S2-11 for blue water?
I'm looking for a boat to take me from Seattle to Mexcio and back, and up the coast of BC to Alaska.
I've heard very good things about S2's but I have no personal experience with them.
- Are they suitable for that plan, including the "uphill" run from Mexico back to Seattle?
- Have people cruised extensively in unprotected waters with them?
- Any ocean crossings? (not in my plans, but useful info anyway)
- Is the hull/deck joint thru-bolted?
- How's the construction strength and quality compare to 70's & 80's Pearsons (which I am familiar with).
Thanks for any help.
S-2s are well made coastal cruisers as are Pearsons, and I would say both are comparable for consturction with S-2 having better finishing. My last purchase was almost a S-2 10.3 and I've always lusted for a 9.1. However, these boats like most Pearsons were not designed for offshore use. You can roll the dice and try taking one anywhere and its likely to get your there, but how gracefully, certainly or comfortably is a different question.
I always offer the story http://www.equipped.com/0698rescue.htm as demonstrating how a boat that may be capable of offshore sailing may not be suitable. Now some Catalina owners reading that article come back and say, well the owner didn't prep enough, he missed a recall, he this-or-that. The truth is that boats designed to be compentent coastal cruisers are not suitable for offshore use.
I have owned an S2 11.0A for a number of years that I sail mainly on the Chresapeake Bay and have taken it up and down the east coast. An excellent coastal cruiser, substantial displacement, good tankage, and very stable and able boat. I would take it offshore coastal and to Bermuda, but not across and ocean. It would need some modification for offshore, especially storm shutters on the large lexan ports.
I own a 11.A S2 and have sailed her offshore quite a bit. 2006 2007 Cruise
Here is a link to a log of our most recent trip from Texas to the Bahamas and back. We just returned in April so I haven't completed the web log yet. We went across the Gulf directly to Florida and back. Took 7 days nonstop offshore each way so we saw quite a bit of Blue Water sailing. Also crossed the Gulf stream twice from Marathon to Bimini, 130 nautical miles. Then Gun Cay to Miami. The Gulf of Mexico has notoriously bad weather associated with frontal passages. We saw several hours of 40 knot winds on the way over and an hour of 45-50 knot winds with 15ft breaking seas on the way back. The boat handled these conditions fine. You do have to use some sense and reduce sail early in those conditions.
Sailing upwind in rough seas the boat pounds some due to the flat entry forward. This is a bit uncomfortable but not dangerous. The hull to deck joint is thrubolted every 4-6 inches and very stout.
The interior is built in wood glassed into the hull. This is superior to Pearsons, Catalinas, and most other production boats.
The standing rigging and chain plates are heavier than those on most comparable Blue Water boats.
I do carry emergency storm shutters in case one of the large lexan windows fail.
The bilge sump is about 4 feet deep so no problem with water sloshing around out of reach of the pump. The boat had no opening in the sole over the sump so I cut one. Had to clean everything that had collected there over 20 years.
I would not take my S2 around the world but have no problem with going anywhere in the Caribbean.
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