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Old 28-04-2015, 09:06   #106
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
Given the large number of lighter weight, modern "production boats" that are or have already sailed across many miles of "blue water," perhaps the OP might have an easier time if he analyzes what DIS-qualifies a boat vs. what may or may not qualify it for the "standard" he seeks.

For example, why are some boats deemed "coastal" by their mfgs. or by widely held consensus? Is it merely a question of tankage, or does it imply a weaker build?

Then consider some of the high quality, very expensive, modern boats built by Alerion, Morris, etc. which are marketed as "day sailors." Again, leaving aside tankage issues, would they really be unfit for a blue water passage? If so, then why?

Which leads to the question I've been curious about since starting to read these voluminous threads, namely why almost all of the less expensive modern production boats seem to have lightweight construction in common. Does this equate with "cheap" construction or lower quality? Some argue it's to save mfg. costs while others claim modern composites & techniques have made heavier boats unnecessary if not obsolete. Tough resolving that debate, but why do those who prefer heavier builds only have the higher end mfgs. to look to? What if someone wants heavy & seakindly, but could care less about luxury? As mentioned above, John Harries at AAC has presented the only new design I've seen for those who desire a heavier build, minimal luxury/convenience, and lower cost. The only other alternative seems to be the used market which, fortunately for buyers so inclined, is experiencing a glut of highly touted "bluewater" boats these days.

So maybe the answer is ALL about personal preference and, yes, aesthetics. Many of the features already mentioned that make the more traditionally-built boats arguably more comfortable at sea are obviously not important for the droves of people opting to buy the more modern mass-produced boats. So very little of this analysis seems amenable to any sort of objective standard, which is probably why we're left with the bare minimum CE-A established by the mfgs. & implemented by the relevant EU regulatory body.

So it's caveat emptor as they say, and the OP is largely on his own to educate himself on the many variables, deciding for himself as we all do which of the infinite trade-offs he's ultimately comfortable with. This is why, personally, I tend to listen carefully to those with lots of sea miles, particularly experienced delivery captains who have sailed all manner & types of boats in all sorts of varied conditions. Not being an NA or otherwise qualified myself, I'm also inclined towards the reasoned opinions of experienced "yard guys" who have seen how various & sundry builds have held up in real world conditions. Finally, I look to mfg.'s reputation. Although often misplaced due to unfair "branding" of certain problematic models and other biases, reputations do tend to reflect real facts over time.
Your post shows that its not an easy task separating the wheat from the chaff because your profile suggest you are hardly a novice yet as with every body else you can not easily determine the what's , whys and wherefores easily either.

It is simply because we leave it to designers and builders to inform us what is what is not and it is neither reliable or consistent.

We should be setting the standards not the designers or the builders.
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:07   #107
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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The photo was taken with an extremely wide angle lens which distorts the dimensions. If you look closely, Oyster builds in handholds through the the interior in a seamless ergonomic manner. All the moldings through the the area in the photo are handholds. The table edge, the base of the windows countertops. The handholds are everywhere... Yet invisible and incorporated into the design.

On our boat, one can move from the stern master cabin seat all the way to the forward berth always with one or both hands continuously grabbing onto an integrated hand hold. It's what you pay extra for in a boat designed for heading out to sea and possible rough weather.
Well, I'm a photographer, so I am at least somewhat acquainted with the visual effects that a wide angle lens can produce :-)

Oyster is certainly among those builders who give deserved attention to features like handholds. However, they apparently did not prevent the crew in the video posted from being injured, a wet hand can lose its grip on a perfect surface finished with a dozen coats of varnish, among other things… I may be mistaken about that particular model, but as best I can tell from photos, there may not even be a centerline handrail on the overhead of that boat, as it might likely be out of reach of most people, anyway. My comment was not intended as a criticism of the boat, but rather a simple statement of fact: There is a considerable distance that a body can travel across that open space, from one side to the other… It's simply yet another of the tradeoffs made between different interiors layouts, such openness can be very nice in port or at anchor, but can sometimes present a bit of a liability underway or offshore… Simple physics, is all - an unrestrained body can gain a great deal more momentum across the dance floor on a Trintella 47, than it can within the friendly confines of my little tub… No need to ask how I know this, I may still have the remnants of a bruise from years ago to prove it… :-)

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Next time at the boat show, tour a Beneteau or any of the coastal cruising, weekend entertaining boats, and you'll usually find a complete absence of handholds, then tour a Tayana, Discovery or Hallberg Rassy and you'll find the handholds and foot brace points throughout the the interior and exterior spaces. You'll also notice a complete absence of sharp or pointed edges on the bluewater boats.

