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Old 29-11-2018, 01:57   #1
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Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Hi All,


I am new to sailing but have a pretty solid engineering background. I am in my late 40's and I have lost the plot and decided to live aboard and do some traveling. I am seriously considering buying this 63" steel ketch and was hoping someone could give advice on the shape of the hull and how it might behave in various conditions. Thanks all for any advice.....


The photos are in my member gallery and I am not sure how to post them to this thread
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Old 29-11-2018, 09:11   #2
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

That is not a bad looking boat, but unless you have buckets of money, I would advise to start with a much smaller boat. The cost of maintaining a boat that size will eat you alive. Also handling a boat that size without previous experience can be overwhelming. Even if you get up to speed on handling in good conditions, any emergency will be much harder to deal with on a large boat. I dont want to discourage your cruising ideas but I think they are more likely to be successful with a smaller boat. You will get lots of conflicting advice here on CF so in the end, it is your decision. _____Grant.
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:14   #3
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

I agree completely with Grant. I went from a C&C 35 to a Hylas 44. While the cabin space doubled, so did the physical effort to hoist and trim sails. Costs of replacing lines, sails etc. also doubled.
If you are planning to be a coastal cruiser you don't need an offshore boat. If you are planning to circumnavigate, that's a different story!
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Old 29-11-2018, 11:59   #4
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Great looking boat, but yeah a handful for a single-hander.

Question for anyone who might know.. I understand that the radar is on the mizzen mast to not interfere with the jib, but doesn't the main mast then affect the radar signature in about a 10 degree arc right in front of the boat? Or is the outbound signal wide enough that it "wraps around" (sorry for the awful technical term) the main mast and can catch any reflection?
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Old 29-11-2018, 12:14   #5
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Man that is one hell of a skeg on that boat

I'm curious too how the motion would be in a seaway with the hard chines. The funny part is the hull shape is very similar to a 15' or 20' potter.
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Old 29-11-2018, 12:59   #6
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Looks a lot like my old steel Van de Stadt.. but bigger.
Should not be to much really, just think ahead and prep before you do things.. don't leave it till the last minute.. also the beauty of a ketch is the main is rarely needed unless beating to windward.. jib n jigger..
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Old 29-11-2018, 16:47   #7
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Hi All,


thanks for the replies. I realize this boat is large and will cost much, but I probably should have been more specific. I am an aircraft mechanic by trade and I plan to do all/most maintenance myself. I have taken a redundancy and will sell my home. I have a family of five and we plan to live aboard full time and the expenses of the boat would be replaced instead of the cost of maintaining a property on land. I am from Australia and the cost of a house and mortgage payments are insane here. I have two fit able teenage sons to help me sail and my wife and daughter will also be able to assist with other maintenance tasks. The boat is available for a ridiculously low price and even just to buy it and clean it up to sell I would make money. The idea is to build up to coastal cruising and then travel further afield. I appreciate all the sobering comments..
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Old 29-11-2018, 17:11   #8
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

From the hull standpoint, my limited understanding is that the hard chine will cause a little more drag than a rounded hull. Additionally you will have less initial stability but more secondary stability than a more rounded hull.
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Old 29-11-2018, 17:46   #9
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

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Originally Posted by Metal Boat View Post
Hi All,
I am new to sailing but have a pretty solid engineering background. I am in my late 40's and I have lost the plot and decided to live aboard and do some traveling. I am seriously considering buying this 63" steel ketch and was hoping someone could give advice on the shape of the hull and how it might behave in various conditions. Thanks all for any advice.....

The photos are in my member gallery and I am not sure how to post them to this thread
I think the hull shape is fine, and a vessel this size will generally have little problem dealing with even rougher conditions. In light conditions you probably will be motoring a lot.

The inexperienced crew, however, might not fare so well. Sailing and maintaining a boat this size, a used one obtained for a low price, is going to be a project (be sure and get a good hull survey, rusting or thin plates on a boat like this are common).

Some families of 5 with no sailing backgrounds will take on this adventure and thrive, despite all the hard work and difficulties sailing and maintaining it. Many others will throw in the towel within a year or two.

