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Old 19-02-2014, 10:33   #61
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Location: Bradenton, FL
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

It is true, I am trying to find the "home run" boat on the first try, and I realize there is some fault to this. "If it going to happen, Its going to happen out there." ~ capt. Ron It would be nice to go out and try different flavors of boats until I found the one I liked.

In many ways it has to be the one! Or at least close to it, since this will become our home for the coming months or years, not just a weekend warrior. If I were to simply go out and buy any old boat that looks good, I could only imagine what I might pick up by mistake. I can see the scenario now: My wife swearing off all boats because the thing hobby-horses like a bull and the diesel fumes are feeling the air turning our guts inside out, both of us seasick and puking over the edge. Later, I'm over in the corner having to fix the boat of its countless problems all because I jumped on board to soon. Now instead of it being something enjoyable, we run for the hills. I think this happens more often the not with some liveaboards.

We plan on joining a local boat club nearby, which I think will aid us in finding the right boat.
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Old 20-02-2014, 08:14   #62
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Re: Sailboats With An Open Forward Berth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyama View Post
People have rowed across the ocean in things many times smaller than a Beneteau Oceanis 38, so no doubt its capable of making an ocean voyage.

My wisdom is not my own. I wouldn't trust me either but I have read many a book from John Vigor's Offshore sailboat, The Voyager's Handbook by Beth Leonard 100,000 nautical miles, mahina.com John Neal & Amanda Swan Neal together they have 584,000 miles of international sailing, even James Baldwin of atomvoyages.com has a modified full keel on his boat, Larry & Lin Pardey have a full keel. These people have been there and know what makes a good offshore boat, more then many of us here. If I had to bank my families safety on someone I would choose a collective of the most experience persons. This boat doesn't really fall into the guidelines they suggest.
Obviously it is hard to dispute the experience of legends in sailing. But at the same time you don't seem to be following Larry and Lin's advice about boat size. I expect you will have refrigeration. How about an engine? Sounds like you are looking at fiberglass boats not wood. These are all good places to start but they are not the only say in such things. You also cited Mahina Expedition, I believe they have a fin keel (Hallberg-Rassy, IIRC). But again, I am not trying to convince you to get a fin keeled boat. Just pointing out that there are other options that people are using and that it might be worth some time to do some research.

Quote:
I couldn't sleep comfortably knowing if we went aground with a bulb-fin keel shown in the picture, its going to do some damage. Perhaps, if it was at an angle like valiant 40 and wasn't in the shape of a spike. If you ran aground with that thing it would be like an anchor digging in.
Digging in? Not really sure what you mean here. People ground fin keels all the time without it causing damage. People also ground full keels and sink their boats. The type of grounding and specific circumstances are the bigger factors than the boat. You sail into a rock under full sail, it really doesn't matter what type of keel you have. You push into some mud or sand with any type of keel and it's really not a big deal. Slip a mooring or drag at anchor onto a reef, it really depends. I have more of an issue with the material a Benny keel is made out of than it's shape.

Remember, there are two types of skippers. Those who run aground and those who lie about it. It will happen to you. It's not the end of the world. It's part of boating. Just hope you do it on a shoal rather than a reef or rocks.

Quote:
The boat is very beam-y which could mean if it ever capsized it might not right itself anytime soon. Its flatter hull generally means pounding against waves.
Again, this gets into initial stability vs. overall stability. Catamarans also have wide beams and they definitely won't self right. Yet they crossing oceans all the time. There are pros to wider beam in monohulls too. More comfortable feeling with less heal. More space below and comfort at anchor, which is where cruisers spend 70% of their time if not more. No boat is comfortable pounding into seas, that's why most pick their cruising routes to avoid this as much as possible. More carrying capacity compared to narrow hulls.

Quote:
Many a cockpit will be pooped at one time or another, larger cockpits equals more water aboard & down below.
It also has an open stern which will drain much quicker than in enclosed cockpit draining through a couple of through-hulls. The height of the bridge deck becomes more of an issue and that can be easily addressed.

Quote:
The prop is unprotected...
This get's into the area of anecdote vs. supported fact. Unprotected props, spade rudders, etc. get into the area where anecdotes and "conventional wisdom" out weigh the supported facts. You can find modern sailboat designers that will tell you many of these things are not true in the real world. It's about looking at the evidence on both sides and then formulating your opinion.

Think about this, if wide modern hulls, unprotected props and spade rudders where such a liability for ocean sailing wouldn't you have to pay more for insurance on those boats? Insurance companies have advanced mathematicians examining the statistics on every type of claim to figure out how to best make money. I got my undergrad with a woman who went on to get dual Phds in statistics and physics; she worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute for several years after graduation. She now works for an insurance company examining these type of issues and gets paid big bucks to do it. If these aspects of boat design were really a liability they would know it and would charge you more to insurer those boats. It's just like how they know what makes and models of cars are more likely to be stolen and it costs more to insure those.

Quote:
On another note, This article might be of interest to you if you ever want to do any modifications to your boat for going further offshore (its a catalina 320 probably very similar to your own boat):
Atom Voyages - Delivering a Catalina 320 to the Virgin Islands
It's a great article, like most of the stuff Atom Voyages puts out. I read this several times while trying to decide what kind of boat to buy. It is one of the primary reasons I bought the boat I have. I have done or plan to do almost all of the upgrades he lists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyama View Post
It is true, I am trying to find the "home run" boat on the first try, and I realize there is some fault to this. "If it going to happen, Its going to happen out there." ~ capt. Ron It would be nice to go out and try different flavors of boats until I found the one I liked.

In many ways it has to be the one! Or at least close to it, since this will become our home for the coming months or years, not just a weekend warrior. If I were to simply go out and buy any old boat that looks good, I could only imagine what I might pick up by mistake. I can see the scenario now: My wife swearing off all boats because the thing hobby-horses like a bull and the diesel fumes are feeling the air turning our guts inside out, both of us seasick and puking over the edge. Later, I'm over in the corner having to fix the boat of its countless problems all because I jumped on board to soon. Now instead of it being something enjoyable, we run for the hills. I think this happens more often the not with some liveaboards.
Probably not far off. But when you think about a boat like a Catalina 30 vs. something like an older West Sails or some other "blue water" narrow hull, full keel boat you might run into a few problems with you logic. The Catalina will offer better living space for a similar or less price. It will be more likely to have newer equipment like refrigeration, electronics, 120V shore power to run TVs, coffee makers and other appliances. Over all it will be more comfortable as a live aboard. In other words, it will be easier to get your wife to fall in love with the idea of sailing on a modern coastal cruiser than the final blue water boat. If you have been reading some of the threads on recommended boat choices you will see a lot of comments about getting the boat your wife likes because it will equal more time on the water.

From your prospective in learning how to properly maintain a boat it might be a benefit too. You will make mistakes in this regard. It happens to all of us. It might be better to make those mistakes on a learning boat rather than the one you plan to take across oceans.

Quote:
We plan on joining a local boat club nearby, which I think will aid us in finding the right boat.
Not a bad start. I would look into some local racing too. Usually you can find people looking for crew. This could help get you on the water. Once you are hanging around with boaters you will start getting invites to go out sailing for day sails or shorter trips. This will get you out on many different types of boats and you can start to see what you like. Maybe some nice local CFers will invite you to go out for a sail. I would offer but we are up in Boston a bit far away.

I hope my responses don't come across to preachy or pushy. Just trying to give you some more info for making you decision.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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