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Old 24-04-2013, 14:56   #1
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Boats that can Handle a Blow?

The Charleston Race Week this year had very blustery weather. On the final day, all races were cancelled except the Pursuit class, which, I guess, started first, since it was mostly older, slower boats.

The winds started out in the 20-25 knot range, quickly built up to 30 knots, and ended up blowing 40 knots. The course was offshore.

I stayed in the marina that day (we weren't racing). We saw some boats come in beat up and damaged. And then the winner of the Pursuit class came in- a 1964 Pearson Vanguard! They had no damage at all. The crew said the tops of the genoa winches were sometimes underwater.

According to the race website, a 56' Swan dropped out in that class when they got to Fort Sumter- before they even got out of the harbor.

On the dock that day, I told my wife that was the most wind I had ever felt outside of a hurricane. That made me start thinking about how much wind I'd ever been out in (sustained, not just in a squall). So I Googled up the Beaufort Scale and looked at the photos of sea state. From those photos, I guess I was out once in Force 8 in an old Dufour Arpege.

I never would have guessed the wind was really blowing that hard on that trip, because the old Dufour didn't seem to mind at all. We just shortened sail and kept sailing. The tiller pilot steered without a problem.

I've always been a bit skeptical of those "blue water boat" discussions, but maybe some of those reputations actually have more merit than I realized.

(By the way, a Pearson Vanguard and a Dufour Arpege have virtually nothing in common, except that if you poke around on the Internet, they both have good reps as "blue water" boats.)

For what that's worth...
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Old 24-04-2013, 15:02   #2
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Re: Boats that can handle a blow?

I can think of a few boats I have been on that handled some weather pretty well. First, a Pacific Seacraft Crealock 37, second a Hylas 54, and lastly a Shannon 43. These boats have a few things in common. They are heavily built for their size, and they are relatively slow displacement boats. I have never been in a real storm in a beneteau, catalina, or other light weight racer-cruiser class boats, and never really had a strong desire to test one out. Probably somebody in the forum can comment on how they do.
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Old 24-04-2013, 16:20   #3
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Re: Boats that can handle a blow?

Bénéteau presently builds lightweight yachts but it wasn't always the case: 35 years ago, the First 30 was built like a tank and as pleasant to live in. It's heavy, narrow, deep, dark inside but it goes well to windward.

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Old 24-04-2013, 16:28   #4
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pirate Re: Boats that can handle a blow?

Hurley 22... Westerly Longbow... both have stood 70kts and survived undamaged...
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Old 24-04-2013, 16:35   #5
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

You just can't have everything! The "Huntebenelinsa" fly by me in the 5 knot winds, but I catch up with them in my heavy cruiser when it's over twenty. Sure, the heavy trucks are going to show well in the big winds, but that's not the typical competitive edge.
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Old 24-04-2013, 16:36   #6
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

I think this by far is more about the decisions the captains made while underway and before leaving the dock.
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:31   #7
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

I bought an Alberg 37. I wanted to make sure I had a boat that was a better blue water sailor than me ;-)

Fastnet Race: Atlantic Crossing on an Alberg 37 | Cruising World
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Old 24-04-2013, 17:43   #8
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Re: Boats that can handle a blow?

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Hurley 22... Westerly Longbow... both have stood 70kts and survived undamaged...

And, your beautiful little Corribee that both you and the incredible Roger Taylor have sailed! Kudos. www.thesimplesailor.com/
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:00   #9
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And, your beautiful little Corribee that both you and the incredible Roger Taylor have sailed! Kudos. www.thesimplesailor.com/
Now that's a better man than me Gunga Din...
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Old 24-04-2013, 18:09   #10
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Not sure i understand the real question?

The real question is how much can the skipper take!

The conditions the OP stated are uncomfortable for any boat, period. What boats break? All of them, blown out sails - it's not the boat that blew them its the condition of the sails or the skill of the skipper driving them.

You can ride out a hurricane on a surfboard if you have the balls to do it......
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Old 24-04-2013, 19:12   #11
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

If I was in a storm I would rather suffer the discomfort of a "heavy" boat than a "light" one.

Just sayin.
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Old 24-04-2013, 19:24   #12
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

Oysters seem to do pretty well in light and heavy winds. Been several times in 35-50 knots under heavily reefed/furled sails without a worry. Of course the sprayhood/dodger helps in those conditions. Having a well-balanced helm does wonders for self-confidence in worsening conditions, so does having an interior which doesn't spill everything onto the opposite side the first time you heel way over onto the beam.
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Old 24-04-2013, 19:27   #13
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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You can ride out a hurricane on a surfboard if you have the balls to do it......
Rubbish!

Jim
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Old 24-04-2013, 19:58   #14
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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Rubbish!

Jim
Why so?
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Old 24-04-2013, 19:58   #15
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Re: Boats that can Handle a Blow?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Rubbish!

Jim


On the other hand, I did see a guy do it in a movie.

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