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Old 16-09-2008, 20:06   #1
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You know a blue water boat...

Blue water is what…
I don’t know if it is just me but I have read hundreds of threads and looked at hundreds of responces on what is, is not, will it make it, can it make it, will it sink, can I cross a ocean, will it survive a hurricane, blue water questions from persons looking for there first boat and getting answers that get them further from the real issue of, are you really as a new sailor looking for your first boat to sail the oceans or sail in the oceans. I have been sailing since I was way young and out of all the people I have met and all the marinas I have visited I’ve not really met that many blue water sailors. I do find a ton of boats that never move. I have also met some great people that sail in them. And they have the best stories ever and I make sure to find them out and ask them as many questions as I can. Out of all the marinas I have been in I have seen very few rigged and ready for the great crossing but seen many on the sailing adventures. I have come to the conclusion that this term may not be clearly understood, or possibly just incorrectly used. Sailing in the ocean you don’t need a quote un quote blue water boat. The tanks of the industry. To sail in blue water you have to have the skills and experience. I have sailed up and down the coast and in the gulf and I believe this is what most sailors do. Out for a day or 2 and in for a while than back out ect and enjoy sailing. Also I have looked at responses from people who talk about blue water boats, what they would own and wouldn’t own, buy nothing on a production line must be 20 years old to be a good boat yet the boats they own based on there information are not quote un quote blue water ocean crossing boats. I think new people to sailing think the oceans are huge and believe they need a tank to go in it and we all know that is just not true u just need the knowledge, some common since and skill and most of all enjoy sailing.. Water is only blue till the sun goes down.. Just my 2 cents…
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Old 16-09-2008, 20:11   #2
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There are plenty of boats that race across the oceans, that are light weight and go like hell. By definition, they are blue water boats as well. I don't think there is any definition of a blue water boat other than a boat that is designed to go far offshore. To say a blue water boat has to look like this or look like that is just wrong.
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Old 16-09-2008, 20:28   #3
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uh, what was the name of the offshore race that killed so many sailors and sunk so many boats back in the 70's - the Fastnet. right.

sorry. I disagree. There are specific dangerous ocean waves that can occur and will roll just about any monohull over. Probably pitch a catamaran over as well. These are unusual monster waves with a certain frequency and height peculiar to the middle of the ocean - hope I NEVER SEE ONE> One may never encounter that particular killer wave...but what if you do.

Some monohull designs will not roll 180 degrees and come back up with deck on top. Very bad. those are not ocean worthy boats. I especially don't want to be on one of those boats in the middle of the ocean.

Me, after circumnavigating this forum for a few months, am convinced that an ocean crossing monohull needs quite a few distinct characteristics for my peace of mind. primary being sturdier rigging, sturdier equipment, thicker hulls, preferably a 3/4 length keel and A SKEG RUDDER!!!! I'll probably end up circumnavigating on a multi hull but that's another story.

from what I can tell, the most likely danger for a monohull in the middle of an ocean is hitting submerged debris that holes the hulls, not that that happens a lot either but it does indeed happen. it's a frightening thought. I want a very thick hull, preferably solid fiber glass hull all the way to the deck

After circumnavigating this site, I realize I need several years of training on all kinds of boat systems (not the least of which is the electrical system) and preparation before I cross an ocean. A passage of a few days here and there will be in near future, but a 30 day voyage away from sight of land? I need a lot of training and a very special boat. but that's just me - chicken little. I aint even got a boat right now so you pegged me right. But at least I'm looking for a boat.

best regards,
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Old 16-09-2008, 20:36   #4
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There are plenty of ocean racers that made it and some that did not. Just as there are plenty of full keel, double ended monohulls that made it and some that did not. The fact is we hear much more news about famous ocean racers that bite the dust than cruisers who do the same. Ocean racers are glory boats headed by famous people that the press loves to glom all over...especially in Europe. Your typical cruiser is not that sort of person who attracts the news medias attention all that much when they sink, capsize or run aground on a reef.

So which boats are more likely to make headlines when they capsize or sink? Therefore which boats are more likely to develop a bad reputation as not being blue water boats?
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Old 16-09-2008, 20:38   #5
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if you just want to go in the ocean, not make a passage, almost any boat will do. In that case, you are correct that common sense and knowledge are the primary requirements. But if you wanna cross the pond....it's different.

I agree with you that the thorobred racers get a lot of press and attention. They're designed to the knat's heini and are spectacular when they fail.

Many simple, humble, small and light boats have circumnavigated the globe for centuries or longer. I'm just an engineer and appreciate safety factors. I like to know that when nature decides to unleash forces I can't image while sitting in my living room, I've got a boat that will have a good chance of standing up to the worst in the middle of the watery wilderness.
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Old 16-09-2008, 20:57   #6
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It is also true that ocean racers get pushed much harder....therefore the increased chances of something going wrong.

It really is not necessary to have an overbuilt, full keel, double ended tortoise to have an ocean worthy boat. I was just watching a few serious ocean racers this weekend for the Big Boat Series on the SF Bay that are seriously fast and very seaworthy. They get around the world by doing long ocean passages don't they? ...not all are put on a ship.
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Old 16-09-2008, 21:04   #7
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I'm sure you're right. I just get a warm fuzzy from that extra structure.

