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Old 08-09-2008, 09:37   #16
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As I type, I am asking why get involved in such a discussion but here goes regardless. To quality my opinion, I should state that I have had the great opportunity to make a circumnav a number of years ago and throughout that experience, never, ever heard people actually doing it make some of the totally irrational statements I've read here on the internet, seemingly by people who have no clue what offshore sailing actually entails. I may be incorrect in this presumption but the vast majority of comments derogatory toward any mfg including Hunter seem to support my belief that these folks have never done it. Suprisingly, that minor detail seems to escape them as they appear quite content to speak authoritatively regardless.

To the point, no where, at no time and under no circumstance have I, during that trip, did I ever hea a conversation among cruisers criticizing a particular boat brand. The obvious reason is that we were all too busy complaining about breakdowns, repairs, spare parts, provisioning, water and fuel supplies, etc... regardless of what boat or who made it. Seemingly, the most problematic boats were the so-called gold-platers made to the proverbial highest standards with so many systems that problems were epidemic. We saw every conceivable type, size and make boat imaginable and it was abundantly clear that no generalitiy could be made about any of them. They were all there and floating nicely at anchor in places most people never heard of.

To do so here is only indicative of one thing - that the authors simply don't know any better.

In a storm, it was FAR more important how the crew managed the boat than who made it. It was FAR more important how old the sails were than who made them. Same with engines, rigs, masts, and lest I forget, coral can't read the nameplate when chewing up fiberglass.

About the most curcial ingredient I observed in determining if people were having a successful cruise was the happiness of the crew so whether your wife, girlfriend, life partner, etc... likes a boat made by Hunter, Catalina, Shannon or Mickey Mouse is equally if not more important than the grid structure, depth of the bilge, keel shape or rudder design.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:48   #17
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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
In my sailing club we have Solings and Sonars. Anyone familar with these two boats knows perfectly well that in choppy seas and gusty winds you would rather be in a Sonar. The Soling has enough weather helm to rip you arm out of its socket no matter how you trim the sails, and it won't sail very well at all under jib alone, so you're stuck with the mainsail.

And right here you hit on the crux of the issue.

It all depends because seaworthiness is a *relative* term. You are comparing two boats and putting them both into a situation for your above comparison.

Asking what boats are not seaworthy, without setting a situation or providing some boats to compare cannot result in a meaningful answer.

For example... is a Sonar seaworthy? Couild you answer that question if I asked it as stated?
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:42   #18
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Of course its a relative term. Presumably we're talking about the relative seaworthiness of cruising sailboats of the type under discussion here. We can also assume that most sailboats are seaworthy in 5 knots of wind on a calm sea. It's when the conditions get difficult that seaworthiness matters.

But that doesn't mean that seaworthiness can't be objectively evaluated. It can.

Maybe the original poster should have asked which boats fall at or near the bottom of the "seaworthiness continuum" but my guess is, that's probably what he or she meant.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:51   #19
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Aloha Wannabe,
Welcome to the never ending debate. Since you asked I will PM you with my choices for not being seaworthy. If I posted them in open forum I would get trounced as I have in the past for giving my opinion about boats I have experience with.
Kind regards,
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Old 08-09-2008, 13:40   #20
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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
at no time and under no circumstance have I, during that trip, did I ever hea a conversation among cruisers criticizing a particular boat brand... About the most curcial ingredient I observed in determining if people were having a successful cruise was the happiness of the crew...
Thanks for that… probably should be engraved on a plaque and posted conspicuously…
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Old 08-09-2008, 13:42   #21
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We have a little Hunter 19 that we keep at the lake place and sail on the lake and the bayou. A real bluewater boat would be aground in the bayou. The little Hunter swing keel is ideal for that application, but I wouldn't even sail it on much of a coastal trip.
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Old 08-09-2008, 14:01   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
As I type, I am asking why get involved in such a discussion but here goes regardless. To quality my opinion, I should state that I have had the great opportunity to make a circumnav a number of years ago and throughout that experience, never, ever heard people actually doing it make some of the totally irrational statements I've read here on the internet, seemingly by people who have no clue what offshore sailing actually entails. I may be incorrect in this presumption but the vast majority of comments derogatory toward any mfg including Hunter seem to support my belief that these folks have never done it. Suprisingly, that minor detail seems to escape them as they appear quite content to speak authoritatively regardless.

