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Old 28-08-2009, 05:22   #91
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The one on the left? Is that the latest MacGregor?
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Old 28-08-2009, 07:51   #92
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Have a look at how they test the newer Opens and you will see the inversion test is done without mast. As if it was certain they all magically lose the stick and the screws undo themselves while the whole mess of shattered rig and canvass peacefully drift away...

I would not jump to the conclusion that in a cruising design the skinny foil and lead bulb are all bad. Still, we have to think about where we want to cruise and if we really need the design to be this extreme, while other factors (like being limited by the draft) come into play.

Last year in the Azores I talked to owners of a Pogo 40 (cruising mod) and they said they actually had to slow down the boat to be able to get some rest. But I believe it is the price for the same design being capable of 6 knots downwind at only 10 knots true, no kite. After all I would prefer a design that I have to slow down from one unable to accelerate.

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Old 28-08-2009, 09:55   #93
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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
Last year in the Azores I talked to owners of a Pogo 40 (cruising mod) and they said they actually had to slow down the boat to be able to get some rest. But I believe it is the price for the same design being capable of 6 knots downwind at only 10 knots true, no kite. After all I would prefer a design that I have to slow down from one unable to accelerate.

b.
So, this seems to suggest that at least at speed, the boat is lousy in the area of "motion comfort". Further, if this is a double-handed boat, there's presumably someone trying to "rest" a minimum of 16 hours/day. That doesn't leave much time for cracking it on.
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:02   #94
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Have a look at how they test the newer Opens and you will see the inversion test is done without mast. As if it was certain they all magically lose the stick and the screws undo themselves while the whole mess of shattered rig and canvass peacefully drift away...

I would not jump to the conclusion that in a cruising design the skinny foil and lead bulb are all bad. Still, we have to think about where we want to cruise and if we really need the design to be this extreme, while other factors (like being limited by the draft) come into play.

Last year in the Azores I talked to owners of a Pogo 40 (cruising mod) and they said they actually had to slow down the boat to be able to get some rest. But I believe it is the price for the same design being capable of 6 knots downwind at only 10 knots true, no kite. After all I would prefer a design that I have to slow down from one unable to accelerate.

b.
In fact, if these numbers are correct (Sailing boats' Stability, STIX and Old Ratios - Page 12 - Boat Design Forums)
three-quarters down the page, it would back up my suspicion. We can argue the value of these formulas, of course, but they are the only objective reference we have:

Motion comfort = 12.92 -- Absolutely horrible for a cruiser
Capsize Ratio = 2.55 -- well above dangerous.
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:33   #95
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I am amazed at this thread.

Take a look at the boats in any of the harbours where long distance cruisers collect (like Durban or Suva) and you will see all sorts of boats, almost every imaginable possibility.

Take a look at the 2nd boat long term cruisers have built or bought after a circumnavigation or two - they are all extremely different (for instance look at the Pardey, Webb Chiles and Dashew boats). These boats have nothing in common

It's actually the skipper who is either 'blue water' or not - not the boat.
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Old 28-08-2009, 10:52   #96
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Different strokes, for sure. But for the bigger boats, a typical cruising couple is probably going to need some electrical assist on certain systems. As long as they're working, great.

I personally I am not going to be the one to volunteer to take up that 175lb Bruce when the electric windlass decides to pack it in!
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Old 28-08-2009, 11:03   #97
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Different strokes, for sure.

I personally I am not going to be the one to volunteer to take up that 175lb Bruce when the electric windlass decides to pack it in!
Again, it's the skipper who sorts this out or not. The skipper will either properly install and maintain the windless (or not). The skipper will realize (or not) he can use his sheet winches to raise the anchor if the windless craps out. A blue water skipper will minimize the possibility of failure and have a plan B when, despite all he has done, failure happens. A non-blue water skipper will just suck his thumb and call for help.

