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Old 05-01-2016, 13:44   #31
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

"Get sea room and heave to" then we are not talking very bad conditions. Nasty (as per OP) but not beyond what any well found boat will weather.

Should the conditions turn from just nasty to plainly bad (my assumption, and an obvious detour from what OP is talking), getting sea room in a small boat will be most difficult and heaving to will become dangerous. And if the conditions prolong, one will quickly run out of any sea room (in a coastal scenario).

If Tania Aebi did this or that does not imply everyone should try to emulate. Every bad weather is different and one bad knock down is all what it takes to end an otherwise worthy craft.

There is an obvious bias trap to everyone who opts for a 'safer' hull - this implies moving some percentage of our chances from preparedness, skill, and being hands on with the boat to street wisdom factors like 'the boat taking care of her crew'. In fact, the opposite seems to come up every time sad storm reports appear: boats sailed well by proficient sailors make it, boats where things got assumed rather than managed get smacked and suffer damage.

So this is my word of caution from aboard a small boat (in fact somewhat similar to a C26) to anybody who thinks that this or that hull design will get them extra credits when things turn beyond nasty. Get skills, get experience and make sure whatever boat you are sailing she is well maintained and well equipped for the conditions that you may encounter.

b.
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:49   #32
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Great post Barnakeil!

If the mobile version had a Thanks button I would hit it twice.
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Old 05-01-2016, 14:39   #33
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I completely agree, Barnakiel. A particular hull design alone does not equal safety. And may I add I think there is something more to it. The skills and experience give you confidence in yourself and abilities to deal with unpredictable problems. But also when you have a boat you trust and have confidence in (whatever the configuration,) you are more relaxed, more relaxed then you are less exhausted and less prone to sea sickness, less prone to make careless mistakes or poor choices perhaps? I can only say I get tossed around a bit in my little boat, but very rarely get sea-sick, well actually never on my own boat, and I sleep pretty well. But when I'm out with my friend on his boat, similar size and displacement, I don't know what it is, but I start to feel a little queazy sometimes and I can usually trace it in part to the particular responses of his hull that I am not used to, but also, probably moreso, to some kind of nervousness or anxiety. Anybody else notice that? Now he has a perfectly good boat, Cheoy Lee 30, and I am sure in time I could be just as at home in his as mine. But I think if you sail a boat that is unfamiliar, or that you have any doubts about, or if you carry some doubts about yourself, those doubts can become full-blown fears (even if they are completely unfounded) as conditions become more "nasty" and that's when exhaustion and/or sea-sickness start to set in.
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Old 05-01-2016, 15:44   #34
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I believe the Contessa 26 has been shown to be a survivor in survival conditions during offshore races but is not a great liveaboard especially due to poor ventilation and tight quarters except up north and for a single person.

I looked hard at both and chose a Cal 34 for a liveaboard but I would not take one far offshore without modifying the cockpit, adding a seahood etc.

A Cal 40 will be my forever boat (meaning it will take forever to find one that Is cheap enough to refit.) Most are priced not to sell and are set up for racing not cruising. My 34 is luxurious in comparison.
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Old 05-01-2016, 15:50   #35
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

From Wiki re the Contessa 32


The Contessa 32 is seaworthy enough for offshore voyages in extreme weather conditions, but also performs well in races, and as a one-design racing class is administered by an active Association. The trait most often associated with the Contessa 32 though is her ability to endure harsh weather and rough seas. A Contessa 32 was the only yacht in the small boat class to finish the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race, in which 15 lives were lost.

So much for the idea the design is not important when the S hits the F...
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Old 05-01-2016, 16:20   #36
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I think sailor's experience wins out here again, as a experienced sailor is much less likely to get caught in a storm, and if he does, will have picked a seaworthy design to begin with.
If your going small boat- I'd pick the BCC. Low $$? find a known seaworthy design that has been neglected and put it back together with your own two hands. Problem with picking between to designs that may or may not do well within a blow is that your not really asking the right question-
The question is what are your goals and what are your resources?
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Old 05-01-2016, 17:14   #37
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Here is what happened during the worse than forecast storm in the 1979 Fastnet race to experienced amateur racers:

But there have also been changes to yacht-design rules which aim to make today's vessels more seaworthy and less liable to capsize. In the 1979 race, five boats sank, 100 were knocked over so far that they put their masts in the water, and at least 75 were rolled upside-down, most of them losing their masts in the process. Many boats also had their flimsy rudders snapped off by the gigantic seas.
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Old 05-01-2016, 20:16   #38
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I have also read Fastnet Force 10, but what is your point. Most of those boats that rolled were smaller in size. Almost all of them were racers, not cruisers. All of them were out in conditions that were known to change quickly. The race has nothing in common with the modern cruiser who can look globally at the weather and usually obeys the 5% rule. (or at least most of the crusiers I hang out with do)
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Old 05-01-2016, 21:32   #39
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Several people argued that experience and judgement are more important in suddenly nasty conditions than the boat's attributes. The race included 303 boats, and one would expect the skippers were experienced along with most of the crew. Weather of Force 8 was predicted, Force 10 occurred... Even today a coastal sailor can get caught in a dangerous squall near shore- this wasn't a hurricane and a high percentage of boats were abandoned, dismasted or sunk. Not just the little ones.

The race caused a lot of discussion about seaworthiness. A Contessa 32 was the ONLY small boat that made it and made Contessas legendary. Cal 34s are not legendary heavy weather boats. It seems obvious to me why all these points are pertinent but I have been advised my reading comprehension and intellect are suspect by CF koolaid drinkers.

I would choose the Contessa despite owning a Cal 34 for numerous reasons in this hypothetical discussion for the stated scenario.
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Old 05-01-2016, 21:40   #40
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Further, to those that haven't gone offshore a bunch- please do not believe that weather reports are infallible. It may call for five foot seas and you find yourself in 10 foot seas. And a rogue wave can be twice as high.

If you read the book or accounts of the race, when it got bad out many, many skippers made huge mistakes and basically panicked- even leaving injured crew behind to jump on liferafts which promptly disintegrated.

There are no infallible boats, skippers or weathermen. Well maybe Boatman.
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Old 05-01-2016, 21:46   #41
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

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Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
I have also read Fastnet Force 10, but what is your point. Most of those boats that rolled were smaller in size. Almost all of them were racers, not cruisers. All of them were out in conditions that were known to change quickly. The race has nothing in common with the modern cruiser who can look globally at the weather and usually obeys the 5% rule. (or at least most of the crusiers I hang out with do)
Aren't you the same guy Newt that got put in the hospital on a pretty benign day?
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:44   #42
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

I'd take the contessa, since i've owned one, but you'd need to perform some modifications on the bilge drains since they are small and low, really secure the seal on the floor of the cockpit to stop down flooding into engine compartment, build a removable bridge deck and cockpit reduction box (the hatchway goes to the floor and the cockpit is big) and prepare for a very wet ride. You better also check the chainplates, cowls, and the front deck (for softness) and suggest you lay down shudders for those horrible windows.

Personally, I'd still look for a better boat if I had the money, but she loves to sail
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:33   #43
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

" Get skills, get experience and make sure whatever boat you are sailing she is well maintained and well equipped for the conditions that you may encounter." Barnakiel


Well said, B!
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Old 06-01-2016, 17:18   #44
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Re: Which would you rather be aboard in a nasty coastal blow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azul View Post
Aren't you the same guy Newt that got put in the hospital on a pretty benign day?
You think you are an expert because you can be nasty. So be it. As for your advice, I cannot hear it because of the venom you spout. If you could turn that into kindness people would listen to you far and wide.
Fair winds to you.
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