SailNet Community banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
21 - 40 of 5353 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,146 Posts
It is more than just can it make there and back - although it should be the overall deciding factor.

You also have to consider the fact you'll actually be living on it for some extended period of time (most of the time). Finding the perfect blend for you will not be easy...Kinda like RVs and SUVs. Some have the looks, the capability, and livability (function as for example = when not sailing)...Storage and how you'll use it and what you have to compensate for coupled with lifestyle habits.

  • Bigger is not always better it is how space is used and how functional it is.
  • Seaworthiness is defined by understanding the worst qualities of what you sail and adjusting thereof.
  • Popularity of a item is determined by either fad or it works as advertised and to the customers expectations.
Bennies are actually nice boats, have helmed one and the amenities are nice and for coastal cruising I could see myself owning one. First appearances can be deceiving however. Sometimes simplicity is the order of the day, but when you are distant from a dealer, yard etc, you do have to think about what it is you are capable of handling on your own when the crap hits the fan.

Been many discussions like this on Sailnet over the years - in my reading of it all - it is up to the individual to determine if a production boat brand lives up to it - everyone's sailing style and habits are different. There is no one all answer - and like all these threads of related topics - really determined on the combination of concerns I listed above.

Personally, I went for a European designed boat - as it mimicked alot of features I have with an Airstream. But, that decision was made due to my selective process and certainly wouldn't work for many others. Production boats have the semblance of customer confidence that when it goes wrong you have someone to call. Once you are out 100 miles out or outside the United States - the rules change quick...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,909 Posts
By the way, even on the production lines over 38 feet, if I did not have good access to major systems, could not easily examine things like Tie Rods/chain plates, could not add various tankage/cabinets without it looking "odd", did not have a good sea berth or the potential of one, and did not have a decent Lazarette, I would not include it in this category. There are just flat some sow's ears that can never be a silk purse... even with my imagination. I also believe a nice Nav Station should be added into this category, but this is more personal preference.

- CD
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #23
Smack, I saw this and wondered if "apologise" was a misinterpretation of my "embarassed to say" - so just in case: after arguing how well almost any boat could do, I wasn't going to fezz up and admit that mine is "blue water", only three years old and hardly inexpensive. That was what I was shy about, in case someone thought rambling about handholds was snobbery :eek: :eek:

So OK, mine is an Ovni 395, with a lot of go-anywhere gear. Also, I go anywhere, have lived in it for a year traveling around (not just now), will cross north past the Polar Circle this summer, then straight south through Europe, and hopefully around New Year my address should be the Americas. The longest/furthest I have been without dropping anchor so far is 10 days at sea. It is not a snobbish boat, but much thought went into safety, self-sufficiency and such. There is a distant photo in my profile.
And, to be sure, it wouldn't worry me to try in a much less dedicated boat. In any case, Smackdaddy, I am as capable as you at sinking any boat, anywhere - guaranteed.
:) :)
Os - you are the MAN! No I wasn't referring to your post about the "boat apologizing" - Daniel mentioned it in his post regarding people that have production boats perhaps being apologists that they are not "blue water". And I don't think that needs to be the case.

Actually, I now appreciate the fact that even though you have an SFB (Sweet Freakin' Boat) - you're still cool with the production boats. You're hardly snobbish, dude.

And MAN you sound like you are having a blast and seeing some beautiful places! BTW, I'll buy you the first beer when hit the Americas - and even epoxy some handholds on the pint glass if you need 'em.

Cheers!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
The bene is no better than a Catalina - the Catalina no better than the Bene. I think there are some models of both that are distasteful. I like the older Catalinas and Benes better than some of the new ones - but that is just my personal opinion. But for anyone that has not seen some pics of Dan's boat... you cannot tell me that is not a sweet ride (even without the BBQ's). Why wouldn't you take that boat anywhere within reason?? Same can be said of many/most production boats over 38 feet or so. I would feel comfortable taking my boat to most distant locations... but again I have been making and have made many modifications. From solar panels and arch to revamped electricl system, and many other changes, this ain't your typical out of the box C400!

That being said, you can take most production boats anywhere. I guess you could take one straight out of the box and circle the world, but it would take more seamanship and more luck than you might need for a Valiant of similar size. In order to reduce the need for luck and/or seamanship skills, you can start making changes to the boat like better portholes, handholds, lifelines, tankage, cabinets, tankage, cabinets for storage, positive latching floorboards, tankage, tabbed bulkheads or reinforced bulkheads, cabinets, etc (and not to forget to add tankage). By the time you have made all these changes, it might have been cheaper to just buy a traditional bluewater boat! Maybe not. But there are also many positives of production boats... cost not necessarily one of them.

