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Old 09-05-2012, 18:58   #31
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Didn't I read that the CE A Oceans rating is only available for cats of 40' or greater?
If I recall correctly, a Category A rating is available to cats that meet the criterion: SF > 40,000
where
SF = 1.75*mMOC*sqrt(LH*BCB)
mMOC = light load displacement mass (kg)
LH = length of hull (m)
BCB = beam between centrelines (m)

In practice, it is nearly impossible to achieve that in a cat under 11-12 m (about 36-40 ft) and still have it get out of its own way under sail. A real porker of a 10 m (33 ft) might make it over the threshold, but you'd be lucky to coax 110 miles a day out of her.

Below 8 m (26 ft) LOA, it is very hard to get SF > 15,000 which is, according to my notes, the threshold for Category B. The maximum static righting moment here would be on the order of 30-35 kN.m (22-26 thousand ft.lb) which is low enough to make me pretty nervous about getting caught in breaking waves.

If you are going to go that small, the odds are pretty high that you will encounter wind and waves capable of capsizing the boat, and (IMHO) a ballasted monohull is the safer bet in the small sizes.

Above 9 m (30 ft) LOA or so, the righting moment of a cruising cat goes north of 40 kN.m (RM scales roughly with the fourth power of length) and the probability of being capsized by wave action goes down very quickly.

If a standing-headroom bridgedeck cabin is desired, I know of no design under 12 m (40 ft) that incorporates one without seriously compromising the under-wing clearance.

So I would say, if simplicity is your thing, look at cats from 8-9 m (26-30 ft) and up with open or sitting-room-only bridgedecks and low, conservative rigs. If you want a full walk-about interior with the usual conveniences, and that is able to sail sort-of well, you're starting at 12 m (40 ft) and up.
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Old 09-05-2012, 19:07   #32
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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Of course boats smaller than the maxi tri's can sail fast enough to avoid major weather systems. Initially cyclones only move at around 4-6 knots.(...)
That's the point!

When they move at this speed, any boat can sidestep them - fire up the engine and off you go!

The problems start when the system becomes one that you should actually avoid. Then, unless you are in a very fast, very seaworthy boat, you will not be able to sidestep the system. See the attached picture - being in the bad zone implies beating to windward.

How fast can a small, fast boat beat to windward over confused sea? How likely is this boat to have adequate wx equipment wx know-how onboard?

Some weather can be dodged, sure. I only want to point your attention to the fact that choosing a boat on the basis of her apparent 'ability to outrun a weather system' is a very bad policy for 99% of cruisers to be.

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Old 09-05-2012, 19:26   #33
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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[B] (...) Texas looks good to me (...)

And the forecast accurately predicted the landfall 2 1/2 days in advance.
You say so because you are from Texas! ;-) Do not assume the boat was in the easy quadrant, assume it was in the bad one!

Yes, but we cannot safely assume that a sailor in their small fast boat knew the forecast, knew how to apply the forecast, etc..

Sort of quite many assumptions here, huh?

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Old 09-05-2012, 19:49   #34
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

I live in Montana. I don't even like Texas. I think we would both like to be in a larger faster boat if it hit the fan. That we can agree on.
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Old 09-05-2012, 19:53   #35
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
SNIP

How fast can a small, fast boat beat to windward over confused sea? How likely is this boat to have adequate wx equipment wx know-how onboard?

Some weather can be dodged, sure. I only want to point your attention to the fact that choosing a boat on the basis of her apparent 'ability to outrun a weather system' is a very bad policy for 99% of cruisers to be.

b.
As I posted earlier there seems to be a lack of agreement on just what a cruiser or blue water cruiser is.

Growing up in South Florida it was common for cruising to mean a passage from the Miami area to Bimini to spend a couple of weeks or more island hopping and then back.

No one who has made the passage across the Gulf Stream would doubt that is water sailing">blue water sailing. Under some conditions it can be quite demanding. Stiff winds out of the North combine with a fast Gulf Stream can result in what is locally called a bumpy sea. The fronts can quickly come out of the North, and be over just as quickly.

This is just the kinda conditions where a fast boat like an F31 or a Woods cat would excel. Even if all you had were the local TV weather reports you could pick your spot and easily out run the weather. If one has a laptop, receiver, and free software it is easy to get almost real time weather reports.