These are features not so easily seen or experienced via the computer screen.
I dunno, based on what I'm seeing on some of the newer Oysters lately, seems that some of their market research might be indicating that more and more 'consumers' are liking that Hanse and SenseBoat interior style… To my eye, looks like the corners of that table on the new 575 - absent any molded-in handhold - have the potential to put a pretty good hurt on someone's kidney, or worse… Hopefully, it's a drop-leaf arrangement, which could reduce the hazard somewhat when stowed...

Then again, maybe it's just the wide angle that makes it look that way…

:-)

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Old 28-04-2015, 09:14   #108
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
You must be touring boat shows in an alternate universe. I've never encountered a Beneteau with a complete absence of handholds. Which model do you have in mind?
There's a big difference between having a couple of handholds scattered about like the Sense models and most of the Beneteau, Hunter, Bavaria lines offer, than having handholds throughout the boat where one can grab onto something substantial anywhere and at anytime on the boat.

This is something that can only be seen, experienced and appreciated while moving about the boat at the show and after spending some time at a rolly anchorage or underway in larger waves. The folks who already have boats which have the handholds I've described... know what I'm talking about.

Judging by your avatar.... you don't have a boat. I'm offering you good advice from an alternative universe... the handholds you see on the Beneteaus at the show are inadequate to do the job IMHO. I actually cut my hand on one at the last show while climbing up a companionway staircase on a Beneteau... a very small cut caused by a sharp wooden FORMICA edge running parallel to the rand rail, skinned my knuckle. The salesman said to me, "most of our buyers aren't very concerned about things like that," when I commented after he asked me if I liked the boat.

You need proper handholds and bracing to cook and move about on the boat safely.

The statement about the companies adding the handholds after the fact is just plain wrong. I'm sure they'll tack one on after the build I suppose if you want one... for a price, but not as a standard practice.

Can't understand why so many on this forum are so resistive to good advice offered up by people who are actually out living on boats and cruising full time? Seems to me like the armchair or novice individuals seem to dominate almost every discussion. 'Just an observation.... I have many friends out there traveling all around the world who frequent this forum who seem to constantly come under attack by those who've never done..... anything.
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:22   #109
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post

I dunno, based on what I'm seeing on some of the newer Oysters lately, seems that some of their market research might be indicating that more and more 'consumers' are liking that Hanse and SenseBoat interior style… To my eye, looks like the corners of that table on the new 575 - absent any molded-in handhold - have the potential to put a pretty good hurt on someone's kidney, or worse… Hopefully, it's a drop-leaf arrangement, which could reduce the hazard somewhat when stowed...

Then again, maybe it's just the wide angle that makes it look that way…

:-)

Have you ever actually been INSIDE an Oyster 575? Or just looked at pictures? Well... I've been on four of them, I assure you the handholds are there any very well thought-out. Look under the windows... all that wood trim is a handhold. Look above the centerline... that bar is a handhold. Look at all the countertop edges in the galley.... the wood strip is a substantial handhold. You can move front to rear on that boat never letting go a handhold. Look at the wooden edge above the electric panel... yes it's a handhold. I don't know why the table doesn't have the usual standard handhold, maybe the owner specified the table to not have one. The boats I've been on had the handhold railing. Our boat does.


I've attached a few pictures taken of an Oyster 53 interior which show the integrated handholds much better and also give a more accurate sense of scale instead of the wide angle lens distorted view on your promotional pictures.


