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  #31  
Old 06-12-2012
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Thumbs up Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
There is no such thing as a bluewater boat.

Where do you want to go? What is your budget? Let's start there.

THere are a million threads written on this on sailnet and other places. Youu will get twice that many opinions. If you will give me an idea of your itinerary then I can give you my opinion on a suitable boat.

Just remember the old adage: Better to go around the world on a Hunter with an experienced crew than a Valiant with someone that doesn't know what they are doing.

Brian
Amen, well said, and very true !!!
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  #32  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

It's funny I see Catalina's and hunters in the bahamas, and even down in the carribean from the USA????? Hmmm I guess they e-mailed them down there?
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  #33  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

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hey I've got a Catalina and I totally agree. More than a few times, newbies come on here, talking about buying some cheap POS boat and they think they can sail around the world in it and then get upset when I and a couple dozen others tell them in a nice way, they are nuts.
The Catalina 34 was not designed to go around the world. It is a coastal cruiser. Call Gerry and ask him about taking a 400+ though and get his repsonse. I did.

Brian
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  #34  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

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Originally Posted by CaptTony View Post
I owned a Hunter 27 and took it to the Bahamas twice. The list of problems is too long to get into here. The main problem was a rubber coupling between the propeller shaft and the engine. The rubber was just glued to two pieces of metal on either side. The lag bolted engine mount - that's right lag bolted into the fiberglass not through bolted with backing plates and nuts - came loose, the engine was out of line with the shaft and the coupling broke. This was many years ago and Hunter has since corrected this, but it is symptomatic of the way the boat was put together. Many things happened on those trips: the head failed, the radio stopped working, problems with the manual water pump and so on.

Then in the 90's I did a Hunter delivery of a 40 footer. We got into a storm just outside Beaufort heading north from Florida. The engine stopped in the rough seas (we were headed in to Beaufort and the wind was right on the nose). That was the end of the engine and it wasn't algae in the filters. We checked. Water was coming over the bow and soaked the cockpit. Water got into the installed instruments and took them out along with most of the onboard electronics. Water penetrated down below even though the hatches were secured. Other things happened to the interior, but I don't want to get into it in an open forum.

I had another Hunter delivery after that one but I turned it down.

I consider Hunter and Catalina in the same class of boats. I delivered a couple of Catalina's with no problems, but the conditions were near perfect. Still, perhaps it was wrong to criticize Catalina the way I did with no personal knowledge of critical failures. So, I take back what I said about Catalinas and defer to what Chuck53 said, "hey I've got a Catalina and I totally agree."
That is a Hunter. Catalina, Benteau, and Jeauneau are completely different manufacturers. I will tell you that the 380 and 400's are very well built boats and I am very comfortable with them offshore, even in storms. I have pics...

Brian
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  #35  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

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I would take a Hunter offshore AFTER some extensive modifications.
Rather than submit an edit, I think I would take a Hunter 50HC into bluewater.
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  #36  
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

In a singlehanded race from Frisco to Hawaii, a Seattle boat, which had been lived aboard for the winter, won. While the California boats , which had not been lived aboard in any winter rainstorms, leaked like sieves, the Seattle sailor was warm and dry the whole way. Living aboard in Seattle had given him the opportunity to find and cure any leaks he found.
When I asked a friend I met in Mexico who was cruising in a Catalina 36 , if he planned to cross the Pacific , he said "No way. I've seen what more experienced offshore cruisers cruise in, and there is no way I would consider a Catalina to be up to the job."
With the Fukashima debris field out there, I wouldn't consider going across the Pacific in any boat which was not made of metal. I have zero deck or hatch leaks. What he encountered would have been zero boat problems for my boats.
Another lesson from this story is "keep it simple" It was the complexity of his wheel steering system, water tank arrangement, hatches, etc etc which gave him his technical problems.
Albergs can be drastically improved, by taking the rudder off the keel , and putting a vertical rudder at the aft end of the waterline, on a good strong skeg, at the back of the boat, where it belongs. A friend who circumnavigated on an Alberg 37,said he sure wished he had done that, before his circumnavigation.
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  #37  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
I've said it before, I'll say it again... IMHO, the single best resource for addressing these criteria is John Rousmaniere's DESIRABLE AND UNDESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF OFFSHORE YACHTS...

