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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > What we (CD & Family) Look for in a boat
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Thread: What we (CD & Family) Look for in a boat Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-06-2010 03:53 PM
Cruisingdad Nice post as usual Paulo!

Brian
12-04-2010 07:17 PM
PCP
Quote:
Originally Posted by nemier View Post
Hi Paulo,
Just so I get this strait.
Are you saying you prefer the RM sailing characteristics better than the Feeling, Alluria, or Sense? And do you prefer the RM better than the X-42??
What would be your best choice? (Oh crap, sorry to high-jack the thread Brian -- fwiw, you've got me looking at the C-400 again )
Sorry Brian, I hope you don't mind a quick answer.

I don't like the the Sense or the new Feeling concept. Or better I understand it, it makes sense but it is not for sailors like me.

Regarding the Xc 42 I love the boat and its concept, but again it is not for me and it is too expensive anyway. I have read a comparison boat test between that one and the Dufour 425. Same speed, same comfort at passing waves close to the wind, different interiors but about the same comfort and storage. Better finish for the X boat and of course they could not have measured (but they have stated it) the X will be a better boat under bad weather and a more seaworthy boat.

Anyway the Dufour is a hell of a boat for the money and I wanted to see if that was the boat I wanted. I have charted an almost new one last summer for two weeks. Yes it is a lovely boat and a great cruiser, but not sufficiently fun to sail for me. I guess the Xc42 will be very close in what regards sailing and that's why I don't want one, I mean, if I had the money to have one

The RM 1200 is slightly faster and probably considerable more faster and fun with a lot of wind. It has a great cruising interior. I tried it. Not fun or fast enough. The 1350 is another story. It is a more modern design and I have no doubt that it is a very fast boat. In what regards sailing, Yes I would prefer that one over the Xc 42 even if it is not as expensive. But I would have that saloon redesigned, I mean the storage spaces on the saloon. I can do better than that.

Anyway that boat is too big for me and it would be difficult to handle alone in and out of a marina. I would exchange it gladly for the the new Xp38. I bet that one will be a lot of fun to sail and it is big enough for my cruising needs (me, my wife and two grown up kids). I guess that one will cost about the same as the RM 1350. Too expensive for me , but a beautiful and desirable boat.

See the Xp 38 renderings

Regards

Paulo
12-04-2010 05:32 PM
nemier
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Regarding the cruising boats I know, the ones that sail with less heel (not so much as on the Feeling or Alliura) and are more stiff and seaworthy are the RM. These ones besides an impressive safety record, can also be sailed from the interior. Real modern cruising passage makers

RM YACHTS | Accueil

I have considered having one of these and test sailed a RM1200, but even if it has just a perfect interior (to my tastes) and sail very well, it just cannot gives me that extra sailing fun that I find primordial in a sailing boat...I know I know, I am mad Just mad about sailing.

Regards

Paulo

Hi Paulo,
Just so I get this strait.
Are you saying you prefer the RM sailing characteristics better than the Feeling, Alluria, or Sense? And do you prefer the RM better than the X-42??
What would be your best choice? (Oh crap, sorry to high-jack the thread Brian -- fwiw, you've got me looking at the C-400 again )
12-04-2010 12:03 PM
PCP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Hey Paulo,

Sure footed (at least my definition) is howa function of how tender the boat is. For example: two boats, close hauled, canvas up, both get hit by a 25 knot gust.
Brian,

About sure footed what I mean was this:

The Catalina 400 hit by a strong gust, if heeled beyond 60º (or something like that) will have considerable less reserve stability to resist to further heeling forces than a 38 on the same situation.

