Your current favorite blue water boat - 50' or less

So,  I'm introducing a fun topic to hold us over through the virus. 

What blue water boats do you favor for world cruising.   A small crew, 2 to 4 or 5 people tops. 
I grew up lusting after boats like Pacific Seacraft,  Valiant yachts, Hans Christians and that sort.   
But now we have X-yachts, Hallberg-Rassy, and more modern performance cruisers. 
So, while we wait out the plague, what's your fantasy 40-50 foot blue water yacht? 
Pictures encouraged! 

 

MFH125

Member
164
166
It changes from week to week...

Recently, though, I've been quite taken with some of the European aluminum sailboats for high latitude cruising.  Key features I like: the no-nonsense look of the unpainted aluminum hulls and decks, pilothouses or well thought out hard dodgers, and very protected cockpits.

Boats like the Boreal 44, or the Dijkstra designed series of Bestevaers from K&M yachts, fit the bill.  My current favorite, though, is Dick Zaal's FAN FAN.  She''s an older design, but she's fast, big enough to be comfortable while still being easy to sail short handed, and ruggedly good looking.  She has completed the 2009 OSTAR (3rd place, fasted daily run of the fleet at 216 nautical miles), and been sailed around the world by Uwe Röttgering.

3-464-999-k3r.jpg

3-239-999-v1k.jpg UWE_6182.jpg

UWE_6266.jpg

But I'm definitely someone who dreams more about Chilean or Icelandic fjords than tropical islands.

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,819
3,090
Edgewater, MD
Going full friggin' expeditionary- a Van De Stadt Samoa 47' or perhaps an Amel would be my choice.  I'd have to get super educated on the care and feeding of aluminum hulls.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,269
5,176
Kent Island!
It changes all the time, but I am totally off cats now since I have seem hurricanes pick big ones up and toss them. Lying at anchor in a hurricane is stressful enough without worrying about getting launched onto a building or something. All I had to worry about was dragging :rolleyes:

Here is my #1 criteria: At some point you may be in a storm so bad that you can do nothing but hope the boat stands up to it. Being in a boat that the designers thought would NEVER go offshore is not comforting at all and you need some confidence in your vessel. Even if two boats are identical, the one you THINK is marginal will have you calling yuppie 911 and being helo'ed off a boat that is undamaged and floating on her lines because you are scared.

I like Pacific Seacraft and Valiant for this reason. I have worked on a fair number of them and always thought they were well made. I do not like the BendyHunters I worked on for the same reason, they seemed to cheap out in too many places. I know someone took a Catalina 30 around Cape Horn, but IMHO the smaller ones were not really ever intended to do anything like that. I think the 47(48??) was made much tougher and maybe the 42s.

I dislike any boat with wide open cabin spaces, this is death in heavy weather. I think boat shows would do a service to customers if the boats were all winched over to 45 degrees heel angel at the dock. That big "looks like my living room" cabin suddenly is not so cool and you can see where you could actually sleep. That "island berth" is really a "fall on the floor berth" now.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

MFH125

Member
164
166
I dislike any boat with wide open cabin spaces, this is death in heavy weather. I think boat shows would do a service to customers if the boats were all winched over to 45 degrees heel angel at the dock. That big "looks like my living room" cabin suddenly is not so cool and you can see where you could actually sleep. That "island berth" is really a "fall on the floor berth" now. 
It doesn't take heavy weather, just going upwind in anything but flat water can render a wide open cabin plan difficult or dangerous.  I look at some of the interiors of Wally's, and while they are admittedly beautiful, I wonder how one's supposed to get to the head if you're going upwind in 25 knots true.

I also agree with you completely about the psychology of heavy weather.  Having a boat that you trust, makes a huge difference.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

ChrisJD

Member
255
172
Boston, MA
I suppose it depends on the use case.  My own long-term plan is to shove off in my early 50s if it all works out, sail the boat down to the Caribbean each winter, and use it as a floating second home, so not true ocean-crossing but definitely cruising.  For that, my eye's been on a Passport 470 since I actually got aboard one at the Newport show a few years back, in part because I'm a sucker for Bob Perry's designs, and in part because I like the center cockpit design for a cruising couple (you can get farther away from your s/o if you need to brood).

If we decide to be more ambitious and try to Pacific Puddle Jump one day I'd probably want something more true "blue water" - overbuilt and with a longer waterline - and so am also mildly obsessed with the Outbound 46.  Rugged outside, beautiful down below, and laid out for maximum ease of access - even the through hulls on those things are pretty.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,242
1,722
Canada

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,269
5,176
Kent Island!
I suppose it depends on the use case.  My own long-term plan is to shove off in my early 50s if it all works out, sail the boat down to the Caribbean each winter, and use it as a floating second home, so not true ocean-crossing but definitely cruising.  For that, my eye's been on a Passport 470 since I actually got aboard one at the Newport show a few years back, in part because I'm a sucker for Bob Perry's designs, and in part because I like the center cockpit design for a cruising couple (you can get farther away from your s/o if you need to brood).

