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Old 12-11-2012, 10:30   #166
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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That's nice but let's not lose site of what the guy said..... "it's not the boat, it's the sailor." For example, Stephen Callahan " sailed" 3/4 of the way across the Atlantic in a 6 man liferaft made by Avon. It took him 76 days. I'd say that Avon 6 is a proven bluewater boat!

Whatout any equipment he knew his speed, appoximate position, and direction of drift.

Btw, it's an awesome story about his journey described in his boat " Adrift."

See link below:

Image Detail for - Adrift by Steven Callahan:: Reader Store
Great book. One of my favorites, actually. But not all of us are Steven Callahan, nor William Bligh nor Bernard Moitessier. It's a sliding scale. While there may be one or two folks out there that could circumnavigate in a bath tub, that's not a realistic scenario for 99.99% of us. More realistically, there are boats that are more or less prone to rolling because of design and/or displacement. A Macgregor 26x, I am going to guess, would roll much easier than, say, an Alberg 30. That makes one boat inherently more seaworthy than the other. Which one of those boats would you cross an ocean on? No experienced sailor, speaking honestly, would hesitate in saying the latter.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:43   #167
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Great book. One of my favorites, actually. But not all of us are Steven Callahan, nor William Bligh nor Bernard Moitessier. It's a sliding scale. While there may be one or two folks out there that could circumnavigate in a bath tub, that's not a realistic scenario for 99.99% of us. More realistically, there are boats that are more or less prone to rolling because of design and/or displacement. A Macgregor 26x, I am going to guess, would roll much easier than, say, an Alberg 30. That makes one boat inherently more seaworthy than the other. Which one of those boats would you cross an ocean on? Now experienced sailor, speaking honestly, would hesitate in saying the latter.

Of course. The exception does not really prove the rule.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:50   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman

More realistically, there are boats that are more or less prone to rolling because of design and/or displacement. A Macgregor 26x, I am going to guess, would roll much easier than, say, an Alberg 30. That makes one boat inherently more seaworthy than the other. Which one of those boats would you cross an ocean on? Now experienced sailor, speaking honestly, would hesitate in saying the latter.
I would choose an Alberg 30 for a number of reasons including the difference in RM and AOVS between the two boats. I am in no way arguing that all boats are equal if commanded by an experienced skipper, that is completely untrue. I am attempting to make the point that a relatively inexpensive production boat is not by default less sea worthy than an older full keel design.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:56   #169
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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No boat is designed to survive those events. Whether or not it does is largely conjecture and a lot of luck. The success of any boat to survive offshore is a function of the skill of the skipper and his/her anticipation ability.

To imply some boats are capable of surviving those conditions is misleading at best.

As to the question at hand, the catalina is designed for coastal cruising maximizing interior space, limited fuel,water and general storage, limited headsail options, etc...
About 7 years ago, I survived a named typhoon in the South China Sea in a 28' Taipan sloop. I am not saying the boat was "designed to survive those events," but I can say that it did. Many boats wouldn't have - I assure you. Because I was on the Taipan and not one of those other boats is the reason I am able to write about it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:59   #170
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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I would choose an Alberg 30 for a number of reasons including the difference in RM and AOVS between the two boats. I am in no way arguing that all boats are equal if commanded by an experienced skipper, that is completely untrue. I am attempting to make the point that a relatively inexpensive production boat is not by default less sea worthy than an older full keel design.
I agree. But many appear to be making just that zero-sum argument.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:01   #171
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Great book. One of my favorites, actually. But not all of us are Steven Callahan, nor William Bligh nor Bernard Moitessier. It's a sliding scale. While there may be one or two folks out there that could circumnavigate in a bath tub, that's not a realistic scenario for 99.99% of us. More realistically, there are boats that are more or less prone to rolling because of design and/or displacement. A Macgregor 26x, I am going to guess, would roll much easier than, say, an Alberg 30. That makes one boat inherently more seaworthy than the other. Which one of those boats would you cross an ocean on? Now experienced sailor, speaking honestly, would hesitate in saying the latter.
Well, my boat is a Bristol 27 so that pretty much answers that question, but if I had to choose which boat I'd want to cross an ocean on I'd take the red workboat coming in or the racing sailboat in this video!

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:30   #172
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
About 7 years ago, I survived a named typhoon in the South China Sea in a 28' Taipan sloop. I am not saying the boat was "designed to survive those events," but I can say that it did. Many boats wouldn't have - I assure you. Because I was on the Taipan and not one of those other boats is the reason I am able to write about it.
One thing worth keeping in mind is the difference between structural strength, and hull form. These are two different issues.

