Can a Bristol 32 Circumnavigate? - Page 4 - SailNet Community

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  #31  
Old 05-08-2006
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"I am not sure what your point is with the Brewer quote regarding the plank-on-edge cutters."
Why am I not surprised? You drone on about beam and length, and how heavy displacement is bad, so I'm not surprised you fail to grasp (or refuse to concede) what was being said there. Denial is a bitch.
You have yet to explain how you are the only one to make the claim that the B32 is not seaworthy..."motion comfort and seaworthiness can be dramatic between a wholesome design and something with an extremely short waterline and poor dampening qualities like the Bristol 32's in question."
I, for one, want to know what boats you are comparing it to, and by what measure you come up with your claims of poor motion damping when the capsize ratio and motion comfort ratings are some of the best out there.
"You keep talking about 50 footers and I don't know where that is coming from." Hey, answer your own questions,"....and more realistically in the 38 to 40 foot range." Is 50 really that far away? Like I said, what are you comparing the B32 to?
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  #32  
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And whatever you do, don't tell these people
http://www.uteatlarge.blogspot.com/
that their boat is unsuitable for blue water adventures. In several of the pics you can see their B32, now taking them through the Panama Canal.
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  #33  
Old 05-08-2006
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The Bristol 32 is the perfect example of why the Capsize Screen formula and the Motion Comfort Index tells nothing about any given boat's resitance to capsize or motion comfort. I know that I have explained this on this forum before but here it is again, both of these formulas were developed at a time when boats were a lot more similar to each other than they are today. These formulas have limited utility in comparing boats.

Neither formula contains almost any of the real factors that control motion comfort or seaworthiness. Neither formula contains such factors as the vertical center of gravity or bouyancy, neither contains weight or buoyancy distribution, and neither contains any data on dampening, all of which really are the primary factors that control motion comfort or likelihood of capsize. Weight alone has no bearing on motion comfort or stability, yet both of these formulas use displacement as a surrogate for the real controlling factors.

I typically give this example to explain just how useless and dangerously misleading these formulas can be. If we had two boats that were virtually identical except that one had a 500 pound weight at the top of the mast. (Yes, I know that no one would install a 500 lb weight at the top of the mast but teak decks, heavy decks, heavy aluminum, wooden or steel spars can easily have that kind of impact.) The boat with the weight up its mast would appear to be less prone to capsize under the capsize screen formula, and would appear to be more comfortable under the Motion Comfort ratio. But in reality, nothing would be further than the truth, because the weight at the top of the mast would dramatically reduce stabilty and increase roll angle. That is why I see these formulas as being worse than useless.

Jeff
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Okay, let's throw all the formulas out. They're useless, even as a trending guide. We can all just ask Jeff what's best, despite what so many others have done with designs, etc. I mean, even the Alberg 30 would be a bad bet according to you, Jeff. One can only imagine your take on a Westsail 28.
And again, you have not answered one simple question. What are you comparing the B32, specifically, and CCA boats in general, to, for overall superiority in rough, bluewater conditions?
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I assume that you are asking which low cost cruising boats I would recommend as being a better choice for a circumnavigation than the Bristol 32. (I already mentioned a few above.) In many ways this is not a simple question because like most things in sailing, there is no one right approach to selecting a boat for distance cruising. Each of us approach boat selections based on our own goals, experiences, tastes, and fears, which would push one person towards one category of cruiser, but another person to a different type of cruiser. In other words, I think that there are four categories into which I would group the possible choices for a circumnavigation; Traditional Cruiser, CCA era, Moderate displacement cruiser, and higher performance cruiser.

Even setting the price range for the list is not that cut and dried. You can buy beat to death versions of a Bristol 32 for as little as $9K, but I think that a fairer way to look at the price range would be the cost at the time that the boat was ready to go to sea, equipped and upgraded to go. More or less, a circumnavigation is roughly the equivalent 20 to 30 years of normal coastal cruising and I would want the boat to be as fresh as possible before leaving.

If I were making a recommendation or doing this for myself, I would strongly suggest fitting out fully before leaving and would probably recommend buying the boat and fitting out in the States, New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa. Bought and fit out in the U.S., I would expect that one would have somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000, or more, into a Bristol 32 that was fully fit out, ready to go, depending on how much of one’s own labor one put into the prep. Of course one could go less prepared for less money, doing less upgrading, but the money would be spent doing the repairs and upgrades somewhere out there, and personally I would prefer the reliability of fitting out before going. So I tried to stick with boats that I thought could be purchased and be ready to go in that same general price range.

I don’t intend this to be a comprehensive list every good choice that is out there as much as a sample of the boats that I think are useful to show that there are a whole lot of very good options that are out there. I have not included custom or semi custom boats because they vary so widely. That has somewhat reduced the choices of material. In a general sense I am not a big fan of steel boats, but there certainly are metal designs that make a lot of sense for distance cruising, especially in the Pacific. When I was working with Charlie Whitholz I worked on a small steel cruiser that I thought would be a spectacular little cruiser if one really wanted a simple steel cruiser. Dudley Dix has a number of metal designs that really appeal to me as well.

