Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: North Carolina
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There have been ongoing discussions and threads on this forum regarding what makes a good bluewater cruising boat. It is frequently pointed out to those of us who own current design production boats such as the Beneteau, Jeanneau, Hunter, and Catalina that our boats are strictly coastal cruising boats at best and floating condos at the worst. Further, in no uncertain terms, we are advised that they are unsuited for extended offshore "bluewater" cruising because, among other things, wide sterns that make it hard to steer in following seas, large open cockpits that are hard to move about in storms, large open areas down below without handrails, grab bars, or adequate sea berths. Add to that too light construction in the hulls and standing rigging, flat bottoms and wide beams said to give a bad ride in a storm, short fin keels and rudders that make it hard to hold a course and are subject to damage, insufficient ballast to assure proper selfrighting and stability. In short, many seem to favor very closely the designs of the late 1960's and 1970's. I own a Catalina and personally think current boat designs are getting a undeserved beating in this regard, but I do agree that many of current design features do seem to be aimed more at coast cruising and relatively short offshore cruising.
The Walkabout series seems more extreme and looks to me to be more of an ocean racer than a bluewater cruiser. If those issues that "bluewater" sailors have with the current production boats that I described are valid, then the Wallabout design seems to have compounded the errors in regard to being considered a "bluewater cruising boat".
However, new ideas, even really good ones, often get lots of opposition by those resisting change. Time will tell whether you are onto something good or not.