SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Picnic Sailor
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alot of discussion has taken place here over time about what constitutes a 'bluewater' boat.......it is one of the all time Sailnet classics.

One of the controversies of this debate seems to be the question of whether this type of boat or that type of boat, or any average production boat is a suitable bluewater vessel........with replies to unsuitable vessels all seeming to say something along the lines of 'no, but they are a good coastal cruiser....'

Which leads me finally to my question, umm well do alot of the boats disqualified from bluewater duties actually really make good coastal cruisers??

Does not alot of the things that disqualify a boat from being bluewater capable also make them a compromise for real coastal cruising??

The reason I ask is that we are looking to reboat, our plan for the immediate sailing future is going to involve the east coast of Australia, with possibly a hop across to the Louisiades Archipleligo.

So basically coastal cruising....

However as I think about coastal cruising on the east coast of Oz, and I think about relying on 'weather windows' etc. I am reminded of a couple incidents.

Firstly A modern yacht whose keel broke partly away in 40 knots in the mouth of a bay....
Search continues for abandoned yacht - National - smh.com.au

...The Excalibur disaster in which 4 people died a mere 40 nm off the coast.
Sea survivors relive nightmare - National - www.theage.com.au

...and also I think of the fateful 1998 Sydney to Hobart race. 55 of 115 boats finished a race in which 5 yachts sank, 55 sailors were winched off boats by helicopter and six people died. Weather windows??? Well the fleet left Sydney in gorgeous weather with a forecast that in no way resembled the frightful reality they had to face....

Now obviously crossing an ocean is indeed a whole other ballgame to just cruising a coast, that is indisputable.

However could it not also be argued that things like a sea kindly hull, a well protected skeg-hung rudder, a high angle of vanishing stability, Glassed in bulkheads, good proper sea berths( taking to sea for a night to gain sea room and wait for conditions to change would be better than crossing a bar in the wrong conditions to try and seek shelter wouldn't it?) would also improve safety enormously when coastal cruising??

So I am seriously interested in what the experienced and knowledgeable on here think?
What is the ideal coastal cruiser?
Are some modern boats, not only unsuitable for bluewater sailing but also really unwise to coastal cruise in, and best confined to sheltered waters as weekenders and daysailors??
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Chall...I think a lot depends on where you live and what is meant by coastal crusing. Some of the bluewater boats I like a lot (med to heavy dispacement) would be quite poor choices for sailing here on the East Coast of the US where light winds prevail during sailing season. They would also be poor choices for those who enjoy tweaking things to go a bit faster or doing club races. If I were sailing the Chesapeake, I'd probably prefer a Beneteau to a Tayana. Of course there are also issues of living space, entertainment and how much more expensive a bluewater boat is than a similar sized coastal boat.
I like to think of coastal boats as sailing within 24 hours of a safe port and reachable with ease by coast guard rescue services in an emergency. The reality is that here...probably 90% + of all coastal boats never get 12 hours offshore let along 24.

I am not familiar with OZ sailing and weather forecasting or typical wind/sea conditions but I think most coastal boats over 30' are perfectly capable of handling 8-10 ft seas and 30 knot winds with a decent captain...but a sustained 2-3 day gale might have a few things shaking apart. So good weather reports/forcasting in your sailing area is also a consideration when thinking about a boat. The Sydney/Hobart tales I've read indicate that things can go rather quickly from benign to horrendous without much notice but perhaps that has changed with modern forecasting.

As to individual tales of things going badly wrong fairly close to shore...one thing I've noticed is that some VERY bluewater boats have had similar issues and I attribute the overwhelming majority of gear failures to poor maintenance regardless of the quality of the boat. There of course have been known production defects in some boats, but that is a different issue.

Anyway...hope this is helpful and I will be interested in others perspectives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,830 Posts
Sounds like you may need a sturdy bluewater boat in your future? Maybe now is the time to do it? Unless you see in the near future being able to buy yet another, and bigger boat?

I would simply buy the biggest, and strongest boat I could afford including upkeep. That way your options are open in the future with the same boat. A lot of variable going on here, but BEST WISHES in finding a good boat to serve you, and your well in safety. It's as much about the decisions made as it is the boat sailed too........i2f
 

·
Picnic Sailor
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Cam thanks for the food for thought, your right, coastal conditions I guess do vary considerably around the world. There are also certainly plenty of Beneteaus/Hunters/Bavarias etc cruising the east coast of OZ....

i2f, you have essentially hit our current dilemma right on the head....Our dreams our big, but our experience and the kitty is still growing.....