Production boats have gotten lighter and lighter with a certain -- not necessarily proportional -- loss of strength. Light is good for most purpose -- sails better, cheaper. But a boat which is light to the point of oil canning or losing structural integrity in really bad conditions is of course less suitable in really bad conditions, even in the hands of an expert skipper.

Not just production boats, but almost all boats have grown more efficient, higher aspect keels, higher aspect and very often now spade rudders, and hull forms with less wetted surface. That's for performance, and performance is good. Someone above mentioned Oysters and Swans as if they were diametrically opposed to production boats -- well, where hull form is concerned, this is not true. A modern Swan looks quite similar to a Beneteau First underneath. And even Hallberg Rassey (!) now have spade rudders on many of their boats. HR is kind of an icon of heavy, long-distance, blue water cruising boats.

So an old heavily built boat with a long or full keel is extra-seaworthy in two ways -- it has a hull form which gives you sea-kindliness and seaworthness at the expense of sailing performance, and it is heavily built, as boats were before designers trusted GRP very much.

An Oyster or a Swan is only seaworthy in one of those ways, with the exception maybe of the rudders on Oysters which still have full skegs, AFAIK.

And yet one other consideration -- size. Boats have gotten bigger. All other things being equal, a bigger boat will be more seaworthy (and more sea-kindly) than a smaller boat. So back when 30' was a normal sized cruising boat, it was probably a really big advantage to have a long keel and heavy lay-up. But nowadays an average cruising boat is 40' plus, which is double or more the hull volume and displacement (all other things being equal) of a 30' cruising boat.

So I personally would much rather cross an ocean in a 43 foot Beneteau than a 32 foot Contessa. You will cross a couple knots faster -- what is that, 30%? More? It's a huge difference in miles per day. And you will have a lot more fun in a lot more comfort. And if the sh*t hits the f*n, the extra size of the Bennie is going to largely eliminate any other advantages of the Contessa.

I stand by my statement that any more or less modern sailing boat you can buy, short of maybe a Mac 26 which really isn't designed for oceans at all, is going to be more or less ok in blue water in the hands of a sufficiently competent skipper, especially if this skipper has decent weather routing. A corollary to this statement is that I would vastly prefer being on a cheap production boat with a great skipper, than on a Swan 55 with a klutz. The skipper is much more important than the boat.

Does that mean that all boats are equal? Of course not. Some really cheap production boats might actually be dangerous in a really horrific storm. But as Carsten pointed out, we don't really hear about any kind of sailboat, other than the odd catamaran, which breaks up structurally in a storm. It just doesn't seem to happen, although people are out in oceans in all kinds of craft.

So this is largely an armchair discussion. I think nearly every sailor has a feeling for whether a potential boat purchase is more or less seaworthy, and chooses what he thinks is best for the kind of sailing he does. I don't quite understand why anyone should get bent out of shape, over another sailor's choice of boat.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:50   #173
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
One thing worth keeping in mind is the difference between structural strength, and hull form. These are two different issues.

Production boats have gotten lighter and lighter with a certain -- not necessarily proportional -- loss of strength. Light is good for most purpose -- sails better, cheaper. But a boat which is light to the point of oil canning or losing structural integrity in really bad conditions is of course less suitable in really bad conditions, even in the hands of an expert skipper.

Not just production boats, but almost all boats have grown more efficient, higher aspect keels, higher aspect and very often now spade rudders, and hull forms with less wetted surface. That's for performance, and performance is good. Someone above mentioned Oysters and Swans as if they were diametrically opposed to production boats -- well, where hull form is concerned, this is not true. A modern Swan looks quite similar to a Beneteau First underneath. And even Hallberg Rassey (!) now have spade rudders on many of their boats. HR is kind of an icon of heavy, long-distance, blue water cruising boats.

So an old heavily built boat with a long or full keel is extra-seaworthy in two ways -- it has a hull form which gives you sea-kindliness and seaworthness at the expense of sailing performance, and it is heavily built, as boats were before designers trusted GRP very much.

An Oyster or a Swan is only seaworthy in one of those ways, with the exception maybe of the rudders on Oysters which still have full skegs, AFAIK.

