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Thread: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

  1. #1

    Default Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking at purchasing a 22" boat with an open cockpit sailboat. By open, I mean open to the bilge, not self draining. Rain can get in, and if knocked down the sea comes rushing in and stays there! Plus, the boat has no flotation as many don't.

    For owners of boats with open cockpits, does it seem like a big deal? I'll run a bilge pump and probably rig a boom tent for when I'm away from the boat. The knock down flooding issue is concerning, but I guess the boat will need to be sailed a bit more conservatively.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Most of the Non Dinghies at my sailing club are open keel boats, in fact we call them keelboats, where as if the have a cabin they are yachts. Only one of the 4 classes normally has any buoyancy at all. Admittedly we are an inland club, but that doesn't help if you sink.

    All those boats use a boom up cover, and yes you learn when not to push it, though I've finished a few races with water over the floor boards..

    Some people have installed buoyancy bags under seats and under the foredeck.

    The classes we sail,
    https://horning-sailing.club/rebel.php
    https://horning-sailing.club/reedling.php
    https://horning-sailing.club/ybod.php
    and the one with some buoyancy built in except for the first few,
    https://horning-sailing.club/yeoman.php
    Just an amateur bodging away..

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    we pleasure sailed and raced a couple classes of 22' keel boats w/ "open cockpits" as you described for many years

    this type of design provides incentive to sharpen one's skills

    dad had pour in place foam added to several pockets in ours which did prove handy on one occasion(adult beverages were involved)

    get/make a good boom tent and go on...

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    We sail a Buzzards Bay 14 (Nathanael Herreshoff – 17'6" LOA, 3' draft) out of Rockport harbor in Penobscot Bay, Maine. The sailing here is quite robust, though basically sheltered somewhat from the open Atlantic by the offshore islands.

    The boat is very capable and we've been out well in excess of 25 knots of wind – wet, but never a cause for concern. We do get some green water aboard, but mostly just spray when the breeze gets up to about 20+ knots. She will get her lee deck under if pressed really hard, but a slight easing of the main is all that is generally required. I have to say she is probably the most capable small open sailboat I have ever sailed – a real testament to her designer

    She is kept on a swinging mooring in Rockport harbor. We fitted an electric bilge pump - powered by a battery in the forepeak, charged by a solar panel that we leave out on the floorboards when not sailing. That has worked perfectly for three years now – getting the boom cover on (and off), with the final snaps being done up from the dinghy was such a hassle, specially when there is a swell in the harbor, which is the normal state. Now we can be off and sailing in 10 minutes or less – and the same packing up – though we often sit in the evening and enjoy a glass of rum after a good day's sailing ....

    Cheers -- George

    Edit: Having said the above, we only sail for pleasure and wouldn't set out with 20 knots steady (probably gusts to 25+) forecast – even with a reef down. Our best sailing is in winds 10 to 15 knots, maybe gusting to 20. And we are in our 70's so neither as foolhardy nor as limber as we once were. But the boat is very capable if we do get caught out, which happens to everyone from time to time --George
    Last edited by debenriver; 08-17-2020 at 08:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Isn't the BB 14 by L. Francis?

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I sailed and cruised a Lightning in LIS then in Puget Sound.
    In LIS, if you flip, you get wet , maybe stung by a jelly.
    In Puget Sound, you get cold and dead in half an hour.
    So, I recon it depends....
    Then I had a "Kutter", 21 foot open keel boat, which got very small very fast in bad weather on the Puget Sound...she gone.
    ONE slip up, ONE missed tack, ONE bad gybe, ONE buried nose...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad View Post
    Isn't the BB 14 by L. Francis?
    Yes of course you are quite right! It's the 12½ that was designed by the father.

    George
    Last edited by debenriver; 08-17-2020 at 09:36 AM.
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    And of course Bruce is also quite right - it depends on the boat and the waters you sail in and how well you know them. But the BB14 is pretty near perfect for where we sail here, which has the sort of conditions she was designed for.

