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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 10-03-2008
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A surfing sailboat

I'm in the process of trying to figure out what sort of a boat I want to buy for myself... Most of the literature I read out there highly advocates heavy displacement boats for extended cruising which is what I would like to pursue and hopefully circumnavigate at some point. But recently I've read Guzzwell's Trekka Round the World book and he seems to favor the lighter displacement boats due to the fact that they seem to be able to float better I suppose and rise above the seas more easily. He also says one of the funnest parts of sailing his boat Trekka was being able to surf down the waves and attributes that to it's weight and size... I also believe his newer boat Endangered Species is capable of this as well.

I own a small 19' foot sloop now and have had experiences surfing it as well(it's only 1350 lbs.) and I love it. I'm just wondering if anybody out there also favors the smaller lighter displacement boats for long distance cruising? I'd love to hear more about why and if there are any boats they have to recommend. Specifically I'd love to find a boat in the 25-32 ft range with the capability to surf and the sturdiness to take me around the world. What are peoples thoughts on this?
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Old 10-03-2008
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First off, welcome to Sailnet. Soon somebody with the screen name Sailingdog will gently admonish you to read a link in his lengthy signature line explaining that it will help you get more out of this site. To answer your question, sort of...here is a link to a longish discussion amongst some members here regarding the topic http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buying...ter-safer.html
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Old 10-03-2008
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First, I am NOT a long distance cruiser, so take this for what its worth. I prefer lighter boats just b/c they can surf, however, when you're beating into a 2-4' chop with the wind on your nose, you definitely pay for it. Having to drive around big waves or have them knock 3 knots off your speed is really frustrating. But flat water, or going downwind, its a blast. Definitely a trade off.
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Old 10-03-2008
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Yes, they're called multihulls... you might want to read Thomas Firth Jones's book Multihull Voyaging.

There are several smaller catamarans, like the Heavenly Twins, the Iroquois and the Catalac 8m/9m that would work for you.
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Old 10-03-2008
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SD are you slipping??? This new member's post was 53 minutes old before you got to it.
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making whatever, my 38' full keel boat weighs 15K and surfs just fine and for long periods if it's a beam sea.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieCobra View Post
making whatever, my 38' full keel boat weighs 15K and surfs just fine and for long periods if it's a beam sea.
Huh! You surf down wave and usually downwind. How could you surf sideways on beam sea?

Paul L
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Normally I wouldn't nor would I recommend it but have ya ever watched surfers? They surf along the wave face. I've done it twice, the first time by accident when I had a quartering wave turn me into the face and we got stuck there for a minute or so while I was trying to turn back down the wave. I ended up turning hard into it and jumping off the back side.

The next time was in a clear air Gale and our destination was across the waves. We were heeled to 30* or so, a wave would hit, we'd heel to 50* or so, settle down and surf along the face of the wave for anywhere from 40-90 seconds until the wave passed beneath the boat. It was wild to be heeled that far, look to the leeward side and see nothing but a big hole where the water oughta be, look back over your shoulder to the high side and get a face full of wave that was hanging over your head. Needless to say, it required very proactive helming and was very tiring. It was very fast though. We covered 38 nm in four hrs with a 26' WL. The waves started at 3-4' and built to steep 8-12 footers by the time we got to Point Wilson. I had no room to run off because of a Lee shore. You actually point a few degrees off the wave as it lifts the boat and surf along it's face. It takes a very stable boat though and it's scary as hell. If the waves are breaking, don't try it cause they'll roll ya.
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I don't think surfing in a gale is really all that much of a focus of a cruiser buying a boat that surfs. Offshore boats that surf are primarily doing tropical tradewind downwind runs. Such as Pacific coast to Hawaii. Often with chutes up or double headsails.

Paul L
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