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Old 11-11-2012, 12:50   #121
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
Once again let me explain why I think the Catalina 315 is a POOR choice for water sailing">Blue Water sailing. First let me define what I mean by a Blue Water boat. Blue Water boats are those that have the ability to safely sail across oceans under extreme conditions. You are basically telling the OP that the 315 is a valid choice based on current yacht design and statically analysis of what boats have made successful voyages. That should ALL be taken with a grain of salt. We all know that every manner of questionable vessels have made crossings. That doesn’t qualify them as Blue Water. It qualifies them as LUCKY.

My criteria for a Blue Water boat starts with the hull design. I would rank full keeled heavy displacement double enders and full keeled transom stern (minimal over hang) boats as 1 and 2. I admit I am old school but there are a few good reasons to choose a full keel or one with cut out forefoot and protected rudder as opposed to a fin keel with spade or skeg rudder.

1. Far better chance to survive hitting a container.

2. Far better chance to survive hitting a reef or hard grounding.

Even though the 315 has a forward watertight “StrikeZone” in the bow filled with foam, a fin keel hitting a container or reef at hull speed will in all likelihood loose it, where as a full keeled boat with lead encapsulated ballast will most likely slide up and off the container. Likewise a full keeled boat if it hits a reef should survive unless it is a catastrophic hit.

These reasons alone dismiss in my opinion the 315 as Blue Water.

Let’s assume Catalina has it right as far as hull integrity, hardware and the scantlings for mast and rig. What above the water line defeats her as a Blue Water boat?

1. Over sized cabin side windows that allow a lot of light in and also the potential for huge amounts of water to enter if compromised.

2. The huge cockpit and sugar scoop stern.

I know a lot of boats are designed with the sugar scoop sterns thinking water in, water out. Well….hopefully your companionway boards are in when you get pooped and you WILL get pooped. I personally would sacrifice cockpit space for a more “seagoing” cockpit with adequate drains.

No, I will stick with my analysis and continue to say to the OP that as far as Blue Water is concerned, "choose wisely", your life may depend on it.

RT
PS BTW, my coffee this morning is French Pressed and smells great…..

"1. Over sized cabin side windows that allow a lot of light in and also the potential for huge amounts of water to enter if compromised."

For some reason that just jumped out at me...

Maybe newer Catalinas have sugar scoops, but the older ones do not, and they do have scuppers. Surely anyone in waters rough enough that getting pooped is a possibility would closed up the cabin. If they don't know to do that, they have more problems with being in blue water than just their choice of boat.

That said, there's "blue water" and then there's circumnavigation. There are many places to sail in blue water without the risk of hitting a reef. Containers and other large debris are a different matter.

I think many casual sailors underestimat the very real risks that can be present in a grounding. They're treated as a joke at my sailing club. Most of the time it's not a serious probem, but then sometimes it is. I agree with you about the fin keel and exposed rudder and it is one reason why I would never consider my boat a blue water boat.

Even if I were just going to take my boat to the keys I would replace those "openable" portholes. They're a pain. They crack easily (think "compromised"), don't always seal well, and the pressure of the water, if it came to that, would be pushing on the way they open. If you have windows sealed and screwed to the outside, the pressure of the water would be in the right direction. I can't open any of them anyway, because all the screens fall out and you get eaten alive at some times of the year, and the cat sees an escape plan all times of the year. They don't even really improve the air circulation, which is already excellent.

My friend also has a 31' sailboat, but one with a reinforced keel and a more protected rudder. It has a plumb bow and the fiberglass is so thick that the transducer couldn't read the signals it was bouncing out. It cuts through the water and waves smoothly as opposed to my very bouncy bow. It raced very successfully to Bermuda as well as the SORC.

Two 31' boats, but with markedly different characteristics.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:56   #122
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I wonder if all the arguments a certain person keeps making works to win over others to his viewpoint, or to just put him down as someone to ignore.

Choosing a boat based on the end of world storm, hitting reefs, hitting containers etc. Just seems to be living in misplaced fear. Sure they could happen but come on.I wonder what type of car he choses to take out in the much more dangerous world of the highway.

That's true, BUT -- if I'm in an accident on the highway with a closed head injury, an ambulance will be there in no time and if there's the slightest chance of a need I'll be airlifted out of there within a half hour. Have the same sort of injury on a boat well out to sea and it's far less likely that anyone will be able to save you in time. Masts fall down; booms swing (I only know one person who got hit, but sh** happens in rough water); people fall down gangways. Those incidents are very common. I'm much newer to sailing than you and I know of multiple instances of each within the circle of people I know, all during coastal cruising with no storms involved. I know someone who had his fin keel driven right through the bottom of his boat when his anchorage turned to a rough lee shore while he wasn't paying attention on an island (he's an idiot and no one is surprised it happened to him, but it still happened).

