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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Bluewater vs coastal cruiser
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Thread: Bluewater vs coastal cruiser Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-19-2007 07:08 PM
Giulietta
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna
These are just my observations from looking at boats and doing some reading on what generates a Cat A bluewater boat.
1. Hull structure - How the hull is made to take the bending and flexing movement. Bonded bulkheads, stringers and interior pieces to the hull create a stronger hull.
2. Hardware - beefier and attachment points stronger
3. Ports - No plastic here. Ocean waves will create failure of most plastic ports.
3. Cleats - Be strong enough to deploy a drogue or chute without being riped out by the forces.
4. Anchor platform - Beefier to stay on the hook during a blow without bending or failure
5. Stability Curves - Boat be able to right itself in-case of a knockdown over 110 degrees
6. Hull Shape - Be able to ride out rough seas and still be in control of the boat, Ease of motion helps here too. No long overhangs to keep following seas out of cockpit.
7. Rudder attachment points - at least two(top and bottom) - three is better.
8. Deck - being able to clear water over deck fast
9. Cockpit - small to medium with ability to clear water out fast.
10. Liferaft storage to be deploy easily
11. Rigging and chainplates - beefer and oversized. Chainplate attachment points to hull vs bulkhead with beefer stringers to spread the load.
12. Fuel and water tanks - below waterline for more stability. Also in my humble opinion min of 100 gals fuel, 150 gals water for 40' or less boat.
13. Quality of construction of boat.

Just a few I can think of this early in the morning until 2nd cup of coffee

Melissa
How about that....my boat's an OCEAN boat!!!
06-19-2007 06:54 PM
RichH Jeff's discertation is quite comprehensive.
I'd like to add 'simplicity' to the mix.

A boat designed for 'offshore / Blue Water is usually TWICE as strong than a boat designed for 'coastal'.

Typically when you analyse (back calculate) the structural components on a 'coastal' boat you typically realize that the designer has an in-built "factor of safety" of 3; meaning the boat is built three times as strong as it needs to be for 'maximum normal' conditions. For a Blue Water boat, the structural "factor of safety" is usually in the range of 5 or 6 times as strong.

It seems that many designers first conceptually design the boat .... and then mathematically (imaginarily) derive the maximum loading by calculating what load applied horizontally at the top of the mast will result in the boat to be heeled over at 45 degrees ... and then structurally design just about everything in reference to or based on this 'number' AND applying (multiplyng) the appropriate "safety factors" to the structure components. Such 'factors of safety' in design take care of the unknown or unforseen loads that such a boat will encounter ... the historical 'insurance claim' scantlings (actuarial data) of what survived maximum conditions or not has probably led to the 'customary' choice of 'safety factors'.

Obviously it probably gets more complicated than this ... but my back-calculations always seem to arrive at these 'factor of safety' numbers for coastal vs. 'blue water' design.
06-19-2007 05:42 PM
Melrna Thanks Jeff for that great write up. Very informative as always. While there is some truth to what saildog said about my write-up I would like to clarify some points.
Plastic ports - Thick Lexan of course is the window of choice but also the hardware that holds the ports in. Most production boats use very flimsy plastic to hold and secure the ports in place. In addition, those real big scenic windows, most would not hold up to a rough ocean and would blow out. This was demonstrated by a not so long ago Bermuda race where the boat sunk.
The chainplates in the newer production coastal cruisers have come a long way. But older boats, well we know what they are.
Cleats - I don't know one manufacture that makes a dedicated cleat for drogues and chute. Most cruisers use the stern or bow cleats for this. I have seen a big difference between a coastal cruiser boat vs a bluewater boat in cleat hardware and support. Look at a Malo cleat. In addition the stern design in thickness of fiberglass laminates where the cleats are is huge between the two. Not to mention all the dingy davits, Radar and solar power arches back there.
Rudders. I cannot comment on design except that as I read cruisers logs, rudder problems are abound for spade rudders. Either delimitation, or broken due to grounding or forces from the sea. But here I think quality of construction is to blame for most. The latest ARC had a few.
Water and Fuel. Well, 1 gal per person seems light to me. That is just for drinking. I believe most nutritionist will agree we should drink at least 64 oz of water a day. Put the heat of the tropics into play and the amount goes up. Than there is washing both personal self, dishes and maintenance chores on the boat as well. Quality of water supplies too becomes important in far away places. One can have a watermaker too on board and the compromise there is more fuel needs to be carried to offset the genset/engine that needs to be run to power it. One can live spartan if one chooses also. Fuel, my personal believe at least 500 miles min of fuel should be carried on boat plus fuel to charge the batteries. I cannot tell you how many cruisers logs tell of running out of fuel because of long periods of no wind or wind on the nose situations and are forced to motorsail. I don't like to carry large amounts of jerry cans on deck. I would carry a few just to get diesel and water to the boat where fuel docks are unavailable. I like I clean unobstructed deck. Personal choice.
While we all have are opinions and theory's of what a boat should have, I believe the best information is to read from cruiser logs and books on what really works and what doesn't. SSCA is a good start. We can what if until we be are blue in the face here but the people actually doing it are the experts. They are out there doing it, living it and dealing with the boat designs or the lack there of.
In closing most of the time it is not the boat but the seamanship of Capt and crew that makes things work. For even the best sometimes don't make it when mother nature raises up in anger.
06-19-2007 12:10 PM
Stryker72 Thanks for the info. Theses are some great posts!
06-19-2007 11:49 AM
SimonV Jeff

