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Old 02-01-2013, 11:35   #1
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What Makes a Boat "Bluewater" Capable?

I've read many posts saying that production boats can't hack bluewater sailing, and that "this boat is better than that boat". But what actually makes a boat safer for bluewater or passagemaking? So my ultimate question is: what features or minimums would you expect to find on a bluewater boat? Hull thickness or method of construction? Rigging type or gauge? Mast stepping method? Keel type or attachment method etc etc what are your top 5 minimums?
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:39   #2
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

What makes a boat bluewater capable? ........... the skipper!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:53   #3
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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Originally Posted by sixdaytk View Post
I've read many posts saying that production boats can't hack bluewater sailing, and that "this boat is better than that boat". But what actually makes a boat safer for bluewater or passagemaking? So my ultimate question is: what features or minimums would you expect to find on a bluewater boat? Hull thickness or method of construction? Rigging type or gauge? Mast stepping method? Keel type or attachment method etc etc what are your top 5 minimums?
All been discussed almost exactly as you are asked. If you use the search function you should be able to fill/waste a few hours of reading time.

The only real requirement is that you can keep the water out of the people tank portion of the boat!

Oh and it needs enough reefer capacity to have a cold one once in a while while you watch the sunset.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:05   #4
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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Originally Posted by sixdaytk View Post
I've read many posts saying that production boats can't hack bluewater sailing, and that "this boat is better than that boat". But what actually makes a boat safer for bluewater or passagemaking? So my ultimate question is: what features or minimums would you expect to find on a bluewater boat? Hull thickness or method of construction? Rigging type or gauge? Mast stepping method? Keel type or attachment method etc etc what are your top 5 minimums?
Hey sixday,

Click on link below from this forum for starters. Here are the first 811 responses (55 pages) concerning Bluewater Capable Boats!

Bluewater Cruising Capability
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:07   #5
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

It would be cool if someone could build an algorithm to detect if the OP is asking a very "common question" and automatically suggest some threads to them before it lets them post.

This question pops up like once a week.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:09   #6
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixdaytk View Post
what features or minimums would you expect to find on a bluewater boat? Hull thickness or method of construction? Rigging type or gauge? Mast stepping method? Keel type or attachment method etc etc what are your top 5 minimums?
5 minimums?
Ok
1) It must be very old
2) the keel must be very long and wide and heavy. It's long enough if it pokes out in front of the boat.
3) the mast must go through a hole in the deck so water can come inside the boat and keep the salon nice and wet. It can keep going on down through the keel to the other side.
4) Small and smelly. Instead of a bed you need a little tube that can fit a sleeping bag. You don't actually sleep with your wife but you can send emails. Old boats smell like the sea! this is because the deck leaks.
5) Instead of one mast and two sails the rig must be simpler by having more masts and more sails, more rigging, more ropey bits and sailor-like stuff... But none of the lines can come back to the cockpit because its too small to have a winch so you do all the work on deck where its leaking into the cabin.

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:17   #7
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

Don't take this the wrong way, but have you read much on this forum? This question has no real answer, and if I was forced to pick one it would be "the skipper" as earlier mentioned. You could read for days and days on here, as this topic has been beat to death. Answer= none. Its hard to see how any sailing reader of this forum would ask such a question, maybe a troll?
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:31   #8
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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what features or minimums would you expect to find on a bluewater boat?
Able to withstand large waves (solid water, not spray) coming from any direction and not break in such a way that will sink boat.

In my opinion, the lightly constructed pilothouse that I designed and built for my boat does not meet the above spec. Many people would have a different opinion and say, for example, that modern weather reporting greatly diminishes the need to survive extreme weather at sea.

Maybe I am paranoid. Maybe others are fools.

