Production Boats and the Limits
We've seen the age-old debate regarding what's REALLY a blue-water boat. And that's cool and everything - but it seems to me that there is a tangible middle ground between coastal cruising and true blue water sailing. Furthermore, in my blissful ignorance, I'd say that quite a few sailors inhabit this aether plain.
Sure you can buy a Hinckley or a Brewer or a Tayana or Cheoy Lee and take them wherever the hell you wanna. But where exactly can you take a Catalina, a Hunter, an Irwin, a Beneteau, a Jenneau, even.....yes....even.....a MacGregor (dum-dum-duuuuum).
Do you make sure you never leave sight of land in these boats? Do you keep land 50 miles away? 100 miles? Do you run from a 40 knot squall? Do you live in morbid fear of encountering a freak 50 knot storm - where you're cool with it in an S&S design from 1927? Can you "outrun" such storms in these "new fangled keel" boats - where in a full-keel Formasa you just heave to and ride it out with a Dark-n-Stormy and a tiparillo in your hand?
Giu had a good write up comparing Beneteaus/Catalinas/Hunters from a "sailability" standpoint. And CD has had some great input regarding the capabilities of various production boats. And we've seen the exhaustive list of blue water boats with great input from Cam and Jeff_H.
Furthermore, Val and others have pointed out the critical elements in any heavy weather situation is actually the skipper and crew. And this makes a heap of sense too.
So, the question I'd like to pose to the sailing world is this: From the standpoint of dealing with the outer limits of "coastal" cruising - what are the best production boats and why?
Last edited by smackdaddy; 07-26-2013 at 09:33 PM.