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Old 07-17-2009
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Bluewater vs Coastal...

Alot of discussion has taken place here over time about what constitutes a 'bluewater' boat.......it is one of the all time Sailnet classics.

One of the controversies of this debate seems to be the question of whether this type of boat or that type of boat, or any average production boat is a suitable bluewater vessel........with replies to unsuitable vessels all seeming to say something along the lines of 'no, but they are a good coastal cruiser....'

Which leads me finally to my question, umm well do alot of the boats disqualified from bluewater duties actually really make good coastal cruisers??

Does not alot of the things that disqualify a boat from being bluewater capable also make them a compromise for real coastal cruising??

The reason I ask is that we are looking to reboat, our plan for the immediate sailing future is going to involve the east coast of Australia, with possibly a hop across to the Louisiades Archipleligo.

So basically coastal cruising....

However as I think about coastal cruising on the east coast of Oz, and I think about relying on 'weather windows' etc. I am reminded of a couple incidents.

Firstly A modern yacht whose keel broke partly away in 40 knots in the mouth of a bay....
Search continues for abandoned yacht - National - smh.com.au

...The Excalibur disaster in which 4 people died a mere 40 nm off the coast.
Sea survivors relive nightmare - National - www.theage.com.au

...and also I think of the fateful 1998 Sydney to Hobart race. 55 of 115 boats finished a race in which 5 yachts sank, 55 sailors were winched off boats by helicopter and six people died. Weather windows??? Well the fleet left Sydney in gorgeous weather with a forecast that in no way resembled the frightful reality they had to face....

Now obviously crossing an ocean is indeed a whole other ballgame to just cruising a coast, that is indisputable.

However could it not also be argued that things like a sea kindly hull, a well protected skeg-hung rudder, a high angle of vanishing stability, Glassed in bulkheads, good proper sea berths( taking to sea for a night to gain sea room and wait for conditions to change would be better than crossing a bar in the wrong conditions to try and seek shelter wouldn't it?) would also improve safety enormously when coastal cruising??

So I am seriously interested in what the experienced and knowledgeable on here think?
What is the ideal coastal cruiser?
Are some modern boats, not only unsuitable for bluewater sailing but also really unwise to coastal cruise in, and best confined to sheltered waters as weekenders and daysailors??
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Last edited by chall03; 07-17-2009 at 02:18 AM.
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