Nice to hear from you again, good post.
06-19-2007 11:22 AM
Jeff_H This is the kind of a question that would require a book to answer properly, but I will take a stab at it. I apologize in advance for the length of my reply. Most of this response was written as a series of articles meant for other venues and so I am not sure that this flows all that well either, and for that I also apologize. fficeffice" />>>
> >
I think that the terms 'offshore' and 'coastal' get bandied about quite freely without any real thought about what the differences are. Even the term ‘race boat’ is a bit vague since all kinds of boats are raced in all kinds of differing types of competition. Race boats can therefore vary quite widely depending on the type of racing that they are intended for. I am assuming that you are not asking about small one design race boats as much as boats that at least to one extent or another can be raced or cruised in a pinch. >>
> >
For the most part, race boats are optimized to perform better than the racing rating rule under which it is intended to race. This has a lot of implications. Under some rules (IMS and IRC for example) race boats are optimized to be fast and easy to handle across a wide range of conditions, producing great all around boats, but in the worst cases (International, Universal, CCA and IOR rules for example), the shape of the hulls, and design of the rig are greatly distorted to beat the shortcomings and loopholes in the rule, producing boats that become obsolete as race boats, and to a great extent as cruising boats as well, once the rule becomes history. >>
> >
While the EU does have a system that certifies boats into one of 4 categories, this rating system was intended to remove trade barriers between the various EU countries. It represents the lowest common denominator between all of the regulations that pre-existed the formation of the EU. A boat that is certified as meeting the CE Small Craft Directive, in the offshore category, has met this minimum standard but it does not certify that the vessel is actually suitable for offshore use. For example the EU standards do not look at motion comfort, or the suitability of the interior layout for offshore use. Stripped out racers with minimal tankage and fragile rigs can and do obtain offshore certification. The ffice:smarttags" />lace w:st="on">U.S.lace> does have the ORC, ABS, and ABYC standards which are somewhat helpful, but again does not certify that the vessel is actually suitable for offshore use>>
>>
In a broad terms, a well made coastal cruiser should be more expensive than a dedicated offshore distance cruising boat, because it needs to be more complex and actually needs more sophisticated engineering and construction than most people will accept in a dedicated offshore boat. When new, the high tech materials used, and the first class hardware generally employed, make racers comparatively expensive as well. They are also expensive to maintain in full race condition since maintaining a smooth, fair bottom, good sails, running rigging. and sophisticated electronics does not come cheaply. But as they grow older and less competitive, they often become real bargains. >>
> >
In a general sense, all boats are a compromise and with experience you learn which compromises make sense for your own needs and budget. Most times the difference between an optimized race boat, coastal cruiser and a dedicated offshore cruising boat is found in the collection of subtle choices that make a boat biased toward one use or the other. A well designed and constructed coastal cruiser will often make a reasonable offshore cruising boat and club level racer, while traditional dedicated offshore cruising boats usually make very poor racers or coastal cruisers. >>
>>
Which brings up another key point. I would think that most knowledgeable sailors use the term ‘offshore cruiser’, they generally think of traditional, long waterline, full keeled or long fin keeled, heavy displacement, cutters or ketches. But in recent years there has been a whole series of ‘modern offshore cruisers’, which have been designed to take advantage of the research into stability, motion comfort, performance, and heavy weather sail handling that emerged as the result of the Fastnet and subsequent disasters. These boats tend to be longer for their displacement, often have fin or bulb keels, and carry a variety of contemporary rigs such as fractionally rigged sloop rigs. Depending on the specifics of the boat in question, a race boat may also make a reasonable coastal cruiser or offshore cruiser but will rarely be ideal as either and will generally take some adaptation to reach a reasonable standard for these applications. >>
>>
Looking further, when I think of the distinctions between a raceboat, vs. coastal cruiser vs. a dedicated offshore boat, there are specific attributes that I would look for:>>
>>
-Structure: >>
A typical well-used coastal cruiser might only sail five hundred to a thousand miles a year. Most do less. A well-used offshore cruiser may do as much as 20,000 to 30,000 miles in a single year (10,000 15,000 being more typical). Whether traditional or modern, offshore cruising boats need to be designed to stand up to the long haul. A single year of offshore cruising can literally be the equivalent the abuse encountered in 20 or 30 years of coastal cruising. >>
>>
Traditional offshore cruisers come in a range of flavors. Whether fiberglass, steel, alloy or timber, traditional offshore cruisers tend to have robust hulls that are simply constructed. lace w:st="on">Hulllace> panels tend to be very heavy, accessible and maintainable. Internal framing tends to be widely spaced or almost non-existent. Engineering tends to be simple and reliable. Materials tend to be low tech, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The down side is that a weight goes into these structures using up valuable displacement that could be used for additional carrying capacity or ballast. Some of his weight is carried high in the hull and deck structure reducing stability and increasing roll and pitch. >>
>>
Modern offshore cruisers tend to use higher tech materials and structural design. Some robustness and redundancy may be given up, but often the better of these newer designs have greater strength despite their lighter weight. These newer designs often take advantage of sophisticated framing systems and purposefully selected alloys or laminates. They often benefit from careful engineering intended to improve impact resistance and longevity. >>
>>
