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Discussion Starter #1
I spotted a thread on this forum titled Circumnavigate Catalina 30, which was a great discussion about the capabilities (and maybe more importantly, the limitations) of a Cat 30. I've recently joined a yacht club in Southern California with a fleet of Cat 30's--very nice boats, and the attractive pricing easily leads one to start dreaming of purchasing one for extended voyages. But whenever someone suggests such an idea in forums like these, the responses are always pretty consistent: The Catalina 30 was just not built for offshore passages. If I spent days searching these types of posts, there's always some scattered opinions of suggested alternatives for such an endeavor, but it's usually someone recommending some obscure boat that they've happened to decide is a great offshore cruiser.

Is there any place (any other posts, perhaps) that one could find a list of blue water capable boats in the 30-38 foot range that are designed for the open ocean and limited crew, sometimes single-handed? Is there an equivalent to the Catalina 30 (i.e. mass produced, commonly available, and relatively low cost compared to more custom yachts), that is intended for blue water? The common suggestion to people trying to make ocean passages in a Cat 30 is, "Forget it and buy a boat that was designed for your intended purpose." So what boats would fit the bill?
 

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sailcalculator provides a list of boats with user defined specifications. Capsize ratio and motion comfort are important criteria for me. But mass produced boats are usually coastal cruisers designed for the most beds and the least cost. I met a couple who circumnavigatedin a Pacific Seacraft Orion and they said that they had a great time. Sail Calculator Pro v3.0
 

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sailcalculator provides a list of boats with user defined specifications. Capsize ratio and motion comfort are important criteria for me. But mass produced boats are usually coastal cruisers designed for the most beds and the least cost. I met a couple who circumnavigatedin a Pacific Seacraft Orion and they said that they had a great time. Sail Calculator Pro v3.0
Great link, I've been looking for something like that for a while. I guess all I had to do was ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the quick responses. Definitely some good info.

Incidentally, I just ordered a copy of "Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear" by John Vigor. So hopefully there's some decent information in there as well.
 

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Telstar 28
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You might also want to look at James Baldwin's Boat list of pocket bluewater boats. While most are smaller than you're looking at, there are a lot of good boats on the list.
 

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Thanks for all the quick responses. Definitely some good info.

Incidentally, I just ordered a copy of "Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear" by John Vigor. So hopefully there's some decent information in there as well.
This is a *great* book, and you should find it very helpful. Vigor also wrote a book titled something along the lines of Twenty Small Boats to Take you Anywhere that describes 20 bluewater boats up to around 32' or so. The list is, of course, not a definitive one, but it would give you a good idea of what features to look for.
 

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Would I sail an 18 footer built of 1/4 inch plyaround the world - NO - but Shane Acton did. Get the book he wrote called "SHRIMPY".

It is a great read! and reassuring when you have worries about your boat size.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you looked at the bluewater boats lists in posts #6 & #8 here?
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/buyin...fshore-cruising-boat-list-january-2008-a.html

Lots of what you are looking for listed there.
I'm a little bit embarrassed that I didn't find this link before posting, but this is a great little resource--especially for browsing.

It's pretty apparent that there is an ongoing debate about the virtues of comfort (heavy displacement, full keel) vs speed. I like tweaking the sails and trying to get maximum speed, and would enjoy a faster boat. On the other hand, you can only enjoy sailing so much when your girlfriend is hanging off the side of the boat, feeding the fish. :)puke) And when you're on a boat for an extended time, the interior layout and stowage becomes increasingly important. I'm curious if there are any particular boats that are generally thought to have made a clever compromise here...
 

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Yes, but Swans cost a million bucks.

I think you need to determine your sailing goals first, because "offshore" is an extremely nebulous term that embraces anything from sailing beyond sight of land, to being able to heave to in storm conditions (whether inshore or not) to having the capacity to store food and water for a few weeks, to providing a plush ride. Think of "offshore" boats as forming a Venn diagram of maybe five or six circles. One of those circles will fit your sailing goal, and in that circle will be a fairly arbitrary but anecdotally and design-specifically demonstrated list of boats.

An example: "Offshore" in the Caribbean might emphasize shallow draft over stowage, and plenty of opening ports for ventilation, and a big cockpit with a swim platform on a sugar scoop stern for the frequent eating and boozing at sundown, and a dedicated compartment for the dive tanks...maybe even with a compressor!

