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Old 05-11-2009
stipakb stipakb is offline
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Hull Characteristics that affect Seakindliness/Seaworthiness

I am considering buying a Wauquiez 33 Gladiateur for cruising to Mexico, and perhaps further. I have also considered somewhat more traditional cruising designs, such as the Valiant 32, Pacific Seacraft 34, and Cape Dory 33.

If one were to compare the Wauquiez to these other boats by the often-used capsize-ratio and motion-comfort statistics, those statistics would make the Wauquiez look inferior as an offshore boat:
Wauquiez 33 (1.97, 24.85)
Valiant 32 (1.84, 28.36)
Pacific Seacraft 34 (1.69, 32.95)
Cape Dory 33 (1.73, 33.97)
Others on this forum have pointed out the faults of these statistics, especially the motion-comfort statistic. Also, the Wauquiez is sometimes cited as a good cruising design, further questioning the picture provided by these simple statistics.

My question, therefore, is what characteristics do matter the most in affecting the seakindliness/seaworthiness of an offshore design?

Below is a view showing the difference in keel design of the Wauquiez, Pacific Seacraft, and Valiant:
http://web.pdx.edu/~d1bs/temp/PS34vs...Comparison.doc
The following shows the difference in beaminess of the Wauquiez, compared to the Pacific Seacraft (first view shows separately, second shows super-imposed):
http://web.pdx.edu/~d1bs/temp/PS34_v...ullShapes1.gif
http://web.pdx.edu/~d1bs/temp/PS34_v...ullShapes2.gif
The first image below shows the hull shape of the Wauquiez (looking on the hard from bow-on), compared to the second image showing the Valiant (unfortunately I only have a stern view):
http://web.pdx.edu/~d1bs/temp/Wauqui...ll-bowview.jpg
http://web.pdx.edu/~d1bs/temp/Valian...-sternview.jpg
When I look at these different images, I note the higher-aspect ratio fin keel of the Wauquiez, compared to the longer fin keels of the Valiant and Pacific Seacraft, which I infer would make the Wauquiez less stable tracking but more manueuverable. The maximum beam of the Wauquiez is larger (11' vs. 10' to 10' 5" for the other boats), but for most of her length the Wauquiez is less beamy than the Pacific Seacraft. When I look at the comparison of the hull form of the Wauquiez to the Valiant, it looks roughly similar in the flat vs. V bottomed characteristic.

So, my question again is what characteristics do matter the most in their effect on seakindliness/seaworthiness of an offshore boat?

Thanks for any comments!

Brian Stipak
Portland, Oregon
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