I think it's worth exploring what the concerns are and then making a decision. It's been useful to me.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:57   #123
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Hey RAku,

Are you going to seal up all your hatches too? They are much bigger than the ports and are usually of similar construction...

Seriously, I don't know what type and size your ports are, but there are plenty that are strong enough for use at sea. If you intend travel to tropical areas you will really miss the cross ventilation that is possible with a few opening ports. Our previous boat was a flush-decked ex-race boat... no ports at all. Wasn't a problem sailing in SF Bay, but by the time we got to the equator we were suffering... hell, before that in the Sea of Cortez in the summer... yikes it was hot!

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:04   #124
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by engele View Post
I disagree. Modern ports are not the 1/4" plexiglass of the 1970s. I would venture to say, after sailing from the Pacific to the Caribbean that boats like the OP asked about are the most common cruising boats out here. We happen to have a full keel on our boat and it is fine, but given the opportunity to trade it for a faster, more maneuverable boat with a walk through transom, or a catamaran, of similar condition, I would do it in a second.

My opening ports are original to the boat (1983) and there is no way I would do any blue water sailing with them. I've said we can get bad, and unexpected, storms off the coast of FL (not talking about predictable fronts. They're called "pop up" not because they're trivial but because they are unpredictable and can pop up anywhere). Those pop up storms can range from trivial to quite destructive. They can be short-or long-lived.

I'm going to replace them with screwed down ports.
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:10   #125
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Hey RAku,

Are you going to seal up all your hatches too? They are much bigger than the ports and are usually of similar construction...

Seriously, I don't know what type and size your ports are, but there are plenty that are strong enough for use at sea. If you intend travel to tropical areas you will really miss the cross ventilation that is possible with a few opening ports. Our previous boat was a flush-decked ex-race boat... no ports at all. Wasn't a problem sailing in SF Bay, but by the time we got to the equator we were suffering... hell, before that in the Sea of Cortez in the summer... yikes it was hot!

Cheers,
Jim

I haven't had the cross-ventilation because of problems with them from the moment I bought the boat.

Being realistic, I think the odds of my sailing the islands, for instance, are low. I don't LIKE it but ... I'm already 66. I only have four years' experience (although I've taken my boats out a LOT as well as sailed on a lot of other boats, and it's a lot more sailing, mostly as skipper, than most people do). Right now I'm grounded by benign positional vertigo. I have to be absolutely certain that's cleared up before I even *consider* attempting to help my friend bring his boat back from Miami.

I started sailing late in life and it may end up limiting where I go, but I would have limited that a lot more if I hadn't returned to the saiiling I did when I was 22 and 23 and loved so much (little 14' "air pocket benches" sloop on a teeny little lake but it was a lot better than nothing!)
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:15   #126
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Hey RAku,

Are you going to seal up all your hatches too? They are much bigger than the ports and are usually of similar construction...

Seriously, I don't know what type and size your ports are, but there are plenty that are strong enough for use at sea. If you intend travel to tropical areas you will really miss the cross ventilation that is possible with a few opening ports. Our previous boat was a flush-decked ex-race boat... no ports at all. Wasn't a problem sailing in SF Bay, but by the time we got to the equator we were suffering... hell, before that in the Sea of Cortez in the summer... yikes it was hot!

Cheers,
Jim

PS -- hatches can fail, and there are ways to secure them further, and yes, if I thought it were prudent, I would do it. Both my hatches can be dogged down on the outside with ratcheting straps without impeding movement around the boat. They're old and untested and that's exactly what I would do.

Two years ago I think in the Good Ole' Boat Race in Tampa Bay, a six-man boat sank after a bad tack in windy, gusty water and confused water, where either the asym or the headsail -- I think it was the headsail -- scooped up water and pulled the bow down. Unfortunately after they had passed that asym up -- they didn't close the hatch. The boat sank like a stone. The skipper was smart and left the boat with a long piece of line and tied himself and his crew together, which in that very rough water may have saved lives.
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:33   #127
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Given your criteria I wonder why you did not choose a steel boat? Steel has a much better puncture resistance and will survive these extreme problems far better than a long keeled fiberglass boat.
Don't get me wrong, it's not my choice, but could not a steel boat owner claim your boat is not satisfactory because a steel boat would manage in these circumstances much better than your boat?

