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post #34 of Old 04-17-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Well, although I don't qualify as a real cruiser as per your definition, and I appreciate that any attempt like yours to itemize all the crap I've stuffed aboard my little tub would truly make my head hurt, two things I would rate as essential cruising gear - and that occupy a considerable amount of storage space on my boat - are notably absent from your list...

1) Ground tackle - any/all spares, including storm mooring gear, shore lines, sea anchor/drogue, etc...

2) Sails in addition to working sails - storm and additional light-air inventory, in particular...

I carry what most might consider a ridiculous amount of ground tackle aboard my boat... 2 on the bow, one at the stern, and a large Fortress and a dismantled aluminum Spade stowed below... And, if I'm heading for a place like Newfoundland, my Big Bertha Northill comes along for the ride, I'll swap it for the Spade... Not a cruiser, perhaps, just a graduate of the "What If?/You Never Know" School of Seamanship... (grin)

My boat, like yours, is extremely heavily-laden whenever I take off sailing. She's a heavy boat to begin with, and I've added tons of weight over the years. I've built in extra tankage - 100+ gallons of water, and 50 of fuel is a lot for a 30-footer... However, she was originally designed as a cruiser/racer by Brit Chance, and had an enviable race record after her launch in the early 70's... So, even with all the additional crap I've added, and raising the waterline more than once over the years, she still retains a fairly slippery hull form, and a very seakindly aspect, despite the fact that most of it is underwater... (grin)

As heavy as she is, she is still wonderfully responsive and a delight to sail, but all that mass and volume requires horsepower, especially in light to moderate conditions... And this is where I think most sailors today are really missing the boat, and the reason why so many cruisers I see up and down the East coast of the US are doing so much motoring, and so little sailing... I know I'm a broken record on this issue, but without a compliment of light air free-flying sails - gennakers, Code 0s, etc. - most cruisers and liveaboards as per your definition are gonna be covering a lot more miles under power, than under sail...

And that is where cruisers need to think more like racers, and carry the tools necessary to get the job done... Never ceases to amaze me, the low priority given to a sail inventory to get them through the lighter stuff, by folks sailing the sort of Conestoga Wagons you and I do...
Jon! Mark this in your calendar. For once... I AGREE WITH YOU! Gawd, the shame of it. Next I will be pulling off my bimini (snicker).

My point in defining a cruiser was not, as I said, to say THis is a REAL cruiser and any of you are just second best. Quite the contrary. I was trying to define the word in terms of the USE of the boat. That is very important when talking about a 'cruiser'. I am sure you agree (or think you do, at least).

The problem with many modern boats, mine no exception, is the lack of lazarette storage. Take a boat like yours, for instance. Not many people used roller furlings, in mast, etc. Was it even around then? If it was, it was likely not a very reliable system. No, most cruisers hanked on their sails and when they wanted to power up or depower, they changed sails. I personally believe that those times made better sailors and the boats made better boats. The boat was not only designed to be able to accomodate all those sails in lazarettes, but was also designed with the realization that a sailor was going to have to go forward in what might be crappy conditions to change them out or reef them. High lifelines, deep lockers, and friendly decks were the norm, often associated with granny bars and solid handholds. Many of the modern boats I would hate to go forward in (but many of them I would equally hate to sit in the cockpit of). It almost seems like many boats today were built to look good in the showroom or the boat show, and not with going to sea in mind. I can give a LOT of examples, one of them being the Jeauneau 409 I mentioned earlier. Hunter has made some improvements, but I see many of their boats doing likewise. Same with Catalina. Valiant was one of the last holdouts of boats I am familiar with that hung true to the old adage, but I guess Chris couldn't keep it afloat after his dad died. I do like many things they did on Valiants, but there are also many things they should have done that were absent. That, I guess, is for another thread.

Ground tackle, extra lines, etc... I couldn't agree more. I do not have your inventory of anchors. I am actually interested in buying a large fortress as I could break it down. My primary is a Delta that has never once let me down, but we will see how she grips the grass in the Bahamas. She is oversized for the boat (two times), and all chain. Once I set her, she doesn't move. Getting her back up would be a nightmare without a windlass though.

Another comment about racers: I enjoy racing. I really do. In a perfect world, I would have two boats... one to race and the other to cruise. And I have long said, the best way to become a good cruiser is to hang around racers. There are things racers do which do not work or are unsafe on a cruising boat - but a good racer and captain will teach you more in one race than you will learn in a year of cruising on your own. The ability to tweak a sail for everything its got should be first chapter reading for a cruiser. My opinions, just don't let Jeff_h read that.

Pretty boat, btw, Jon. Look better with a bimini and full enclosure (snicker)....


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