    George
    To be truly free to live, one must be free to think and speak.

    A C Grayling

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I have sailed open boats year round. I used to wet store a 20' sloop year round that didn't even have an automatic bilge pump. A cover and some prudence will suit you fine. Flotation would make it safer, I use buoyancy bags in my canoes.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    George, I know Rockport well. My current boat is down in Boothbay. Rockport Harbor can be choppy for sure.

    Did you stop using the boom cover altogether? Do you live close so you can check on her after rain storms? I wonder if a battery/solar/bilge pump would keep up. Sounds like your BB14 handles more wind than I'd expect!

    We'd be sailing this new boat in and around Boothbay, which has all kinds of protected/ semi-protected waters.

    Thanks for the info everyone.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    We're in Boothbay also. I sailed a 30' open cockpit keelboat for several decades here and never found myself in danger of swamping. The Boothbay Harbor One Design is also an open cockpit keel boat that's been sailed here successfully since the 1930s. I've never heard of anyone swamping one. Some of them do have a minimal amount of flotation under the bow and stern decks. Of course not all boats are equally capable. An original BB14 built in the 1950s has sailed here every summer by a woman alone who is now in her eighties.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Below a certain size, it’s either impractical or ugly for a boat to be self-bailing.
    If not self-bailing, there are two distinct issues, what happens when you get a big rain and what happens when you get holed or swamped.
    A big rain probably won’t sink a boat, so pick between pumping and a canvas cover.
    Swamping is a different problem. If you’re knocked down by a line squall or holed by a rock or an overzealous port-tacker, a heavily ballasted boat can go down. You might try to calculate whether there’s enough flotation to float the boat if swamped.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I sail 2 open cocpit boats, a 12ft dinghy and a 16ft canoe. Both have side decks, and the canoe is the one most likely to get mee wet. Dinghy comes up dry owing to it's curved side decks, canoe swamps and I regard it as a very dangerous boat to sail in any other than ideal conditions and shallow water.
    I have been sailing it since 2003. Had to swim it in a couple of times.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    There is a way to free a swamped canoe, like a 16 ft Old Town Otca. I doubt it would work in rough water. I was taught how at the State of Maine YMCA camp. It does work in calm water.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I had a 30’ one design that was non-self bailing. There was never a problem from wind or wave. The reality is that I sail for fun and generally don’t go out in weather or seas that might cause an ultimate issue. The boat could take far more than I. The canvas cockpit cover over the boom was a pain and annoyance but I didn’t have an electric bilge pump or solar panel (back in those days) so the cover was essential. It also protected the all varnish house, coaming and cockpit, so probably it was worth it overall. Most decent boats from Pre WW II were open boats. No one worried about safety issues—-they used seamanship and common sense ( I know, those are quaint concepts these days)

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    My GP 14 is as open as they come. Originally the series one boat came with flotation bags under the seats, up in the bow, and under the stern decks. I bulkheaded my bow and stern off and added foam up under all her side decks. But yes, I would do it again, she is a powerful boat and getting dunked is inevitable as much as I hate swimming.
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Having a boat disappear beneath the waves is a sure way to ruin any day. If there is a way to avoid it, you should. That being said, open keel boats have been sailed all over the world for hundreds of years. My Herreshoff Fish doesn't have any built in buoyancy because the boat would be less convenient and less useful as a minimal overnight cruiser. I have to bear this in mind anytime we sail in conditions that are challenging. I don't know what kind of boat you are talking about but consider having a really big bilge pump that can really move water. Woody Underwood's Buzzards Bay 25 had the biggest Edson diaphragm pump I have ever seen under the floorboards. I had to think about it for about 5 seconds before realizing he was sailing an open boat out of Westport Mass- where Buzzards Bay meets the Atlantic- and it was reasonable to assume that something that went sort of wrong could go really very badly wrong very quickly if he couldn't get rid of lots of water very quickly.
    After a few heavy air sails in my Herreshoff Fish I added reef points to the jib so I could keep the boat properly balanced (weather helm) with a double reefed main. That moment when you are hit by a gust and ease the main and the boat cant keep her head up is several seconds before you founder. I also have weather boards that form a sill in the bulkhead which keeps water from filling the bow of the boat if it came aboard. Water would have top be 10" above the floorboards before the bow flooded. There are simple things you can do to increase the capabilities of an open boat.
    As always its a judgement thing and something you can work up to so you aren't surprised or unprepared if you have to deal with some rough weather.
    SHC