Boats are compromises. Personally I think erring on the side of seaworthiness is sensible, but there are no absolutes, or moral high ground.
Well said!
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:45   #128
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

Someone wrote that a "lost boats" list could be informative. The worst of the worst on such a list would be pretty uninformative (no survivors). I spent a little time googling around, looking for "lost boats" lists.

It seems like the more likely cause of a "lost" boat these days is theft:

Stolen lost and missing Boats or Yachts charter chartering yachting sailing boating buy sell sale broker sail


Some of the existing lists seem to be biased against smaller vessels. Finding information seems to be a hodge-podge affair. Does anyone know of a more comprehensive list?


Then, there are always the pirates:

Yacht Piracy - Information Centre for Bluewater Sailors


What I seem to be noticing in some of the incomplete lists that I have come across is a drop-off of incidents in recent years. Some of the lists have few entries later than the eighties. So, is it the case that better weather prediction, better communications, better navigation, and so forth all contribute more than anything to the fewer cases of catastrophe? Seems that it's a bigger factor than the boats.
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Old 11-11-2012, 13:49   #129
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
Well said!

Boats ARE compromises, sailboats in particular although I bet all personal boats are compromises.

I wanted a fast boat, and lots of room (for a sailboat) below, and easy handling for coastal cruising. My Hunter meets those criteria very well.

If I *do* do offshore cruising, it *wlll* be as crew on someone else's boat. That's another compromise.
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Old 11-11-2012, 17:00   #130
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
It was a beautiful bash but, I think, bad advice.
No it was excellent advise, if you have a decent opening port. You can get cheap, shoddy opening or non opening ports. You can get opening ports or non opening ports that are as strong as your hull.

It is not whether the port opens or not, it's the quality of the port.
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Old 11-11-2012, 17:21   #131
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

I seem to remember reading a well-known cruising couple's recommendation to have a means of quickly shoring up a stove in port...ready made plate to go over the hole and a means of securing it. Preferably from inside. Shouldn't be hard to make that a pre-fitted lid for a locker. Dual-use is great!
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Old 11-11-2012, 17:25   #132
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by vtcapo View Post
Bernard Moitessier would agree. But there are too many inherent problems associated with steel boats as well a aluminum to deter a prospective buyer.

I'll stick by my "compromise", knowing that she should be able to handle anything that comes my way considering my cruising grounds.

Can you say the same thing about your boat?

RT
What you are saying simply is that anyone who does not agree with your choice of vessel is wrong. You appear to need validation that your choice is correct and the best.

Its that simple.
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Old 11-11-2012, 18:14   #133
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
No it was excellent advise, if you have a decent opening port. You can get cheap, shoddy opening or non opening ports. You can get opening ports or non opening ports that are as strong as your hull.

It is not whether the port opens or not, it's the quality of the port.

Bash said to close it. He didn't say that there are good opening ports made now. THAT was good advice. The other was just a bash. Bash was not the one who gave the useful advice. That's OK. He's not obligated to, but I appreciate you and the other fellow telling me that.

i knew I could get very strong non-opening ports, but (obviously) I did not know the old ones -- most of which have cracked panes, by the way -- could be replaced with something so strong and still able to be opened.

I'll have to go have a look and see how well the screens stay in.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:33   #134
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Re: Bluewater Cruising Cabability

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What you are saying simply is that anyone who does not agree with your choice of vessel is wrong. You appear to need validation that your choice is correct and the best.

Its that simple.
Simple? You mean simple minded. Downunder, you are missing my point. I never said or allude to what you said and I certainly do not need anyone’s validation concerning my choice of a boat.

What we have here is best described by someone who said we are dealing with left and right brainers. And he’s right.

Lets remember the OP’s question i.e.; is the Catalina 315 a Blue Water boat? My definition of a Blue Water boat: one that can take you safely across oceans in extreme conditions.

Some Right Brainer replies as they apply to the original question.

The simple fact is that most production boats HAVE demonstrated they can circumnavigate.
(Correct but irrelevant)

The fact is most production are now of a quality that is significantly better then needed.
(Questionable and irrelevant)

Simple features like weight or long keels are not a factor today in deciding a good boat.
(Wrong and irrelevant)

All prudent skippers prepare their boats irrespective of the type of boat.
(Prudent by whose definition? Still irrelevant)

I know of NO seasoned sailors who ignore anything or overlook anything-- the ones I have met and know see ALL and deal with it on a knowledgeable level.
(Tell that to the crew on the Bounty. Irrelevant)

Buy the boat. Sail it. See if you are afraid of it (you won't be). With any boat, including heavy boats, be smart with weather and just do the trip you want to do. In my opinion it is far more important that a boat is maintained well than who built it.
(Poor advice and irrelevant)

