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Old 17-11-2012, 09:33   #331
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

Talking about it is fun. I can learn from those who have been there before me. No matter the type of boat it boils down to preparation.
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Old 17-11-2012, 09:33   #332
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
I'll agree that boats are not designed to go up on the rocks and its somewhat a matter of luck and time whether they are destroyed. However, surviving a storm at sea is also a matter of luck and exposure time. Given enough time in a storm your boat will be hit by some seriously high breaking waves and the structural integrity of the hull will be tested in a similar manner.

We usually don't get feedback from the sailors whose boats fail this test, but occasionally we do. Read the books about the 1998 Sydney-Hobart race.
From what I have read, The Sydney Hobart Race entries, The mega buck ones are made from Kevlar, and when they start to break up, they self destruct,
Its two thin layers of Kevlar with cardboard between them. like a sandwich,

Exceptionally strong and lightweight till it gets a hole in it,
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:02   #333
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

The obsession some of us heavy fogeyboat buffs have with our floating castles is not to beat the perfect storm, but to not be beat by the routine ones. There are limits to routing, eventually one will get a bit of rough weather, and rather than being worried by an F9, actually enjoy it. Once one gets into Beaufort 12+, it's all moot anyway...."the wind was 100tks and gusting 120, and waves were 40'"...."no! it was 120/140kts with 50'!"...whatever, I lost my lunch and fouled my foulies. It's the smaller, more frequent gales that I'm thinking of, and making it as unlikely as possible of ending up in a survival situation because of some silly omission or compromise. Horses for courses...it's like comparing a RAV4 with a Pinzgauer, they're both offroaders but one will go a lot further offroad but get called quaint in front of the beachside bar. For someone weekending, get the RAV4. Someone exploring the deep outback would be advised to get the Pinzgauer. The pinzy won't be much fun pottering down the highway but the RAV4 won't live long in the wilds.
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:10   #334
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

I wonder if we gotten to the point here yet of almost any boat is bluewater (the truth really)! The choice comes down to whether you want to be "comfortable" during the "normal" storm and sail slow the rest of the time, or do you want to sail good most of the time and cry some during the "normal" storm.
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:13   #335
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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Just to stir the pot a little (like this pot really needs stirring) I was rereading Beth and Evans article about heaving to and ran into this comment. This is from a couple that logged many miles in high latitudes including north of the Arctic Circle and a circumnavigation in the Southern Ocean.

"We have been in breaking waves only twice in our 75,000 nautical miles and both were avoidable."


So if in 75,000 miles of "blue water" sailing including the stormiest parts of the globe this is their experience, does it really make sense to obsess over getting an overbuilt tank for the Bahamas, Caribbean or the Pacific trade winds, aptly called the Coconut Milk Run?

Hope they don't mind my quoting a line from their article and dragging them into this nonsense.
Well the year we did the Coconut Milk Run was a la Nina year and it was the milk shake run. We had other cruisers on the net that said they had made the run before and it was the roughest they had ever seen it. We had a few days of 30-35, most days 20-25kts but dual wave trains, one from the N and one from the NE. I still had a ball and loved every minute of it. The only breaking waves we ever saw was off the coast of Baja.
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:24   #336
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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I wonder if we gotten to the point here yet of almost any boat is bluewater (the truth really)! The choice comes down to whether you want to be "comfortable" during the "normal" storm and sail slow the rest of the time, or do you want to sail good most of the time and cry some during the "normal" storm.
A lot of thought to how she rides at anchor should be given. Our C-38 sailed around quite readily in a blow in the anchorage and the cursed Air X would be scereaming her guts out. Very annoying. We would go to dinner at a friends boat, a Pacific Seacraft 44 and it would be all calm and quiet inside. The Mason 43 is a brick in the anchorage, we have 17--20 kts with white caps rolling by, right now in Key West and she rides great, very little movement and the D-400 is way superior for noise as a wind generator. You spend a lot more time on the hook than sailing.

The Mason 43 carries enough sail area to sail in 8 kts of wind so it's not all that underpowered. She just won't sail as tight to windward as the C-38, mostly due to sheeting angle.
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:25   #337
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

Turtle & Hare difference, Don. The tradeoffs to make an extra knot will at some point be pushing past the point of diminishing returns, all things considered. I want a boat I can grow old on, not one that will contribute to making me old before my time. It won't likely ever be for sale except from my estate, so I guess I have different priorities.

