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Minimum size for blue water cruising?

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Edward M. Filkins

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Mar 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/9/96
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In article <4hpqnm$k...@dfw-ixnews3.ix.netcom.com>, GC...@ix.netcom.com (Gary C. Way) wrote:
>I have a basic question re: appropriate (minimum) size for bluewater
>cruising:
>
>My wife and I are thinking of an extended bluewater cruise in the next
>few years. Is there an appropriate
>size/displacement/configuration/group of manufacturers for two young
>adults to take a bluewater cruise in? Obviously, the quality of a
>blue water cruiser will be correlated to $$$, but I would like to know
>what the minimum requirements are for a bluewater cruising boat for
>two people.
>
>Please let me know if you have any thoughts. Thanks.
>
>Gary C. Way
>gc...@ix.netcom.com
>

From 16 foot on up!

have crossed from England to the US and back with two people aboard.

I have friends who sail between the Keys and the Virgins on a 27 footer and
they are very happy doing it.

Good Luck

Edward Filkins S/V 'JoyBells' a Coronado 35'
efil...@vnet.net
http://www.vnet.net/users/efilkins/sailing.html (Living Aboard & Cruising)

Don Cline

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Mar 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/9/96
to
GC...@ix.netcom.com (Gary C. Way) wrote:

>I have a basic question re: appropriate (minimum) size for bluewater
>cruising:

>My wife and I are thinking of an extended bluewater cruise in the next
>few years. Is there an appropriate
>size/displacement/configuration/group of manufacturers for two young
>adults to take a bluewater cruise in? Obviously, the quality of a
>blue water cruiser will be correlated to $$$, but I would like to know
>what the minimum requirements are for a bluewater cruising boat for
>two people.

>Please let me know if you have any thoughts. Thanks.

>Gary C. Way
>gc...@ix.netcom.com

Keeping in mind that I am not an experienced cruiser, or even sailor,
and my knowledge (such as it is) comes from reading everything I can
get my hands on for the last 20 years, the suggestion I offer is that
you can do it on anything from 16 feet up, but the most comfort and
convenience will be found on something more than 30 feet but less than
40 feet. Also, a more important consideration than waterline length
is strength and robust construction, having deck-to-hull joins one
foot apart instead of three or four feet apart, etc. Also, ample beam
will improve both your handling and your comfort; a long straight keel
will improve stability and the ability to heave to in a blow, while
degrading your ability to make tight turns in close quarter
maneuvering. A fine bow will point higher to windward, and will
broach more readily, or dig into a wave at the bottom of a trough and
cause you to pitchpole, whereas a fuller bow will be less likely to
pitchpole, but won't point as high to windward. Most cruising is done
downwind; going to windward is hard work.

And avoid overhanging sterns like the plague.

Suggest you dig up a copy of Cruising in Serrafyn, by Lin and Larry
Pardey. Gives a great deal of information on their voyage around the
world in a 24 ft LWL wooden boat Larry built himself.

--
Don Cline
frd...@primenet.com


Jeremy R. Hood

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Mar 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/9/96
to GC...@ix.netcom.com
Size is not so important as strength when it comes to Blue
water cruising. Many ocean passages have been made aboard
small boats quite safely.

However cruising invloves a lot more than ocean sailing.
The majority of cruising folk spend much more time at
anchor than sailing. And at anchor or at the dock more room
is necessary for comfortable living than at sea. Uffa Fox,
a former Olymic Yachtsman, once saild you need a foot of
boat for every year of your age! And while this is not an
absolute rule it does emphasise the need for more space as
we grow older.

Our advice is to choose a boat that is built strongly
enough for your intended passage making and that you will
be able to comfortably live aboard. Many passages have been
made aboard a Pacific Seacraft Flicka (LOA inc bowsprit of
24ft)!

You may like to take a look at our home pagre
http://www.phoenix.net/~bwc


Rick H. Kennerly

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Mar 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/10/96
to
I second the above comments, and would add some of my own.

The limiting factors are 1. what you can afford, 2. what the least of
your crew can handle by his/her self in a good blow.

A couple can sail 75ft boats by themselves when everything is fine, when
the wind pipes up and the waves build, then it is a different matter
altoghether.

We've been quite happy in the 32-35 foot range boat. There is an axiom
that states good quality cruising boats are bought by the pound.

In other words, a 10 ton, 32ft, $50k boat is probably a whole lot better
built than a 10 ton, 45ft, $65k boat.

I'd certainly echo my support for Sensible Cruising: the Thoreau
Approach. I'd get a boat that I enjoyed sailing and could sail often,
regardless of whether or not I continued cruising.

Finally, I'd never violate the first best law of boat buying: Get a boat
you will be glad to be seen arriving in.

Rick = NH2F
Guam


Tom Shilson

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Mar 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/10/96
to

I agree with the comments below. Another factor is your age. People with
young bodies put up with more discomfort and are happy with smaller boats.
Older bodies want more space and comfort. Do you want a refrigeration? It
will take more power and thus a bigger boat. This is one example.

Tom Shilson Boat: s/v Follow Your Bliss
thsh...@mmm.com Chrysler 22
3M Website http://www.mmm.com
Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of 3M.

In article <4hshhr$d...@nnrp1.news.primenet.com>

Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of 3M.

Jeff Thompson

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Mar 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/10/96
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Rick H. Kennerly wrote:
>
> A couple can sail 75ft boats by themselves when everything is fine, when
> the wind pipes up and the waves build, then it is a different matter
> altoghether.
>
> We've been quite happy in the 32-35 foot range boat. There is an axiom
> that states good quality cruising boats are bought by the pound.
>
> In other words, a 10 ton, 32ft, $50k boat is probably a whole lot better
> built than a 10 ton, 45ft, $65k boat.
>
> I'd certainly echo my support for Sensible Cruising: the Thoreau
> Approach. I'd get a boat that I enjoyed sailing and could sail often,
> regardless of whether or not I continued cruising.
>
> Finally, I'd never violate the first best law of boat buying: Get a boat
> you will be glad to be seen arriving in.
>
> Rick = NH2F
> Guam

--
Rick,
I disagree with the statement about 75 ft'ers - people on 30 ft boats
take quite a hammering compared to those on 75 ft. They're more rested,
can be fed, sleep, etc. Just because it's bigger doesn't mean that it's
harder to manage. Also, just because it's small doesn't make it easier
to manage. It depends on how they're set up.