Whether traditional or modern, offshore cruisers need to be able the cyclical loadings that insidiously wear out a boat over long passages. Larger margins of safety are required. In offshore cruising boats more than the other types, a little weight added, an often breed a whole lot more weight. A little added weight has a way of ricocheting through the whole design cycle. A little weight added means that perhaps the sail area needs to be increased. The increased sail area means a little more ballast. The added ballast perhaps means larger keel bolts and more robust transverse frames. This additional weight and sail area means higher stress on the rigging and so perhaps heavier rigging and attachment points get added, and that means perhaps a decrease in stability or perhaps a bit more ballast. The added weight means more drag and so fuel consumption increases and perhaps so does the size of the fuel tanks. And with all that added weight the designer is then faced with an under-canvassed design or else adding a sail area and risking going though another round of weight addition. Which is why, when all is said and done, traditional offshore cruising boats tend to be so much heavier than race boats, coastal cruisers or even more modern offshore designs. >>
>>
Coastal cruisers generally benefit from better performance than offshore boats and do not have as stringent a requirement for a robust structure as and offshore boat. As a result coastal cruisers greatly benefit from lighter construction using modern materials and methods. Redundancy and self-sufficiency is less of a requirement. Fully lined interiors and other conveniences are often the norm on cruisers. Even quality coastal cruisers use molded force grids or pans that are glued in rather than laid up in place. Framing is often wider spaced and less robust. lace w:st="on">Hulllace> panels are often cored and thinner than on an offshore boat. Rarely do they receive the careful workmanship that is required for a quality race boat, or the high safety factors ideally applied to a dedicated offshore cruiser. Then again they don’t need either as their use and abuse is generally much less harsh then encountered in the life cycles of either racing or offshore cruising boats. >>
>>
Race boats generally benefit from the most sophisticated engineering of the three. Weight is the enemy of speed and motion comfort and so great attention is paid to reducing weight where weight can be reduced. But since breaking a boat is a very slow way around a racecourse, with some notable exceptions for specific racing classes, and racing periods, race boats are surprisingly tough. They are designed for very heavy loadings compared to coastal cruisers since racing crews will often carry on in no matter what nature throws at them, carrying far more sail than one might normally consider prudent. Their larger sail area to weight ratios, proportionately higher ballast ratios, their use of low stretch line and sails, the willingness to carry a lot of sail into higher wind ranges, and placement of the crew weight (often as much as 15% or more of the displacement of the boat) out on the rail as moveable ballst results in enormous strains compared to similar displacement offshore or coastal cruisers. >>
>>
By the same token, race boats are designed with smaller safety margins so the engineering better be right. The problem with smaller safety margins is that over time race boats wear out quicker than other types of boats. Designers and owners somewhat see that as acceptable since rules also change over time making race boats more likely to become obsolete. Historically there is nothing man made (except perhaps a 15 year old computer) that is quite as obsolete as an obsolete rule beating race boat, and so historically designers are more willing to view them as disposable. At least with some of the newer rules, the boats being produced are good all around boats and quite a bit more robust and so may find a long useful life cycle. >>
>>
Race boats generally use higher grade and higher tech materials. They are often the first to benefit from advances in structural design. They often have fewer openings in the hull and deck, which results in much greater stiffness and potentially less fatigue issues. Structural workmanship is often as good as it gets in the world of building yachts even if the interior finishes often seem a little crude. Race boats often gave very sophisticated internal framing systems, which take up room within the interior but make them far sturdier than their light weight would seem to imply. >>
>>
All of that said, this has not always been the case, CCA era race boats often suffered from the mediocre engineering and poor laminating practices of the day, and IOR era and early IMS era boats often had fragile rigs. >>
>>
-Accommodations:>>
On a coastal cruiser there should be good wide berths, with enough sea berths for at least half of the crew for that night run back to make work the next day. An offshore cruiser is often handled by a smaller crew and so fewer berths and fewer sea berths are necessary. The berths on an offshore boat should be narrower and have leeboards or lee cloths. On both I am looking for a well-equipped galley but the galley needs to be larger on a coastal cruiser so that there is adequate space to prepare meals for the typically larger crew or a raft-up. Refrigeration is less important on a coastal cruiser, where ice is typically readily available at the next port of call, although the case can be made for no refrigeration or icebox if you are going offshore. Race boats tend to have Spartan accommodations. Offshore oriented race boats will often have enough seaberths to sleep half the crew on either side of the boat so that the off watch crew can be tacked along with the boat. Water tanks are often reasonably sized to take care of a race boat’s large crews, but fuel tankage is often a bad joke. Storage is generally huge to carry a race boat’s large sail inventory, but it does not work well for carrying groceries, spares and supplies. >>
>>
-Cockpit:>>
A comfortable cockpit for lounging is very important on a coastal cruiser. It should be larger than an offshore boat to accommodate a larger number of people which is OK since pooping is less likely to occur doing coastal work. Dedicated offshore boats generally have smaller cockpits with very large drains. The cockpits are deeper and have taller coamings to protect the crew. This makes them less comfortable for lounging and less easy to move in and out of. Ideally offshore boats have bridge decks that are higher than the lowest point of the coaming and companionway slides that can be locked in place to avoid down flooding. All of which makes moving about a bit less convenient. Race boat cockpits tend to need the wide open spaces to house the vast crowds that inhabit them on the race course. If you think of a race boat cockpit at a mark rounding, you have a helmsman, mainsail trimmer, guy trimmer, sheet trimmer, pit person, and perhaps a grinder or two. That’s a whole lot of people and each need their own space to that voodoo that they do so well. Coamings and seats just get in the way. Modern racer-cruisers often have removable seats that double as cockpit lockers and which are removed for racing (along with a few hundred pounds of the ‘unnecessary gear’ used to deliver the boat to the race course). >>
>>
-Deck hardware:>>
