How much draft ?
I am still trying to narrow down my possible "boats to consider list". Draft is a big concern. I hope to sail around the world. Planning to leave Florida in a few more years and take our time just sailing to new places. A good amount of the list of places to go, we would need to be at a max of about 4 feet. But I think I would want more than 4 feet of draft on any serious offshore passage.
So I guess I have 2 questions. How important is draft from a true safety point of view. And are boats with a center board or swing keel realistic choices?
Thanks for any help and if a thread already exist just point me in the right direction.
There is a fairly lengthy discussion of draft issues here: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/cruising-liveaboard-forum/37466-mast-height-draft-what-limitations-will-i-have.html
But you don't say what length boat you're looking for. 4 foot draft on a 20 footer could be considered "deep draft", on a 50 footer it would be considered extremely shoal draft. We would need more parameters to help you on this. But, off hand, I am curious where you plan to go that you feel you'll be constrained by more then 4' draft ? Are you heading to the headwaters of the Nile?
Not disrespect intended but this is a pretty fundamental question which makes me wonder, even if a few years off, if you should really be considering offshore travel or for that matter how much you might want to learn before buying a boat for such condition.
Having said that, you might want to consider a full keel boat, the characteristics of which present the best all-around draft for your plans.
Between 30 and 40 feet long.
As far as the fundamental comment, yeah I know, that is why I am here bothering you good people. But even if today was the first time I had ever seen water, a few years with purpose would be more than enough to prepare myself.
No doubt if done with purpose.
Gonesailing....with all due respect...if at this stage you don't know the answer to your questions, you need a little more effort, and knowledge before you go on something like this.
I am not saying you should not or you will not be prepared to do it in a few years...it just seems to me you're lacking basic knowledge to successfully achieve such goal. Sure you don't want to be anther statistcs number.
Please read more, learn more and then enquire about the boat...You will realize, that the more you know, the more the right boat seems to present it self in fron of you...
At this stage your question sounds like this:
I want to fly around the world in a plane, should it be red or white?
Please, as I said, no disrespect.
Gonesailing - here's a suggestion that might be helpful for your "years with purpose." Contact the crewed charter boats in the Caribbean and talk yourself on board as crew. You may have to do it for low pay, but you'll get room/board/boathandling/on-the-water experience etc. I did this for a couple of years and it was invaluable as a learning tool (learned celestial as well.) Of course there were some awful people and a couple of lousy berths, but there was always a glass of rum somewhere nearby.
I agree with my friend Giu on this.
If you really want to go circle the globs, go for it. But there are a LOT of issues in doing so. First, most solid passagemaking boats that are cabable of doing that are quite expensive. You can get cheaper ones (around 100k or so), but they will very likely need a lot of refitting to the tune of tens of thousands. You can basically forget taking out a loan for the boat. Cash only... since you will need insurance and it is very hard for lifetime sailors to get insurance to circum. Newbies can just about forget it. No insurance=no boat loan.
Also, the type of boat that is req for crossing the pond is traditionally not as wide and comfortable as a boat that is intended to cruise these waters of N/S America.
THere is more to see here than you can see in a lifetime. I am not trying to dissuade your dream, but I am giving some realistic advice... and this only is the tip of the iceberg.
As far as effort is concerned I own and have read many books, watched dvd's, and read all the magazines.
I was hoping for a little insight on draft. If you take all the books I have read and combine the information you will find that every boat is good enough and no boat is good enough. Thought someone might have something to say that might give me a different point of view to consider.
Ok, so "Gonesailing" wants to know some rudimentary information. Instead of verbal abuse, lets look at the question. As a follow-up, what areas do you want to visit? If you have some specific areas in mind, get ahold of nav. charts for the areas. The mean low water levels will dictate where you want to be with regard to draft.
In discussing depth, there are plenty of boats from 30 - 40 feet that (with full keel) would be great offshore boats with 5' draft. 4' is the draft of my Cal 25. I sail the Chesapeake Bay. I've only gone aground once,and that was my own fault for not heeding the depth alarm.
There are plenty of offshore sailors who are perfectly happy with a draft of up to 6 feet.
I think the best bet is to define your scope (where do you want to go) and decide on a draft based on the number of anchorages you can visit. The overall length of the boat can come later.
Regarding seaworthiness, there are several other factors besides keel depth that lead to overall seakindliness/seaworthiness. Look at the boats that have survived it all, like the Westsail 32, Cal 40, Outbound 40 - 44, etc. Things to consider are small self bailing cockpit, small, heavy port/deadlights, bridge deck and small main hatch, sealable dorade vents, sound rudder (attached to a skeg or to the keel). Hull shape that is unstable when the boat is turned "turtle" so she'll right herself, lazarettes that are structurally sealed off from the rest of the boat, heavy through hull fittings with ball valves, heavy hull construction ie: solid glass cloth instead of chop strand matting or "cored" glass hulls. Also, a keel stepped mast, double lower shrouds, multiple bulkheads to prevent oilcanning or twisting of the hull in heavy seas, etc. Of course, these are just my opinions. Every boat has it's own merits. Heck, in 1968 there was a kid (Robin Graham) who sailed a lapworth 24 around the world. Another cruising couple sailed a Cal 25 (like mine) around the world and had 2 or 3 kids along the way. Of course, I'm not recommending this, just commenting that seaworthiness is as much attributed to good planning and heeding weather forecasts/sea states as it is to a solid boat.
There are several good books on picking an offshore boat. One of which (If I can remember the name) is something like "The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat."
Just remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question. Even the most elementary question leads to others. Isn't this how we build knowledge?
Finally, there are offshore sailing schools, where you learn the basics of navigation, routine maintenance, and successful passagemaking. I believe Annapolis Sailing School has a location in the BVI.
Hope this helps.
Cal 25 #1651 Indefatigable
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