The boat really makes almost no difference. Big or little, complex or simple, fast or slow - no difference. The blue water skipper will get across the ocean with them all and the other skipper will probably not get off the dock.

Now we each have our quirks, and our boats tend to reflect these quirks. I happen to hate maintenance, so I have a simple boat. Steve likes his luxury and does not mind maintenance so has a much more complex boat. Webb has usually had little money so has a simple classic plastic. Larry is a wooden boat builder so has a wood boat. These reflect our quirks, not 'blue water'.

I would be happy to cross an ocean in an open 40, but I would also be happy in a bristol channel cutter, and I would also be happy in an F36. I would for sure sail them differently, and route differently, and bring different gear with me, but being at sea would be a joy in all of them.
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Old 28-08-2009, 11:49   #98
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Again, it's the skipper who sorts this out or not. The skipper will either properly install and maintain the windless (or not). The skipper will realize (or not) he can use his sheet winches to raise the anchor if the windless craps out. A blue water skipper will minimize the possibility of failure and have a plan B when, despite all he has done, failure happens. A non-blue water skipper will just suck his thumb and call for help.

The boat really makes almost no difference. Big or little, complex or simple, fast or slow - no difference. The blue water skipper will get across the ocean with them all and the other skipper will probably not get off the dock.

Now we each have our quirks, and our boats tend to reflect these quirks. I happen to hate maintenance, so I have a simple boat. Steve likes his luxury and does not mind maintenance so has a much more complex boat. Webb has usually had little money so has a simple classic plastic. Larry is a wooden boat builder so has a wood boat. These reflect our quirks, not 'blue water'.

I would be happy to cross an ocean in an open 40, but I would also be happy in a bristol channel cutter, and I would also be happy in an F36. I would for sure sail them differently, and route differently, and bring different gear with me, but being at sea would be a joy in all of them.
It seems to me an overly broad statement to say that the boat doesn't matter. There are plenty of boats that I would not want to be aboard in survival conditions. Likewise, many people have crossed oceans in fat, low ballast IOR-influenced designs from the 70s; nonetheless, few of us (at least today) would choose to do it in any of those boats. There are many examples of boats (names need not be named) today that by way of design and/or construction aren't suitable for 99% of us (i.e., the 99% without a death wish).

I suspect there's no one here to deny that a good skipper isn't a major, perhaps the major factor, in any offshore passage. But, clearly there are boats that have characteristics most of us would consider undesireable for ocean passages. Comfort is a relative measure and formulas are subject to interpretation, but all boats are a compromise and yacht design is not an exact science.

Going by what's written on your Web site, your own boat (a Van De Stadt 47), was chosen carefully for its "offshore" capabilities. If so, why would you suggest the boat doesn't matter?
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Old 28-08-2009, 13:07   #99
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There are plenty of boats that I would not want to be aboard in survival conditions. Clearly there are boats that have characteristics most of us would consider undesireable for ocean passages.

Going by what's written on your Web site, your own boat (a Van De Stadt 47), was chosen carefully for its "offshore" capabilities. If so, why would you suggest the boat doesn't matter?
Let's turn the question around then. What characteristic(s) would you not ever consider going to sea in?

Too small - remember Dave and Jaja did it just fine and safely in a cal 24 (round cape hope) and 30' used to be a BIG boat and the French still do it in 20'ers (mini's), and remember Guzzwell's 'trekka' and then his 'endangered species'. He safely did great things with both.
Low ultimate stability - remember the Ovnis have low ultimate stability numbers and jimmy cornell has taken his to the Antarctic. And there are a ton of multi's out there with really bad ultimate stability. Or low initial stability - many of the best old british boats had minimal initial stability and were designed to be sailed at 20-30 degress of heel.
Bad hull material - remember the griffiths Awahnee was cement and honestly not that good a job even for cement, and they did truely amazing high latitude cruising perfectly safely.
'Efficient' or 'easy to handle' Rig - we have two friends who have done a ton of miles with junk rigs while we know others with enormously sophisticated and complex rigs and others with 50'ers with no roller furling. all sailing safely and happily and love their boats
Too big (or too complex) - we have friends cruising on Whirlwind a 30m sloop and obviously the Dashew's
and so on . . .

