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  #1  
Old 05-10-2009
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Do gentlemen sail up wind?

Hi
I grew up sailing on the Mississippi, just north of St. Louis in my best friends fathers lightning. I enjoyed it much more than my best friend did. We would spend all day sailing upriver a half hour sailing back.
Over the years I have owned a moth, three Hobie cats, 18, 12, 14 and a 26 foot Clipper Marine. For over 20 years I've wanted a 30 foot plus boat . I had always hoped that one of my children would develop the love of sailing that I have. This is not happen. So my next boat needs to be single handed. I am retired and would like to cruise, but don't know if I would really like it. I have done several short five day cruises intercoastal waterways with jots out to the Gulf Stream. I always get sea sick one to three days, depending on the weather conditions and land sick when I get back. That usually doesn't last as long.

My point here is that even if I don't like cruising. And that's the dream. I want a boat that's fun to sail .I am a little worried that a full keel boat like most of the cruisers are will not point well. Oh, I suppose they all will point better than my Hobie cat but I have heard cruisers say "gentlemen don't sail up wind". My pocketbook is going to put me in the vintage 70s plastic boats. The ones that have appealed to me are the tartans, Cal, Pearson, Coronado and C&C. I have heard that the closer I stay to 30 feet. More likely I am to use it and the less grief it will be to muscle around the sails. Not to mention, the easier it will be to afford. I know that most of the boats that I have mentioned tend to the performance side. What are your suggestions, and why
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Old 05-10-2009
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There's only one correct answer to this question:



I also started as a river sailor, and of course we sailed up current or up wind first. Once you start reading books like World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell, you'll note that the sailing upwind comment is more continental than daily. For example, the sail from Panama to Florida is noted for being difficult to time, and very upwind. Same with so routes across the Pacific, making a Northerly run easier than directly across, etc.

So, if you are doing to cruise from continent to continent, check out the routes and the tradewinds.
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Old 05-10-2009
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I started just north of Alton on the Misery side of the river myself......small world.....i2f
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Old 05-10-2009
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Get a tartan 27... Read Anthony Bailey's book, The Coast of Summer.
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Old 05-10-2009
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Go 30!

Started w a 16' Sunbird. Learned the hard way...but it was fun. We have a 77 Morgan. Its a shoal keel and while it does not sail as nice as some of the fin keels, its great for low draft areas. It only draws 3.5 feet. But its relatively easy to single hand and very comfortable. Plus, if we want to do a 1-2 week sailing vacation its easy.
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Old 05-10-2009
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You might consider chartering a catamaran to see if that works for you. While they may not point quite as well as monohulls, they may suit other parts of your requirements.
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Old 05-10-2009
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Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather

Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather: A Story of an Accidental Odyssey (Denton Moore) was a catchy book title. The reality is of course that one sails the most comfortable route to his destination; off the wind if possible. In Moore's case, around the world.

May I suggest that an Albin Vega 27 might suit your needs. These vintage 70's boats are plentiful and can be found at bargain prices. One of John Vigor's "Twenty Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere"
they are famous as capable world cruisers. A Vega will point quite well with decent sails. Not only that, she will sail herself with sails balanced and the tiller lashed on most points of sail without a windvane.

We sailed ours from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest Summer 2007.

Upwind performance? Check out this video of 35 year-old Vegas racing at Hoorn, The Netherlands, in 2005

More info on the Vega

Give Vigor's book a read. You may find several designs that will suit your needs and budget


Latest videos, Vega1860 Across the Pacific
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Last edited by vega1860; 05-10-2009 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 05-10-2009
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I would suggest that "gentlemen don't sail to weather" for one or both of two reasons: 1) the sailor can't move the boat upwind effectively and 2) the boat can't point, or is uncomfortable when doing so.

It sound like (1) won't be a problem for you, so I would suggest not saddling yourself with a boat that won't point.

Sailing with the wind forward of the beam increases wind over the deck and therefore ventilation of the boat, even if all you use are dorades and mushrooms. Windvanes (if you go that way) work better on a beam reach and higher than broad reach and down.

My favorite point of sail (40' 22k# cutter-rigged bluewater sloop) is a close reach. The motion is smooth and predictable--very comfortable--and the boat will balance so well the autopilot doesn't have to work hard.

There are lots of comfortable cruiser-racers and some racer-cruisers in the size range you mention. Don't let anyone tell you that they aren't good enough. Your plans are achievable in just about anything.

Do some dock-walking, talk yourself on board when you can, and along for a ride when you can, and make your own judgments about the boats that appeal to you most.

For cruising lifestyle is every bit as important as sailing. Make sure the galley supports your cooking style. The sleeping accommodations have to be comfortable. Ignore anyone who rants about sea berths. You will really want to sleep well at anchor. Single-handed you won't be sleeping well underway regardless, and there is no substitute for the floor when need presses.

sail fast and eat well, dave
S/V Auspicious
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Old 05-11-2009
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Thanks Jim.
That answers the history portion of my question as to how that came up but given the price and size constraint. What boat, would you pick for the Panama to Florida run. Any comments on a westerly? They are not common here, but in England they are.

I2F
we may have been sailing out of the same yacht club, just north of lock and dam 23. Beyond the Trussell Bridge. We had to take a road that went through a single lane tunnel through the Levy not far from Dresser Island. I lived in Godfrey!

Sailingdog
the tartans 27, 30, and 34 are high on my list of can do's and 37 is the wipe the drool from my chin. I will look for Bailey's book and thanks.

Joesaila
I have looked at out island 33 and they do look comfortable inside.

Twinsdad
there is nothing I loved better than flying a Hull and my cats, but I could right them in a knockdown.

Vega1860
if this is Chuck, you are one of my personal heroes, 18 days is seasickness and still sticking to your guns. If this is Laura. You deserve a medal for putting up with it. Your logs are more interesting, and I am waiting for the details for days 23 and on. As to the Vega this is one that I seriously looked at for its Bluewater reputation. I found a boat, 60 miles from here, and like all used boats watchword is condition condition condition. Also, the location of the prop and Rudder must make low speed maneuvering under power a nightmare. This makes my list of can do boats. Though I would prefer a little more room.

Dave.
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't really given much thought to the galley, other than to burners in the sink . As condition versus cost are my major consideration. I am looking for as many good candidates as I can find trying not to fall in love with anyone boat like the Tartan 37 and have love go unrequited, because they can't find what I fell in love with.
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Old 05-11-2009
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Salt, Properly sailed, you are very unlikely to capsize a cruising catamaran. Very different than sailing a Hobie Cat. The Tartan's are also a nice monohull which, if in good condition, should probably work for your intended purposes.
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