"Offshore" in Patagonia might include sealable dorades, doggable doors instead of dropboards, a constantly running diesel heater, an oversized windlass and five anchors, a ridiculously overbuilt arch with 300 foot reels of stern line to spiderweb the boat in williwaw-prone fjords, and the sort of salty rowing tender Larry Pardey would enjoy.

And it would be steel. And you would get your weather reports from 8,000 NM away. And you would be able to perform minor surgery and have a bilge full of eight-month old tinned goods for your dinner.

And yet both boats are "offshore". Define the trip, and there are people here who can help you define the boat.
 

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How about the mid range J Boats, J-35 or even J-40. Not Swan like in cost but from what I have read, seaworthy.
 

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Joe, you've got to watch J/boats. As they will be the first to tell you (and they are glad to get calls & emails, nice folks) many of their boats (most of their boats) are built for flat-water racing. Built light, to be fast. And sometimes "nimble" which means they need a hand on the tiller at all times. Then there are models built with next to no engine or interior, rigged for larger crews with running backstays and other design features that work great for racing with large crews--but not for short crews passagemaking.

Horses for courses, and all that fine stuff.
 

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How about the mid range J Boats, J-35 or even J-40. Not Swan like in cost but from what I have read, seaworthy.
J-Boats are great sailers. I like J-Boats. But as I posted, I wouldn't consider them offshore due to tankage issues and seakindliness unless I was prepared to wait for the right weather windows. As with most J-Boats (except, rumour has it, the J/80), if you have a big crew of young people willing to sleep in their foulies and to eat tinned stew and cereal bars, the boats are up to it. If not, (and I know this might be a minority opinion), I think their suitability as liveaboard, long-haul cruisers is less than that of other boats. I think the J/160 comes close, but that is a hell of a lot of boat for the "typical" 50 plus cruising couple, unless they are ex-ocean racers, maybe.

I put the larger J-Boats in the same league as the Sagas and some others: real "performance cruisers" that are generally tough enough for the ocean, but maybe too tough for the typical short-handed crew on multi-week passage during which you might encounter any type of situation.
 

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Fly over to the UK and buy the largest Rival you can afford (32, 34, 38, 41). They make boats over here to withstand strong winds and rough seas on a regular basis, and it shows.

:)
 

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Roger Marshall's book on sailboat design might be of some help. Weight is important for comfort. My 323 pearson weighs 12,500#s and I don't think that I would want a lighter boat offshore. Lighter boats bounce around more than a heavier boat of simular design. Heavy and narrow makes for comfort. Beamy and light makes for a lot of motion. This is fine for a few hours on a sunny afternoon. But midnight after a day at sea the last thing you want is to be thrown around the boat by every wave.
Sailboat Design and Stability

This link might help.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Valiente,

I can appreciate the term "offshore" is relatively vague, but it was somewhat intentional given that this discussion is educational for me at this point as I haven't determined a route or typical desination that is as specific as your examples. Just to give you an idea, I was thinking of "offshore" in the sense that the boat would be:

1. Suitable for enduring the storms, heavy seas, and high winds that one could potentially be subjected to when located many miles from any nearby land.

2. Have a reasonable amount of stowage capacity for the essentials needed on an extended journey.

3. (This is the most subjective) Be able to accomplish this in relative comfort (which would probably knock the 18-footers out of contention).

But if you were to really press me for a specific route, I would say a circumnavigation, avoiding the Panama and Suez Canals and opting for going around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, simply for the sake of argument. It's interesting to hear people's opinions on different manufacturers of boats and their pros and cons. I'm familiar with the aspects of a boat that represent a tradeoff in one direction or the other, but I'm not familiar enough with the many manufacturers and what type of configuration they represent. But it is more interesting when the discussion centers on the more affordable boats (relatively speaking anyway). But I did do a search for Swans and found some older ones for under $100k...
 

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Avoiding the Canals? OK, you're in pretty rarified waters. Subscribe to Ocean Navigator and look at some of the circumpolar voyagers. You want a a different breed of boat, not necessarily a production boat, although the OVNI range of French aluminum hulls is capable of these trips (see Jimmy Cornell's writings).
 

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What about a similar comparison of production boats for coastal-crusing-plus-an-occasional-storm kind of thing? Giu did a good write up about Cats/Benes/Hunters after the Chicago boat show, and I've seen CD comment several times with some good info - but I've not seen a solid discussion of this around here. It's always kind of "blue water versus production". The thread might be buried somewhere - but I'm freakin' lazy. Any bread crumbs?

If not, let's fire one up, boys!
 
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