And it is unlikely you will make a profit selling this boat in the future.
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Old 29-11-2018, 19:17   #10
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Flat planes can pound in heavy seas, making life quite uncomfortable and wet. Hard to tell much about possible sailing characteristics without better shots - broadside and head-on - to give us an idea of overall shapes and where chines fall. Even then we'd all be pretty much guessing. Is there a name for the design so we could look it up? The salon windows - they're big enough to be called windows - could be dangerous in heavy seas. Are there covers for them? Planning to move aboard with a family does call for a boat that's big enough for everyone to have a little private space somewhere. Big boats can get into big trouble if you're not careful, however.
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Old 29-11-2018, 19:55   #11
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Wingsail thank you for your observations, how we will handle it as a family is unknown but we are pretty tough, so I am wary of that, but we have lived in tough conditions before. I have owned and operated aircraft for many years and traveled all over Aus including living very remote. I define making money on an aircraft as your labor goes up in smoke and you will break even on parts and materials but you get excellent usage from the plane, I suspect boats will be very similar. the market is also totally depressed so resale is a problem. I am very wary of the condition of the hull as far as I am concerned if there is any problem its instant no deal. Ultrasound will be done. I have spoken to the shipwright who maintains the boat and he says the hull is sound so I am prepared to have look on that basis. The rigging is all gal steel and I will probably replace it with gal as I dont like the fatigue of SS and its a write off after 10 years as far as the insurance company is concerned anyway. I have an extensive collection of tools and equipment and I am also an aircraft painter with lots of experience painting big objects.


psk125 unfort these are the only pics I have but I will take a heap when I go to inspect it. The salon windows are 10mm glass and look pretty sturdy but I did consider what would happen if they busted out. I put up another pic of the windows behind for you to look at. The ride is what I am considering so pounding etc is what I am looking for....
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Old 29-11-2018, 20:43   #12
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

I think you are trying to get a feel for how that particular hull will behave, right? In terms of stability? In general narrower hull boats don't have much initial stability and tend to be more "tender," that is they rock and roll more when not under the press of the sails. A wider beam hull will have more initial stability and will not have as much of that rolling motion but will be a little more sensitive to wave action while sailing. In my own case I have a narrow hull that many folks, my rigger included, do not care for because it does not have much initial stability. But, while sailing, and heeled over at 20 degrees or so, the keel's weight becomes the main force of stability, not the hull's flotation, and, to my way of feeling, it settles into a more comfortable ride. Personally, Though I have yet to sail a boat with such a hard chine, from what I can tell of your hull, to me, it looks like a comfortable ride and a good performer. For a large family it looks like a good choice as long as you all are ready for the sailing demands it will make of you. My only concern from what you have written is the unusually low price, which sounds like a red flag. If the hull checks out, that's a good start, of course. How is the engine btw? I may have missed it. Often the engine is the main contributor to big money issues. If the whole family is excited about the move to a boat then I think it will work out well, but the key is, is everyone ready and willing to make this move? If so, you're in good shape. Good luck!
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Old 29-11-2018, 21:54   #13
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

Narrow boats heel more, but roll much less when under sail. Beam is a negative factor for motion comfort. Length and weight are positive. So this should make a comfortable cruiser.

I do not care much for hard chines, but boats are compromises.

The Radar beam wraps around the main mast, but you loose som sensitivity forward.
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Old 29-11-2018, 22:05   #14
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
My only concern from what you have written is the unusually low price, which sounds like a red flag. If the hull checks out, that's a good start, of course. How is the engine btw? I may have missed it. Often the engine is the main contributor to big money issues.
That does look like a nice boat. I would think she would sail nicely except that keel seems a little shallow. What does she draw? The cost is a red flag to me, too. I'm also curious about the before/after pics of the rudder. A friend of mine who has an aluminum boat says keeping corrosion at bay is really hard and you can't just paint it with the typical paints used on FG boats. Were you able to see it before the bottom was done?

Just one word of advice....if you and the family are new to sailing, please go slow and easy for everyone's sake. Nothing turns off kids quicker to being on the water than a parent (whom they place their lives and trust implicitly) doing something that scares the bajeesus out of them.
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Old 29-11-2018, 22:14   #15
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Re: Hull Shapes and Behaviour in Heavy Seas

(Please excuse the thread drift) Steel boat?! Steel boats rust from the inside out. They can look fine on the outside, but be paper thin from the inside. Check the corrosion on the inside, around the bilge, very very carefully.

If there's corrosion it'll be a heart breaking never ending job to patch, and patch the patches, and patch the patches of patches....
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