However, if I was certain of making far destinations beyond a 5 day weather window, I really would start looking at boats outside of the typical production line. I personally draw the line at 5 days because beyond that, it is very difficult (if not alltogether impossible) to guess the weather. At 5 days, you also start really pushing into the tankage limit on most production boats without modification (again, my personal limit WITHOUT modification). But I stress that unless you are certain to make those jumps, I probably would not do it. I would buy the boat that is comfortable on the hook (as a live aboard) first and foremost. That is where 99% of your time is spent.

I believe that most production boats of a reasonable size will, with some amount of luck and good seamanship, go to distant ports. The questin typically is not whether the boat can get you there, it is whether the captain can. It is hard to appreciate this statement until you have weathered your first good blow beyond the reach of a VHF and you really are on your own.

- CD
CD - awesome post. This is good stuff. Here are some of the interesting take-aways:

1. Though I know you didn't mean it as such - I think a feeder of the production/blue debate is this statement/perception:

"I guess you could take one straight out of the box and circle the world, but it would take more seamanship and more luck than you might need for a Valiant of similar size. In order to reduce the need for luck and/or seamanship skills, you can start making changes to the boat..."

This is really an interesting paradox, one that possibly drives a lot of people to buy a blu - then perhaps be too relaxed about the weather and seamanship - i.e. - "the boat can handle it". It makes you wonder. Does perceived fragility increase skill/attention? Does perceived strength decrease them?

2. The 5 day window is a great rule of thumb as far as I'm concerned. I'd not thought about it in those terms. I was thinking more distance - which is wrong. It's about the weather...always.

3. The realistic limitations of tankage is another important consideration - and one I'm just beginning to understand since I mostly pee off the stern into the lake.

4. Finally, I've always agreed with your 99% on-the-hook maxim, although you might get some blowback on that one due to your notorious (and I'm sure errant) reputation as a dock-dweller.

So - the Benes and Catalinas seem well-suited to pushing the blue edge a bit with what we'll call "minor" modification. Yes?

Other productions that have hammered away successfully?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #25
Seaworthiness is defined by understanding the worst qualities of what you sail and adjusting thereof.

There is no one all answer...
Yeah - I know there's not a single answer. But, hey, what else do we have to do other than debate this until the second coming?

Anyway, I think your statement above really nails it. And most of the debates I've seen center around the "what do I need to go blue" question. But when you think about it, that question typically comes from newbies like me that don't have a clue what "blue" means.

CD's (and others) point that almost ALL sailing is coastal and island hopping puts that very starting point into question. It's really the wrong question to ask for the vast majority of sailors.

Maybe I'm trying to vein a line that's not there - but it does seem to have a distinction from the debates I've seen. The question should be what are the best production boats (fast, comfortable, strong) for cruising sailors that can stand up to stink when you get caught 2 days out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
I guess you could take one straight out of the box and circle the world, but it would take more seamanship and more luck than you might need for a Valiant of similar size. In order to reduce the need for luck and/or seamanship skills, you can start making changes to the boat like better portholes, handholds, lifelines, tankage, cabinets, tankage, cabinets for storage, positive latching floorboards, tankage, tabbed bulkheads or reinforced bulkheads, cabinets, etc.
This is one of the better summations of the issue, in my view. Nice going CD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,909 Posts
CD - awesome post. This is good stuff. Here are some of the interesting take-aways:

1. Though I know you didn't mean it as such - I think a feeder of the production/blue debate is this statement/perception:

"I guess you could take one straight out of the box and circle the world, but it would take more seamanship and more luck than you might need for a Valiant of similar size. In order to reduce the need for luck and/or seamanship skills, you can start making changes to the boat..."

This is really an interesting paradox, one that possibly drives a lot of people to buy a blu - then perhaps be too relaxed about the weather and seamanship - i.e. - "the boat can handle it". It makes you wonder. Does perceived fragility increase skill/attention? Does perceived strength decrease them?

2. The 5 day window is a great rule of thumb as far as I'm concerned. I'd not thought about it in those terms. I was thinking more distance - which is wrong. It's about the weather...always.

3. The realistic limitations of tankage is another important consideration - and one I'm just beginning to understand since I mostly pee off the stern into the lake.

4. Finally, I've always agreed with your 99% on-the-hook maxim, although you might get some blowback on that one due to your notorious (and I'm sure errant) reputation as a dock-dweller.

So - the Benes and Catalinas seem well-suited to pushing the blue edge a bit with what we'll call "minor" modification. Yes?

Other productions that have hammered away successfully?

