While coastal cruising boat designs can be upgraded and taken out on bluewater, they are not bluewater design boats, and upgrading them doesn't make them one.
Bluewater passagemakers are designed quite differently from coastal cruising boats. They generally have narrower interior spaces and berths, which are more usable and safer in heavy seas, while coastal cruisers generally have more open layouts, with larger berths, which become dangerous in heavy seas.
Blue water boats will often have a smaller cockpit than a coastal cruising boat. Large cockpits present a serious hazard if the boat is pooped, and the cockpit fills with water. A smaller cockpit will hold less water, and reduces the likelihood of the water's weight affecting the boat's ability to stay afloat.
The bluewater boats will often have larger and deeper storage lockers than a coastal cruising boat. Larger fuel and water tanks are also the norm for bluewater boats, as you have to take it with you...and can't just stop at the next marina if you need more.
The rigging and sails on a bluewater boat are often heavier than those on a coastal cruiser. The cockpit and cabin are designed to resist breaking seas and often have a very substantial bridgedeck separating the cockpit from the companionway. The ports are often smaller and more heavily built.
They will often have a heavier ground tackle setup than a comparably sized coastal cruising boat.
And so on...etc.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-12-2006 at 11:58 AM.