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Old 18-02-2015, 08:26   #151
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
My guess is that 90+% of people asking about a BWB is asking the wrong question really. That's because they don't need one and what they should be asking is about what boats make good cruisers.

I think the BTB question more about a way to justify your boat choice when it was:
1 - an older boat that you really got because of the lower boat price
2 - an expensive boat when you really got it to be fancy and "nice" but needed to justify it in your mind

That leaves the "production boats" in the middle to be attacked be they people who got boats 1 or 2.

I really do think that this should be the first response to any bluewater boat question on this forum. It cuts right to the heart of the matter.
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:28   #152
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Defining the term "Bluewater Boat"

Before anyone can answer any question regarding bluewater boats, "bluewater boat" needs to be defined, that is if a group ever wants to reach any meaningful conclusion.

The first time I heard the term "bluewater boat", I envisioned a sailboat, in good condition, that could handle most of what Mother Nature could throw at it, with a proper crew. "Proper crew" meaning a crew that can handle at least as much as the boat can handle. And all that would also include applying common sense regarding potential weather for any passage you plan to make.

A number of experienced sailors, John Kretschmer comes to mind, have said you can sail great distances without encountering anything more than a gale. He said his parents logged several hundred-thousands of miles and never saw anything worse than a gale. I've read where others have said similar things. But we're talking people who planned their voyages to avoid the worst of the weather. (Kretschmer, BTW, runs a business where he intentionally sails his customers into rough weather, so he's encountered worse than gale weather many times and therefore can't make the same claim as his parents.)

Using gale conditions as a starting point, I would offer up if trying to define what a bluewater boat is, you start the definition as a boat that won't suffer serious structural or mechanical issues when in gale conditions over a period of at least 48 hours.

That means not only does the boat have to be structurally sound (capable of handling those conditions for that period of time) but the owner/crew must ensure the boat is maintained to the standards that will allow it to survive those conditions. Of course, the crew must be capable of sailing in those conditions if you are trying to determine if the boat truly satisfies the definition.

There's a whole list of things that need to be satisfied before it can be determined if a boat can satisfy whatever criteria a group establishes when defining the term "bluewater boat." Some things that immediately come to mind:
  • The rigging must be properly tuned and the mast inspected by qualified personnel
  • The fuel tanks should be free of any type of debris that could result in the engine stalling
  • Fuel filters should be the correct size and clean
  • Fuel lines should be in good condition
  • Sails should be in sufficiently good shape to handle the conditions they will be subjected to
  • Sail inventory needs to satisfy the demands of the voyage
  • Engine oil should be clean and topped off
  • Keel attachments should be inspected
  • Rudder and components should be inspected
  • Etc, Etc...
The idea is you can't say a boat satisfies, or doesn't satisfy, whatever definition one chooses to apply to "bluewater boat" unless you first know the owner has done due diligence in correcting discoverable problems with the boat, prior to departure, that can cause serious failure in whatever conditions are included the definition.
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:34   #153
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by contrail View Post
The reason lots of people cruise old boats is that they can be incredibly cost effective, not because they are necessarily better blue water boats. Just a better bang for the buck. But people make extraordinary claims to justify their choices and decisions.
BINGO.....then to justify their cost savings or perhaps their likes and tastes in buying an older (cheaper) boat they feel the need to bash the newer more expensive boats. Human nature is to justify your decisions.
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:43   #154
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Certainly some common sense here but I believe that we all tend to believe our own bullshit and I mean believe it.
I personally believe that the only rational choice when it comes to boats is: no boat.

Buying a boat is not really a rational decision.

When I look at all the boats exhibited at for example the Paris boat show, then I see lots of great, well built and well finished boats by the likes of Jeaneau, Beneteau, Hanse, Delphia etc, and I know that each make builds good boats.
Then I see the new RM 1070, and I'm immediately smitten. That is not just a well built boat. To me that is a work of art. I think where I to own one I would just sit for hours just looking at it.
Hence I will probably never own a Jeaneau even though the new SO 349 probably offers 80% of what the RM 1070 offers at 50% of the price. If I ever have the money to buy a new, bigger boat it will have to be one that makes my heart sing.
And that is not a rational choice. I am fully aware of that. So I have no problem accepting that others make irrational choices when it comes to boats.

The rational half of me has long ago decided that the most important thing, after having a good boat is to be well prepared yourself. What I have learned here is that people that need to be rescued of their boats mostly need to be rescued because they themselves are at their limits, not their boats.
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:51   #155
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by K_V_B View Post
The rational half of me has long ago decided that the most important thing, after having a good boat is to be well prepared yourself. What I have learned here is that people that need to be rescued of their boats mostly need to be rescued because they themselves are at their limits, not their boats.

