Originally Posted by JonEisberg
I think you are seriously underestimating the amount of sailing to weather a "typical cruiser" is likely to encounter on a trip from the East coast to the Eastern Caribbean, for example... A weatherly boat is a desirable attribute for anyone intending to go places, even those well short of the high latitudes...
Which production boats cannot sail to weather? I think most all of them can do so pretty well.
Again, for your point to be valid here, the weatherly conditions must be severe enough that the newer production boat is going to seriously pound...and the boat has to be driven hard enough to make that happen.
Again, these extreme examples just don't hold water in this debate - as extreme conditions are pretty rare in typical cruising if one is prudent (at least according to Hal Roth).
Sorry... Wrong, wrong, and wrong... (grin)
I delivered the Trintella 50 pictured below for years, and have more miles offshore on her, than any other single boat... 4 years ago, we ran her from Annapolis to the BVIs, in December... Incredibly powerful Ron Holland design, raced in the Fastnet, a couple of Bermuda Races, the Pineapple Cup... Chosen by Cruising World as the year's "Best Full Size Cruiser", a total state of the art modern cruising machine, incredibly powered-up (almost an 80' stick on a 50-footer)... A build quality right up there with the best, and if you had to pound to weather for a week, this was the sort of boat you'd want to do it on... (Although, you'd wish the Miele cappucino machine had been gimballed)
That's pretty much what we had, basically ran into tradewind conditions about 800 miles out of Tortola... We were hard on the wind the entire way, barely managed to fetch our destination... It was a BRUTAL trip, the boat on its ear for 6 days. A lesser boat, without tacking, would have wound up in Puerto rico, perhaps even the DR... I can't imagine making that same trip in any number of "ordinary" production boats - especially the one I just delivered down the coast a couple of weeks ago. The level of discomfort would have been extreme, we would have taken a lot of water below, and I would have been fearful of breaking something major, pressing the boat in such conditions even remotely as hard as we were compelled to sail VALOUR...
My point is, those conditions were nothing unusual or extraordinary... We'd seen more wind off Hatteras, but once it came on the nose, it never dropped below 18, nor ever rose above 28-30... Nothing "extreme", at all, the sort of breeze and seas one has to expect any time you venture offshore - only unusual in the direction, and duration... but if you think most of today's production boats would have handled that trip "pretty well", I think you're dreaming... The way the boat I just ran pounded into a Chesapeake chop simply motoring from Annapolis to Solomons in a SW breeze of 18 knots, I can't imagine trying to sail that thing hard on the wind to the islands, without doing serious damage to something, or someone...