confused as to what to look for in a blue water boat

SFS

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Aug 18, 2015
1,984
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
To be blunt, the single most important consideration in selecting a "blue water boat" (whatever that is) is the ability of the captain and crew to sail it. At the risk of offending, frankly, anyone asking that question isn't...
This.
 
Oct 10, 2019
114
Signet 20 0 Ithaca
"Plan for the worst, hope for the best" is my motto... Plus there's plenty of potentially great boats out there for 30-50k, so don't break the bank on the purchase, if there's any left over money get some cool toys, especially nav toys...
 

SFS

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Aug 18, 2015
1,984
West Marine Kayak Tampa Bay
For consideration of boats AND for blue water training, this site may be of use:

 
Nov 22, 2011
984
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Good point, although that may be a bit of exaggeration... for most boats. My boat was under-maintained in some areas but I would guess 20% of the purchase price in mostly DIY work is enough to bring it up to ready to cast off condition. @fred1diver judging from your past posts you seem to be a hands on/DIY kind of guy so you should be able to keep the upgrade costs down but there are still some big expenses like sails and electronics that you just need to throw some money at.

That is blunt, and that last part may not be very accurate. Anyway, I enjoy these discussions about the merits of various boats. The first point is valid about the captain and crew being the most important part of the equation. Years ago I read an article about Dave and Jaja Martin sailing around the world on a Cal 27. Not a boat generally recognized as blue water capable. The quote that stuck with me was the only major equipment failure they had was birth control.
My memory may be hazy, but if I recall they did it on a Cal 25.
 

leo310

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Dec 15, 2006
476
Catalina Catlina 310 Campbell River BC
Question , where do you plan to sail, Med, Crib, Asia, NZ? Let say you want to sail in the Med. then look for a boat in that location as they will be fitted for 230volt system. Then if you find that this life is not you cup of coffee, selling the boat could be easier. Now let say you want to sail in the Crib., then you might want to look at a cat due too shallow waters. In all cases a true blue water boat cost, could start around 500k, here's a link for a blue water design Our NEW home (for now)... 500 mile TEST SAIL on a Kraken 50! [EP 145] - YouTube
 
Aug 17, 2013
635
Grampian G26 Ottawa/Gatineau
ok, thank you for all the great answers, I would like to sail, maybe not around the world, but part of it, I would be leaving eastern Canada and be going down south towards Florida in the first year, then I would like to go to the Bahamas and all the nearby islands, that would be the start of my journey.

I've been sailing for the last 15 years, but I do realize that I still have a lot to learn, my main question was mainly to narrow down my search.
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,356
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
ok, thank you for all the great answers, I would like to sail, maybe not around the world, but part of it, I would be leaving eastern Canada and be going down south towards Florida in the first year, then I would like to go to the Bahamas and all the nearby islands, that would be the start of my journey.

I've been sailing for the last 15 years, but I do realize that I still have a lot to learn, my main question was mainly to narrow down my search.
For the ICW and the Bahamas, any boat with a draft of less than 6 feet will suffice. The only prerequisite to sailing either is your ability to independently unground the boat.
 
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Jan 4, 2010
993
Farr 30 San Francisco
For the Caribbean I don't think it has to be that "blue" if you have patience to wait for weather windows and are willing to motor some you can go from Florida to Venezuala with a handful of overnights to two nighters. Plan to sail to Europe bit different
 
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Jan 19, 2010
10,223
Hobie 16 & Rhodes 22 Skeeter Charleston
Hey @fred1diver

If it were me, (and I hope some day it is)... I'd start in North Carolina Outer Banks and slowly work my way to Main over the summer months and then meander back to Oriental NC by November. Then work my way south once hurricane season is mostly over... Might pop off to the bahamas but I think I'd much rather go to the Dominican Republic for a month and then find mysel in Belize ... then Cozumel.. and eventually back to the gulf states and be ready to start my way back to main as things started warming up. I'd never be on a passage of more than 48 to 56 hours (probably much shorter) and would only be out when the weather window was good... migh get caught in the stray T-storm but only for a short while...so I would worry more about the comfort of the boat, the draft, how much stores I could easily carry and my abililty to fix anything critical that broke.

It is fun to think about but in reality I'll be lucky to do the great loop one day and my cruising will most likely be the atlantic coast.
 
Jan 1, 2006
6,174
Slickcraft 26 Greenport, NY
Draft is a big issue. If it's primarily a coastal cruise you want to stay around the 5' area. Or go with a centerboard or retractable keel. If you really want to sail across oceans you could go with much deeper draft. That translates into more stability and better upwind performance - knowing that the majority of cruising sailing is off the wind. When you need to go upwind, you need to go upwind.
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,428
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
Len... Great video on boat discovery and options/compromises. :plus:

Good discussion about "Which Boat is good for me?"
 
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Nov 8, 2007
1,403
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
First, cruising the east coast to the Caribbean is basically coastal cruising. You are never that far from a safe harbor.

Second, the OP asked about blue water boats, not crews!

Blue water pluses:
+ Strong construction
+ Capsize screen well under 2.0 for recovery in a storm
+ Overhangs of bow and stern for comfort
+ Smaller, well drained cockpit in case you are pooped
+ Smaller ports are stronger and easier to cover
+ A number of comfort, communication, and safety features that can be added on most boats
+ Ease of do it yourself repair and maintenance
+ High water, battery and fuel capacity

That is most of what occurs to me.
 

higgs

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Aug 24, 2005
3,487
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
I did a Great Lakes cruise of 3 months and 1300 miles, half of it single handed, aboard my boat and there were a number things that I learned about making a boat your home. I think the #1 quality I appreciated was the ability of my boat to track. Whether or not one uses a vane or an electric/hydraulic AP, the unit does a lot less work with a boat that tracks well. This is especially important when broad reaching in large quartering seas. If you go electric do not even consider an above deck AP as they do not handle quartering seas well while below deck units can do it.