While gear for offshore boats need to be simple and very robust, coastal cruisers need to be able to quickly adapt to changing conditions. For the coastal cruiser greater purchase, lower friction hardware, easy to reach cockpit-lead control lines, all make for quicker and easier adjustments to the changes in wind speed and angle that occur with greater frequency. There is a big difference in the gear needed when, ‘we’ll tack tomorrow or the next day’ vs. auto-tacking or short tacking up a creek. >>
>>
-Displacement: >>
Offshore boats need to be heavier. They carry more stuff, period. The traditional rule of thumb was that an offshore boat needs to weigh somewhere between 2 1/2 and 5 long tons per person. A coastal cruiser can get by with less weight per crew person but generally is cruised by a larger crew. The problem that I have is that most offshore sailors and many coastal cruisers seem to start out looking for a certain length boat and then screen out the boats that are lighter than the displacement that they think that they need. This results in offshore boats and some coastal cruisers that are generally comparatively heavy for their length. There is a big price paid in motion comfort, difficulty of handling, performance and seaworthiness when too much weight is crammed into a short sailing length. >>
>>
I suggest that a better way to go is to start with the displacement that makes sense for your needs and then look for a longer boat with that displacement. That will generally result in a boat that is more seaworthy, easier on the crew to sail, have a more comfortable motion, have a greater carrying capacity, have more room on board, and be faster as well. Since purchase, and maintenance costs are generally proportional to the displacement of the boat the longer boat of the same displacement will often have similar maintenance costs. Since sail area is displacement and drag dependent, the longer boat of an equal displacement will often have an easier to handle sail plan as well. >>
>>
-Keel and Rudder types:>>
I would say unequivocally that for coastal cruising a fin keel is the right way to go. The greater speed, lesser leeway, higher stability and ability to stand to an efficient sail plan, greater maneuverability and superior windward performance of a fin keel with spade rudder (either skeg or post hung) are invaluable for coastal work. Besides fin keels/bulb keels are much easier to un-stick in a grounding. In shallower venues, a dagger board with a bulb or a keel/centerboard is also a good way to go. >>
>>
There is a less obvious choice when it comes to the keel and rudder type for offshore cruising. Many people prefer long or full keels for offshore work but to a great extent this is an anachronistic thinking that emerges from recollections of early fin-keelers. Properly engineered and designed, a fin keels with a skeg hung rudder can be a much better choice for offshore work. There is the rub. Few fin keelers in the size and price range that most people purchase for offshore cruising are engineered and designed for abuses of dedicated offshore cruising. That said, popular offshore cruisers like the Pacific Seacraft, and Valiants have adapted skeg-hung spade rudders while the Island Packets have chosen to use a rudder post hung spade rudder. >>
>>
Of course race boats thrive on stability and low drag. For them, under most racing rules, there is only one choice, fin keels and spade rudders. Under some of the older rules, (International, Universal and CCA) race boats often had what were essentially fin keels with attached rudders. (For example look at the keel profile of a Luders 33 without the rudder area, as compared to the same era lace w:st="on">Callace> 2-30) This was the worst of all worlds. The boats do not track as well as a spade rudder but have all of the negatives of a keel hung rudder (greater exposure to damage being close to the depth of the keel, higher loading, less maneuverable). >>
>>
Newer race boats have minimal foil area and large bulb keels. This combo was chosen for greater stability and therefore sail carrying capacity as well as minimal drag. As a side benefit this keel type has been demonstrated to offer increased seaworthiness and motion comfort that results from a significantly lower center of gravity relative to the vertical center of buoyancy, better dampening, and the ability to stall at high side loadings which reduces the likelihood of being rolled in a large breaking wave. In bulb keels were also shown to be the easiest to extract from a grounding, which is a very good thing considering that the most recent race boat designs generally have significantly deeper drafts. >>
>>
-Ground tackle:>>
Good ground tackle and rode-handling gear is important for both cruising types but all-chain rodes, massive hurricane proof anchors and the gear to handle that heavy weight equipment are not generally required for coastal cruising. Race boats often lack proper anchor handling gear or in the most extreme cases, they may even lack fixed cleats to tie up with. Frankly from the racers point of view these are simply things that get in the way of that perfect hoist, douse , tack, or jibe. >>
>>
-Sailplan:>>
At least on the US East Coast, (where I sail and so am most familiar with) light air performance and the ability to change gears is important for a coastal cruiser. It means more sailing time vs. motoring time and the ability to adjust to the 'if you don't like the weather, wait a minute' which is typical of East Coast or lace w:st="on">Great Lakeslace> sailing. If you are going to gunkhole under sail, maneuverability is important. Windward and off wind performance is also important. >>
>>
With all of that in mind, I would suggest that a fractional sloop rig with a generous standing sail plan, non- or minimally overlapping jibs, and an easy to use backstay adjuster is ideal. This combination is easy to tack and trim or change gears on. I would want two-line slab reefing for quick, reliable on the fly, reefing. I would want an easy to deploy spinnaker as well. >>
>>
For offshore use, traditional cruising boats tend to have a very high drag relative to their stability and so low aspect ratio rigs are important. Depending on the size of the boat, cutter and ketch rigs are the time-tested solution. They work reasonably well as long as simplicity and performance are not important. >>
>>
More modern, lower drag offshore cruisers seem to be using fractional sloop rigs with a great deal more frequency for many of the same reasons as coastal cruisers. But modern offshore cruisers can be found with the full range of rigs; masthead sloops (with and without removable jib stays), cutters, ketches, even schooners you name it. >>
>>
Racers are only concerned with efficiency, the most drive for the least sail area as measured by the rule. It is this last phrase that has lead to terrible distortions to rig proportions relative to what is easy to handle or actually efficient in an absolute sense. For example, the CCA under penalized genoas and mizzens, and so yawls and huge overlapping headsails appeared. The IOR fairly measured mizzen sail area and so yawls disappeared again, but the IOR over penalized mainsails and under penalized headsails and so masthead sloops with tiny high aspect ratio mainsails and huge genoas and spinnakers became the rage. The IMS measures the impact of sails more fairly and so fractional rigs with their ease of shifting gears has become the rage. >>