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    A lot of the smaller J boats, such as the J-80, are keelboats, don't know if they have positive flotation. Inflatable bags can provide good flotation, but circumstances can overcome any preparation. People above have made the points that there are capable craft, and crew, and the prudent mariner will sail within the envelope created by the combination of any given boat and crew

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    In small open boats, never cleat the main sheet, always be ready to ease the sheet. Very easy.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I sank a keelboat while racing one time, but it was a wooden boat and floated with the deck just at the water level. We towed it in and pumped it out. We did wind up having to replace the deck as there is all of a sudden a whole bunch of pressure that’s not normally there.

    I have raced open keelboats for 40 years and never worried about sinking or swamping. I would not worry about it.

    Mickey Lake
    'A disciple of the Norse god of aesthetically pleasing boats, Johan Anker'

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahp View Post
    There is a way to free a swamped canoe, like a 16 ft Old Town Otca. I doubt it would work in rough water. I was taught how at the State of Maine YMCA camp. It does work in calm water.
    Recovering a completely open canoe is easier tan a part decked one from my experience. The hulll profile also makes a difference. The Mack has a round bilge, a canoe with a flat bottom and tumblehome is much easier I have found. Rohh water is something else, you should not be out. That said I made shore in a 30 knot wind change but had no choice of where. My 6ft steering paddle saved me from swamping as I could use it as a sort of keel to steady the canoe.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Talisman doesn’t have a self draining cockpit. The bilge pump easily keeps up with rainwater. The 1600 pound lead keel keeps her pretty stiff. She never takes on water even when driven hard. It’s said Al Mason couldn’t swim so designed the Ostkust to keep him dry.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    The 33' Herreshoff "Araminta" was designed with an open cockpit originally. Some are built with self drainers and others have been built as designed. This being a displacement boat makes one wonder about it having problems. But, I have never heard of one having flooding problems. Keeps the interior well ventilated you know!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 08-20-2020 at 01:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryfeet View Post
    Most decent boats from Pre WW II were open boats. No one worried about safety issues—-they used seamanship and common sense ( I know, those are quaint concepts these days)
    With respect, arguably it's not so much that they had more seamanship and common sense - it's that they had less qualms about people dying horrible deaths and less technology with which to avoid it.

    Back around the turn of the century WP Stephens noted that "“The capsizing of small open boats and yachts, even when attended with fatal results, was too common to attract much notice” and it was reckoned that 60 people died each year in small catboats. The capsize of one NY catboat alone killed more people (mostly or all women and children) than were lost in the notorious '98 Sydney-Hobart and '79 Fastnet combined. In Australia, no less than 25 men died in the sinking of two small boats, alone. Even around WW1, entire crews could drown when their open boats capsized.

    I'm not sure about the situation in the USA, but those who were amongst the leading architects in the great post-war sailing boom in Australia and the UK specifically said that making boats safer by installing buoyancy was a major factor in growing the sport.

    I'm NOT saying that those who have experienced many happy years of sailing open boats are being careless or that the boats are deathtraps, but there seems to be no evidence that the sailors of yore were smarter or had more common sense.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I have an open wooden Drascombe Longboat. 21' 9" OA. I confess I haven't sailed her yet because I've been restoring her for a few years, ill health, lockdown etc. But I have sailed with a friend who also has one, although his is newer and GRP.
    Long story short - they are easy to sail, and go well in light winds. I've been across the bar at Findhorn a few times with my friend (very lumpy) and his boat hardly took in any water. Like me he just has a hand operated whale pump, but says the only serious use it gets is when the boat fills with rain water.

