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Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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10,530 Posts
Its seems like some of the most popular questions on sailing BB''s is what Blue Water boat should I buy. This question usually has a list of heavy weight boats that would have represented the prototypical blue water cruising boat design concept from the 1930''s or earlier rendered in fiberglass but with less sail area and less stability.

Now, I am not putting anyone down here, and I am not sure that I am even putting this type of boat down, but it seems to me this concept of a ''serious blue water cruiser'' is being way over sold. These lead bobbers represent a real compromise in sailing ability in the kinds of winds that I seem to spend my life sailing in for little gain when things get really hairy.

I know nothing of what the original poster, cfreeman, plans to do with this boat and he may be going to some place where this kind of heavy weapon makes sense, but as I look around me at the massive armament that people payy enormous sums to sail in some pretty tame environments I really have to wonder if something hasn''t gone wrong here.

I don''t know about you but I am far more likely to run into a bad chop than the ultimate wave. I am far more likely to sail in winds under 20 knots than spend a week fighting a gale. Even if I did encounter the ultimate wave or a week of gale, some of the newer lighter designs are actually handling these conditions better than the traditional bruisers.

But ultimately, because the greatest luxury to me is to be able to sail, and not have to spend a lot of time motoring, and the greatest safety is an easily driven hull, I can live with a lot less heft. I can live without a ton or two of tropical hardwoods, or a gen. set, or golf cart batteries number 3,4,5,or 6, or a 20 gal water heater, or air conditioning, or a microwave, or a RIB with an electric start four stroke outboard hung in davits, or a diesel that can push the boat at hull speed up wind in a gale, or a computer driven electronic nav. system (well maybe).

I guess what I am saying is that maybe this guy really needs a "seriuous blue water cruiser" but it seems to me that way to many of these sailing equivilents of a Humvee are being sold to people mearly making a milk run.

End of rant.
Jeff
 

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Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
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10,530 Posts
To address Rich H points:

Those of us that grew up sailing on heavy weight boats grew up with the mythology that light boats are inherently uncomfortable and more tiring to sail. This belief was further reinforced as we began sailing the first generations of light weight boats. Boats that basically had hull shapes like the heavier boats but just reduced in weight.

The opinion that light weight equates to discomfort was further reinforced by the raceboat inspired light weight boats of the 1970''s and 1980''s. These were boats with comparatively deep canoe bodies, blunt bows, pinched sterns and high center of gravities.

Marchaj''s data in his seminal work on seawothiness was based on data in which the light weight boats used in the study were prototypical IOR boats of the era with comparatively deep canoe bodies, blunt bows, pinched sterns and high center of gravities. His data and recommendations were right based on the type form he was studying.

Designers heeded his advise and reshaped hulls and lowered centers of gravity, moved weight out of the ends of the boat, lengthened water lines, reduced both deck and waterline beam, and reduced the reliance on form stability.

Todays light weight boats are not the light weight boats of the Fastnet disaster era. They are a new breed. With the ability to actually instrument full size boats we are finding that weight distribution,and hull and foil shape can actually result in boats that are light in weight and that have smaller roll angles and similar accellerations to the heavier boats that we grew up assuming to be the only way to go to sea.

Jeff

Our other image of light weight boats comes from the first generation sleds.
 

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Super Moderator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
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10,530 Posts
Our other image of light weight boats comes from the first generation sleds, Open Class 60s and the lighter "clorox bottles" produced by the ''big three''. I think that a fairer comparison would be boats like the Dehler 39 or Morris 454. Boats like these represent this generations best hope for future long distance voyagers.
Respectfully
Jeff
 
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