The reason is that while the 400 has a great part of its stability derived from form stability, the 38 has more derived from the ballast. That means the 400 will have a lot more initial stability (low angles of heel) and sailing power, while the 38, that has more ballast (B/D), needs more important heel angles to have the power for sailing. But when the heel angles increase greatly (strong gust), then the form stability is not working anymore and the 400 has to rely, as the 38, on its ballast to re-right the boat. As the 38 has a superior ballast (B/D) it will be more effective on this situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

I am familiar with a lot of boats that meet the tender criteria. Please note that many of these boats are NOT unseaworthy. Quite the opposite. Some of the best examples I know of are very well respected blue water boats(but typically based upon old designs). I hesitate putting these here as people will get very defensive about their boats. I will say that our Catalina 380 was very tender. A strong gust of wind and she would drop on her rail and slowly try to accelerate.

My Catalina 400, on the other hand, is very slow to heel. When the wind gusts, she quickly accelerates, then starts to heel over. Another boat I am familiar with that does this is the Beneteau 40 (new one). Interesting that they both seem to have a very similar hull design (flat bottom/relatively hard chime).
What I have said explains what you say above

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

The problem with some of the flat bottom boats is that they have a tendency to pound in large, steep seas, which becomes very uncomfortable. Our boat at 10+ foot seas will pound if you do not decelerate her. The heavier, round bottom boats do not seem to have this problem - like the C380, Tayana 42, and a few others I have been on. However, even decelerated, my boat will outrun the others.

I have had more than one person tell me that there is a particular manufacturer which makes flat bottom boats that pound and they would never own another one. As such, they avoid the more modern hull designs in favor of the rounder bottomed, old designed boats. That is not the case with the C400 except in large seas and it can be avoided by decelerating the boat instead of having the boat jump off the seas.
Yes, you are right about that. All boats are compromises. Here you exchange some comfort in a particular sailing position and with some sea conditions for a superior comfort in all other sailing positions (less heel) a superior speed (a lot less weight for the same overall stability) and a less expensive boat (less weight and less forces involved).

The only way to counteract the pounding that you refer to on a modern boat is to make it with very narrow entries and that means a narrow front part of the boat. That's why my favorite magazine, after testing an incredible number of boats, reached the conclusion I had already reached some time before : The best cruising sailboats, in what regards sailing are modern cruiser-racers with a moderate sail plan. These ones have those fine entries that I was talking about and also the kind of hull Catalina 400 has.

Of course, cruising is not only sailing and most people will prefer more substantial front entries (at the cost of more pounding) and a better front cabin, with an island berth. By the way, that is the reason why the XC42 has a narrower front cabin comparing to the Catalina, even if it is not a cruiser-racer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

Personally, I would never, ever own another round bottom, tender, slow boat... many of which are considered the 'bluewater' boats. Many people feel that they would rather have a boat that is a tank and would sail through a hurricane. My opinon is to not sail through the hurricane in the first place. THese are the same people that motor everywhere they go because the boat cannot get out of its own way. However, I also woul dnot own a boat that pounds in 3 foot seas. There is a balance in there and I am not sure how to tell it without sailing the boat or discussing it with owners. ...
Brian, rest assured, it is not only you .

That's why all boat manufacturers that really sell boats have changed for what we call modern boats. That's because almost nobody wants the other compromise.

Regarding modern boats, they all sail well or very well in good sailing conditions, but there are some differences (in what regards hull design) between them. One regards larger or finer front entries (less pounding) another regards B/D.

When the weather is bad, to go against the wind you need more power and you need fine entries to have a smooth wave passage. On these circumstances hull form stability is not enough. You need also a good ballast that is potentiated by a bulbed keel and it is here that you can really differentiate boats. Some of the big production modern cruisers will have to motor sail on these conditions...but anyway, most of its owners will never be out there when the weather is like that

Now, please look again to the XC 42, see the fine entries and look at the huge D/B. That one will not have any problem going against the wind in bad weather. Also not any problem with reserve stability at great angles of heel (recovering from a knock-down). That big ballast will give it a big LPS and a smaller inverted stability (for re-righting after a roll). That's what I call a surefooted boat.