And yet one other consideration -- size. Boats have gotten bigger. All other things being equal, a bigger boat will be more seaworthy (and more sea-kindly) than a smaller boat. So back when 30' was a normal sized cruising boat, it was probably a really big advantage to have a long keel and heavy lay-up. But nowadays an average cruising boat is 40' plus, which is double or more the hull volume and displacement (all other things being equal) of a 30' cruising boat.

So I personally would much rather cross an ocean in a 43 foot Beneteau than a 32 foot Contessa. You will cross a couple knots faster -- what is that, 30%? More? It's a huge difference in miles per day. And you will have a lot more fun in a lot more comfort. And if the sh*t hits the f*n, the extra size of the Bennie is going to largely eliminate any other advantages of the Contessa.

I stand by my statement that any more or less modern sailing boat you can buy, short of maybe a Mac 26 which really isn't designed for oceans at all, is going to be more or less ok in blue water in the hands of a sufficiently competent skipper, especially if this skipper has decent weather routing. A corollary to this statement is that I would vastly prefer being on a cheap production boat with a great skipper, than on a Swan 55 with a klutz. The skipper is much more important than the boat.

Does that mean that all boats are equal? Of course not. Some really cheap production boats might actually be dangerous in a really horrific storm. But as Carsten pointed out, we don't really hear about any kind of sailboat, other than the odd catamaran, which breaks up structurally in a storm. It just doesn't seem to happen, although people are out in oceans in all kinds of craft.

So this is largely an armchair discussion. I think nearly every sailor has a feeling for whether a potential boat purchase is more or less seaworthy, and chooses what he thinks is best for the kind of sailing he does. I don't quite understand why anyone should get bent out of shape, over another sailor's choice of boat.

All this assumes that a good skipper would take out such a boat in really bad conditions.

Of course my bias is Atlantic-based; that's where I'm familiar with the weather. As many have pointed out, there was plenty of warning about Sandy. Some questioned why people did not move their boats to safety. I and my friend got to Miami as Debby's outer bands were coming in. She went through a pretty strong squall Friday night and a weaker one Sat. morning. We only had to move her 4 1/2 miles to get her to a proven mooring field, and we did, between squalls. We were just lucky that one didn't form as we were moving her but we took the risk and got her secured.

If we'd already been out in the Atlantic sailing her, we would have had plenty of warning to get to safe harbor. I don't know how the earlier poster got caught in a typhoon, but in the Atlantic, such incidents are avoidable today. But I wouldn't take a fin keeled, exposed rudder boat out into the Pacific.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:06   #174
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
One thing worth keeping in mind is the difference between structural strength, and hull form. These are two different issues.

Production boats have gotten lighter and lighter with a certain -- not necessarily proportional -- loss of strength. Light is good for most purpose -- sails better, cheaper. But a boat which is light to the point of oil canning or losing structural integrity in really bad conditions is of course less suitable in really bad conditions, even in the hands of an expert skipper.

Not just production boats, but almost all boats have grown more efficient, higher aspect keels, higher aspect and very often now spade rudders, and hull forms with less wetted surface. That's for performance, and performance is good. Someone above mentioned Oysters and Swans as if they were diametrically opposed to production boats -- well, where hull form is concerned, this is not true. A modern Swan looks quite similar to a Beneteau First underneath. And even Hallberg Rassey (!) now have spade rudders on many of their boats. HR is kind of an icon of heavy, long-distance, blue water cruising boats.

So an old heavily built boat with a long or full keel is extra-seaworthy in two ways -- it has a hull form which gives you sea-kindliness and seaworthness at the expense of sailing performance, and it is heavily built, as boats were before designers trusted GRP very much.

An Oyster or a Swan is only seaworthy in one of those ways, with the exception maybe of the rudders on Oysters which still have full skegs, AFAIK.

And yet one other consideration -- size. Boats have gotten bigger. All other things being equal, a bigger boat will be more seaworthy (and more sea-kindly) than a smaller boat. So back when 30' was a normal sized cruising boat, it was probably a really big advantage to have a long keel and heavy lay-up. But nowadays an average cruising boat is 40' plus, which is double or more the hull volume and displacement (all other things being equal) of a 30' cruising boat.

So I personally would much rather cross an ocean in a 43 foot Beneteau than a 32 foot Contessa. You will cross a couple knots faster -- what is that, 30%? More? It's a huge difference in miles per day. And you will have a lot more fun in a lot more comfort. And if the sh*t hits the f*n, the extra size of the Bennie is going to largely eliminate any other advantages of the Contessa.