    Mine -



    General layout -

    Structures uninformed by geometry tend towards the ramshackle.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I don't think the L. Francis Herreshoff ever designed an ugly boat. However he did design a few that had uncomfortable cockpits. I remember the lovely "Quiet Tune" as having a cockpit rail that was insufferable as a place to sit. The crew was then forced to sit on the cockpit sole that was decidedly at the wrong angle to ones back when using the side as a backrest.
    For this reason some of Skipper's designs had open cockpits in order to attain enough depth for leg room. His "Araminta" which is the smallest of the clipper bowed ketches he designed did fall into this category. I found myself standing against hull sealing rather than cockpit sides but never have experienced fear of foundering as the boat is extremely seaworthy. The one that went to San Francisco was clocked at nearly fifteen knots on a close reach which speaks for her sailing ability and she is a stiff boat in high winds. Still I would not wish to go far off shore in her.

    Here is the one that my daughter Jennifer sailed on. This "Araminta" does have an enclosed cockpit with room to sit on deck with a low splash rail. I should think that this is a good arrangement as it affords creature comfort along with a self bailing cockpit that is reasonably comfortable.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I don't think the L. Francis Herreshoff ever designed an ugly boat. However he did design a few that had uncomfortable cockpits. I remember the lovely "Quiet Tune" as having a cockpit rail that was insufferable as a place to sit. The crew was then forced to sit on the cockpit sole that was decidedly at the wrong angle to ones back when using the side as a backrest.
    For this reason some of Skipper's designs had open cockpits in order to attain enough depth for leg room. His "Araminta" which is the smallest of the clipper bowed ketches he designed did fall into this category. I found myself standing against hull sealing rather than cockpit sides but never have experienced fear of foundering as the boat is extremely seaworthy. The one that went to San Francisco was clocked at nearly fifteen knots on a close reach which speaks for her sailing ability and she is a stiff boat in high winds. Still I would not wish to go far off shore in her.

    Here is the one that my daughter Jennifer sailed on. This "Araminta" does have an enclosed cockpit with room to sit on deck with a low splash rail. I should think that this is a good arrangement as it affords creature comfort along with a self bailing cockpit that is reasonably comfortable.
    Jay
    I taught for a while at Wooden Boat with Quiet Tune. Figure out comfort. A throw cushion or two outboard of the cockpit. Sit on it, knees clear the coaming and feet are on the cockpit sole.

    That said I have a big cockpit cover on my unpowered, unbatteried Romily. A really good cockpit cover does the job and a really big Gusher pump into the bilge sump deals with what makes it past the cover. Mooring issues and underway issues are kind of different.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?


    Marianita has a very comfortable "open" cockpit. Over the years I've figured out a cockpit cover scheme that keeps most of the rain water out. As Ben noted above, underway is different but she's a "coastal cruiser" based in Puget Sound, not the boat anyone sane would decide to sail from here to New Zealand in. At least as currently configured...

    I've considered making her more open-ocean seaworthy but she just isn't that type of boat, if NOAA issues a small craft advisory I stay put. It takes a lot to get her lee rail wet, at that point we are way over-canvassed. In general I sail like I ride motorcycles, with a healthy dose of prudence knowing I need to go back to work tomorrow with all my bits functioning.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    The one that went to San Francisco was clocked at nearly fifteen knots on a close reach which speaks for her sailing ability and she is a stiff boat in high winds. Still I would not wish to go far off shore in her.

