Originally Posted by Jeff_H
I think that the discussion about the HR 416 goes to the heart of much of the diversity of opinion about "What is a Blue water boat?".
While the hull form, structural capabilities and rig may be suitable for offshore cruising, its interior layout, detailing, storage provisions, and so are clearly better suited to coastal cruising. To me that is perfectly acceptable as design offered to the public as long as that is how the company portrays the design in their own literature and statements.
But I also think, where these discussions begin to address the realities of boats like these, is that it would perhaps make sense to have a model option which is biased more toward regular offshore use. Offshore bunks, compartments and openings should by necessity be smaller, and there should be solid footholds and handholds. Rigs need to be a little more robust, and carefully conceived and secure storage needs to take a higher priority.
And I contend that an offshore cruiser making three-four week hops in the Atlantic may not be the same boat as a distance voyaging yacht that crosses the vast open areas of the Pacific. Boats for circumnavigations and a Pacific crossing need to be far more independent and so place a much greater demand on carrying capacity, and storage volumes.
Thanks Jeff for being able to say it properly. Your last paragraph to me is important. I believe you have it right and boats like the HR 416 are perfect boats to do the Atlantic run just as Hinkley's are made for the Atlantic run. Both of those boats can handle any weather and the Atlantic can put out some of the worst in weather.
But for long distant cruising life is far better in a sailing vessel that carries more fuel, water and has better storage than those two types of boats.
When I sailed through the pacific and indonessia 40 years ago 32 ft was fine, no storage, little fuel, little water. Life sailing meant a lot of time worrying about finding such items. Now a days you just don't have to always be looking to the next squall for rain or the next 55 gallon drum of maybe bad fuel and you don't have to worry much about all the gerry cans, outboards, surfboards and the inflatable on deck anymore on a lot of the modern designs. The modern boat gives cruisers more time to enjoy the passage safely, to spend more time learning about the cultures one gets to visit but most important to me is my boat is clean and safe day to day. When you are gone sailing for 4 to 7 years at a time you can get pretty tired of a cluttered boat. Believe me unless you have been there you may not understand what a cluttered boat is like.
So my guess is HR has decided more folks cruise for a week or four than go for long distances over years of time. They know the market and hopefully they make money because they make a good boat but they don't make a good long distance cruiser by having poor exterior storage because they try and open up the bow and stern for more dock and anchorage living space. They are no longer as beefy as maybe they once were.
It's a good debate, I'd like to hear from others on what makes a good boat for how they cruise. Experience please so we can get ideas, cruising should be at least a month at a time on your boat so you know what makes things work for you.