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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Production Boats and the Limits
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Thread: Production Boats and the Limits Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
5 Hours Ago 04:25 PM
Exile1
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Actually, I'm all about the "reasonably foreseeable" standard. That's precisely why I'm asking how you - or anyone - would consider the blowing out of that aft side portlight in that Hunter to be a "reasonably foreseeable" issue. And I'm still waiting. Thus far we've got one sunken oil rig which doesn't seem to apply here.

Look, it might seem like "inexperience & bravado" for me to not simply accept an experienced sailor's word for something - no questions asked (and I don't just mean Jon, who I respect a lot, but anyone out there). But what ever that sailor is saying should be "reasonably forseeable". Otherwise, it's just hyperbole, and not helpful at all. And I don't let stuff like that slide just because someone has experience - or even just because I consider them a forum friend (as I do Jon). It has nothing to do with "miles" - it has to do with reason and objectivity.

In other words, you guys can't simply demand "respect" for your "miles" if what you're claiming makes no sense. It just doesn't work that way. You're absolutely welcome to your opinion - but remember it's an opinion. Reid Stow has a hell of a lot of "miles" - but I take almost nothing he says seriously.

That said, if you want to take the underlying opinion of this argument to heart yourself and ensure you're being as "prudent" as you possibly can be, why have opening portlights at all in any boat? It's just increasing risk, no? Look what happened to that oil rig.
It's not so simple Smack, and rarely is it all or nothing as I think you must know by now. It's instead more about a cost vs. benefit/risk vs. reward type of analysis with few absolutes. My steep learning curve on my own boat continues to confirm the mantra I've always heard that there's no substitute for experience. The trouble is that it's hard to understand or maybe accept that fact until you rack up some experience!

I'm not reading Jon's comments that an opening portlight in a hull will absolutely fail and is a deathtrap. What I'm getting from his comments is a heads-up to perhaps lend a critical eye towards a "comfort" item that sells well at a boat show, but could be a potential hazard at sea. Obviously if the thing is left OPEN by a neglectful crew then that's a completely different type of hazard, but also one that isn't all that helpful or relevant to the point being made.

After considering Jon's warning but balancing it against the comfort of having additional ventilation while at anchor or at the dock, you may reasonably decide it's not a big deal. Just don't delude yourself into thinking that it's plastic frame & dogs are built as stout as an escape hatch on the bottom of a multi-hull!

You credit yourself with being an independent thinker with a critical mind. That's all well & good when questioning experienced sailors, but it should also be applied to boat mfgs. who often have agendas other than just seaworthiness that they are trying to balance. Perceived comfort, convenience, and looking cool is only part of the equation, but I'm pretty sure you understand that too -- at least when you're away from the internet!
6 Hours Ago 03:43 PM
smackdaddy
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile1 View Post
I think your "typical cruising conditions" test is rather misguided, Smack, and this goes well beyond this particular example of opening portlights. You've applied it in a myriad number of ways on various threads to try and explain away concerns people have raised about certain features of production boats. Some of your reasoning makes sense, but much of it frankly seems derived from a combo of inexperience & bravado, not really the best duo for undertaking seagoing voyages, no matter how benign you seem to think they may actually be.

I'm not suggesting a "worse-case" test, or that you need an aluminum expedition boat for sailing the Caribbean. But I think more of perhaps a "reasonably forseeable" standard or the "prudent mariner" saying we often hear might serve you better. Just like there are usually some valid reasons why certain boat brands have certain reputations, there are usually good reasons why experienced sailors express opinions. If you haven't put the miles under your keel yourself, then the best way to learn is from guys like Jon who have.
Actually, I'm all about the "reasonably foreseeable" standard. That's precisely why I'm asking how you - or anyone - would consider the blowing out of that aft side portlight in that Hunter to be a "reasonably foreseeable" issue. And I'm still waiting. Thus far we've got one sunken oil rig which doesn't seem to apply here.

