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Old 20-08-2009, 19:23   #1
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Bluewater Boats

I have been browsing the threads and have seen a lot of contradictory information on what is considered a blue water capable boat. I would like to know a list of what boats you all consider a blue water go anywhere boat. I am sure this all subjective and would like to set aside the "if your a good enough sailor". I am more interested in the structural aspects of what boats can take a pounding and who has taken their boats to the max. I would like first hand info if possible, not the my buddy said this or heard that. I apologize if the post sounds or comes off as rude, it is not my intention, im just looking for facts and experience rather than prejudiced opinion.
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Old 20-08-2009, 19:45   #2
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Quote:
I have been browsing the threads and have seen a lot of contradictory information on what is considered a blue water capable boat.
It's not an exact list. It's not like driving in NASCAR where the car and the team matter as much if not more. It is more the sailor than the boat. You will never on the best day of your life out sail the boat. Boats are built to sell to people that sail. Most do not push the limit. Not all that many sailors will subject the boat to a difficult trans ocean crossing lasting many many days. On the best day you ever had you need 30 more all in a row to best the boat. You can choose the boat you sail but it does not choose you. Since most all boats are not made for the Max you have to choose. Many that are better than you can still sink - because of you.

The Atlantic and Pacific both have been crossed in a home made boats (same one) that was 9 feet 8 inches long. It's not been done in close to less since. There is luck, skill, and preparation. You pull them all together and you might make it. Your desire is farther down the list. Wanting anything is about willingness to be prepared and knowing from learning.

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I am more interested in the structural aspects of what boats can take a pounding and who has taken their boats to the max.
No one is up to the Max! Being up to the Max means preparation beyond the Max. Here at CF we are more interested in having more fun - to the Max. No limit on that and any boat can do it.
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Old 20-08-2009, 19:54   #3
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If you really just want a list, here is the closest I have seen:

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

I also recommend you read the companion piece:

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

You will find and update of this list, and much debate about it, here:

Updated Offshore Cruising Boat List - January 2008 - SailNet Community
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Old 20-08-2009, 20:11   #4
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Noah!....how long can you tread water?

I think anyone good enough to meet your advice criteria must have sailed every design in every condition, each made with a variety of materials that came pre-installed with stress meters.

Sorry, which I could help but my prejudices towards being less than God-like in offering any free advice, precludes my attempt.

Good luck in your search
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Old 20-08-2009, 20:14   #5
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Interesting that they don't list any C&C's at all. C&C generally has a good reputation, and their Landfall series certainly are targeted to cruising more than racing.

I wonder why?
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Old 20-08-2009, 20:14   #6
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The Mahina Expedition link is old and not that great, but not bad. It's a list of boats and not much more. Many others would make the list and a few you won't be able to find for sale. More money helps. More experience matters.
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Old 20-08-2009, 20:41   #7
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I think anyone good enough to meet your advice criteria must have sailed every design in every condition, each made with a variety of materials that came pre-installed with stress meters.

Sorry, which I could help but my prejudices towards being less than God-like in offering any free advice, precludes my attempt.

Good luck in your search

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.
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Old 20-08-2009, 21:36   #8
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Tyana, bobba's and Haun's christians are good blue water sailors, of course, my 34 foot wooden Sea Spirit is also a great blue water sailor and no one makes the sea spirit any more. You must understand that blue water sailing can be acomplished with just about any yacth or sailboat if you know the strength and weakness of your vessel. You must go out and get your feet wet with different types of sail boats and maybe even Catamerans, It will help you decide what is right for you and if your family is comfortable as well. respecfully, Capt. Bill
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Old 20-08-2009, 21:44   #9
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I would most heartily suggest buying (they'll be hard to get any other way) Practical Sailor's two volumes of used boat reviews, compiled from their publication. They go into extensive details of each boat including many owner comments, and what applies to one model from any particular maker or time, often applies equally well to others. It is a very "dense" way to get an awful lot of information, from an awful lot of people, about an awful lot of boats. All in one place. Often including price charts showing how the resale has held up--or not.

AFAIK there's no internet resource that can match it for a fast way to come up to speed.
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Old 20-08-2009, 21:48   #10
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
The Mahina Expedition link is old
The list is < 2 years old, but maybe you just mean you think his taste is old fashioned.

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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
and not that great, but not bad. It's a list of boats and not much more. Many others would make the list and a few you won't be able to find for sale. More money helps. More experience matters.
Any list will be controversial. Asking for a list like this is kind of like asking for a list of the best presidents. However OP seemed to want a list, and this is one of the few I have seen. I certainly agree with you that the very act of making such a list is somewhat absurd. Yet such a list is clearly in high demand.

I do think such a list is usefull for someone just starting to reasearch boats. Certainly not every boat is on the list, and not every boat on the list is ideal, but it at least provides a starting point for research.

A few more resources along the same line:

Amazon.com: Practical Boat Buying, 2 Volume Set, 6th Ed. (9781879620728): Practical Sailor: Books

Amazon.com: Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere (9780939837328): John Vigor: Books

Amazon.com: The Best Used Boat Notebook: From the pages of Sailing Magazine, a new collection of detailed reviews of 40 used boats plus a look at 10 great used boats to sail around the world (9781574092349): John Kretschmer: Books


Amazon.com: Twenty Affordable Sailboats To Take You Anywhere (9780939837724): Gregg Nestor (foreword by John Vigor): Books
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Old 20-08-2009, 21:59   #11
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As there is two (oft repeated) threads about Blue Water Boats (Mine is a White Water Boat - great surfing big waves!)

