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Old 28-02-2010, 14:10   #16
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DIY Blue water cruiser...

The other way to get a small blue water cruiser is to build it yourself.

Something like Dudley Dix's Hout Bay 30 could be comparable in cost and time to buying and rebuilding an older boat.


My feeling is that most designers are not totally happy with boats under 30' as blue water cruisers. Dix quotes his Caribbea 30 (ply/fibreglass) as being used for a circumnavigation.
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Old 28-02-2010, 15:52   #17
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10 ft covers both major oceans.
Which planet would that be?
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Old 28-02-2010, 17:18   #18
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Boat builders have had the same problems as house builders the past couple decades. People were buying bigger and the profits on bigger are greater. When you factor in the opportunity costs of the money over the past decade any company needed a pretty good profit to decide to put money into making a boat instead of the market, etc.

There is a small movement to build high quality smaller homes in many parts of the country. Maybe the same thing will happen in the boat industry. I can see the economy in general favoring companies that can make a profit of any type not just those that can bring in the double digits so maybe the market will shift a little. Island Packet building the new Estero seemed to me to be a little movement in that direction.

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Old 28-02-2010, 19:13   #19
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There are plenty of small ocean-capable cruisers available. Some are semi-custom, some are custom. I own one. They aren't cheap.

Most people want big. They do not want to spend for a quality smaller boat. That's why the production builders shy away. Even the semi custom builders like Shannon and Morris have stopped building them.
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Old 28-02-2010, 19:31   #20
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don't rule out technology as a major factor. It's easier to sail a 40-footer today than it was to sail a 30-footer fifty years ago. We've got bow thrusters, roller furling sails, smart autopilots, self-tailing winches, ball-bearing cars/blocks/fairleads, asymmetrical spinnakers, deck organizers, rope clutches, hydraulic vangs and backstays, electric heads, power windlasses, et cetera. My diesel even changes its own oil! Best of all, we no longer need to leave the cockpit to raise or furl sails.

Bottom line: there's no way my wife and I could have short-handed our current boat using 1960's technology. One of the reasons we have a bigger boat is because we can sail it.

[Edit: I should mention, for the record, that I don't personally own a boat with a bow thruster. Not that there's anything wrong with that.]
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:23   #21
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[Edit: I should mention, for the record, that I don't personally own a boat with a bow thruster. Not that there's anything wrong with that.]
What? No headsails?
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:18   #22
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don't rule out technology as a major factor. It's easier to sail a 40-footer today than it was to sail a 30-footer fifty years ago. We've got bow thrusters, roller furling sails, smart autopilots, self-tailing winches, ball-bearing cars/blocks/fairleads, asymmetrical spinnakers, deck organizers, rope clutches, hydraulic vangs and backstays, electric heads, power windlasses, et cetera. My diesel even changes its own oil! Best of all, we no longer need to leave the cockpit to raise or furl sails.

Bottom line: there's no way my wife and I could have short-handed our current boat using 1960's technology. One of the reasons we have a bigger boat is because we can sail it.

[Edit: I should mention, for the record, that I don't personally own a boat with a bow thruster. Not that there's anything wrong with that.]
Yes, I think that is a big reason. It's all fine until something jams or breaks.

However, you can have all of those gizmos on a 30 foot boat just as easily as on a 40 ft. boat (even though you don't need some of them on a smaller boat).
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:23   #23
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Because boat companies make more money making larger boats than smaller ones. To this end they are in a constant advertising campaign to convence us that we need larger and larger boats.
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:12   #24
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until lately, there was easy credit... So larger boats, for comfort, for guests, enabled by credit made it inevitable. At least in part, it occurs that one of the reasons there are so many more women willing to go cruising in recent times, is ... larger boats...
Yeah, I think this sort of fleshes out one aspect of Paul’s response. Greater comfort seemed to come first to other areas such as camping creating the Winnebago crowd and of course boats, when a sizeable amount of family resources were required and thus, arguable the whole family had a right to voice their opinions… This even happened in places like motorcycling, which used to be a rather rough and ready pastime, where all those modern creature comforts don’t help the rider a while lot, but help to entertain the passenger…