While this may not meet everyone's definition of blue water cruising I have little doubt I could go from Miami to the Bahama Banks to the Cuban coast and thru the Greater and Lesser Antilles to the South American Coast. Given the wide spread use of GPS and computers with receivers getting a fix on your position and up to date weather reports is almost child's play.

This is not to say something like the F31 is an ideal boat for crossing the Atlantic or Pacific, but it can be done.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:37   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand crab
Have a look at the picture and tell where you would like to 'get out of the way', for I cannot see such a place in the picture.
Umm Barnikiel, Texas looks good to me and it would be a downwind sail.
And the forecast accurately predicted the landfall 2 1/2 days in advance.
Anyway I don't want to get in a pissing contest. Bluewater to me means doing it comfortably and safely with the stuff you need to do this. Like the neccesary electronics to stay connected to the forecasts. Some of these boats mentioned doing this are pretty small. For me. Just because someone crossed the Atlantic in a bathtub doesn't mean I want to do it.
I've never trusted hurricane predictions. Seems at the last minute they can make a 90% turn and parallel the coast. I've had a couple of friends who tried to out think a hurricane and sail to the west side of the storm. The hurricane changed track and they got hit with the eye.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:12   #37
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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What is the smallest size and type cat you would go blue water cruising in? I wonder this because If i can get a smaller cat, then I will pay less for maintenance, fuel, marina fees and other things, won't I? Also it will cost me less to get a boat. But there are things I know I sacrifice. Like room for living and supplies. And others things. But I figure as Ive read this on the CF I will still have living space of about a mono roughly 10 feet longer than my cat so It cant be too bad a sacrifice with a cat, right? Or instead of saving the money then I could just get a really, REALLY good cat in a smaller size with some goodies. Right?
I think we need a better description of what your idea of blue water cruising is,And your budget to fairly answer the question. Are you cruising the caribbean, bahamas exhumas US coastlines and GOM? Are you planning crossing the Atlantic? Pacific or Circumnavigating?
People can talk metrics and luck no luck etc, but the Reality is IMHOP many smaller Cats, can do "blue water" with proper planning, and proper seamanship skills. Have you ever gone to sea in rough water in a small cat or even mono? You may find no matter what size you can Will you be as comfy or quite as fast in a 40+ footer ??? NO, will you beat to weather in rough seas no but you will comfortably run with them. There are many great liveaboard, cruising cats under 100k and many under 60-70k, that said, you can buy a "Whole lot of Mono" fo rthat kind of dough or even half that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:37   #38
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$125000-175000$ when I start shopping. I plan to start in the pacific, but plan to come to the Caribbean sooner or later. An Atlantic crossing isn't out of the question. Neither is a trip up and down the east and/or west coast of America. I define blue water as non-coastal waters. At least 100mi. off shore. In the ocean, where the water is a mile deep and land is way out of sight. That better?
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:51   #39
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

For that money you can easily get a Gemini 105 (34ft but many say these are coastal boats only even though a few have crossed the Atlantic and at least one has circumnavigated). You'd also be in the price range of a half decent Fountain Pajot dating from the mid 90's as well.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:25   #40
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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SNIP
I define blue water as non-coastal waters. At least 100mi. off shore. In the ocean, where the water is a mile deep and land is way out of sight. That better?
This is why I posted not everyone agrees on the definition of blue water sailing. The term blue water comes from the change in the color of the water as one gets out of the shallow close to shore areas where the water is often more of a green color.

There are many hard passages that do not meet your definition. There is a general agreement that the passage around Cape Horn, with the cape (and land) in sight is one of the most difficult passages in the world. Crossing the Gulf Stream under some conditions is far from a comfortable sail. Same goes for the Florida Straits and the Tongue of the Ocean can be a handful. San Francisco Bay is almost completely encircled by land and can be very uncomfortable in many boats folks would call blue water capable.

By the same token all the places I have mentioned, with the exception of Cape Horn, can be quite nice to sail in under the right conditions. For me one of the biggest considerations in sailing is how comfortable the boat is for me personally. This is one reason I think club racing is a good experience. While cruising is suppose to be fun there are times when it takes on some aspects of racing, you can't just kick back and relax. This rushing around, have to do it now, don't make any mistakes experience racing imparts provides a good idea of how well you and the boat you are on are matched under difficult conditions.