I agree that you pay for boats by the pound, but you don't have to buy a
short overweight one to get a good one. What's the point, heavy
displacement is better ?? Mine is 50 ft, 19 tons, D/L ratio of 213.
What's a Wetsnail 32 - 450 ??

The first law of boat buying should read - Get a boat you can arrive in
- friends went cruising in a Hunter 31, had there rudder fall off just
before the Marquesas, go a new one flown out (6 weeks wait), had that
one fall off before Australia. The point is their bottom paint lasted
longer than their rudders. You might look good arriving in a Hunter, but
it takes the shine off the image when you're being towed in.


Jeff's Pacific Cruising Notes =
http://home.earthlink.net/~jkthompson/cruise/mainpage.html

BRIAN SULLIVAN

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Mar 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/11/96
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In article <3143DB...@earthlink.com> Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> writes:
>From: Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com>
>Subject: Re: Minimum size for blue water cruising?
>Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 23:50:04 -0800

>Sorry. but this is BS - you can't cruise in/on a work of art. 28 ft is
>fine if you don't go more than 50 miles, but don't seriously leave home
>without 35+ ft for 2 and 44 for 4.
>--

I have only done a little sailing ( 2 month in Maine and then down to Florida
I hope to cross over to Portugal this year, but that depends on schedules)

Along the way I say many people who were on smaller boats, who were
quite happy. Including 5 younger sailors (23-27) on a 32 ft.

From conversations with others and what I have read ...

If you are out for adventure, you can go around the world in a 22ft and two
people. Cramped and rough in a sea.

If you are taking a year or two to sail, you will be happy for a while on a
27ft for two.

If you are a bit older and this is a retirement thing, 33-40 foot would leave
room for things like bikes or mopheads.

I should mention the 44 ft I was on was built to race and would handle a crew
or 8 for Ocean racing. It was narrow and would be tight for 4 to live on.

This brings up the issue of beam and cabin layout. Older boat's 35 - 44 ft
were 8 - 10 ft wide, while modern boats built for comfort are 11 - 12 ft wide.
This extra space make things a lot more comfortable. As for cabin layout, a
29 ft with bunks for 2 can be a lot more comfortable than a 34 ft with
bunks for 6.

Jeff Thompson

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Mar 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/12/96
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Ray Aldridge wrote:

>
> Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> wrote:
>
> >
>
> >Sorry. but this is BS - you can't cruise in/on a work of art. 28 ft is
> >fine if you don't go more than 50 miles, but don't seriously leave home
> >without 35+ ft for 2 and 44 for 4.
> >--
>
> I guess that couple who's sailing around the world in a 25' boat, and
> with 2 small children, should have stayed home.
>
> Some folks are never going to be able to afford a 35' boat. Must they
> then forego the pleasure of cruising? Nonsense, I say. Folks have
> sailed around the world in 20' boats, and had a fine time. One can
> certainly be more comfortable in a big boat, but if comfort is your
> major aim in life, you shouldn't be cruising anyway.
>
> There are folks who cruise happily in 16' open boats, for heaven's
> sake. The 28' boat you dismiss as too small would seem like the lap
> of luxury to folks like that.
>
> We cruised extensively in a 27' boat, with 2 adults and three small
> children, and lived to tell the tale. In fact, it was a lot of fun.
> If we'd waited until we could afford a big boat, we'd have missed out
> on some wonderful times, and our children would be the poorer for it.
>
> Ray
>
> http://eightsea.com/home.html

-------------------------------------------------

In my experience, the majority of the cruisers who started out
with the "small is beautiful" philosophy wanted a larger boat after 6
months to 1 year. Unfortunately by then, they're in Fiji, NZ, etc and
can't easily sell the boat to get a bigger one. So they're stuck. Lots
of people make do in these circumstances, and enjoy cruising. But given
the alternative, they wished they had started out differently. I'm
talking about offshore international cruising for years, not the San
Juans for 2 weeks. 28 ft shrinks rapidly as the months go by.

It's fine that you and 4 others could cruise in a 27 ft boat, but it's
the rare exception, not the rule. 6 people could live in a Volkswagon
Camper and have a "good" time, but not for several years.

asl...@portage1.portup.com

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Mar 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/12/96
to
In article <4i2drb$e...@cobia.gulf.net>, pbwr...@fwb.gulf.net says...

>
>Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> wrote:
>
>>
>
>>Sorry. but this is BS - you can't cruise in/on a work of art. 28 ft is
>>fine if you don't go more than 50 miles, but don't seriously leave home
>>without 35+ ft for 2 and 44 for 4.
>>--
>
I have a 25 ft. day crusier and that's what it is best at...day cruises. I have gone 60+ miles to Isle Royale in Lake Superior and had a graet time
fishing and camping with my son. However, anything more than an overnight and my wife
looks for a Holiday Inn!

Small is economical but not comfortable.

John Curtis

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Mar 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/12/96
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In article <4hqpnv$7...@ralph.vnet.net> efil...@vnet.net (Edward M. Filkins) writes:

>In article <4hpqnm$k...@dfw-ixnews3.ix.netcom.com>, GC...@ix.netcom.com (Gary C. Way) wrote:
>>I have a basic question re: appropriate (minimum) size for bluewater
>>cruising:
>>
>>My wife and I are thinking of an extended bluewater cruise in the next
>>few years. Is there an appropriate
>>size/displacement/configuration/group of manufacturers for two young
>>adults to take a bluewater cruise in? Obviously, the quality of a
>>blue water cruiser will be correlated to $$$, but I would like to know
>>what the minimum requirements are for a bluewater cruising boat for
>>two people.