Still, looking at the variety of boat-loss or chicken-out causes, I'm determined to do my best to not be among them. I also distrust chandlers with a passion based on experience. That doesn't mean I throw rocks at them on sight, neither do I want them to ring a bell and call "unclean unclean" on their way (hmmm..wait a minute...), nor is their odious reputation in my eyes automatically a permanent condemnation. If I meet a trustworthy and friendly one, I can make an exception, but seeing I avoid them already the chance of a friendship is slim. A long way of saying my boat is not relying on frequent tides of cash to float it, hence the Junk rig, hybrid propulsion if any, a tendency to overengineering in all departments, and extensive self-repair and self-rescue capability. Doesn't necessarily mean a dog to sail! A little slower, but not to the point of danger or desperation.
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Old 17-11-2012, 10:48   #338
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
All production boats are not created equal. On the West Coast this year we had two fatal boating accidents where the boats went on the rocks.

The first was a Sydney 38, which went up high and dry in heavy winds and seas on the Farallons. The boat was pulled off essentially intact by a helicopter, but the crew were washed off the boat in the surf and drowned.

The second was Agean, a Hunter 37 which hit the Coronados in light wind and a moderate swell. There were no survivors, and the boat w2as shattered into small pieces.

"The Cabo San Lucas storm of December 1982 is covered fairly completely in the Pardey's book, The Capable Cruiser. They flew in a day or two after the storm to report for various magazines (Cruising World?). An onshore gale with winds reported to be gusting 50-70 knots with huge seas put 27 boats on a sand beach. Five boats were salvaged basically intact, 11 other hulls where recognizable but damaged beyond repair or sunk in the sand. Six large boats were shattered beyond recognition, and 6 disappeared (out to sea?) completely. Joshua was the only steel boat that landed on the beach.

Besides Joshua, the Bristol Channel cutter Vagabundo, the Olson 40 (ULDB) Notorious, an Omega 44 Grace, and Dancing Bear, a Cabot 36 all survived and went sailing. These are all fiberglass production boats."

So which boat would you want to take offshore??
Wow, I have to say, how irrelevant the surviving boats are.

We must remember there are three things which play a part in a boat surviving a storm:

  1. Location, location, location. If your 500 meters away from another boat, you will not incur the exact weather of the other boat. This is the nice little twist of nature. Wind, waves, confusion of sea, rogue waves, are all part of where you are, not that you are in a storm.
  2. Luck, yes luck plays a part. Mother Nature may spare you, for you to tell the tale. The wave which knocked down the other boat, may have spared you. This is part of the equation.
  3. Skipper skill. The choices of who is at the helm have an impact to what happens. I'm not going to say good choices, because some good decision may end up being a bad maneuver or bad timing (see where luck plays a part).
Just because certain boats survived the storm doesn't make them any better or worse than the ones which didn't. They just got spared by Mother Nature.......

James L
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Old 17-11-2012, 11:00   #339
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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Turtle & Hare difference, Don. The tradeoffs to make an extra knot will at some point be pushing past the point of diminishing returns, all things considered. I want a boat I can grow old on, not one that will contribute to making me old before my time. It won't likely ever be for sale except from my estate, so I guess I have different priorities.

Well I don't know what you are trying to get out. But I will say that I chose my current boat because it sailed well, was well contructed, and comfortable both at sea and in port. I wanted a boat to cruise on, not to go storm chasing!

Now I don't know how this applies to growing old while you are sailing your boat, unless it is about the amount of time you plan to take to get somewhere. So unless you are comparing a steel tank boat to a surf board with a sail on it what are you trying to say?

