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  #201  
Old 05-03-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Brian,

I think you make a very strong case that the boat you have chosen suits your needs as you define them. To understand your needs and to find ways to meet them is a wonderful thing in life. We all should be so lucky!

But where I somewhat disagree with the way this thread has been running, is the implicit assumption that there should somehow be an agreement on the same set of needs and wants. Mostly there is nothing inherently wrong with any individual's needs and wants but I think that for this thread to be universally applicable any individual's needs to be understood in broader context.

There are a whole lot of ways to skin the cat you have chosen to get skinned. For example, while I would not advocate this for you and your family given your defined needs and wants, when I was a teenager I was friends with two-boys who lived in our marina with their family. That family had completed a circumnavigation and were back in the States so that the older boy could start Jr. High as we called back then.

This family of four had sailed around the world in a conventional ketch rigged version of the Alden designed Svaap,William Albert Robinson's 32 foot circumnavigator. This was a boat which had about the interior space of a Catalina 27, and perhaps twice its displacement. In the early 1960's this boat did not have much of an electrical system and almost no electronics. The engine was what was called a 'semi-diesel' and could run on multiple fuels, being started with gasoline or alcohol and diesel, and then ran on any fuel that burned. The stove, interior and running lights were operated on what they called parafin but which I later decided was kerosene, another fluid that the engine would run on. They had an early rudder hung servo-trim tab type vane driven self steerer. If I remember right from the time that the kids were 5 or so they stood watches. (much shorter than the adult watches as I recall).

The parents gave the kids a decent elementary school education. Certainly the older boy who was close to my age was better at reading and math than I was, plus he was a far better sailor than I, teaching me a lot about all three.

Now, obviously those were simplier times, and I am not sure that I would recommend that approach to anyone. But for that family, they defined their needs and their wants in a way that made sense to them. And they were wildly happy within the results of fulfilling thier definition of their needs.

And at the heart of it, it is about defining what it takes to provide enjoyment from the water. So, at virtually the same time, on the same dock, there were two guys from the Bronx (frankly the most unlikely candidates to take up sailing) bought a Pearson Packet for their first boat. All I remember about these guys is that one was huge and the other quite small. One was called Moe and they had blue collar jobs and really strong NY accents. The bigger guy was the leader of the two. The boat was in a slip near ours and the bigger guy had a great sense of humor and would come by and talk to us about how things were progressing.

Every story began with, "So I sez to Moe..." At first they just would go down to the boat and sit on her at the dock. We wondered how they decided to buy a boat. As the big guy said, "We wuz droiv'n down da road neeehr da Tribora bridge an I saw a boat. So I sez to Moe, "We gotta try dis boadt'n ting. Layda, we wuz near Cidy Eye-l'n so we found a boadt we could both fit
in and bought it."

Finally, after months of just coming down and sitting on board at the dock, one day they went out. "So I sez to Moe, Moe t'day we're goin out ta da wader." And they did and motored out to the shipping channel and back.

For the rest of the season, they "went out ta da wader". Next spring, our boat is back in the water and so are theirs. For much of that season they would come down and just motor out. Then one day they decided that they would go out and raise the mainsail. "So I sez to Moe, we're gonna put up da sail and we did."

For the rest of the season, they sailed happily around the Channel between City Island and Harts Island Prison. The next year, we moved our boat to Manhasset Bay so the last time we saw them they had both sails up and were reaching along near Execution Rocks; Looking happy as clams.

So what is the point of this story- besides my appreciating the opportunity for the fond memory it invoked. Here was two guys who defined their needs very small, and bought a boat that was a good boat to learn to sail on for a couple guys, who without reading or any formal training just decided to learn to sail. They enjoyed the boat and stayed out of trouble. They built skills and enjoyed themselves in their own ways as much as the guys with goldplaters in the same yard. In the end theycame to enjoy sailing as much as each of us that venture "out ta da wader".

And so as I read this thread, you are not wrong. You need these things to do what you do.

But many of us have different needs. To cruise the Bahamas, I personnally have no need to drag about anywhere near as much stuff as you list as necessities. It does not make me more right than you, just different.

A boat like yours, while perfect for your needs, would drive me crazy, just as my boat would drive you crazy. I could not live with your boat's limited performance, deck layout compromises, and would not want its interior layout. To me the greatest luxury is being able to sail. All else is of secondary importance.

Of course I don't need or want as much on board as you do. And as I eschew weight and gadgets, I can 'make due' with a boat that is more spartan and better performing. As a vegetarian, I don't need refrigeration, and without refrigeration I need less fuel and batteries and recharging systems. My enjoyment on the water comes from the people I am with, the world I sail in, and reading, which I now mostly do from a device that needs charging roughly once a week underway.