>>
The bad news for coastal cruisers is that the racing rig fad dujour often shows up on next year’s coastal cruiser. The really bad news is that since coastal cruisers often stay in production for many years these bad fad ideas often stay in the coastal cruiser marketplace for a very long time. If you doubt that look at the IOR proportioned rig on most pre-2005 Catalinas. >>
>>
-Speed:>>
I think that speed is especially important to coastal cruising. To me speed relates to range and range relates to more diverse opportunities. To explain, with speed comes a greater range that is comfortable to sail in a given day. In the sailing venues that I have typically sailed in, being able to sail farther in a day means a lot more places that can be reached under sail without flogging the crew or running the engine. When coastal cruising speed also relates to being able to duck in somewhere when things get dicey. >>
>>
It can be argued that speed is less important to the offshore cruiser. What’s an extra knot when you have an ocean to cross. On the other hand, a little more speed can allow a crafty distance cruiser to pick the wind system that he is sailing in or keep moving in a doldrum. It can mean more sailing relative to motoring and so a lower requirement for fuel, stores and water capacity. It can mean somewhat less expense for a given passage. It can mean more time in an interesting port relative to time at sea, which is an advantage to those who prefer portside to offshore, but which is a disadvantage to those for whom cruising is all about the passage making. >>
>>
Of course, race boats are all about speed, speed in all conditions. The best race boats are fast in all conditions and are quick to shift gears on the fly dealing with whatever Mother Nature throws at them. I often hear how cruising boats are faster than race boats in a breeze. I just have not seen that at all. Big wind or small, most modern race boats are radically faster than their non- racing sisters from the same era. The possible exception to this would be the CCA era boats with their short waterlines, and the pre-Fastnet IOR boats with their distorted hullforms and rigs. >>
>>
-Ventilation:>>
Good ventilation is very critical to both cruising types. Operable ports, hatches, dorades are very important. While offshore, small openings are structurally a good idea, for coastal work this is far less of an issue. Ventilation is irrelevant to most dedicated race boats, but boats intended as racer cruisers need all the ventilation they can get, if nothing else to dry out after a spinnaker that has been shrimping gets dumped down below to be packed. >>
>>
-Visibility and a comfortable helm station: >>
Coastal boats are more likely to be hand steered in the more frequently changing conditions, and higher traffic found in coastal cruising and are more likely to have greater traffic to deal with as well. A comfortable helm position and good visibility is critical. Offshore, protection of the crew becomes more important. Racers need to see their sails, the waves, and their competition. Visibility is important, but often gets compromised by the use of deck sweeping jibs and low booms that wipe out visibility from ‘the high side’. >>
>>
Storage and Tankage:>>
There is a perception that coastal cruisers so not need storage. I disagree with that. Coastal cruisers need different kinds of storage than an offshore boat but not necessarily less storage. Good storage is needed to accommodate the larger crowds that are more likely to cruise on a short trip. Good water and holding tankage is important because people use water more liberally inshore assuming a nearby fill up, but with a larger crew this takes a toll quickly. Holding tanks are not needed offshore but they are being inspected with greater frequency in crowded harbors and there are few things worse than cruising with a full holding tank and no way to empty it. Offshore boats generally need larger fuel tanks. The traditional rule of thumb for offshore boats is typically 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of water per person for 40 to 60 days (typically 30-40 gal per person) and fuel sufficient for 5 days to a week of motoring, plus a 40 to 60 day supply of fuel for the time required to recharge the batteries. >>
>>
Motion Comfort and Seakindliness>>
>>
This is probably the most controversial of the topics. It is important to understand that when it comes to motion comfort, there is no universally right, one size fits all. Relative motion comfort derives from the amount of motion and rate of acceleration that is inherent in the design of a boat as it is actually loaded. How comfortable the motion feels results from the combination of those two factors; amount of motion and the rate of change in motion. It is very hard to design a boat that inherently has both a minimal range of motion, and which also has slow acceleration rates. It can be done, but historically it wasn’t. >>
>>
Complicating this discussion further, is that fact that people are affected by motion differently. In a U.S. Navy study of motion sickness, it was found that of the people who are prone to motion discomfort, roughly one third were predominantly affected by the amount of movement, but were minimally affected by the rate of change. Another third were predominantly affected by the rate of change, but were minimally affected by the amount of movement. And the remaining third were affected by both the amount and the rate of change. The ideal solution then is to find out how you personally are affected by motion and then to seek a boat with a motion consistent with your own natural preference. >>
>>
There are a lot of factors that affect a boat’s natural motion but the biggies are inertia, stability, buoyancy distribution, and dampening. >>
06-19-2007 11:14 AM
SimonV I agree with what SD states, as far as fuel, if you’re going long distance carry extra fuel on deck in plastic jerry cans or make room for a collapsible fuel tank.
When empty it can be rolled up and stored. Enough fuel for about 100 hours of motoring will give you plenty of sea miles it is a sail boat after all.
One big thing an ocean capable boat must have suitable sea berths with good lee cloths.
06-19-2007 10:54 AM
sailingdog
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna
These are just my observations from looking at boats and doing some reading on what generates a Cat A bluewater boat.
1. Hull structure - How the hull is made to take the bending and flexing movement. Bonded bulkheads, stringers and interior pieces to the hull create a stronger hull.
Actually, many coastal cruisers are made this way as well... it has more to do with the strength and thickness of the hull laminate and the amount of reinforcement it receives.

