Open Ocean Sailing – Tips on Choosing the Right Vessel

Published: 20th August 2009
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Deep-sea - seafaring is more than leisure; it is a learning platform, surveillance post, a transportation technique for awareness, and a delivery procedure for appreciation. Ocean sailing is often both bodily and mentally taxing.

Ocean cruising can be one of the most depressing and enjoyable sports available, both at the same time. Ocean cruising folks have learned how to handle their lives, as well as relationships and money, because they have to. Ocean sailing presents bona fide problems that require true solutions, that can't be dismissed. Survival is at stake here.

Blue-water cruising is an enlightening opportunity that has full potential for the development of experience, skills, and attitudes that are not easy to teach in the boundaries of the classroom.

Ocean sailing is a unbelievable tool for honing personal and team skills. Bluewater sailing is at the outset, a most wonderful and therapeutic experience. But it has its specific risks that necessitate special care to steer clear of dangers.

Sailboats were used by the Europeans several thousand years ago. But designs have altered as have the sailors sailing them. Designers of ocean going sailboats have taken how boats are sailed at present into consideration, taking into account the additional weight and momentum the boats will need. And yes, cruising sailboats are compromises in every sense.

Yachts built for speed are to a great extent more fragile than those built for robustness. But a boat's seaworthiness has a lot to do with crew understanding. Seaworthiness means something very distinctive on secluded lakes than on immense oceans.

While stability is compromised the vessel is not equivalent to the conditions it is encountering. Perhaps the subsequent broader definition is closer to what present designers aim for; a seafaring sailboat, is one that is capable of recovering rapidly from a 180-degree overturn without considerable damage and without sinking.

Durable enough to look after herself, free of fierce, rolling and beating, well-balanced, obedient on the helm, and effortlessly handled at all times responsive downwind and able to break to windward, or in any case hold her ground, in all but the heaviest of surroundings. She must able to carry more than enough crew with good headroom and comfort, together with water and food for extended periods and be capable of good speeds on protracted passages.

In Principles of Yacht Design, Larsson and Eliasson record that the seaworthiness of a sailing ship depends on its dynamic performance in a seaway; and dynamic affects, unsurprisingly, are much more intricate to measure or calculate than static effects. (Any vessel may be turned turtle by a breaking wave with a height 55% of her total length.

Descriptions of blue water sailboats invoke names such as Heritage and Contessa,. So what are the key features to try to find in a blue water sailboat?

Delightful to the eye. Can you love the boat- so she has to make your heart smile while you gaze at her.

Big enough to be sea-kindly and secure in dreadful weather, yet small enough for one to handle

Sound condition and structure, and a dry boat.

First-class ventilation. Air conditioning will not be a main concern on the high seas.

Heavy displacement cruiser with a full keel.

Diesel engine powered at not less than 3 hp/ton. Sufficient power to make your way motoring or motor-sailing when needed

Firm fiberglass hull. Straightforward to look after.

Fiberglass deck (no teak). Easy to maintain, and no water leaks.

Plenty of easily reached and well-ventilated storage. This will be your home, so you need enough room for clothes and supplies for the trip

Good solid footing while walking around the deck, and excellent drainage in downpours or shipping green water.

Through-bolted deck cleats. Sufficient for dock lines.

Anchors, one with bare minimum of 200' chain. Second anchor for typhoon conditions, and lots of chain for normal conditions.

Large fuel tank. Sufficient to give you a range of at least 500 n miles.

Outsized water tanks. A sufficient amount to last the crew 3-4 weeks without rainwater catching, or watermaker.

Keel-stepped mast. Negligible upkeep and more reinforcement than deck-stepped.

Good foot room on deck for moving around. Indispensable for safety.

Decent handholds and headroom below decks. Headroom for a six foot person, and rock-solid handholds for moving around when the seas are up.

Sails: Jib with roller furling. Effortless to handle from the cockpit.

Sails: Staysail that hanks on. Bulletproof system, no furling gear to seize up, and easy to detach and switch to storm jib.

Sails: Storm jib. For use on the inner forestay (replacing the staysail) in squall situations--the Tayana 37' heaves to well with this configuration.

Sails: Storm trysail with separate mast track. For use in a storm, devoid of having to remove the mainsail. Also, valuable for stability while sailing downwind.

Dodger, splash cloths, and bimini. Dodger with good visibility ahead to keep the wind out of the cockpit, and along with splash cloths maintain crew in the cockpit dry when water is shipped, and Bimini to screen us from the tropical sun.

All berths accommodating 6'. Good breathing space and relaxation for a tall crew.

Refrigerator. Negligible electrical requirements but yet enough space to keep perishable provisions cool, a freezer would also be excellent.

Starting battery separate from house batteries Enough electrical storage to light and chill the yacht, plus run your essential electrical equipment without disproportionate recharging requirements.

Autopilot. To stand in for the helmsman when under power.

Swim ladder An uncomplicated to drop and recover swim ladder on the side of the boat.

Lee cloths for the cabin berths. Comfort and sanctuary for the off-watch crew to snooze below.

Propane range. Able to cook hearty meals without electricity

Instruction manuals. So you can learn how to repair things, or where to go for guidance and spare parts.

Maintenance records. To know what the service record is for the engine, hull, plumbing, and electrical system, etc.

Diesel heater. To keep you toasty on cold nights.

Life raft, man overboard module, flares, fire blanket, CO detectors, and fire extinguishers. Vital safety equipment.

Marine VHF radios and single side band. Important communication gear.

Dinghy with outboard motor. Ability to get around when at anchor.

Radar. Critical for navigating at night when near land, or in shipping lanes, off course in fog or when approaching an unknown anchorage.

Wind instruments (vane and speed) - Wind instruments very useful

Depth sounder. Depth sounder vital.

Mike Dickens, the author, is a boat owner and owner/Broker of Paradise Yachts in Florida USA.

Paradise Yachts offers used quality yachts to customers worldwide.

Visit our website to view our selection of Used Trawlers, Motor Yachts, and Sailboats .

National and international sales. We ship Used Yachts and Boats worldwide. Located in Florida, USA. 904/556-9431

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