What makes a "Blue Water Boat"?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by alex folen, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. alex folen
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Cove Springs, Florida

    alex folen Flynpig

    ...Thanks Eric Spon for the informative info....learning something new every day!

    To any, what makes a "blue water boat"? In the past 7 months I've been looking for such a boat and many times have Googled the ultimate "Blue Water Sail Boat". The results are coming up with a West Sail (32), Pacific Sea Craft and several others, in which these boats were said to be "OVER BUILT" in hull thickness. This seems to be the major reason. This leads me to believe the thicker the boat (fiberglass thickness in this case) is the safer one, or more of a "Blue Water Boat"? Anyway, can I just thicken the hull of my Coronado 30 to an inch thick or more thus making a stronger and more "Blue Water Boat"? I should have the resources to add additional thickness to the hull if I want. I'm just curious to know if this has been done and also if new fiberglass has problems sticking to existing fiberglass? Thanks again so much.
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Blue water boat does not exist. It is a name made up by shiny magazines for a boat someone wants to sell you.
  3. alex folen
    Joined: Jan 2009
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    Location: Green Cove Springs, Florida

    alex folen Flynpig

    Yeah, thanks Frosty. True True...
  4. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    to me she is a boat that will take you in speedy safety, to anywhere you want to go
    She has creature comforts, is a delight to sail, has no bad habits and will sail singlehanded
    She is metal, probably aluminium because she will take knocks from ice, reefs, deadheads She wll have a refrigde sytem big enough to hold a big tuna, and one that runs only 2 hrs in 24 in the tropics
    she will have shade from sun and shelter from driving rain, thats it,
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    Besides the interior comforts the hull can be picked up and dropped 15 ft on to the water , land in any position and suffer no damage , internal or external.

    That's why so few boats really are Blue Water , and cost so much.

  6. PortTacker
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: Oregon USA

    PortTacker Junior Member

    It's a great pity. So many today are designed for the boat shows. Floating RVs. Wonderful at the dock. Good thing that's where most of them stay.
    Huge open plan 'living rooms' with full length galleys across from the dining area are pretty. Huge panaramic windows are wonderful. Bathrooms with jacuzzis are impressive. Big walk around beds exude luxury. They sell boats.

    Try preparing a meal in confused seas, you'll see why a proper galley is small enough to wedge yourself into.
    Try using the head (the usual forward location) when beating into 10 foot 8 second waves- it's like being locked in a steamer trunk and being dropped off the roof - every 8 seconds. The ony time I've ever been injured offshore is trying to use the head! Needs to be small enough to wedge into, with ample hand holds.
    Try making your way through that open cavernous interior when pounding along heeled at 20+ degrees. Smaller spaces with good handholds everywhere aren't Mode O'day, but they work.
    Same for sleeping on that king size bed at sea.
    At least with picture windows you might see the wave coming that bashes them in...

    Boats that serve you well offshore are rarely all that hospitable for entertaining at the dock....
    1 person likes this.
  7. amolitor
    Joined: Jan 2005
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    amolitor Junior Member

    Look for a copy of '20 Small Sailboats to Take You Anywhere' by John Vigor. It explicitly includes boats that are NOT really "blue water cruisers" but by showing you what is and is not "blue water" about each boat, you'll learn a lot.
  8. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    marshmat Senior Member

    My $0.02 CDN (value of opinion depends on exchange rate?):

    She has to be seaworthy. And by that I mean a comfortable motion, no unpredictable behaviours, and the ability to handle a decent storm without tossing the crew around like rocks in a clothes dryer.

    She has to be strong. I'd expect her to be able to survive a collision with a whale or a 40' iso container, without breaching the hull or damaging any critical appendages. I concur with Fred's criterion that she must handle being tossed fifteen feet in any direction. And I'd like to see a rig that can, while fighting a storm, survive the failure of a shroud or stay without sending the whole works over the side.

    I'd expect an easily handled rig with well-built sails, or if she's a power craft, a solid and reliable engine with serious fuel filtration. I'd expect to see things set up so that one normal sized woman, not a 300-pound gorilla, can comfortably mangage all the main controls.

    And I'd expect her to be comfortable, but not so luxurious that you feel guilty about spilling something. Roomy enough that everyone has their own psychological space, but not so voluminous that you get tossed around while trying to cook or clean. And with plenty of easily accessible storage.

    So if something seems to meet these criteria, then I might think of it as a possible "blue-water boat" by the time it's all fitted out.

    If it meets all of this at a price that a normal person has a chance of actually being able to afford, then it starts to sound like a real blue-water boat.

    Needless to say, I have not seen very many such boats....
  9. diwebb
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    diwebb Senior Member

    have a look at the Bristol Channel Cutter, Alajuela 38, and the Cape George Cutters. All of these are, in my opinion, "Blue Water Boats". They meet the criteria expressed in previous comments without the obvious prejudices of only one material being suitable, and are available in the marketplace at prices that should not be too outrageous. The Westsail 32 and 40 also fall in the categorie of offshore cruising boats, and there are several other production designs that do not immediately come to mind. Steel boats offer advantages for cruising but also have the disadvantage of rusting, mostly from the inside. There are two steel cruising boats here in Whangarei at the moment having large sections of the hull replaced because of rust
    In answer to your question about thickening an existing hull, dont even think about it. The hull thickness was specified to fit that particular design, and should not be arbtrarily thickend. The above mentioned boats were designed with strong hulls specifically for offshore cruising so have taken in to account all of the factors involved. Arbtrarily thickening a hull will cause imbalances in the design in performance, strength of rig, freeboard, ballast etc, etc, so why do it? If you want a long distance cruising boat look at what is available and choose the one that you like and meets your needs.
    All the best.
  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    What about this?: Attachment
    A very early and very basic sketch of a proposal for MY next boat.
    At 90´ Loa. shurely not affordable for everyone.
    She sleeps six at weekend trips and max 4 at passages, thats it.

    Attached Files:

  11. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    38foot is not blue water for the simple fact that you cant carry enough water, fuel, dinghy, outboard, liferaft and all the other stuff that is a must and still be able to walk on deck. It will not be enjoyable lets put it that way, another 10 feet makes all the difference.
  12. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    I knew you didn't like canoes doing blue water but how much water and fuel is enough?
    An avarage 38' is maybe the thruth as you say considering tankage with modern racer/cruisers and cats and they aren't even close to blue water in seaworthines and strength.. Daysailers and PierQueenies :rolleyes:
  13. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    But these are.. :)
  14. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Are we not defining the words 'Blue water boat'? Thats a boat capable of going to sea and traveling which can takes months. This takes as much fuel and water as is needed, and then some.

    A super car is not a Mazda even though it can go the same places.

  15. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Thats much better way to put it.. Just wanted to state that some 33' have more tankage than some 50'. Granted thou that it's a lot easier to take that dinghy on 50'.. Deck space? Maybe better to consider only the functionability of the cockpit. How long way it's to run to foredeck is a bit more controversial..
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