Production Boats and the Limits - Page 33 - SailNet Community
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post #321 of 2155 Old 10-24-2011
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Some of the blue water debate centers around the assumtion that you will run into worse conditions "out there".

I can attest that is not neccessarily so. I have run into some serious sh(*& just 10 miles away from land. I sincerely hope it doesn't get worse further out.

I have rarely gone out past the continental shelf, and have encountered deep stacked seas, high winds, horizontal hailstones the size of pebbles, etc...

The second assumption is that if it gets bad you can always go back in, that not a safe assumption either. Often in Texas the storms form in a line hugging the coast. If your more than 10 miles out you might as well stay there, because you have to cross the line to get back in, and the size of the breaking waves I have seen at the mouth of the jetties would make any attempt to enter, pure suicide, and docking in high winds is no picnic either even if you did somehow manage to enter the bay.

SO that coastal cruiser had better be able to take at least a moderate storm on short notice. And best be able to ride out a period of bad weather in open water, or it would never be safe to leave the bay.

I have left in the morning with a clear day no clouds in sight, a high pressure system and the last cold front passed over, ...suddenly reversed and came back bringing a line of severe thunderstorms along the coast, a few hours later it is pitch dark, just before noon, and huge rolling waves followed by scattered lightening strikes some less than a boat length away, followed by a deluge of rain, and hailstones the size of pebbles hitting my face propelled by 60+ mile an hour winds, the waves are breaking in sheets, deluging the boat, I don't know what will sink the boat first the pouring waves, or the piles of hailstones on deck. Or if it will simply break into pieces as it is repeatedly picked up, tossed, then a sickening drop, crashing into the face of the next wave followed by another wall of water crashing over the boat.

And that is just 10-20 miles from "safety". a few hours of that, and I seriously thought of moving to Kansas and becoming a farmer.

Well the boat made it, even though it was only a production coastal cruiser, and I lived through it also, although with a new found heathy respect for the pounding a little thunderstorm can give you only a "stones throw" from land.

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post #322 of 2155 Old 10-24-2011
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Grips are IMPORTANT. Pacific Sun - YouTube

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Somewhere, there is a video online of a tourist ship, many hundred tons, hundreds of passengers, caught in bad weather along the coast. The bar is smashed, the lounges are cleared and all passengers are sent to their cabins because they cannot keep still in the open areas. Crew are leaping from the one fixed point to the next.

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post #323 of 2155 Old 10-31-2011
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The Bear's cautious two cents worth:

After wadding thru all 16 pages of this very interesting discusion of "Blue water boats" I came to several conclusions.

First: Almost very boat that you would find acceptable is the six figure range or (gasp) and the first numbert isn"t a 1!

Second: Most of the people I sail with who frequently go off shore, over twenty miles, to the islands across the Gulf to Mexico and down south, probablly don't have an entire net worth equal to those amonts.

Three: There are three TRAILERABLE boats that have hundreds of times proven themselves very "blue water worthy" Pacific Seacraft's "Flicia" and "dana" and Nor'Seas 27. These craft have made hundreds of tran Atlantic and Trans Pacific and circumnavagations, safely, comfortabley, and are relatively inexpensive. Any one of thse boats can be found, used, in the mid five figure range.
Four: These are boats that "we" can afford and I submit add these production boats to your list.
IMHO
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post #324 of 2155 Old 10-31-2011
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Enormous range of boats are blue water

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Originally Posted by RedtheBear View Post
The Bear's cautious two cents worth:

First: Almost very boat that you would find acceptable is the six figure range or (gasp) and the first numbert isn"t a 1!

...

Three: There are three TRAILERABLE boats that have hundreds of times proven themselves very "blue water worthy" Pacific Seacraft's "Flicia" and "dana" and Nor'Seas 27. These craft have made hundreds of tran Atlantic and Trans Pacific and circumnavagations, safely, comfortabley, and are relatively inexpensive. Any one of thse boats can be found, used, in the mid five figure range.
Four: These are boats that "we" can afford and I submit add these production boats to your list.
IMHO
Sorry for editing your post but I wanted to focus on a couple of things you said
based on our experience in the Eastern Caribbean and South Pacific.

First of all, the boats you see actually cruising thousands of miles from home vary enormously. In fact, we have seen probably 200 different designs (haven't counted). There is no best way to go - it depends on the individual's (or couple's) predilections and budget.