Quote:
2. Hardware - beefier and attachment points stronger
3. Ports - No plastic here. Ocean waves will create failure of most plastic ports.
Most hatches are glazed in plastic... Lexan is perfectly suitable for marine ports, as is thicker acrylic.
Quote:
3. Cleats - Be strong enough to deploy a drogue or chute without being riped out by the forces.
Drogues and chutes should have their own dedicated hard points IMHO.
Quote:
4. Anchor platform - Beefier to stay on the hook during a blow without bending or failure
5. Stability Curves - Boat be able to right itself in-case of a knockdown over 110 degrees
Self-righting isn't a necessity. It is very important for ballasted monohulls, which will sink if they remain inverted for any extended period of time.
Quote:
6. Hull Shape - Be able to ride out rough seas and still be in control of the boat, Ease of motion helps here too. No long overhangs to keep following seas out of cockpit.
Long overhangs also present other problems. However, a bluewater boat should have a fair amount of reserve buoyancy both aft and forward.
Quote:
7. Rudder attachment points - at least two(top and bottom) - three is better.
Lots of bluewater boats make do with a spade rudder.
Quote:
8. Deck - being able to clear water over deck fast
9. Cockpit - small to medium with ability to clear water out fast.
10. Liferaft storage to be deploy easily
11. Rigging and chainplates - beefer and oversized. Chainplate attachment points to hull vs bulkhead with beefer stringers to spread the load.
Yes.
Quote:
12. Fuel and water tanks - below waterline for more stability. Also in my humble opinion min of 100 gals fuel, 150 gals water for 40' or less boat.
Those numbers are a bit high for a bluewater boat of less than 40'. That's 800 lbs of fuel and 1300 lbs or so of water. Given that you need about a half-gallon of water per person per day, and most boats are sailing with a couple aboard, when would you be making a passage that takes 150 days??? Let's be generous and say you need a gallon-per-person-per-day, and that means you have enough for a 75 day passage... Umm... not many passages are much over a month, unless you've done something really wrong.