Ken
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Old 28-04-2015, 09:24   #110
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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In my opinion, the blue water boat designation should describe boats that are built with the intention of sailing offshore and in areas far from assistance, designs that allow for safe operation in even the worst conditions. While most any boat can make a blue water passage, the designation should go to boats that are built with that intended purpose. But, since I can not designate a definition for everyone to use based on my own opinion, I keep is simple. To me there are boats of varying build quality, difference of design, and levels of comfort. It is up to the individual buyer to determine what configuration best suits their intended purpose.
And I am reading a book, which I got SLAMMED for even mentioning in another thread, but at the risk of being slammed again I am going to mention it again - "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts". There are others, one recommended to me and which I am now also reading is "Yacht Design According to Perry".

I mention "Offshore Yachts" (at the risk of being slammed again) specifically because it purports to describe the desirable and undesirable characteristics of said type of yacht.

And in my humble opinion it does that. It does not specifically mention any boat, or brand or length etc. It simply discusses, with a chapter for each, things like the deck, the cockpit, the sail plan, ventilation, steering control and so forth. It discusses what is "good" in each area, and what is "bad".

And now we are going to get about 40 bajillion posts about how none of that matters, it is the skipper that matters.

Or how "those so called experts"... (yep, heard all that!)

So those haters out there, instead of trashing stuff, let's start making positive, useful suggestions. Books which describe in useful terms, with diagrams and pictures, what makes up a boat, what causes them to turn over, what allows them to right themselves, what makes for a weak rudder and so forth.

Just as an example, "Offshore yachts" discusses in some detail the keel, and the pros and cons of full length keels, cutaways and boards. How a full length keel keeps the boat moving in one direction. How that is good in some conditions (rough weather) and bad in others (calm seas, want to tack quickly). How it affects the water flowing over the rudder. How and why that matters. How a fin keel can change direction faster (opens the rudder to the ocean). How that is good sometimes but makes steering difficult other times (rough seas).

That kind of information is useful. As has been said a bajillion times, every boat is a compromise. I happen to agree with the idea that these threads aren't too useful in describing blue water boats, just because there are so many variables. What is useful is to get reading recommendations and actually reading for myself what the compromises are, why they exist, what they do. I can then decide for myself that "hey, I want XYZ because ...".

To be honest I think we get so many "it's really the skipper that matters" replies because lots of folks haven't a clue about all this stuff, or don't care, or have a boat which they don't really know how "blue water" it is, but want to participate in the thread.

OK, ducking into my bomb shelter to ride out the storm.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:28   #111
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Your definition works well for me, CPA.

And when it comes to design, I'd add that the quality of how that design is built is usually more important than the merits of any particular design in the abstract.
Very true.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:29   #112
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Just as an example, "Offshore yachts" discusses in some detail the keel, and the pros and cons of full length keels, cutaways and boards. How a full length keel keeps the boat moving in one direction. How that is good in some conditions (rough weather) and bad in others (calm seas, want to tack quickly). How it affects the water flowing over the rudder. How and why that matters. How a fin keel can change direction faster (opens the rudder to the ocean). How that is good sometimes but makes steering difficult other times (rough seas).

That kind of information is useful. As has been said a bajillion times, every boat is a compromise. I happen to agree with the idea that these threads aren't too useful in describing blue water boats, just because there are so many variables. What is useful is to get reading recommendations and actually reading for myself what the compromises are, why they exist, what they do. I can then decide for myself that "hey, I want XYZ because ...".

To be honest I think we get so many "it's really the skipper that matters" replies because lots of folks haven't a clue about all this stuff, or don't care, or have a boat which they don't really know how "blue water" it is, but want to participate in the thread.