I think that this will yield a wide divergence of opinion.
For some data points: I know a couple who have cruised extensively
aboard a Niagra 35, in comfort, with some bluewater passages.
Folkboats (27 ft) have made *many* passages. There does seem
to be a sweet spot at somewhere around 40-45 ft. Smaller boats
have made extended passages, but the overall crew effort seems to
go up on the smaller boats. My SWAG is that: crew comfort +
sleep + displacement = safety + (ability to exercise good judgement).
I'll submit that more bluewater sailors get in trouble due to a
chain of exhaustion, poor judgement, and cascading events than due to
some objective fault in their boat.

My observation is that a 40 footer will move more easily under
*average* conditions and yield up a well rested crew, even if
a well founded 30 footer is, in some objective sense, just as
seaworthy under extreme conditions.

(don't take me too seriously, as extended coastal cruises are
really the extent of my sailing experience).

jcurtis
--
Jack Curtis

/* Design Verification - Cisco Systems - ATM Business Unit */


Paul Kamen

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
to
I'd approach the whole question from the other side: What's the *maximum*
displacement that the crew is willing to handle? This, more than any
other single parameter, is what determines how much work it will be to
handle the vessel.

When thinking of a few examples, I end up with about 10,000 lb/person.
But less would be easier, probably as low as 5,000 lb/person is ideal if
the cruise involves lots of anchoring and coastwise sightseeing between
the ocean crossings.

Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that
doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.

--
fish...@netcom.com
http://www.well.com/user/pk/fishmeal.html

-"Call me Fishmeal"-

BRIAN SULLIVAN

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
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In article <4i4vq5$s...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> eri...@aol.com (ErickA5) writes:
>From: eri...@aol.com (ErickA5)

>Subject: Re: Minimum size for blue water cruising?
>Date: 12 Mar 1996 18:02:29 -0500

>Relative to size, maybe you should note what happened in the 1979 Fastnet
>race. This is data from the book "Fastnet, Force 10" by John Rousmaniere.
>

>Of the finishers, 13 of 14 boats 55 to 79 feet finished. 36 of 56 boats
>44 to 55 feet finished. Contrasting -- only 1 of 58 boats 28 to 32 feet
>finished. Only 12 of 122 boats 33 to 38 feet finished.

>Of those that were abandoned or sunk, for boats 39 feet or larger, only
>one was abandoned and none were sunk. For boats 28 to 38 feet, 18 were
>abandoned and 5 were sunk.

>Of the 15 crew lost, all were on boats below 38 feet.

>Now there is no data as to the experience and skill of the crews, or if
>the geographical location of the boats made a difference. However, the
>data is quite compelling! Smaller boats are clearly at a disadvantage in
>heavy weather.

>Erick Reickert
>Yacht Escapade

My understanding is that FASTNET was/is a race populated by boats more
interested in speed than seaworthyness in extream conditions not by blue water
crusers.

Take a look at some of the books written by world crusers. Many in smaller
boats. They don't talk about 'if you get knocked down' but 'when'.

I too am thinking about a boat to cruse the world. As I read and look over
plans, I find boats 27 ft up that have sailed through some heavy seas.

Brian Smith

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
to
Somebody (don't know who) wrote:

: >Sorry. but this is BS - you can't cruise in/on a work of art. 28 ft is
: >fine if you don't go more than 50 miles, but don't seriously leave home
: >without 35+ ft for 2 and 44 for 4.
: >--

Sorry, but I *am* BS and I quite happily sailed a 26' boat, with my wife
and two teenage sons, across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Martinique.
Mosied on down to the Cape Verde Islands on the way as we thought we would
probably not go that way again. All of us still look back on that with
affection and agree that we had a great time. A bit cramped, but so what?
You don't *need* a Winnebago if you can't afford it. It's all relative.

I wish people would stop using my initials as a form of invective.

B.S!

Brett

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
to
Paul Kamen (fish...@netcom.com) wrote:

<snip>

: Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that


: doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
: Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
: and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.

: --
: fish...@netcom.com
: http://www.well.com/user/pk/fishmeal.html

: -"Call me Fishmeal"-


I think the Santa Cruz 50 is great for about anything,
fast is fun, right?

-Brett (still waiting for the ice to melt off Superior) Hamlin
Tanzer 7.5m - Dionysus
Hobie 16ft - Felix

Nikki Locke

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
to
In article <3143DB...@earthlink.com>
Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> writes:
> Sorry. but this is BS - you can't cruise in/on a work of art. 28 ft is
> fine if you don't go more than 50 miles, but don't seriously leave home
> without 35+ ft for 2 and 44 for 4.

Why are you so agressive with your opinions, Jeff? Just because someone
thinks differently to you doesn't necessarily mean they are talking BS!

I know a couple from Canada who have been cruising for 3 years in a 24-ft
boat. It isn't very comfortable, and I would find it too small for my
taste, but it _is_ possible, and my friends (who are both over 40, by the
way) like it.

It is all a matter of life style. Some people would not be comfortable
without a 35-40 ft boat, with all the trimmings (fridge, generator, radar,
etc.). Others actually _prefer_ a simple life. Many more would rather be
cruising in a smaller boat than living on land saving up for a larger one.

Myself, I would go for something in the 32-35 ft range (for 2 people).
Large enough to be reasonably comfortable, small enough to be reasonably
affordable. But then I like to sail where the weather is warm, and you can
live out of doors most of the time.

--
Nikki Locke, Trumphurst Ltd. (PC & Unix consultancy, free & shareware software)
WWW http://www.ashmount.com/trumphurst MAIL ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk

Nikki Locke

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
to
In article <fishmealD...@netcom.com>

fish...@netcom.com (Paul Kamen) writes:
> Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that
> doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
> Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
> and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.

However, an important factor in many people's considerations is money. So
I would add "the largest such boat you can afford". Don't forget to
include running costs in the budget!

Terry Schell;x3332

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
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In <4i449t$o...@nnrp1.news.primenet.com> frd...@primenet.com (Don Cline) writes:

(much snipping on the small vs. big debate)

>Oh? I'll have to mention that to Lin and Larry Pardey. I'm sure they
>will regret the 15,000 miles around the world they logged in Serrafyn.
>(27-ft LOA) -- and made of wood.)

