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Old 05-08-2015, 18:41   #1
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Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Briefly about me. I've been sailing 2 or 3 years, don't own a boat but sail with friends or with members of my sailing club 3 or 4 times a month. The boats I normally sail on are good quality "day sailboats" such as Catalina 36, 355, Beneteau 34, 37 etc. This past Sunday I got the chance to go out on a Hans Christian 43, a real heavy displacement "blue water" boat. Wow, what a different experience. Sailing on San Francisco Bay, 20 - 25 knts and the boat was like on rails. Beam reaching with no reef and the boat stayed balanced and comfortable with just the right amount of heel, just a little weather helm during gusts, but rock solid. Given I'm thinking about buying a blue water boat in a few years when I retire, this was a real "aha" moment.
Now I know, if I like this boat so much maybe I should consider buying one when I'm ready. However, I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with teak decks, they're pricey, even older boats, and everything I've read thus far seems to indicate they're definitely in the high maintenance category.

So a few questions.


Are Hans Christians unique in being such rock solid boats or am I likely to find that larger good quality "blue water" boats of similar size and displacement are going to have a similar "ride quality" or the same "seaworthiness"?


So given my budget is going to force me to look for boats 15+ years old, my question for those with lots of experience sailing on different boats, which of the popular "blue water" boats I read about (e.g. Valiant, Sabre, Tartan,etc.) are going to have similar sailing qualities to the Hans Christian but are going to be less expensive, or easier to maintain or both?
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Old 05-08-2015, 19:15   #2
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Nice intro jimp. All I know is that our low cost 24t ketch was a significantly more comfortable than a more expensive 14t vessel in 40+ knot force 9 Tasman crossings.
It seems bigger & heavier is better when it comes to comfort.
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Old 05-08-2015, 20:12   #3
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

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Originally Posted by jimp1234 View Post
Are Hans Christians unique in being such rock solid boats or am I likely to find that larger good quality "blue water" boats of similar size and displacement are going to have a similar "ride quality" or the same "seaworthiness"?
Looking at parameters such as Ted Brewer's Comfort Factor, roll acceleration, and roll period should help you sort out which designs have good ride quality in blue water.


Brewer introduced his 'motion comfort factor' as something of a joke, but it remains a guide to what you experience in developed seas. Brewer's CF attempts to measure motion comfort in terms of the dampening of motion: low (jerky motion, found in racing designs) less than 20; moderate (cruising hulls) 30-50; high 50 and above.


A Hans Christian 41, the archetypal crab crusher, has a CF of 46. A HC 38 has a CF of 44. That reduction of CF as LWL shrinks gives you a clue that length is perhaps more important than design. Note that some small pocket cruisers, such as Lyle Hess's Bristol Channel Cutter (28 ft) have respectable CFactors: around 37 (cocosshane, a Cruisers Forum user, posted an advert for his Bristol Channel Cutter only a few days ago - but the advert has disappeared perhaps because of a fast sale).


In contrast, most Beneteau designs have CFactors in the 21 to 24 range. You can find more CFactors at: The roll acceleration: What´s the best for crossing oceans? - Boat Design Forums


Roll acceleration measures the g forces, the acceleration forces, directly. Roll acceleration of greater than 0.1g leads to feelings of malaise. Boats with roll acceleration less than 0.06g are more comfortable offshore (cocosshane's Bristol Channel Cutter has a roll acceleration of 0.049g).


Roll period is a measure of the frequency of those roll acceleration forces and may be more important than the amplitude of the roll acceleration for some people's perception of comfort. Most all people feel malaise with a roll period around 10 seconds (0.1 Hz).