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Old 02-01-2013, 12:32   #9
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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5 minimums?
Ok
1) It must be very old
2) the keel must be very long and wide and heavy. It's long enough if it pokes out in front of the boat.
3) the mast must go through a hole in the deck so water can come inside the boat and keep the salon nice and wet. It can keep going on down through the keel to the other side.
4) Small and smelly. Instead of a bed you need a little tube that can fit a sleeping bag. You don't actually sleep with your wife but you can send emails. Old boats smell like the sea! this is because the deck leaks.
5) Instead of one mast and two sails the rig must be simpler by having more masts and more sails, more rigging, more ropey bits and sailor-like stuff... But none of the lines can come back to the cockpit because its too small to have a winch so you do all the work on deck where its leaking into the cabin.

You will love the boat! Your wife will find another man to love.
It is further enhanced by being totally decrepit and unseaworthy. A true bluewater boat will require 3 years work and 5 x its actual value spent on it before it will even float. Avoid production boats at all costs as they encourage reckless fools to haul up sails and actually leave the marina! Here there be dragons!!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:33   #10
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

Actually have read quite a bit on here about the subject and my questions have not been answered. All the post seem to be either smart ass answers, answers by morons, or fights about particular boats. Present company included.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:39   #11
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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Actually have read quite a bit on here about the subject and my questions have not been answered. All the post seem to be either smart ass answers, answers by morons, or fights about particular boats. Present company included.
But those are the answers and each of items in your original have been in the past threads!

We have seen so many of these threads that we have to take some fun in a new one before the normal war begins!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:40   #12
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

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Originally Posted by sixdaytk View Post
Actually have read quite a bit on here about the subject and my questions have not been answered. All the post seem to be either smart ass answers, answers by morons, or fights about particular boats. Present company included.
Now I know you haven't read all 55 pages yet! Everything you ever wanted to know about BlueWater Boats is in there................

plus more smart ass answers, answers by morons, and fights about particular boats.

Btw, welcome to CF!

Bluewater Cruising Capability
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:51   #13
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Re: What makes a boat "Bluewater" capable?

Are you looking to purchase a blue-water capable sailboat and seeking some parameters? Or are you asking rhetorically? That makes a difference with the responses.

If you've already read through various threads concerning the subject, as you claim, and still seek definite answers we have to ask this question: Why do you need to know? Because I'll tell you up front, not a lot of participants here have the time or inclination to run down rhetorical roads.

Clarify yourself, please.

From the aft deck of a blue-water capable sailboat, the Mariane.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:58   #14
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Re: What Makes a Boat "Bluewater" Capable?

Learners curve, 5 years from now you'll realize what a silly question it is.
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Old 02-01-2013, 13:03   #15
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Re: What Makes a Boat "Bluewater" Capable?

+1

The ideal boat paired with a bozo for a skipper is still a death trap. A less than ideal boat, properly maintained and sailed, is not such a bad thing. Most of the boats you see making serious passages are now flat bottomed, fin keeled, spade ruddered sleds that any "expert" will tell you is as far removed from a bluewater boat as a rubber duckie. When they don't make it, it is usually attributable to the person in charge. Rigging too light? Not the builder's fault. It is the skipper's fault as soon as he leaves the slip, because he should have changed it. Bad weather? Call it an act of God if you want, but the skipper could have avoided it, most likely. Heat exchanger hose busted and filled the boat up with water and sank her? Skipper's fault. He didn't check and replace old hoses. I could go on and on.

Yes, there are qualities to admire in a bluewater boat. Full keel, rudder on the keel or at least on a skeg, classic wineglass hull cross section, deck-stepped mast with appropriate spreaders and wires, compression post laterally supported by a bulkhead, sufficient tankage, both fuel and water, for extended voyaging, and I could go on. The hull, keel and rudder do not generally make for a really fast and nimble boat, but they make for a safe and comfortable one. Equipment like watermaker, HF/MF SSB, AIS, solar and wind charging, big battery bank, liferaft, epirb, SOLAS VHF, immersion suits, etc also contribute to a safe and practical blue water cruiser. The fewer compromises, the better.

True, not so many production boats really qualify any more. Builders are addressing the market. More buyers want something fast, that can tack quickly, and whip around the bouys in a race. Few actually need a real cruiser. So, not so many are built.
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