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Old 17-06-2009, 06:08   #1
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What Makes a Sailboat 'Blue Water'?

I am up for a sailboat in the next 2-3 years. I am looking for something mostly for the Chesapeake, but also would like the capability of ICW, Bahamas, and possibly Bermuda. I like more shallow draft sailboats, something in the 32-36ft range. So what makes a solid boat, capable of some water sailing">blue water sailing...i.i. like over to bermuda or over to the bahamas?

Probably look at late 70's to late 80's.......

Hunter? Catalina? Tartan? C&C? Morgan? Sabre? Seidelman?

Please offer advise?
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:14   #2
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Any one of those boats will get you where you want to go if prepared properly. Buy the one you like and bring it back to tip top shape and it'll do whatever you want.
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:16   #3
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Is there one that is build more solid? More stable? Handles better? If I am going with an older boat I'd prefer something that is known to be built very well.
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:32   #4
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Handling varies from model to model. As far a build quality, of the ones you listed, I would say Sabre or Tartan might be the better built boats but as you're getting an older one everything depends on the condition that the boat is in.
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:43   #5
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If you are looking for detail on what makes a boat blue water, this is a good place to start: ISAF : Category 1 Monohull.

Not everyone will agree on every item on the list, but it is one of the best places to get a list of what the collective wisdom considers 'blue water'.
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Old 17-06-2009, 06:48   #6
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Old 17-06-2009, 07:00   #7
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for a fiberglass production boat I would look for something without an interior pan or liner .. better to have floors frames and bulkheads bonded to a solid hull. i personally don't care for bolted on keels. look for a huge chainplate system and keel stepped mast and a deep bilge. you will never complain about having too stout of a boat. and a brave crew.
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Old 17-06-2009, 08:03   #8
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Just my 2 cents worth...

It would also be good to hear what you expect from your boat.... With that, I mean; are you a purist and refuse turn on your engine until your speed falls below a knot? (Then, I would suggest you take a look at perfomance cruisers) are you the type that's more comfortable following the traditional (!) heavy cruiser approach (small cockpit - in case of swamping, utility pole thick mast, etc, etc) (You may want to look at Tayana, Lord Nelson type of boats), numerous other questions like these to be answered.... You can cheat and look into one of those "how to buy a sailboat" books - I imagine they would have a long list of such criteria.

As one of the previous poster responded the factor to consider is definitely crew+boat combination, and in 'crew', you must include yourself

Best of luck!

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Old 17-06-2009, 09:37   #9
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In a few words...

Can it survive getting beaten up by a severe storm?

Does it have the capacity to support human life at a minimal comfort level for weeks at a time?

I think that most everything else relates back to those two fundamental questions.
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Old 17-06-2009, 09:56   #10
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In a few words...Can it survive getting beaten up by a severe storm? Does it have the capacity to support human life at a minimal comfort level for weeks at a time?

I think that's pretty much it.
So true

Now let's define a 'storm' Is it a squall that blows 60+ knots or so for -may be - 20 mins? -or- is it a tropical beast that's on top of you for close to a day with 40+ with the potential for much more?..

While we are at it, what's your definition of 'minimal' comfort level?... Cold beer being in one of the critical food groups for sustenance, I refuse to give it up While consuming the cold beer, how comfortable would you like your cockpit seat to be? Does this boat lend itself to be autopilot-steered in heavier conditions? Will you have to be driving the boat for hours on end without the possibility of a break?

And, no matter what type of boat, how secure is the rigging, rudder, sails and other major components?.. Will you be on pins and needles the whole time you are in a storm?.. Following this, take a look at the nuisance-level factors: How 'leaky' is your boat?... Nothing worse than having to sleep in a wet berth after working your tail off for hours...

....I don't disagree at all with the suggestions in the postings - just that there is so much more to consider than can be expressed in just a few sentences....

Fair winds and kind/calm seas to all

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Old 17-06-2009, 09:57   #11
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Corkscrew: For all the places you mention except Bermuda, the boats you list will be fine. Get whichever one you like the best that has "the capacity to support human life at a minimal comfort level for weeks at a time..." (per above.) and lean towards shallow draft. Any of those boats could go to Bermuda also, but then the question of "Can it survive getting beaten up by a severe storm?" (per above) comes in to play.... just in case you planning for the trip is not good!
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Old 17-06-2009, 13:02   #12
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Morgan OI 33 , Draft 3'11", mast height 48', modified full keel, beam 11'9" Keel stepped mast. Built for charter trade S.Fl Bahamas , roomy w/adequate storage. It was my choice 15k miles later no regrets
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Old 17-06-2009, 13:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corkscrew View Post
... I am looking for something mostly for the Chesapeake, but also would like the capability of ICW, Bahamas, and possibly Bermuda...
... So what makes a solid boat, capable of some blue water sailing...i.i. like over to bermuda or over to the bahamas?
Which is it: Chesapeake, ICW, Bahamas, or Bermuda?

Almost any well-found boat will happily sail the Chesapeake & ICW, and cross to & cruise the Bahamas. These are coastal cruisers.

Bermuda is barely offshore, but a significantly bigger challenge to both boat & crew. Even so, nearly all well-found boats will suffice for this passage.

Look for a better example of nearly any model.
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Old 17-06-2009, 21:10   #14
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You need a CRUISING boat...not just a boat that can make blue water passages occasionally. Suggest you read this by John Neal for a better overview
http://www.mahina.com/cruise.html
...THEN check out his cruising boat list link on the same page.
The boats on the list are HIS, generally well taken opinions for good boats in each size range. It is not comprehensive. I've also been compiling an addendum of other good cruising boats that are bluewater capable here from sailors who have personally cruised them extensively.
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Old 17-06-2009, 22:41   #15
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Just my 2 cents. I like the idea of a full keel in a blue water boat. The mast should be stepped to the keel and the rigging slightly oversized. I used to fly a lot of tailwheel airplanes and we always agreed that it was not if you had ground looped one but when. In part the same is true of deepwater boats, it's not if you've been knocked down but when it will happen. You need to look for portlights or better yet portholes that were built to take a wave broadside and survive. The larger any potential opening is above the waterline, the quicker it can allow the intrusion of water when you least want it or can deal with it. The least amount of wiring and electrical systems the better. Keep it simple does not mean that you have to live on a truly bare boat, but remember that every system on that boat will require maintenance, electrical gadgets just seem to require more.

One last thing! Get a boat with a tiller.

Glen
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