Registered users don't see ads

Ocean and heavy weather sailing

Discussion in 'Ask A Hunter Owner' started by Susan Roller, Oct 10, 2017. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Rick D

    Rick D

    Joined Jun 14, 2008
    6,440 posts, 137 likes
    Hunter Legend 40.5
    US Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
    Yes, I have sailed 1500 miles in a well-built cut-away keel 43' center cockpit ketch that weighed a third more than my Hunter 40.5. She tracked well in reaching conditions, seemed less likely to pound in a chop, although we encountered little. Her cockpit was hardly comfortable and thanks to the hydraulic AP, we didn't have to horse the stiff wheel much. Nice ride in 15-25 knots and very comfortable.
    My 40.5 will pound if powering into a short period steep chop. If I induce more heel, she settles down. But head on powering will have you lose a filling. She handles big seas without a sweat. The worst conditions I have had her in was 35 knot winds gusting to 45 for about 14 hours in ugly cross seas 8-12 foot. That was in a race, so I was reluctant to reef past the first reef until we got pinned. When she got back on her feet, we put in a second reef and reefed the jib to about a 90. However, the boat herself was fine and the crew simply didn't react fast enough to the conditions. If you ask if that would have been fun for a week, I would say it would get old quick but there was no indication the boat was stressed. The biggest concern would be the rudder; there we several boats that lost steering.
    The Outbound 46 is a wonderful boat. Modern underbody (as I recall) with a long fin keel, skeg-hung rudder, encapsulated ballast, built-up interior (vs. a liner) and a modern rig. Also, top-quality outfitting equipment and big tankage. Having said that, she's hardly a Archer. When you look at her construction, it sounds a lot like modern production boats. And, to my eye, the interior and exterior look a lot like my own boat or a Catalina 445, which is to say, nice but traditional. She is also $550K to $600K asking, 3 to 5 times the corresponding production boat of similar vintage. Many people would simply not be able to cruise if they waited for the "right" boat, so they do it in what they can afford and equip them as best they can for the conditions. Speaking of which, it's about three weeks to a month non-stop from the west coast of the Americas to the Marquesas, right? I think that's the longest passage you are likely to encounter. I think there are more issues of light winds than heavy air from the people I have talked to.
    I'm not trying to diminish the value of a purpose-built boat for passages and reliability; just saying the attributes may be a tad overstated for many of us.

    JamesG161 and Kings Gambit like this.
  2. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,501 posts, 396 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    I'd say most folks shop for a boat on price first; "quality" second or third. The most relevant question to ask yourself first is: "How am I going to use it?" I might take the Bavaria 38 "coastal cruiser" for a 2- 3 week down-wind run to Hawai'i in summer or a month across the Pacific Puddle Jump. But if I were going to be gone cruising for a couple of years or so, crossing oceans in various potential weathers for indefinite periods, I think I'd upgrade to a blue water sailor, although not likely a new one.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Jackdaw


    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    8,077 posts, 1,629 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    This is an interesting point; how do low-volume production builders (they like to say semi-custom) compete against the huge economies of scale that the big guys possess? I would never want to compete anywhere near the likes of Beneteau (or the others for that matter); their buying power and ability to amortize R&D over huge numbers makes their cost/foot very low for a quality boat. Anyone building a few boats/year at the same level is going to have to charge 30%+ more just to make money. I'm not saying the boats are the same. But as you note, closer that people might think based solely on price delta.

    kloudie1 likes this.
  4. lurker


    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    118 posts, 17 likes
    Hunter -410
    CA Pacific NW Vancouver Island
    What you or I think is irrelevant.

    Look up the definition:

    Category A – Ocean:
    covers largely self-sufficient boats designed for extended voyages with winds of over Beaufort Force 8 (over 40 knots), and significant wave heights above 13 feet, but excluding abnormal conditions such as hurricanes.

    • Category B – Offshore: includes boats operating offshore with winds to 40 knots and significant seas to 13 feet.
    • Category C – Inshore: is for boats operating in coastal waters and large bays and lakes with winds to Force 6, up to 27 knots, and significant seas 7 feet high.
    • Category D – Inland or sheltered coastal waters: is for boats in small lakes and rivers with winds to Force 4 and significant wave heights to 18 inches.

  5. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,501 posts, 396 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    Without specifics of what criteria are actually met, there's no information for discussion. What goes into making a "largely self-sufficient boat." The ability to ride waves safely to 13 ft and higher is largely a function of the length of the vessel.

  6. lurker


    Joined Jan 12, 2016
    118 posts, 17 likes
    Hunter -410
    CA Pacific NW Vancouver Island
    I will take the advice of the European Commission that can ultimately share liability with falsely proclaiming a yacht certified in one category as a more reliable source of information than what "you think".

    There are definitely boats within Offshore A that are stronger and or better built than others. They often cost more by a factor of four or five. However the only government body in the world that has gone to the trouble of establishing a compliance baseline for safety is one worth respecting. The fact that most large Hunters meet this criteria is commendable. When I look at other boats in my length, and price range few have lead keels, kevlar fabric in the strike areas of the hull, super clean wiring that is to ABYC code, 600 litres of water, or 200 litres of diesel.

  7. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,501 posts, 396 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    Category A is "Ocean"
    Category B is "Offshore"
    There is no Category A "Offshore."

