Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 04-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

All else equal, most people would rather be in a bigger boat in a multiday storm, rather than a smaller boat. Here is what I would like your opinions about: Which boat would you rather ride out a storm in; a small off shore capable boat (like Baba 30 or PSC 31), or a much larger coastal cruiser (like a Catalina 38)? This question popped into my head because for about the same purchase price you could get a very capable small cruiser, or a much larger production boat. Would the added length and displacement of a production boat make up for the lesser build quality?

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post #2 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

After the Queen's Birthday Storm in the So Pac there was a lot of stability testing done in Australia. About the only thing they could agree on was that bigger boats have less chance of rolling over. FWTW. Maybe bigger boats are safer but there are lots of variables.
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post #3 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

I hate to follow Mr. Perry's post, but if comfort factor means anything this calculator may provide some beneficial information: Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2500+ boats
Also, comfort is partly psychological and worrying over build quality in a full gale is not going to give much comfort.
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post #4 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

A smaller boat designed to be a blue-water cruiser like the Baba 30 because it would be designed with this kind of weather in mind.

Recent sinkings seem to stem from design defects and materiel faiilures on the more lightly built coastal cruisers such as broken rudders/stern tubes/rudder posts causing sinking, excessive water entry from hatches/windows/ventilation systems affecting other systems, loss of fin keel causing inversion/sinking, etc. I would rather have a stoutly-built boat in heavy weather.
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post #5 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

I would take a proven offshore of smaller size than larger boat of questionable offshore ability...not saying a larger boat wouldnt be better but something about a full keel and protected rudder and a history of proven offshore capabilty helped with my choice of boat especially with my limited experience. I figure if I take care of my Alberg 30...she'll take of me! Hope I am never proven wrong


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post #6 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

This is a loaded question, a gale is 28-55 knots, I have comfortably sailed my Montgomery 15 is 28 knots in flat water. There is a lot more to it than wind conditions. If you want to sail to weather in a gale the Catalina 38 may be your best bet. A PSC 31 wont heave to but a Baba 31 will. All of these boats are easily strong enough to survive a gale but comfort is a relative term. Many Baba 31's have wooden masts that induce a dampening effect and tend to roll slower. Then there are other factors like sail plan, a cutter rig is much easier and safer with smaller steering sails and can easily be sailed with hank on sails. Try and wrestle a 130 jib down on a s&s 38 after the roller furler fails in 55 knots of wind and you will understand what I'm talking about. The larger the boat the more comfortable in theory until something goes wrong, then it's a 180 shift. The reason we see so many rescue at sea these days is because people buy big complicated boats they don't and cant maintain so one little breakdown spells disaster and all they have to do is push a button and mommy will come get them. If I cant sail it solo with all hank on and manual equipment its too big for me.
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post #7 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

Bare:
There is no such boat as the Baba 31.
There is a Baba 30.
There is a Tashiba 31 but it is a totally different design while looking somewhat the same style.
Some Baba 30's have spruce sticks, some have alu.
Does "roll less" mean frequency or amplitude?
Who says a PSC 31 won't heave to? Just because one sailor can;t get it to heave to doesn;t mean no sailor can get it to heave to.

But I am with you on the size thing. The bigger boat is better until the poop hits the fan. Then there is a lot more poop hitting a much bigger fan.

I also like hanked on sails. I must be a luddite.

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post #8 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

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Originally Posted by barefootnavigator View Post
This is a loaded question, a gale is 28-55 knots, I have comfortably sailed my Montgomery 15 is 28 knots in flat water. There is a lot more to it than wind conditions. If you want to sail to weather in a gale the Catalina 38 may be your best bet. A PSC 31 wont heave to but a Baba 31 will. All of these boats are easily strong enough to survive a gale but comfort is a relative term. Many Baba 31's have wooden masts that induce a dampening effect and tend to roll slower. Then there are other factors like sail plan, a cutter rig is much easier and safer with smaller steering sails and can easily be sailed with hank on sails. Try and wrestle a 130 jib down on a s&s 38 after the roller furler fails in 55 knots of wind and you will understand what I'm talking about. The larger the boat the more comfortable in theory until something goes wrong, then it's a 180 shift. The reason we see so many rescue at sea these days is because people buy big complicated boats they don't and cant maintain so one little breakdown spells disaster and all they have to do is push a button and mommy will come get them. If I cant sail it solo with all hank on and manual equipment its too big for me.
Like your blog. I been in many storms and in 40- 55kt winds in a 20-60ft boat(prolly bigger) you prolly wouldn't know the difference. Luckily when I was at sea in those conditions the boat was navy gray and much much larger......With that said for me knowing that my boat(or one like it) has survived mentally eases my mind!


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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

Ok Mr Perry, You no doubt have thousands of hours at sea racing and cruising, prove me wrong. The PSC 31 cant be hove to, you can get it to pinch at half a knot but you cant get it to stop forward progress in a gale. If you can get it to heave to I'll buy you lunch and take you sailing the one of the kewlest boats around
PS I know its a Baba 30 just a typo I have double vision and am dyslexic which is why I sail instead of fly.
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post #10 of 25 Old 04-25-2013
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Re: Which boat in a gale; apples and oranges

Um, I just realized that I was thinking of the Crealock 31 not the Mariah, my bad
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