Bayfield 25, how seaworthy? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2008
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Bayfield 25, how seaworthy?

I've got a nice little Bayfield 25 and im wondering how seaworthy the boat is. It seems pretty solidly built. It is a full keel with the rudder attached on the back of the keel with the prop in a cutout in the keel. The boat has a running Yanmar 1GM diesel, but i know i need to clean or replace the fuel tank as its been setting for 3 years. Id like to take this boat to Bermuda if it can handle it.
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Old 01-03-2008
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I should preface this by saying I've sailed alongside and past these boats, but not on one....

I think they are tough little boats, but I'm not sure they were truly meant to be offshore cruisers. Easy to handle, certainly, but motion could be uncomfortable esp in the Gulf Stream, and it wouldn't be a quick trip.

Her shallow draft will advantageous in certain areas, obviously, but not necessarily at sea.

A dash across to the Bahamas? Probably, with the right weather window.... Bermuda I'm not so sure.....
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Old 01-03-2008
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I know the draft is going to help me alot around my home port (Charleston SC). I want to take a sailing trip to Bermuda within the next couple of years and i figured this boat would be able to do it.
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Hell, people have done longer, rougher trips on lesser boats, I suppose.... It will likely as not come down to your own tolerance and abilities assuming the boat itself is otherwise sound and well-prepped.
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Old 01-03-2008
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The boat is about to undergo a refit for the few things that it needs. Im going to remove the roller furling on the headsail so i can hank on smaller jibs. The main has 2 reef points in it and one is kinda high. The boat has wheel steering on it, so im thinking a belowdecks autopilot system for it. From what ive found out about the boat is should be able to do the trip to Bermuda.
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Old 01-03-2008
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Oh yea, the other major thing i wanted to find out is can the boat be beached? Could i take it and anchor over a sandbar, wait for the tide to go out and clean the bottom? Would it get any damage?
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Old 01-04-2008
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There have been a couple discussions in the past few weeks about going offshore in small boats that you might want to look at, but in a general sense, anecdotally its easy to find stories of people going offshore in boats that are less seaworthy than the Bayfield 25. But if you read enough, you find that historically lots of small boat sailors went missing, or needed rescue and historically the small boat sailors that took off on offshore voyages were generally very experienced seamen.

When you ask about sailing a Bayfield 25 to Bermuda, its all about risk management and how much risk you personally are willing to take, and how good a sailor you are, and how expeienced you are in handling the Bayfield in heavy going.

To me, a Bayfield 25 would be an extremely poor choice for this kind of trip. These were boats that were optimized to get a lot of room on a small boat, rather than as a good sailing, offshore comfortable design. For example compare the Bayfield to something like a Folkboat with an equal displacement and length but 4 foot draft vs the Bayfields 2'11 draft and 2300 lb ballast vs the Bayfields' 1450 lbs, and the Folkboat's 7'6 beam vs the Bayfields' 8 foot. So, comparatively speaking, the Bayfield with its extremely low ballast to displacement ratio, extremely shallow draft, wide beam carried to its full ends, and corky motion, it would be very tough boat to bring through a storm.

These boats do not exactly have a good reputation for being well constucted. They are heavy but much of thier weight comes in the form of heavy interior components rather than robust structure or ballast.

The Bayfields' high drag and small SA/D would make for a very slow trip to Bermuda, which means that you would need to carry a lot more supplies, than a longer or better designed boat of this displacement. The weight of those supplies would further reduce motion comfort and seaworthiness. The slow passage time would also mean that you would be at sea too long to acurately predict the weather window that you will encounter en-route and that means you higher risk of ending up in foul weather.

But again, while the Bayfield 25 would be very close to the bottom of the list of boats that I personally would consider taking to Bermuda, it comes down to how much risk you personally are willing to take. To quote Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, I guess the real question is, "How Lucky do you feel?"

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 01-04-2008
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Many boats can be careened... this was a way to get a chance to work on the bottom of them. It works better with full keel designs than fin keels,. The main danger to doing so is making sure the boat will right itself as the water comes back in, before it fills. Another issue is finding a beach where the tide range is high enough that has a soft enough bottom to do this, and doesn't have much wave action. Waves will tend to bounce the boat up and down, and can do some pretty serious damage.

BTW, the closer you are to the equator, the less likely you are to be able to do this, since the tidal height is generally smaller.
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Originally Posted by SVDistantStar View Post
Oh yea, the other major thing i wanted to find out is can the boat be beached? Could i take it and anchor over a sandbar, wait for the tide to go out and clean the bottom? Would it get any damage?
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Old 07-18-2009
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bayfied 25

I also have a Bayfield 25 and yes much smaller boats have made it,it is a very solid and exellent crusier and if you did not push and waited for decent wheather you would be fine and if you had some experaince and did not over do it you could wheather a storm I have thought about doing it and I am in Lagoon city on Lake Simcoe north of Toronto
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Old 07-26-2009
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We got hit with a squall many years ago on Senaca Lake in NY. I saw a line of white advancing across the lake and, in our yawl of the time, dowsed the main and pulled the mizzen in tight and took it nose on. The wind (55 mph reported at a nearby airport) hit us a minute before the standing wave. A Bayfield 25 singlehander was reaching ahead of us and he was rolled 360ļ, popped up and was rolled a second time.

Anyone can be inattentive - he said he never saw it coming as was below grabbing lunch with a lashed tiller. The only damage was to him - a gash on his forehead - and the contents of the Porta-Pottie discharged into the cabin along with the contents of several galley lockers and many gallons of water that entered the open companionway.

Does it prove anything? No. Just that you can't assume the boat . . . any boat . . . knows what to do if you don't.

Other boats may have been demasted or certainly had some sail and rigging damage. But some other boats are entertaining enough to sail that you pay attention to sailing instead of just making boring progress. That particulay B25 was the slowest boat on the lake. They are well made but certainly not optimum lake boats.

For a trip to Bermuda? Yeah, I'd feel better in something designed for blue water and a Bayfield 25 is that; small but rugged. Personally, I'd be comparing them to Pearson Ariel 26 and Triton 28's (or a Bristol 27) to find an individual boat in good shape with proper gear.
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