Look, it might seem like "inexperience & bravado" for me to not simply accept an experienced sailor's word for something - no questions asked (and I don't just mean Jon, who I respect a lot, but anyone out there). But what ever that sailor is saying should be "reasonably forseeable". Otherwise, it's just hyperbole, and not helpful at all. And I don't let stuff like that slide just because someone has experience - or even just because I consider them a forum friend (as I do Jon). It has nothing to do with "miles" - it has to do with reason and objectivity.

In other words, you guys can't simply demand "respect" for your "miles" if what you're claiming makes no sense. It just doesn't work that way. You're absolutely welcome to your opinion - but remember it's an opinion. Reid Stow has a hell of a lot of "miles" - but I take almost nothing he says seriously.

That said, if you want to take the underlying opinion of this argument to heart yourself and ensure you're being as "prudent" as you possibly can be, why have opening portlights at all in any boat? It's just increasing risk, no? Look what happened to that oil rig.
7 Hours Ago 02:39 PM
Exile1
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Okay - then let's approach the critique of that Hunter's portlight from another angle. Give me a realistic scenario where, under typical cruising conditions...even "out there" in a moderate/strong gale...that aft side portlight is going to get blown out.
I think your "typical cruising conditions" test is rather misguided, Smack, and this goes well beyond this particular example of opening portlights. You've applied it in a myriad number of ways on various threads to try and explain away concerns people have raised about certain features of production boats. Some of your reasoning makes sense, but much of it frankly seems derived from a combo of inexperience & bravado, not really the best duo for undertaking seagoing voyages, no matter how benign you seem to think they may actually be.

I'm not suggesting a "worse-case" test, or that you need an aluminum expedition boat for sailing the Caribbean. But I think more of perhaps a "reasonably forseeable" standard or the "prudent mariner" saying we often hear might serve you better. Just like there are usually some valid reasons why certain boat brands have certain reputations, there are usually good reasons why experienced sailors express opinions. If you haven't put the miles under your keel yourself, then the best way to learn is from guys like Jon who have.
7 Hours Ago 02:07 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Smack,
Pleas listen and LEARN from Jon.

"Probably" doesn't work on a boat.

In the the immortal words of Captain Ron-"If it's going to happen it's going to happen out there"
Nah, in fairness, I think he's "probably" right... I doubt a Hunter 50 will ever be lost as a direct result of one those portlights being punched out... :-)

However, having something like that compromised offshore is PRECISELY the sort of thing that is so often one of the first of a cascading series of failures that build into something more substantial... It might serve as a distraction, contributing to a navigational error or failure of an adequate watch being kept... Or, it could lead to something more serious, perhaps the shorting out of batteries or another critical system that might just happen to be located under that berth...

Bottom line is, You Never Know... Even on something considerably more substantial than a 50' sailboat, the loss of a single portlight can start a chain of events that can ultimately prove to be disastrous:





Quote:

Ocean Ranger was a semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit that sank in Canadian waters on 15 February 1982. It was drilling an exploration well on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, 267 kilometres (166 mi) east of St. John's, Newfoundland, for Mobil Oil of Canada, Ltd. (MOCAN) with 84 crew members on board when it sank. There were no survivors.

...

The United States Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation report on the disaster summarised the chain of events as follows:

A large wave appeared to cause a broken portlight;

The broken portlight allowed the ingress of sea water into the ballast control room;

The ballast control panel malfunctioned or appeared to malfunction to the crew;

As a result of this malfunction or perceived malfunction, several valves in the rig's ballast control system opened due to a short-circuit, or were manually opened by the crew;

Ocean Ranger assumed a forward list;

As a result of the forward list, boarding seas began flooding the forward chain lockers located in the forward corner support columns;

The forward list worsened;

The pumping of the forward tanks was not possible using the usual ballast control method as the magnitude of the forward list created a vertical distance between the forward tanks and the ballast pumps located astern that exceeded the suction available on the ballast system's pumps;

Detailed instructions and personnel trained in the use of the ballast control panel were not available;

At some point, the crew blindly attempted to manually operate the ballast control panel using brass control rods;

At some point, the manually operated sea valves in both pontoons were closed;

Progressive flooding of the chain lockers and subsequent flooding of the upper deck resulted in a loss of buoyancy great enough to cause the rig to capsize.
8 Hours Ago 01:43 PM
smackdaddy
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Okay - then let's approach the critique of that Hunter's portlight from another angle. Give me a realistic scenario where, under typical cruising conditions...even "out there" in a moderate/strong gale...that aft side portlight is going to get blown out.
8 Hours Ago 01:26 PM
outbound
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Smack,
Pleas listen and LEARN from Jon.