We currently own a 27ft cruiser/racer. We are wondering whether the nest step should be to try to buy the sturdy bluewater boat now, or whether we buy something like a 32-34 ft ex charter Beneteau first...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Chall - good to see you back around dude!

We're in the same hunt as you. I've been researching and looking at a hell of a lot of boats with the same issues in mind.

I love the Benes and Catalinas. All of them I've looked at have been really nice, exciting boats. If it were just up to my impulsive self, I'd most likely spring for a Bene in the 40' range for our upcoming coastal boat purchase. Fast and cool.

But, thinking about all the same issues you've listed above, I've decided to narrow my search to a heavier boat with a CC. It'll be a more comfortable ride for the wife and kids than a beamy hotrod - and, overall, will afford us more protection from my horrendous sailing abilities and poor judgement.

So yeah, I'm kind of digging the old shoe for our near term coastal life. I'll just race the C27 in our lake and enjoy that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,830 Posts
Nothing gets done without dreamers Chall. There would be no man on the moon. Most of us would still be living in Europe, but in my case Hawaii lol. I think you get the idea. For the short time I have been here you always seem to make good sound decisions. I believe you will make a good choice for your future ride.

Smack,

Good to see you realize there's more than BFS. If you want the family to stick with you. Their comfort, and fun is important too. Then again I probably need not say anything like that. You are already raising some pretty polite young folks. BEST WISHES to you both finding something comfy, and safe.......i2f
 

·
Picnic Sailor
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks Smack, I have been here on and off, but also been hiding out in New Zealand with work for a bit.

I am hearing you, I guess I like the Bene's for when I am sat at anchor off a palm fringed beach with the rum and coke in hand.....but if the thing is going to lose it's friggin rudder on a sunfish on the way up the coast for example, it's going to spoil the vibe of our cruise big time. Ok sure we wouldn't die, but call me crazy If it is an issue I would prefer to buy the sturdier boat and keep the rudder attached.

I still also think that even with good accurate forecasts, using weather windows etc, there is always going to be that one time you do get caught out in bad bad weather.....I just finished reading one such account from the Pardeys that took place off the OZ east coast.

Here is OZ around Sydney alot of ports also require a bar crossing, so in bad weather it is often better to head for sea than try to cross a river bar in untenable conditions....

Maybe I am being too critical of production boats like Benes though?? Im not sure.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Smack, Good to see you realize there's more than BFS. i2f
Woah, woah, woah - just to be clear pal...there is NOTHING "more than BFS"! Everything else is just piddling around waiting for Beaufort to get to the party!

Actually, that's the beauty of BFS - it's not boat dependent, you don't need no stinkin' Bene to throwdown. As a matter of fact, a sturdy mutha of a boat will now actually allow me to stumble into far more BFSs because I can completely blow off wx reports and stuff.

What could possibly go wrong?
 

·
moderate?
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Chall...while it is convenient to group boats by brand, it is often unfair as there are specific boats in even all the production boat brands which have more robust capabilities...like the Catalina 38 or the First47.3 or the Hunter Cherubinis or some of the new ones...than the "typical" boat in the line.

Here's a coastal boat! :D Note...bad language used...not work safe.

<object width="560" height="340">


<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/10C-_kO1ba0&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="340"></object>
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
I'm never going to complain about wakes in our marina again. Holy crap that dude has some stones!

"No worries mates. Grab another VB and find something to grab onto! We're goin' out!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,680 Posts
Chall,

I like the way you posited this question. It's an interesting twist on the usual perspective.

As someone who sails a quote "bluewater" boat coastally, I think there is much to be said for this approach. But that has a lot to do with my preferred sailing style and personal circumstances.

Financially, we could afford this type boat in the size range we were looking when we bought it. Absolutely no regrets. There have been instances even here on Chesapeake Bay where we sailed home when others had to stay put. And we did it comfortably with little fuss or concern. These designs may not win the round-buoy races in light air, but they do inspire confidence when it's blowing.

But all that said, as we consider a larger boat for our future needs (growing family), we won't be able to afford a newish 40+ footer that has a true "bluewater" pedigree. Not only that, but most of those boats lack some of the features we insist on for our next boat (three sleeping cabins, to begin with). Most of them seem to be designed primarily with couples in mind -- not families.

