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Old 16-12-2008, 14:13   #76
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Originally Posted by wannabesailing View Post
Okay rephrasing my question.... what my husband and son (9yrs old) and I would like to do is live aboard and cruise around the bahamas and over to Costa Rica for a long period of time on as small of a boat as we can. We are thinking about a 28 to 33 ft sailboat would do the job? I guess what I am really asking is what boat would you consider safe enough to sail your precious cargo (children) on? My husband and I have only a little sailing experience so we are planning on living aboard for awhile and get more experience before we actually sail out into the open ocean. Plus we need to get our 9 -year -old "skipper ready".
Sorry about all the confusion...I didn't want to sound like such a rookie but I guess there is no way to avoid it.
Here is what I consider to be an excellent resource for your search:

Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction

Go to 'Consultation' and then 'Selecting a Cruising Boat.'

You get theory and a list of acceptable boats from a guy who knows a thing or two.

Not everybody will agree with his advice, but as one man's opinion it's a great starting point.
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:24   #77
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Originally Posted by wannabesailing View Post
Okay rephrasing my question.... what my husband and son (9yrs old) and I would like to do is live aboard and cruise around the bahamas and over to Costa Rica for a long period of time on as small of a boat as we can. We are thinking about a 28 to 33 ft sailboat would do the job? I guess what I am really asking is what boat would you consider safe enough to sail your precious cargo (children) on?
I think many of the comments here were based on information presented prior to reading this and have more to do with passagemaking, than working your way down through Bahamas and possibly some of the Caribbean, - though I'd add, in my mind, leaving the Bahamas and heading over to Costa Rica changes things a bit. One can spend a long time in the Bahamas without ever having to do an over night sail.

I don't pretend to be an expert, but I've done several Bahamas trips on small boats as well as charter boats and I'm in the process of looking for my next boat, so I have similar objectives. With a lot of Bahamas sailing in mind, one thing for me that as important as "Sea Worthiness" is shallow draft. Fortunately, many of the older solid, inexpensive boats do not have deep fin keels. Some of the boats, I'd consider for under 35K include: Westerly Konsort, Westerly Berwick, Morgan OI 30, Morgan OI 33, Allmand 31, and the Catamaran: Catalac 9M. If I'm considering just the Bahamas and not anything more and am good about waiting for weather, I might add the shoal draft Catalina, Hunter and Endavour. Other similar boats that have good reputations, but are not my personal choice include: Pearson, Seafarer, Bristol and Westsail.

I know others would add or omit for various (and justified) reasons, but that's my list as someone who's actually looking as well. Most of these boats are at the mid to upper range of the 28-33 foot range you mentioned. While people have done it, I think most boats under 30 feet are tight for three for extended cruising.

I would also like to second the link in the above post. He really knows his stuff as well as the early recommendations about "the 20 boats that..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabesailing View Post
husband and I have only a little sailing experience so we are planning on living aboard for awhile and get more experience before we actually sail out into the open ocean. Plus we need to get our 9 -year -old "skipper ready".
I really recommend you go out and get as much experience as you can before buying your own cruising boat. Consider a small trailer sailor you can resell when you are ready to step up, and consider at least one of you cruising for other people or taking a live-aboard course or two. The sailing courses may seem expensive, but they really cost little more than chartering. Not only will you learn a great deal about how to sail and cruise, but will learn what features are important to you in a boat. This can save you a lot of money and help get you in the best boat for you when boat shopping later.
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Old 16-12-2008, 17:28   #78
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The British Maritime Safety Board said Beneteaus are unfit for offshore sailing in rough conditions. Older designs are not only far better constrructed than newer boats ( you couldn't afford to build a boat that strong today) But are far cheper and far more seaworthy designs.
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Old 16-12-2008, 18:02   #79
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As to the original topic as to which boats are not seaworthy, I unfortunately owned one that in my opinion meets that and that is the older Telstar Trimaran. I had previously owned a heavier displacement pocket cruiser of the same length that I sailed to the Bahamas several times.

I sold my Telstar after only one trip there. I had read one had crossed the Atlantic and also read other favorable reports. The sea trial went fine, but then one seldom gets to do sea trials under the same conditions approximating rough conditions while cruising, and that was the problem in the end.

In protected waters this boat was an absolute joy. Affordable level cruising at speeds equal to most boats over twice her size and 5 times her cost. However sailing to windward in even moderate conditions was a very different story. The first taste of this was on the little Bahamas Bank in about 25 knots. Being on the bank kept the seas down to only about 3 feet, but fairly steep and choppy. The under deck slamming absolutely stopped any forward momentum when sailing close hauled or on a close reach. The combination of buoyancy and outboard made motoring ineffective. Progress could only be made slowly by sailing maybe 10 degrees up wind. The boat flexed. Water trickled constantly from the centerboard bolt. For day sailing this would have been much less and not an issue, but a trickle for hours on end adds up. There also seemed to be water coming in through the hull to deck joint.

It was a great boat for protected waters, but based on how poorly it handled 3-4 foot seas, in my opinion it doesn't qualify as seaworthy.
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Old 16-12-2008, 18:12   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
Older designs are ....... far better constrructed than newer boats ....
Brent
To answer with another quote:

I won't insult your intelligence by suggesting you really believe what you just said. (WF Buckley, Jr)


Have fun!

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Old 16-12-2008, 19:48   #81
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Many of the boats abandoned by their crews in the 79 fastnet were found floating after the storm.

I think besides having a well found vessel, one must always ask themselves, how seaworthy am I.