1. I don't know the answer to that question. I find many people relying too much on electronics and gadgets versus seamanship, but I cannot comment on the other. I have seen both very knowledgeable and not knowledgeable that buy those boats.

In the right hands (and luck), a Bene and Catalina could probably go anywhere. Understand too that there are some basic things that are difficult to change. FOr example, the cockpit is large on these boats. A pooper would not be pretty. Luckily, it would also run off quickly, but it would seriuosly add a lot of weight while there. I honestly do not know what the effect of it would be. Also, the rudder is not protected. You might want to consider some type of alternate means to steer - maybe a pre-fabbed jerry-rigged rudder?? The thought has seriously crossed my mind. Also, most production boats have lots of hatches. These are a plus when anchored and a negative when at sea. Most of the other things can be modified I guess??

I am curious what others think.

- CD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
679 Posts
Thank you DG. Curious how that B49 is going to do Bermuda. I bet quite well.

- CD
I'll let you know next year! I'm not sailing her to Bermuda this year. Just don't have the time to devote to that this year, and besides, I really don't know her well enough yet. We took delivery in mid-August last year, so taking her to Bermuda this June would be quite close to taking her out of the box and heading offshore. And even though I like the boat quite a bit and have been impressed so far, we're still teething a little, as is the case with all new boats, and I want to work all that stuff out before going off soundings.

I'll not hijack the thread, but I note your arch. I'm starting to wonder if we made a mistake not going with one. Too soon to tell, and we'll see I guess.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
I'll not hijack the thread, but I note your arch. I'm starting to wonder if we made a mistake not going with one. Too soon to tell, and we'll see I guess.
That's definitely not a hijack - Dan. I'd be interested in your thoughts. It helps a lot hearing these kinds of objective discussions between actual owners than your typical hype.

Thanks for the input guys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
These “what makes the best…” discussions are better than the Rorschach ink block tests for revealing the psyche of the responders. “Blue”, “coastal”, “mill pond” water definitions are in the eye of the beholder and the chances of getting two people (let alone three) to agree is nigh impossible.

Reading this thread, you’d think sailing a Catalina in anything other than a Texas cattle pond would be suicidal. I’ve been in two ISAF Ocean Category 2 races (both were double handed!) so far this year. The Coast Guard had to perform rescues in each, but oddly enough, neither involved a Catalina. I’ve even taken Mrs. B out in 40kts back in March (both of us had to be back at work the next day) with no ill effect. A prudent sailor must be able to know what conditions he can or cannot safely sail in and perhaps my experience gives me an added advantage in sailing in heavier weather whereas a less experienced skipper would feel more comfortable in a bigger boat.

Weather forecasting is apparently easier for the Pacific region than the Atlantic. My experience is the five day GRIB is pretty accurate, seven day is O.K. and 14 day is so so. Heck, the five day NWS and NOAA forecasts are pretty much right on too. So if you define “coastal” as being no more than three to five days away from safe harbor then you ought to be able to pick your window and a Catalina (or even a Bene) should be up to the task. My little 34 has fuel tankage for forty hours and sufficient water for over a week (depending upon crew size) which puts it in that “costal” range.

Would I sail my C34 down to Cabo or PV? You bet! I have friends who have spent the past year in the SOC with their C34 and enjoying every moment. Would I go across the Gulf of Mexico? Why not? Sail to Bermuda? That’s like going from SF to LA out here.

To find the perfect boat you need to turn inwards and make an honest assessment of what your goals and plans really are. Folks talk about the Southern Ocean all the time but 99.99% of them never venture off the continental shelf. Nothing wrong with that at all. Land, with all of its ports of call is infinitely more exciting than endless ocean. If you don’t believe me, read the blog of the nut job who’s goal is to float around the world’s oceans for 1,000 days. If your (realistic) plan is to do the Intercoastal, Bahamas, Carib, or Mexico and you buy a boat capable for the Southern Ocean, chances are you will have overspent. You also need to be honest about your personal capabilities and risk tolerance. For example, companies like Island Packet have a profitable niche selling to first time cruisers (or wanabes) who are a bit unsure of themselves and have a very low risk tolerance.