I am confident that if we do end up with a standardized "production boat" in the +/- 40 foot range, it will be more than capable of handling the U.S. East Coast sailing that we primarily plan. And it will be competent enough to take to "the islands" and even Bermuda.

So it depends partly on the size range. I'm comfortable doing the above in the 40 foot production boat. There are very few 30 foot production boats about which I would say the same. In the low-mid 30-foot range it gets to be a tougher call. Whereas in our current 31 foot "bluewater" boat I would not hesitate.

...But, thinking about all the same issues you've listed above, I've decided to narrow my search to a heavier boat with a CC. It'll be a more comfortable ride for the wife and kids than a beamy hotrod - and, overall, will afford us more protection from my horrendous sailing abilities and poor judgement.
:D :D
Smack, good luck with the search. I like the family friendly layouts of CC boats too. But you've probably noticed that there aren't too many being made any more in the smaller/mid-size range. One of the reasons is the "dirty little secret" of smaller CC boats: They tend to be extremely wet in the cockpit while under sail. It's less of an issue as the boats get longer. So depending on what length you're looking at, just be sure to find one with a good cockpit enclosures or at least the ability to install one.:)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Thanks John. I guess I'll need to re-think things a bit. I just put down a deposit on a 21' ferro cement ketch with a CC. I'll insist they throw in a dodger - and wetsuits.

Seriously, we're looking in the 40+ range. Good write up.

(PS - Cam, I'm a little surprised that you'd put up such a video in the general forum. I think I heard some dirty words. Can you bleep those - then we're all good.)
 

·
Picnic Sailor
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sorry Cam, you are right I was making some fairly gross generalizations....
Nice video.... It does remind me of some of the bars down here :)
Smack If that was me shooting that video, there would of been nastier words involved....:)

JRP, thanks for the perspective, we are looking in the low-mid 30ft range which is why it is a tougher call, it seems like we can have comfort(ex charter production boat, for example Beneteau 351) or sturdiness(aussie old shoe), but comfort and sturdiness in our size/price bracket seems nearly non existent..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,296 Posts
Reality is, MOST boats over 40' should be capable of an ocean crossing, surviving a gale etc. katrina, or the fastnet, or sydney/hobart storm......that is another issue altogether.

Locally there is a Jeanneau SO49iP that went from Washington state, to Oz and back. BY the owner of a local brokerage firm, and he had options of Jeanneau, Tartan, C&C, Dehler, Nauticat among other brands they sell new! But he choose a Jeanneau, as he likes how they sail.

Some smaller boats like my older 85 Jeanneau, I would take offshore over some that are considered better boats. Thing like they have companian way doors all the way to the cockpit floor, vs mine stopping at the seat level. so less water in the cabin of those doors are open, and a wave broaches over the rear!

Another local has taken a 10 yr old Hunter 49 from Seattle to Mexico and back. And the west coast of washington and Oregon are not known for there friendlyness if a storm pops up!

Not all boat will have handholds where YOU want them. If you are some short person, say 5', and the handholds were designed for more ave ht people, they may not work for you, so you need to add more. Or if you are 7' tall vs a more ave 5.5-6' tall person, you may have some issues with the design of the interior handholds etc too.

For what you want to do, plan on some additions to what is there. Also, look at the type of winds you have at different times of the year. If light half the year, and heavy the other half, do you plan on the BIG wind half, or the light wind! Personaly, I would plan for both, but the light wind would be bigger issue than having 3 nstead of 2 reefs, a smaller jib or trysail etc is easy to add to any boat. But making a tayana move in 2-5 knots of wind is harder than a Jeanneau or Beneteau fin keel or equal! Heavy winds is easy for either boat.

And the syd/hobart race, from one book I read, there was one weather forcaster that had an inkling that things could turn nasty, but many told him to hush up, and not mention the 1-100 chance the storm that hit could happen! Someone knew, but now the forecasters have the ability from what I understand to say the worst case if a couple of things happen now. IF that forecaster had had the ability to say that a really bad low could happen, would there had been as many deaths, boat rescues etc? or would some of the folks dropped out? or at least watched and been a bit more leary of weather forecasts, and could have dropped out before going across bass straight, when things were going in the driection of the 1-100 storm option. One has to wonder.

Good luck

Marty
 

·
Picnic Sailor
Joined
·
2,122 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Thanks Marty,

You are right essentially in what you summize about the 1998 Sydney to Hobart. The reality is however that with improved technology, better modelling etc the forecasts ain't always right here...

