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Old 04-11-2009
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Valiente Valiente is offline
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Good points. The fact is that very few people do blue water sailing...it's the equivalent of crossing the Sahara on motorbike. Most (and I mean 95-99% of all recreational sailors) do coastal, and a lot of them do daysails or gunkholing. It's no wonder I bought a custom steel boat: when there's no market for ANY "bluewater capable boat", the arguments about full keels, skegs and Solent rigs becomes largely academic.

There is no upside in creating oceanic boats for daysailers, because they will inevitably be heavier (because of necessary tankage), narrower (because of outboard stowage areas and the need to have handholds within arms' reach), and will have fewer or more conservative amenities (due to repair issues, energy draws, etc.). You can make any production cruiser into a both with these attributes, but at the risk of loading it down and still having the wrong hull.

It's no wonder people are still buying 1970s plastic cruisers, Island Packets and other "old shoes", because there are very few "new shoes" that can meet that "falling off a 25 foot wave without snapping a bulkhead or killing the crew" requirement. Nor are there cruisers who expect a regular diet of that sort of weather.

Look through the pages of National Geographic and Ocean Navigator and see what the high-latitude, truly "independent of the shore" boats look like. They have different shapes, skegs, workshops, padeyes, unfashionably high lifelines or pipes, welded or through-bolted lash-down points, massive arches holding mounted reels of stern anchor rode, and down in the boat, massive tanks cross-connected with manual pumps.

None of which your average Beneteau owner wants, needs or frankly, would understand or recognize, because they are never more than a hundred miles from a marina or a SAR service.

Which is fine.

So, unless you can buy one of the semi-custom production boats that are inherently this way, like a Shannon, some Moodys, the Swans, etc., I would say that there is NO current production boat that meets bluewater capable requirements. Not among the advertisers in the sailing magazine, anyway!

That should rile a few folks...

Having said that, the closest bets probably come from small yards in South Africa and New Zealand and even in France and Germany (although not as much as even 15 years ago), where "local conditions" are frequently so rough that the boats there have to be built to resist them in a fashion not necessary in North America.
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