Blue Water Capable Boats (Not a Cat 30, I promise) - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 37 Old 04-13-2009
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Smack Daddy, I've got a better story from the same trip. After weathering the storm we had a brilliant day and a half sailing across a now tranquil Gulfstream and around a very quiet Cape Hatteras. We are making between 8 and 10 knots with our Asymmetrical spinnaker. The temperatures are moderate as I comfortably snooze in one of the mid berths. About 2:00 in the morning I am awakened by yelling from the 2 on watch in the pilothouse. As I scramble out of my cozy berth I slip on a thin patch of ice formed by spray around the mast as the temperature has dropped 25 degrees.

I can tell by the anxious and loud yelling that there must be something seriously wrong. I throw my vest on and head up to the pilothouse. We are now motoring into a headwind as the wind has shifted from the southeast to NNW. The 2 other crew excitedly point at the radar screen which shows an enormous blip 4 miles from us. It is obvious it is a very big ship, either an aircraft carrier(we are heading towards Norfolk) or a car carrier. The blip is circling our vessel every 45 seconds!! This is really freaking us out since what could be that big and that fast. We immediately rule out aircraft or helicopters. We have just sailed about 950 miles through the Devils Triangle. Nah, I don't believe in that stuff. The blip continues to make a constant circle around us on the screen. Could this be some secret government weapon? My half awake brain was really racing now. What the heck could be that big and circle in an 8 mile diameter every 45 seconds???

Eventually, one of the crew points to the not too trusty KVH sailcomp which has a very dim and flickering display. The heading display is rapidly moving from 0 to 355 and then starting again. The light bulb goes on, there is a big ship out there alright and it is our boat that is going in a fairly tight circle. The primary autopilot has broken and is steering very steadily in a circle. On a moonless, starless night, we really don't have a horizon to focus on so in our fatigued state we don't realize our situation. Immediately we disengage the primary autopilot and switch on the backup which works like a champ. We spend the next 2 watches laughing about how stupid we are.

In the morning the owner/designer climbs into the aft "garage" to survey the damage. The stainless screws in the autopilot bracket had stripped out from the loads during the storm causing the bracket to flop around and wedge in one position. A quick drill, tap and larger bolts and we are good to go with the primary autopilot again.

One of the few times when I have gone from adrenalin pumping terror to uncontrolled laughter on a boat.
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post #32 of 37 Old 04-13-2009
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I think the easiest way to put together a list of potential boats is to start with your intended purchase budget. Are you hoping to spend something equivalent to the price of an older C30 (~$15-25k)? Give us a price range and we can offer up some suggested boats.

Catalina 34

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post #33 of 37 Old 04-13-2009
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That's hilarious sandusky! What a trip.

So are you going to take these to BFS - or are you going to make me do the heavy lifting?
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post #34 of 37 Old 04-13-2009
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As far as I know, this might be the only sailboat ever built by Hike. The workmanship and quality were first rate. As I said in a previous post, I never doubted that the boat would be fine. Aluminum for a boat this size is a great choice.
It is...the only real worry is the scrupulousness with which you have to watch the galvanic issues, but there's a lot of beautiful and tough alu boats out there.

Thanks for the further information. Quite a bit of it will come in handy.

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post #35 of 37 Old 04-14-2009
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One of the few times when I have gone from adrenalin pumping terror to uncontrolled laughter on a boat.

That's a very funny story, Sandusky. I'll remember it should I ever be surrounded by a very large, fast blip. I have a KVH fluxgate compass, but I usually just stick with the Ritchie Globemaster and eyeball it.

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post #36 of 37 Old 04-14-2009
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Then after that read Shrimpy Sails Again, both out of print, but can be found.
Shane sadly died of lung cancer a few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting him many years ago in England before he began his adventures....a true character.



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Would I sail an 18 footer built of 1/4 inch plyaround the world - NO - but Shane Acton did. Get the book he wrote called "SHRIMPY".

It is a great read! and reassuring when you have worries about your boat size.
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post #37 of 37 Old 04-22-2009
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Every Boat out 250NM is a bluewater boat

These threads about " the Best", "the Most", " " What should I Buy?" are exercises in futility since, regardless of the vessel, the perception and comfort levels of each person and crew vary so widely.

My 1968 Columbia 36 has been to Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii, and is a " coastal Cruiser." There are others as far away as Thailand and in the Sea of Cortez.

The real question is what do you want and what can you afford? I favor the older "proven" designs that can sail well ( that eliminates Wet Snails) has a reasonable layout below ( since in most cruising locations, you won't want spend alot of time sweltering below) and you're going to spend much of your time working on it in exotic locations out of necessity or boredom.

Different Folks, Different strokes.
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