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Old 09-03-2013, 21:02   #61
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
In the near furture there will probably be some new books written, maybe once that happens people can stop being in the 80s meaning that boats that aren't from the 60s and 70s are considered the "ones".
I agree 100% don,
And what many of these "ARM chair sailors" don't realize is that we can pick them out by the crap they say or the way they say it. And its just a slip of a word here or there or a remark of how they would do it that shows the only sailing they have done is throu the pages of a book.
You guy know who you are, and those of us that do have experience , know you also.
So just a simple word, you really sound stupid by the things you post.
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:13   #62
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Thanks everyone for the input and the constructive debate. First of all, I'd like to apologize for selecting an unfortunate title for this thread, I think it's obvious now that it creates the wrong impression and so some people end up dismissing the content of the actual posts, and instead go off topic trying to prove that "there is no perfect boat". I think this statement is an axiom for all boaters, a premise so evident as to be accepted as the ultimate truth without controversy. Therefore let's move on from there, and take the title to mean "the best possible among available choices, given the defined parameters and stated priorities".

My take on the debate about "traditional" vs "performant" designs:

Traditional:
- it takes rougher seas to make you slow down to avoid pounding (but you are going slower to start with), higher motion comfort
- less demanding on crew, more forgiving on mistakes, takes rougher conditions before you start worrying about tactics, more chance to get to sleep on your off watch because your sailing buddy can handle alone rougher weather
- but you are paying diesel when a more performant design would be sailing in the calms, you don't point high enough, you have more weather helm, often you roll more (not always)

More performant:
- Sails much better all points of sail, much less weather helm, faster passages means less time exposed, more options to avoid *some* weather systems, sailing can become an enjoyable activity instead of just a means to go somewhere
- you spend less money on diesel and more money cruising
- but you need to manage the boat more efficiently when it gets rough, mistakes cost more, watch the weather more carefully and be proactive with sale changes, etc. These requirements fatigue crew more, which can be an issue on multi-week passages, depending on weather severity

In my view there are very important pros and cons in both ends of the spectrum, which is why I'm in a quest to balance the 2. I think the extreme ends of the available options are far too compromising. For instance, given that statistically the days in a year when gale force winds prevail (> 34 knots) are less than 1% (NOAA buoy data) in the tropics, and about 2.5% in temperate latitudes (> 30 degrees), I think choosing the added safety of a traditional cruiser over the performance offered by a more modern design, carries a heavy penalty on optionality and cruising costs (let alone sailing joy). The benefit of a more performant design cannot be ignored, as the time we spend sailing in light air is actually quiet a lot: looking at NOAA data again, we have < 10 knots 30% of the time (160 days in a year). That's *a lot* of motoring if you are in the wrong boat. Conversely, choosing a very fast / light design for extended cruising is also problematic. For instance, running in front of a big sea in a very fast hull and with a low DLR (i.e., in a J/Boat that someone mentioned above), will require considerable management and tactics (including a sea drogue in this example) to slow down the hull, as it will be planing with little control as opposed to just surfing down the sea slope. That might be fun during a race and with support crew standing by for help, but it can be dangerous if you have to deal with such conditions for days on end while cruising, let alone exhausting. Personally, I would not choose to spend a lot of time offshore in a design like that.

Some people mentioned that performant designs don't allow enough payload, but this is not always the case. Take a Passport 40 and a Bene First 405 for example: the latter is a superb boat to sail and fast with a PHRF of 120 (in cruising outfit), whereas the former comes with all the limitations of more traditional designs (pointing ability, speed, weather helm) and a PHRF of 165. Yet if you put their hull metrics in the calculator, the Bene can cary 1,565 lbs worth of stuff before it is sank by 1 inch, whereas the Passport can only cary 1,522 lbs for same. Not only they have a very comparable carrying ability, the Bene actually wins!

Anyway, I'm not saying a Bene 405 is the solution, this particular boat has it's own problems (for my liking), i.e., a mainsheet traveller right in the cockpit which is a hazard offshore (has knocked somebody I know overboard during an accidental jibe, with dramatic consequences), and also the rig design would prevent a hard dodger to be added, another very important offshore feature in my opinion (especially in the PNW where most of my sailing background is).

Anyway, some people had some great designs to recommend, thanks a lot, and I'm finding the Sail Calculator that you pointed out very useful. I think I've found some interesting designs with it and when I exhaust testing available options on it, I will post a short list of the final contestants for feedback in case anyone has actually sailed them.
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Old 09-03-2013, 21:50   #63
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Once you narrow your choice down, look around for someone that might own one. And many times they would be happy to have an extra person aboard for a daysail.
Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-03-2013, 22:55   #64
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Just taking two points out of many, weather helm is hardly related to "traditional" vs "more performance". Many traditional boats can be effectively trimmed for a reasonably neutral helm, and some performance boats will suffer uncontrollable weather helm when they are overpowered (due to hull shape and rudder lifting). Bad weather helm can be an issue for any class of boat.