Don't take too seriously the comments of those who may opine that there is no such thing as a bluewater boat, or that most any plastic fantastic can be "modified" or "beefed up" for bluewater sailing...

Some boats and designs simply ARE far more suitable than others or most for such sailing, it's completely beyond me why some try so hard to deny this...
I never said any plastic fantastic could be modified. Some are plain and simply designed for coastal work.

Well, this could get into a very heated discussion. My dad owns (and I am part owner) of a Tayana Vancouver 42, which by most would be considered a "bluewater" boat. I have sailed a multitude of other boats. I will escape the Hunter comments because I have not owned one. However, I have not had those issues on a Catalina. I own a Catalin 400, have owned and cruised a Catalina 380 (the old Morgan hull 38 altered with a different top, incidentally), 320, and 250. And to be fair, Hunter has made some mistakes. But they have also made some well made boats. I understand teh 49 is a well made boat, but my knolwedge on that vessel other than the boat show is hearsay.

There are several lines of the Catalinas that are not meant to be offshore boats. They are not designed for that. The larger boats are and I am here to tell you they can and have been there. I have done it. I have the pics here too. I had no problems, at all. Never have. I also put my kids on board one and I guarantee you that I am very cautious about where and what we do as such.

Many of the failures attributed with these boats have less to do witht he boat and more to do with the equipment on board. If it is a hull-deck joint failure, that is the fault of the designer and yard. If the chain plate rips loose, that is a mfg issue or design issue. If the head fails, that is the fault of the head manufacturer. All things inside a sailboat are not manufactured by that sailboat. In fact, most of them are not: from winches, portholes, heads, electronics, batteries, running/standing rigging, etc. Why people fault the manufacturer for failures on those is beyond me. Now, if they were incorrectly installed at the mfg, that is an issue. But when discussing the fasability of a production boat going "offshore" when the vast percentage of the equipment on that boat trasncends to other manufacturers that are considered "bluewater", one needs to stand back and ask how much of this is a design failure and how much is a basic equipment failure that could happen to any manufacturer that uses that product.

The issue with many production boats for long term LA or cruising, in my opinion, is storage, handholds (on some models), and tankage. There are some other things, but that is a good start. I also have an issue with accessibility to systems which is more of a problem with some manufacturers than others, and some models over others.

One of the things I like about Valiants, for example, is that most of the entire boat is built THEN they put in all the plumbing and other systems. They do this to make sure things are accessible and removeable afterwards. It costs more to do that and it is shown in the price. Most production boats do not do that. Everything is assembled in stages to minimize man hours. However, I will tell you that I have yet to find anything on a Catalina that is not removeable. They have done a very good job on that. Incidentally, my boat was about 1000 feet from where tehy laid up the hulls for the Valiants (for many years) so I know the boats fairly well.

Tankage is an issue on production boats. I have seen them start trying to increase their tankage on some of the newer boats. But they are also taking away much of the cabinetry. Reason of course is costs, but I don't like it. Depending on the boat, you can correct the tankage issues. I know you can in the C400 an other larger boats. I also had to custom build cabinetry to increase my storage capacity. This is a real negative of production boats.

ANother thing I do not like about most production boats is their lifelines, which are too short. I strongly prefer the taller (30/36") lifelines versus the knee trippers they put on production boats. I have been in some nasty seas and have never gone over, but I do not like them.

I have no problem with the rigging on either the 380 or the C400. In fact, I have a separate trysail track on my mast which many higher end boats do not have. My chain plates are easily accessible and have never leaked. I have never had a hatch leaak and believe me, they have taken their share of being under a wave. I have had the portlights leak. This is not an uncmomon problem on any boat with portlights. THey simply had to be reset.

My hull to deck joint is a Internal Flange which is only used on the 400, 470 (and maybe the new 445). It does not and has never leaked. I have had no reports of a leaking H-D joint on any 400. I have not been tech editor of the other boats so do not know for sure as well.

I have had no reports of any steering failures on any C400. We had a problem with a sheave alignment on some models, but that was corrected.

Th bilges in the c400 up to HN#309ish are deep on every tack and drain to the middle.