It is fairly easy to get a spot crewing on racing boats. Even starting out as movable ballast on a monohull will get you feet wet. Going to boat shows will get you inside lots of boats and give you a feel for what they are like. I have a good idea what boat best suits my needs, but those are my needs. Since I am a rather short guy six foot headroom seems big to me; but one other poster here said he required six foot five inch headroom. This is just one example of why you need to check out boats personally to know which one best fits your needs.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:29   #41
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

My Cape Dory 25D, Seraph.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:23   #42
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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(...) No one who has made the passage across the Gulf Stream would doubt that is blue water sailing. Under some conditions it can be quite demanding. Stiff winds out of the North combine with a fast Gulf Stream can result in what is locally called a bumpy sea. The fronts can quickly come out of the North, and be over just as quickly.

This is just the kinda conditions where a fast boat like an F31 or a Woods cat would excel. Even if all you had were the local TV weather reports you could pick your spot and easily out run the weather. If one has a laptop, receiver, and free software it is easy to get almost real time weather reports.(...)
Yes. When the passage is relatively short (and this depends on how fast the boat is) then the faster boat can be the safer one - you cross the iffy area before next bad weather comes. The slow boats lag behind and get caught. Only on the rare occasion when the forecast is off (less likely with wx coming from over the continent) you will get bashed - but then everybody else will. In this scenario, the guy with the stronger boat/crew/skills/luck wins.

I too would love a fast light boat (say a Multi50 tri) to make some fast passages, except IMHO it takes a relatively big light boat to do so safely. My bias is somewhat explained by my inclination to longer passages, like crossings, where one can get weather systems to fast and too big to be dodged in a small boat or actually ones that are not visible in shore-made wx forecast.

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:34   #43
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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(...)

By the same token all the places I have mentioned, with the exception of Cape Horn, can be quite nice to sail in under the right conditions.

(...)
Also Cape Horn is easy to sail 'round' under the right conditions, as proven by countless people who do it every summer, in charter boats.

Off course when the boat comes from the Souther Ocean and when beyond Hoorn she tries to dodge to the N, thats where the difficulty is: the Southern, the timing, the sailor often being solo or else the whole crew already dog tired and bruised.

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:44   #44
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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Also Cape Horn is easy to sail 'round' under the right conditions, as proven by countless people who do it every summer, in charter boats.

Off course when the boat comes from the Souther Ocean and when beyond Hoorn she tries to dodge to the N, thats where the difficulty is: the Southern, the timing, the sailor often being solo or else the whole crew already dog tired and bruised.

b.
I am not so sure countless people round the Horn, even if the number is significant. Also not so sure how easy it is.

The difference between the Horn and the other places I mentioned is how far it is to help and information.

You can literally find popular radio stations in South Florida that broadcast blurbs about conditions in the Gulf Stream and Bimini. There are lots of Coast Guard boats often close enough to see in the area. Weather reports are frequent and many radar stations provide blanket coverage of even pop up showers. It is very easy to find a boat, or group of boats, making the passage at the same time you are. Not that it does not happen too often, but you almost have to try to get in trouble.

While there have been peeps who paddle a kayak around the Horn it is not something to be taken lightly. Even the best prepared and skilled sailors can have problems. When you do have a problem there help may be a long way off.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:58   #45
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Re: what is the smallest boat you take blue water cruising?

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SNIP
I too would love a fast light boat (say a Multi50 tri) to make some fast passages, except IMHO it takes a relatively big light boat to do so safely. My bias is somewhat explained by my inclination to longer passages, like crossings, where one can get weather systems to fast and too big to be dodged in a small boat or actually ones that are not visible in shore-made wx forecast.

Cheers,
b.
Horses for courses.

The reason I am currently in the market for a F31R is because I can put it on a trailer and tow it from my home in NW Florida to South Florida and feel confident about cruising on the Bahama Banks comfortably and safely. I can tow it to places like Lake Powell and sail to places like Rainbow Arch. I can tow it to So. CA/Baja and cruise in the Sea of Cortez.

When I have obligations like the ones I have now (I have reservations to stay in Utah for the week of 20 May, 2012 to observe the solar eclipse there) I can put the F31 on a trailer, park it in a local RV storage facility for $US30 a month and travel secure in knowing the boat is safe.

I do think an F36 would be a safer and more comfortable semi single handed cruiser, one of the 40 footers would be even better; but you can not trailer them, which is the reason I am not going bigger.
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