I've read through this thread and am not sure I've learned much.
It doesn't matter because we have the boats we have and we are keeping them.
Still I'd like to talk a little about our "big" boat, what I have considered and done. It may not be right, but it is one relative newbies story.
Our boat search had a variety of requirements including the capability to cross the Atlantic and do some rough coastal sailing. We were limited to about $100k. It had to be able to hold up to six for an extended time, but should be able to be single
handed. And she needed to be comfortable for my wife is prone to sea sickness
, but getting much better.
We bought a 1985ish Pape SteelMaid which had a lot of refit
work done. New engine
, new sails, partly finished interior
, newish electronics
. While I haven't kept track we probably spent another $40 or $50k on her and a lot of sweat equity. But we think we have a pretty good boat.
I think may would criticize her weight (20 tons) and her keel
is anything but hydrodynamic. It's something like 27" flat across the bottom and shaped like a landing barge, flat right up the front of the keel
. She deffinetly wants a good breeze to get going and I've bought two used lighter air sails.
I find her decks a wee bit narrow ( compared to our small boat) but far better than any production cruiser. She has a squarish coach roof which is easy to work on. We installed radar
which I think is essential for this cruising we do. And she has a ton of shrouds, 11 in all, mostly 10mm and a stout mast
. We painted her with Duraback, not fashionable but like a shoe magnet, feel very secure under foot.
I know she will lay on her side in calmish waters without shipping water
, don't ask how I know, please. She also has a fair bit of tumblehome in the top chine. When considering her in light of this thread I think that the tumblehome, in conjunction with the coach roof (she's a walk through cc) would encourage her to roll back up.
We have two big cockpit
drains, but I can't imagine the cockpit
getting pooped. A high bridge deck
just in case. Down below she has a real nav table, kero stove, and a single
level sole, no steps. There is a separate berth cabin
set up like a pilot berth, and a real pilot berth, but I sleep on the settee with a lee cloth when single handing.
I need to practice heaving to more, but I have the sense she will be fine.
All in all I find much to recommend her for our sailing and think she will do just fine. I've had her out in F6 to F7. It was intimidating and scary. But when I sat long enough watching the boat move I realized she was doing just fine, if not quite heading where I wanted her to go. I, however, was scared.
The keel arguments are interesting but totally irrelevant. The keel will never fall off nor be significantly damaged by grounding. Ditto the rudder
and water tanks
are integral. It's just not an issue. I stupidly wandered into a rock garden one night and only got out by motoring in reverse using the rudder
to push off rocks. Not a "blue water" concern, but real life concern for me. So as to the keel and rudder issues so much energy is out into, for me they simply don't exist.
My longest passage
in her so far is 7 days, alone. I've done about 4,000 miles, 3,000 alone. I'm comfortable with the boat. I trust the boat. I know the boat.
The one think of concern that I will work on over time is improving the inverted water integrity and floor board integrity.
Whether or not others consider her "blue water" I don't know, I'm sure opinions will vary. But for me, she works.