The c400 is a perfomance cruiser like the 445. I did 9.4 coming across the gulf. THe 380 can barely get out of its own way. It is a very heavy, older desgned boat like I find many of the "bluewater" boats. I will never have another boat that does not perform well and meet or exceed hull speed. For example, my dad's Tayana is slower than crap and he is happy with 6 knots. At 6 knots, I am checking to make sure my anchor is still up.

Boats are trade-offs. I have said there is no such thing as a bluewater boat. I stand by that. I do believe there are boats better suited for long distance cruising, but it all comes with tradeoffs. Depending on he boat/manufacturer, you can modify these things to your prefernce and destination. The issue is that on some boats, to modify it for long distance crusiing, the cost to doso will exceed what it takes to just go out and get a boat for long distance cruising. That does not make the long distance cruising boat "better"... only better for that use.

I also believe the vast majority of the success of a vessel offshore stand with its crew and not with the boat. For those that want to argue that their Valiant can wihstand a Cat 5 hurricane offshore longer than my Catalina, I will not argue that point, except to say that I wouldn't be there in the first place. Next someone will say that if you are crossing the Atlantic, you may not get to choose your weather. I agree. But that is not to say that the typical weather encountered would not be survivable by a production boat witht eh right crew.

The point is to know your boat and yourself. Buy the boat for where you want to go and what you want to do. If you are hell bent on doing a circum, I don't think a Catalina is for you. You would probably b better off with a boat built for that purpose. It is not to say that a production boat could not, it is simply that the cost to change many of the things that I personally feel are necessary would be cost prohibitive (though I am personally about there... ugh). But buying a Valiant to go sit in the Keys or Bahmas I think is equally a bad decision, and maybe worse.

These are my opinions. I know Catalinas pretty well and am very happy with teh right boat for long distance cruising. I cannot comment on the Hunters as I have not owned one... but they are a completely different manufacturer and I do not think it is fair to group them together.

Brian
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  #38  
Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

Catalina’s race to Hawaii on a regular basis. In fact, a C309 did the Single Handed Transpac in 2010 and he sailed it back! (This was the year Ronnie Simpson lost his keel on his “bluewater” racer). Catalina’s are represented pretty much in every Pac Cup race and more than a few C34’s have either raced or cruised to Hawaii (another one is leaving this summer). Probably why people don’t hear about this is it is pretty common and for the most part uneventful. Like Cruising Dad said, the boats under 40’ suffer from small tankage and storage capacities which limits their cruising range.
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  #39  
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

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Catalina’s race to Hawaii on a regular basis. In fact, a C309 did the Single Handed Transpac in 2010 and he sailed it back! (This was the year Ronnie Simpson lost his keel on his “bluewater” racer). Catalina’s are represented pretty much in every Pac Cup race and more than a few C34’s have either raced or cruised to Hawaii (another one is leaving this summer). Probably why people don’t hear about this is it is pretty common and for the most part uneventful. Like Cruising Dad said, the boats under 40’ suffer from small tankage and storage capacities which limits their cruising range.
I would assume that the race boats meet ISAF standards for offshore racing, which means a lot of modification to the boats. They are not production boats.
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Old 06-12-2012
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Re: Is she bluewater? Interesting story to help with these questions.

Getting the jib sheet caught under the forward hatch is something for which I have to be alert. I suspect this must be true on many boats. From the description of the comfort level/kind of thrashing they were taking, it seems that possibly this boat does not have a high rating in that respect. It is not only physical comfort of sailors that is important but the shock loads on everything when a boat pounds. Planning how to secure water entry points is a lesson here and one I'll think about. Hatches and vents are the main concerns. I have a couple of small mushroom vents and the head vent that are not really 100% unsealable. Being up high, I've never had solid water flowing over them but if this happened, they would surely let water in although they are designed to drain. It's no fun having everything soaked with salt water.

So before green water starts breaking over the deck, among other things: 1. plug dorade scuppers, close portholes tight, boards in companionway, if not necessary, stow anchor below and plug anchor hawser chain hole, close and double latch lazarettes, cinch down hatches, have emergency hatch plugs available and ready, check that all deck scuppers are clear. Weatherstripping the considerable length of the combined perimeter of all hatches is not a difficult thing to do and can deny many gallons of water entry to the bilge.
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