Originally Posted by B23iL23
If you are doing the Atlantic run and the med
you could basically use just about anything. My advice
is get the biggest you can afford - Production or one-off, mono or cat.
Make sure it's sound (same with buying
any boat) and well checked out.
One bit of advice
- The object of cruising is not the passage
. We sail from A to B in order to enjoy B. The piece (passage) in between is something you just have to do to get to B, and you should do it as quickly as possible. You will spend 5% of your sailing time doing the passages and 95% bolt upright in a marina or great anchorage, enjoying the boat and all the other things that we love about cruising.
So buy the boat that does the 95% great and the 5% just good enough.
I agree with the 95/5% approach but I disagree with the idea of buying
the biggest you can afford (if you mean monitarily). While the $$$ to maintain seems to grow exponentiinally with vessel size there are other things to afford... one of our foremost rules is that we will never own a boat that can be easily single handed by either of us for long periods of time should the other be incapacitated.
I see the term bluewater
boat as subjective. As others have stated, the choice will result in different vessels for different people. Ask five sailors get ten different answers. Research
and ask questions. Listen, but think for yourself. What fits your fear/comfort ratio as others have also said.
We sailed a 1962 Herreshoff H-28 in Mexico
then home to Washington
via a 3000nm clipper route
reaching out to around 900nm from shore. No dodger
, no fridge, no ice box, no radar
, no life raft, no roller furling
, no chart plotter, no windlass
, no dinghy outboard
. New standing rigging
, new carlin bolts, new running rigging. Well built full suit of sails
. Yes on the SSB
Personal choice. What fits your idea of safety
. Whatever you take far offshore
is your bluewater
Strong is good. There are certain makes we would not consider for offshore use. Newport
and Oday come to mind. There are others we just would never own even though they would make fine choices (in our opinion) for others. Beneteau
, Jenneau, Hunter
. You’ll see many of these out there but some models would require structural upgrades to meet our personal standards. Then there are the ones touted as the best choices for offshore work
such as westsail, island packet
... the heavy, full keel
, lots of storage
, undercanvassed, “cruising boats”. They are great options for many but not to our liking.
We make our own choices. We go offshore rather than hugging the coast. We find comfort and safety
in the open sea far away from rocks, fishing
vessels, and shipping
lanes. We had to heave to for the better pet of a day to dive on the H28 to recalls part of the garboard seam. It was a relief to have hundreds of miles of deep blue in any direction. Rocks are not our friend.
This time we bought a C&C
110, sailed her to WA from San Francisco
via a mini clipper route
. That trip ended up being 1500nm of clawing our way upwind. She pounds much more than a heavy boat would but her light displacement
, large sail area, and deep draft
mean she sails like a dream and can make way in 4knkts of wind
or less. We experienced 35-40kt winds (gustingninto rhe low 40s) on the nose bringing her north. Some squalls poured hail instead of the usual rain.
She is built with vinylester resin and vacuum bagged hull layup
We have just sailed south from WA to Southern California
arriving yesterday to San Diego
. Up north we happily danced over steep seas at 2-4mtrs through a full night of 35-40knots gusting into the mid 40s one night. The following night we ran with 47knots sustained for hours on end with gusts into the mid 50kt range. The seas were like walls at around 8-10 meters then they would curl and blow off into horizontal streaks of foam. Our racer cruiser
handled the conditions elegantly. When they say cruiser in that regard they mean cruising for the weekend to get to the club races or maybe a week long adventure. We are gladly opting to give up the comfort for performance. We rounded Point Conception in 25-30 knot
winds gusting to the low 30s with our heavy weather
kite and the windvane
Our new boat
has: no exterior wood
, no dodger
, no life raft, yes Epirb
, yes SSB
, large sail area (but we can manage), deep fun keel, extendable bowsprit
. We added a watermaker
, golf cart batteries
, tricolor, Hydrovane
socks, and will add solar
and saltwater to the galley
All running lines led aft, a large wheel
, lots of sail trim controls, deep draft
, and deep reefs
are to our liking and make our escape pod sail like a 36’ dinghy
. She is light and dances atop the waves like a dream! She is an upwind rocketship and slides easily in 3-4knkts of wind but she pounds hard to weather and can’t carry as much stuff.
Good luck as you hone in on your personal ideal. Chances are your ideals and desires will change over time and with experiencce.