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Old 07-11-2012, 09:35   #16
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
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...
I agree. The skill of the skipper and his/her anticipation ability is not to be ignored. But boats CAN be designed to have a better chance of surviving such events. Although the cost may be prohibitive to manufacturers it is worth the expense to customize YOUR boat to deal with such a possibility. I am in the process of doing this right now with my Slocum 37.

Anyone else on the same track. Pray tell...

RT
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:03   #17
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Depends. Since there is no exact definition of bluewater then there is no exact answer. That term is thrown around quite loosely and seems to mean different things to different people.

Also you don't say which model Catalina. Are you referring to an outboard powered 22' or a diesel powetered 47?

I have sailed a 30' Catalina and would not hesitate to take one on a long distance sail in the ocean; the right part of the ocean at the right season.

I would not take a Catalina 30 around Cape Horn in the winter.
Good inexpensive coastal boats.... but I wouldnt want to be out in real rough weather in one. The hulls flex pretty well, the keel is bolted on and the surrounding glass isnt that thick... etc... That doesnt mean they CANT be taken around the world, it just means if you are going to do that, choose a more forgiving boat....
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:06   #18
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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This is the attitude that the "bluewater" question always seems to evoke. "Prudent terror" instructs its adherents to purchase sailboats designed as a lifeboat with a stick, boats that will never see the high side of four knots but will survive a pitchpole, several rolls and numerous beachings. And, of course, the first thing these terrorized boat owners want to talk about is what size sea anchor they need to survive storms.
I have to disagree with you. My Slocum 37 for example weighs in at 28,000 lbs with 11,000 lbs of ballast. Her tall rig with over 900 sq. ft of sail pushes her at over 7 knots in a 10- 15 knot breeze. She is built like a brick **** house and I would not have it any other way when considering offshore passages.

Then again if speed is what you are after...... go with a Cat.

RT
PS Sea anchors, dones? Isn't that standard equipment on an off shore boat?What's your point?
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Old 07-11-2012, 10:25   #19
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Not really Bash. Prudent terror, to my way of thinking is having a very healthy respect for the sea and what can happen out there.

Note the operative word - prudent

Jes sayin'
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Old 07-11-2012, 12:30   #20
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
I have to disagree with you. My Slocum 37 for example weighs in at 28,000 lbs with 11,000 lbs of ballast. Her tall rig with over 900 sq. ft of sail pushes her at over 7 knots in a 10- 15 knot breeze. She is built like a brick **** house and I would not have it any other way when considering offshore passages.

Then again if speed is what you are after...... go with a Cat.

RT
PS Sea anchors, dones? Isn't that standard equipment on an off shore boat?What's your point?
I'm curious as to why you think that your Slocum will survive the situations you describe: pitchpole and multiple rollovers?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 07-11-2012, 13:01   #21
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
I have to disagree with you. My Slocum 37 for example weighs in at 28,000 lbs with 11,000 lbs of ballast. Her tall rig with over 900 sq. ft of sail pushes her at over 7 knots in a 10- 15 knot breeze. She is built like a brick **** house and I would not have it any other way when considering offshore passages.
Hey vtcapo, my Rafiki-37 is the older sister to your Slocum-37. I'm biased, but I agree that our boats are incredible bluewater vessels. They sail well, and as you say, are "built like brick **** houses." Despite that, I would not expect them to do very well in a pitchpole situation. Rolls, sure, but I doubt if any vessel is speced to do well in the case of a full pitchpole. At that point, all bets are off.
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:10   #22
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

I think a great deal of this discussion may be hinging around different interpretations of bluewater. Then there are also very different opinions on what a "bluewater" cruiser should be built to withstand, if any boat can.

For some newbies blue water might begin at the sea buoy, for others it isn't bluewater unless you are crossing oceans. I would call a lot of west coast sailing bluewater even when you're well in sight of the coast because you could be several days away from a safe harbor and potentially exposed to gale force winds and high seas.

For the sake of this discussion I think we agree that we are not referring to high latitude sailing which is usually considered 40 degrees or higher. I might even say 35 degrees or higher since that is about the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope. For that type of sailing I think you reach a new level of risk, beyond the scope of this current thread.

So, let's say we are talking about any voyage that is X miles from shore or X miles/days from a safe refuge.

Even under one of these definitions there are huge differences what wind and seas you might encounter depending on where and what time of year you sail. For example, I think most of us would agree that the risk of encountering a survival level storm in late spring to early summer sailing from the USVI to Beaufort NC to be almost nil; too late for nor'easters, too early for hurricanes. I think that trip would also qualify as blue water. So would one need to buy a brick s***house of a boat for that trip, just in case the one in one hundred thousand chance of an off season, freak storm might happen?

