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BTW - your C27 is bluer than mine. But mine's uglier and meaner!
Dude don't make me challenge you to an ugly contest. Let's just say that just because I didn't include beautification in my post, doesn't mean I don't have plans for a makeover.

Besides, you shouldn't say things like that about your dear. She might hear you and get offended.
 

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So Osmund, in keeping with the Rorschach theme of my note; Does this mean deep down inside you yearn to be a Viking?
I wish! I'm afraid the Viking lives mostly in my head. They do exist, though! Jarle Andhøy, who names all his boats "Berserk", first sailed around Cape Horn in an Albin Vega 27ft, then in another around from Norway to Siberia and back down the Russian rivers to the Black Sea, following a known Viking route. His latest adventure, a little over a year ago, was to sail the first sailboat in a century through the Northwest Passage with a gang of genuine nutcases, retracing the route of Roald Amundsen. All the more difficult when one of them was a Hells Angel and wanted by Canadian Police, so he had to hide in the hull when coast guards passed, and on a few occasions be put ashore on islands to hide. If you can cope with a mix of English and Norwegian dialogue, the following footage gives you an idea and has some vistas, especially in the second half. I hope you don't mind watching them crap over the side :) :)

Jarle did not have sponsorships, by the way, and this latest is a steelboat found abandoned on land in the Caribbean, where he bought it for near nothing and restored it, though hardly to the neat specs we have recommended in this thread. I guess this also gives you an angle into what is possible.

NRK Nett-TV - hastighetsmåling

As for me, I'm less adventurous. Yes, the pics were from Lofoten last summer, and I hope to be there again in two months.
 

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... a logical conclusion
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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.
I agree with you on this. In fact, someone did just that with a Hunter 49 a couple of years ago. Mike took his factory fresh in February ’07 and headed from Miami through the Panama, across the Pacific to Sydney, across the Indian Ocean to Cape Town and back to Miami in January ’08. He logged over 26,000 miles in eleven months and spent nearly six of those months in various ports along the way. Not a bad feat for a capable crew, but Mike did 90% of the distance solo, and he is a paraplegic.

Oh, and I don't think a Valiant would have been as capable of the task for him. :D

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.
Not all of the high-volume production boats lack these things. Nowhere in my Hunter 49 is there a place without a choice of at least two solid handholds, I really can’t see a need to improve on the 840 litres of fuel tankage, granted the 486 litres of water storage is a tad small if we wanted to do a 30-day passage and the watermaker toppled, but then we simply revert to shorter showers. The reinforced, watertight bulkhead forward and the fully tabbed other bulkheads need no changes as far as I can see.

With all of the machinery, tankage and batteries beneath the cabin sole, leaving the above sole spaces beneath the settees and berths empty, and with all of the built-in cabinets and drawers, after two years we still have not managed to even half fill the convenient storage space, and haven’t even started on all the remaining space beneath the soles.

With the way most boaters use their boats, it is no wonder so few builders supply positive latching floorboards. However, because of my intended itinerary with Sequitur, one of the projects I have reserved for some quiet time at anchor in the coming weeks is to install latches in the access panels in the cabin soles. For less than $250 I have bought a dozen-and-a-half of these 450kg breaking load anchors and an installation kit:

PYI Inc. Max-Prop PSS Shaft Seal Seaview Radar Mounts R&D

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.
OK,
type of boat you've got - 2007 Hunter 49.
what sort of cruise you want to take her on - A slow, multi-year circumnavigation.
what you need to do to get her ready - Finish the installation of latches in the access panels in the cabin soles. Do a couple of months of final shakedown and fine tuning.
 

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So OK, mine is an Ovni 395, with a lot of go-anywhere gear.
:) :)
Properly equipped, I actually consider most of the OVNI line to be in the relatively rare class of "bluewater capable performance cruiser". Certainly the swing keels and go-fast hull give a great deal of flexibility. Storage isn't wonderful, but you get there quicker, so I think it works out.

I have the writing of Jimmy Cornell to thank for my introduction to these great French boats.
 

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Osmund, you lucky dog. Have fun in Norway! Some day we’re going back and do the North Cape and Samvard. So Skoll! And down a lineas aquivit for me!
 

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Sandusky don’t hold back… tell me what you really think. But seriously, I stand by my thesis that Smack’s original question was really a Rorschach test that reveals more about the writer than just a strict answering of the question. Also, I think that President Obama is right, college football should go to a playoff system. That’s our problem here. A lot of regional bias here (and I’ll freely admit mine) and I guess until we all sail on each other’s boats and in our local waters, we won’t appreciate where the other guy is coming from. Any time you’re out here, I’d be happy to take you sailing.