The ONLY characteristic I can think of that I would not want to go to sea with is truly rotten maintenance or just plain inadequate strength in the fundamental structures (rudder, mast, hull). But as skipper I could do something about the maintenance and could beef up (as Dave did with the Cal) or make backup plans to deal with the structure. But I don't see any of the characteristics usually discussed (rig, keel, weight, hull material, size, equipment, etc) to rule a boat out of 'blue water'

Now there may be some boats that are more fun or more pleasant than others, but that comes to personal preference and finances.

Regarding our own boat - as I explained above, she reflects our own quirks and desires and preferences but that does not mean I consider other very different boats undesirable or not 'blue water'. In fact our current boat is very very different from our first but they are both excellent blue water boats.

To repeat my main point. I consider blue water cruising primarily a human challenge. I believe the equipment is a very distant secondary factor, and way too much attention is given to it. We should focus on and celebrate the human successes and learn from the human mistakes.

Success is about psychology, commitment, and skills, not equipment.
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Old 28-08-2009, 13:39   #100
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This guy/lady:

"...The boat really makes almost no difference. Big or little, complex or simple, fast or slow - no difference. The blue water skipper will get across the ocean with them all and the other skipper will probably not get off the dock..."

has been and seen.

I, on the other hand, have started to sail relatively recently, and have seen plenty of bad skippers sail around the world, mostly in very, very good boats. Now put these skippers into a Folkboat without the GPS, then wait and see what happens. I say the boat does make the difference.

I strongly disagree with '... The boat really makes almost no difference...'. As well as with '...The blue water skipper will get across the ocean with them all...'. Like how exactly? Paddling? A good, 'blue water' boat is essential to the good skipper as well as to the bad one.

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Old 28-08-2009, 16:12   #101
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Let's turn the question around then. What characteristic(s) would you not ever consider going to sea in?

Too small - remember Dave and Jaja did it just fine and safely in a cal 24 (round cape hope) and 30' used to be a BIG boat and the French still do it in 20'ers (mini's), and remember Guzzwell's 'trekka' and then his 'endangered species'. He safely did great things with both.
Low ultimate stability - remember the Ovnis have low ultimate stability numbers and jimmy cornell has taken his to the Antarctic. And there are a ton of multi's out there with really bad ultimate stability. Or low initial stability - many of the best old british boats had minimal initial stability and were designed to be sailed at 20-30 degress of heel.
Bad hull material - remember the griffiths Awahnee was cement and honestly not that good a job even for cement, and they did truely amazing high latitude cruising perfectly safely.
'Efficient' or 'easy to handle' Rig - we have two friends who have done a ton of miles with junk rigs while we know others with enormously sophisticated and complex rigs and others with 50'ers with no roller furling. all sailing safely and happily and love their boats
Too big (or too complex) - we have friends cruising on Whirlwind a 30m sloop and obviously the Dashew's
and so on . . .

The ONLY characteristic I can think of that I would not want to go to sea with is truly rotten maintenance or just plain inadequate strength in the fundamental structures (rudder, mast, hull). But as skipper I could do something about the maintenance and could beef up (as Dave did with the Cal) or make backup plans to deal with the structure. But I don't see any of the characteristics usually discussed (rig, keel, weight, hull material, size, equipment, etc) to rule a boat out of 'blue water'

Now there may be some boats that are more fun or more pleasant than others, but that comes to personal preference and finances.

Regarding our own boat - as I explained above, she reflects our own quirks and desires and preferences but that does not mean I consider other very different boats undesirable or not 'blue water'. In fact our current boat is very very different from our first but they are both excellent blue water boats.