>--
>Don Cline
>frd...@primenet.com

First of all, they have gone much further than 15,000 miles. More
importantly, the Pardey's have chosen a lifestyle that is *far* more
ascetic than most cruisers would tolerate. We can all point to people
who were happy cruising in boats that were very different from the
norm, that doesn't make them good cruising boats for *most* people.
I actually don't think that Lin and Larry would reccomend a boat of
this type for the average cruiser - even thought they love it.

Terry Schell

Greg Jackson

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
to jktho...@earthlink.com
Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> wrote:
>
>In my experience, the majority of the cruisers who started out
>with the "small is beautiful" philosophy wanted a larger boat after 6
>months to 1 year. Unfortunately by then, they're in Fiji, NZ, etc and
>can't easily sell the boat to get a bigger one. So they're stuck. Lots
>of people make do in these circumstances, and enjoy cruising. But given
>the alternative, they wished they had started out differently. I'm
>talking about offshore international cruising for years, not the San
>Juans for 2 weeks. 28 ft shrinks rapidly as the months go by.

Yes, but those people are a tiny minority compared to the vast majority who stay home in their
small boats, looking longingly out to sea, contemplating the "wisdom" of your advice. For those
who can actually afford it, a bigger boat is nice. I think the real advice here is that for those
who must choose between their comfort and their dreams, most rec.boats.cruising people recommend
the latter.

G. Jackson

S/V Compass Rose


David Thickens

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
to
> Lin and Larry Pardey reported in "Serrafyn's Mediterranean Adventure"
> that crews on 30-footers usually arrived and wanted to party, while
> crews on 50-footers usually arrived and wanted to sleep.
> --
> Don Cline
> frd...@primenet.comI have ade blue water passages on boats from 30 to 55 feet and weather,
crew etc being equal, the big boat is more comfortable.

As for the small boat people wanting to party - remember that since their
boat is probably only half as fast as the 50 footer, they have been out
twice as long and are probably lonely and longing some other company.

Frank Grote

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
to
In <826764...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk> ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk

>--
>Nikki Locke, Trumphurst Ltd. (PC & Unix consultancy, free & shareware
software)
>WWW http://www.ashmount.com/trumphurst MAIL
ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk


I agree ... I would much rather be on my 27 ft Pacific Seacraft Orion
than on a Catalina 42 blue water cruising for about the same price...
skipper Claus... Fresh Aire II

Brian Smith

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
to
ErickA5 (eri...@aol.com) wrote:
: Relative to size, maybe you should note what happened in the 1979 Fastnet

: race. This is data from the book "Fastnet, Force 10" by John Rousmaniere.
:

: Of the finishers, 13 of 14 boats 55 to 79 feet finished. 36 of 56 boats
: 44 to 55 feet finished. Contrasting -- only 1 of 58 boats 28 to 32 feet
: finished. Only 12 of 122 boats 33 to 38 feet finished.

: Of those that were abandoned or sunk, for boats 39 feet or larger, only
: one was abandoned and none were sunk. For boats 28 to 38 feet, 18 were
: abandoned and 5 were sunk.

: Of the 15 crew lost, all were on boats below 38 feet.

: Now there is no data as to the experience and skill of the crews, or if
: the geographical location of the boats made a difference. However, the
: data is quite compelling! Smaller boats are clearly at a disadvantage in
: heavy weather.

One of the reasons the larger boats survived was that they were already on
their way back from The Rock when the gale hit. It was the slower boats
that were still on their way and were going towards the storm that got
the brunt of it. That has a lot to do with the way those figures come out.

B.S. (been round the Fastnet in a gale, but not THAT one, thank goodness :-)

Dick Parshall

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
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BRIAN_S...@Carleton.CA (BRIAN SULLIVAN) wrote:
>In article <4i4vq5$s...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> eri...@aol.com (ErickA5) writes:
>>From: eri...@aol.com (ErickA5)
>>Subject: Re: Minimum size for blue water cruising?
>>Date: 12 Mar 1996 18:02:29 -0500
>
>>Relative to size, maybe you should note what happened in the 1979 Fastnet
>>race. This is data from the book "Fastnet, Force 10" by John Rousmaniere.
>>
[SNIP]

>>data is quite compelling! Smaller boats are clearly at a disadvantage in
>>heavy weather.
>
>My understanding is that FASTNET was/is a race populated by boats more
>interested in speed than seaworthyness in extream conditions not by blue water
>crusers.

In addition, I believe there was some suspicion that the preponderence
of smaller boats was at least in part due to their slower speed, which
placed them in the worst of the storm (shear luck), while the leaders
(bigger faster boats) were already near the Rock and seeing less severe
conditions.


-----------------------------------------------------------
Dick Parshall IT Support, 3M Corp, Austin TX
rvpar...@mmm.com (512)984-3972

Tom Shilson

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Mar 14, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/14/96
to
>
>: Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that

>: doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
>: Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
>: and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.
>
>: --
>: fish...@netcom.com

What boat for one?



Tom Shilson Boat: s/v Follow Your Bliss
thsh...@mmm.com Chrysler 22
3M Website http://www.mmm.com

Opinions expressed herein are my own and may not represent those of 3M.

Franco Pasquale

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Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
The problem is that everybody fails to recognise that generalities do not
apply well to people who cruise. Comfort and even safety are very
subjective factors which vary according to the sailors lifestyle and
skill level respectively. The original persons request included a money
factor. To recommend 40 and 50 footers is fine but if you don't have the
money, you are not automatically excluded from the cruising life. It
appears from these responses that it is possible to happily cruise on 27+
ft. cruisers and that quite a few people do it. These types of questions
always result in arguments because they involve so many subjective
variables.

I think if you have to ask the question, then you are probably not
experienced enough to sail in blue water regardless of the boat.


Ray Aldridge

unread,
Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> wrote:

>Nikki Locke wrote:
>>

>> I know a couple from Canada who have been cruising for 3 years in a 24-ft
>> boat. It isn't very comfortable,


>I suppose at some point in time cruising becomes camping and then
>camping becomes existing, and then existing becomes suffering.

Some people camp for pleasure. Some people derive satisfaction from
the mere fact of existence, and some people are willing to suffer to
achieve an important goal. However, anyone who thinks cruising in a
small boat is "suffering" has led a remarkably bland life. And of
course, all this descriptive devolution is fairly meaningless when it
comes to what is after all a voluntary activity, undertaken for
pleasure. You can always go home, if you don't like it.

