General Question Re: Performance Cruisers

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by ath, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    What I see are some deep-drafted boats, usually with go-fast bulb ballast and high tech keel stems. I wonder about the practicality of such designs unless cruising destinations do not include the Bahamas, for example.
    Also, those designs are subject to being damaged in more ways than could be easily avoided---- underwater collisions with debis or coral, whales, snagging pot warps, etc., etc..
    The nature of the market is that what sells mimics what wins races. However, to live aboard a boat designed to win races can be very limiting.
    It shouldn't be a chore to find a design that makes 200 mile days at the prescribed length. To raise that to a 250 mile day, however, might involve such a drastic difference in comfort, safety, and cost, that the average yachtsman may in fact sail fewer days, or slow his boat just to be comfortable or safe. Then he's averaging shorter runs even if his boat is ultimately capable of higher speeds.
    The ideal 50+ foot boat might have a moderate keel shape (long fin) and be capable of sailing in six feet of water, and still make 200 mile days.
    It would self-steer easily without autohelm, have a pilothouse, ketch rig to allow reduction of sail size, and be efficient enough to move easily in light air.
    But then this isn't my boat, so...


    Alan
     
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  2. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Nautor's Swans seem to combine the desired characteristics in an acceptable compromise: comfort and strength with speed, a bit heavy but rugged. Accounts I've read by singlehanders and light crews say they are a joy to sail.
    Some new models just released near your size, but the classic models are worthy of consideration.
     
  3. ath
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    ath Junior Member

    Sundeer

    Leaning towards the Sundeer 60. Trying to find out if it is still being manufactored. I've also seen a few used.

    Attached is an article about the production line at TPI http://www.boats.com/news-reviews/article/a-new-dawn-for-sundeer.

    How does this type of construction compare in cost/strength/weight/maintenance and longevity to say alluminum?
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Balsa in the hull... I would think, not knowing, and having seen what can happen to a deck, that the current means to core a hull segregates small areas in epoxy-clad boxes. I would hope.
    Regarding comparison to aluminum, I don't think a cored hull has integrity except as molded. Cored is super stiff, can be strong too. If it fails, it will do so from a localized trauma. You can squeeze an egg with a lot of force and it won't break. But drop a sixteen penny nail on it from two inches height above it, and it will have a hole in it. Since the criteria for hull strength is to survive the generalized force of sea impacting the hull AND to keep water out, it's a matter of how concerned a sailor would be about the value of either issues.

    A.
     
  5. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    In a cored hull built by resin infusion, if done well there are virtually no voids of significant size in the laminate. The individual blocks of balsa that make up the core have small gaps between them that fill with resin during the infusion. Most structural defects in cored construction are due to either bad core materials, or bad core-skin bond. Regarding the former problem, balsa is generally considered a pretty good choice. Regarding the latter, a layup that is infused under vacuum by good craftsmen is almost certain to have a very solid bond; most of the ones that fail are cheap layups done by unskilled labour without a vacuum bag. I can't comment further on this specific case without knowing the actual layup schedule.
    In general, comparing the construction method you describe to the aluminum structure of, say, a Beowulf-class yacht, the composite would probably be a bit cheaper if mass-produced as this one is, somewhat lighter but not as impact resistant, and requiring a bit more care in maintenance. If well built and well maintained, the overall lifespan of either should easily be several decades, possibly up to a century (composites are still too new to know that for sure).
    The Sundeer name is one of the most renowned in bluewater cruising and I would expect it to be constructed accordingly. If you ask TPI for technical details I suspect they'd be happy to oblige.
     
  6. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Thanks Matt. I'm pretty ignorent of the progress in cored balsa layups. My own experience was with an S2, which contrary to its reputation as a thoughtfully executed layup, wasn't. No holes had been jacketed, and water migration knew no bounds (60% of the deck).
    I personally would opt for aluminum, had I the choice. This is partly aesthetic, and partly the higher impact/puncture resistence.
    Steel is heavy, but awful tough. Sure don't like the maintenence though. Of course, it lets you know when it needs it!
    Still, most all really good builders can get the best from a method, including plank on frame, which has stood the test of time like no other.