If we decide to be more ambitious and try to Pacific Puddle Jump one day I'd probably want something more true "blue water" - overbuilt and with a longer waterline - and so am also mildly obsessed with the Outbound 46.  Rugged outside, beautiful down below, and laid out for maximum ease of access - even the through hulls on those things are pretty.
FYI - Circumnavigators starting from the East Coast of the USA will sometimes tell you USA to Bermuda was the roughest part of the entire trip. You can be in life-threateningly bad conditions a day out of many East Coast ports. Don't go thinking there are "ocean sailing" boats and "island boats", if you can't swim home - you are in the ocean! Not that a Passport can't be an ocean boat, I like them :)

 

ghost37

Member
185
35
Boston
If we decide to be more ambitious and try to Pacific Puddle Jump one day I'd probably want something more true "blue water" - overbuilt and with a longer waterline - and so am also mildly obsessed with the Outbound 46.  Rugged outside, beautiful down below, and laid out for maximum ease of access - even the through hulls on those things are pretty.
The Outbounds are great boats. I've crewed on 2 US to Caribbean runs. They're not particularly eye-catching (to my eye), and they dont have any fancy or cutting edge features (a good thing), but it just gets the job done. Super functional and well built (huge structural grid with no liner, 1/2 safety glass windows, rack and pinion steering, list goes on ). The tankage is absurd for a 46 (really a 44) footer. I believe 210 gallons of diesel and water. Gives a ton of flexibility offshore.  So yeah, I've take one!

 

El Borracho

Verified User
6,698
2,664
Pacific Rim
If we decide to be more ambitious and try to Pacific Puddle Jump one day I'd probably want something more true "blue water"
The PPJ does not ever test a boat's blue water capability. Like KIS said above, a day out of Boston might well be a better test.

Swan 47. Bulletproof. Still turns heads wherever you go, and it's like living inside a fine piece of furniture.
Vs. my SC50. Still turns heads wherever you go, and it's like living inside a fun sailing boat.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
27,269
5,176
Kent Island!
Personality Test:

You are beating to windward and making slow progress. You think to yourself "This boat is kind of slow, but no way would I give up my generator, heat, AC, watermaker, freezer, big TV, and washing machine just to go faster".

You are beating to windward and making great progress. You think to yourself "This boat doesn't have a generator, heat, AC, watermaker, freezer, big TV, and washing machine, but no way would I give up going faster to get that stuff".

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,242
1,722
Canada
The PPJ does not ever test a boat's blue water capability. 
The trip back might.  Skip Allan’s account of his serious ordeal on Wildflower off N. California (en route back from Hawaii) is, I think, on many levels (boat prep/readiness, the human dimension, etc etc) excellent reading for anyone going offshore.  Serious respect.

Here: 




 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
6,242
1,722
Canada
Vs. my SC50. Still turns heads wherever you go, and it's like living inside a fun sailing boat.
Having crewed on one, delivery back from Hawaii (is this you, D? :) ), I love them but can’t imagine dealing with one singlehanded.  (Size of the sails intimidates me...).  But if I had the budget for one, I’m sure I could figure it out :) :)

 

Black Sox

Super Anarchist
3,124
1,180
Dublin, Ireland
It doesn't take heavy weather, just going upwind in anything but flat water can render a wide open cabin plan difficult or dangerous.  I look at some of the interiors of Wally's, and while they are admittedly beautiful, I wonder how one's supposed to get to the head if you're going upwind in 25 knots true.

I also agree with you completely about the psychology of heavy weather.  Having a boat that you trust, makes a huge difference.
When I'm the proud (arrogant, filthy rich, obnoxious) owner of a large Wally yacht and I have an urgency upwind in 25 true, I have no intention of getting off my fat arse and slogging my way to the head. Either the head will come to me or I'll have staff to take care of that sort of thing.

Pshaw.

Swan 47. Bulletproof. Still turns heads wherever you go, and it's like living inside a fine piece of furniture.

View attachment 359134
There's just something about a Nautor Swan...

Given that it will absolutely never happen for me and so I won't have to stand by my words, I am hereby categorically stating that the best blue water boat in the world, ever, past present or future, for me or anyone else, is a Nautor Swan 65. No arguments, don't even try.

(Disclaimer: In the event that I win a US Powerball or similar, and can actually get onto/into a Swan 65, I am quite prepared to say I was wrong.)

 




Top