We met some cool people who couldn’t sail prior to cruising but were asking similar questions.
They bought this huge boat off a weirdo religious sect who were going to save a few people during Armageddon to repopulate the world ---- I kid you not!

The boat is SENSATIONAL!!!!!! 2 inch thick solid fibreglass EVERYWHERE! All steel wire rope is 3 or 4 sizes larger than necessary. Below there are all these labelled storage bins: Nuts 100kgs, UHT Milk 108 litres, etc etc all through the boat. These huge (and I mean HUGE) draws slid out right across the salon 10 foot long with space for provisions.

To say that a family could survive on here for 5 years was an understatement… it was DESIGNED for food for 5 years!

And of course designed to be tossed in Gods Wrath of post apocalyptic oceans for those 5 years.

Blue water? This boat reeked BLUE WATER! The spinnaker poles could be street side light poles, the masts (ketch, of course) were like rain forest trees.
We never saw the sails but they were probably built of steel coated Dacron.

Every instrument had multiple back ups. I think there were 2 generators, 3+ GPS, lots of everything including 4,000 litres of fuel and 2,000 litres of water (and water maker)

A storm could hit this boat and it would be impervious. Unsinkable. Unmovable.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrgh! There she be! Unmovable.

Unmovable.

Expensive, unmanageable, unmaintainable and unmovable.

20 knots up the Kyber Pass and still the boat won't go!

So these threads don’t work. Same as ‘Blue water boats’ don’t exist.

Mark
PS The people who own this boat and really nice folks. And are doing really well with it, and are very happy with their boat, as so they should be. I’m just using them as an example.
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Old 20-08-2009, 22:18   #12
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It is largely subjective, crew dependent and invokes great passion.

I wouldn't be so presumptuous as to list boats but I do have an opinion of what characterizes "better" blue water boats. By that I mean North Sea gale...

Again this is one ignorant man's opinion.

Full keel
Heavy displacement
Masts rigging and equipment "one size bigger"
40' LOA or better
Flexibiilty in sail plans
Center cockpit or double ended to resist swamping
Flared bow shape to keep drier
Excellent auxilliary propulsion - powerful and reliable inboard diesel
System redundancy

There's probably a few more considerations I haven't put much thought into.

This list would seem to preclude a lot of medium displacement boats and that is not my intent. These boats readily and frequently make passage ala MarkJ's Bene 393.

But in my opinion, if it generally looks solid and heavy it is probably in this list for consideration as a "better" or more classic BWC.

However only a very small percentage of us will spend all our time at sea. I recently posted a thread about a 36 foot steel boat that would probably be a great cruiser and I would take it anywhere after proper fit out. Unfortunately without 10-15 knots of wind it is a pig and most of my sailing is 5-15 knots on the coast or around the cans.

And because I can't own a fleet of boats and won't be circumnavigating, I personally would pick a medium to lighter displacement boat.
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Old 20-08-2009, 22:49   #13
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This list... Deerfoot and Sundeer are on it and some that I wouldn't want to find there are indeed not listed, so it's not bad. But it isn't complete either. Very capable blue water boats like the Koopmans aren't listed.

Also, characteristics as listen by ex-calif above... Full keel, we have none of that; heavy displacement: nope, light to ultra light; center cockpit? no way; flared bow shape: come on! I am almost completely at the other end of the scale and still, the Sundeer is considered a good one and I agree of course.

You can't list characteristics of the boat itself easily. It's the complete design that must prove itself out there. When keels and rudders never fall off, shrouds don't pop and masts stay up, after many years the design will get a good reputation. It doesn't mean they are fast or good liveaboard designs etc.; it just means they are sturdy boats that have proven their worth on the oceans.

What is always good are the more general characteristics ex-calif listed: rigging and equipment one size bigger; 40' and up, flexibility in sail plans, good engine and system redundancy. I can add some: well thought out interior plan, good ventilation, easy access to all systems for maintenance, no clueless previous owner, no tendency to roll like crazy when sailing downwind, good behavior at anchor etc.

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Old 20-08-2009, 22:57   #14
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it just means they are sturdy boats that have proven their worth on the oceans.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it then still might not be a Bluwater Boat - LOL.

No one can tell you what one is but many will be able to tell one when they see one.

I would be slightly contrarian with my good friend Jedi.

While the interior layout, ventilation, behavior at anchor are all comfort items, I was more focused on seakeeping.

I did consider interior in terms of capability. i.e. can I get to sails, sail lockers, engine bay and other equipment spaces safely in heavy seas? Will things stay put down below when she's a rocking and rolling? Is the nav station accesible.

Comfort is comfort and is also very important but there are lots of other boats that would kill many BWC boats for comfort - i.e. pilothouse models, catamarans, etc. - Would I put to sea for 1,000 days in many of these? Nope...


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Old 21-08-2009, 00:23   #15
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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.

If it meets the above criteria, its a blue water boat. Exactly how you go about meeting that criteria is up to you. As is usually the case, there is more than one solution to a problem, just as there is more than one way of meeting the above criteria.

When one starts saying that a blue water cruiser must have this and must have that, then they are ignoring the fact that there are multiple solutions to achieving the above criteria.

Keep in mind a submarine fits the definition of a blue water boat, although it fits nobody's definition of a blue water boat when you examine the individual items that are typically brought up, that's if individual items are your basis for the definition.
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