Originally Posted by Alienagw
Good information, however the more I read on Sailnet the more I become confused about boat size vs coastal and off shore sailing. Many of the threads push under 40ft for both liveaboard and costal sailing. How does the below 40ft enter in the equation for ease of control. The Beneteaus are normally well equipped compared to before there was roller furling?
Which also begs the questions what boats are not considered off shore boats?
Alien...A lot of questions there..all subject to much dispute! My take:
1. I would never consider UNDER 40 ft for living aboard and cruising. My wife and I safely handle and cruise a 52' 50K lb. boat without the need for any electric winches (we have one for raising the main but we did it manually for 2 years!), or bow thrusters AND we feel a LOT safer in this boat than in any of our previous boats. We single hand during our watches at sea and the boat is easily and safely controlled by one person in most conditions. I think a lot of the "under 40 ft. crowd" recommends this because the writers asking for advice are inexperienced sailors AND because the responders themselves own under 40' boats and have a bias towards that size range. Budgets also tend to limit the size one recommends. Recognize that 90% of living aboard is LIVING not Sailing and a larger boat just makes it so much more comfortable. If you can afford it, there no reason to stay under 40 feet.
2. Beneteaus are generally not considered blue water boats since they are lightly constructed and designed primarily for are market of weekend sailors in protected waters that want a lot of room and ameneties at a good price. Rudder design, lifelines/stanchions, fuel & water tankage, bilge etc. are all generally unnacceptable to someone looking for an offshore boat. I DO think they are GOOD VALUE for their intended purpose.
3. There seems to be general agreement that of TODAY's manufacturers, Hunters/Beneteaus/Catalinas (and I would add Bavarias) are not suitable for offshore work.
Then we get into the middle ground of Tartan's Sabre's etc. which are clearly well constructed and able to stand up to the ocean...but many like me find unsuitable due to hull design and/or resulting lack of comfort at sea. Finally, we have the medium to heavily built offshore boats like Tayana, Passport,Westsail, Cape Dory, Island Packet etc. which are clearly designed for the sea but are thought by some to be too slow and ponderous and as a result...less safe and less fun to sail. This is of course a VAST over-generalization as each boat and model is different and manufacturers have changed over the years...I am simply trying to give you a feel for the scope of the issue.