So we need to stop using the Blue Water Boat BS label and change it to "Blue Water Cruiser/Sailor" because the person, his mindset, and preparations are just as or even more important than the boat! I agree.

But in our buy your kid an honorable mention self esteem trophy world, it's much easier for people to put the responsibility of being Blue Water ready on the BOAT then on THEMSELVES!
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Old 18-02-2015, 08:52   #156
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Valhalla360,
Please site your source for this information for lack of knowledge of structure properties, I keep hearing how boat builders and engineers had "no clue" back in the day. I highly doubt Mr Alberg was just guessing about how strong fiberglass was. I think just the opposite. He and others actually did know and in order to get the displacement needed for the boat to sit on the lines drawn( also a side benefit of safe passage and comfortable sailing) that the correct amount of fiberglass was used.....
Some great structures were built in the early days long before computer analysis ie; Golden Gate bridge, Pyramids, Hoover dam just to name a few. Mr Alberg(just one example of earlier designers) was an engineer for Coast Guard which means he probably had quite a bit of knowledge and information at his disposal. I am sure he used every bit of material he thought was necessary to build the boat the way he wanted it, not for bottom line profit

I
I'll provide reference when you provide reference that they know everything we know today. Of course, Mr. Alberg isn't going to disparage his baby by saying he didn't fully understand the capabilities of the materials and what was possible. Simply looking at some of the overkill on older heavily built boats is proof enough. There is weight that serves no structural purpose built into these old tanks.

In the early days the sturctural capabilities of the materials when formed was understood to a degree but how they would hold up over 20-30 yrs was much more nebulous. Would the plastic holding it all together simply degrade and eventually fall apart? They didn't know so they errored on the side of overbuilding.

I have no doubt that Mr. Alberg had a bit of knowledge but he didn't have finite element analysis and a lot of the testing we do today. Materials were less consistent.

Boat design is an evolutionary process. Mr. Alberg appears to have based his designs on what he knew and that was still heavily influenced by wooden boat design which has major differences in structual abilities. While it works fine to built a wood boat out of fiberglass, it's not the most efficent use of the material.

Side Note: Some people are talking about desingers only putting in the material they need because a buisness must keep cost in mind but that presumes a perfectly efficent design and construciton process. In the early days, resin and mat was pretty cheap. The cost to do a more detailed analysis and train the staff was more than a little extra material. From looking into building a while back, I kept hearing numbers talking about the hull only being something like 20-25% of the cost of a boat. Thowing a few extra layers of mat onto an already slow boat to lawyer proof it, was a pretty good cost trade off. In the modern world, resin and glass prices are much higher and higher performance demands from customers, it's worth the trouble of eliminating unneeded materials.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:10   #157
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I'll provide reference when you provide reference that they know everything we know today. Of course, Mr. Alberg isn't going to disparage his baby by saying he didn't fully understand the capabilities of the materials and what was possible. Simply looking at some of the overkill on older heavily built boats is proof enough. There is weight that serves no structural purpose built into these old tanks.

In the early days the sturctural capabilities of the materials when formed was understood to a degree but how they would hold up over 20-30 yrs was much more nebulous. Would the plastic holding it all together simply degrade and eventually fall apart? They didn't know so they errored on the side of overbuilding.

I have no doubt that Mr. Alberg had a bit of knowledge but he didn't have finite element analysis and a lot of the testing we do today. Materials were less consistent.

Boat design is an evolutionary process. Mr. Alberg appears to have based his designs on what he knew and that was still heavily influenced by wooden boat design which has major differences in structual abilities. While it works fine to built a wood boat out of fiberglass, it's not the most efficent use of the material.
Again I agree with much of what you have to say but when designers design a steering quadrant support that is has failed in several cases and required major strenghting then it leads me to question your ideas that somehow our engineers and computers have this all figured out. Its obvious from a practical point that in fact they don't or they are just testing to see how cheaply this could be built and maybe not break, I don't know. There is not a lot wrong with the old manner of making certain critical parts much stronger than we think we need.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:20   #158
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Certainly some common sense here but I believe that we all tend to believe our own bullshit and I mean believe it. The guys who think that heavy long keeled boats are best really believe it just the same as the guys who believe entry level production boats are their best choice, they believe it. The Cat guys are the same but they sometimes approach religion in their beliefs, lol. I don't think people try to justify what they have or what they can afford, I think they have convinced themselves and it is part of their belief system and do you know what....its what makes this forum entertaining, who would tune in here if everyone believed the same stuff.
well you know- there are people out there that think they know everything - boy do they p*ss off those of us that do
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:24   #159
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Again I agree with much of what you have to say but when designers design a steering quadrant support that is has failed in several cases and required major strenghting then it leads me to question your ideas that somehow our engineers and computers have this all figured out. Its obvious from a practical point that in fact they don't or they are just testing to see how cheaply this could be built and maybe not break, I don't know. There is not a lot wrong with the old manner of making certain critical parts much stronger than we think we need.
Mistakes get made. It happens. It also happened 50-60yrs ago.