Unfortunately all this comes at a price and the XC-42 costs not far from twice the price of a Catalina 400. Do you need such an expensive boat? It depends. Are you going to use all its advantages, do you really need them? The answer is NO, at least for 95% of all sailors...So why buy such an expensive boat if you don't need it?

That's why big production manufacturers don't build boats like that: Most sailors would not pay the difference in price.

By the way, I love your boat's galley. One of the best, if not the best in any 40ft cruiser I know .

Regards

Paulo
12-04-2010 10:02 AM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Brian,

I don't know the catalina 38 nor the 400 but for what I can tell from their hulls, they are very different boats. The 400 has a modern hull, not far away from a Beneteau hull and the 38 has an old style designed hull.

I believe that when you talk about the 38 being tender and about the 400 "sure footedness", you are not talking about seaworthiness, or stiffness, but about different hull and sailing philosophies.

Simply, the 400, like the Beneteau and almost all European cruisers, is designed to sail with a 15º heel while the old styled 38 is designed to sail with a lot more heel.

This has nothing to do with stiffness. Stiffness is related with the sail area the boat can take and the wind the boat can handle before it needs to be reefed. To explain this better, let’s take for an instance a J122, a considerable stiffer boat, if compared with the Catalina 400. It can take more sail and almost certainly will reef later....but will sail with a lot more heel, because it is a narrower boat and it is designed to obtain its best performance with a considerable heel. Regarding what I call "sure footedness", it will also be better, because it has a lot more reserve stability (a higher LPS and a smaller inverted stability).

Off course, in what regards cruising boats, for most people, it is a lot more convenient to sail with less heel and a new generation of cruisers was born. These ones maximize that concept, a step further than what it is made in the new Catalinas or on the traditional line of Benetaus, boats that are a mix between a Cat and a sailboat. I am talking about the new Sense series by Beneteau or the new Felling by Alliura:

Sense 43
Alliaura

But less heel does not mean more seaworthiness, or a more sure footed boat, at least in the way I consider it.

Regarding the cruising boats I know, the ones that sail with less heel (not so much as on the Feeling or Alliura) and are more stiff and seaworthy are the RM. These ones besides an impressive safety record, can also be sailed from the interior. Real modern cruising passage makers

RM YACHTS | Accueil

I have considered having one of these and test sailed a RM1200, but even if it has just a perfect interior (to my tastes) and sail very well, it just cannot gives me that extra sailing fun that I find primordial in a sailing boat...I know I know, I am mad Just mad about sailing.

Regards

Paulo
Hey Paulo,

Sure footed (at leats my definition) is howa function of how tender the boat is. For example: two boats, close hauled, canvas up, both get hit by a 25 knot gust.

The first boat quickly drops to her rail and generally slowly starts accelerating. Typically, this boat would stop at the rail and would not drop further, but it is a rapid heel and "unpredicatble" motion.

The second boat, same scenario, would quickly accelerate and slowly start falling off to the leward rail. Generally, these types of boats sail flatter and are typically faster boats.

I am familiar with a lot of boats that meet the tender criteria. Please note that many of these boats are NOT unseaworthy. Quite the opposite. Some of the best examples I know of are very well respected blue water boats(but typically based upon old designs). I hesitate putting these here as people will get very defensive about their boats. I will say that our Catalina 380 was very tender. A strong gust of wind and she would drop on her rail and slowly try to accelerate.

My Catalina 400, on the other hand, is very slow to heel. When the wind gusts, she quickly accelerates, then starts to heel over. Another boat I am familiar with that does this is the Beneteau 40 (new one). Interesting that they both seem to have a very similar hull design (flat bottom/relatively hard chime).

The problem with some of the flat bottom boats is that they have a tendency to pound in large, steep seas, which becomes very uncomfortable. Our boat at 10+ foot seas will pound if you do not decelerate her. The heavier, round bottom boats do not seem to have this problem - like the C380, Tayana 42, and a few others I have been on. However, even decelerated, my boat will outrun the others.