Al
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Old 05-08-2015, 23:05   #4
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

[QUOTE]Beam reaching with no reef and the boat stayed balanced and comfortable with just the right amount of heel, just a little weather helm during gusts, but rock solid/QUOTE]
Every boat sails well on a beam reach. The fact that you didn',t need to reef means the boat needs lots of horsepower to go anywhere ,- meaning that loads on gear are !much higher than a low drag, low wetted surface boat. Blue water does not mean heavy and slow.
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:03   #5
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Mighty View Post
Looking at parameters such as Ted Brewer's Comfort Factor, roll acceleration, and roll period should help you sort out which designs have good ride quality in blue water.


Brewer introduced his 'motion comfort factor' as something of a joke, but it remains a guide to what you experience in developed seas. Brewer's CF attempts to measure motion comfort in terms of the dampening of motion: low (jerky motion, found in racing designs) less than 20; moderate (cruising hulls) 30-50; high 50 and above.


A Hans Christian 41, the archetypal crab crusher, has a CF of 46. A HC 38 has a CF of 44. That reduction of CF as LWL shrinks gives you a clue that length is perhaps more important than design. Note that some small pocket cruisers, such as Lyle Hess's Bristol Channel Cutter (28 ft) have respectable CFactors: around 37 (cocosshane, a Cruisers Forum user, posted an advert for his Bristol Channel Cutter only a few days ago - but the advert has disappeared perhaps because of a fast sale).


In contrast, most Beneteau designs have CFactors in the 21 to 24 range. You can find more CFactors at: The roll acceleration: What´s the best for crossing oceans? - Boat Design Forums


Roll acceleration measures the g forces, the acceleration forces, directly. Roll acceleration of greater than 0.1g leads to feelings of malaise. Boats with roll acceleration less than 0.06g are more comfortable offshore (cocosshane's Bristol Channel Cutter has a roll acceleration of 0.049g).


Roll period is a measure of the frequency of those roll acceleration forces and may be more important than the amplitude of the roll acceleration for some people's perception of comfort. Most all people feel malaise with a roll period around 10 seconds (0.1 Hz).


Al
Something else that makes the boat's motion uncomfortable is when the bolt on keel falls off in the middle of the Atlantic. You won't have to worry about that in a Hans Christian
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:31   #6
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Man. Just go here (Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org) and bounce around for a bit.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:41   #7
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

I sail a very heavy displacement cruiser, certainly not as nice as a Hans Christian.

I agree with you 100% that they are very very nice places to be in heavy going. There is certainly wisdom to the philosophy that a fast boat will have less exposure to bad weather, but once you're in bad weather, full keels and heavy displacement is where you want to be.

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Old 06-08-2015, 10:50   #8
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

No, it isn't just a HC thing. In fact some more moderate but traditional types will do that well but do it better to windward etc. But you are experiencing the difference between a solid boat that will get on a course and sail like a freight train vs a light busy boat that want to change course continually, flexing and banging as it does so. Of course that cheap light boat will pass you, especially going to weather.
Sailors choice.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:57   #9
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Heavy IS the way to go. I own a 42'Ted Brewer STEEL 55,000 cuter and you are right. they all ride sooo much better than the usual production boats out there.

The Hans C is a nice boat looked at many before I bought my one off Brewer. No regrets. There are lots of heavy displacement boats, Baba's Slocums and others . If you don't already know how learn to calculate the DL ( Displacement Length ratio) and just go look at the length at the Water line of the size boat you want then find boats that weigh enough to meet the DL of 300+.
I never have felt threatened in any weather as my Brewer sits deep in the water and doesn't bob around like a cork.

By the way a full canoe stern is a big plus as well.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:07   #10
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

He he, my Fantasias DL is 472.

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Old 06-08-2015, 11:10   #11
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

make sure you are going to be in a place where there is consistent 20 - 25 knot winds or the HC will just be a heavy boat that is tough to single hand moving very slowly thru the water
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:11   #12
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

To the OP:

Since you like the ride of a heavy full keel (or "modified full keel") boat, and you want to look for other boats that share some of the same characteristics (medium to heavy displacement, full keel to modified full keel, possibly round stern, traditional styling) here are my suggestions for you to research and consider:

First, start by doing some research on the "granddaddy of them all" the "Colin Archer" styled boats. Read about the design concept and origin of this style of boat. Be aware that there are many "Colin Archer" type boat available for sale, but they may have different brand or builders names. Some are made in wood, some in fiberglass, some in steel. They usually share a similar hull profile (double ended, full body, lots of volume for length, often with flush decks or wide side decks and small cockpits).