I stand by my statement that any more or less modern sailing boat you can buy, short of maybe a Mac 26 which really isn't designed for oceans at all, is going to be more or less ok in blue water in the hands of a sufficiently competent skipper, especially if this skipper has decent weather routing. A corollary to this statement is that I would vastly prefer being on a cheap production boat with a great skipper, than on a Swan 55 with a klutz. The skipper is much more important than the boat.

Does that mean that all boats are equal? Of course not. Some really cheap production boats might actually be dangerous in a really horrific storm. But as Carsten pointed out, we don't really hear about any kind of sailboat, other than the odd catamaran, which breaks up structurally in a storm. It just doesn't seem to happen, although people are out in oceans in all kinds of craft.

So this is largely an armchair discussion. I think nearly every sailor has a feeling for whether a potential boat purchase is more or less seaworthy, and chooses what he thinks is best for the kind of sailing he does. I don't quite understand why anyone should get bent out of shape, over another sailor's choice of boat.
I understand you point and absolutely agree on the structural aspect. Many modern production boats are well made.

I don't agree entirely with "I would vastly prefer being on a cheap production boat with a great skipper, than on a Swan 55 with a klutz." A skipper who's a klutz is one thing, but the best skipper of a lemon is also going to be at a distinct disadvantage. Stuff breaks, and more so on a poorly found or poorly prepared boat. When lots of stuff starts to break, that's when things go down hill. If it's important stuff, even more so.

True (and this is important), many less experienced skippers don't understand what they can get away without. Stuff will almost always go wrong offshore, usually it's not big stuff, but some people don't understand what's big and what's small.

On an Annapolis-Newport trip earlier this year, I discovered a bad alternator, a condition that wiped out the batteries before we understood what the cause was. To some this would have precipitated an emergency call. To us, we reached for the paper charts (which we'd kept a fix recorded on) and used our headlamps for a day and a half. Inconvenient? Absolutely. Life threatening? Hardly.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:11   #175
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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All this assumes that a good skipper would take out such a boat in really bad conditions.

Of course my bias is Atlantic-based; that's where I'm familiar with the weather. As many have pointed out, there was plenty of warning about Sandy. Some questioned why people did not move their boats to safety. I and my friend got to Miami as Debby's outer bands were coming in. She went through a pretty strong squall Friday night and a weaker one Sat. morning. We only had to move her 4 1/2 miles to get her to a proven mooring field, and we did, between squalls. We were just lucky that one didn't form as we were moving her but we took the risk and got her secured.

If we'd already been out in the Atlantic sailing her, we would have had plenty of warning to get to safe harbor. I don't know how the earlier poster got caught in a typhoon, but in the Atlantic, such incidents are avoidable today. But I wouldn't take a fin keeled, exposed rudder boat out into the Pacific.
No good skipper intentionally sails out into survival conditions. And it is increasingly possible to avoid survival conditions altogether with the improvement in weather routing.

But blue-water sailors out in the ocean days from any safe haven do sometimes get caught in storms, and survival storms are not only tropical rotating storms. Why do you think the Atlantic is any easier than the Pacific? The N Atlantic has some of the most vicious weather on the planet, particularly the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay, the Western Approaches . . .

And why not fin keels and "exposed rudders" (spade rudders, I guess, you mean?)? Less than 1% of all sailboats built in the last 20 years have anything other than a fin keel -- Island Packet being the only volume producer of full keel boats I know of these days. Fin keels are now practically universal. Swans and even Hallberg Rasseys have spade rudders these days and, obviously, fin keels. That means that probably 90% or more of boats crossing the Pacific have fin keels, and probably 50% or 60% have spade rudders. You would have trouble finding a ride if you insisted on going out into the Pacific only on a full keel boat.

My boat does not have a spade rudder -- she has a partial skeg. But she was designed 13 years ago -- nowadays more and more serious bluewater boats are being built with spade rudders, which give much superior hydrodynamic performance, and the performance of the rudder is probably even more important than that of the keel. Of course spade rudders are more difficult to design with good reserves of structural strength, because of the longer bending arm, but it can be done.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:19   #176
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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No good skipper intentionally sails out into survival conditions. And it is increasingly possible to avoid survival conditions altogether with the improvement in weather routing.

But blue-water sailors out in the ocean days from any safe haven do sometimes get caught in storms, and survival storms are not only tropical rotating storms. Why do you think the Atlantic is any easier than the Pacific? The N Atlantic has some of the most vicious weather on the planet, particularly the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay, the Western Approaches . . .