I have had more than one person tell me that there is a particular manufacturer which makes flat bottom boats that pound and they would never own another one. As such, they avoid the more modern hull designs in favor of the rounder bottomed, old designed boats. That is not the case with the C400 except in large seas and it can be avoided by decelerating the boat instead of having the boat jump off the seas.

Personally, I would never, ever own another round bottom, tender, slow boat... many of which are considered the 'bluewater' boats. Many people feel that they would rather have a boat that is a tank and would sail through a hurricane. My opinon is to not sail through the hurricane in the first place. THese are the same people that motor everywhere they go because the boat cannot get out of its own way. However, I also woul dnot own a boat that pounds in 3 foot seas. There is a balance in there and I am not sure how to tell it without sailing the boat or discussing it with owners. In that respect, I think desgning a boat is still very much a work of art.

Brian

PS You are correct about the C380. It is in fact the old Morgan hull (38) with a Catalina top.
12-04-2010 09:39 AM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJBrown View Post
Paolo, interesting points. Our Bene 43 has a fairly flat hull form and likes to be sailed flat and reefed early. With a 13.5 beam that extends well aft (that's how they get such a large cockpit) anything in excess of 15 degrees makes it difficult to stay seated, not to mention keep her under control. I like to say flat is fast with these boats. Maintaining focus on sail trim is required to do so. So in essence yes she is tender. However once she's trimmed out correctly she settles down and will work her way through snotty conditions in comfort so she's also stable. As you say I think it's a matter of design philosophy. I also think it boils down to preference. Mine is to have a boat that is fun and fast to sail while still providing all the comforts we expect. I don't mind the tenderness as I can reef when necessary. Something that is a lot easier than adding sail area to improve performance.
Mike
Mike,

The B43 will be a perfect boat for what you are going to do. Glad the info helped.

Brian
12-03-2010 07:01 PM
MJBrown Paolo, interesting points. Our Bene 43 has a fairly flat hull form and likes to be sailed flat and reefed early. With a 13.5 beam that extends well aft (that's how they get such a large cockpit) anything in excess of 15 degrees makes it difficult to stay seated, not to mention keep her under control. I like to say flat is fast with these boats. Maintaining focus on sail trim is required to do so. So in essence yes she is tender. However once she's trimmed out correctly she settles down and will work her way through snotty conditions in comfort so she's also stable. As you say I think it's a matter of design philosophy. I also think it boils down to preference. Mine is to have a boat that is fun and fast to sail while still providing all the comforts we expect. I don't mind the tenderness as I can reef when necessary. Something that is a lot easier than adding sail area to improve performance.
Mike
12-03-2010 05:56 PM
PCP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Maybe PHRF versus SA/D. And thoe numbers won't give you whethere the boat is tender. I would never intentioally own another tender boat. I think sure footed boats are teh only way to go for cruising.

For example, on our C380, we might have had a relatively high SA/D (relative to other boats of that class... she was no speedster), but she was tender. There wree many times we would not sail her because we knew if we threw out the sails, we would flop to the rail and crap would go spilling everywhere down below.

Now, contrast that with my 400, I can throw out all the canvas in 20 and she slowly falls over to 15 degrees. Instead of falling further to her rail, she accelerates.

I am not sure there is a good way to gauge sure footedness short of test sailing and asking around???

Others may know better about this than me.

Brian
Brian,

I don't know the catalina 38 nor the 400 but for what I can tell from their hulls, they are very different boats. The 400 has a modern hull, not far away from a Beneteau hull and the 38 has an old style designed hull.

I believe that when you talk about the 38 being tender and about the 400 "sure footedness", you are not talking about seaworthiness, or stiffness, but about different hull and sailing philosophies.

Simply, the 400, like the Beneteau and almost all European cruisers, is designed to sail with a 15º heel while the old styled 38 is designed to sail with a lot more heel.

