Retrofitting a "weekend cruiser/racer" for offshore passagemaking - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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Old 07-06-2008
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Great OP, Billy!

It brought to mind another recent post on the new Bene 49s, they definitely suffered the same offshore shortcomings that you mention on the 44.7.

True offshore capability is so much more than just design, scantlings, gear, and construction techniques.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Old 07-07-2008
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good points.
A well built boat is always stronger than the crew. The maxim of 'one hand for the boat, one for you' is a good one, but not always enough.

I learned on board my first submarine, and had re-remembered on my last ship, a USNS T-ATF that the first thing you need to do is put straps in your bunk. I got that advice from a salty E-7 who showed me my rack; top most of a four layer stack of racks, a 22 inch wide, 22inch high by 6.5 ft hole five feet off the deck. I literally could not lay on my side because my shoulders were to wide, you lifted yourself up and slid in horizontally.

I fastened 2 inch wide straps at chest and feet to hold me in case of lurches, I'd had sea stories of guys being bounced up and out in a Fred Flintsone like shuffle. As if sideways out wasn't back enough on submarines a serious bow up/down movement can send you falling straight onto your head/neck and still be in your bunk.
The Officer in Charge I replaced on the T-ATF was med-evaced off because as he laid in his bunk with his head facing the bow and he was literally lifted, rolled up and tossed onto his head while still in his bunk by the plunge after cresting a simple 15 foot wave (boat was rated by the CG for 12 ft seas).

We Sailors call them lee cloths, but I'd go a step forward, and put an actual strap in. It'll take some getting used to, but is a whole lot more comfortable than a neck brace for months or a hole in your forehead.

Likewise through out the boat, plan where you have to walk, understand that it's not an exercise in monkey bars where you can swing left hand/ right hand etc. One of those hands will be full of something, you have to be able to do it with one hand so adjust those handholds to that concept.
If you think you can hang on that 1 inch fiddle as a hand hold, try it once at 45 degrees heel and a bow plunge and see, then replace it with a real hold.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Chuckles has seen my wife. I'm about a foot taller and our kid is about 4 feet tall (he's six).

I am opting for padded upright poles in our boat, with the ones in the pilothouse doubling as conduits for the tank vents going to the pilothouse roof (high and dry!). In addition to properly secured and "lee-clothed" sea berths, I will have "interior jacklines" for really foul weather made from webbing so that a lurch will tend to throw someone into the webbing before they hit the cabinetry.

Production boats, in my view, are not suitable for offshore for exactly the reasons B.R. cites: They are big, mostly empty Clorox bottles and the crew are mouse-sized projectiles. Fixing that means going against much of the purpose for which these boats were designed: fair-weather daysailing, club racing, coastal cruising, and entertaining at dock.

Not that there is anything wrong with those things. But you can do that and offshore on a small selection of models: J-Boats come to mind.
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Old 07-07-2008
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Good thread BR. Always a bit of thought goes into your threads. It is appreciated.

It does strike me that as boats get bigger and having all the comforts of home becomes more important that many of the issues raised get shifted sideways or ignored altogether.

If you'll pardon a bit of old fartiness I'd suggest that some of you have a look at the interior of the older crusing boats such as the Hiscocks Wanderer III. While by today's standards she is small, cramped and lacking in many of the bare necessities of life (Good Lord the thing doesn't have air conditioning or a TV, let alone hot showers, positively barbaric conditions ) she does have as central to the accomodation two decent sea berths and plenty of handholds.

I was once sailed across the top of Australia in a 26'er that in almost every respect I found unbearably cramped but she had port and starboard quarter berths, fit for a single body only, that enabled me to sleep like a cat all the way across with nary a bruise or a bump.

Then again, as someone mentioned, most people never spend more than the very occasional night at sea so all that se berth, small cockpit, gumph matters nowt to them.
Andrew B

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Old 07-07-2008
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So one is still down to the, "One will probably have to install said off shore safety gear themselves!"

While I have no issues with what Val is doing to his boat, How much of that stuff (ie the handholds, padding etc) was already there? Probably not a good chunk of it, even tho it is a cruising boat by most standards.

One thing that would be nice, IF, and that is a very BIG "IF". The production builders would offer an "offshore" option if you will, with handholds or places inside to attach webbing, or equal structural improvements to the inside for those planing on going off shore. But even still, what and where a hand hold should be, will depend upon of it is a racing crew going at 10-20+ knots like a V70 vs 4-8 knots on a boat like Valiente. Then again, I do not know of too many pure production V70' I guess that is probably NOT a good comparison so compare the OP's B44.7 he was on, to Valiente and those two boats general speeds they would go, with the 44.7 probably +1-4 knots faster in most conditions.

We are still into the, what I call personal preference, and the buyer better prepare accordingly for "there" boat. Be it an empty sleek clorax bottle like the 44.7, or a tight inside old wooden shoe of a boat like valiente......wait, ok a steel toed boot, as I am now recalling that it has a steel hull. Either way, there is not a perfect designed boat for all folks personal preferences. I would still rather know the hull etc is sound, and prepare "MY" style of boat for its intended use than to assume that the builder will have it perfect!

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