And, some "high performance" boats can't sail upwind nearly as well as some "traditional" boats. Some of the "Mini" racers do rather poorly upwind, especially in rougher conditions, when compared to a more traditional design.

I would be looking for strong rigging (to withstand both heavy weather, and the cumulative stress from slatting around in light air), a well-designed and built hull, adequate carrying capacity, easy to sail shorthanded, and the ability to shake off a cockpit full of water without downflooding. Speed is good, but it doesn't eliminate these other requirements. There are many, many, boats that could be on my list.
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Old 09-03-2013, 23:24   #65
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
I agree 100% don,
And what many of these "ARM chair sailors" don't realize is that we can pick them out by the crap they say or the way they say it. And its just a slip of a word here or there or a remark of how they would do it that shows the only sailing they have done is throu the pages of a book.
You guy know who you are, and those of us that do have experience , know you also.
So just a simple word, you really sound stupid by the things you post.
And one can also sometimes sound a bit arrogant by the things you post.

Coops.
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Old 09-03-2013, 23:52   #66
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

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Just taking two points out of many, weather helm is hardly related to "traditional" vs "more performance". Many traditional boats can be effectively trimmed for a reasonably neutral helm, and some performance boats will suffer uncontrollable weather helm when they are overpowered (due to hull shape and rudder lifting). Bad weather helm can be an issue for any class of boat.

And, some "high performance" boats can't sail upwind nearly as well as some "traditional" boats. Some of the "Mini" racers do rather poorly upwind, especially in rougher conditions, when compared to a more traditional design.
Poor upwind performance is generally associated with keels that can't produce enough lift, and with keels that offer low separation between the centre of buoyancy and the centre of gravity, as that separation is the lever arm that describes the righting moment of a heeled boat. Namely, full keels and modified keels, which most of the traditional designs are equipped with. Although you can't trim a boat to point higher than it's design allows, you can indeed trim for reduced weather helm. But the only way to do that (or at least the only way that I know of), involves reducing sail one way or another, therefore further affecting performance. If you know more about this and disagree please explain, I'm interested.

Quote:
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I would be looking for strong rigging (to withstand both heavy weather, and the cumulative stress from slatting around in light air), a well-designed and built hull, adequate carrying capacity, easy to sail shorthanded, and the ability to shake off a cockpit full of water without downflooding. Speed is good, but it doesn't eliminate these other requirements. There are many, many, boats that could be on my list.
A well designed hull: this is what this thread is about
Carrying capacity: part of design evaluation, see 4 posts up.

Rigging will have to be replaced anyway, all these boats that we are talking about are at least 25 years old, and the consensus for extended offshore work is replacing standing rigging after 10y (although few cruisers actually follow that advice). So, I'm budgeting about $15k for new beefed up rig. Because of their intended design, most of the boats that qualify come with strong enough chainplates to support a size or two up of SS wire. Running rigging will probably have to be replaced too, and re-arranging in the process for shorthanded sailing is not hard to do (if not already arranged like so).

There are a trillion other issues to consider, is the galley sea-worthy, are there good handholds for safe navigation around the cabin when everything is bouncing, is there good ventilation for the tropics, is there a dedicated sea-birth, is there a wet locker or head next to the companion way, is there full access to the motor, does the cockpit drain well (actually that can be improved quite easily on many boats), do I actually like the boat, can I fall in love with her lines and tolerate her quirks, and so many more issues. You can see where I am going with this, the correct sequence is the other way around in my opinion: First I have to narrow the universe of boats to a mere galaxy by selecting appropriate hull / sailplan designs, which is the most important thing as it will define the boat's behavior. Then look at secondary issues like all the above and narrow further to a planetary system, then assess whether selected choices are available in my accessible market and at a good price, before I finally narrow options to a "planet" and can start arranging viewings.
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Old 10-03-2013, 00:12   #67
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Methinks your quest will drive you insane. I gave up years ago,(after going insane) and now just buy what I like.