I would never buy the first boat of a new design. I'm sure if you went back and talked to the guys who bought the first of the fiberglass BW battle wagons there were some teething pains too. They might be different teething pains but I'm sure they were there.

It would be very unusual for a boat that has been in production for a while to have such an obvious design flaw as you describe.
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Old 18-02-2015, 09:24   #160
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Again I agree with much of what you have to say but when designers design a steering quadrant support that is has failed in several cases and required major strenghting then it leads me to question your ideas that somehow our engineers and computers have this all figured out. Its obvious from a practical point that in fact they don't or they are just testing to see how cheaply this could be built and maybe not break, I don't know. There is not a lot wrong with the old manner of making certain critical parts much stronger than we think we need.
Trying to rationalize the strength and production cost of components of anything is a process called "value engineering", and there is nothing wrong with it. Anything, even a fine, expensive, thing, designed without cost in mind as a value at all will be unattractive as a product because there will be irrational cost-benefit relationships in it. Even Ferrari do value engineering.

The problem with boats is that they are such low production items, even Groupe Beneteau products, that you can't afford to do the volume of engineering work which is done on higher volume production things like cars. So inevitably a certain amount of trial and error is involved -- "testing to see how cheaply this could be built and maybe not break" -- and mistakes will naturally be made.

Which is not to say that the engineers should just guess about really critical things like rudder posts and steering quadrants (or keels, or sea cocks, etc., etc.). Those should be engineered with much greater thoroughness than, say, the saloon table pedestal, with much less aggressive attempts to make such things cheaper.
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Old 18-02-2015, 10:01   #161
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

People keep mentioning as one of the reasons that some are in "old time BWB" camp is the fact that they bought an older cheaper boat and thus are trying to justify this in their own eyes. I beg to differ. Even if I had a budget of say $500K to shop with, I'd still go for a 30-35 year old Swan 47 or some such in good shape for around $200-250K, put $100-150K into making her pristine and loaded with various modern conveniences and would be very happy. I would not be very happy with a new semi-production boat at the price level, nor probably with a brand new Swan for $1.5-2mil as I hear they have not kept up with their former building practices and materials.
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Old 18-02-2015, 10:06   #162
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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People keep mentioning as one of the reasons that some are in "old time BWB" camp is the fact that they bought an older cheaper boat and thus are trying to justify this in their own eyes. I beg to differ. Even if I had a budget of say $500K to shop with, I'd still go for a 30-35 year old Swan 47 or some such in good shape for around $200-250K, put $100-150K into making her pristine and loaded with various modern conveniences and would be very happy. I would not be very happy with a new semi-production boat at the price level, nor probably with a brand new Swan for $1.5-2mil as I hear they have not kept up with their former building practices and materials.
For someone not buying into the price justification thing....you sure seemed post a lot of pricing details that seem to disprove your point on the other hand.....
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Old 18-02-2015, 10:20   #163
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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I would not be very happy with a new semi-production boat at the price level, nor probably with a brand new Swan for $1.5-2mil as I hear they have not kept up with their former building practices and materials.

You're right. Those probably aren't seaworthy.
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Old 18-02-2015, 10:28   #164
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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You're right. Those probably aren't seaworthy.
I look at them the same way I look at Lambos and Ferraris. Nice to gawk at but highly impractical and unreliable for everyday use. And for most of their owners they are never their only vehicle. I wonder why...
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Old 18-02-2015, 10:29   #165
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Re: True blue water boat extinction a fait accompli?

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Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
People keep mentioning as one of the reasons that some are in "old time BWB" camp is the fact that they bought an older cheaper boat and thus are trying to justify this in their own eyes. I beg to differ. Even if I had a budget of say $500K to shop with, I'd still go for a 30-35 year old Swan 47 or some such in good shape for around $200-250K, put $100-150K into making her pristine and loaded with various modern conveniences and would be very happy. I would not be very happy with a new semi-production boat at the price level, nor probably with a brand new Swan for $1.5-2mil as I hear they have not kept up with their former building practices and materials.
Buying a Swan 47 is nothing to do with the argument put forward.

I'll bet there are more than a few people here who are on the modern production boat side of the argument who would give their right nut and certainly their nagging wife to get a Swan 47 that is rebuilt to pristine condition.

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