I do know plenty of sailors that want a heavy duty, full keel, built like a tank boat for cruising from FL to the Bahamas. If that makes them happy then I think that's wonderful and enjoy. For me I think that is akin to using a sledge hammer to drive in a carpet tack. Way more tool than is needed to do the job well. It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job at hand and I think there is plenty of "bluewater" sailing that right time, right place, and prudent planning, can be done safely in something other than a brick s***house.
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Old 07-11-2012, 14:22   #23
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Bluewater:
(1) when the distance to land is further that I can swim under the given sea conditions
(2) when the distance to another person is such that I can not yell to them and be heard and for them to come get me before I can no longer tread water (becomes temperature depend)
(3) when the depth changes in those nice warm weather places that have clear water so that the water color changes, IE how to pick place to drop anchor
(4) the color of the canyon you use in you coloring book for the sea
(5) the color around your boat where you pumped the head when a dye pack was added to the holding tank, or that nice "fresh" looking bowl
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Old 07-11-2012, 19:57   #24
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

I do know plenty of sailors that want a heavy duty, full keel, built like a tank boat for cruising from FL to the Bahamas. If that makes them happy then I think that's wonderful and enjoy. For me I think that is akin to using a sledge hammer to drive in a carpet tack. Way more tool than is needed to do the job well. It's all a matter of using the right tool for the job at hand and I think there is plenty of "bluewater" sailing that right time, right place, and prudent planning, can be done safely in something other than a brick s***house.[/QUOTE]



Let me start of by qualifying what I said. There isn’t a boat out there, brick **** house or not that the sea can’t claim on any given day. That said, the point I am trying to make is that a true blue water boat should be capable of withstanding repeated broaches, capsizing and the dreaded pitch pole. You are right Mike. All bets are off if you pitch pole but preparing your boat to hopefully withstand such an event is not beyond someone’s capability.

Let’s take the Slocum 37 for arguments sake. This heavy displacement full keeled design, morphed from the Rafi 37 (both Huntingford designs) and very similar to one of most extensively cruised double enders afloat the Tayana 37 are without a doubt some of the stoutest boats afloat. Let’s assume the hull and rig is sound and ALL systems are in order to make a circumnavigation. What additional prudent measures should you take in order to insure seaworthy integrity? First off the best advice I ever received concerning building a boat that will stay afloat under severe conditions was….. Limit the number of HOLES. The more holes in your boat the more vulnerable you are to have one fail. Unfortunately my Slocum is full of holes. It has 10 opening ports, two deck hatches, two dorades, four cockpit hatches and a large companionway and that is not to mention ALL the holes down below.

Each and everyone of them has to be addressed. The companionway IS in my estimation every boats most vulnerable opening. If you where to have a roll over or pitch pole with this hole being compromised it’s Dave Jones in a matter of minutes if not seconds.

Skipmac, it appears you think it over kill to have an exceptionally stout boat to go from Florida to the Bahamas? Years ago coming back from the Berry Islands the owner of a popular restaurant in Jupiter Florida, Charley’s Crab was lost at sea with all hands after being caught in a severe storm in the Gulf Stream off Palm Beach. The boat was a Freedom 40 Ketch designed for the Bahamas.

1979 Freedom Yachts 40 CENTER COCKPIT KETCH Sail Boat For Sale -

The last that was heard from them was a 911 call which was garbled. Not a trace of the boat nor any of it’s occupants were ever found. NOTHING, not even a cushion. Even the Coast Guard thought this to be odd. Speculation had it that whoever made that cell phone call probably opened the hatch to get better reception. She either was rolled over or pitch poled in the 30+ foot seas and 70+ mph winds. With the hatch either open or broached she went down like a stone.

On my boat the teak boards are being replaced by either solid aluminum or Lexan and I am making sure this opening can be secured from below being able to lock the sliding hatch with heavy duty deadbolts.

It takes only one storm in the Gulf Stream to remind you how bad it can get. I’ve been there. Whether or not your boat will come through depends on how well you have prepared it for any eventually. That’s what I’m doing.

That is not to say Murphy won’t show and even with the best preparations ruin your day…
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Old 07-11-2012, 20:07   #25
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Aren't academic debates entertaining. I wonder if anyone actually sailing offshore in their flimsy, unable to withstand a rogue wave sailboat reads this crap
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Old 07-11-2012, 20:37   #26
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Weather window! Just about any and all size boats have been sailed in adverse conditions. If your rig is up to snuff and you have sufficent tankage to supply you water at sea your Catalina will take you there. The question is can you cope with the conditions you will face? There is no doubt your catalina will make it...the question is comfort. Many other choices of boats that will be much more comforatable when the sea state isn't so nice.
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Old 07-11-2012, 21:29   #27
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
Skipmac, it appears you think it over kill to have an exceptionally stout boat to go from Florida to the Bahamas?
I wouldn't want to use the word overkill but I would say that a super heavy duty, full keel, double ender, etc, etc, is not necessary to make a safe trip to the Bahamas. If you feel like you need this and it makes you happy then great. Do what makes you feel safe and happy.

Under the command of a careful skipper and with an eye on the weather I think most any production boat made that is in good condition would safely make the trip.