    Category A -- Ocean - This is the category with the toughest standards and covers vessels 40’ and over designed to be self-sufficient for extended voyages. It is defined as the "category of boats considered suitable for seas of up to 23 feet (7 meters) significant wave height and winds of Beaufort Force 9 (41-47 knots) or less, but excluding abnormal conditions such as hurricanes."

    Category B -- Offshore - These boats are designed to go offshore with the ability to handle winds up to gale force 8 of 40 knots, and seas up to 13 feet (3.96 meters).

    This chart shows a boat's displacement and the Angle of Vanishing Stability (AVS) as indicated on its Gz Curve.

    The difference between Category A & B is shown in the above graphic, where Mass is tons and AVS is the Angle of Vanishing Stability when the boat goes upside down. Category A boats need to be to the right of and above the blue line and a Category B boats to the right and above the red line.

  8. David in Sandusky

    David in Sandusky

    Joined Nov 8, 2007
    1,008 posts, 82 likes
    Hunter 27_75-84
    US Sandusky Harbor Marina, Lake Erie
    Here is a copy of one of henkmeuzelaar’s posts on this topic. There used to be a picture showing all the mods he did on his Hunter Legend 43 to prep for 50,000 nm of cruising across the Pacific, but I can’t find it:

    “Around 1990 we were enthusiastic scuba divers when we got tired of the typical "cattle boat" mentality on most scuba charters, so we started looking for our own dive platform. Running in and out of a Hunter Legend 43 and a Catalina 40 that happened to be sitting side by side in Havre de Grace, my wife firmly decided on the Legend 43.

    After cold-water diving and sailing a couple of years along the California coast we made a 2- month trip to the Sea of Cortez in 1993, including the infamous 900 mile Baja slog back to San Diego. Since we enjoyed the occasional leg out of sight of land better than the often nerve-wracking coastal legs, we decided to make a Hawaii passage the following year but did not yet have quite enough savings to afford a more expensive "blue-water" brand so had to make a ton of upgrades instead (e.g. following the Corenman's Westmarine Cup manual) before making our first passage to Hawaii (and back) in 1994.

    After another (2-season) expedition to the sea of Cortez we wanted to sail to Australia (via Hawaii) and started going to various US sailboat shows to pick our second boat. Believe it or not, my wife kept picking various larger Hunter models!! By then, these all had even tinier anchor lockers (especially compared to the one we already had completely rebuilt on our Legend 43), highly impractical (e.g. round) cockpits, no more toerails, no seaberth, etc. etc. So I told her it would be easier to keep rebuilding our Legend 43, especially since it had proven itself so well.

    Rivendel II (aka Lucky Rivendell) ended up bringing us safely to Mexcico (2x), Hawaii (2x), Tuvalu, Australia (2x), Fiji (2x) and Vanuatu (9 seasons; doing a medical assistance project) without tearing a sail or breaking anything of significance (not counting electronics and engine). After some 50,000 NM of criscrossing the NE and SW Pacific in December 2008 Rivendel II was sold in Brisbane (for about the same dollar amount we paid for her in 1991!).

    We sure do miss her, but are now starting our new adventures in a rural mountain area of Idaho, with a superb view of Palisades Lake. If the light is just right and we shield our eyes a bit, we can almost believe we are still on the Pacific ocean.....

    Flying Dutchman”

    If you want a copy of the Corenman’s West Marine blue water manual, call the store at this site. If they don’t hav3 one, let me know, and I will send you mine.

    JamesG161 likes this.
  9. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    2,238 posts, 492 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    I had private chat discussion with a SBO member who had logged 26,000+ sailing miles on the exact year and model of my boat, Hunter 430.

    He has sailed from Aleutians down to Upper South America and back several times in open Pacific Waters.
    He was going through the Panama Canal on his way to Miami when he appeared on SBO. Last I heard from him, he was crossing the Gulf to New Orleans. This is not to say, he didn't make it there.

    I asked what the biggest seas "our Category A" boat had seen.
    Ans: ≈ 20 foot

    How was the ride?
    Ans: No problem. He said the theoretical Hull speed is exceeded when "surfing" those waves. about 12 knots versus ≈8 knots.

    He then added this additional "Safety" information about this Hunter.
    "There is no way to put the rails in the water, while under sail!" In other words, tipping the boat over.

    Have you ever feared losing the boat to the weather and sea?
    Ans: No.
    My experience is not so Adventuresome.
    ≈8 foot seas, 35 knot winds, blinding rain, Lightning .... Cabin closed, engine running, Main sail full, no headsail.
    Ans: No problems, but what a ride!

    What I have tried and experienced that may be just my boat, but I suspect is Hunter design 1995-2002 at least.
    Ans: With no seas, steady 20 knot winds, close reach, full OEM main and headsail furled.

    My boat tended to bow down or nose into the water, thus raising the rudder a bit. Helm control was tough. As I pulled of close reach, her nose came up and rudder control was easy. In Auto Pilot, the boat reacted the same way.

    Wind gusts didn't seem to matter, since as the boat heeled a bit more, the sails "spilled the wind gust"

    My Conclusions for my Hunter.
    I am not worried about my Class A boat in open waters, but matching the sea condition, winds and sail reefing makes me, the Captain, responsible for my boat.

Hunter faucets and parts
Replacement fixtures, hoses, sprayers, washers, and more.
Cabinet catch for many Hunters
Used on a variety of Hunters from the Legend-era to present. In stock!
Hunter strainers and filters
For engines, gensets, AC, and more.