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Old 30-10-2009, 11:20   #1
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Your Opinions on Seagoing Vessels Requested!

Earlier in the week I asked a question that was not easily answered.

"Is there a specific hull design to be a blue water crosser?"

A fellow CF member replied by saying that that answers will eventually turn into an argument, and that's not fun, helpful and most likely get repetitive.
So my next question is;

What boats have you old salts sailed the Atlantic or Pacific oceans in, and felt most secure aboard than others. And would you like to share why you felt more comfortable in said yacht compared to others. Your opinions will be very much appreciated!
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Old 30-10-2009, 12:03   #2
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Well, since you asked and I’m old, I think the two most memorable were:

1. Westsail 32 - caught in squalls with gusts to 30kts and confused waves off the R.I. coast on the way to Narragansett Bay. My thought was to heave to, but the captain didn’t even reduce sail. In the end it was a rolly but kind of fun ride. These are very strong heavy boats that can bash and plough their way through most anything.

2. Hunter Legend 40 - Cape May to Bermuda in 94 hrs with a 5 man crew and a variety of wind and sea conditions. It was not a race - just a bunch of guys, some of whom knew what they were doing, on a very fast capable boat that handled everything well.

Of course both those models are now old. So they are unlikely to be in the same condition they once were.
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Old 30-10-2009, 12:07   #3
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If we are talking monos, I prefer a long keel design with a skeg hung rudder. Good directional stability and protection for the prop. Boats like this tend to be heavier, possibly slightly slower but more comfortable.
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Old 30-10-2009, 12:32   #4
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JustInTheBreeze,

To try to explain how complex this question (and you previous one) could be, let me ask you one.

What vehicle is best/safest/etc to drive from NY to LA?

Well, one guy would say a Corvette, another a Mercedes Sedan, another would prefer a camper/van.

All are valid answers, equally safe and suitable for the trip, just depends on the person, their preferences and how they like to travel.

So the answer to your questions will be based on your preferences, budget, experience, and how you like to travel.

There are hundreds of boats, and dozens of designs that are safe and suitable for sailing the ocean.

Some like edsail want a long keel, heavy displacement. Slower, more stable. Others want a faster design that gets you there sooner and might let you beat out the bad weather that a slower boat might catch. Some want a cat or tri, some wouldn't take a cat if you gave it to them. All can be safe and suitable for the trip, but all will be compromises.

Bottom line books, many, many books are written on the subject. There is no simple answer as the question is too broad. I think you would do well to go the local book store and you can get a much more detailed, definitive answer to the whole issue than looking for a simple, one paragraph reply on the internet.
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Old 30-10-2009, 14:20   #5
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I would recommend a bookstore or a public library to research people who have sailed the atlantic or pacific. The boats utilized were as diverse as current makes of boats. Anne Hill sailed with her husband across the atlantic in a homebuilt plywood sailboat designed by Jay Benford. There are Piver trimarans that are also built of plywood and sailing. Hunter Marine sponsored a sailor to sail one of its 65' sailboats around the world. There are some dangerous times of the year for crossing the atlantic in any type boat. Knowledgeable sailors avoid these times of the year. The boat needs to be able to hold enough food and water for the crossing. Your comfort level also needs to be taken into consideration. In 20 foot seas I prefer to be on the largest cruise ship possible. People were getting seasick aboard the cruise ship with the 20 foot seas. Of course this is was not bad considering the sailboats that were encountering the same conditions. At the time, a tropical storm was between San Juan, PR and St. Thomas, VI. I hope this helps.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:07   #6
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Thanks Slowmotion. I am taking a cheap route on hearing overseas adventures from people that have already taken them. Just becuase one of our members hasn't written a book, does not mean they don't carry good information. Maybe noone has thought to ask them. BUT reading up on books is still going to be done, I'd just like to hear unpublished stories too.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:08   #7
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I'd recommend a look at this:

Amazon.com: Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor (9781408104088): C.A. Marchaj: Books

His reasoning is pretty compelling.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:16   #8
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Would have to agree with edsailing... Look through designs and do some reading at the library there is lot of information out there. Many long distance voyagers (Bernard Moitessier for one) actually came to prefer a smaller boat not much over thirty feet. There is a book out there on some of the more famous singlehanders. One had an opinion that a smaller boat was far safer in a large sea and had the advantage of moving with the sea.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:30   #9
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In 1956 when I was six years old my family and I crossed the Atlantic fron New York to Hamburg on the USS Upshire. That felt pretty safe. The ship was about 500 feet long...........