"Probably" doesn't work on a boat.

In the the immortal words of Captain Ron-"If it's going to happen it's going to happen out there"
23 Hours Ago 10:46 PM
smackdaddy
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
Hmmm, it appears you missed the point of my "anecdote" posted above...

It had nothing to do with remembering/forgetting to close those hull portlights on that Marine Trader...

;-)
Weren't those in the pretty vertical transom? And weren't you kind of parked on a bar in questionable weather with that transom facing incoming waves?

Again - anything can happen. I just think the Hunter's portlight you were critiquing will probably be okay as long the skipper remembers to close it.
23 Hours Ago 10:26 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Yes, it is pretty subtle really. Because if you leave either open in a storm, you're in for trouble. The sea/rain/etc. will find a way...even into a cockpit.

So, if you remember to close one, you'll probably remember to close both.
Hmmm, it appears you missed the point of my "anecdote" posted above...

It had nothing to do with remembering/forgetting to close those hull portlights on that Marine Trader...

;-)
1 Day Ago 09:53 PM
smackdaddy
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
OK, I have no problem with such ports, at least on most of the installations I've seen... Hell, I even have one above the quarter berth on my little deathtrap :-) However, I think most folks probably understand the subtle distinction between a portlight that opens into the cockpit, and one that opens the hull to the sea...
Yes, it is pretty subtle really. Because if you leave either open in a storm, you're in for trouble. The sea/rain/etc. will find a way...even into a cockpit.

So, if you remember to close one, you'll probably remember to close both.
1 Day Ago 09:52 PM
Exile1
Re: Production Boats and the Limits

Quote:
Originally Posted by outbound View Post
I can only speak from my limited experience.
I have 7 berthes.
The forward centerline quen is never used underway. Even when it's just me and the bride. Hard to sleep when airborne.
I have five berths aft of the stick. Never use the double made by lowering the saloon table rather saloon rigged for two berths with leeclothes.
I clear two lockers for each crew. Nothing and I mean nothing Is left out to fly around. No one hot bunks. The top of the forward queen has nothing on it so we can get to stuff under it if necessary. ( bunk on hydraulic cylinders)
The boat will survive a knock down. No one will be hurt by missiles.

Boat has done passages, seen 60kts, beat to windward for 5 d in 30-45. Nothing is broken and after 1y living on it other than a few dings in the sole looks boat show new.

New boats designed and executed for offshore sailing perform better and are easier to sail. Off shore boats have real storage and accessibility to systems. We stand single watches.

Compared to the same size older boat VMG is better so day's work is longer. With improved materials and execution voyage is safer. The NAs and builders haven't been sitting on their hands.

Boat is not an investment. It is a money pit. To think otherwise is foolish unless you are going to only stay in one locale. Boat unit is $1k for a reason. If your dream is to sail to distant ports and live( that mean a lot of junk to store)safely and comfortably often the best decision is to leave less for your kids to frit away and buy a new quality boat design for offshore sailing and customized to your liking or do a one off. Yes either choice makes no sense economically just like marriage. Although fewer people get married now a days folks still do it.
Economically best decision is to buy an used one off done to your liking.
If buying production and funds limited a good used PSC, Valiant, hinckley etc. makes more sense. If go small go now a BCC or like boat makes sense. Something where you're not concerned about oilcaning or structural failure because something is glued not glued and bolted or has inadequate safety margin. You only have one life. How much is that worth?
Have you read "Sea Trials" by Peter Bourke? Great sea story about sailing the singlehanded OSTAR from Plymouth, England to Newport, RI on an Outbound yacht.
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