When it comes to choosing a bluewater sailboat, there are many factors to consider. From the size and construction of the boat, to the navigation and power systems, it’s important to do your research and find a boat that is well-suited to your needs and capabilities. In this article, we will explore the key features to consider when choosing a bluewater sailboat, as well as some tips for finding the perfect boat for you.
Consider the features that are important to you when choosing a bluewater sailboat. Do you need a watermaker or a refrigeration system? Do you want a boat that is powered by solar panels or a generator? Make a list of the features that are most important to you and look for a boat that meets your needs.
Think about the type of sailing you plan on doing and choose a bluewater sailboat that is capable of handling the conditions you will encounter. Look for a boat with a strong and seaworthy hull, a suitable rig and sail plan, and the necessary navigation and communication systems.
Why choose a Bluewater Sailboat?
Before we delve into the specifics of choosing a bluewater sailboat, it’s important to understand what makes these boats different from other types of sailing vessels. Bluewater sailboats, also known as offshore or ocean-going sailboats, are specifically designed and built for extended voyages on the open ocean. These boats are typically larger and more durable than other types of sailing boats, and are equipped with features that allow them to withstand the rough conditions of the open water.
In contrast, other boats such as lake boats or day sailors are typically not built to withstand the same level of rough conditions and are not designed for extended voyages.
What Features Do You Need for a Bluewater Sailboat?
By taking the time to carefully consider these key features, you can find a bluewater sailboat that is well-suited to your needs and ready for the open ocean. There are several key features you should consider:
The Crucial Role of Comfort and Size:
When it comes to choosing a bluewater sailboat, size and comfort are two of the most important factors to consider. A larger boat will generally offer more stability and comfort, but it will also be more expensive to maintain and operate. On the other hand, a smaller boat may be more maneuverable and easier to handle, but it may not offer the same level of comfort and stability. Ultimately, the size of the boat you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the number of people you plan on sailing with.
They are typically larger than other types of sailing boats, with a length of at least 30 feet. This larger size provides more stability and comfort in rough conditions, as well as more space for gear and provisions.
Built to Last:
The construction of a bluewater sailboat is another important factor to consider. These boats should be built with strong, durable materials that can withstand the rigors of the open ocean. Fiberglass and steel are two common materials used in the construction of bluewater sailboats, as they are known for their strength and durability.
From Hull to Rig:
The hull of a bluewater sailboat is an essential component, as it is responsible for the boat’s stability and seaworthiness. A full-displacement hull is a good choice for a bluewater sailboat, as it is designed to cut through the water rather than ride on top of it. This makes the boat more stable and less prone to rolling in rough conditions.
There are several options to consider when it comes to the rig and sail plan of your bluewater sailboat. A sloop rig, which consists of a single mast and two sails (a mainsail and a headsail), is a common choice for bluewater sailboats. However, some boats may also have a ketch rig (two masts) or a cutter rig (two masts with multiple headsails). The type of rig and sail plan you choose will depend on your personal preferences and the type of sailing you plan on doing.
Navigating the Open Ocean:
Proper navigation is crucial when sailing on the open ocean, so it’s important to choose a bluewater sailboat that is equipped with a reliable navigation system. This should include a GPS, a radar system, and a chart plotter, as well as other navigation aids such as a compass and paper charts.
Importance of Water System and Refrigeration:
A reliable water system and refrigeration system are essential for any bluewater sailboat. Look for a boat that has a water tank with a capacity of at least 100 gallons, as well as a water-maker that can produce additional freshwater as needed. It’s also a good idea to choose a boat with a refrigeration system that can keep food fresh for extended periods of time.
Choosing the Right Energy Source:
A bluewater sailboat should be equipped with a reliable source of power, such as solar panels or a generator. Solar panels are a good choice, as they are environmentally friendly and require minimal maintenance. However, a generator may be necessary for times when there is not enough sunlight to power the boat’s systems.
When it comes to choosing a bluewater sailboat, it’s important to consider the reputation of the boat’s manufacturer. Look for a company that has a proven track record of building high-quality, seaworthy boats that are designed for the open ocean. Research the company’s history and read reviews from other sailors who have used their boats.
In addition to considering the reputation of the manufacturer, it’s also a good idea to research the specific model of boat you are interested in. Look for reviews from sailors who have used the boat in a variety of conditions, as this will give you a good idea of the boat’s capabilities and limitations.
The Bluewater Sailboat Checklist: Essential Features to Consider
There are several other factors to consider when choosing a bluewater sailboat. Some of these include:
- The boat’s storage capacity: Look for a boat that has ample storage space for all of your gear and provisions.
- The boat’s draft: The draft of a boat refers to the depth of the hull below the waterline. A boat with a shallow draft may be more manoeuvrable and able to access shallower waters, but it may not be as stable in rough conditions.
- The boat’s speed: Consider the speed of the boat and whether it is suitable for the type of sailing you plan on doing.
- The boat’s maintenance requirements: Look for a boat that is easy to maintain and has a good track record for reliability.
Choosing a bluewater sailboat is a big decision, but with careful research and consideration of the key features discussed above, you can find a boat that is well-suited to your needs and ready to take you on many adventures on the open ocean. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a beginner, there is a bluewater sailboat out there that is perfect for you.
If you are interested in learning more about the technical aspects, you may want to check out our in-depth article on the Bluewater Sailboat. In this article, we delve into the finer details of bluewater sailboat design and construction, including topics such as hull shapes, rig configurations, and materials used. This information is particularly useful for experienced sailors who are looking to understand the technical aspects of these boats in greater depth. Whether you are considering purchasing a bluewater sailboat or just want to learn more about these amazing vessels, this article is a must-read!
If you would like to see which are the best Bluewater sailing boats have a look at our Bluewater special section here. Or if you would like to investigate any sailboat that is sailing the world, with relevant data and information, then click here and use the filters to pin down what you look for.