    Alan
     
  7. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    Not sure if this was asked elsewhere. Has there been any efforts for factory/mass production of Ferro boats?
    All the Ferro boats I've ever seen were homebuilder projects of varying quality, but surely if proffessionly done in the same way as "glass" boats are made then you could have something strong and (as I understand it) pretty much free from osmosis/corrosion/ rots problems?

    Mychael
     
  8. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    It's a good question. Ferro as a hull option never recovered from an undeserved reputation. Ferrocement, of all the methods, has the greatest potential for variation in build quality. While the hull itself is only a fraction of the total finished boat in terms of cost and time, the psychological appeal of a hull built for what appears to be pennies encouraged a lot of neophytes to get started on their dream boat.
    The rest is history. Sad, almost. I've seen well-aged hulls built by master craftsmen. Not a blemish anywhere to be seen. Really remarkable.
    One thitry foot dory sat for years unsold. Who knows? It's probably still there. It was a flawless job, done by a mason who knew his trade and then some. Unfair to him, I thought. It was a nice boat.
    Easy to buy, tough to sell any pleasure craft made from ferro.

    A.
     
  9. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael


    Very true,when I was boat shopping I was open to any constructin method that fitted my needs and budget.
    I could have got some quite large >30ft, ferro boats for not a lot more then I paid for my "plastic" boat.

    I made inquiries and found that the Ferro boats were almost impossible to get insured. That killed it for me then and there, but if they were to be made by a company specialising in Ferro then I'm sure they would gain acceptence.

    Mychael
     
  10. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    the best ever was SAYER in NZ, you culd not tell they were ferro
    however in coral, people were just too scared to move, they have a hull which can be best analogised(my word) with an egg shell,
    Ferro building was all rage here and NZ, 70,s but , you try sell em, as you say
    Want a fast safe roomy boat, I will build you one:))
    Alan, like your posts
     
  11. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    I thought the one of the benefits of a Ferro boat was that they are strong. Are you saying they are more prone to failure??.
    I guess they would be easier to repair.

    Mychael
     
  12. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    A workboat, like a utility barge for crane work, etc., could be really thickly constructed and therefore immensely strong, since weight isn't an issue.
    My guess is that when weight is a factor, minimizing hull thickness is an invitation to lose the very characteristics that ferro benefits from, which is low cost strength. Cement and steel are so cheap that house foundations and bridges are made from them. The idea is that a foot of thickness in ferro is cheaper than an inch of fiberglass.
    If i were to build a floating platform that only needed to nose around once in a while, and welded steel wasn't an option for reasons of market price or availability of good welders, ferro would be an obvious choice.
    Boats are getting lighter for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is confidence in new materials and technologies, and a better understanding of older technologies. The days of heavier is better are gone for the most part, replaced by speed-to-safety (outrunning weather) and performance gains.
    All driven by the aforementioned and also a savings in materials/labor (a third the lead to ballast the same volume of boat, for example).

    Alan
     
  13. ath
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    ath Junior Member

    I wrote to Steve Dashew and I was really surprised when he replied immediately. Apparently, they are no longer making the Sundeer or Deerfoot (from the article above I thought differently). Because he is spending more time cruising, he only occasionally does a custom project. He recommended one of the used Sundeers on the market.
     
  14. ath
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    ath Junior Member

    Beowolf

    Saw this Beowolf at Marina Del Rey in California today.
     

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  15. mattotoole
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    mattotoole Senior Member

    I met some folks two summers ago who loved their Santa Cruz 52 for these reasons, that it's really fast, and very comfortable. They said it's great for shorthanded sailing because the loads aren't as high as with heavier boats, even much smaller ones.

    I met some other folks with an older Swan 54(?) that has coffee grinders and an insurance requirement that 6 competent sailors be aboard for offshore passages. Heavy, powered up, big loads, etc.
     
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