Skill, confidence, determination, and endurance cannot be supplied by a vessel. I think it's got to be enjoyable too, even if you're somewhat getting your butt kicked, there's got to be a little bit of enjoyment in the challenge or why do it.

It took me many years to feel confident enough to attempt a passage through the gulfstream and I got my butt kicked. My vessel took it much better than I did. :-)

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Old 17-12-2008, 00:16   #82
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Many of the boats abandoned by their crews in the 79 fastnet were found floating after the storm.

I think besides having a well found vessel, one must always ask themselves, how seaworthy am I.

I am not sure what you are implying from the fastnet experience. That people should not have abandoned boats? I am sure you have read the accounts and several good books about this race or you wouldn't have formed an opinion.

If you think those that left boats should have stayed I suggest this experiment.

Go to a laundromat. Get in the big drier. Take along some lead acid batteries, canned food, knives, clothes, spinnaker poles, buckets, half fill it with sea water, run the temperature down to about 5-7DegC. Turn it on for about 10 hours, then decide if you want to stay "on-board"

I would not questoin the seaworthiness of anyone in the 79 race.
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Old 17-12-2008, 01:16   #83
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Great thread


The shipwright doing a little job on my boat today said he didn't like Beneteaus as he thought they could be built better.

Yep he's right.

But then they would cost more than I could afford and I would still be at work instead of cruising the world.

He may think some boat unseaworthy but he has to work every day. I know my boat is seaworthy and I am cruising, living the dream, for the rest of my life.

So yes, a Swan might be more seaworthy, but I can't afford to pay 10 times the price I paid for mine! For me to fund the 10x I would have to work till retirement age... whereas I retired at 48 and that suits me better than 65!


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Old 17-12-2008, 03:44   #84
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Seaworthy Certified for, and capable of, safely sailing at sea. (wikipedia)

There is no certification for seaworthiness, because the capability of safely sailing at sea cannot be attributed to a boat alone.

So, at the end of the day, it's a mind game between the skipper and mother nature.

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Old 17-12-2008, 06:21   #85
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Ex-Calif,

Wannabesailor asked about seaworthiness of vessels.

I was implying that Boats will often take more punishment than people.
So the real question might be: what is wannabesailor capable of, or willing to endure?

I was also implying that there is no substitute for confidence, knowledge, experience, endurance and determination. Even after one finds a " Seaworthy" vessel they should determine how seaworthy "they" are.

My fastnet example, was an extreme example meant to illustrate, that boats can remain floating long after the people who sail them are willing to endure the conditions they might find themselves in, in an open water passage.

There was no implication, that the people who abandoned their vessels in 79 should have stayed. But, I might point out, that at least one of the crews took to a life boat when their vessel was still afloat. ( that vessel still floats.)

No judgment, it just illustrates my point.

But my original thought was that everyone should know their own and their crews abilities and willingness to endure adverse conditions. Everyone's tolerance level for adverse conditions is different.

As for me, I spent 4 days in a dryer.....I'm not sure that I could have spent 5....lol....
nor would I want to do 4 ...today.


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Old 17-12-2008, 07:31   #86
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When the outcome is known it is often easy to suggest a course of action.

Grimalkin still floats. It's Skipper was knocked silly and unable to command the ship. A succession plan had not been worked out.

Some left the boat (4?) and survived - including the skipper (who was taken off). However the Skipper died.

2 were left on the boat. One died.

The boat was found and recovered.

Statistically - There was a 100% chance the boat didn't sink. There was a 50% chance of dying by staying and a 25% (or 33%) chance of dying by getting in the life boat.

Statistics don't mean squat in this case.

But I get your point - I am also a "step up to the liferaft" kind of guy.

But I have never been in a situation that required the decision so I'll never second guess anyone else.
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Old 17-12-2008, 07:33   #87
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Rule #1: Step UP into the life boat!
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Old 17-12-2008, 09:28   #88
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Ex-calif.

I never second guessed anyone. Nor did I suggest a course of action.

The point that I was making is that..I think .19 of the 24 boats that were abondoned in the fastnet were floating after the storm. Thus....."boats often can take more punishment that people".

I make no other judgment about that than...your boat my be your best liferaft...thus..the " step up into your liferaft" saying.

But my whole point was...and is....even if one buys a seaworthy boat....it does not mean that " they" are prepared for all the trials and tribulations of open water passages. Nothing more...nothing less...each person, family, crew, have to determine what that means...for them...

To buy a boat..that is seaworthy..and head to sea...on the merits of that fact alone..is clearly inadvisable.

Tempest...in a teapot
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Old 17-12-2008, 09:48   #89
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If you take care, watch the weather etc most all of the boats mentioned will do the Bahamas trip readily. Shoal draft is real nice for that trip, then you can tuck in a lot of places that others cant. I would have no problem taking a stock Catalina or Beneteau on the Bahamas trip. Adding the Costa Rica trip is another thing. If I were you I would plan and make the Bahamas trip on it's own. you may end up asking yourself why you wanted to make the longer trip to Costa Rica.
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Old 17-12-2008, 10:05   #90
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Ex-Calif,
...I was implying that Boats will often take more punishment than people.
So the real question might be: what is wannabesailor capable of, or willing to endure?...
Tempest
This is a good point. I also remember reading that the sailboat that was abandoned in "The Perfect Storm" which required an expensive, daring and dangerous rescue was also later found floating, mostly unharmed.

I think your point about crew often being able to take less than even less solidly constructed boats is a good one. I'd also argue however, that a boat's seaworthiness or appropriateness is not just a function of it's ability to stay together in rough conditions, but how well it safeguards those on board as well. Perhaps I am speaking more of being seakindly than seaworthy.
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