Having crossed oceans and having been knocked and bruised I will say our boat here is not safe enough and not seaworthy enough but given the voyages we take she is "marginally safe and seaworthy enough". Twisted? Yes.
(Twisted? Yes but as long as it is just the two of you, Bon Voyage. However, if you have kids along, reconsider. Just the same, irrelevant)

If people didn't ignore the miniscule possibilities, no one would ever leave their house. Let's get real here! If you think your boat can withstand all unusual or extraordinary conditions, do your family a favor and make sure your life insurance premiums are up to date; that is, if you actually sail offshore.
(I think he meant ..if your boat "can’t" withstand all unusual or extraordinary conditions make sure your life insurance premiums are up to date. Good advice but irrelevant)

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)

(Congratulations but irrelevant because as pointed out a list should be made of those who have come back from the brink. Those are the stories that are relevant to this discussion)



And these take the cake:

What if a meteor lands on your boat? It has happened, not to a boat but to a house. What are your plans for that eventuality? What if you hit an old WWII mine that is drifting around the ocean? If you commute 3 miles to work in rush hour traffic at a top speed of 30 mph do you need a car that is designed to handle a rollover at 100 mph?
(Poor analogy and irrelevant)

It's time to talk about boats being able to survive something more likely to happen - a whale landing on it! This is at least as likely to happen to a "seasoned sailor" as being caught out in these extinction storm events!
(More of the same drivel and totally irrelevant)

What if you decide to ask a REAL question, one worthy of an answer--these things--if they happen--so what-- you wont be here anymore to say "waah poor me" any longer--so , what you want to know about reality????? What if the mechanical shark starring in jaws comes out of the sea and eats you???? if this is the kind of question that you consider about seaworthiness, you have much to learn. you are dissing folks out cruising for these questions???? why??? what is your gain??
(Obviously nothing to gain from what you have to say. Aside from being delusional, irrelevant)


It’s these kinds of irrelevant answers to a simple question that has some ask:


Perhaps the OP is just wondering what boat YOU would choose for BW travel if YOU had a choice.......and WHY.

(That’s not going to happen here because a great number on this forum either have no concept of what a true Blue Water boat is or would have trouble defending their poor choice of a boat)

Or this question that is basically saying cut the ****, a REAL answer would be appreciated.

As an infrequent, inconsistent posters to these boards, I would just like to present my perception of this discussion for your consideration. I will use an analogy outside of sailing in hopes it will provide an bit of perspective. This thread looks very much like a person looking for advice on an ideal economical option for digging a hole in their backyard for a foundation and basement level addition to their house, and being told that it is the tenacity of the digger that matters, you can technically dig a whole with a fork and your hands. While the response may be technically true 1: It doesn't answer the actual question asked, 2: it is incredibly unhelpful and pretentious, 3: it is off-putting to anyone interested in finding a regular community they can seek advice in.

Take this for what you will. Thankfully, I have found some very helpful and friendly individuals on these boards, so I'll personally stick around.

(We all know how his question wound up. What WAS the conclusion, fork or spoon?)


The best answer to the OP’s question can be answered in Alan Coles book, “Heavy Weather Sailing”. After reading that book you should have the requisite knowledge to know what a True Blue Water Boat is and can make an educated choice.

RT
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:10   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77

Given your criteria I wonder why you did not choose a steel boat? Steel has a much better puncture resistance and will survive these extreme problems far better than a long keeled fiberglass boat.
Don't get me wrong, it's not my choice, but could not a steel boat owner claim your boat is not satisfactory because a steel boat would manage in these circumstances much better than your boat?

Boats are compromises. Personally I think erring on the side of seaworthiness is sensible, but there are no absolutes, or moral high ground.
That's a really good point Nolex. If bluewater capability is primarily defined on impact survivability or "catastrophe" survivability then it is not an issue of production versus custom but of material choice. Only boat owners with metal hulls have any business crossing oceans, says the owner of an aluminum boat.

This concept of a bluewater criteria for a boat is an interesting and valid discussion but beyond the criteria that a boat is built without manufacturer flaws like improperly bedded hull tabs or aerated unimpregnated cloth on the hull, it is one that has no right answer.

Über light racers are seaworthy, look at the Volvo lads, super heavy west snails are also valid. Before I engaged in this forum I would have been of the persuasion that thought only a fool would sail a production boat RTW however things change and I now believe that if you are aware of the vessels limitations as well as your own then what makes a boat bluewater capable is the decision making capability of the organic material that pilots it.
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