Also for my own use, I personally am not a big fan of traditional boats for long distance cruising. I still enjoy sailing traditional boats, but after owning, cruising and restoring a 1939 Stadel cutter and a 1949 Folkboat. I personally prefer more modern designs. That said, from my perspective, there is a lot that can be said for the better traditional designs in terms of motion comfort, robustness, and ability to take to ground with minimal damage.

In putting together a list of traditional boats that are suitable circumnavigators I would also include some designs that are not strictly traditional circumnavigators. In fact, in the price range in question, my first choice for a circumnavigator for a couple would probably be the Bob Perry designed Valiant Esprit 37. Rounding out the list of traditional boats that I see as better choices than the Bristol would be:
Allied Seawind Mk 1 and Mk 2: (31’ and 32’ respectively),
Allied Princess 37,
Atkins Eric (32’): Atkins was a genius at modeling heavily displacement cruising boats that were based on traditional working craft. His boats sail very well for their very heavy displacement. Quite a few versions of the Eric have been built in fiberglass. Westsail 32, a Crealock redesign of the Eric, is probably the best know version. I personally prefer the versions that are closer to the original Erics in freeboard, displacement and ballasting.
Atkins Ingrid: This is another beautifully modeled traditional design and probably would be one of the best choices on this list to slug it out in the most extreme heavy going. There have been dozens of versions of these as well, but the best known is probably the Alejuela 37.
Bristol Channel Cutter 28 (These have suddenly gotten very expensive but you still see older partially finished hulls around within the price range in question) ,
CSY 37,
Loud 32,
Pacific Seacraft 31,
Southern Cross 31, and the
Tayana 37 (Ideally a fiberglass decked version).

Again while I am not a fan of CCA era boats, there were boats designed during this era that I think are more suitable than the Bristol 32. Probably my favorite CCA era racer/cruiser of that era is the Tartan 34, an S&S designed K/Cb’er. I have already mentioned the Brewer designed Brewer 32 and Bristol 33/34 which are also boats that I also like a lot from this era. One thing about boats from this era, the differences in sailing ability could not always be found in the ‘numbers’ as different designers were modeling hulls very differently and these differences resulted in very different performance, seaworthiness and motion comfort. Most of these began life as coastal cruisers and will need a lot of effort to make them into decent offshore capable boats. They are also all 35 to forty year old boats with designs that are even older. A list of some of the better CCA era boats would include:
Bristol 33/34,
Nicholson 32 (1960’s era rather than the later Ron Holland design),
Cal 34,
Cheoy Lee Luders 36,
Chris Craft Apache,
Creekmore 38,
Douglas 31/32,
Hughes 38 Mk II (1969),
Invicta 38 (although not one of my first choices) ,
Lecompte Northeast 38,
Morgan 38,
Niagara 35 (the Ellis Design),
Nicholson 32 (1960’s era rather than the later Ron Holland design),
Nicholson 38,
Tartan 30,
Tartan 34 ,
Tartan 37, and the
Tumlaren 32 (These were a fairly limited production of the earlier wooden boat)


I think that later more moderate designs are better boats for longer distance cruising. Like the CCA era boats many of these were oriented towards coastal cruising and so would need adaptation. Some better examples in this price range might include:
Aloha 34,
Bristol 35.5,
Caliber 33
Cheoy Lee Pedrick 35,
CS Merlin 36,
Endeavour 38,
Ericson 38 (early 1980’s era),
Hallberg Rassey Rasmus 35 (1970’s era),
Hughes 40 (Hughes 2040),
Hunter 37 Cutter (early 1980’s),
Landfall 38,
Moody 36,
Morgan 382-384,
Niagara 31,
Niagara 36,
Ontario 32
Pearson 323,
Pearson 365,
Rival 34,
Sabre 34,
Westerly Conway 36 (aft cockpit version), and the
Westerly Falcon 34

Although they come with their own compromises, I personally prefer higher performance boats. Some of these will need some serious beefing up, but some possibilities in this price range (albeit at the top of the range) might include:

Albin Novell (Nova)
Beneteau 345
Dehler 34
Dehler 37 (1980’s)
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Heritage One Ton 37
J-36
J-34c/35c
Sabre 34 (Mk I)
Sigma 33
Wauquiez Hood 35 and Hood 38


Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #36  
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One last point, you asked a question that seems to suggest that you did not think that there was much of difference between boats in the 38 to 40 foot range and 50 footers. I think that there is a huge difference between a 38 to 40 footer and a 50 footer. Yacht designers usually describe the increase in cost and size of a boat, all other things being proportionate, as being somewhere between the square and the cube of the percentage increase in length. A 50 footer is 125% longer than a 40 footer and so would be somewhere between 1 Ĺ and twice as large a boat as measured by displacement, engineering loadings, and volume.