The solution that did come out of the Sydney to Hobart 1998 forecasting debaucle??

Every forecast we now hear in OZ is preceded by the following warning "PLEASE BE AWARE Wind gusts can be a further 40 percent stronger than the averages given here, and maximum waves may be up to twice the height"

Wow. Gee, thanks guys that really helps me out. What it does do is now legally covers the Bureau of Metereology's ass if they do ever get it as wrong as they did that fateful day.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,186 Posts
First of all we throw around this term "blue water cruiser" like there is a universally agreed upon definition. I use that term like everyone else but as has been said in other discussion, it is a pretty inaccurate description really because an awful lot of even mediocre constructed coastal cruisers are perfectly capable of going offshore for short hops (with a bit of luck), but as I explain below, over time they will pretty quickly wear out as compared to a boat that is purpose built for distance voyaging.

I apologize that the material below was cribbed together for another discussion from articles that I had written for other purposes. It was intended as a discussion of the differences between Coastal Cruisers, Offshore Cruisers and Race Boats<O:p</O:p but perhaps it might help as a point of departure to shed some light here....

What are the differences between a Coastal Cruiser, Offshore Cruiser and a Race boat? This is a question that would require a book to answer properly but I will take a stab at it. I think that the terms 'offshore' and 'coastal' get bandied about quite freely without any real thought about what the differences are. Of course boats that are intended to be raced can vary quite widely depending on the type of racing that they are intended for.

<O:pWhile the EU has a system that certifies boats into one of 4 categories, this rating system was intended to remove trade barriers between the various EU countries. It represents the lowest common denominator between all of the regulations that pre-existed the formation of the EU. A boat that is certified as meeting the CE Small Craft Directive, in the offshore category, has met this minimum standard but it does not certify that the vessel is actually suitable for offshore use. For example the EU standards do not look at motion comfort, or the suitability of the interior layout for offshore use. Stripped out racers with minimal tankage and fragile rigs can and do obtain offshore certification. The U.S.A. does have the ORC, ABS, and ABYC standards which are somewhat helpful, but again these do not certify that the vessel is actually suitable for offshore use<O:p
<O:p</O:p
A well made coastal cruiser should be more expensive than a dedicated offshore distance cruising boat because it needs to be more complex and actually needs more sophisticated engineering and construction than most people will accept in a dedicated offshore boat. In a general sense race boats are optimized to perform better than the racing rule under which it is intended to race. This has a lot of implications. Under some rules (IMS and IRC for example) race boats are optimized to be fast and easy to handle across a wide range of conditions, producing great all around boats, but in the worst cases (International, Universal, CCA and IOR rules for example), the shape of the hulls, and design of the rig are greatly distorted to beat the shortcomings embedded in the rule, producing boats that become obsolete as race boats, and to a great extent as cruising boats once the rule becomes history. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

In a general sense, all boats are a compromise and with experience you learn which compromises make sense for your own needs and budget. Most times the difference between an optimized race boat, coastal cruiser and a dedicated offshore cruising boat is found in the collection of often subtle choices that make a boat biased toward one use or the other. A well designed and constructed coastal will often make a reasonable offshore cruising boat and club level racer, while traditional dedicated offshore cruising boats generally make very poor racers or coastal cruisers. This brings up another key point. I would think that most knowledgeable sailors use the term ‘offshore cruiser’, they generally think of traditional, long waterline, full keeled or long fin keeled, heavy displacement, cutters or ketches. But in recent years there has been a whole series of ‘modern offshore cruisers’, which have been designed to take advantage of the research into stability, motion comfort, performance, and heavy weather sail handling that emerged as the result of the Fastnet and subsequent disasters. These boats tend to be longer for their displacement, often have fin or bulb keels, and carry a variety of contemporary rigs such as fractionally rigged sloop rigs. Depending on the specifics of the boat in question, a race boat may also make a reasonable coastal cruiser or offshore cruiser but will rarely be ideal as either. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

