Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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A lot of the modifications that would be necessary to any small cruising boat are discussed in the back of John Vigor's The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat, since he has a fairly detailed description of what was done to make a Catalina 27 bluewater capable.
Even if you don't want to go bluewater with your boat, making some of these modifications really make a lot of sense. For instance, many small coastal cruising boats don't have a proper bridgedeck. Mine certainly didn't, since the cockpit only had a three-inch high lip at the companionway.
Last spring, I added a full bridgedeck to the cockpit. This increased the seaworthiness of the boat IMHO, since it reduced the possibility of the cockpit downflooding into the cabin and reduced the volume of seawater that can sit in the cockpit if the boat is pooped by FIVE cubic feet, or almost 325 lbs. of water. Even if you're just coastal cruising, I don't see this as anything but a plus.
In addition to making the boat safer, it stiffened up the aft end of the boat, reinforced the aft ama crossbeam structure, gave the cabin 4.5 cubic feet of stowage I didn't have previously, and added some more seating to the cockpit. All of these are good things as far as I can see.
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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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