Jeff
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  #37  
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Jeff, thanks for a great list. I'm sure the original poster will appreciate it, and it will be an excellent departure point for many others in their own search.

As for this abrasive Seabreeze fellow, I can't believe you gave him the time of day. Your patience is outstanding

Gary
P323 "Dragonfly"
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  #38  
Old 05-10-2006
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Amen to that, GaryP!
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Thanks for the kind words,

While Seabreeze clearly has a confrontational writing style, and seems to have a bone to pick with me personally, I think that he/she is asking legitimate questions, or making statements that at least provide a basis for a meaningful discussion. I agree with one point that seems to be at the core of Seabreeze's posts. My viewpoint is not consistent with the main stream view of CCA era cruising boats, or heavy displacement cruisers for that matter.

I come by viewpoint from a different set of life experiences than a lot of very experienced sailors. I grew up sailing CCA era boats when these were new designs, but I also had a strong interest in the more traditional designs that preceded them. I studied yacht design during the period when CCA boats were the norm and have tried to stay current as the science behind yacht design has grown expedentially. I have been very lucky to have been able to own and sail on boats that predate and post date the CCA era and in any given year to be able to sail on boats of a lot of eras back to back, giving me a chance inform my decision by experiencing their relative virtues and liabilities first hand.

I don't claim that mine is the only correct point of view, but I do think that it helpful to have some comparative dialogue when discussing of boats designed at different times and using differing design philosophies. Like so much in sailing I know that there is no one universally correct answer to almost any sailing question and that a good sailor can make do with almost any boat, and a bad sailor can get in trouble no matter how good the equipment. I think that discourse helps all of us understand the diversity of view points that are out there, which should be useful to the opinion formation of someone like the original poster. In doing seeing diverse views aired, our assumptions are challenged and either reinforced, adjusted or outright corrected. Not a bad thing. I come here to learn and be helpful where I can. Sometimes I learn from other people's opinion and sometimes I learn by researching a response to someone's confrontational post.

Its all okay.
Jeff
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Well that's quite a list. Why stop there? How about the Volvo 70. Go ahead. You know you wanna. Notice how there are exceptions, etc., in the form of at least some of them needing upgrades to be suitable, but I guess the B32 isn't afforded any such allowance. Also, nearly all of them are significantly longer. Some might consider that an unfair comparison. If waterline is so important, why not compare it to other boats with similar waterline? Still, other CCA boats, you say, are okay. It's just the B32 you dog, yet there are several examples on blue-water excursions right now, and funny, they're experienced in many different models, yet they don't complain of the things you villify the B32 for.

On the motion comfort statement....Where do you get a 500lb at the top of the mast as an example? Comparing it to a heavy deck? I can see where you use it to illustrate a heavy deck for simplicity, but the motion comfort factor favors heavy boats with overhang and narrow beam. How are you factoring a heavier deck (all else being equal) into that equation. While the added weight would factor into the displacement as favorable, the formula isn't wrong. Sure, the weight would increase roll, but you're mis-interpreting. The weight would increase the roll, and slow righting of the boat, but you have to gauge this against the bulk of the displacement with the narrower beam. It will right itself, as opposed to a dinghy, that won't right itself when inverted. Get it? The weight would slow the upright return, meaning, less violent. That's all the motion-comfort formula says, less violent response to waves. Displacement, overhang, and narrow beam..."are all factors that slow down the boats response in violent waves. This design philosophy is contrary to many modern racer/cruisers, but (now pay attention) it is based on a great deal of real blue water data, not just what looks good in a boat show."

As for those newer designs and their dinghy-shaped hulls, all I can say is FASTNET 1979.

All of this it seems, to get the obvious out of you, "Although they come with their own compromises, I personally prefer higher performance boats." Performance....speed....don't make a boat seaworthy. From the start, all you've done is go on about performance. Your initial reply was about how long it'd take. And that really wasn't the question. And instead of just saying that in your opinion, the B32 would need some upgrades, you denigrate, not only the boat, but the man and the choice he made. The fact that you wrote essays to say it doesn't make what you did any less "abrasive".....in my opinion.

You missed the point again on length. My point is, you repeatedly bemoaned the 22ft waterline on the B32, and kept emphasizing more waterline. I pluck the "50" out of the air and you go off in another direction about cost-per-foot.

Basically, you come off like you can not be wrong, and, hate to shatter that world, but your "opinion" flies directly in the face of some of the best-known, and accomplished legends in the sailing world who all state the same thing regarding the CCA designs. The CCA rules "ensured yachts that were strongly constructed, as weight in the structure was not penalized." You have stated the B32's weren't well-built, which is an out-and-out lie.

Now, I know I can't change your mind, and it wasn't my intention. I don't need to "save" the world. I have to say, it's been really enlightening seeing how tender-skinned these so-called men of the sea really are. Guess I'll be the pirate of the bunch.
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