I’ve raced in the Coastal Cup where it built to gale conditions a little north of Monterey and blew in the mid thirties to mid forties until after we rounded Pts. Conception/Arguello. I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it is like to spend three days in 15-20 foot seas. Forgive me if I sound a bit jaded but 20-25 kts is considered a pretty average day for us in the summer, but our current only runs to 5-51/2. Around here, the bar talk starts at over thirty knots. I even know a fellow who did the Bermuda 1 – 2 in his C36 so I’m pretty sure it can be done. Besides, it’s rated in the same class of ocean racing as I’m doing now in Freya.

<O:pI don’t know how you guys on the east coast deal with that weather of yours, not knowing on Wednesday if you should bring the #4 or the light air #1 and the dental floss for Saturday. I am so glad that the Eastern Pacific follows a monsoonal pattern. Systems blow through here about every four to seven days and the forecasts are pretty good. Granted, the 5 to 25 knot forecast for the DH Farallones was a bit hard to decipher, but it was still pretty close to the 30 kts that blew that night.

<O:pIn regards to the Sabre, I really really wanted one. There is one up for sale in LA that really spoke to me, Transpac vet, race ready, all (or at least most of the goodies) on my list. Downloaded various brochures and reviews and even got MrsB excited. Well, it so happened that Sail California got one in that was the same vintage albeit a pretty much “plain Jane” boat. The obviously hadn’t been sailed much and the owner used it pretty much as a waterside condo. The broker, a family friend, even had to deliver the boat from Moss Landing to Alameda. I know that spider web cracks are cosmetic, but I expected more for a used boat priced at a quarter million dollars. The disturbing thing was the stress cracks in the glass emanating from the t-tack bolt holes. Those have the potential of going down to the core giving you rot. And the weird thing about it is that they were completely random some on port, some on starboard and randomly up and down the track area. If you like I can take some pictures and show you. I have no idea how long they have been there or if it is a one boat thing. But like J-80s that lost their keels were all built within a year or two, it makes you wonder. $250,000 for a ten year old boat with gel coat cracking, not very interested. Perhaps if the LA boat drops to $200k, we’ll make the trip down there, but unfortunately, the bloom is off that rose. The Jack London boat show is next week and perhaps it will re-kindle the love affair.

<O:pOh, by the way, that previous photo was from the DH Lightship race, winds in the mid twenties and a moderate swell of 7 – 10 feet. <O:p
 

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Smack, I've never owned one of the "Tupperware" variety of European boats so I can't really make real-life comments on their ability. But here's an observation.

Our marina in Auckland fills up every October/November with cruising boats that have just crossed the Pacific. Most of them are Benes, Jenneaus and Bavarias. They all come in, do a little routine repair/maintenance and in April they all leave again. So they have successfully passed the blue-water test and their owners are confident enough to continue the dream. And there have over the years I've been here, been hundreds of them. So no statement will convince me that they're specifically coastal boats.

My own boat was described here on this forum, amongst other equally derogatory things, as a Carribean Party Boat and some said that they would never do an ocean crossing in one. Well, I did. After a whole two weeks of preparation from stepping onto the boat as a new owner. Now after nearly two years of ownership, I now have absolute confidence in doing a 5-year circumnav in the same boat. So much so that I am busy talking a life-long friend into buying an identical boat for the same circumnav.

On the other hand, there are boats around that are clearly not intended for ocean crossings but to be fair, that fact is patently obvious to even an uninformed observer.
 

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Smack, Great all time classic thread, but I like the 'all new' and very useful perspective :)

The first mate and I have been pondering this question a great deal of late, we have been looking at beat up production boats alongside aussie old shoes and really are trying to figure out what we want....

I would very much recommend to you to read, or at least become familiar with the story of Liza Copeland's book "Just Cruising" and also the sequel "Still Cruising".

Why?Liza and her husband were very experienced sailors who CHOSE to circumnavigate on a Beneteau First 38 with three kids. At the end of both books they have some great advice on their boat selection and equipping.

They specifically make the point, that a fast production boat like their First that can actually sail and point, has the ability to both avoid and overrun weather, whereas an 'old shoe' is left only with the option of sitting there and riding it out. Also it's a simple equation, less time on passage = less chance of running into the 'perfect storm'.

It's worth noting alot of old shoes have also have been 'modified' in reality. Many are offshore racers of bygone eras, and the old cruising stock horses would have accomodation that would be considered unacceptable by modern standards without changes. If you don't want to ever modify a boat then cruising is probably not for you.

I am unsure of your budget Smack, have you considered or looked at the likes of Hallberg-Rassy or Swan?? They are boats that sail fast and well but are also built to go places. You might find by the time you buy a Bene and spend money modifying you could of just bought a Hallberg-Rassy....

