Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Portugal, West Coast
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Re: A blue water sailer that can go in light winds
Here is a post made by Jeff a few years ago discussing exactly what "Category A Ocean" may mean - it is not necessarily what you think.
Category A does not mean a boat is designed for offshore work it stands for a minimum
of requisites and stability that are judged as necessary to sail offshore. Those minimums without being perfect result of the work of many reputable architects of several nationalities and the requirements are not a closed book. The rules have been perfected and improved with the years trying to obtain more adjusted results. I guess that even myself could make some suggestions to improve that rule
not in what regards the minimums but in what regards results control.
Good small boats with good overall stability like the Elan 310 make it as a class A boat and I remember that some years ago a Dehler 29 had also make it but that is about as close as you can get in size, at least regarding modern light boats. It is not easy a boat of that size to pass the criteria to make it to class A and it has to be a very well designed and seaworthy boat for its size.
Saying this, that is a minimum. It is obvious that a Hunter 49 a Bavaria 36 and a Elan 310, all class A boats have different levels of seaworthiness. This off course does not mean that you cannot safely cross the Atlantic in an Elan 310. Similar types of boats and probably the Elan 310 do that in large numbers on the Transquadra, racing solo or duo and I don't remember of any that has been capsized.