OK, ducking into my bomb shelter to ride out the storm.
I kinda think you are looking for something in "Black & White" and it isnt there, and what is a compromise to one sailor is Ideal to another.
I personally think a full keel heavyweight boat is a compromise to get where you want to go, hence we have a very fast cruiser, an early Beneteau First 42. But because its the Ideal boat for what we intend, My neighbor here at anchor has a Formosa he feels is the Ideal cruising boat for his needs, and he would never be caught cruising on a Beneteau and just the same, I dont see myself cruising on a formosa.
In doing a little research, you'll find even the Pottor was used as a micro cruiser, and "chubby" did some great adventures around the pacific.
I know you dont want to hear this, but it falls back on the skipper, what he feels is right for the conditions he will cruise. There is NO one set of standards for cruising, or "Blue Water" boats and what might be appropreate for what and where you'll be cruising. And for every 6 items I would think would be usefull, (and we've been cruising for a few years now), there are a dozen that would say they would think the items I describe and its usefulness as an option would be lacking.
There are 10 to 12 different boat in this anchorage depending, No two are the same, some are power, some are sail, and we all have different openions on what the standards should be, but we all have ONE thing in common, we be cruisiers.
Forget all the numbers, throw away all the books, decide where you'll be going and buy a boat that fits your needs.
Then come on out here with the rest of us and enjoy.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:46   #113
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

Also what often does not get mentioned enough is the preparation to get the boat to be "offshore ready". IMO very few production or semi-production boats are offshore ready from the factory. So one still has to do all refit/prep work. Now of course a desigend and well constructed baot will need less of it than a more pedestrian cheaper end mass produced entry level one but such a boat can be reasonably made offshore ready.

And as many prev. posters indicated it is really a matter of personal preference/understanding as to what the offshore ready really is or means. And as far as any deficiencies and failures are concerned many, if not most, IMO, are more the result of human errors, incl. pushing a particular boat beyond it's limits, than a design or execution failure. I believe that for each rudder that failed on it's own without warning there were 10 failures due to poor workmanship during repair, lack of maintenance or going over rocks, etc.

And to make the disliked comparsion to automobiles, a 60s Land Rover is much better car than a 2015 Corolla to take over the desert but if you only will be going over the desert for 1 hour and the rest of your ownership time is over paved roads, than may be that Corolla is much better for you after all. Even if it may break down more readily during that 1 hour in the desert than a Land Rover in the course of a month long trip there.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:50   #114
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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The weakest link in any vehicle is usually the nut that holds the steering wheel (tiller, yoke, etc.).
And that is without a doubt. Even when racing cars or racing yachts or flying airplanes.
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Old 28-04-2015, 10:53   #115
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

Maybe some people should just go sailing, after a while they'll know what they need/want of a boat.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:05   #116
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Have you ever actually been INSIDE an Oyster 575? Or just looked at pictures?
Honestly, I can't say for sure... Whatever they showed at the Annapolis show a couple of years ago would have been the last time, but I think it may have been the 62... Sorry, but as lovely as all those boats are, they pretty much start to look the same to me, after awhile... :-)

Sort of like Supermodels... Beautiful to look at, but far out of my league... :-)

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Well... I've been on four of them, I assure you the handholds are there any very well thought-out. Look under the windows... all that wood trim is a handhold. Look above the centerline... that bar is a handhold. Look at all the countertop edges in the galley.... the wood strip is a substantial handhold. You can move front to rear on that boat never letting go a handhold. Look at the wooden edge above the electric panel... yes it's a handhold. I don't know why the table doesn't have the usual standard handhold, maybe the owner specified the table to not have one. The boats I've been on had the handhold railing. Our boat does.
Not sure why you think I feel that Oysters are lacking in handholds, after I specified that they are certainly among the builders who pay careful attention to such details... I'm simply making the point that the scale of the interiors on many boats of that size and style of interior configuration today, there can be some open spaces to be negotiated, and handholds may not always be within easy reach of smaller individuals, children and more petite women, in particular... Again, not a criticism of the boat, but rather a simple observation about some of the larger deck salons I've been aboard, and factors that may come into play when sailing offshore...

But what I was responding to, was your comment about never seeing sharp corners on a true bluewater boat... This photo from Oyster's own gallery on their website appears, to my eye, to call that assertion into question...





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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I've attached a few pictures taken of an Oyster 53 interior which show the integrated handholds much better and also give a more accurate sense of scale instead of the wide angle lens distorted view on your promotional pictures.
Very nice... Of course, it also helps diminish any wide angle distortion, when one of the narrowest passageways on the boat is the one being photographed...

