Originally Posted by Burge
I am currently preparing my 1981 Bruce Farr 44 made of triple skin kauri glassed for an extended cruise
(2-3 years) leaving from New Zealand
. My concern is that this type i.e. low displacement (13T Net), fin keeled, flat bottomed racer/cruiser may get me into trouble when the weather turns really nasty.
I have done a reasonable amount of coastal cruising in her but have not been out in anything worse than 25-30 knots with a rough sea. I have been doing a bit of research
recently regarding GZ curves, roll moment of inertia and displacement and it has raised some concern regarding the potential vulnerability to capsize
compared to medium and heavy displacement boats with fuller keels.
I would really like to her from cruisers with similar boats who are or have been out there doing it and can give real account of a comparable boats performance in heavy weather.
It goes without saying that during heavy weather its not going to be a comfortable ride compared to a boat with higher momentum but is cruising offshore
in this style of boat to risky when the life's of loved ones is at stake?
Thanks in advance.
If your craft is well found and well maintained that is more than 90 percent of the concern. Heavy to mid displacement with long keel
attachment and area can be an advantage, in particular for hove to or riding to a sea anchor
, but also such craft may
be less capable of avoiding the rough stuff in the first place.
The primary defense you have (as does any boat) against heavy weather and dangerous seas is foreknowledge, so forecasting and also understanding of the local waters dynamics. With these tools and good understanding you can avoid the vast majority of the more dangerous weather, and of course never try to be a hero. But it seems to me from your posts on CF that you are not the kind who would so try, and that makes you a prima facie good seaman.
Your being very careful and thinking everything through at this stage says to me: "This guy is going to be fine." or at least as fine as it is possible to be for anyone.
You have the RIGHT attitude
and that is worth an immense amount, indeed more important than having the perfect boat by a long sea mile.
Given your particular boat type, I would suggest that you invest in a series drogue
or similar device. Series drogues can also be made comparatively cheaply and need not be bought commercially, provided you are careful and it is clear to me you are careful. A sea anchor may
be a waste of space on your boat, depending on your boat's behaviour at anchor
. Definitely invest in the manufacture of a storm jib
, and if you can, have it made of a UHMWPE type fabric
. This is better however if your storm jib
will be set on a stay which is capable of being sacrificed without the certainty of bringing down the rig. Also have it high cut and set up high, to allow boarding seas plenty of way underneath.
Do you have an innerforestay? If not, consider retrofitting a removable one for use with the storm jib. (Of course with professional rig advice).
Finally, I take it you had the hull
glassed yourself? I understand Kauri is resistant to rot
, but you obviously must be sure of the integrity of the primary structure as a first priority. If you are confident about that, then your boat is likely a lot better set up for long ranging it than many I have seen out there.
It should also be said that 13T for a 44 is not dramatically low displacement. Indeed there are plenty of craft out there nearly 10 feet longer at the same displacement.
Your concern is prudence, your prudence is your safety
. Looks like you are following the right path to excellent seamanship to me.