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Old 27-01-2010, 16:21   #1
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Suggestions for Bluewater Boats [Newbie]

Hello,

I've just got the urge to cross an ocean a few days ago. Typically the ocean isn't my thing, but my last trip was a backpacking trip across 7 countries of Europe and now I want to spend some time off land!

Slowly I've been doing research and plan on taking my 101, 103, and 104 courses. My biggest problem is my budget in conjunction with my requirements.

Honestly I don't know what models to look into that are blue water able. Catalina is about the only thing I've seen mentioned. Currently my budget is about $10,000 for a boat purchase. My only real requirements would that it is very safe and could comfortably sleep 3 or 4 people.

I know that a Catalina 27 isn't going to cut it, but are there any comparable models that are blue water able?

I do not plan on doing this right away, but I do plan on making it a goal within the next 5 years. However, if I could get into something sooner rather than later I can make all the necessary adjustments it may need and get my sea legs out on the Gulf. I was thinking maybe a good start would be to take a trip from Galveston out to the Carribean....preferably across open water.

All I'm looking for is a little guidance here. What models should I look into that would be sturdy enough for crossing the Atlantic or Pacific? I definitely would like to have a 30 footer at least, but if it's spacious enough I'd even go as far down as 27. Safety above all!
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Old 27-01-2010, 16:50   #2
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Aloha,
Welcome to the never ending debate. Your question is very good and one that comes up frequently. If you check the link just after my signature line you'll find a book recommendation and also a search engine where you can type in bluewater or seaworthy or cruiser or anything else you might want to search the archives for. The other links are for lists of bluewater vessels.
kind regards,
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Old 27-01-2010, 16:56   #3
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You don't want a Catalina, the worst possible choice for offshore, flimsey and zero directional stability. We are awash in far better boats, in your price category.
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Old 27-01-2010, 17:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
You don't want a Catalina, the worst possible choice for offshore, flimsey and zero directional stability. We are awash in far better boats, in your price category.
See, Now there you go with a blanket statement that has no backing what-so-ever.. Catalinas are sailed all over the world.. And In years past, I did my share of open ocean racing in a little Catalina 22 MKll with a Capri keel. I still hold a couple records with that little boat.. I know of a couple 27s that have made the trip to Oz so its only in your openion that Catalinas wont do open ocean.. You could even say that they're only suited for coastal cruising but everyone knows the coastal cruising of the North West is worse than any pacific crossing.. A blanket statement of stating any boat will not work is wrong.. Hell, for that matter, a West Wright Potter was sailed to Hawaii and back..
The only way to answer the question is to bring up a boat and the conditions that it might be sailed in.. You then get a more direct answer...
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Old 27-01-2010, 17:28   #5
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Good God Brent! Every Catalina is no good for ocean crossing? Have you been drinking?
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Old 27-01-2010, 18:15   #6
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Your first search filter should be looking for a boat with a high limit of positive stability. 140 degrees plus is good starting point for a small cruiser. This will rule out most small steel boats like Brents design. Canadian Contessa 32 Vancouver 27 Halberg Rassy Monsun Nicholson 32 The English Hunters. Anything with 9ft of beam, 30ft of length and with a high positive stability will do the job for you. You will get the usual arguments that positive stability on most modern yachts are acceptable, this is just a nonsense argument especially for a small boat. If you a single hander, a self righting boat can be a life saver. John
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Old 27-01-2010, 19:11   #7
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I love our Catalina 30, but I would in no way argue that it's a bluewater boat. It's great for day sails and coastal cruising, but you can do far better for bluewater. Search the forum for many threads related to this very question, or google on "small bluewater sailboat". Good luck to you!
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Old 27-01-2010, 20:20   #8
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Atom Voyages | Voyages Aboard the Sailboat Atom -* Good Old Boats List - choosing a* small voyaging sailboat Read all of this, youll get a good idea of what to look for.
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Old 27-01-2010, 21:01   #9
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Unfortunately, the bluewater boats are more expensive, because they have to be built well. I would go to sea in a Contessa, but be prepared to be thrown around a bit. Don't skimp on a boat, you don't want to be using your liferaft 1000 miles from shore...
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:15   #10
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Thanks for all the information guys. This will be a great starter point. I'm all about doing my homework, but I didn't really know what boat models to start looking at and reading about. I could probably stand to spend up to $15,000 if needed, but we will see.