Now, for my own ink blot test. I am perfectly happy in my Catalina. And unless the stock market rebounds in a very big way, Freya will be my retirement boat. I dream of the isles of the South Pacific, but, knowing Mrs.B, Mexico is in my realistic future. I see my boat as being on (roughly) even par with Beneteau’s First Series. Their Oceanus Series is pretty, but I think pretty pedestrian performance. I like the Farr designed Beneteau 40.7 but can’t stand the interior. If only they would come out with a 40.7 with an Oceanus inspired cabin. I thought that the Sabre 40 we raced against in the Pacific Cup had pretty good performance but was very disappointed in the workmanship on the one we looked at last winter. Quarter million was way too much for a boat that was a mass of spider web cracks topsides and the stress cracks emanating from about a quarter of the T-track bolts. Mrs. B actually liked the C400 better, but I cannot warm up to the cockpit or aft stateroom layout. The C42 is also on my short list and is pretty fast, considering that it is as dainty as a Mack truck.

<O:pI actually do sail in heavy weather conditions from time to time (and so does my camera boat!)<O:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
I have a concrete and possibly useful suggestion: keep an eye on the organizer's site for the Sydney to Hobart Race. This is an ocean race of sensible length, taking only a few days for the mega-yachts but over a week for the cruising class, depending on weather.

The Tasman Sea is a horrific stretch of water, calm one day and furious the next; it covers a fair range of cruising conditions. The interesting part is that so many classes enter, with boats all the way from last year's racer to cruising boats 30 yrs old. Also interesting is the limit they set - don't take my word for it, but I believe the smallest boat they allow is 33 ft? Sure they carry safety gear, but a model allowed there cannot be useless at sea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
361 Posts
These “what makes the best…” discussions are better than the Rorschach ink block tests for revealing the psyche of the responders. “Blue”, “coastal”, “mill pond” water definitions are in the eye of the beholder and the chances of getting two people (let alone three) to agree is nigh impossible.
I passed these in Northern Norway last summer. Ships like these found Greenland and later America, but I’m told it wouldn’t work. My local dealer recommends upgrading with:
200L diesel, 400L water. Radar, GPS, VHF, SSB, Autopilot, fridge, Dyneema halyards, watermaker, furling sail, el winches. stove, BBQ. Hot water, shower - how about a toilet?

Should I try with a little less? The boats look really gracious.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,940 Posts
The problem seems to always be the "what do you mean by blue-water" and "crew experience vs. boat hardiness" and "comfort vs. safety" responses. May I suggest a direction for this thread that doesn't involve so many apples-oranges comparisons:

For those of you who, like me, currently have a boat that you consider not quite prepared for at least some of the trips you realistically would like to take in the next few years, what do you think you need to upgrade on your boat so that she can handle what you have planned for her? Let's talk just about what the boat needs, and assume that a more experienced crew is always a good thing.

So just: type of boat you've got, what sort of cruise you want to take her on, and what you need to do to get her ready.

I'll start.

My '72 Catalina 27 was very much a racer-in-protected-waters when she came into my life. Currently she's got tankage enough for at least twelve man-days of winter cruising without resupplying (we've been on a three-day trip with four people). My planned milestones are Desolation Sound (no ocean exposure), a Vancouver Island circumnavigation (some ocean exposure), and possibly a trip down the Pacific coast.

For the Desolation Sound trip, all that she's missing is better ground tackle. She's got 90' of nylon rode shackled to 30' of chain, and a smallish Danforth. I consider that not enough for a trip where I expect to be anchoring most of the time. I don't think she can comfortably carry all chain, but I'd like at least a 200' rode and a heavier main anchor.

For the Van.Isle circumnavigation, which I would consider blue-water:
- I would like more serious gaskets on all hatches, as well as latches on all cabinets and cockpit lockers.
- There is currently no good way to secure the dinette table, so that would need to be dealt with.
- The batteries are not in proper boxes yet (we've tried, no space with present layout), and that needs to be done.
- She also needs at least a storm jib, and if there's a way I can add a third reef point to the main, that would also be ideal.
- We also need a better way of emptying the bilge than the current portable hand pump we've got.
- It would be nice to have some way of replenishing our batteries aside from the portable charger and the 3 amp alternator on the outboard.
- Finally, I don't know how strong the stern attachment points are; I would like them to be strong enough to handle a drogue.

If we actually plan to do a Pacific coast cruise:
- To really hardy up the boat, I would want her to have completely tabbed bulkheads. Some are tabbed, some at most partially -- difficult to determine because of the liner -- and in some places I can see 1/2" inch of space between the hull and the bulkhead. However I've felt her shudder after crashing down a six-foot wave, and I don't know how much of that she can take.
- I also don't know how strong the rig itself is. Would want a survey and probably upgrade some of the rigging.
- There's no self-steering other than an electric tiller pilot, and with the outboard I don't think a wind vane is in the cards.
- A weatherfax would be awesome.
- Stronger pad-eyes for jacklines.
- The cockpit drains through two small (~1" diameter) holes aft, into the engine well. Doesn't seem like the best design. I'd like to modify it to drain faster and more reliably.
- Hull is fin keel with attached ballast. Can't do much about this, but I can have the attachments (J-shaped keel bolts) inspected and reinforced.

