Join Date: Jul 2002
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DCH, I think you can see from the replies posted so far (Jeff''s being the exception...) that the terms ''offshore capable'' and ''bluewater boat'' are so variable in connotation that it''s pretty natural for folks to run to organizational specifications (RORC, RCD et al.) in lieu of anything more comprehensive and meaningful.
As one example, you''d no doubt agree that - by definition - any boat that is to be used for bluewater cruising (extended, offshore passagemaking) must also serve suitably as a home...yet you''ll find no govt''l specs on this important dimension, and so most folks definitions tend to omit it altogether. (OTOH you''ll notice that some of Jeff''s comments at least touch tangentially on this issue). A related example is the issue of ergonomics: it would be a pretty natural assumption that any boat intended to be sailed long distances by humans would fit the human body and the demands placed on it...yet you''ll often find huge disparities between the details of how a boat is built and what seems to ''fit'' and be comfortable at sea.
To get back to your basic question, your first challenge isn''t to figure out how ''bluewater-capable'' a Freedom is, but rather to determine what you think you mean by ''bluewater''. This ''first things first'' definition is often finessed (and therefore ignored) by folks who post questions like yours when they state something like ''I plan to head for the Caribbean and, who knows, maybe into the Pacific...'' Such sloppy, open-ended thinking results in one of two approaches to picking a boat suitable for its planned use: either the boat must be totally capable of all types of ocean sailing, and will consequently be more expensive and perhaps more extreme in design than is necessary OR the criterion is so vague and all-inconclusive that it serves no useful purpose in screening out some boats and certifying others as suitable.
I''d encourage you to do some basic reading about cruising boat design issues, as you''ll get a much better answer than any BB can offer. Examples include The Nature of Boats by Dave Gerr, the Cruising Handbook by Nigel Calder, and many many more.