We've seen the age-old debate regarding what's REALLY a blue-water boat. And that's cool and everything - but it seems to me that there is a tangible middle ground between coastal cruising and true blue water sailing. Furthermore, in my blissful ignorance, I'd say that quite a few sailors inhabit this aether plain.
SM, I like
Perhaps it's worth mentioning that the vast majority of wreckages and carnage happen on the coast - not even along
the coast but virtually on
it. The boat may have played a part, but I doubt that "blue water" was the deciding factor. Crew, maybe? Maintenance, maybe? Alcohol?
The statistic that makes me smile is from this year's Vendée Globe; folks sailing single-handed around the world at infernal speeds. Some 32 skippers started, 11 finished. Along the route one found them capsized, hauled into remote islands for safety or repair, rudderless, keel-less, demasted, and with torn sails. What joy it must be!
Vendée Globe Ranking
I mention it only because it is often said that racing - as in "motor racing" - advances technology for ordinary cars. I don't see many trends in these ocean races advancing the game for the rest of us. In areas perhaps, such as electronics, but as a general direction?
This is a little sad because meanwhile, the original field of blue water cruising
has been left behind. There has been so little development that you can fully understand the "old school" swearing by the old shoes - it isn't as if newer boats have made a great advance on blue water.
In fact, it is the "coastal" cruiser that has taken the greater strides: roomier, much more reliable both structurally and in equipment; easier to handle, more nimble to maneuver. It is not surprising that some want to bring those advantages with them and travel further afield - and to be honest, it works most of the time, doesn't it?