>We all have different levels of pain tolerance. The point I was trying
>to bring out is that people sometimes get talked into the "smaller is
>better" philosophy, leave to go cruising and are committed for the
>duration.

How so? As far as I know, there are no laws mandating that a person
who sets forth on a too-small-for-comfort boat can't go home and trade
up. It seems far more common, in my experience, that people get
talked into the "you can't go unless you've got a 40 footer and all
the gadgets" philosophy.

I'm always amazed by accounts of ambitious voyages begun by novices,
because I'd be reluctant to sink all my resources into a life I wasn't
pretty sure I'd like. Frankly, anyone who envisions a long cruise
ought, in my opinion, to start with a less ambitious cruise in a small
boat. If you can be happy in a small boat, you can be happy in a
bigger, more comfortable boat. If the reasons you don't enjoy the
cruise have nothing to do with the boat's comfort level, better to
discover this before you sink a lot of money into a big boat.

> There are very few long distance long term (over 1-2 years)
>cruisers in less than 30 ft - I'd guess 3% at most, I'd look at my SSCA
>surveys but they're not here.

Above, you said you wouldn't want to take a 28' boat more than 50
miles from home. Isn't this something of a leap?

My guess is that the great majority of sailors go cruising in smaller
chunks of time. Those who can devote years to cruising are a tiny
fraction of those who cruise intermittently.

I don't doubt your opinion that big boats are more comfortable. And
it's true that what you can tolerate and even enjoy for a week might
not be fun for a year. But for some the adventure of sailing across
the sea to faraway lands compensates for a certain degree of
austerity, and why shouldn't they go now, instead of working for many
more years to buy a bigger boat?

It's a commonplace tragedy for a guy to spend his whole life working
for that big boat, so he can go in style when he retires, only to drop
dead before he gets his chance. He'd probably have had a better life
had he gone a little earlier on a less-lavish budget.

Time's slipping away.


Ray

http://eightsea.com/home.html


H. M. Leary

unread,
Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
In article <826764...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk>, ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk
(Nikki Locke) wrote:

> In article <fishmealD...@netcom.com>
> fish...@netcom.com (Paul Kamen) writes:

> > Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that
> > doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
> > Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
> > and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.
>

> However, an important factor in many people's considerations is money. So
> I would add "the largest such boat you can afford". Don't forget to
> include running costs in the budget!

I have to agree with the above. Just because someone crossed the Atlantic
in a 19 footer does not make this a blue water cruiser.

A few yers ago some friends and I brought a Sabre 38 back to Newport, RI
from Bermuda. We got caught in one very strong storm about halfway accross
and all of prayed to God to make the boat about 380 feet long.

--
****************************************************

Seagulls sing their hearts away
while sinners sin,
the children play....... Cat Stevens

****************************************************

Dan Hogan

unread,
Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
Probably the best compromise in boat size is around 35
feet L.O.A. . Read the books by Hal Roth.

Dan Hogan
dhh...@lightside.com
Catalina 27 "Gacha"
San Pedro, CA

A. Michael Colfer

unread,
Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
I think it is truly bizarre to see a discussion of this sort on this
newsboard. I have been aboard 28 foot boats that were palatial and aboard
28 ft boats that were too small to take a dump in. I am building a 26
footer that will be tiny by cruising standards. But it is flat bottomed
and centerboard. the Lyle Hess 28 footer that the Pardeys cruised is
really nice and comfortable. Another point of view is this - if you need a
yard to haul out to paint, etc. the bottom, your boat is too big. Comfort
is one thing, dollars another. And by the way, the reason the Hess 28 is
so big is that a third of the boat isn't taken up by that huge hunk of
ballast called an engine. ciao.
Michael
Col...@whidbey.com

Paul Kamen

unread,
Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
to
thsh...@mmm.com (Tom Shilson) writes:

> What boat for one?


Olson 30. Actually a fractional rig would be easier to handle, but choices
are limited - Merit 25 or Express 27 at the small end, Tartan 10 at the
big end.

But to actually answer the question, in the context that it was asked:
2,000 lb./person is probably a workable minimum. (Based on empty weight of
the boat.) So a singlehander could do okay in a Cal 20, a couple on an
Olson 30, a foursom could get by on any one of any number of 8,000 lb. 30
footers. These are minimums - I'm guessing 5,000 lb/person is a good high
end, and of course if you want to work hard you can go much higher.

The point here is that both the accommodations and the effort required to
run the boat seem to depend on weight more than length. And for a given
weight, stretching out the length makes for a faster, more comfortable,
and safer boat. It also makes for a more expensive boat, because of the
higher standard of material performance, quality control, and design
engineering required.

Now, if the question is "What's the minimum *cost* of a boat suitable for
blue-water cruising," then the answers are a little different: You
probably end up with a '60s vintage Cal or Pearson.

Al Gunther

unread,
Mar 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/16/96
to
In article <4ia9h7$h...@cloner4.netcom.com>, fra...@ix.netcom.com(Frank
Grote) wrote:

> [snip!] ... I would much rather be on my 27 ft Pacific Seacraft Orion


> than on a Catalina 42 blue water cruising for about the same price...
> skipper Claus... Fresh Aire II

How about with 3 teenagers on board? I think there is a lot of difference
in how many people are going to be aboard and just how well they get
along.

Al in Kingston, WA <----- 47 52.78 N / 122 30.84 W
Catalina 27 #4944 out of Bainbridge Island, WA
Building "Al's 26, a Pilothouse Sloop", WB #127

Matt Pedersen

unread,
Mar 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/16/96
to
In article <fishmealD...@netcom.com>, fish...@netcom.com (Paul Kamen) says:
>
>I'd approach the whole question from the other side: What's the *maximum*
>displacement that the crew is willing to handle? This, more than any
>other single parameter, is what determines how much work it will be to
>handle the vessel.
>
>When thinking of a few examples, I end up with about 10,000 lb/person.
>But less would be easier, probably as low as 5,000 lb/person is ideal if
>the cruise involves lots of anchoring and coastwise sightseeing between
>the ocean crossings.
>
>Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that
>doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
>Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
>and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.

