the boat is still subtantially intact, attached, and functional. If the bilge boards and galley lockers don't have secure latches on them--then it isn't a bluewater boat, no matter who made it, no matter how strong it may be.
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Old 21-08-2009, 13:13   #26
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After having a few pm's come my way and talking to a couple people i suppose i might have been a little over zealous in what i was asking. Basically i guess i am curious about heavy displacement boats that are not going to get thrown all over the place should it encounter a gale. i know its best to avoid such conditions as much as possible but i assume at one point or another it will happen, and i just dont want to get tossed around like a pinball. Everybody says get experience, well i am just trying to narrow down a couple boats that i might like to charter when the time comes. to see which ones i prefer. I would atleast like to have ideas. Its not like someone is gonna go to the car lot and test drive every car, they have a couple in mind before hand.
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Old 21-08-2009, 13:17   #27
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Old 21-08-2009, 13:37   #28
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I am simply curious as to what boats people here have sailed that have withstood a beating. Am I wrong for wanting to know what boats are known to hold up and which arent? And im sorry if my attempt to gain knowledge from people who have firsthand knowledge rather than heresay offends you. Its not like i am asking one person for info, after all i assume thousands of people read this. and if joe blow chimes in and says hey i sailed yacht X and experienced Y, thats what im looking for.
I sailed a Hong Kong-built Taipan 28 (built 1978, a close copy of a Cheoy Lee Offshore 27) through a Category 2 typhoon (and I mean through). To say the boat (as well as the crew) survived a "beating" would be an understatement.
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Old 21-08-2009, 16:05   #29
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Speaking of Bluewater boats...

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Old 21-08-2009, 16:13   #30
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To me... with small crew -- a bluewater cruiser tracks well (full keel), has substantial storage, is beamy, sails well, and has large water/fuel/hotank storage.

I can also only afford older (80's vintag) boats... This puts my bluewater sailboats into the heavy category... Hans Christians, Union 36, Westsail, Pacific Seacraft, Willard 8 Ton... to mention a few. Many of these are cutter rigged to support short hand, smaller sail patterns. They also lead to interesting sail plans for different conditions. A lot of fun to sail.
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