:-)
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:06   #117
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The criteria of "blue"

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There's a big difference between having a couple of handholds scattered about like the Sense models and most of the Beneteau, Hunter, Bavaria lines offer, than having handholds throughout the boat where one can grab onto something substantial anywhere and at anytime on the boat.
But what you said was "complete absence of handholds". You have to watch out with unqualified absolute statements like that. Even someone without a lot of boat knowledge will see that for a weak argument.


Quote:
Can't understand why so many on this forum are so resistive to good advice offered up by people who are actually out living on boats and cruising full time? Seems to me like the armchair or novice individuals seem to dominate almost every discussion. 'Just an observation.... I have many friends out there traveling all around the world who frequent this forum who seem to constantly come under attack by those who've never done..... anything.

One particular thing about me is that I am fluent in three languages, and near fluent in a fourth. I learned to sail in French and Dutch. Later I moved to a German speaking country, but mostly now sail on yachts where the cursing is in English.
I read magazines and books in all those four languages.

One of the things I noticed already quite early is that a lot of cultural biases creep in any discussion on what a proper long distance cruiser is. And you get made aware of your own biases as well.
I know that I am not that experience where it comes to cruising. My longest period away from land so far has been 7 days. I think however that I am qualified to notice when arguments are informed by subjective factors not universally shared.

So observing that the French have a completely different idea about what a proper blue water yacht is compared to for example the Dutch, or the Americans I can only conclude that most of the opinion is subjective.

The other thing about me is that I have a background in engineering. As an engineer I know that for example "stronger" is not always better. If you make something stronger than needed you are just being wasteful.

I'm close to buying a boat right now. I have the means, and soon will have the time. But it won't be a Tayana 37, as I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Boy is that boat ugly. But I'm not considering anything built before 2000 anyway. At the moment my heart wants an RM 1060 or 1070, but my brain says I should get a Jeanneau 379.

And yes, that's a large part my biases speaking...






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Old 28-04-2015, 11:08   #118
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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I know you dont want to hear this, but it falls back on the skipper, what he feels is right for the conditions he will cruise.
It absolutely is not that "I don't want to hear this", it is that you have just said that for the 594th time this thread. Saying that has done nothing more than add to the clutter. Good job, we needed that clutter, cain't never have enough clutter!

In the meantime there is real useful stuff not being discussed. As an example, how the rudder is attached to the boat matters in extreme weather. A spade rudder tends to be weaker than a rudder on a full keel. A full keel provides a long trailing edge to attach the rudder to. In heavy seas the spade rudder has to withstand lateral pressure which is concentrated on the shaft at the top of the rudder.

So "it's the skipper that matters" isn't going to do that skipper any good when he discovers that his spade rudder shaft just bent violently to one side as he slid down a 50 foot wave, and he can't steer any more. And that DOES happen.

And if I am buying a boat, and the manufacturer assures me that "this is a blue water yada yada yada", I should at least take a look at what the rudder looks like. I may buy it anyway, but I know what I have and the risks involved. Risks that just flat out have NOTHING TO DO with the skipper's ability.

So ya, you got to slip in another "it's the skipper that matters" into the thread. Good on ya.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:14   #119
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

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Maybe some people should just go sailing, after a while they'll know what they need/want of a boat.
ROTFL. They'll know what they WANT anyway. Not necessarily so much "what they need". When they disappear, never to be heard from again it will become obvious that they didn't really know what they needed.
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Old 28-04-2015, 11:27   #120
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Re: The criteria of "blue"

So what makes a blue water jet? The ability to safely, reliably and repeatedly get there. Ya gotta have tankage. If you're flying along at 35K feet and run out of gas... ooops. If you can only get to 10K feet altitude, you can't fly right over that big storm ahead of you. Ooops. If you can only go 120 MPH you certainly can't fly around that storm. ooops.

But of course we all know, it's really just the captain that matters. All that tankage and max altitude and stuff like that just doesn't much matter does it!









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