Probably Columbus had a non-seaworthy boat by today's standards.

Statistics are hard to beat.
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Old 16-09-2008, 21:39   #8
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I guess my point is there are all kinds of designs that are ocean worthy and not just what are considered traditional designs.
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Old 16-09-2008, 22:09   #9
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I'm also currently searching for the "right" boat for us. As for blue water and such, I've been on boats and met sailors that I wouldn't cross the river with. These boats were so broken down and small and rotted timber, but yet they have been island hopping for the last 30 years.

Then there are others that had the money that over did their boats but they never went anywhere except for weekend anchorings once every 5 months.

I think it just comes down to what "YOU" are most comfortable with. There are amazing people that could sail a canoe across the pacific and have. There are others that get a huge steel megayacht and then run it aground within a month!!

I believe you can never really plan and prepare for anything. Just have enough faith and knowledge in yourself, your boat and your skills as well as knowing your limitations. Those should be the key ingredients to a good and safe cruising life.

just my .000002 cents..
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Old 16-09-2008, 22:59   #10
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It is a debate that could easily see no end, the diversity of opinion and argument matches the diversity of sailors.

One thing I think many people focus on is a singular event of bad weather and the fate of a vessel in those conditions. I think that misses the more important issue and reason so many advocate a strongly built vessel. Ocean sailing, even just off the coast, can beat the bejesus out of a boat, and crew, after weeks and weeks or months and months of cruising. I think many contend, and perhaps rightly so, that vessels not built to an above average standard will find more issues than those of a high quality and sturdier build. If you are going to do this for a while, the cost of an intially cheap vessel may be more than budgeted.

First and foremost...every little crack, popped rivet or screw, broken bond etc has a cost in time, effort and money. It all adds up...and things add up fast when living aboard and cruising. If it is weak, the sea will break it. The sea will find every single weakness your boat has in a matter of days, certainly less than a month.

Second, boats of poor design and poor build quality give their crews little in the way of comfort and security offshore...even just offshore. Ask the CG...more people get plucked off boats because they are tired and scared, not because the hull is going south. The sound of a flexing hull and the sight of an oil canning hull can convince many to call for a ride home. A superior vessel might prevent this.

Even for coastal cruising, getting the best designed and built boat you can is a decision no one ever regretted. If the issue is cost, you can go down in size and up in quality and be more comfortable in more ways.

Just one opinion.

My best to all.

John
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Old 17-09-2008, 10:47   #11
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Seaworthy boat

As a newbie, I have been asking the very same questions myself. While I do not have experience to share, I did buy a used book in San Diego where I find the opinions expressed to be informative.

"The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat, A Guide to Essential Features, Gear, and Handling," John Vigor, 1999, International Marine (div. of McGraw Hill), isbn 0-07-134328-8

Our plans are to buy a boat that conforms with quite a few of the things cited in the book.

Regards,

Steve
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:08   #12
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Read Webb Chiles, and you will believe a bath tub with a mast, and sail can make passages...........
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:10   #13
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Reading the original post got me thinking that recognizing a blue water boat is a lot like recognizing a 'Great Man'.

Some people set certain criteria. Like he has to have a college education, he must have made a lot of money, he must be articulate, he must have large muscles or be able to run fast .

A lot of people think fame defines a great person. Others prefer the understated humble type. Sometimes you meet someone who looks like they have it all, but then after talking to them for a few minutes you realize it's all hype and arrogance. We've all met the guy who looks dirty and disheveled, not real bright, but he works his ass off and is always helping other people. Is that a great man?

We often look at boats with the same type of preconceptions that we look at people with. And while we may not agree what a blue water boat looks like or exactly what defines one... we usually know one when we see it.
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:42   #14
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As a Naval Architect with a Bachelors Degree I can honestly tell you that the criteria for a " blue water boat " is not much different from any other boat. Two basic ingredients, one being a up swept bow for reserve buoyancy and small ports to withstand breaking waves. Should you find a vessel with these basic traits you will be well on your way. I can bore you with other common sense things like good cock pit drainage and such but you should already be aware of such things. There are a lot of good production boats that with a minimum of upgrade would suite your purpose. There are plenty of ocean liners and freighters littering the ocean floor so you need to sort out opinion from fact when describing and ocean traveling vessel. Basic numbers for righting moments and center of buoyancy and center of gravity are the most important to me and these can be altered to fit your needs.
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Old 17-09-2008, 11:53   #15
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As to all the cud-chewing going around on this site, that's just what people do when in groups; they talk about what's the best car, the best fishing tackle and what's the best boat. Pay it no never mind.

As my wife puts it, "A boat is just a place to put your stuff when going from A to B."
But, given a choice, I have a short list of simple requirements. I prefer a boat that balances well so I'm not doing bicep curls at the tiller all day. The boat should track well enough so the two of us can reef the main without rounding up. The cockpit should not be so large that a wave over the transom scares the bejeebers out of me. She should go to windward with some trace of dignity and finally, there has to be enough room for our stuff. There, that's about it, not hard to find. No, I don't need a tank, nor do I want one, but the boat shouldn't scare you, let the ocean do that.
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