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Old 25-05-2020, 11:39   #1
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Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

What are the key attributes - design or inventory of equipment differentiates an offshore/bluewater sailboat against a coastal or weekend sailboat?

How would I make a spec of a blue water sailboat so I can search for the right boat to get me across the Atlantic and Pacific in around a year?

Is a dinghy absolutely essential? Does the mast have to go through the boat or does a deck block mast fitting work safely in the oceans.
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Old 25-05-2020, 12:48   #2
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

First, is a dinghy necessary to cross an ocean? No, of course not...

...but if you want to get ashore either at your destination or any island between, yes, of course it is--unless you are a really good swimmer. I guess you COULD go from marina to marina, but in a lot of places there just aren't any.

Is a keel stepped mast necessary? No, of course not. Some of the most well known and highly respected ocean going yachts have deck stepped masts. (Halberg-Rassy and Amel to give two examples.) The idea that a keel stepped mast is "required" for an oceangoing boat is hopelessly out of date.

IN MY OPINION: The primary difference between a "bluewater boat" and a "coastal cruiser" is a bluewater boat has to be able to take ANYTHING the ocean can throw at it. An ocean crossing can take 2 or 3 weeks, you have no idea what weather you will encounter that far ahead. If your boat is not able to handle 50 knots of wind and 7 meter seas, you just might find youself in a place you can't survive.

A coastal boat is always one or two weather forecast cycles away from shelter.

A bluewater boat needs to be completely self-sufficient. Nobody can come fix anything for you, or tow you home. Design decisions need to be made with strength and reliability first, and sailing performance second.

Can you hit a log (or a whale!) floating in the ocean while sailing at speed and keep going?? or survive? FOR ME, the answer has to be "yes," other people might be happy assuming the risk of loss of the boat in this case.

There are lots of design decisions that reasonable sailors can argue over, and risks worth taking, or not.
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Old 25-05-2020, 13:00   #3
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Thanks.

If I'm buying in the 32-38ft range, would a Contessa 33 OOD be a fair choice. You rightly say design decisions made on strength and reliability come first, so which makes of boat are preferable in your eyes, even down to GRP v Aluminium v Steel as well as basic design?
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Old 25-05-2020, 13:32   #4
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

When comparing different boats, you might want to consider Ted Brewer's Motion Comfort Ratio which tries to quantify the overall comfort of a boat underway. He developed an equation to quantify the effect from displacement, length of the waterline, length overall, and beam width:

MCR=Disp/(0.67*((0.7*LWL)+(0.33*LOA))*Beam^1.33
For example, see https://wavetrain.net/2011/10/15/cru...comfort-ratio/ . This is one way to sort candidate boats into categories and then you can apply other criteria that best suit your needs. There are compromises in almost all design factors. Ultimately, the objective yields to the subjective, because you must decide what is important among all the significant factors.
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Old 25-05-2020, 13:37   #5
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Thanks. That's quite a scientific way. I'll knock up a spreadsheet for that and use it.
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Old 25-05-2020, 14:12   #6
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Correction:


MCR=Disp/(0.67*((0.7*LWL)+(0.33*LOA))*Beam^1.33)
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Old 25-05-2020, 14:29   #7
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ded reckoner View Post
MCR=Disp/(0.67*((0.7*LWL)+(0.33*LOA))*Beam^1.33
For example, see https://wavetrain.net/2011/10/15/cru...comfort-ratio/ . This is one way to sort candidate boats into categories and then you can apply other criteria that best suit your needs. There are compromises in almost all design factors. Ultimately, the objective yields to the subjective, because you must decide what is important among all the significant factors.
Interesting formula but I wonder what is good and what is bad and what distinguishes one from the other.

I took the Sailboat Data specs for my boat and for a friend’s 2010 Oceanis 40 to compare. My boat came out at 54,921 and the Oceanis came out at 36,549. My boat is 4ft longer but just 8” wider so how do these numbers relate to one another? I think they mean that mine would be more stable/comfortable than the Oceanis but if I where making a buying decision, how different are they in practise? The numbers would suggest that my MCR is 50% better than the Oceanis 40.

What I do know is that sailing the Oceanis on a 40kn quartering wind was quite challenging even in a relatively flat sea (Hauraki Gulf, Auckland) whilst my boat I can sail all day long in the same wind conditions with quite a big following sea without any stress at all. Do the above numbers show that? I guess so. Which makes the formula quite useful for a buyer.
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Old 25-05-2020, 15:28   #8
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Check here to be bedazzled by the Motion Comfort Ratio.


https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...io-114288.html
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Old 25-05-2020, 15:46   #9
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooper1991 View Post
Thanks. That's quite a scientific way. I'll knock up a spreadsheet for that and use it.
If you want to plan with ratios, check out this site:

Sail Calculator Pro v3.54 - 3200+ boats

It is a database that lets you do head-to-head comparisons of boats based on some of these basic stats and calculations. You can also search the database for boats that meet your desired stats. Hours of fun...

I think these stats are a useful tool in analyzing boats, but it is only the beginning of a meaningful comparison. There's so much more to each boat and boat design.
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Old 25-05-2020, 16:06   #10
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
First, is a dinghy necessary to cross an ocean? No, of course not...