Quote:
13. Quality of construction of boat.
Not all bluewater boats are well-built... not all coastal cruisers are lightweights and shoddily built.
06-19-2007 10:40 AM
Melrna These are just my observations from looking at boats and doing some reading on what generates a Cat A bluewater boat.
1. Hull structure - How the hull is made to take the bending and flexing movement. Bonded bulkheads, stringers and interior pieces to the hull create a stronger hull.
2. Hardware - beefier and attachment points stronger
3. Ports - No plastic here. Ocean waves will create failure of most plastic ports.
3. Cleats - Be strong enough to deploy a drogue or chute without being riped out by the forces.
4. Anchor platform - Beefier to stay on the hook during a blow without bending or failure
5. Stability Curves - Boat be able to right itself in-case of a knockdown over 110 degrees
6. Hull Shape - Be able to ride out rough seas and still be in control of the boat, Ease of motion helps here too. No long overhangs to keep following seas out of cockpit.
7. Rudder attachment points - at least two(top and bottom) - three is better.
8. Deck - being able to clear water over deck fast
9. Cockpit - small to medium with ability to clear water out fast.
10. Liferaft storage to be deploy easily
11. Rigging and chainplates - beefer and oversized. Chainplate attachment points to hull vs bulkhead with beefer stringers to spread the load.
12. Fuel and water tanks - below waterline for more stability. Also in my humble opinion min of 100 gals fuel, 150 gals water for 40' or less boat.
13. Quality of construction of boat.

