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post #1 of 7 Old 04-24-2002 Thread Starter
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

At the risk of sounding really dumb, at what point do you go from coastal to blue water?
Is it crossing the gulf stream to the Bahamas
or or is it going out side of the Caribbean or what? In a couple of years my wife and I are hoping to buy a comfortable shoal draft live-a-board 40'' to 45''. Our plans are to stay in the islands and along the coast of central America. We have limited sailboat experience (ex commercial fishing powerboaters) but have chartered and are taking lessons.
Thanks for any input.
Dust Devil Don aka gemstoneminer
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-24-2002
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

Don,
i noticed you net name.
Are you in the gemstone business?
eric
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-24-2002 Thread Starter
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

Yes, I mine and sell Oregon Sunstone and handle a few other American mined stones as well. With a name like kimberlite it sounds like you are into diamonds.
Dust Devil Don
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-25-2002
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

Blue water and Coastal are in the mind of the beholder. I have heard all kinds of decriptions of what is or what isn''t ''blue water''. The reality is that this is one of those nebulous terms that gets bandied about and really has taken on a life of its own.

I really do recall even hearing that term used very much until fairly recently. When I was a kid the term that you heard more frequently was ''offshore'', which seemed to be anywhere out of sight of land. I really don''t like the term blue-water sailing or blue water very much because it is so imprecise but seems to get held up as a magic charm or incantation that can ward off all each sailor''s personal brand of malevolencies.

If you spend any time talking to sailors of all stripes, you find that there is a wide range of opinions about what is a suitable offshore boat, and when a blue-water boat is required. For example, All kinds of boats make the passage across the Gulfstream to the Bahamas. You''d be amazed at the junk that used to make that passage prety much without instruments back in the 1960''s and 1970''s. But you can really get your head handed to you if things act up in the ''Stream.

So some folks say, you don''t need no stinking ''blue water'' boat to sail to the Bahamas and others insist you are suicidal to make the passage on anything less than a fully found bluse water boat.

A few years back, there was a food fight on this forum between myself and another fellow about using a particular brand of especially avoir du pois challenged ''blue water cruiser'' on the Chesapeake. The original question started with, should I buy a ''Lead Bobber 37'' or a ''Valuepacked 42'' to sail in the Chesapeake.

I basically told the original poster that the Valuepacked was fine for the Chesapeake and that the Lead Bobber was really a motorsailor with a mast when used on the Bay. This sent a fellow poster round the bend. Essentially an owner of one these dreadnaughts felt that I was ignoring the real hazzards of sailing the Chesapeake in anything less than one of these "go anywhere" bohemoths.

He wasn''t right but he wasn''t entirely wrong either. He cited the example of one of the big blows that can come up quickly on the Bay (I got to sail my Laser 28 in 65 knot winds)and the sometimes large floating debris. Paraphrasing his words, he went on to say that he did not mind motoring for most of the summer in order to keep his family safe. For him, the Chesapeake required a ''blue water boat'' and if that is what he judged to be necessary for his enjoyment and sense of security, then he is not wrong (at least for his own boat).

By the same token, back in the 1970''s I knew a guy who had sailed from Australia to Dinner Key in Florida in a rotted out old plywood boat with plywood patches nailed with ring nails over the worst holes. He said he just hopped from place to place rarely at sea for more than a couple days and so to him none of it was really offshore sailing.


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post #5 of 7 Old 04-25-2002
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

LOL Just about anything with a mast becomes a motorsailer for a large chunk of the summer when cruising the Chesapeake!

Graham
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-25-2002
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

IMHO. Generally speaking, the boats will take more than the occupants. If you look at something like a Flicka (size/for/size, if in fact size is that important) they have done some marvelous voyages. I am of the opinion that the seamanship is generally the deciding factor between a disaster and a sucessful passage.

Fair Winds.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-25-2002
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Coastal Vs. Blue water

Gee, Graham, I haven''t found that to be true that "anything with a mast becomes a motorsailer for a large chunk of the summer when cruising the Chesapeake". Most days, if you pick your time of day, there is enough wind to cover 20 or so nautical miles in a day without even starting the engine. I have gone over a week cruising the Chesapeake in summer without even starting the engine. That is my point that you just need to pick a boat for the conditions.

Jeff
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