So, there's what I think is needed for a boat that is at least somewhat more blue-water-capable than what I've got now, except described in terms not conflated by lack of specificity as to what "blue-water" means. Also this is a discussion of features independent of the brand of boat, and so the analysis can be applied to any brand (i.e. does your Benny have this stuff? If so, have a blast).

Next?
 

·
On the hard
Joined
·
3,502 Posts
Smack, as far as MacGregor's go, all ya have to do each do a yachtworld search on M65's. Almost all of them are in the Med or Europe. These were built in Cali and sailed from there via various routes so yes, Mac's are bluewater boats as well. The big ones anyways. I wouldn't try to sail my V-21 to Hawaii or anything like that...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,088 Posts
So Osmund, in keeping with the Rorschach theme of my note; Does this mean deep down inside you yearn to be a Viking? Have had much experience in sailing these boats? If so, I’d love hear your stories. What do these boats rate in PHRF? If I was to get another boat, it would have to rate below one hundred (Freya currently is 147). Mrs. B and I honeymooned in Norway and have fond memories of the country. We boated on the Oslo Fjord and traveled on the mail packets on Sogne and Hardanger Fjords as well as up the coast. Those photos look like the Lofoten islands? As you might have guessed we named our boat in honor of my wife’s heritage and proudly fly the vimple as our house pendant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
"Why not? Sail to Bermuda? That’s like going from SF to LA out here."
George are you serious with that statement? Try that trip some time with wind blowing 20-25 against the Gulfstream.

"Weather forecasting is apparently easier for the Pacific region than the Atlantic. My experience is the five day GRIB is pretty accurate, seven day is O.K. and 14 day is so so. Heck, the five day NWS and NOAA forecasts are pretty much right on too."

Try the East Coast, Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes where NOAA is notoriously inaccurate. A good east coast forecast in the summer is 3-4 days. Great Lakes good forecasts are measured in hours with numerous local variations. You've been California dreamin' too long if you thing the Pacific weather is what we get elsewhere. Look at any major offshore race on the East Cosat or Great Lakes. Commanders weather has made a business out of providing more accurate forecasts than NOAA>

"I thought that the Sabre 40 we raced against in the Pacific Cup had pretty good performance but was very disappointed in the workmanship on the one we looked at last winter. Quarter million was way too much for a boat that was a mass of spider web cracks topsides and the stress cracks emanating from about a quarter of the T-track bolts"

There a lot of Sabre owners that would beg to differ. I wouldn't judge the quality on one boat. What year was that Sabre and what maintenance and who did the track installation? Give me a Sabre anyday on a rough day. They are less cushy than Catalinas but they sail a hell of a lot better in rough weather. Somebody better tell the folks at Hinckley that Sabre is a crap builder because that is where the Hinckley molds are made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,286 Posts
If a Jeanneau 49iP can get from the NW US to Australia and back, I would think, no, make that expect with NO issues that Daniels B49 could go from NY to burmuda etc and back with no real issues too!

I am sure my older 30' Jeanneau could do pretty well ofshore, with the way it is designed etc too. It has some better options for keeping water out of the cabin from a rear swell/wave than some do!

In the end tho, a lot does depend upon the crew, the boat will do fine, I seem to recall a group getting hauled off of a Jeanneau in a storm a year or so ago, only to have a freighter find it a week or so later, and got hauled back to Europe at 17 knots behind the frieghter!

While some will say the European ratings of A, B and C are worthless, they are better than anything the US/NAmerica has. At least you know what said boats have to have to meet said requirements etc.

With that, I am sure smack could get his C27 to Bermuda. Alan will have no issues circumnavigating Vancouver Island, he will not be the first either! along witha few Kayaks when he does it. A race this summer ie the Van-Isle will be going on, 2 weeks racing around the island with ports of call ea evening etc.

Anyway, enough of my input, I do agree with George, next boat will be at or bellow 100PHRF or there abouts, mine at 190-200 can be a bit slow at times!

marty
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
17,467 Posts
Discussion Starter #40
Hey Adam, I see your point. And it is indeed somewhat ambassadorial - but I definitely prefer the snot fight of "my boat is bluer than yours". Waayyyyy more fun.

BTW - your C27 is bluer than mine. But mine's uglier and meaner!

And good lord, the freeboard on those Norse boats????? Shameful. No one would EVER take something like that into the open ocean. The dinghy though - sweet.
 
21 - 40 of 5353 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top