When I think of a race boat vs. coastal cruiser vs. a dedicated offshore boat, there are a number attributes that I look for:<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Structure: <O:p</O:p
A typical well used coastal cruiser might only sail five hundred to a thousand miles a year. A well used offshore cruiser may do as much as 20,000 to 30,000 miles in a single year. Whether traditional or modern, offshore cruising boats need to be designed to stand up to the long haul. A single year of offshore cruising can literally be the equivalent the abuse encountered in 20 or 30 years of coastal cruising. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Traditional offshore cruisers come in a range of flavors. Whether fiberglass, steel, or timber, they tend to have robust hulls simply constructed. <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com
U.S. </ST1
<ST1:place w:st="on">Hull</ST1:place></st1:City> panels tend to be very heavy, accessible and maintainable. Engineering tends to be simple and reliable. Materials tend to be low tech, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The down side is that a weight goes into these structures using up valuable displacement that could be used for additional carrying capacity or ballast. Some of his weight is carried high in the hull and deck structure reducing stability and increasing roll and pitch. <O:p</O:p

<O:p</O:p

Modern offshore cruisers tend to use higher tech materials and structural design. Some robustness and redundancy may be given up, but often the better of these newer designs have greater strength despite their lighter weight. These newer designs often take advantage of sophisticated framing systems and purposefully selected alloys or laminates. They often benefit from careful engineering intended to improve impact resistance and longevity. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Whether traditional or modern, offshore cruisers need to be able the cyclical loadings that insidiously wear out a boat over long passages. Larger margins of safety are required. In offshore cruising boats more than the other types, a little weight added, an often breed a whole lot more weight. A little added weight has a way of ricocheting through the whole design cycle. A little weight added means that perhaps the sail area needs to be increased. The increased sail area means a little more ballast. The added ballast perhaps means larger keel bolts and more robust transverse frames. This additional weight and sail area means higher stress on the rigging and so perhaps heavier rigging and attachment points get added, and that means perhaps a decrease in stability or perhaps a bit more ballast. The added weight means more drag and so fuel consumption increases and perhaps so does the size of the fuel tanks. And with all that added weight the designer is then faced with an under-canvassed design or else adding a sail area and risking going though another round of weight addition. Which is why, when all is said and done, traditional offshore cruising boats tend to be so much heavier than race boats, coastal cruisers or even more modern offshore designs. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Coastal cruisers generally benefit from better performance than offshore boats and do not have as stringent a requirement for a robust structure as and offshore boat. As a result coastal cruisers greatly benefit from lighter construction using modern materials and methods. Redundancy and self-sufficiency is less of a requirement. Fully lined interiors and other conveniences are often the norm on cruisers. Even quality coastal cruisers use molded force grids or pans that are glued in rather than laid up in place. Framing is often wider spaced and less robust. <st1:City w:st="on"><ST1:place w:st="on">Hull</ST1:place></st1:City> panels are often cored and thinner than on an offshore boat. Rarely do they receive the careful workmanship that is required for a quality race boat, or the high safety factors ideally applied to a dedicated offshore cruiser. Then again they don’t need either as their use and abuse is generally much less harsh then encountered in the life cycles of either racing or offshore cruising boats. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Accommodations:<O:p</O:p
On a coastal cruiser there should be good wide berths, with enough sea berths for at least half of the crew for that night run back to make work the next day. An offshore cruiser is often handled by a smaller crew and so fewer berths and fewer sea berths are necessary. The berths on an offshore boat should be narrower and have leeboards or lee cloths. On both I am looking for a well-equipped galley but the galley needs to be larger on a coastal cruiser so that there is adequate space to prepare meals for the typically larger crew or a raft-up. Refrigeration is less important on a coastal cruiser, where ice is typically readily available at the next port of call, although the case can be made for no refrigeration or icebox if you are going offshore.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Cockpit:<O:p</O:p
A comfortable cockpit for lounging is very important on a coastal cruiser. It should be larger than an offshore boat to accommodate a larger number of people which is OK since pooping is less likely to occur doing coastal work. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Deck hardware:<O:p</O:p
While gear for offshore boats needs to be simple and very robust, coastal cruisers need to be able to quickly adapt to changing conditions. Greater purchase, lower friction hardware, easy to reach cockpit-lead control lines, all make for quicker and easier adjustments to the changes in wind speed and angle that occur with greater frequency. There is a big difference in the gear needed when ‘we’ll tack tomorrow or the next day vs. auto-tacking or short tacking up a creek. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Displacement: <O:p</O:p
Offshore boats need to be heavier. They carry more stuff, period. The traditional rule of thumb was that an offshore boat needs to weigh somewhere between 2 1/2 and 5 long tons per person. A coastal cruiser can get by with less weight per crew person but they are generally cruised by a larger crew. The problem that I have is that most offshore sailors and many coastal cruisers seem to start out looking for a certain length boat and then screen out the boats that are lighter than the displacement that they think that they need. This results in offshore boats and some coastal cruisers that are generally comparatively heavy for their length. There is a big price paid in motion comfort, difficulty of handling, performance and seaworthiness when too much weight is crammed into a short sailing length. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

