What makes a "Blue Water Boat"?

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

  1. timothy22
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    timothy22 Junior Member

    Without leaving my desk I can see books by Hal Roth, Eric Hiscock, Lin and Larry Pardey, Robin Lee Graham, Blondie Hasler, John Guzzwell, John Letcher and, of course, Joshua Slocum, all of whom cruised blue water extensively in a variety of boats less than, sometimes much less than 40 feet in length. And books by Arthur Beiser and Steve Dashew, who routinely cruised in much larger boats. William Robinson owned his own shipyard and cruised in a 32 footer and a 70 footer. Gotta say they seemed to be more comfortable in the bigger boats, although when Eric and Susan Hiscock sold the 30 foot Wanderer 3 and bought the 49 foot Wanderer 4 they considered it too big, too expensive to maintain, and the extra room barely worth the trouble. Perhaps the second best way to find out what makes a succesful blue water boat is to read the books of those who have made blue water cruising a large part of their lives.
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    FAST FRED Senior Member

    "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"

    The best chance of a wire failure and keeping the mast is with a cutter , with running backstays , even if there only set up in a blow.

  3. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    You know criusing the equater will mean many places not having too much wind. My last sail boat a 63 foot steel sloop with 3 tons of fuel and 1.5 Tons water, 135HP mistubishi was good at sea but would hardly ever fill the sails. With mostly myself and my girl friend it was big, yet big boats handle easier.

    The best I had was the Cellestial 48,Ketch that was a nice boat, but yes both expensive in marinas but then we werent talking about that.

    3 days motoring and the 48 was running out of fuel.

    If cost comes into it then we are not talking blue water boats but what is the cheapest. Both a good question but must be seperated.

    Living here in the Malacca straits, the door way to the round the world it is rare these days that you see a circumnavigator in less than 45 ft.

    If you do it is common for them to have an eye out for something bigger to continue with.

    They admit to making a mistake in choosing the size as people from Uk often seem to do, encouraged by the shiny magazines and boat shows that shamelessly call anything with an engine in it a Blue water cruiser.

    Blue water cruising is supposed to be enjoyable, calm anchorages or effortless night time sailing and not cluttered decks without water to shower or a cockpit that you cant stretch out in while on watch.

    I suppose a 240V generator would be throwing flowers down,--- it IS a necessity.
  4. PortTacker
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    PortTacker Junior Member

    Utter nonsense.
    Tell that to Hal Roth. Their boat was a 35 foot sloop, and they sailed the entire Pacific rim, including Cape Horn and the Aleutions. I don't remember any refueling/reprovision ships meeting them...

    or Robin Lee Graham (although I think most of us would agree that sailing round the world in a 24' boat isn't a great idea...)
    or even John Guzzwell....
  5. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    I disagree. My wife and I sailed a Bianca 27 from England to California, 11,000+ miles, and it was a very good boat. We had plenty of food an water (no osmosis machine on board) for crossing the Atlantic Ocean. We saw other boats on our trip that were smaller and very seaworthy, a Contessa 26, for example, which Tania Abei sailed around the world. The Bianca 27 is very similar to the Great Dane 28 and the Cape Dory 30, both good sea boats. The smallest boat that has sailed around the world is 12.5' long, if memory serves, a design and skipper from Australia, I believe. Length is not a defining factor when establishing what is or is not a blue water boat.

  6. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    I don't really think the size has anything to do with it/ its what the boat can withstand in the way of poor weather and come up in one piece that really matters............there again Frosties earlier comment holds a lot of water (which is more than a 'blue water boat' should); its a sales gimmick!
  7. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    ok here you are, built by an old friend to a design by master Robert Clark of UK
    NZ east to tahiti, Cape Horn, to UK to the Artic
    on 32 feet, room of 36( plum transom)
    deep finn, sailed on vane the whole way, extremly stiff
    walrus has it right in many respects, total watertight integrity and strength and the ability to sail off a lee shore
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  8. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I knew this argunent would raise its head , it always does.

    Some people have rowed the Atlantic,--this is a test of man, not the boat.

    If you intend to sail off for years you will dream of having another 10 feet.

    Its true that a lot of women got off after a few months and fly home disgusted. I heard of a few bargains in Guam where the wifes have left and the guy is now stuck trying to sell a boat.

    Ive met people that WILL NOT go on bigger boats --it just upsets them too much.

    You can do it yes, but--- well its not my idea of sailing.

    10 feet more is a hundred times better.
  9. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    ja, it is generally ackowleged by experts that 45 feet fits wave patterns the best of all

    But I saw a 110 superyacht, crossed Tasman same time as us, the things hatches leaked, they were wet , pissed off,
    in this lil 32 footer they were dry, safe snug,
  10. johnelliott24
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    johnelliott24 Junior Member

    Rarely do I read about what is best for laying ahull and rolling. I have been in 2 North Atlantic storms and have witnessed what the sea can do. So I want a boat that can take large rolling waves when I am hurt or sick and lots of things are going wrong. Any suggestions on boats that can take a beating and still sail well on the normal days?
  11. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Long keeled heavy gaffer..
  12. timothy22
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    timothy22 Junior Member

    I think it may be useful to make a distinction between the ideal boat for cruising in the cruising grounds of one's choice, be it the Seychelles, the Bahamas, the Pacific northwest, the Med, the Baltic, Polynesia, etc. and the ideal boat for passagemaking, or getting there from wherever you are. There are very different requirements for each. Passagemaking puts a premium on the kind of boat that by design can keep course and take care of itself with little or no help from the crew, with large reserves of safety and stores to deal with the unforeseen. These tend to favor the boat with greater carrying capacity, easier motion, bulletproof, (or floating container-proof) hulls, and inattention-proof rigs. Folks with greater skills and a higher tolerance for privation can do with much less boat. Slocum's Spray and Tillikum were, even by the standards of the day, totally unsuited for the passages he made.
    I have no direct experience with weather that required us to lie a-hull (we were racing, after all), but Timmy Hansen's Foolscap (ex-Figaro III) was fine in the roughest Annapolis-Newport ever. It was a classic S&S interpretation of the old CCA rule- yawl, modest draft, some forefoot, centerboard, and fat. When hove to for reefing, she just slid away from the worst of the seas. Later I read that more forefoot than is currently fashionable helps a boat hold her head up, and the shallow draft keeps her from tripping over her keel. Worked for us.
  13. timothy22
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    timothy22 Junior Member

    And this little tidbit from Wikipedia

    Kenichi Horie sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1999 aboard a 32.8-foot (10.0 m) long, 17.4-foot (5.3 m) wide, catamaran constructed from 528 beer kegs. The rigging consisted of two side-by-side masts with junk rig sails made from recycled plastic bottles.

    I would have loved to have been at the party where they emptied the 528 beer kegs!
  14. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    That was a crew party exclusively.... I´m shure.:rolleyes: He otherwise might not have done the trip.

  15. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    You guys are all too serious. Especially Frosty and Timothy :D

    A 'blue water boat' is a boat on blue water. If the water is green, it is a 'green water boat'.

    I was under the impression that if you sail there you have a blue water boat.

    If you are comparing the ability of a boat to live out there, well, then there is no such thing. Even the tankers drown if the weather goes bad enough as does everything else except maybe some of the fish.

    We've now heard of 'blue water canoe's' and 'blue water beer kegs' only because they were there...

    One thing I agree with Frosty, some boats called 'blue water' boats are just blue water enough to get you in the sh... I mean deep water.
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