To the point, no where, at no time and under no circumstance have I, during that trip, did I ever hea a conversation among cruisers criticizing a particular boat brand. The obvious reason is that we were all too busy complaining about breakdowns, repairs, spare parts, provisioning, water and fuel supplies, etc... regardless of what boat or who made it. Seemingly, the most problematic boats were the so-called gold-platers made to the proverbial highest standards with so many systems that problems were epidemic. We saw every conceivable type, size and make boat imaginable and it was abundantly clear that no generalitiy could be made about any of them. They were all there and floating nicely at anchor in places most people never heard of.

To do so here is only indicative of one thing - that the authors simply don't know any better.

In a storm, it was FAR more important how the crew managed the boat than who made it. It was FAR more important how old the sails were than who made them. Same with engines, rigs, masts, and lest I forget, coral can't read the nameplate when chewing up fiberglass.

About the most curcial ingredient I observed in determining if people were having a successful cruise was the happiness of the crew so whether your wife, girlfriend, life partner, etc... likes a boat made by Hunter, Catalina, Shannon or Mickey Mouse is equally if not more important than the grid structure, depth of the bilge, keel shape or rudder design.


Having never completely circumnavigated but having done many off shore races, deliveries and pleasure cruises all I can say as I agree 100% with S/V Illusion.

Just about any boat can circumnavigate. We see many, many world cruisers come by Maine each summer. I've also seen them while cruising in the carib. and the PNW and in BC/Alaska. I honestly see as many "production boats" cruising as I do the so called gold platers or "blue water" cruisers.

With todays weather prediction abilities hitting truly rough weather is a much more rare occurrence. I have many friends who have circumnavigated and hit maybe one storm with winds over 50 knots on the entire trip. I also have friends who were lambasted, lost spars, rudders and broken stringers and such but none have lost the entire boat not even a production boat, though some have had major structural damage to repair in places not well suited to to handle these type of repairs.

I had the opportunity, a very stupid one, to deliver a Shanon 50 with only two of us during the "Perfect Storm", we of course did not know at the time it would turn into the "perfect storm". I can assure you that a "screwed in bulkhead" built production boat would not have survived the pounding that boat took for more than a few hours without some fairly serious structural damage. It is and was the roughest weather I've ever seen and there was no time to think you just needed to rely on your earned and learned skills without thinking about it first. An I'll prepared crew, on this same boat, in those same circumstances, would have surely perished.

For all the second guessing "arm chair sailors", and there are always a few, we could not "hove to" as we were clawing off a lee shore. We actually had to sail the boat and beat into it for over 70 miles. Stupid but it was the reality and the storm manifested very rapidly from a 30-35 knot prediction, nothing for a Shanon 50, to mayhem in just a few short hours. No one saw that coming especially the NOAA predictions we had been listening to. They were still calling for 30-35 when we were experiencing 50+..

Things broke, we fell off the face of two waves so big and steep that it felt like we had been dropped off an office building like a David Letterman attempt at humor. The wave periods were "breaking wave, one one thousand two one thou.... breaking wave". The little tiny dodger, like two feet X two feet, for the forward cabin companionway ripped clean out of the deck screws and all (the big one had been stowed and the frame lashed down). I broke a toe, my thumb and needed stitches when a cabinet latch exploded and sent the contents of the locker flying about like we were in zero gravity. Shanon builds robust cabinetry and uses top quality positive locking latches but they still could not compete.

That storm was a total surprise and could still happen again but it's more doubtful today than in the early 90's.

Would a "screwed bulkhead" boat be my choice for a blue water cruiser? No, but contrary to what many say it can be done. Why would I not do it? I delivered a mid 30's foot production boat (builder not important) to Nova Scotia. We got into some fairly standard fall NW winds of 30-35 and gusting towards 40 knots. By the time we got there cabinets had ripped free, bulkheads had gaps with securing screws at angles where they used to be straight and none of the head or v-berth doors closed. Sure, the boat made it but I would not have wanted the trip to be any longer. We were reefed as reefed could be and sailing comfortably & balanced other than the pounding the boat took. In a more robust boat we would not have had any of these problems nor the creaking and groaning noises that give you a pit in your stomach.