And as a boat gets lighter, its spares and anchors get lighter, and as its performance gets better it needs less fuel to operate. I have mentioned this before, when I was researching my boat, I spoke to a fellow who had sailed a sistership of my boat from South Africa to the Carribbean. He made the entire trip on less than 12 gallons of fuel and covered the distance much weeks faster than a larger boat which left with him and was forced to motor much of the way. I'd rather get by with less.

I don't advocate my tastes, and choice boat for you, or anyone else besides me. But by the same token, it comes down to what I said in my earlier post, the problem is not with your definitions at the outset, but with the assumption that they apply more broadly than to you. Solely from my point of view, there are racers, and there are performance cruisers (both of which you would call racers) and there are vessels which are historically interesting, and then there are boats which for my own purposes, have no reason to exist. But those same boats which have no use for me may be just right for those who own, love and enjoy them.

And if that is the case, this thread is a battle to find universally definitive truth where none really exists. And that is why this thread makes very little sense.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 05-03-2013 at 03:05 PM.
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  #202  
Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Jeff, I guess you won't be needing a grille either so that should save some additional weight ? ;-)
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  #203  
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

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Originally Posted by jorgenl View Post
Jeff, I guess you won't be needing a grille either so that should save some additional weight ? ;-)
LOL Very good point!
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  #204  
Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Brian, when you are ready to speed up that old tub of yours, let me know and I'll hook you up with a genuine Soviet air force surplus titanium propane grill. Fast way to get five pounds off the stern rail. (WEG)

Stainless is for dock queens.
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Old 05-04-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Brian, when you are ready to speed up that old tub of yours, let me know and I'll hook you up with a genuine Soviet air force surplus titanium propane grill. Fast way to get five pounds off the stern rail. (WEG)

Stainless is for dock queens.
Oooh! Titanium! Boats are always faster with titanium, just like motorcycles!

(Are you serious? Is there such a thing?)
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Comrade ShockT, if you have an American Express Black Card, anything is possible.
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  #207  
Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

I am beginning to think Brian is trying to talk himself out of buying a BETTER FASTER boat! Reality is, he needs to come to the dark side, ie a cruise/racer, or a peformance cruiser, not a plain old almost slower than a dead slug cruiser! A full keel would be generally speaking slower than a dead slug going backwards!

By the way brian, while you may think my boat is a racer.......a farr 30 is a racer, or a meldges 32, both of which are half the wt, with twice the sail area I have! I at least have a full stove, sink, hell, I even have a flush head! not a blinken porta potty!

Oh, You also need another 10' of boat for all that sheet you carry if you truly want performance!

Marty
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  #208  
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

There is something to be said for traveling light, when it allows you to get where you are going quickly. In the case of people who have to live on land to earn a living, having decent performance increases your range, so you can make the most of your limited cruising time.

Of course, if you have the money you can get there fast AND comfy! Imagine having this:





And still being able to do this:

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  #209  
Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

I have not had a chance to read all of the posts in this thread yet but I will make some time later to catch up.

In response to CD's original post I would just say that I think that a lot of the difference between long distance full time cruisers is in their need for creature comfort, and that makes a big difference in what boat you end up with.

Some people come at cruising from living in a house and my opinion is that they tend to think of a boat as a really small version of a modern suburban home. They've always had air conditioning, refrigeration, hot water, etc, and so the perfect boat that they imagine for themselves has all of these things in miniature. That means they are going to end up with a complex boat that has to be pretty big to hold everything.

Other people come at cruising from different directions, camping, for example, or from living in an RV, or they grew up on boats, and many of those people have completely different expectations about what creature comforts are necessary for long term cruising. You don't miss air conditioning if you've never had it, and many people don't mind carrying water jugs around instead of using a water maker, so their boats can be a lot less complex and they don't have to compromise as much on speed, for example.

Our species lived for 200 thousand years in the tropics without air conditioning.
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  #210  
Old 05-05-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
Oooh! Titanium! Boats are always faster with titanium, just like motorcycles!

(Are you serious? Is there such a thing?)

You are kidding but one of the Open 60 boats on the last vendee globe had a keel in massive titanium (the foil) with a lead bulb. It was the first one to break. well, that is true that the boat had already more than one circumnavigation with that keel and that the stress forces on the keels was misjudged by all NA. It broke, as all the others that broke due to metal fatigue.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 05-05-2013 at 10:30 AM.
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