PS - do you even have a boat?
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Old 17-11-2012, 11:06   #340
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

Anecdotal information may be entertaining but not conclusive or reliable but here goes. When immigrating aboard our own Ingrid 38 from Vancouver, Canada to San Francisco in the spring of 1980, we caught up with a Catalina 30 (or 32) off Cape Mendicino. Our log indicates sea conditions were 12-15 foot swell from NNW, wind 25 knots gusting to 35 kts, overcast skies with periodic rain squalls, visibilty 2-5 miles variable.
This boat raised us on VHF about 0730 asking for assistance stating they had experienced 'serious' structural integrity problems aboard sailing north out of San Francisco bound for Seattle, WA. When we met up with them about 17 miles offshore, it seemed they had suffered a hull/deck separation during a pounding they gone through south of the Cape but north of Bodega Bay and were trying to make Humbolt Bay (Eureka). Bar conditions precluded trying to enter the Noya River at Fort Bragg so we accompanied them back to Humbolt Bay where we stayed overnight. Once we were tied up, I went over to inspect the Catalina. You could see daylight through the hull/ deck seam from about 4 feet ahead of the forward interior bulkhead on the starboard side aft to behind and just even with the mast. The deck compressed noticeably when you walked along the starboard rail. There was moderate water damage to bunks, bedding, cabinetry and the cabin sole. The owner appeared in a state of shock while his female partner was bordering on the hystrical side. Their one other crew member was not responsive verbally but busyed himself getting his gear together to leave the boat.
Remember that this was over 30 years ago and I'm sure construction techniques and processes have improved light years from then but it was a 'Catalina' experience I've never forgotten. I occasionally read through my old logs and reminice on cruising and delivery adventures. This thread topic tickled an old memory so thought I'd look it up. Never did follow up with what happened to the boat or crew. Phil
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Old 17-11-2012, 11:45   #341
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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Originally Posted by propellanttech View Post
I can see you love your boat. I respect that. I also respect the fact you chose her for a reason.

Based on that fact; how many hurricanes has she been through?

I don't want statistics of other hulls like her. I want the information on her. Don't count the hurricanes/cyclones/typhoons where she was tied/anchored.

I think this is a good rating system for true blue water.

1 = owner was caught by surprise, survived the storm(whew!)
2 = wow, this guy is nuts or uninformed.......tough boat.(Do you know how to read a forcast?)
3 = I'm a glutton for punishment, bring it on!!(hmmm.....maybe he's a sadist)
4 = Nothing makes me seasick, I live for waves. (scale is tipped towards lunacy)

Anything above 1 and truly on the water not anchored is what I consider blue water for that boat. (I didn't say that design)

Good luck is the best thing a person can have if caught in a severe storm. I just try not to rely on luck. NOAA and other weather reporting systems make much of the "blue water" debate academic (with some good judgement).

Based on most debates US Airways Flight 1549 would be a good designed blue water airplane. Nope, all aircraft can do the same thing, some better than others. They just had some skill on board, and a huge amount of good luck.

If that rating makes you feel better, that is great. I don't think it makes much difference after that, within reason anyway.

James L
Well, this particular boat has been through more than a few gales - including a few with me at the helm. Like I said, she's circumnavigated and I have the journals of the POs who did that. They had their usual selection of weather. It doesn't seem better or worse than for anyone else going RTW.

My point was about engineering -- that somehow boats build in Asia are not up to scratch vis-a-vis the Beneteaus and Bavarias. I just said the proof is in the circumnavigating pudding.

I personally qualify for #1 under your rating system - in a different boat. A category 1 typhoon in the South China Sea on a Taipan 28 (you can look it up).
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Old 17-11-2012, 12:45   #342
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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I'm glad Cap Capo loves his boat and appears willing to argue ad nauseam but Dave's point carries the day. If your boat just wallows around in a light breeze, you might have a comfortable life raft, but not a sailboat that most would like to sail. Motor sailing isn't sailing.

A thread a couple of years ago discussed how those ultra safety conscious cruisers probably weren't going anywhere: They never be safe enough.
My heavy disp, full keel wood boat designed 75 years ago. Alot of full keel "ocean cruisers" can't get out of their own way in light air. Just because something is an old design/material doesn't mean it is inferior.
A friend of mine with a Catalina 30 (mast head jib, aluminum sick w/high tension rig) questioned my "obsolete" rig and hull design (high aspect, cambered/flexible wood mast, cutter rig, heavy disp, full keel)....then he conceded that it points very well, is quick in light air and when the wind pipes up I leave alot of plastic boats in my wake.