This has nothing to do with stiffness. Stiffness is related with the sail area the boat can take and the wind the boat can handle before it needs to be reefed. To explain this better, let’s take for an instance a J122, a considerable stiffer boat, if compared with the Catalina 400. It can take more sail and almost certainly will reef later....but will sail with a lot more heel, because it is a narrower boat and it is designed to obtain its best performance with a considerable heel. Regarding what I call "sure footedness", it will also be better, because it has a lot more reserve stability (a higher LPS and a smaller inverted stability).

Off course, in what regards cruising boats, for most people, it is a lot more convenient to sail with less heel and a new generation of cruisers was born. These ones maximize that concept, a step further than what it is made in the new Catalinas or on the traditional line of Benetaus, boats that are a mix between a Cat and a sailboat. I am talking about the new Sense series by Beneteau or the new Felling by Alliura:

Sense 43
Alliaura

But less heel does not mean more seaworthiness, or a more sure footed boat, at least in the way I consider it.

Regarding the cruising boats I know, the ones that sail with less heel (not so much as on the Feeling or Alliura) and are more stiff and seaworthy are the RM. These ones besides an impressive safety record, can also be sailed from the interior. Real modern cruising passage makers

RM YACHTS | Accueil

I have considered having one of these and test sailed a RM1200, but even if it has just a perfect interior (to my tastes) and sail very well, it just cannot gives me that extra sailing fun that I find primordial in a sailing boat...I know I know, I am mad Just mad about sailing.

Regards

Paulo
12-03-2010 02:27 PM
MJBrown Brian, you're doing the same type of cruising the wife and I want to do in the next 2-3 years when we retire, New England to the islands. After reading your post I feel that much better about our 08 Bene 43. Other than the having shallow bilges and a V berth (something we're fine with) she pretty much matches your description. Fast (easily exceeds hull speed) and stable, 5.5' draft, roller furling sails, roomy two wheel cockpit (fits 12 for dinner), two heads (one w/separate shower), nice galley with storage, roomy and comfortable main salon as well as berths, roomy cockpit lockers, good looking and for our budget affordable. As far as the cockpit enclosure is concerned our's was worth every penny and probably the single best addition to the boat. Thanks for the post and enjoy every moment of your adventure.
Mike
12-03-2010 12:09 PM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Hello Brian,

I am not a racer and in what regards draft I can understand you very well. My wife wants me to buy a Southerly and I also like to anchor as close as land as I can. Even liking fast boats I will also compromise. I will not have a southerly (maybe a Pogo ) but certainly I will not have a boat with more than about 7ft draft.

Regarding the head layout you are not the only one. I would also prefer what they now call the "classical" layout. Funny thing is that now in Europe most sailors prefer what they call "modern" layout, the one that the Dufour uses.

Of course, if price was not so important I would recommend this one strongly to fit your program:

http://www.yacht.de/yo/yo_news/powerslave,id,8548,nodeid,294.html?s=r
http://www.x-yachts.com/seeems/40094.asp#79940

Not only it is a gorgeous boat, as I think it will cover all your needs and I dare to say it is a better boat than the Catalina (off course I am kidding, there is nothing better than a Catalina ). But anyway, it is faster, more seaworthy, 5.6ft draft, lots of storage, with a great build and with a very high quality classy interior, only with a small defect....price.

For me it is too....perfect and not sufficiently exciting or fast, but that is just me.

Regards

Paulo
Yeahhhhhhhh.... X yacht! I like em!!

Incidentally, the X has a VERY similar (almost exact) layout as my boat, except I have a centerline queen (much better than those aft berths). In all seriousness, you should look at a C400 if you can get one there. You can always say 'no'... but you should at least look at it.

A Southerly, huh?? Come to think of it, you better fly your wife to the US and look at a C400 REALLY quick!!! (snicker).

Brian
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