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.
Your right OsmundL however alot of the designs that do Hobart will be Aussie Old Shoes or Aussie/NZ build offshore racers. Last year I think there were maybe 7 Bene's that went to Hobart and a Bavaria.
 

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Your right OsmundL however alot of the designs that do Hobart will be Aussie Old Shoes or Aussie/NZ build offshore racers. Last year I think there were maybe 7 Bene's that went to Hobart and a Bavaria.
Absolutely, and the drift of my suggestion was meant to be: look for the small end of the competing classes - see what one can get away with. It is finding 7 Benes and a Bavaria there that should be noted. That seems to be the useful angle of this thread: not to seek out the "ideal" boat, but to find an acceptable, affordable compromise.

BTW, you are right on stating that many good ol' boats are in fact modified - it is not as if many yards of any kind produce ocean-ready boats as standard. I said in another thread that the Vega 27, found on the blue water list, needs careful attention to the strengthening of keel, hatches, etc., according to its Swedish user site. So, just like a Bene, it is not "ready" as such, unless you speak of a modified version. Then, where are we?
 

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This is much the same argument in favor of multihulls... as the well-designed ones can generally go a bit faster than monohulls...
They specifically make the point, that a fast production boat like their First that can actually sail and point, has the ability to both avoid and overrun weather, whereas an 'old shoe' is left only with the option of sitting there and riding it out. Also it's a simple equation, less time on passage = less chance of running into the 'perfect storm'.
 

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This is much the same argument in favor of multihulls... as the well-designed ones can generally go a bit faster than monohulls...
Yes, and it has some merit. Even so, it is yet another of those hands that must not be overplayed. "Shorter passage time" is valid, but the second part often heard, about "running before the storm" sounds too good to be true. For a start, if relative speeds differ by 1-3 knots which is often the case, that helps travel time but isn't mind-blowing relative to storm speeds. Then, storm conditions vary, and the expression "calm before the storm" wasn't for nothing. If you really were unprepared in terms of weather forecast and such, then the go-fast boat isn't much comfort as you lie becalmed before the storm :) :)

A slightly different issue are some of of the modern designs - and multihulls - that have the shapes and speeds to enjoy running with the wind, as opposed to some that wallow, bury themselves and plainly dislike being pushed.
 

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Telstar 28
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Yes, and it has some merit. Even so, it is yet another of those hands that must not be overplayed. "Shorter passage time" is valid, but the second part often heard, about "running before the storm" sounds too good to be true.
yes, you do have to be reasonable in your expectations.

For a start, if relative speeds differ by 1-3 knots which is often the case, that helps travel time but isn't mind-blowing relative to storm speeds. Then, storm conditions vary, and the expression "calm before the storm" wasn't for nothing. If you really were unprepared in terms of weather forecast and such, then the go-fast boat isn't much comfort as you lie becalmed before the storm :) :)
Regardless of what boat you're in, you do have to keep an eye and ear out for the weather and the changing forecasts.

A slightly different issue are some of of the modern designs - and multihulls - that have the shapes and speeds to enjoy running with the wind, as opposed to some that wallow, bury themselves and plainly dislike being pushed.
The main issue with multihulls is that they can be pushed too easily. That's one good reason to have a JSD aboard.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Sequitur - great angle on the Hunter! A paraplegic doing the circle????? Man, that's ballsy! Respect.

The perception I had prior to your post was that the Hunters were kind of at the low end of the spectrum on toughed-out production boats. So now it seems that Benes and Hunters have it going on...with Catalinas needing a serious nose job and some 34D silicone implants before going to the prom.

What about Irwins? From what I've seen - they are comparatively "spartan" in terms of features....but are they eggshells?
 

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I don't think its really possible to say that any production boats are superior. So much depends on what model, what size, what design, etc. This can vary widely within a parituclar maker.

While the story about the Hunter making the circle is impressive, I was put off of Hunters by an incident that happened at a local regatta.
Chain Plate Failure [Archive] - SailboatOwners.com

I think you can find incidents for just about any make both positive and negative.
 

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Sequitur - great angle on the Hunter! A paraplegic doing the circle????? Man, that's ballsy! Respect.

The perception I had prior to your post was that the Hunters were kind of at the low end of the spectrum on toughed-out production boats. So now it seems that Benes and Hunters have it going on...with Catalinas needing a serious nose job and some 34D silicone implants before going to the prom.