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Old 10-03-2013, 03:32   #68
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

I don't want to start a mono v cat debate but i;m just curious, the thread starter is asking advice on a good off shore cruising yacht,why has nobody mentioned cats or is that a taboo subject on this thread?
It seems a lot of newbies to sailing have pre-conceived ideas that prevent them from looking at all options.
I'm looking around this marina that i am currently in which is full of ocean cruising yachts and 90% of them are monos doing there first circumnavigation. Why do so many first timers naturally choose a monohull, is it the romantic notion that the only true way to feel you are sailing is a vessel leaning over powering into a sea with spray flying up from the bow, just like Russel Crowe in " Master and Commander" ,or is ther some other reason,are newbies scared of cats by the traditonalists that think cats today are still built to the engineering standards of the sixties and seventies and will fly apart or capzise and the first hint of wind or wave?
Or is it just a simple matter of economics,cat being much dearer than an equivlent size mono?
Don't get me wrong i love all well designed boats no matter how many hulls they have,i've owned both.
Just curious
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:38   #69
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

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Originally Posted by thorcat View Post
I don't want to start a mono v cat debate but i;m just curious, the thread starter is asking advice on a good off shore cruising yacht,why has nobody mentioned cats or is that a taboo subject on this thread?
It seems a lot of newbies to sailing have pre-conceived ideas that prevent them from looking at all options.
I'm looking around this marina that i am currently in which is full of ocean cruising yachts and 90% of them are monos doing there first circumnavigation. Why do so many first timers naturally choose a monohull, is it the romantic notion that the only true way to feel you are sailing is a vessel leaning over powering into a sea with spray flying up from the bow, just like Russel Crowe in " Master and Commander" ,or is ther some other reason,are newbies scared of cats by the traditonalists that think cats today are still built to the engineering standards of the sixties and seventies and will fly apart or capzise and the first hint of wind or wave?
Or is it just a simple matter of economics,cat being much dearer than an equivlent size mono?
Don't get me wrong i love all well designed boats no matter how many hulls they have,i've owned both.
Just curious
Cruisers & Sailing Forums > The Fleet > Monohull Sailboats

keeping remotely on topic I guess
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:02   #70
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Thorcat, IMO it's about size and economics. For a 50' mono a 40' cat is a good alternative both in size and economics. For a 38's mono there's no match in cats..
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:35   #71
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Hey, youīve overlooked one of the worlds best pocket cruisers, the Crealock 37.... If you want an island boat, go buy an AWB (average white boat), if not, you want a proven history, a hull that gives whales a headache, and rig that will go through anything... full teak interior and being american (british design - Bill Crealock) we live in luxury... oh, and for those talking about fin keels, they are great for getting in and out of the marina, and that is where they should stay.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:45   #72
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

Did I mention our pacific seacraft crealock 37 is now for sale, after 13 atlantic passages, north and irish sea, and lots more she is more set up than ever (and in very good condition), pm me for more info...
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:46   #73
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

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Thorcat, IMO it's about size and economics. For a 50' mono a 40' cat is a good alternative both in size and economics. For a 38's mono there's no match in cats..

Have to agree ,its difficult to get a sub 40 ft serious cruising cat to look as good as a mono in that size range, they just to look to high and boxy ala Leopards and lagoons,although some Australian designers seem to have got it right.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:56   #74
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

You have mentioned a couple of times that 30% of the time you have winds less than 10 knots. Don't know where you got this from, but for trade wind passages this has not been my experience. Winds in the Pacific are lighter than in the Atlantic and much lighter than in the Indian where it seemed to be 15 to 30 all the time so wonderful sailing. In the Pacific, less than 10 knots might have been slightly less than 10% of the time.

Weather helm is certainly not related to traditional vs modern. Most important is the quality of the design, then the setup of the rig, then trim. If the first two are screwed not much that trim can do. If the first two are good then easing the main just a few inches can make a world of difference. If you have vane steering reducing weather helm is absolutely fundamental and you get used to balancing the boat really well, but this assumes a good design and a properly setup rig to start.

I think you are over-analyzing this, or at least trying to make the whole thing quantitative when it really is a qualitative experience (except for price!). Talk to people who have done the kind of thing you want to do on different kinds of boats and work with their responses. For example, if people with Bene 405s say, I really like my boat except, ... that gives you a useful datapoint. If someone with a Hans Christian 38 says, I really like my boat, I only wish ... you have another. Do this enough and you probably come to a conclusion about what you want.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:00   #75
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Re: The perfect offshore cruiser!?

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Have to agree ,its difficult to get a sub 40 ft serious cruising cat to look as good as a mono in that size range, they just to look to high and boxy ala Leopards and lagoons,although some Australian designers seem to have got it right.
To my mind it is irrelevant what a 38' cat looks like except for that fall in love feeling. If the OP has the budget for a 20 year old, 38' mono that cat is not happening. The kind of cat you could afford is quite little and not really very good for extended passages.
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