So... How big is a "blue water" boat? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-29-2009
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So... How big is a "blue water" boat?

Man, i have heard it all so far.. There is a guy i met who told be he sailed his 25' Hunter to Cuba! I think he figured out i though he was full of it so, he brought me a bunch of Pictures. Either he is REALLY good at photo chop or he did sail that thing from Houston to Cuba..
Any way while i dont think a 25' Hunter is "Blue water" what is?? WHY????

These are things i ponder while i look at these MASSIVE sail boats next to mine that seem to have been forgotten by their owners. I am always sad when i work on my boat because there are so many other " much nicer boats" around me that would and could be magnificent if some one just cared for them.
I believe every boat has a soul and the neglect just pains me.

Anyway..
How big and why? are we looking for a particular draft? Dead weight?
A wider beam?

Thanks to all of you for all your help and to put up with my stupid questions..
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Old 09-29-2009
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i think to define some general guidelines as to what is a bluewater boat you have to define what is bluewater (not possible as each person has a different definition, so maybe just go with offshore more then, oh say 25miles?) and then what the boat has to be capable in those waters.

any boat can be sailed anywhere with the right weather. there in lies the rub....
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Old 09-29-2009
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Around here blue water means Well not murky brown/green water which is almost 15 miles out in the gulf of mexico where the wind is scary and the water rather deep.

How about.. I want to sail to St Croix what should i sail? would my 29 foot do it ? Or should i say would i want to do it... lol
I saw a chey truck with 55 gal drums make it from Cuba before that does not mean i want to try it.
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Old 09-29-2009
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Well, the first response is that there are a million posts on this and other forums about this same issue including one I posted about my Catalina 36. Try searching "blue water", that oughta do it. Basically though (and others may correct me), it has more to do with design and construction than it does with size. Pacific Seacraft makes (made) boats from 20-31 feet which are considered blue water capable while a Hunter 40+ may be questionable. Entire books have been written about favorable design elements such as sail area/displacement ratio, self-righting ability, etc. A VERY knowledgeable response to my "can I make my Catalina 36 blue water capable" thread brought up elements of construction. Basically, what happens to your light coastal crusier when it falls off a 30' wave or flips over. Will the tankage & cabinetry stay in place? Are they bonded to the hull or just screwed in? Stuff like that. Given 10 knots of wind & 2 foot seas, ANY boat can sail around the world. Many boats not designed or built to take the rigors of heavy weather have, by luck or good planning, made extensive voyages. But these are the exceptions rather than the rule. Generally, a boat which is designed and constructed for potentially heavy weather and which is of a manageable size for the intended crew makes a good blue water boat.

Mike
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Old 09-30-2009
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Most would expect a bluewater boat to be able to perform well in harsh weather. With today's weather forecasting abilities we can expect to consistantly predict three safe weather days in the immediate future. Therefore, at ninety miles from Florida, a passage to Cuba would not require a bluewater vessel. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 10-14-2009
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I don't understand the question? "What is a blue water boat?" There simply is no such thing as a blue water boat. There are only blue water sailors. Millions of $ cannot buy a blue water boat, but a blue water sailor can sail a dingy across an ocean. Look at Capt. Bligh, he sailed an open lifeboat full of sailors across 1600 miles of open ocean. I could do it my self in a rubber raft, if I could remember what I was doing out here in the middle of the sea without my honey and where are my glasses? Now repeat after me; "It is not the size of the tool that counts. It is how well you use it" And I know where of I speak.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Webb Chiles is off again round the world in a Drascombe Lugger. OK he is a very experienced blue water sailor but it is an open boat somewhere around 20 feet long.

Shane Acton made it round in a 18 foot Caprice plywood bilge keeler with no sailing knowledge to begin with AT ALL! He had not even had the mast up when he left from Cambridge. He learned as he went along.

The seamanship matters more than the boat IMHO.
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Old 10-14-2009
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I completely agree with TQA and Captn Fred. Its the boat and the sailor. Could someone make it across the Atlantic in a Hunter 25? If adequately modified and superbly skippered, of course. Could someone not make it to Catalina island on a Swan 45? Certainly, if he (or she) was an incompetent dodo.
There is no hard and fast line, its a continuum and you have to gauge where the skipper and the boat fall along that.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genieskip View Post
I completely agree with TQA and Captn Fred. Its the boat and the sailor. Could someone make it across the Atlantic in a Hunter 25? If adequately modified and superbly skippered, of course. Could someone not make it to Catalina island on a Swan 45? Certainly, if he (or she) was an incompetent dodo.
There is no hard and fast line, its a continuum and you have to gauge where the skipper and the boat fall along that.
While I somewhat agree with the above sentiment and I don't claim to be that bluewater sailor, I also believe there is only so much a "bluewater sailor" could do to keep a non-bluewater boat intact, should it encounter truly bad weather.

For me (perhaps a sea-chicken), a bluewater boat is defined as one that I would willingly be more than 2 days from a safe port aboard.

With todays forecasting, its relatively easy to accurately forecast 3 days ahead. Further out than that, it becomes increasingly difficult and I wouldn't want to be on a boat designed as a coastal cruiser without the ability to run for cover if the weather window was closing. I'd want something substantially more robust than the typical production cruiser if I was further offshore than that.
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Old 10-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Fred View Post
I don't understand the question? "What is a blue water boat?" There simply is no such thing as a blue water boat. There are only blue water sailors. Millions of $ cannot buy a blue water boat, but a blue water sailor can sail a dingy across an ocean. Look at Capt. Bligh, he sailed an open lifeboat full of sailors across 1600 miles of open ocean. I could do it my self in a rubber raft, if I could remember what I was doing out here in the middle of the sea without my honey and where are my glasses? Now repeat after me; "It is not the size of the tool that counts. It is how well you use it" And I know where of I speak.
Capt Fred, I can agree with you about 50%. There are boats, like a Hunter 25, that are clearly not capable of enduring a storm at sea. I also know where of I speak, having been through two Force 10 storms and one hurricane at sea - a Hunter or Bayliner or open lifeboat or ..., would not have made it through, regardless of the sailors
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