    Here is the one that my daughter Jennifer sailed on. This "Araminta" does have an enclosed cockpit with room to sit on deck with a low splash rail. I should think that this is a good arrangement as it affords creature comfort along with a self bailing cockpit that is reasonably comfortable.
    Jay
    If she does 15 knots close reaching then she is just about the fastest fixed-keel yacht in the world. That's more than a J Class does close reaching in 20 knots. It's several knots more than a 12 Metre does. It's far more than Dorade or the Araminta's big sister Ticeronderoga does when close reaching. It's actually pretty much the same speed as a 100 foot canting-keel carbon fibre supermaxi like Wild Oats XI or Comanche goes close reaching in 20 knots.

    That Herreshoff must have been a very poor designer if his 12 Metres and his J Class were slower than his 33' cruiser.

    Araminta herself is rated considerably slower than a J/24, which close reaches at about 6 1/2 knots in 20 knots of wind and can't go much faster. So wow, if she can go 8.5 knots faster than a J when reaching in a breeze but be slower overall, the Araminta must be really super-slow in other conditions.

    It's a lovely, lovely boat but the guy who clocked it at 15 knots close reaching must be the same guy who told me his Beneteau carries a #1 headsail upwind in 60 knots, or the guy who had a 38 foot white pointer shark get away from him when he went fishing in a mountain stream the other day. :-)

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I just spoke to Rick Bishoprik who's father was the owner of Legendary Yachts who built the boat. His comment was that the speed of "Araminta" was close to seventeen MPH and not knots. They had a power boat that pictures were being shot from for one of their ads that did the clocking. I understand that it was done at the area in front of the St. Francis YC where the wind hoots up a bit.

    I have sailed some big catamarans in my time that turned some fast speeds but, I was surprised to hear that the "Araminta" hit such an outrageous speed in San Francisco Bay. I know that my own 28' Common Sense Sloop "Red Witch" is capable of twelve knots under the right conditions as I was once clocked by the Newport Beach Harbor Dept. Launch at that speed on the bay in Newport Beach during a Santa Ana wind. Officer Charles Davies was the one who warned us to slow down or we would be cited. He also asked, "What makes that boat go so fast?" My answer was, "Magic"

    It takes a lot of factors to coax a displacement hull to exceed her designed hull speed which can be quite a ride! My friend Grant Hoag once described sailing through the Molokai Channel in the Transpac Race with the Kenyon Dial pegged at fifteen kts for over an hour! That was in Big "Ticonderoga" when she set the record for the fastest passage in the Trans Pac at that time. In those days, the Kenyon only went to fifteen so Grant estimated that they were hitting a lot more than that during the Molokai run. He also said that it took two men on the helm to prevent her from broaching and that they also were flying more sail than they had ever dared before in such a wind! Ten minutes on the helm was more than two persons could take in that run! This kind of speed does not happen all the time, even though the new breed of planing Vende'e Globe racers are hitting some astronomical speeds!
    Jay

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    I am now building a 22’ daysailer that’s loosely based on a known and respected design, but I’ve messed with the design a lot and deserve all the blame for its flaws.
    It’s an open-cockpit fin keel daysailer with some pretty sporty numbers: SA/D about 21, D/L under 100 and Ballast ratio over 50%. In English, it’s light for its length, has a lot of sail and a lot of ballast. It will be based in Buzzards Bay, a place that’s windier than most and is subject to an occasional hurricane.
    The principal operator (me) is experienced and fairly careful but well over the hill and not as able as once was. He hopes to share the joy of sailing with kids and grandkids.
    Seems to me that given the combination of the boat, the location and the usage, the likelihood of a good knockdown swamping is very real and given the light construction and heavy ballast, the swamped boat would sink like a stone.
    To deal with this, the boat will have large buoyancy tanks.
    If they were not possible, I’d consider the boat unsafe for my use.
    Last edited by JimConlin; 08-27-2020 at 07:15 PM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    This all has been an interesting discussion, thanks everyone!

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    With respect, arguably it's not so much that they had more seamanship and common sense - it's that they had less qualms about people dying horrible deaths and less technology with which to avoid it.