I suggest that a better way to go is to start with the displacement that makes sense for your needs and then look for a longer boat with that displacement. That will generally result in a boat that is more seaworthy, easier on the crew to sail, have a more comfortable motion, have a greater carrying capacity, have more room on board, and be faster as well. Since purchase and maintenance costs are generally proportional to the displacement of the boat the longer boat of the same displacement will often have similar maintenance costs. Since sail area is displacement and drag dependent, the longer boat of an equal displacement will often have an easier to handle sail plan as well. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Keel and Rudder types:<O:p</O:p
I would say unequivocally that for coastal cruising, (except in very shoal venues) a fin keel is the right way to go here. The greater speed, lesser leeway, higher stability and ability to stand to an efficient sail plan, greater maneuverability and superior windward performance of a fin keel with spade rudder (either skeg or post hung) are invaluable for coastal work. Besides fin keels/bulb keels are much easier to un-stick in a grounding. In shallower venues a daggerboard with a bulb or a keel/centerboard is also a good way to go. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

There is a less obvious choice when it comes to the keel and rudder type for offshore cruising. Many people prefer long or full keels for offshore work but to a great extent this is an anachronistic thinking that emerges from recollections of early fin-keelers. Properly engineered and designed, a fin keel can be a better choice for offshore work. There is the rub. Few fin keelers in the size and price range that you are considering are engineered and designed for dedicated offshore cruising. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Ground tackle:<O:p</O:p
Good ground tackle and rode-handling gear is important for both types but all-chain rodes and massive hurricane proof anchors are not generally required for coastal cruising.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Sail plan:<O:p</O:p
At least on the US East Coast, (where I sail and so am most familiar with) light air performance and the ability to change gears is important for a coastal cruiser. It means more sailing time vs. motoring time and the ability to adjust to the 'if you don't like the weather, wait a minute' which is typical of East Coast or <ST1:pGreat Lakes</ST1:place sailing. If you are going to gunkhole under sail, maneuverability is important. Windward and off wind performance is also important. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

With all of that in mind I would suggest that a fractional sloop rig with a generous standing sail plan, non- or minimally overlapping jibs, and an easy to use backstay adjuster is ideal. This combination is easy to tack and trim and change gears on. I would want two-line slab reefing for quick, on the fly, reefing. I would want an easy to deploy spinnaker as well.

Offshore cruisers need a robust and reliable rig that can shift gears across a very wide range of windspeeds but generally does not need to change rapidly as there is usually the luxury of lots of sea room. Traditional offshore rigs often feature low vertical centers of gravity to reduce heel angles, and multiple sails rigs such as cutters and ketches which can shift from moderate winds to heavy winds simply by dropping a single sail (and in the case of the cutter reefing the mainsail). As a result of better sailing handling hardware, sail and spar materials, more and more modern offshore cruisers are employing fractionally rigged sloops which permit a very wide range of windspeeds for a single headsail and can then deal with building conditions <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
-Speed:<O:p</O:p
I think that speed is especially important to coastal cruising. To me speed relates to range and range relates to more diverse opportunities. To explain, with speed comes a greater range that is comfortable to sail in a given day. In the sailing venues that I have typically sailed in, being able to sail farther in a day means a lot more places that can be reached under sail without flogging the crew or running the engine. When coastal cruising, the need for speed also relates to being able to duck in somewhere when things get dicey. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Ventilation:<O:p</O:p
Good ventilation is very critical to both types. Operable ports, hatches, dorades are very important. While offshore, small openings are structurally a good idea, for coastal work this is less of an issue. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

-Visibility and a comfortable helm station: <O:p</O:p
Coastal boats are more likely to be hand steered in the more frequently changing conditions, and higher traffic found in coastal cruising and are more likely to have greater traffic to deal with as well. A comfortable helm position and good visibility is critical. Offshore, protection of the crew becomes more important. <O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p