Just a few I can think of this early in the morning until 2nd cup of coffee

Melissa
06-19-2007 10:25 AM
sailingdog If you had done a search and read the various posts about bluewater versus coastal cruising boats you would have found the following:

A bluewater boat is generally: a bit heavier built; has a smaller, less open interior and cockpit; more handholds; greater tank capacity for water and fuel; larger battery banks; a more sturdy ground tackle handling setup; often carry renewable electrical generation capability, like solar or wind; and have stronger materials used for ports and hatches and sails.

A coastal cruising boat will generally be a bit beamier, with a larger more open interior and cockpit, less storage and tankage, no renewable electrical generation capability, light or missing ground tackle gear.

You will also find things like windvanes and watermakers on bluewater boats, but not generally on coastal cruisers.

The reason for building the boats heavier and more sturdy is simple. If you're on the ocean in a boat that can only do 7-8 knots generally, and a storm comes along... you have to live through it... you can't hide from it and you can't outrun it. The reason for the renewable energy, water makers and larger tanks is that you can't just go to the next marina to hook up to the water and shore power and stop by the fuel dock on the way.

The reason for the smaller cockpit is that it is less likely to cause a problem if the boat gets pooped--smaller cockpit means less weight of water sitting on the boat waiting to drain. Smaller interior means it is easier to brace yourself in heavy seas, and if you do get thrown, you fall less distance--meaning you're less likely to get injured badly.

The reason for heavier ground tackle is many places don't have marinas... so you have to anchor out...and you want to make sure that your boat stays where you put it. Coastal cruisers tend to go from marina to marina quite often.
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