...but if you want to get ashore either at your destination or any island between, yes, of course it is--unless you are a really good swimmer. I guess you COULD go from marina to marina, but in a lot of places there just aren't any.

Is a keel stepped mast necessary? No, of course not. Some of the most well known and highly respected ocean going yachts have deck stepped masts. (Halberg-Rassy and Amel to give two examples.) The idea that a keel stepped mast is "required" for an oceangoing boat is hopelessly out of date.

IN MY OPINION: The primary difference between a "bluewater boat" and a "coastal cruiser" is a bluewater boat has to be able to take ANYTHING the ocean can throw at it. An ocean crossing can take 2 or 3 weeks, you have no idea what weather you will encounter that far ahead. If your boat is not able to handle 50 knots of wind and 7 meter seas, you just might find youself in a place you can't survive.

A coastal boat is always one or two weather forecast cycles away from shelter.

A bluewater boat needs to be completely self-sufficient. Nobody can come fix anything for you, or tow you home. Design decisions need to be made with strength and reliability first, and sailing performance second.

Can you hit a log (or a whale!) floating in the ocean while sailing at speed and keep going?? or survive? FOR ME, the answer has to be "yes," other people might be happy assuming the risk of loss of the boat in this case.

There are lots of design decisions that reasonable sailors can argue over, and risks worth taking, or not.
Absolutely agree. You have to expect conditions that you wouldn't dream of going out in in coastal sailing. But the question is as much if the crew can handle it as well as the boat. If you don't think you can do deck work in those conditions, you may well be in for a bad time.
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Old 25-05-2020, 17:13   #11
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

people have crossed oceans in every conceivable type of craft...reed rafts....lifeboats....tiny boats...rowing boats....wood boats...steel boats...fiberglass boats..and a myriad of others.

A big part of successful ocean ocean voyage is YOU. Yes, YOU the skipper ! How much can you handle ? Most any well found boat these days can handle rough seas, but YOU, the skipper, need to decide when to reef, when to heave to, when and how to address an emergency problem or leak, when to turn around even, etc.

As the above poster mentioned, you may be required to do deck work or other sail handling chores under difficult, wet and probably frightening conditions. The doodoo can hit the fan at night, as it usually does, when you and/or your crew will be wet, tired, hungry and exhausted and lousy weather may last for days.

Only YOU can prepare your boat for sea, whatever it is, but YOU yourself, also need to be prepared.

There is an astounding variety of sailboats out there that are eminently qualified to do the job. Selecting one will be up to YOU ! There is no such thing as the "perfect" boat. Every boat is a compromise in one way or another.

My advice, walk the docks, talk to sailors, ask to step aboard, look at their boats, ask them pertinent questions, crew on some delivery voyages, etc, etc...some people feel perfectly safe in 30 footer..others may require a 50 footer, there is no telling.

There is no telling what the weather will do. Some people can cross the Pacific and never experience anything more than perfect downwind sailing. Others end up slogging their brains out.

People that have never sailed before manage a circumnavigation just as well as the old salt.

There is no magic number here....I knew a family that crossed oceans where they all "went to bed" at night, leaving the boat to handle itself. Yep, crazy, but true.

Good luck to you, hope you find what you are looking for, but you won't find it here, that requires some leg work on your part.
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Old 25-05-2020, 17:18   #12
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

The numbers in ny last post never made sense and now it’s obvious why. So using the corrected formula from post 6, I re-calculated my boat and got a result of 28.04 which is quite close to the list from 2014 (hpeer). The Oceanis 40 came in at 24.74 so the difference is not that profound, now 13% “better”.
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Old 25-05-2020, 18:15   #13
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

The problem with walking the docks is that you need to talk to the people that have done some ocean miles. Many marina dwellers will have an opinion but have either never left the dock, or have only done short coastal hops.
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Old 25-05-2020, 18:39   #14
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

It is best if the mast does not go thru the boat.


But it is irrelevant if the mast is deck or keel stepped.


You basically want a boat that is safe enough and comfortable enough offshore. Some of this is dictated by your preferences, but in come cases also by the legal requirements of your home country.



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Old 25-05-2020, 19:02   #15
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Re: Offshore/Blue Water v Coastal Boat

There will be no shortage of opinions here (heavy displacement vs. not, cat vs. mono, sloop vs. ketch, brands..) and most aspects are truly about personal choice, but in my experience some key differentiated aspects are:

- stronger/better built... especially with regards to the tackle and standing rigging.
- tankage... both water and fuel. And for water even more so if you don't have a water maker.
- a good sea bunk... if the primary bunk is in the bow, then you won't really be able to use that on passage.
- a reasonably protected helm position... whilst being exposed to awful weather and having waves wash over you constantly may be fine for the volvo ocean racers, most people find that quite uncomfortable... which increases fatigue.. which increases mistakes.
- some way to generate enough power for your basic instruments and refrigeration needs when on longer passages (solar, engine mounted alternator, generator, wind, etc.).


best of luck in your search,

Cheers,
Justin

Cheers,
-Justin
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