And why not fin keels and "exposed rudders" (spade rudders, I guess, you mean?)? Less than 1% of all sailboats built in the last 20 years have anything other than a fin keel -- Island Packet being the only volume producer of full keel boats I know of these days. Fin keels are now practically universal. Swans and even Hallberg Rasseys have spade rudders these days and, obviously, fin keels. That means that probably 90% or more of boats crossing the Pacific have fin keels, and probably 50% or 60% have spade rudders. You would have trouble finding a ride if you insisted on going out into the Pacific only on a full keel boat.

My boat does not have a spade rudder -- she has a partial skeg. But she was designed 13 years ago -- nowadays more and more serious bluewater boats are being built with spade rudders, which give much superior hydrodynamic performance, and the performance of the rudder is probably even more important than that of the keel. Of course spade rudders are more difficult to design with good reserves of structural strength, because of the longer bending arm, but it can be done.
The key word is "intentionally." If you're talking about a two-day hop from port to port, that's one thing, but if the passage is going to take a week or longer, you may find the weather window sliding down on your hands and neck. Forecasts are good for 7-10 days - best case. Also, in some parts of the world, weather information is better than others. For example, the same large-scale weather models used for to forecast the track and intensity of North American hurricanes are also run for the western Pacific. But, the data points fed into those models (buoy data, wind station readings, aircraft ala "Hurricane Hunters") is much more spotty. So, accuracy for predicting typhoons in that region is not as good by some degrees as it is in N.A.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:20   #177
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

"No good skipper intentionally sails out into survival conditions. And it is increasingly possible to avoid survival conditions altogether with the improvement in weather routing.

But blue-water sailors out in the ocean days from any safe haven do sometimes get caught in storms, and survival storms are not only tropical rotating storms. Why do you think the Atlantic is any easier than the Pacific? The N Atlantic has some of the most vicious weather on the planet, particularly the North Sea, the Bay of Biscay, the Western Approaches . . . "

Thank you, Dockhead. i've been saying this for months and in fact really got ripped for it. It is why I have been paying so much attention to this thread even though I can't imagine a scenario where I would have my boat in the Pacific.

Why *I* would not take out a fin keel is because it takes "time over water" to develop FAST navigational skills. It just takes time doing it, over and over, to be fast, just like scales on a piano. I'm not there yet, and I agree with the poster who said that a fin keel and exposed rudder are more vulnerable in treacherous groundings.

Again, it's a matter of experienced. I have to be ready if the chartplotter goes out (although even I would have known that if the battery was draining when the engine was running, the alternator was the likely culprit).
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:22   #178
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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On an Annapolis-Newport trip earlier this year, I discovered a bad alternator, a condition that wiped out the batteries before we understood what the cause was. To some this would have precipitated an emergency call. .
An emergency call for a failed alternator????
I would hope not.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:25   #179
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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The key word is "intentionally." If you're talking about a two-day hop from port to port, that's one thing, but if the passage is going to take a week or longer, you may find the weather window sliding down on your hands and neck. Forecasts are good for 7-10 days - best case. Also, in some parts of the world, weather information is better than others. For example, the same large-scale weather models used for to forecast the track and intensity of North American hurricanes are also run for the western Pacific. But, the data points fed into those models (buoy data, wind station readings, aircraft ala "Hurricane Hunters") is much more spotty. So, accuracy for predicting typhoons in that region is not as good by some degrees as it is in N.A.

We all know that, I think. Many have mentioned it.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:38   #180
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

I am a fan of catalinas because they are so much boat for the bucks and they have huge volumes for the length. I love to sail Catalinas inshore yet when I review the numbers for the 315 the SA/Disp Ratio is 16.32 (a reasonably good performer) Balance/ Displacement of .392 (a reasonable stability ratio) and a displacement/length of 244.44 (a moderate displacement) all of which would suggest a reasonable offshore boat. But numbers are just that. The Catalina has a wide beam and some I have seen have good but not great hardware. The wide beam will probably affect the righting moment (or more precisely the amount of time you may be under water before you get another breath) than the numbers suggest. The ocean is relentless and any inferioir equipment will be subject to the test. Finally, a wide boat has a lot of open room to be tossed about inside. I would probably reserve the Catalina 315 for coastal cruising and really enjoy the short jumps offshore as I head for the Bahamas. But a trip across the pond I am not so inclined in this boat particularly if you are going west to east in the Atlantic.
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For Sale: Cruising Guides and Sailing Resource Books svdreamkeeper Classifieds Archive 3 23-11-2011 12:24



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