I've been to the Bahamas a couple dozen times and spent a cumulative time of about three years from one end of the chain to the other. I've crossed the Gulf Stream in everything from a 21' open cockpit, outboard powered fishing boat to a 65' full keel, double ended, steel ketch. I felt just as safe in the 21' speed boat as the 65' ketch.

The big secret, as I mentioned is when and where you cruise. Implied in that is you watch the weather and the season. I would not head to the Bahamas with a hurricane on the way in any boat, not yours, not even in the 65' steel ketch. However, on a calm day I'd take my ski boat across. Only takes a couple of hours and it's not too difficult to find a two hour weather window.


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Years ago coming back from the Berry Islands the owner of a popular restaurant in Jupiter Florida, Charley’s Crab was lost at sea with all hands after being caught in a severe storm in the Gulf Stream off Palm Beach. The boat was a Freedom 40 Ketch designed for the Bahamas.
With all due respect, if this boat was caught in a severe storm between the Berry Islands and FL then someone was not paying attention to the weather. If as according to your story, no wreckage was ever found, no survivors, then how do you know the boat foundered at sea? Could have hit a reef, collided with a ship in the Gulf Stream, any one of a number of things. I promise you, not even your heavy duty, overbuilt boat would survive pounding on a reef in heavy surf.

Seriously, it's only 50 miles from FL to the west side of the Bahamas. The longest hop from one safe harbor to the next might be 100 miles. Less than 24 hours travel time for the longest leg of the trip. If you watch the weather you could do the Bahamas, safely, with a Hobie Cat. Might be wet and a little uncomfortable but would not consider it death defying.

One thing I like about sailing is the huge variety of boats and the people on them. I have owned almost every kind of boat there is and liked them all, including the steel full keeled double ender. If that's what you like that's great but you aren't going to convince me that this is the only safe boat to sail.
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Old 07-11-2012, 22:25   #28
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

To further the points made by Skipmac I'll add a couple US left coast and Western Mexico comments. I've sailed Puget Sound to San Diego four times and back and forth to mainland Mexico from San Diego twice.

I spent four years wondering around the Sea of Cortez and Western Mexico with a wide variety of boats - none of which suffered any damage or distress due to being lightly built "production" boats.

When I say "wandering" I mean consistent crossings of the Sea of Cortez (minimum of 190 mile from La Paz to Mazatlan and 290 miles of open water from Los Frailes to Puerto Vallarta). Hundreds of boats, many lightly built "production" boats, made those crossings each spring and fall.

At least a hundred boats a year would migrate from Mazatlan/Banderas Bay 225 miles south to Zihuatenejo and then return up to 1000 miles back to Puerto Escondido.

The boats that I did those migrations with were late '80s Hunters, mid-90s Catalinas, lots of Jeanneaus and Beneteaus and the occasional McGregor.

Just some examples

Hunter 35
Hunter 40
Catalina 42
Beneteau 40 CC (continued on thru the Panama Canal and on to the east coast)
Catalina 36
Ranger 32 ( a really unruly mid-70s IOR boat - used to race one)
Columbia 36
Columbia 38 (continued on thru the canal and now live aboard in Scicily)
Gemini catamaran
McGregor 26 (usually 5 full sized adults on board)

All those folks were very careful about getting good weather forecasts and they knew well the capabilities of their boats.

If you stay within 24 hours of a safe anchorage and carefully consider the weather then almost any boat will get the job done.

But - those are not blue water boats - days from help, beyond helicopter range, and totally self sufficient.

I guess we need more definition of what the OP considers "blue water"
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:01   #29
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Many people take Catalina's offshore. Friends of mine sailed from Seattle to Florida in a 1970s Catalina 27. Having sailed the Pacific part of that journey myself in our boat (a totally different boat), I wouldn't hesitate to sail it in the boat I owned, whatever that boat might be. Crossing an ocean their boat would have been tough as far as tankage. Be smart, know your boats weaknesses and buy the one you like.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:19   #30
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Ive sailed and delivered all sorts of production boats, talking about full keel and built like a shithouse that is all nonsense. Its the way the boats are sailed. All modern production boats will take you around the world by applying the usual care and common sense.

Buying a boat that "in theory" will survive extreme events is a classic "newbie" error. For a start you cannot predict what happens in extreme events, your boat could survive a pitchpole, yet sink because a hatch failed later etc etc. You just dont know. In my opinion its a common error to try and "design in" or buy a boat in theory can handle anything, its a cop-out for good sailing skills ( the , even if I f*ck up the boat will look after me - its quite frankly BS)

Of course one sails any boats conservatively and with a knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses.

BTW, in my experience ( and I have such experience) most boats survive knockdowns, 360 degree rolling is generally survived by the boat but usually the mast is lost and often the is a lot of injuries to the crew. Pitchpoling, well thats another thing all together, the boat may survive , not sure about its occupants.

A good boat sailed badly is worse that a "bad" boat sailed well.

Dave
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