What about Irwins? From what I've seen - they are comparatively "spartan" in terms of features....but are they eggshells?
I am not sure wher eyou got out of this discussion that Catalinas are not as well built as Benes. That is far from the truth. I will tell you that Bene's are as well built as Catalinas (in general) and I bet that Dan would tell you that Catalinas are as well built as Benes.

My preference has always been Catalinas which may be more to the interior design than other things. I like the older benes a lot too. I would have no issue purchasing one. There were many changes in teh new Jeauneaus that I did not like. In fact, with a few exceptions, I am partial to the "older" designs of all the major builders over the newer ones.

The exception is the new Hunters, which I feel are far and away better than many of the olders, and I believe that Dan's boat is beautiful.

- CD
 

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Discussion Starter #57
CD - what do you mean by "older"? What's the sweet spot?

As for build quality - I was joking. Your list of fix-ups was pretty long. So naturally I assumed Catalinas are crap. Heh-heh.
 

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I will tell you that Bene's are as well built as Catalinas (in general) and I bet that Dan would tell you that Catalinas are as well built as Benes. ...

The exception is the new Hunters, which I feel are far and away better than many of the olders, and I believe that Dan's boat is beautiful.

- CD
I agree whole-heartedly. The mass produced boats, in my opinion, all are of comparable quality. Some models better than others, some years one manufacturer will pull ahead, or fall behind. But in the main, they are of very comparable quality. There are demarcation lines, I think, but not the way some say. That is, Hunter, Catalina, Beneteau, Jeanneau, J, Hanse, etc., pretty much the same quality these days. Some do some things a little better than the others, but overall, same stuff, IMHO.

There are lower production brands that do jump up a touch, such as Sabre, Tartan (dare I say), Island Packet, and others. But the differences, largely, are in the fit-out and finish. That counts for sure, but people, in my view, confuse that with whether the boat is safe or suitable to sail, and that's just not the case, again IMHO.

I will say that Hunter seems to have made a huge leap in recent years, and the others probably ought to take notice (and I'm sure they will). Things like watertight bulkheads, larger and higher quality fittings. Plus, and no offense here, they are starting to look like sailboats, which was not always the case and likely a detraction from the brand, or at least a lightening rod for criticism.
 

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Plus, and no offense here, they are starting to look like sailboats, which was not always the case and likely a detraction from the brand, or at least a lightening rod for criticism.

Well, indeed. There does seem to have been an attitudinal change there, and I recall seeing a bit of boat magazine propaganda a few years back that gave an extensive pictorial tour of the Hunter factory showing the grid support system, quality control. While it was a charm offense, the pictures that made the cut were convincing. The 1990-99 Hunters weren't good looking in general at all, however...maybe my problem these days is that I don't realize I'm looking at a newer Hunter because it doesn't resemble its older siblings in that "oh, god, that's a Hunter..." way I associated with their run of very wedge-shaped, very high freeboard designs.

Again, the point has to be made that unsuitable boats can make any passage in suitable conditions, and that simply using the full array of weather nets, cruising nets, custom routing and what have you is a good way to do this. All of us should be happy when we see more people sailing across oceans safely and arriving in one piece: it's good for the lifestyle of cruising.

I do have some concerns about many designs, simply due to internal layout and the tendency of the hulls to pound, to safely get a crew uninjuried if the forecast is wrong or the conditions are marginal. There's a very good "go or no go" article in the latest Ocean Navigator Annual "Ocean Voyager" issue, in which conditions are ranked from "ideal" to "perilous". The idea is to have a sliding scale that includes short, brutal 24-hour haul to sheltered port as "marginal" versus the same conditions that have you arriving at, say, an unlit lagoon at 0200h after five days of 35 knots and 15 foot seas.

It's all relative, as they say.
 

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Dear George:
I've sailed in the Pacific and raced in the Cabo race. As I said before it is not the wind velocity it is the wave action. A Catalina 36 will be fine in the Newport Bermuda race 5 out 10 races. In the other 5 races it will be miserable if not downright dangerous. My friends in a Little Harbor 53 found that out a couple of years back. The Gulfstream is very unpredictable and has an effect on weather systems. The reason, I guess, East Coast weather is more unpredictable is that the fronts are coming off land.

It is unfortunate the Sabre you saw had those problems. Sabres are pretty rare on the west coast and probably accounts for the high price. I wouldn't buy one for that either. A quick look at Yacht World shows a nice 1997 in RI for $195K and probably could be bought for a bit less. These are seriously nice boats designed by Jim Taylor who is a very successful NA. The quality is really topnotch. The real thing about them is how they sail which is best described as sweet. I've owned a Sabre and loved it. My next boat will probably be a Sabre 34-II which is an older design but a particularly sweet sailor.

Sorry if I was a little brusque, you just struck a nerve.
 
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