The median boat (half cheaper/half more expensive) we saw in the Pacific (a very long way from people's homes in North America, Europe, or Oz could probably be had for something like $120,000. In the Eastern Caribbean, probably the figure would be less than 100k. But we saw people having a great old time in Vegas (is that 27?) and we saw one guy with a Bristol 27 in Suwarrow and Pago Pago. His Monitor vane and solar panel were probably worth more than the rest of the boat. You don't need 'mid 5 figures' for boats like these, much less in today's market. (BTW, I don't think these boats have made hundreds of transoceanic passages and circumnavs - but they have made them)

What you get in a bigger pricier boat is not necessarily more safety - it is more comfort and faster passages. If you want to cruise you can do it safely and cheaply. If you want more comfort and speed, the sky is limit up to the mega yachts we saw in St Martin and Tahiti. In the latter category there was a gorgeous 104' (looked like a classic but was quite new) that looked almost tiny next to a couple of other sailboats that were more like 160'. You pay what you can and live with the consequences, but you can be cruising long distances. I was happy cruising on my Niagara 35, but the admiral said she wanted something more comfy if we were heading off - so we got the Bristol and have enjoyed the comfort and speed.

A comment on what a few said about conditions way offshore compared to near shore. They are not the same even if you can get some lousy weather near shore. When you a thousand miles from nowhere, the consequences of something breaking are much worse as are the consequences of illness or accident. There is no Boat US or even Coast Guard to help you.

When we were going from the Galapagos there was a woman singlehanding on an old 37' ketch. She had her forestay break and later the shaft flexible coupling break. The mast stayed up because of a baby-stay but she had to jury-rig and find some way to get to windward a bit because the winds were not the standard trades and she could not lay Easter Island. With the conditions as they the next harbor was Mangareva in the Gambier Islands which was close to 2000 miles downwind. We, along with a three other boats, were in an informal SSB net with her and were able to contact the Chilean navy. They said they could rescue her but could do nothing for her boat (eventually they towed her the last several miles to Easter). When this started we were 600 miles away from her but upwind so went toward her in case she had to abandon. The boat coming behind us (200 miles) took her some water since she was running out and did not have a water maker, nor did it rain much. The wind switched and she was able to get to Easter. For two weeks she probably averaged 2 knots but she made it - a hell of a good effort on her part. That sort of thing happens offshore but not near shore.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #325 of 2155 Old 10-31-2011
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Had another thought when I looked again at the title of this thread. It is really quite misleading since the term 'production boats' applies to such a wide range of vessels. It makes a lot more sense to say - what is the limit for this production boat?

For example, with my current boat (Bristol 45.5) I would be quite comfortable doing a circumnav in tropical conditions with occasional forays off the beaten track (we went Galapagos to Easter rather than the standard route to the Marquesas. Also we may decide to go around Africa rather than to the Red Sea. BUT, would I want to do Cape Horn or go to Antarctica? No, for me, in my conservative 60s that seems like pushing the limits of my boat (not to mention of me!) At the same time, we met some young people on a French boat in French Polynesia (~38') that looked like a pretty standard production boat and they had gone from France down the coast of South America and then to Antarctica (72 knots at one anchorage apparently). Their tolerance is obviously different then mine.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #326 of 2155 Old 11-14-2011 Thread Starter
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So have you guys seen this Hunter that is just about to round The Horn?

Sequitur

Water really doesn't get any more "blue" than that. Seems like this ongoing debate might get settled pretty soon.


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post #327 of 2155 Old 11-15-2011
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Smack, just because someone has done it once, doesn't mean it is the way to do it!

Killarney makes some good points. He has obviously been there and done it, and is still doing it! I also agree with him that the variety of boats on the 'bluewater circuit' is amazing. We were recently sat in Port Bundaberg here in Australia for a a few weeks waiting out weather as the 80 strong fleet of the Port to Port Rally came in (Port Vila, Vanuatu - Port Bundaberg, Australia). Mostly Circumnavigators on the way round, what surprised me was that there was no stereotypical bluewater cruiser. There were small boats and big boats, pretty boats and ugly boats, new boats and old boats. Boats with Windvanes and without. From what I saw not alot of modern Production boats made it this far from the North America/Europe but there were a few at least.

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post #328 of 2155 Old 11-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Smack, just because someone has done it once, doesn't mean it is the way to do it!
True. But there really is no "THE" way to do it as you point out in the rest of your post.

I'm just saying Hunters CAN do it (apparently). Which is far different than the typical chorus you hear most of the time.

How you hangin' mate?


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Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-16-2011 at 09:31 AM.
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post #329 of 2155 Old 11-16-2011
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A Hunter rounds the Horn, that'll be the day! LOL :

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post #330 of 2155 Old 11-16-2011
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Well I read the first page, and this page. Nothing new going on in this
"discussion". Most who don't believe it is possible to sail safety and well in a production boat aren't going to change their minds no matter how many do so.

If you want to know what production boats are good, don't ask a bunch of old school forum "sailors" ask owners of the various production boats.

As an owner of a crappy production boat, who used to be part of the herd that trash talked about them, I say the only thing different between those one off high end eye candy boats and a modern production boat is; with the eye candy you get a lot of fancy wood to take care of so you use the boat less and reduce it's wear. On the other hand the high end one offs are more "classic" designs, which is code for out of date.
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