I'm not so sure that displacement, per se, is the guiding factor.
I lean a little more toward the sail area as being the limiting
factor.

Take a look at the Olson 40 with 700 plus square feet of sail.
There are certainly plenty of boats out there in the 35-40 foot
range with the same or less sail area, and a displacement between
15 and 18000 pounds that would make pretty decent cruisers. These
boats certainly don't need bigger anchors, since the guiding factor
for anchor selection should be windage, and they're all pretty
close in that category. And with the sail area being the same,
there won't be much difference in the work involved there. Ted
Hood, for one, has designed quite a few heavy displacement boats
with moderate sail area that sail quite well (admittedly not
quite as fast as the Olson 40).

I do understand the advantages of the Olson 40, and I think it
would make a great cruising boat. However, if someone were to
drop a Nordic 40 on my doorstep I think I could find a way to
cruise her (after I got her back in the water of course ;=)

Matt

Jeff Thompson

unread,
Mar 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/16/96
to
Brett wrote:
>
> Paul Kamen (fish...@netcom.com) wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> : Once the displacement is established, I'd get the longest boat that

> : doesn't exceed that weight (and I guess I sort of agree with Jeff here).
> : Length = comfort and speed. So we end up with an Olson 40 for 2 people,
> : and a Santa Cruz 50 for 4.
>
> : --
> I think the Santa Cruz 50 is great for about anything,
> fast is fun, right?
>
> -Brett (still waiting for the ice to melt off Superior) Hamlin
> Tanzer 7.5m - Dionysus
> Hobie 16ft - Felix

Read my lips - the Santa Cruz 50 is UNCOMFORTABLE - even in light seas
it bounces and leaps up and down - 16-17000 lbs in 50 ft with a flat
bottom - a horrible sea motion.

Jeff Thompson

unread,
Mar 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/16/96
to
>
> >> I know a couple from Canada who have been cruising for 3 years in a 24-ft
> >> boat. It isn't very comfortable,
>
> >I suppose at some point in time cruising becomes camping and then
> >camping becomes existing, and then existing becomes suffering.
>
> Some people camp for pleasure. Some people derive satisfaction from
> the mere fact of existence, and some people are willing to suffer to
> achieve an important goal.
>
> How so? As far as I know, there are no laws mandating that a person
> who sets forth on a too-small-for-comfort boat can't go home and trade
> up.


The law that mandates it is the "law" of the trade winds & currents. Try
the Tahiti to San Diego uphill run sometime.

> My guess is that the great majority of sailors go cruising in smaller
> chunks of time. Those who can devote years to cruising are a tiny
> fraction of those who cruise intermittently.
>


My guess is that you missed the point completely - cruising is not
vacationing or camping on the water for 2 weeks a year, or even 8 weeks.

Ray Aldridge

unread,
Mar 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/17/96
to
Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> wrote:


>>
>> How so? As far as I know, there are no laws mandating that a person
>> who sets forth on a too-small-for-comfort boat can't go home and trade
>> up.


>The law that mandates it is the "law" of the trade winds & currents. Try
>the Tahiti to San Diego uphill run sometime.

And it is your conviction that the cruise to Tahiti is a mandatory
first cruise for anyone interested in cruising? This seems a little
silly to me. If I were a San Diego sailor considering a long cruise,
I think I'd go to Baja for a couple of months and see if I liked it,
before I set off around the world, or even around the Pacific.


>> My guess is that the great majority of sailors go cruising in smaller
>> chunks of time. Those who can devote years to cruising are a tiny
>> fraction of those who cruise intermittently.
>>


>My guess is that you missed the point completely - cruising is not
>vacationing or camping on the water for 2 weeks a year, or even 8 weeks.


Says who?


Ray

http://eightsea.com/home.html


Paul Kamen

unread,
Mar 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/18/96
to
pede...@halcyon.com (Matt Pedersen) writes:

>Take a look at the Olson 40 with 700 plus square feet of sail.
>There are certainly plenty of boats out there in the 35-40 foot
>range with the same or less sail area, and a displacement between
>15 and 18000 pounds that would make pretty decent cruisers.

But the lighter boat still requires less sail area showing to perform
well - and all running rigging loads are proportionally less.

>The guiding factor for anchor selection should be windage

This is only true for smooth water steady-state conditions. In practice
the maximum anchor loads are peaks in very unsteady dynamic response, and
will depend on weight more than windage.

But you're basically right - weight is certainly not the *only* criterion
here. My point is that it should come just ahead of length and beam, not
after.

Paul Kamen

unread,
Mar 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/18/96
to
Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> writes:

>Read my lips - the Santa Cruz 50 is UNCOMFORTABLE - even in light seas
>it bounces and leaps up and down - 16-17000 lbs in 50 ft with a flat
>bottom - a horrible sea motion.

That sure doesn't agree with my experience in 50s. Especially compared to
a 40' boat of the same displacement!

Craig Jungers

unread,
Mar 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/18/96
to
On Thu, 14 Mar 1996, Jeff Thompson wrote:

> > I know a couple from Canada who have been cruising for 3 years in a 24-ft
> > boat. It isn't very comfortable,
>
> I suppose at some point in time cruising becomes camping and then
> camping becomes existing, and then existing becomes suffering.

> We all have different levels of pain tolerance.

I'm not at all sure that size of boat has much of a bearing on this. My
guess is that attitude is more important. We knew people who were burned
out on 50 footers and on 23 footers. Just as we knew people who loved
cruising on both types. What boat size has to do with this is conjecture
at best.

> The point I was trying
> to bring out is that people sometimes get talked into the "smaller is
> better" philosophy, leave to go cruising and are committed for the
> duration.

The impression you gave me was that anything under 28 feet was not
suitable for any voyage over 50 miles and that any other opinion was "BS".

Cruising - at least for me - was the ultimate freedom; perhaps the only
truly free life left to residents of the developed world. This included
the freedom to be completely responsible for your choices and your
actions. Not a happy circumstance for many people, and perhaps not for
you; hence your disapproval.