Storage and Tankage:<O:p</O:p
There is a perception that coastal cruisers so not need storage. I disagree with that. Coastal cruisers need different kinds of storage than an offshore boat but not necessarily less storage. Good storage is needed to accommodate the larger crowds that are more likely to cruise on a short trip. Good water and holding tankage is important because people use water more liberally inshore assuming a nearby fill up, but with a larger crew this takes a toll quickly. Holding tanks are not needed offshore but they are being inspected with greater frequency in crowded harbors and there are few things worse than cruising with a full holding tank and no way to empty it. Offshore boats generally need larger fuel tanks.<O:p</O:p
<O:p</O:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,296 Posts
Chall,

I see your point of the weather forcasters saying that they are only saying the ave. BUT, it would have been nice, and hopefully this is occuring with the more recent Syd/hobarts, in that the forecaster can say, this is the best guess, BUT, it does appear that IF this low over here could and might do this and that, then all hell will break lose, so really watch the forecast when you all hit this point, and THEN decide if you want to chance the crossing at Bass Straight! Or the, if this and that do not occur, you have 20-30 knot easterlys, and fun all the way to hobart! otherwise, you may have......

Some of Jeffs comments are what I was thinking about while at the vet with our 4 month old puppy. Tankage, while some say you need more for this type of cruising, or less that that. One needs to look at this from "WHOM" you are. A couple, less water tankage may be needed for a 2 week crossing somewhere, where as the folks I mentioned earlier that went to Oz, a couple and twin 12-14 yr old daughters during the cruise, need more water tankage for those 2 weeks!

A person cruising in the winter here in Puget Sound, will want more diesel or LP than in the summer months here or say in Florida all year depending upon how the cabin is heated.

Water/air drafts if you will, again, depend upon where you are cruising. I can see how George ended up with the tayana he did for where he is at. On the other hand, for where I am, and wanting a 52' boat to cruise in, an older Santa Cruz 52 would be a hoot! BUT, I do not have the water/air draft issues he has doing the eastern canal up and down the coast with bridges and channels etc. Hence why we would choose such different boats cruising.

I also do not like the use of the comfort or roll ratios. One boat I like, the Jeanneau Sunfast 3200, a boat designed for single/double handed offshore racing, has a comfort or roll factor of 2.4. Above the 2.0 or less that is considered good. Yet from what I understand, like its bigger brethren the open 60/70 boats, it will roll back upright quicker etc, than boats with factors less than 2.0, because of the requirements that they right themselves in a certain time frame. ALL of the open 60/70 boats IIRC are purposely put int he water upside down and made to roll upright, and timed while at it. Note here, I may be off on my wording, but for discussion purposes, I believe I am somewhat correct, but maybe off in the final micro details of how these boats are ment to right, timing etc.

Like Jeff mentions, some boats of certain time frames, should probably NOT be taken off shore or equal. Others like the Morris m52, while it may have the EU A cert, I really doubt that that boat was or has any design basis to go offshore. It might only have the B cert for all I know! Which in reality what it is designed to be. So my earlier comment "most" boats over 40' will go off shore is correct. Also, the most recent ARC around teh world cruise, IIRC, a Jeannea 54? was the most popular boat, ie in quantity of the 20 or so boats on that 18 month trek. The actual ARC, Jeanneau and Beneateau have the highest % of boats also. Now some of this should be expected, in that those two build probably MORE boats then the next 8-10 builders combined....... but it still shows that these boats that most would consider to be coastalish in nature have the ability to go offshore and will survive.

Two yrs ago, a mid 80's Jeanneau Sunrise 34 did a nonstop solo driver circumnavigation, obviously with a trip around the main lower capes. So boat with sound design and build, will do what you ask, and then some.

Sorry I am harping Jeaneau to a degree, but I do own one, and like many folks with ownership in brand X if you will, learn what they can about brand X, and brag or compare accordingly. No different than CD with Catalina's! Or Jeff and Farr design boats........

Marty
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,680 Posts
JRP, thanks for the perspective, we are looking in the low-mid 30ft range which is why it is a tougher call, it seems like we can have comfort(ex charter production boat, for example Beneteau 351) or sturdiness(aussie old shoe), but comfort and sturdiness in our size/price bracket seems nearly non existent..
Chall,

I know the Beneteau 351. They are nice boats. VERY voluminous. Great for coastal sailing with a family. But not sure I'd want to take it across Bass Strait. I'll ask my friend that has one if he would go to Bermuda in it -- I think I know the answer.

Here's a photo of my friend's 351 rafted with another friend's boat. It is really an interesting study in contrasts, especially when you consider that the other boat (on left) is a 42 footer:

 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top