To repeat my main point. I consider blue water cruising primarily a human challenge. I believe the equipment is a very distant secondary factor, and way too much attention is given to it. We should focus on and celebrate the human successes and learn from the human mistakes.

Success is about psychology, commitment, and skills, not equipment.
Well, you seem to have made a case for exceptions. The fact that some exceptionally good (or crazy) skipper makes it across alive proves nothing about the suitability of the boat.

My viewpoint is somewhat colored by having been in survival conditions with a good boat. My bias is that I'm here to write about it.
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:23   #102
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Yeah yeah, it is the crew, not the boat.

So, what would you prefer for ocean crossings: a boat that is weak and hard to control so you must be a very good crew to live and tell, or a boat that does fine when left to herself during a storm? Now, say again that the boat doesn't matter and I give up ;-)

Now, everybody is afraid to name boats that will, or won't do. I'm Dutch, so I can afford to be blunt:

I would not cross an ocean with:

  • Any French built boat under 50' except an Ovni or some one-off's.
  • A Hunter, Catalina, Irwin
  • Anything older than 30 years (very little exceptions)
  • Anything less that 40' long (very little exceptions)
  • Anything old built from wood
  • Anything ferro-cement

I would cross an ocean with (ordered by preference):

  • Sundeer of course
  • Koopmans
  • Atlantic (Dutch built in aluminium)
  • Most one-off's built in metal or plastic or wood-epoxy
  • Contest, Swan, Oyster, Island Packet, Tayana (even the 37')
  • Anything built like the boats in the previous line

cheers,
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Old 28-08-2009, 16:32   #103
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so, my formosa, sisterships of which are all over this globe, would not be a choice?? nor sisters of the westsail 32 which survived perfect storm in good shape?? there are many over 30 yr old boats which are considered goood bluewater boats.....why not these??
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Old 28-08-2009, 17:08   #104
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It's both

My personal opinion is that it's the individuals inability to work properly with the tools at hand. You could sail a crackerjack box with the proper skills and experience. It will always be a mix of the boats performability and the skills and experience of the crew on board. You could take the best performing boat, put in the hands of inexperience or ineptitude, and they could all end up on the bottom. Conversely, you have well experienced and capable sailors circumnavigating a shoebox! I seem to remember reading of a Fin who did just about that.
End result: Experience AND Performance matter. Safety is in the ratio of each therein.

My 2 cents.
Awright dang it, a nickel then...
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Old 28-08-2009, 17:54   #105
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I love this thread,

Here: " ...I believe the equipment is a very distant secondary factor..."

Sure, if you swim.

In another place that comment on "... anything French ...". Well, actually, whether we like it or not, it is the French who not only hold a number of amazing world sailing records (longest 24 hr run, fastest round the world, first to exceed the 50 knots barrier, and so on) and who are at the edge of sailing technology development today. Somehow it makes me believe the advances trickle down to the cruising design, or am I wrong and it is the other way round? And woodwork on Amels is not that bad either.

So here is my version of Jedi's wish list:

I would prefer not to sail across an ocean in:
- too small a boat (like mine),
- too big a boat (if alone),
- good size, poorly designed or poorly maintained, boat,
- a red or a green boat (for obvious reasons),
- a power boat (this includes a sailing boat with odds of becoming a power boat in the process of sailing),

I would prefer to sail in:
- good size (32-36, bigger if split rig) boat,
- well designed, well maintained boat,
- preferably French, Dutch, Scandinavian, UK or US design / built,
- preferably alu, steel or GRP boat,

As an anecdote (sort of): I am in Spain now and a couple of days ago a 6 months old Amel 54 shook off both her sticks here, in very moderate conditions - beating, 40 knots wind, regular seas, double reefed sails. Another time I was in Australia and I met a Valiant (50, I believe) that did exactly the same - and she was also almost new (still within warranty). So much for 'quality boats' as they are today.

Cheers,
Barnie
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