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  #11  
Old 09-09-2006
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A while back there was a good thread discussing the differences between distance offshore cruisers and coastal cruising boats. I suggest that you do a search on that thread.

Generally, long distance offshore cruisers make very poor coastal cruisers, but they will work if you don't mind the compromises.

And by the same token, really good coastal cruisers make really very mediocre offshore boats, but most quality coastal cruisers are capable of making offshore passages.

When you talk about Beneteau Idyle, or Oceanis, or number serioes boats, the construction lacks the kind of robustness to stand up to the kind of repetative abuse that is a part of making an offshore passage and they lack the kind of interior layouts that are optimzed for life aboard during offshore passage making.

"normally well equipped compared to before there was roller furling?"

If by this you are suggesting that in-mast furling somehow changes the equation, I respectfully suggest that for distance voyaging you want a reliable reefing system that allows you reduce sail quickly to a heavy weather size and shape. In-mast furling does not permit the kind of sail shape control that becomes important for offshore work and in talking to delivery skippers who have had a lot of experience with these systems, the robustness and reliablility and sail shape control just is not present with in mast furling.

Jeff
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2006
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I'd strongly agree with SmartCaptain's idea of leaving a fairly sizeable budget for re-fitting, upgrading and repairing the boat. It might also help to know what kind of sailing experience you have, as well as whether you and your spouse both sail or just yourself. Getting a boat that you can single-hand easily is a slightly different task than getting one you can sail as a couple.
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  #13  
Old 09-11-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alienagw
Hello all,
Good information, however the more I read on Sailnet the more I become confused about boat size vs coastal and off shore sailing. Many of the threads push under 40ft for both liveaboard and costal sailing. How does the below 40ft enter in the equation for ease of control. The Beneteaus are normally well equipped compared to before there was roller furling?
Which also begs the questions what boats are not considered off shore boats?
Alien...A lot of questions there..all subject to much dispute! My take:

1. I would never consider UNDER 40 ft for living aboard and cruising. My wife and I safely handle and cruise a 52' 50K lb. boat without the need for any electric winches (we have one for raising the main but we did it manually for 2 years!), or bow thrusters AND we feel a LOT safer in this boat than in any of our previous boats. We single hand during our watches at sea and the boat is easily and safely controlled by one person in most conditions. I think a lot of the "under 40 ft. crowd" recommends this because the writers asking for advice are inexperienced sailors AND because the responders themselves own under 40' boats and have a bias towards that size range. Budgets also tend to limit the size one recommends. Recognize that 90% of living aboard is LIVING not Sailing and a larger boat just makes it so much more comfortable. If you can afford it, there no reason to stay under 40 feet.
2. Beneteaus are generally not considered blue water boats since they are lightly constructed and designed primarily for are market of weekend sailors in protected waters that want a lot of room and ameneties at a good price. Rudder design, lifelines/stanchions, fuel & water tankage, bilge etc. are all generally unnacceptable to someone looking for an offshore boat. I DO think they are GOOD VALUE for their intended purpose.
3. There seems to be general agreement that of TODAY's manufacturers, Hunters/Beneteaus/Catalinas (and I would add Bavarias) are not suitable for offshore work.
Then we get into the middle ground of Tartan's Sabre's etc. which are clearly well constructed and able to stand up to the ocean...but many like me find unsuitable due to hull design and/or resulting lack of comfort at sea. Finally, we have the medium to heavily built offshore boats like Tayana, Passport,Westsail, Cape Dory, Island Packet etc. which are clearly designed for the sea but are thought by some to be too slow and ponderous and as a result...less safe and less fun to sail. This is of course a VAST over-generalization as each boat and model is different and manufacturers have changed over the years...I am simply trying to give you a feel for the scope of the issue.

Last edited by camaraderie; 09-11-2006 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 09-11-2006
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I would say that your questions are subject to personal preference and subjectivity rather than dispute. I could take umbridge with Camaradie's comment "I think a lot of the "under 40 ft. crowd" recommends this because the writers asking for advice are inexperienced sailors AND because the responders themselves own under 40' boats and have a bias towards that size range." , but I won't. As someone who has sailed on boats of a wide range of sizes, I really think that the choice to go under 40 feet is one of preference rather than saying the decision is budget, or lack of experience driven. Just in the same way some people prefer to drive sports cars, or high quality compact cars, rather than an SUV, some people simply prefer living aboard and sailing smaller boats as well. I live very comfortably in an 1,100 square foot house, but I am designing a 9,500 square foot house for a client whose life style requires this much space. Neither of us are any more wrong in our choices or any more right in our choices. I doubt if I could afford it, that I would buy a bigger house or a bigger boat, but that does not make me univerally right, if you see my point.

For Camaradie less than 50 feet is not a comfortable size to live-aboard. For him that may be true. When I was in my 20's I lived on a 25 footer. I found her quite comfortable and at one point found myself asking, why would anyone want something bigger. As a kid, in the 1960's my family of four lived on a 32 foot Vanguard rather comfortably. My rather small 38 footer seems quite sumptuous to me and a good size between ease of handling, performance and seaworthiness. I look at my father's 42 foot offshore cruiser as being too big to be convenient, yet he has lived aboard quite comfortably, found her quite to his likeing offshore, and handles the boat quite easily with my stepmother.

What I am getting at is when you talk about the right sized boat, it is all about your own personal needs and tastes. Camaradie not wrong, he's just not universally right either. None of us can answer for your needs.

Lunch hour is over so I won't get into my disagreement in point of view on the quote "but many like me find [Tartan's, Sabre's etc.] unsuitable due to hull design and/or resulting lack of comfort at sea."

Regards,
Jeff
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Old 09-11-2006
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Boat size is really a function of personal choice for the most part. Larger boats, while harder to manage in many cases, are also more expensive to own and maintain. A lot of the people who decide to go cruising are doing so to get away from the very materialistic/conspicuous consumer lifestyle that seems so prevalent today, especially in Western Europe, the Americas and the Far East. Some people don't need a LCD HDTV on their boat, others require a 42" plasma screen with surround sound. Some people will need more space than others, and others want to have a smaller, and easier to clean, maintain and handle boat. Some like multihulls, and don't want to live life at 20 degrees, others want the rail under and the spray in the cockpit.

Finding a boat that works for the type of sailing you do, in the waters you are sailing in is what is important. That said, some boats are better suited to certain purposes than others. If you like entertaining, and do mostly coastal cruising from marina to marina, a Hunter, Beneteau, or something similar might be the right choice for you. If you spend a lot of time anchored out, but like your space, and want to be "off the grid" then a big catamaran may be a better choice.

There is no right or wrong... Find a boat you love, and go sailing.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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