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Old 17-11-2012, 14:58   #343
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

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OK, so is there an absolute description of blue water yet?

The North Sea is close to "coastal" for some, but can be severe.

Is there a way to define blue water for this discussion?

Oh.... and what about Green Water also? !
I think the term "Blue Water" refers more to a vessels capability to withstand the type of rough seas you might see offshore, whether you are or not. However these, (or worse!), can happen near the coastline or inland: Straight of Juann de Fuca, Great Lakes, off Hatteras etc.
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Old 17-11-2012, 17:07   #344
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Originally Posted by micah719
The obsession some of us heavy fogeyboat buffs have with our floating castles is not to beat the perfect storm, but to not be beat by the routine ones. There are limits to routing, eventually one will get a bit of rough weather, and rather than being worried by an F9, actually enjoy it. Once one gets into Beaufort 12+, it's all moot anyway...."the wind was 100tks and gusting 120, and waves were 40'"...."no! it was 120/140kts with 50'!"...whatever, I lost my lunch and fouled my foulies. It's the smaller, more frequent gales that I'm thinking of, and making it as unlikely as possible of ending up in a survival situation because of some silly omission or compromise. Horses for courses...it's like comparing a RAV4 with a Pinzgauer, they're both offroaders but one will go a lot further offroad but get called quaint in front of the beachside bar. For someone weekending, get the RAV4. Someone exploring the deep outback would be advised to get the Pinzgauer. The pinzy won't be much fun pottering down the highway but the RAV4 won't live long in the wilds.
Yes, but here is the kernel of the debate. At sea, unlike trekking into the wilderness, there is not a clearly defined set of specific features. Vehicles designed for the road , are very specialised devices a boat is not. Most boats are a combination of RAV4 and Pinzgauer ( mind you the Pinzgauer proved to very vulnerable to IEDs). I would argue that most production boats contain enough Pinzgauer in them to suffice for the vast majority of ocean sailors. This is borne out by the facts. ( they survive ). Equally. There are many that question the wisdom of slow long keeled heavy boats., the French for example are completely convinced that speed, dynamic stability, efficient hydrodynamics etc are more important. ( and more seaworthy )


As to this comment " not to be beat by the routine ones". Any reasonable production boat sailed competently will take you through a high latitude routine storm. , they do this all the time.

No one in their right mind " enjoys a F9 storm" , I really suspect you have little experience here, if you really think that's a possibility.


Ps as to cabo San Lucas., the boats that ended on the beach were there because of poor judgement. Joshua may have survived, but Moitessier abandoned it anyway.due to the damage and the fact that she filled up with sand ( several other boats some GRP also survived). Joshua was no example of a " bluewater " boat , she was a rough, badly built " home made" boat built by a man that was a far superior sailor then he was a builder ( he was also shipwrecked three times )

There is simply no evidence to suggest that say a long keeled heavy vessel is more bluewater then a modern vessel, merely a differing set of priorities. The sea will quite happily tale both if it decides.

Dave
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Old 17-11-2012, 17:27   #345
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Capability

On the time that i have been on here, these threads seem to develop into who has the right boat and who does not like other types of boat. All well and good i suppose to get your opinions out in the open, but when you do, expect diverse responses to them, as it should be. To categorically state that one boat is better than another because you have that opinion is a bit arrogant and kind of like saying,"this is my opinion and nobody else's counts".

Me, i buy a boat that i like for my reasons. I do not buy them because somebody else likes them. Nor do i NOT buy because some person says that they are rubbish. My boat is what was right for me at the time. I never consider if they are possible worst storm survivors, and neither do i buy a car that can survive a collision with a tank because one day i might have a head on with one. On that basis also, we would NEVER ride a Harley or whatever in case we fall off or have a collision with a drunken squirrel on a dark and stormy night.

Reading some of these threads is like perusing a medical dictionary, every page gives you a new foreboding and finds ways to not enjoy the now. It cannot be all doom and gloom though, i have been sailing, driving and riding bikes for over 45 years and am still here and have suffered not a bit from any catastrophies whilst doing them. I must just be lucky i guess to have not needed my armour plating during all those battles with life whilst having fun.

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