Here is an easy and free place to start reading:
SOURCE OF QUOTE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Archer
Quoting the above article:
"To this day, people consult his work when designing new ships. He is credited with the design of more than two hundred vessels, including Fram."

Archer's designs were adapted to pleasure sailing in the twentieth century. In 1904, he built a boat for the writer Robert Erskine Childers named the Asgard; the boat is now in a museum and considered the "most important yacht in the history of Ireland".[1] In 1928, William Atkin scaled down Archer's 47-foot (14 m) Regis Voyager, a pilot boat, to make the 32-foot (9.8 m) Eric [1], and in 1934 the 38-foot (12 m) Ingrid [2]. The Eric went on to become very influential in ocean sailing, with boats such as Vito Dumas's Lehg II and Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili making notable circumnavigations, the latter becoming the first boat to be sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world. In the 1970s, the design was adapted to glass-reinforced plastic by William Crealock, and became the Westsail 32; this famous cruising boat has, in turn, inspired many imitations, so that the "Archer double-ender" style of boat continues to be popular to the present day.

Colin Archer (made by various yards)
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In addition, go to the following website and read about the various boats I have listed below.

Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org

NOTE: The following boats are NOT in any order of preference, cost, quality, etc. I simply listed them as I thought of them. There may be a few sizes missing. Not all of them will look like a traditional style "Colin Archer" but you will see many similarities.

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Aries 32

Allied Seawind II 32

Hans Christian 33, 38, 43

Tashiba 31, 36, 40

Baba 30, 35, 40

Valiant 40

Panda 34, 38

Alajuela 33, 38

Tayana 37

Cape George 36

Pacific Seacraft 34

Southern Cross 31, 35, 39

Westsail 28, 32, 43

Ingrid 38

Lord Nelson 35

Vancouver 27

Nor'Sea 27
____________

Joshua 40 (A design made famous by Bernard Moitessier in 1968.)
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:27   #13
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

The HC was a bit too heavy for me. Great boat though. I think the midrange type with a bit shorter keel and not super heavy are so sweet to sail, Alberg, Cape Dory, Mason etc.
To each his own.
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Old 06-08-2015, 11:28   #14
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

Michael Kasten has a series of designs from 30 up to 60 feet. Here's the Valhalla 44 I used to drool over. Think Shackleton......James Caird.....

The 44' VALHALLA - A Pelagic Sailing Yacht



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Old 06-08-2015, 12:16   #15
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Re: Comparing other heavy displacement boats to a Hans Christian

When we were ready to step up from our Cape Dory 30, we also looked at the Hans Christian (and Tayanas, Babas...) The older teak deck maintenance was a drawback. We decided on a Shannon 38. Love it. The sails are wonderfully balanced - it's easy to take one's hands off the wheel for a bit to tend a sheet etc and she stays on course. She's great in heavy weather (but goes no where in light air). And she's pretty - we get a lot of people who come by to take a look at her! It's fun to have a boat that's a bit distinctive. (One little girl on a power boat said "Look Dad, it's a Captain Ron boat!" Not quite sweetheart, but that's precious.)

We found a 'core sample' - the plug taken out when a depth sounder was put in. There was about 2" of fiberglass! Quality counts. She's also better at anchor - no boat is great in surge but some are worse than others. Truth be told, we're at anchor more often than under sail.

Surf Yachtworld - and as others have suggested, look at stability ratings and keel design for different boats. There are a lot of good boats out there - and the quality built blue water boats are solid investments even when many decades old.
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