In sailing, comfort means different things to different folks, few are willing to forego simple creature comforts – compare something like the renowned Herrishoff Rozinante (or even the original H28 – not the fiberglass adaptations) and you’ll see how the standards of first-line boats has moved away from the primordial masculine arena to more family oriented boating. For me, I like standing headroom, real berths, etc., etc…; however, like some I am more than willing to forego more lush creature comforts and modern techno-gizmos and eye-candy for more financial comfort. Different strokes…

But I’d guess one of the main reasons there aren’t too many under thirty foot “Chevrolet” vessels around is that there are so many serviceable used ones in that size range… Although I’d dearly love a little Dana 24, a little jewel-box if ever there was one, I’m not sufficiently financially jaded to ante’ up for it… a decade or so back, I began retrenching (and from what I’ve learned I’m not alone…); I don’t finance recreational pursuits (make monthly payments, take second mortage.es, etc., etc…) under any circumstances and I don’t spend more than $10K on a vehicle (purchase price), whether it is car, truck, boat, motorcycle or whatever… I’ve not found that this limits me much as we have all of the above, but it does limit exploring new purchases somewhat, and needless to say takes me out of the new-boat market – and certainly removes us from the impulse-buying crowd…

I’ve thought seriously about DIY building, but haven’t convinced myself I have the time (or discipline even though most of the skills exist), and I don’t need a ten-year lawn-ornament, so like many in our area we enjoy sailing quite a lot, but nothing that would gladden the heart of a modern boat manufacturer…
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Old 01-03-2010, 08:29   #25
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My feeling is that most designers are not totally happy with boats under 30' as blue water cruisers...

I think you are correct, especially the traditional designers. A few designers like John Welsford and Jay Benford have spent a lot of years working in the seaworthy microcruiser field, but most seem wed to the current notion that the closer the ocean cruiser is to an aircraft carrier size-wise, the better for the typical sailor. Paul Coble, who I think did a masterful design on our little B24 (any limitations are shortcuts by Bristol or Sailstar boatbuilders), once characterized a trans-Atlantic crossing by a couple in his vessel as an unseamanlike stunt; yet the B24 is one of the more seakindly little chunks I’ve ever sailed – although I think I’d double up on the lower shrouds and rerig a few other basics before I’d take it on – yep, I’ve thought about it quite a lot recently… But I think many designers get really, really uneasy when mere mortals are at the helm of their creations, especially the smaller ones…
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:01   #26
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I doubt there’s much of a shortage of good small cruising boat designs.
The problem seems to be that it’s not profitable to actually build & sell them.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:46   #27
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Quote:
"Average" is the word I should have used
Striving to be average would not really be a good idea either nor is comparing yourself to some arbitrary average value. Being a better than average sailor would tend to make the issues of the boat less important only to the extent you were smart enough to know better.

Trying to compute the perfect boat approach really does not work well. Once you get past how much money you have and the idea that you might just like one boat better than the other, you have few choices. If you consider all the possible boats you could actually go see, look at, walk on, and write an offer on it will eliminate all the boats you can't buy. Focusing on boats you can buy is easier than all possible boats ever made. That pool is small.

Looking at boats teaches you how to look at boats. The time driving all over and researching will focus your efforts. The long hours and days of anticipation and tortures of the stupid boat brokers are obstacles to torture your body and focus your mind. All the boats you get so excited about and instantly become big time losers make you look at boats different than you did before. 500 posts to Cruisers Forum later you suddenly learn what is important and what is not. You can't avoid the road trips.

Sooner or later the light bulb comes on or your car dies and you can't afford a boat any more. A process that forces you to look at real boats with fully exposed plus and minus factors and in person makes you ask mental questions that demand answers that are about you. The penalties of time and effort beat into you the ideals of what you need and want. This is a trial by ordeal followed by a very large cashiers check. You need to be more than average to do this.

No one should settle for anything other than an above average boat and understand why.
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Old 01-03-2010, 13:45   #28
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PBlais - great post!

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Old 01-03-2010, 13:55   #29
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tellytulear,

You certainly got your share of thoughtful responses to your question - great stuff!
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Old 01-03-2010, 15:35   #30
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Have a look at some of Tom MacNaughton's designs. Stock Plans Choices
Small blue water cruisers.

/Hampus
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