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  #1  
Old 01-31-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

My wife and I are looking at bluewater cruisers. We''ve seen Hans Christians (38 and 43 cutters and ketches), Baba 40, Tayana 37. However, we''ve never had a chance to sail anything as heavy or "seakindly" - all the bareboat charters and friend''s boats are always "bleach bottles".

All the Boatcheck reviews glow about each of these boats; I guess that''s to be expected. Brokers all have their favorites (or not-so-favorites).

What''s the straight scoop? What are the "warts" of these boats? For example, we loved the easy engine access of the HC but it has a lot of teak (leaky-teaky?) and everyone says it won''t sail in less than a gale. Every Baba owner I''ve seen raves about the boat, but engine access not as good. The only Tayana 37 I''ve seen had just arrived from a winter Transatlantic crossing, female singlehanding; that''s a pretty good vote. Opinions? I''m sure there are lots... thanks!
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Old 02-01-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

You might want to ask your questions directly to the specific owners groups here on sailnet : Tayana, HC, Baba, Passport, Valiant, etc. Most of the owners groups have periodic rendezvous where many prosprective owners also are encouraged, etc. For example, there will be a Tayana rendezvous on the Chesapeake in early June. You might also want to actually join the individual owners associations (newsletters, shared info, etc.) until you firm up your preferences.

My T37 has the following warts: doesn''t sail at all under 8 kts; insensitive "barn door" rudder; teak maintenance; so-so metalurgy on original rigging, etc.
Exterior Teak: not really a problem ... easily long term coated with the modern acrylic co-polymers. Teaky, Yes; Leaky ... not a bit.
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Old 03-10-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

Another thing to check on any Taiwan boat is how plumbing fittings are attached. A 5 cent part cost my father his steering on his Fantasia 35 two weeks out of Hawaii. Another friend had a T37 with water tanks requiring him to rip up his cabin floor, cut up his tank, and then remove it. A very talented surveyor is your best friend.
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Old 03-13-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

Its seems like some of the most popular questions on sailing BB''s is what Blue Water boat should I buy. This question usually has a list of heavy weight boats that would have represented the prototypical blue water cruising boat design concept from the 1930''s or earlier rendered in fiberglass but with less sail area and less stability.

Now, I am not putting anyone down here, and I am not sure that I am even putting this type of boat down, but it seems to me this concept of a ''serious blue water cruiser'' is being way over sold. These lead bobbers represent a real compromise in sailing ability in the kinds of winds that I seem to spend my life sailing in for little gain when things get really hairy.

I know nothing of what the original poster, cfreeman, plans to do with this boat and he may be going to some place where this kind of heavy weapon makes sense, but as I look around me at the massive armament that people payy enormous sums to sail in some pretty tame environments I really have to wonder if something hasn''t gone wrong here.

I don''t know about you but I am far more likely to run into a bad chop than the ultimate wave. I am far more likely to sail in winds under 20 knots than spend a week fighting a gale. Even if I did encounter the ultimate wave or a week of gale, some of the newer lighter designs are actually handling these conditions better than the traditional bruisers.

But ultimately, because the greatest luxury to me is to be able to sail, and not have to spend a lot of time motoring, and the greatest safety is an easily driven hull, I can live with a lot less heft. I can live without a ton or two of tropical hardwoods, or a gen. set, or golf cart batteries number 3,4,5,or 6, or a 20 gal water heater, or air conditioning, or a microwave, or a RIB with an electric start four stroke outboard hung in davits, or a diesel that can push the boat at hull speed up wind in a gale, or a computer driven electronic nav. system (well maybe).

I guess what I am saying is that maybe this guy really needs a "seriuous blue water cruiser" but it seems to me that way to many of these sailing equivilents of a Humvee are being sold to people mearly making a milk run.

End of rant.
Jeff
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Old 03-14-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

Having read the responses to you query I tend to agree with Jef H. Sailboats are meant to sail not waddle through the sea. With modern material and technology a "Bluewater Cruiser" does not have to be based on centuries old ideas. Bleach Bottles as you have called them come in all types for all budgets. Check out the records/forums for the individual boats and I think you will find out that a modern fin keel light to moderate displacement boat will weather any storm you get into much better then you {Mental} will. Good sailing does not come in the form of heavey/"Traditional" sailboats. For the years I was cruising I saw as many fin keel boats as traditional if not more of them. I remember sailing circles around a heavey displacement cruiser at the start of a 1000 mile passage and arriving three days ahead of him. That gave me more time to enjoy the places I visited!
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Old 03-14-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

