Perfect Blue Water Sailboat

The perfect blue water sailboat is a work in progress.

Novice builders and beginning yacht designers have been trained in the US to accept the notion of a trade off between sea worthiness, comfort, performance and cost.

Appropriate Freeboard

viking boatHigh freeboard improves buoyancy with no decrease in hull speed. Sailboats at rest with low freeboard only look faster than many of their high freeboard counterparts. Unless the boat has the general shape of a log, the heel of the vessel increases the freeboard presented to the wind.

Centerboard Slot, Gybing board, Forward Rudder and Canard

The nature of  the Murrelet centerboard is not well understood. MacGregor Yachts states in the cruiser’s brochure that

A long, thin airfoil is far more efficient than a short, wide one. This is why racing sailboat keels are deep, and why sailplane wings are long and thin.

Competing Hull Forms Bethwaite

The competing hull forms in Murrelet (displacement in the bow and planing aft) bring up some interesting aspects in sailing the cruiser. Because the manufacturer built so many pocket cruisers, the best hull form and ballast configuration was extensively studied.

Stability Gained By Balance

Boats can be split into two categories: the ones that dig holes in the water and the ones that travel on top. Race boats, runabouts, fast cruisers, sport fisherman and military patrol craft are part of the planing fraternaty.

Long Keels Less Seaworthy

Time to wake up! This happens all the time

I’ve seen people discussing liferafts and such, but for me this big issue here is keels. The four crew on Cheeki died because the boat’s keel fell off, probably very suddenly, and this is not, as some have suggested, an unusual occurrence.

Canoe Ocean Sailing

Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum was from Nova Scotia, Canada. He owned several ships as well as commanding many others. After loosing one of his ships, the Aquidneck, on a sandbank in Brazil, he and his family sailed the Liberdade, a canoe of about 35 foot, from the site of the grounding to Washington DC USA, his new home.

Ocean Cruising Comfort

I’m occasionally asked if I miss the larger, deep draft sailboat. The answer is always no. That type of craft now seems to me like a helpless one-legged seabird soaring above the surface of the sea, never able to safely land or seek shelter.

Speed, Strong, Flotation = Safety

Speed is Safety

“Unfortunately, the speed range for typical displacement boats between 20 and 50 feet is only five to 10 knots- not nearly enough for many recreational roles. True, slow moving, full displacement vessels are reasonably efficient at carrying heavy loads because buoyancy forces sustain the weight for free, and only modest engine power is needed to slide it along.

Planing vs Displacement Sailing

There are four modes of sailing. Displacement mode, forced mode, planing, and the 4th mode. Obviously many ocean sailboats do not plane and hence there is no reason to learn sail planing techniques on those boats. In fact it is just the opposite.