Join Date: Jul 2001
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Ahoy, Jerry039. You didn''t indicate how you got the number you refered to, the 2.0. I assume it is from the Capsize Screening Formula developed by the U.S. Yacht Racing Union in conjunction with the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. This is a simpler way to estimate the positive stability range of a boat than the various complicated stability indexes that are usually done by architects and, on racing boats envolves measuring under the International Measurement System. Briefly, the formula that your 2.0 refers to is a two step formula. Take the total weight of your boat and divide by 64 (wt. of a cubic foot of sea water,62.2 for fresh water). This gives you the boat''s volume in cubic feet in sea water. Second, take the cube root of that number (almost any hand held calculator) and divide that into the beam of the boat. If the number is 2 or less, then the boat is pretty safe from capsize. There was an exhaustive study done on the Fastnet disaster and, believe it or not, the boat that came out of that as the benchmark boat was the Contessa 32. Find a picture or drawing of her and look at it. She has relatively low freeboard, does
not have a very high aspect ratio rig. Getting a boat with a shorter mast and longer
boom for the same given sail area lowers the center of effort, shortening the lever that produces heeling moment. She has adequate ballast to displacement ratio which is very important. In addition to these qualities, you want a swept back forefoot, not a straight entry, so you can deflect and or ride up on objects you might strike at sea. You want a moderately long keel for tracking and steering control in a sea, cut away aft, and you want a rudder and skeg so your rudder will not be so vulnerable. Thirty five feet is generally recommended as the minimum length for blue water cruising and I prefer a
boat with moderate beam to a fat one. All this having been said, JeffH is right about the location of weight,etc. This assumes reasonable construction. Finally, it is the skill of the crew that is the single most overriding factor. The smallest sailboat to cross the Atlantic was under five feet long.
People have sailed oceans in open boats, in production "lake boats" and just about every
thing else. You have to know your boat and you have to know what your routine is for a given set of conditions. Crewing on a blue water boat is a good way to get experience. In today''s market, if you search diligently, you can get a lot of boat for the 35K you have to spend. It will be older, but the late 60''s and early 70''s grp boats are bullit proof because they were over built out of anxiety generated by the lack of overall experience with fiberglass. Look for the qualities I mentioned, keep it at 2.0 or below, a minimum of 40% ballast to displacement ratio, and she will get you home
if you know how to help her. Finally, talk to
people who actually cruise and read Cruising World and other cruising magazines. Good luck. dhartdallas.