Certainly, a tiny boat offers trade-offs but they are not ALL negatives.
Your age, attitude, physical condition and even size can make a voyage on
a very small - but seaworthy - yacht a rewarding and memorable experience.

In the same vein, a larger boat crewed by inexperienced sailors
(especially when it's a middle-aged man and his
not-very-interested-in-this wife) can be a hazard to them and to others.

It is my personal opinion that size is more closely related to attitude
and to disposable income than it is to anything else.

> There are very few long distance long term (over 1-2 years)
> cruisers in less than 30 ft - I'd guess 3% at most, I'd look at my SSCA
> surveys but they're not here.

Again, I'm not convinced this has anything to do with suitability to task
of a larger boat but, rather, the increasing disparity between people
with enough money to cruise and everyone else. If you have enough
money to take off for five years, you generally have enough to buy a
bigger boat.

If you would like to read a little more about my philosophy to cruising,
ftp to ftp.eskimo.com/u/c/craigj and get "cruising.txt"; about 180k. It
offers my thoughts (and opinions) on cruising and was written about two
years after our return to the US.

Don Rogers/Marie Rogers

unread,
Mar 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/18/96
to
In article <fishmealD...@netcom.com>, fish...@netcom.com says...

My comments are not directed at anyone who has responded to the question
but only to the original question. It is my opinion,and I am like many
sailors, lots of reading and a little coastal sailing,that you should
begin by looking at the type of boat that would survive in the most
extreme conditions. Creature comforts are important but if they are the
most important thing then offshore sailing should be out of the question.
I would begin by reading G. Adlard Coles' "Heavy Weather Sailing". In his
Appendix 4 (The Yacht:Her Design and Construction) he expresses ideas that
are the result of years of experience. Among other things he states the
following:

"The ability of a yacht in heavy weather or a gale does not depend solely
on wind and sea. It depends equally upon the yacht herself, taking her as
a unit comprising design, sail plan, construction and in particular the
condition of hull, mast, rigging and sails, and the strength and
experience of her crew.

Size is not essential to survival in heavy weather, as has been proved
time after time by the very small yachts which have safely crossed the
Atlantic, such as the tiny Nova Espero, and by the increasing number of
small boats which have accomplished long voyages, among them Bill Nance's
Cardinal Vertue and the 20 ft. yawl Trekka in which John Guzzwell circum
-navigated the world. Nevertheless, there is a lot of luck in the success
or otherwise of long voyages, whether the yacht is large or small, and
when it comes to meeting the greybeards in the Southern Ocean or round
Cape Horn a large yacht stand a better chance than a small one.

In the ordinary way, by which I mean cruising and racing within a few
hundred miles of one's home port, the best size of yacht for heavy weather
is probably one of medium displacement of about 35 ft. overall, maybe a
bit more or a little less in overall length, and round about 10 to 15 tons
Thames measurement. I will call this medium sized, though in America the
average size of a sea-going yacht is larger. In a boat such as this a
great deal can be done by the sheer strength of one powerful man, and she
can easily be handled in any weather by her normal crew." (end of quotes)

Coles goes on to state that with a yacht of larger size the degree of
seamanship necessary to handle heavy weather rises considerably. He also
says that a boat of 25 ft. is going to be uncomfortable in seaways but
"seems happier on the oceans". In conclusion I would advocate that
everyone considering open ocean sailing buy and read this book! It needs
to be read and re-read periodically. For someone contemplating buying a
boat I would also recommend Practical Sailor's "The Complete Book of Sail
-boat Buying". After much research, and their evaluation I purchased my
current boat, a Cape Dory 25D which I thoroughly enjoy for Puget Sound
waters, I would agree with Practical Sailor that it is probably safe for
an ocean passage but after sailing it for five years there is no way I
would attempt an ocean crossing with two people. Maybe if I were 25 and
had not ejoyed many creature comforts! In my opinion 30-38 ft. would be
a good compromise for two people and there are many seaworthy boats out
there in that range, e.g., Pacific Seacraft, Island Packet, Southern
Cross, etc. I just would not go out in an ultra light. Fast is fun but
remember that a hurricane can whip up 100+ mph winds and I doubt if your
maxi can outrun that! Wouldn't you rather be in something that could ride
out the storm? (Of course the bottom line is that in really extreme
conditions all of your planning may be to no avail. Boreas may not like
you!) Fortunately, all of this we write is opinion, so the readers must
use their best judgment and act accordingly. Fair winds and wise choices!

Don Rogers
"Skye Lark"

Terry Schell;x3332

unread,
Mar 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/18/96
to
In <314A8F...@earthlink.com> Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> writes:

(snip)

>My guess is that you missed the point completely - cruising is not
>vacationing or camping on the water for 2 weeks a year, or even 8 weeks.

Not to pick on you, Jeff, but I completely disagree with this
statement. Not everyone agrees with your definition of cruising;
to say that someone isn't really cruising because they did it
differently than you is extremely narrow-minded. If I spend two weeks
exploring the channel islands - thirty miles from my house - I have
been cruising. You don't have to go to PNG to be cruising. You don't
have to live on your boat for two years before you can say you have
been blue-water cruising.

Just my opinion,
Terry

Jacques Mertens

unread,
Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
to
ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk (Nikki Locke) wrote:


>However, an important factor in many people's considerations is money. So
>I would add "the largest such boat you can afford". Don't forget to
>include running costs in the budget!

That's it: the ideal boat is the one you can afford: it,s better to
cruise in 22 footer than to dream forever of that big boat . . .


Jacques Mertens / Mertens-Goossens NA Boat Plans Online!
http://www.bateau.com/
jm...@aol.com


Jacques Mertens

unread,
Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
to
fish...@netcom.com (Paul Kamen) wrote:

>Jeff Thompson <jktho...@earthlink.com> writes:

>>Read my lips - the Santa Cruz 50 is UNCOMFORTABLE - even in light seas
>>it bounces and leaps up and down - 16-17000 lbs in 50 ft with a flat
>>bottom - a horrible sea motion.

>That sure doesn't agree with my experience in 50s. Especially compared to
>a 40' boat of the same displacement!