Seriously, is it just me or is anyone else getting a little tired hearing this over and over ad nausium???
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:42   #10
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Offshore

If I was primarily wanting a boat for serious offshore work, I don't know that I would be looking for a particular make or size. But it would absolutely be a full keel boat, with lots of tankage, both fuel and water. But if my offshore travels were not my main concern, I would want a fin keel boat, or a modified fin. Full keel boats are wonderful offshore, they track well, and as a very general rule give a more comfortable ride, but can be a pain in the butt inshore. Also you need to look at the draft, and where you are primarily going to use the boat. A 6' or more draft is wonderful offshore in blue water, but again is a pain, and limits your travels when inshore.
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Old 30-10-2009, 15:55   #11
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I would be willing to bet that there are more modern-design fin-keel spade-rudder boats out there crossing oceans on a regular basis than there are full-keel or modified full-keel skeg configurations. Sure those old designs were good and the folks who own them will defend their choice vigorously.
Those of us who have owned both types and now own modern designs would not likely go back and give up the performance. I can say that I surely would not.
Given the choice to cross an ocean at 5 knots or 7 knots is a no brainer for me.
Honestly, when is the last time that you read a news release about a "modern" boat that failed and everyone died? I is a very rare occurance and I would venture to say that the kind of conditions that would be a major threat would be a major threat no matter what you were sailing. That is when it all comes down to experience.
I am not trying to convince you to choose one above the other. I am trying to point out that by limiting your choices you are doing just that for no good reason.
Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 30-10-2009, 17:12   #12
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Have to agree with Liam here

I am not sure about yachts manufactured states side of the pond but in Europe the vast majority of yachts are mono fin keel and it has been that way for many years. Therefore the small number of long keel yachts that are available are now getting on a bit, in fact some are older than me.

So what types are yacht are folk using? simple answer mono fin keel yachts. Here are the results of last years ARC. Have a look at the manufacturers and the types of yacht they make.

World Cruising Club: ARC results

So is your bluewater cruiser going to be some manky old 60s or 70s yacht? or are you going to have a double bed to sleep in. You might be blue water cruising but unless you have lost your marbles you are not going to be spending 3 years constantly at sea. Indeed I would suggest your home is actually going to spend most of the time either tied up to a pontoon in a marina or fastened to the sea bed by a length of metal. In that case why not choose something that is going to be a more practical home for you to live in. Yes it is a compromise but it is your home.

A Contessa 32 would sail the socks off us on most points of sail. However we don't own one because they are dated and tiny inside. Therefore we might have compromised the sailing quality but for something which is a far more practical home whether it is short or long term.


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Old 30-10-2009, 17:38   #13
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If you look next to my signature on this post you'll see two links and one book recommendation. You might get started there.
Kind regards
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Old 30-10-2009, 17:55   #14
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I crossed the Atlantic in a Swan 65. A new one will cost you about US$4 million and I crossed the Pacific in a Beneteau 39 with costa coupla hundred thou. Both were safe.
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Old 30-10-2009, 18:05   #15
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Owned full length keel, deep draft, double enders and have owned modified fin keel boats. Would never go back to the full keel. A well designed hull form with a modified fin keel can track quite well and will generally out perform most full keel boats. Plus where I've done most of my sailing, south Florida to the islands, you do a lot of work dead upwind and full keel boats in general just don't point like a fin keel.

For the nit pickers out there, these statements are based on generalities and are generally true but I'm sure you can find some specific full keel boat that would beat the socks of of some specific fin keel boat.
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