Sketchy features on offshore cruisers - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-16-2010 Thread Starter
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Sketchy features on offshore cruisers

I would like your input on some features for offshore cruisers as far as safety is concerned:
1) Portlights in hull
2) Large windows of decksalon/ pilothouse models
3) Centerboard/ swing keel
4) Spade rudder
These are all items, I would like to stay away from in an offshore cruiser for safetyreasons.
Has build and material quality overcome the stigma attached to the above points, or are these still worrysome features?

Thanks for the input.
Bernd
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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It depends... there are many bluewater boats that have some or all of the features that you describe and yet they have made passages without issue. Ovnis for example are french built aluminum boats with a centerboard, but are quite well respected for being a very capable bluewater boat.

Properly designed, built and maintained, none of those features should be deal breakers IMHO.

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post #3 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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I concur with SD..

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Originally Posted by bjung View Post
I would like your input on some features for offshore cruisers as far as safety is concerned:
1) Portlights in hull
2) Large windows of decksalon/ pilothouse models
With the right materials/build these can be as strong as the hull. Big pilothouse's may be detrimental to windward ability, though.

Quote:
3) Centerboard/ swing keel
Depends on stability - refer to the GZ and stability curves for the actual vessel. Like SD said, the Alubat boats (OVNI) and Southerlies (amongst others) are succesfull bluewater boats in that category.
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4) Spade rudder
Plenty of boats with spade rudders have made successful blue water cruises.
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These are all items, I would like to stay away from in an offshore cruiser for safetyreasons.
Has build and material quality overcome the stigma attached to the above points, or are these still worrysome features?
The answer is YES, correctly designed and constructed, there's no need to worry about these features.

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post #4 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjung View Post
I would like your input on some features for offshore cruisers as far as safety is concerned:
1) Portlights in hull
2) Large windows of decksalon/ pilothouse models
3) Centerboard/ swing keel
4) Spade rudder
These are all items, I would like to stay away from in an offshore cruiser for safetyreasons.
Has build and material quality overcome the stigma attached to the above points, or are these still worrysome features?

Thanks for the input.
Bernd
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It all depends on where you go and when you go there.
Our boat has "none of the above".

Isn't there a "stuck swing keel" thread floating around here?

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post #5 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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Sounds like you've already decided on what you think is inappropriate for an offshore capable yacht and are looking for others to support your thoughts. Everything you've asked about can be accurately answered with, "it depends".
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cormeum View Post

It all depends on where you go and when you go there.
Our boat has "none of the above".

Isn't there a "stuck swing keel" thread floating around here?
I think what OP meant is: Can the "boat" follow your "none of the above" boat with ease and comfort. Let's say your boat rated 9 out 10 in ease and comfort. Will the "other" boat be at -5 , 1, 5, or 7 assuming the boat is made a bit better than a Hunter.

Note: No disrespect to Hunter owners. You are still way ahead of me since I am boatless.


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post #7 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
I think what OP meant is: Can the "boat" follow your "none of the above" boat with ease and comfort. Let's say your boat rated 9 out 10 in ease and comfort. Will the "other" boat be at -5 , 1, 5, or 7 assuming the boat is made a bit better than a Hunter.

Note: No disrespect to Hunter owners. You are still way ahead of me since I am boatless.
The OP wrote:

"These are all items, I would like to stay away from in an offshore cruiser for safetyreasons. Has build and material quality overcome the stigma attached to the above points, or are these still worrysome features?"

...and for the sake of clarity, what makes a boat 9 out of 10 for ease and comfort? I'm guessing it will be a long and subjective list . Will it have anything to do with the OP's question?

Last edited by puddinlegs; 08-16-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-16-2010 Thread Starter
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puddin,
No, I have not made up my mind on these items, if I had, I certainly wouldn't waste your time or mine.
I am interrested in your input, because all these features have advantages that I like in one way or another, but come attached with safety issues(at least for me). As I am looking at bluewater boats that I like, some of these items are part of the boat.
I guess when it comes down to it, I am looking for people to contadict my personal inclination, and give me a good reason to do so.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
I think what OP meant is: Can the "boat" follow your "none of the above" boat with ease and comfort. Let's say your boat rated 9 out 10 in ease and comfort. Will the "other" boat be at -5 , 1, 5, or 7 assuming the boat is made a bit better than a Hunter.

Note: No disrespect to Hunter owners. You are still way ahead of me since I am boatless.
Were I to rate them by how much they'd creep me out in a bad storm, I'd put large windows as the worst feature by far.

In hull portlights have to my understanding held up well, but they are another area that can fail catastrophically should they go

I don't think that swing keels have been proven in a cruising environment and should they fail it'd be a big problem. Centerboards are well understood and although they require additional beam for form stability, a centerboard fan shouldn't be put off by them for passagemaking.

I personally am not a fan of spade rudders but a lot of boats use them without incident. They have advantages in manoeverability despite their vulnerability.

Note, none of these relate to "ease and comfort" but rather to survivability.

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post #10 of 26 Old 08-16-2010
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bjung,

It is all myth. You can safely take swingkeel, spade rudder boats bluewater cruising. You have to do proper planning for all types of vessels no matter if they're of the old long-keel type or not, but don't believe in the myth about old long-keelers being the safest offshore boats.
Old wooden boats had long keels because of material, tools, and possibilities, not because that was necessarily the best.
Affordability is another thing, sometimes you can find a great "old" boat that is safe for offshore, but might not be able to afford a newer (well constructed) boat capable of the same thing. Then it's easy - choose the one that takes you sailing.
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