I am still at least a year away from buying a boat, so I have plenty of time to research and weigh the pros and cons. I had even debating going ahead and getting a Catalina for now and use it for coastal cruising, but I'd rather buy what I want the first go around so I don't have to worry about trying to sell the Catalina and possibly not get all my initial investment back. I don't see any point in fixing up a boat that I will turn around and sell within a year or two.
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:01   #11
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My suggestion.. buy small, something to trailer, around 22 foot.. and go sailing.. once you're out there, you'll run across people with different boats and different ideas.. and in the next year or so, you're still sailing.. you'll build your own openions on what your looking for and what to stay away from..
with all the people on this forum, there are few of us that own the same boats and even less have the same openions, but we all think we made the right choice..
or most of us anyway..
I've seen people that did all their homework, researched the boats, bought what they thought was a winner, spent a couple years and thousands of dollars and hours getting the boat of their dreams ready to cruise, Only to give it up after the first hundred miles, or the first bad incounter, ...
One couple spent their savings on a 38 foot Hans Christain MKll.. had been looking for a couple years, never sailed but they were going cruising.. bought the boat in SanDiego and motored it up the coast to the San Francisco and then the delta..
They split up within 2 weeks of getting the boat up here and he sold the boat for a fraction of what they paid for it...
Another couple we know worked for years to outfit the boat and get it ready for Mexico.. They pulled out of San Francisco and by the time they got to Morro Bay, she had, had enough and got off the boat.. They bought a 5th wheel trailer and at last I heard from them, the boat is up for sale..
Cruising isnt all Jimmy Buffett or Willie Nelson, and the romance dies at 3 am while you're on watch, and its time to reef the main and the wife is no help as she's sicker than a dog..
Befor you jump into your dreams and buy that cruising boat, start small.. you'll injoy the larger boat more when it comes along.. and when it does, it will be the one you want..
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Old 28-01-2010, 20:42   #12
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Originally Posted by plebian99 View Post
Your first search filter should be looking for a boat with a high limit of positive stability. 140 degrees plus is good starting point for a small cruiser. This will rule out most small steel boats like Brents design. Canadian Contessa 32 Vancouver 27 Halberg Rassy Monsun Nicholson 32 The English Hunters. Anything with 9ft of beam, 30ft of length and with a high positive stability will do the job for you. You will get the usual arguments that positive stability on most modern yachts are acceptable, this is just a nonsense argument especially for a small boat. If you a single hander, a self righting boat can be a life saver. John
All my designs have positive stability past 170 degrees, as do most of the older designs, before excesive beam became standard proceedure. Before that happened, incidences of boats staying capsized were unheard of.
The buoyancy in my wheelhouse is the equivalent , in the inverted position, of adding 3,000lbs to the keel.
Contessa 32, Vancouver 27 and Nicholson 32 all have excellent ultimate stability , far greater than the so called " More modern" excesively beamy boats, which are the source of ultimate stability worries.
A friend was anchored in a western North Pacific atoll, when he saw a Catalina 27 from California sail in. The hull had come away from the decks and all the bulkheads were flopping about inside the boat, free from the hull. It took enough added fibreglass to put her well down on her lines, before she was seaworthy again.
I once built one of my 31 footers for a lady, who sailed her from Vancouver to England. Her last boat was a Catalina 27. She said it had such a severe weather helm that she was afraid to sail it accoss Georgia Strait in anything over 15 knots of wind. She said that in conditions where she would be fighting the helm with all her might in the Catalina 27, she could leave the helm free for long periods on the 31. Georgia Strait is some of the most protected water anywhere, where seas never get over 8 ft, in any conditions.
I'm not about to let anyone risk his life going to sea, uininformed , in a dangerous piece of **** like a Catalina 27 , jut to be "Nice". I refuse to be that kind of "Politicaly correct " *******. Not when lives are at stake.
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Old 28-01-2010, 21:33   #13
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It is not a good idea to just take off across the ocean on your first sail, but that is exactly what the guy (God rest his soul) I bought my boat from did. Quen Cultra built his own trimaran, tractored it across the farmland of Illinois on the backroads (dodging the police) to slip it into the Illinois river. He didn't hoist a sail till Galveston-then sailed around the world. The kept sailing his whole life with several homade boats and many circumnavigations.
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Old 29-01-2010, 11:11   #14
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As others may discern from my responses in other threads, I am pretty much in agreement with Brent Swain. The other issue that crops up here is finances. Alot of the folks asking for boat advice don't have enough money to buy and fit out a boat to make long passages safely. Ten or Fifteen thousand just won't do it. For a 30 footer, 10K gets you a good liferaft and a set of quality sails. That leaves 5K for the boat and everything else.
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Old 29-01-2010, 11:24   #15
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[QUOTE=Brent Swain;
A friend was anchored in a western North Pacific atoll, when he saw a Catalina 27 from California sail in. The hull had come away from the decks and all the bulkheads were flopping about inside the boat, free from the hull. It took enough added fibreglass to put her well down on her lines, before she was seaworthy again.
I once built one of my 31 footers for a lady, who sailed her from Vancouver to England. Her last boat was a Catalina 27. She said it had such a severe weather helm
I'm not about to let anyone risk his life going to sea, uininformed , in a dangerous piece of **** like a Catalina 27 ,[/QUOTE]


I had a friend who told me...... (second hand info donsent work very well) and if the lady in the 27 had weather helm, she didnt know how to adjust the sails.. I raced a 27 for a couple years, and you could balance the helm with the adjustments of the sails to the point where you could turn lose of the tiller and she'd sail fine.. All I was saying is that any boat in the right conditions can be sailed anywhere.. in the wrong conditions, any boat can and I say can be damaged..
Including steel.. I"ve got 20+ years as a CWI and done my share of NDT on steel hulls and seen problems that would cause me to refues to take a steel boat across a river let alone across oceans..
We try to pick the best possible boat for the conditions we'll be sailing or cruising.. The C27 isnt my "Top Of The List" for world cruising, but for coastal cruising in the lower latitudes, for a couple, its do-able..
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