We still don't know what type of sailing the OP wants to do so we can't answer his question accurately.

The so called "experts" who say cruising a production boat can't be done are ill informed and have clearly not yet spent enough time out on the water in "cruiser destination" areas to see the types of boats out there actually "doing it".

Again, just about any boat can do it if you watch your weather windows and are a competent skipper. I've sailed some fairly ill prepared boats to and fro on deliveries. Some I actually tried to walk away from and was later convinced with more $$ and, well..., because I like a challenge. I will no longer set off in certain production boats with long range, two or three days + of, wind predictions over 25-30. Give me a well built boat and I will...

The skipper and his or her skills are generally more important than the vessel unless of course you get in some really freak weather which MOST don't and even then the boats will most likely make it to port.

When was the last time you heard of any production boat literally breaking apart from weather so badly that it broke apart and sunk.. Just give me one reference...

One of the most popular long term cruising boats I've seen, and I've seen many in Maine, with hailing ports from Washington State, California and even Alaska is the Catalina 42. According to some they should have sunk long ago?

It's just amazing they actually made it here, and to Newfoundalnd, and to Nova Scotia and to South America and on and on...
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Old 08-09-2008, 14:12   #23
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The so called "experts" who say cruising a production boat can't be done are ill informed and have clearly not yet spent enough time out on the water in "cruiser destination" areas to see the types of boats out there actually "doing it".

Tough words, but realistically, they are probably words of truth.

I think one of the best I saw was a small O'day in St Lucia. It really hit me because I used to own one for coastal cruising.
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Old 08-09-2008, 14:13   #24
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Illusion and Acoustic,
Thank you! That might get this thread back to reality. I do, by the way, like Catalinas.
Kind regards,
JohnL
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Old 08-09-2008, 15:45   #25
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Illusion and Acoustic,
Thank you!
+1 thanks too!
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Old 08-09-2008, 16:15   #26
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Stay away from the British built 32 foot Rolls-Canardley....

It rolls in the lightest sea and can hardly get out of its' own way
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Old 08-09-2008, 16:20   #27
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So what's the right answer?

1. Any boat is seaworthy under the right conditions.
2. Plently of people cruise in boats are not usually viewed as seaworthy, hence that makes these boats seaworthy.
3. A competent skipper and carefully watching the weather can make any boat seaworthy.
4. Seaworthy sometimes means bayworthy, bayouworthy, riverworthy or lakeworthy, depending upon where one sails.
5. All of the above.

Yet Acoustic (who is a delivery skipper) states "I will no longer set off in certain production boats with long range, two or three days + of, wind predictions over 25-30."

So when push comes to shove, he does, in fact, have a mental list of boats that he considers to be less seaworthy, and he won't sail one in tough conditions even if he's offered more money.
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Old 08-09-2008, 16:52   #28
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Any vessel that does NOT have a real bilge, ie deep and narrow so it's contents stay put till you pump it out. 6" deep 'dustbins' are not bilges. Last summer I spent a bit of time on a Pearson 28 with a 4" deep 'dustbin' for a bilge. Water was constanly sloshing around the cabin sole. That's NOT sea worthy.

"Any boat that does carries a fin keel is not seaworthy" - See how dumb that sounds?

Hud is right. We don't have a definition of intended use so we cannot answer wanabees question.

Interesting that WBS has chosen not to add more.

The whole question of this thread is ambiguous and confrontational and if WBS is serious, he'll add a little detail as requested otherwise this could simply turn into a dog fight.

Boats are, by defnition, a compromise based on intended purpose.
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Old 08-09-2008, 19:57   #29
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I'd never cross an ocean on a multihull.


/runs away and never comes back to this thread
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Old 08-09-2008, 20:43   #30
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Remember those stryrofoam Kool sailboats where if you were a chain smoker you could earn one in about 9 years? Uhh...those were not seaworthy.
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