An opposite opinion.
Consider the accelerational forces of adverse waves and seas against a lightweight ''sled'' that sits ON the water. Then consider the accelerational forces against a heavyweight ''crab crusher''. Which one will beat up the crew more because it has extremely unstable momentum characteristics? Which one will be SEAKINDLY enough so that you can more enjoy the passage or voyage. ... and isnt it the "passage" and not the destination what we really seek? ... I''ll take that few extra days thank you. Why did Moitessier decide to to drop out of a singlehanded around the world race after one completed circumnavigation to continue for a second???? Answer... he enjoyed it! Geeze, if you need to get there that fast, maybe one should consider an airline ticket. I''ll bet that on your passage where the ''heavy'' arrived 3 days later that their crew did not have to sleep for 3 days to recover ... or the distance was so short that it didn''t really matter. (You could have gotten there even faster in a cigarrette boat, wearing a kidney belt and helmet.)
There is nothing wrong with a lightweight fin keeler, .... if you have the stamina, arms like popeye and teeth that wont get shaken out their sockets for beating into heavy seas for days and days and days on end.
A wholly forgotten factor in decision making for choosing a blue water boat seems to be SEAKINDLINESS ..... Take a good look at C.K. Marchaj''s little known work "Seakindeliness - the forgotten factor" or go to http://www.johnsboatstuff.com/Articles/best.htm before you attempt to venture an ocean crossing in somthing that approaches the performance and weight characteristics of an E-Scow.
Take your records ......................... and go racing.
The **voyage** is the essence of passagemaking NOT the how fast you can get to the destination. There is a very different mind-set between racing off to somewhere and simply enjoying oneself on a passage. Relax, take your time, dont get beat up in a ''sled'' It''s entirely your choice:...... enjoy yourself on a ''heavy'' or beat your body to a pulp on a ''''cork".
:-)
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Old 03-14-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

RichH I think you missed the point I was trying to make.. I was not putting down heavy displacement boats, you are right the Passage is the joy and after over 40,000 miles on fin keel boats that were properly designed and not racing I love the ability to sail in all conditions. I also stated a light to medium displacement boat not a ULDB or any extreme machine. These boats when properly designed are seakindly and comfortable. I never rattled my teeth beating to weather. I certainly didn''t enjoy it when I had to do it for days on a time. A modern design sails fast and upright. All boats going to windward in the bad stuff pound. I guess that is when a couple of days off a long passage is a positive. I would rather run from bad weather then have to slog along no matter how seakindly my boat is. To each his own and mine is all around sailing. You can''t beat modern boats for that!
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Old 03-14-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

To address Rich H points:

Those of us that grew up sailing on heavy weight boats grew up with the mythology that light boats are inherently uncomfortable and more tiring to sail. This belief was further reinforced as we began sailing the first generations of light weight boats. Boats that basically had hull shapes like the heavier boats but just reduced in weight.

The opinion that light weight equates to discomfort was further reinforced by the raceboat inspired light weight boats of the 1970''s and 1980''s. These were boats with comparatively deep canoe bodies, blunt bows, pinched sterns and high center of gravities.

Marchaj''s data in his seminal work on seawothiness was based on data in which the light weight boats used in the study were prototypical IOR boats of the era with comparatively deep canoe bodies, blunt bows, pinched sterns and high center of gravities. His data and recommendations were right based on the type form he was studying.

Designers heeded his advise and reshaped hulls and lowered centers of gravity, moved weight out of the ends of the boat, lengthened water lines, reduced both deck and waterline beam, and reduced the reliance on form stability.

Todays light weight boats are not the light weight boats of the Fastnet disaster era. They are a new breed. With the ability to actually instrument full size boats we are finding that weight distribution,and hull and foil shape can actually result in boats that are light in weight and that have smaller roll angles and similar accellerations to the heavier boats that we grew up assuming to be the only way to go to sea.

Jeff

Our other image of light weight boats comes from the first generation sleds.
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Old 03-14-2001
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Bluewater boat comparison

"Designers heeded his advise and reshaped hulls and lowered centers of gravity, moved weight out of the ends of the boat, lengthened water lines, reduced both deck and waterline beam, and reduced the reliance on form stability".
---- absolutely true .... including the designers of modern ''moderate to heavy weight'' boats.
:-)
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Old 03-14-2001
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Our other image of light weight boats comes from the first generation sleds, Open Class 60s and the lighter "clorox bottles" produced by the ''big three''. I think that a fairer comparison would be boats like the Dehler 39 or Morris 454. Boats like these represent this generations best hope for future long distance voyagers.
Respectfully
Jeff
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