Originally Posted by Jammer
The received wisdom here and elsewhere is that the high-volume production monos are not suitable for bluewater cruising for a variety of reasons well addressed in other threads.
They are popular among daysailors, weekenders, and charter operators, due to a combination of low initial purchase
price and hull shapes that provide a good deal of usable cabin
space per foot of length.
The question I have for you is---
- Are they good enough for coastal cruising?
Since someone will ask me to define what I mean by "coastal cruising" by the time we get to the 5th reply, I'll start out by saying that I'm talking about months-long to indefinite duration cruising, in warm weather, with occasional passages no longer than a few hundred miles at a time.
Coastal Cruising is better defined as not being further than 60 nm from a port of refuge. Your insurance
company will have a definition of what Coastal Cruising is as well. Most production yachts while they claim to be built according to Lloyds CE A all require a current
to go beyond 60 miles from a port of refuge.
The Production boats that you mentioned are all capable coastal cruisers. However you should realize that these boats were designed for vacationing in the the Med. In fact many of the fleets in the med used to sail the yachts on their own bottoms to the Caribbean
but not any longer. They suffer too much damage on the delivery
so are now shipped by sail-on sail-off cargo ships. When you factor in the cost of a delivery skipper
and crew it no longer makes sense to risk damaging these yachts. They just can not take the abuse.
If you want a more capable production yacht the purchase a yacht built in a Scandinavian country such as Najad
, Malo, Hallberg-Rassey, Swan, Aphrodite, Vindo and IW or the Netherlands
such as Breehorn or Victoire or the UK such as Camper Nich. Contessa, Bowman and of course Rustler.
When you consider that a 50' 2001 vintage Beneteau yacht can be purchased for well under $200,000 than I wonder just what it is you are buying
These production yachts are often very uncomfortable yachts to sail. I will never sail aboard an X-43 again. I sailed on an X-43 that had two reef points in the main and had to be reefed when the winds hit 15 knots!! At 25 knots it was over powered while fully reefed. And it pounded and pounded. A heavy yacht does not pound.
That is the other issue you need to determine. When do you need to reef your light weight production yacht?
In my opinion stay away from yachts where the galley
is located on the port or starboard beam as the cook blocks any crew traffic through the boat, the galley
is unprotected and the cooking
is not easily done. Stick with an aft U shaped galley. When you strap in you can still reach everything.
Lastly carefully read the report of Cheeki Rafiki. This was the loss of a Beneteau 40.7 on passage
in the mid Atlantic due to the keel falling off. All 4 crew were killed. The reason; the boat experienced a "light" grounding incident prior to the passage, and prior to the passage the yacht was never surveyed to determine if there was any damage or if the yacht was even seaworthy
for the passage as it's insurance
coding was not for open ocean passages.
"James Male, Andrew Bridge, Steve Warren and Paul Goslin died when the Beneteau 40.7 Cheeki Rafiki capsized mid-Atlantic on a return trip from Antigua
Sailing Week to Southampton
. Douglas Innes of Stormforce Coaching Limited, which managed the yacht, denies four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Innes, 42, and Stormforce Coaching also deny further charges of failing to ensure the vessel was operated in a safe manner between 18 March 2013 and 18 May 2014.
Read more at https://www.yachtingworld.com/news/final-evidence-heard-in-cheeki-rafiki-trial-108950#vdU1fQXdWoAfQpYf.99"
When you purchase a yacht you are purchasing
and management of the prior owner. Bolt on Fin keel yachts are not a tough as full keel or fully encased fin keel yachts. Unless you drop the keel and inspect the keel bedding and keel boats you really do not know! And skippers are often loath to admit they grounded the yacht.
There have been folks who have sailed their production yachts around the world. And there many that failed as well. Read about the RORC Transatlantic Race last summer 2017 and the yachts that were lost or abandoned. Production yachts are cheap
that is why they are used by sailing schools and charter companies. But they are also not allowed by their insurance coding to be sailed more than a 8-10 hours from a port of refuge.
You are the captain
of your yacht. You must do your own due diligence. Read yacht design books
seek out the writings of Naval Architects such as Bill Crealock
, Bob Perry, Bill Luders, Sparkman and Stephens, Stan Huntungford, Dick Zaal, Dick Koopmans to name a few. Many folks just buy a boat and go, not really understanding just what it is they purchased. Many folks are just armchair seamen and freely render their opinions.
In fact I asked the very same question you did to the principal designer
of Saber Yachts and he was quite clear that no, Sabre
yachts are not designed for unlimited ocean sailing. They are coastal passage makers.
As for me I just do not like GRP yachts. I prefer aluminium but steel
will do as well.