Firstly many standard production boats have circumnavigated , including one of our CF members own, single
handed for an Atlantic crossing
in a beneteaus 393 ( a death trap according to the fogies) he derided the fogies comments regularly
Long keels were a function of wooden construction techniques, ketches were popularised by club racing
rules that didn't count mizzen area. Nothing that has to do with sailing ability , long overhangs have nothing to do with seaworthiness they were rule
beaters. Most traditional working sail boats had vertical stems and quite wide transoms. Why , because it worked, not that it was easy on the eye.
Why did ketches die off. , well in the 35 to 55 foot range the mizzen was never big enough to matter, and it slowed the boat going to windward.
Secondly improved technology in sail handling has made sloops easier to use
The fact is a well rigged sloop
is also simply faster then a ketch
, on all points of sail, there hasn't been a ocean racer
since steinlager that was ketch
rigged. Get over it. If you like ketches sail them, but don't tell me there are any better ( in most cases they are worse) ( see Beth and Evans comments when they switched from a ketch to a sloop
, but hey don't listen to anyone that might know anything ) show me the long overhangs on Dashews boats. !!
In larger boats there is still some advantages To ketches as the apace allows a good mizzen area and the separation distance between the masts allows a proper mizzen stay sail
As to the fogies that rabbit on about sea worthiness. I have delivered boats all over the place mostly out of season. I've proberly by this stage sailed through more storms that most cruisers meet in a lifetime. I also live above 55 degree north. We get f8-f10 s in summer for gods sake. Are all the boats here long keeled with overhangs , of course not. In Europe
that design has virtually disappeared. Tell me a 2day sail in Atlantic coastal waters , on a lee shore with 55knots of wind
over the deck
is of less consequence then a milk run across a tropic ocean. Please.
To my mind most that crititise , have never sailed anywhere challenging and are armchair pundits. Go into harbours around the world at circumnavigation
hot points, what do you see, loads of Euro production cruisers.
Why do Taiwan
or Chinese built US styled boats not sell at all in Europe
, reason , few like them , most distrust far east builds and they look old fashioned. If they were good we have loads of them ( in the same way the US builders dominate the small sports boat market in Europe) . They look nice to my eye , but hats about it.
Seaworthiness is not about keels or rudders.
In the US , which is by comparison a tiny sailing nation, there is a penchant for retro-design for no good reason other then "taste" . In profilic sailing nations like the scandavians , the French and new Zealand
you will see no such trend they sail fast moden designs , they sail them everywhere , they also win every damm race
on the planet.
I was in Madeira
when the rally iles du soleil came in , was there a long keel
amongst them , not that I could see, all production sloops and cats.
I like long overhangs I like like the older looks too, I also like steam locomotives and paddle steamers. I however want to travel from A to B on a TGV. I like old aircraft as well, I fly to the US on an airbus however.
Technology has played a part in boat design since man picked up an adze. To ignore modern nautical design, with finite stress analysis , advanced computer modelling of water
flow , laminar design, advanced manufacturing is ridiculous. You mightn't like the look of it but that's a different argument. Boats today are stronger then ever. The worst GRP boat is stronger then any wooden boat anyway. ( size for size)
People talking about death traps really boil my blood, many 100s of thousands are sailing , incidents proportionally are lower then before, serious loss of life is rare. ( and often nothing to do with the quality of boat)
I've sailed long keels that were dogs
, I've sailed fins that were were poor, I've seen Skeg hung rudders fail and virtually take the Skeg off, I seen problems with spade rudders, well designed boats perform well, badly designed less so.
This obsession, mainly US centric with older designs always amuses Europeans, ( the French comment that Amel, " is an old persons boat ") these long keel
debates rarely occur on European forums
People talk about say Tayanas being seaworthy
, yet look at the deck gear
, look at the delamination
, look at why so few are sold in Europe , even though they went to CE certification
. Look at the number of specialised US makers selling sail boats in Europe. , it's nonexistent statistically. Why because the designs are outdated, overpriced and old fashioned . The fact is if they were right, they would sell 1000s. .
The more " traditional" designs tend to sell to people who " like the look " there's no evidence that these people are any better sailors or have more offshore
experience, there is enough of these people to keep a few specialist builders in business, producing a few boats a year ( at very large markups )
Comments here about production sloops are myopic, misguided, based on a lack of knowledge and just plain wrong.