    Back around the turn of the century WP Stephens noted that "“The capsizing of small open boats and yachts, even when attended with fatal results, was too common to attract much notice” and it was reckoned that 60 people died each year in small catboats. The capsize of one NY catboat alone killed more people (mostly or all women and children) than were lost in the notorious '98 Sydney-Hobart and '79 Fastnet combined. In Australia, no less than 25 men died in the sinking of two small boats, alone. Even around WW1, entire crews could drown when their open boats capsized.

    I'm not sure about the situation in the USA, but those who were amongst the leading architects in the great post-war sailing boom in Australia and the UK specifically said that making boats safer by installing buoyancy was a major factor in growing the sport.

    I'm NOT saying that those who have experienced many happy years of sailing open boats are being careless or that the boats are deathtraps, but there seems to be no evidence that the sailors of yore were smarter or had more common sense.
    You make a fair point about how sailors from a previous era approached safety. However, I’m assuming that racing events often led to extreme risk taking with occasional tragic results. Another factor that seems to make our current experience a bit different is the availability of good forecasting today vs that of a hundred years ago. Frankly, I hated sailing on the US east coast in terms of potential, sudden adverse weather and thunderstorms. In my youth, in Maine, we did the best we could and played it safe on those threatening days. This century, the availability of satellite wx pics and updated alerts have given a great deal of peace of mind... or not. I’ve gotten waaaay less willing to go out when thunderstorms are even 50-100 mile or more away. In the ‘old’ days, I wouldn’t even have known about them until they were imminent in an hour or two. Even then, the severity would not be readily assessable.

    As for open boats today, we have much more ability to assess potential summertime risks, so they shouldn’t be as much of a ‘bad’ thing as they might once have been. It’s the bailing vs cockpit covers hassles of an open boat kept in the water (dock or mooring) that makes them somewhat of a pain. I hated my 15’ long boom cover with lead weights around the edges that kept it in place. It was heavy, bulky and took up space when not in place. I loved the cockpit though...

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    Fair point about forecasting improvements. The increasing number of other craft around also changes the equation. The vast majority of the fatalities for which I can find details occurred when cruising, partly when fewer potential rescue craft were around, partly because vulnerable women and children were involved, and probably because some inexpert joyriders were along. Racing risks were rarely involved. But the evidence seems to show that the sailors of old did not have superior seamanship or common sense.

    By the way, as far as racing sailors taking greater risks, it's interesting that in the 1979 Fastnet storm, which is often used to "show" that racers and their boats are unsafe, the 300 racing yachts lost 15 sailors - and two cruising yachts in the area lost 6 sailors. Unless there were 120 cruising yachts in the immediate area (which seems extremely unlikely) those who took the racing risks were statistically safer.
    Last edited by Chris249; 09-18-2020 at 07:32 PM.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Cushing, Maine
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    3,972

    Default Re: Any owners of open cockpit boats around? Would you do it again?

    One of the reasons that the Sailfish got a 4 page spread in Life when it was introduced in 194? ( don't remember the year need to look it up) was that it was the first boat that had been designed from the beginning to be truly self rescuable or at least that is what the writers thought. Certainly the dinghies of the prewar era except for I-14's and sailing canoes were not. I think Elvstrom designed the first truly wearable pfd, same with bailers. Prior to petro chemical foams it would be pretty hard to make one other than inflatable ones which I think started to come out in WWII.

    International 14's had to carry buoyancy tanks but I'm not sure that they were self rescuable in today's sense. The sliding seat sailing canoes of the pre WWII era certainly were going back to Butler's of the 1880's. This was remarked on in the press.

    Reading some of the accounts of the hiker racing on the Delaware in the 1870s, the tactic on a not infrequent capsize was to swim the boat ashore bail it and sail home. When you see rowing boats at marks in paintings of sandbagger racing, they were there to take up crew members that were discarded at the windward marks to lighten a boat.

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