A light boat is less comfortable because she goes faster. Slow down to
the speed of an heavy boat and you'll get the same comfort.
The advantages of the light displacement are still there: lighter =
faster, safer and less expensive. You pay more for the hull but less
for all the rest.
And they are a lot more fun to sail!

Jacques Mertens

unread,
Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
to
eri...@aol.com (ErickA5) wrote:

>Relative to size, maybe you should note what happened in the 1979 Fastnet
>race. This is data from the book "Fastnet, Force 10" by John Rousmaniere.
>

>Of the finishers, 13 of 14 boats 55 to 79 feet finished. 36 of 56 boats


>44 to 55 feet finished. Contrasting -- only 1 of 58 boats 28 to 32 feet
>finished. Only 12 of 122 boats 33 to 38 feet finished.

>Of those that were abandoned or sunk, for boats 39 feet or larger, only
>one was abandoned and none were sunk. For boats 28 to 38 feet, 18 were
>abandoned and 5 were sunk.

>Of the 15 crew lost, all were on boats below 38 feet.

>Now there is no data as to the experience and skill of the crews, or if
>the geographical location of the boats made a difference.

The key is in that last sentence: I was in that Fastnet on a 55' boat
and we had no major problem because we were two hours ahead of the
small boats. The big boats did not experience the same weather.
A major factor was that the 2 previous Fastnets ran in light weather
up to the point that we called the previous one the Slownet. Builders
took liberties with scantlings and optimistic crews were not ready for
bad weather.

A well built 22 footer with an experienced crew would have survived
that storm.

Robert Vanderlinde

unread,
Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
to
From Hendersons book "Sea Sense", some add'l Fasnet facts are
interesting: of about 300+ boats starting the race, 24 yachts were
abandoned, but 20 out of the 24 abandoned yachts were later
recovered, and one of the unrecovered boats only sank after the storm
when it was taken in tow. Most of the 15 sailors who died -died
trying to abandon their vessels which were later found floating. It
seems to me that this says staying with your vessel even if it is
rolled and dismasted may be one of the more important lessons of
Fasnet.

Bob Early

unread,
Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
to
ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk (Nikki Locke) wrote:

//I would add "the largest such boat you can afford". Don't forget to
//include running costs in the budget!

//--
//Nikki Locke, Trumphurst Ltd. (PC & Unix consultancy, free &
shareware software)
//WWW http://www.ashmount.com/trumphurst MAIL
ni...@trmphrst.demon.co.uk

Running costs? Interesting concept.

So far, even as a newbie to this conference and sailing, running costs
intrigue me. Can 'running costs' be simply stated as a function of
boat size, assuming personal taste counts for nothing <g>??

Seriously, is there a 'rule of thumb' that for a boat of a certain
size one should expect costs to be <nFuntion of Boat Size x initial
cost> or some such thing?

For example, recently I read an article which basicallly stated that
the cost of aquiring a boat (the basic boat itself), is about half to
a third of the total cost, after mounting electronics, spare sails,
mooring or trailer, etc?

What about the 'true cost' of ownership after the sale (insurance,
mooring, repairs, maintenance, labor-if-not-done-by-self, opportunity
cost in time if done by self, etc?

Or is a topic like this a big joke in the sailing community? Like the
TP in social conferences or searching for PC in a Home computer
conference?

/Thanks ...

Paul Kamen

unread,
Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
to
20% of new replacement cost/year is a good estimate for a campaigning a
reasonably serious racing sailboat.

billg

unread,
Mar 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/20/96
to Robert Vanderlinde
> Fasnet.Of all the comments I've read on ref subject, I didn't see any which
mentioned the most important issue-how much boat can you
competently handle. Size is relevant to ability. I have done a trans
Med, been thru the Suez and Red Sea and rounded the Horn Of Africa on a
35' Southern Cross. I formerly "cruised" on a Fishers Island 44 for 7
years and I can honesly say that when you can make the boat do what you
want it to and not what it wants to do, size it irrelevant.
On the issue of Fasnet, I agree staying with the boat is most
important-FRP and synthetic construction vessels can take alot more
punishment than the body can,to wit, the 94-95 BOC.


Jeff Thompson

unread,
Mar 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/21/96
to
Terry Schell;x3332 wrote:
>
> In <314B57...@datacomm.ch> hoekstra <jhoe...@datacomm.ch> writes:
>
> (snip)

>
> >> >Relative to size, maybe you should note what happened in the 1979 Fastnet
> >> >race. This is data from the book "Fastnet, Force 10" by John Rousmaniere.
>
> (snip)
>
> >The bigger boats survived because they had passed the area where the
> >storm (an extremely localised low-pressure area) hit. Most of the big
> >boats didn't report any exceptional winds. Smaller boats are slower and
> >thus are longer exposed to the elements, that's all.
>
> >Jeroen Hoekstra
>
> I agree that speed was an important reason for the safety of the large
> boats, but that is always part of the safety of a large boat. Part of the
> reason that large boats are more seaworthy is that a) they are fast
> enough to complete a passage during a good weather window, b) they can
> effectively divert from the path of a storm, and c) they spend less
> time exposed to the elements. Someone in this newsgroup once said
> that they would be safer in a flicka than in a Olsen 40 - I think they
> only considered the worst case. Once you realize that the flicka is
> probably 2 to 3 times more likely to get caught in a storm on a blue
> water passage, it doesn't look like such a wise choice.
>
> For some reason, people like to think about safety in survival storms
> as the only measure of seaworthness. If you realize that what you
> really want is saftey per mile traveled, then the ULDB boats start
> looking very safe.
>
> Terry Schell

This reasoning is all well & good - but it's faulty. There are stretches
of ocean where the weather changes rapidly, the weather is not long-term
predictable, is not stable, and is potentially quite violent without
being a named storm system. You can wait for a perfect "weather window"
and leave and the weather can become dangerous before you can get
across because the transit time is longer than the predictable weather
window. We normally do about 175 nm a day in reasonable conditions in a
50 ft, 19 ton boat. The 1000 nm between Tonga & NZ (South Pacific), the
500 nm between Kodiak and Cape Spencer (Gulf of Alaska), the 1000 nm
between NZ and Aust (Tasman) come to mind. Say 6 days and 3 days. At
250 nm a day you've made it in