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Old 11-07-2013
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Re: Production Boats and the Limits

This is why I like being the opinionated fool. You really learn a lot this way! Thanks guys.

The angle I'm taking here is not in any way "informed". It's just observation of a couple of things:

1. When "motion comfort" is discussed in these "bluewater vs. production" debates - it is generally done so with quite a bit of passion toward the idea that the "modern production boats" are less "comfortable" in a seaway and will make you sicker and more tired. At the extremes, I can certainly see how this might be true. But in the much broader context of the kinds of boats most of us will look to buy (older, used boats that aren't Hinckleys or Open 40s) - I just don't see this as a big differentiator. In other words, I don't think you can convince your family that they won't get sick on the bluewater boat because of its "higher motion comfort factor". We got sick on a bluewater boat within the first hour.

2. The way these two bluewater boats that I've sailed on performed, and the conditions under which they so performed, have been nothing that I would have been even remotely concerned about in our Hunter. This last trip had the most sporty conditions I've been in thus far offshore (25-30 knots and 8'-10' seas) - but were nowhere near scary. Both bluewater boats creaked and groaned (like I'd expect with virtually any older boat - but is always a point made about the quality of build of bluewater vs. production) - but held together just fine, with minor issues here and there (e.g. - the linear drive AP broke off its mounts on this trip and we had to hand-steer the second half of the trip.)

When I say that the differences in these typical arguments are negligible - this is what I mean. If the conditions are right, as Jeff has pointed out above, you're gonna get sick/uncomfortable regardless of the hull shape. And even on bluewater boats, stuff is going to flex and break. It's just going to take some very serious conditions, I think, for differences like this to become really apparent (if they do at all). So it just seems to me many of these arguments are about very little difference.

One last point I will make, however, is that of "solidity". This may be the same as motion comfort, I don't know - and may be more to Bob's point about displacement; But on both the Pearson and the PSC, I noticed that the force of dropping off a wave doesn't seem to shudder through the hull - what I assume to be "pounding". Yes, we still "pounded" with a lot of spray - but you don't feel it hammering through the boat. I'll be very interested to see if this is the case with our H40 in similar conditions. If it is, I'll just have to back off and steer a different course. But my hunch is that it won't be appreciably different.

(PS - In terms of displacement on the particular boats I'm comparing, our H40 is around 17,500 pounds, the PSC is around 16,200 pounds, and the Pearson is around 17,700 pounds)
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S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-07-2013 at 12:05 PM.
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