BEST OFFSHORE CRUISING BOATS

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(updated 20 June, 2000)

The following boats were selected by using a Fuzzy Logic process on seven basic evaluation factors:   Displacement / LWL ratio, Sail Area / Displacement ratio, V maximum / V hull, Capsize Risk factor, Comfort factor, LOA / Beam ratio and Acceleration. Fuzzy Logic allows boats to be scored according to how "close" they are to the optimal value selected for these variables. The trick is in how you select these optimal values.

To reduce my personal bias, I calculated the optimal values by averaging the data from nine well recognized cruising boat designers, Cruising World Magazine, and several European designers. The data was then averaged   to generate the optimal values and calculate the standard deviation.   Figure 1 contains the average values for the seven fuzzy variables for each designer, calculated from a total of 151 boats.

 DESIGNER S/D D/L CF CR Vm/Vh L/B ACCEL ALBERG 15.88 378 31.2 1.67 1.08 3.38 .053 ALDEN 16.65 326 42.6 1.57 1.06 3.77 .056 CREALOCK 15.81 341 36.8 1.64 1.06 3.34 .053 BREWER 16.37 261 33.1 1.69 1.07 3.34 .065 HESS 17.47 256 25.9 1.84 1.13 3.19 .048 HOOD 15.09 325 42.7 1.57 1.05 3.65 .050 MASON 16.53 349 41.8 1.62 1.06 3.51 .049 PAINE 16.97 263 32.7 1.73 1.08 3.33 .075 PERRY 16.72 260 36.0 1.69 1.07 3.35 .070 MISC. 17.45 294 36.6 1.66 1.09 3.33 .060

FIG. 1 AVERAGE VALUES (151 BOATS)

An additional Fuzzy variable has been added to the selection criteria, Acceleration.  The Acceleration forces that the crew experiences as a boat rolls can promote fatigue through sleep deprivation, which leads to mistakes and accidents. The Acceleration calculation is based on the beam and roll period. The roll period uses an approximation for the Moment of Inertia based on research by SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers). A 10 degree roll, with the crewmember located 1.5 feet inside the point of maximum beam, is assumed.   The following boats were selected using the "somewhat close" fuzzy hedge.

UNDER 30 FEET

 MORGAN 30 MORGAN 0.425 ERICSON 29 KING 0.194 CAPE DORY 28 ALBERG 0.12

30 – 40 FEET

 ERICSON 39 KING 0.889 SHANNON 37 SCHULZ 0.785 CREALA 40 CREALOCK 0.777 HORIZON 39 BORGE 0.777 DOUGLAS 32 BREWER 0.701 NORDIA 39 VAN DAM 0.575 MORRIS 34 PAINE 0.518 SIROCCO 34 MS HOLTROP 0.491 ERICSON 39M KING 0.472 CAPE DORY 36 ALBERG 0.467 ROBINHOOD 36 ALBERG 0.467 ROBERTS 38 ROBERTS 0.453 VANCOUVER 36 HARRIS 0.45 BLUE PETER DEVLIN 0.444 CHRIS CRAFT APACHE 37 S&S 0.42 CAL 40 LAPWORTH 0.414 LITTLE HARBOR 38 HOOD 0.411 CONTEST 38 ZAAL 0.389 CORBIN 39 CORBIN 0.383 PACIFIC SEACRAFT 31 CREALOCK 0.336 VALIANT 39 CE PERRY 0.315 PEARSON 40 SHAW 0.31 ENDURANCE 38 IBOLD 0.309 HR 382 RASSY 0.279 PACIFIC SEACRAFT 34 CREALOCK 0.268 CT-38 SLOOP WARICK 0.257 VALIANT 40 PERRY 0.244 COLOMBIA 34 TRIPP 0.224 EXCALIBUR 36 VAN DE STADT 0.213 IRWIN 38 IRWIN 0.199 FAST PASSAGE 39 GARDEN 0.172 BENFORD 39 BENFORD 0.162 HALLBERG-RASSY 39 FRERS 0.163 NAJAD 390 KARLSSON 0.14 VANCOUVER 38PH TAYLOR 0.056 TAYANA 37 PERRY 0.015 ALLIED PRINCESS EDMUNDS 0.009

40 – 50 FEET

 SOU'WESTER 43 RHODES-HINCKLEY 1 HALLBERG-RASSY 42 FRERS 0.992 PACIFIC SEACRAFT PH 40 CREALOCK 0.975 CAMBRIA 40 WALTERS 0.962 LAFITTE 44 PERRY 0.898 ALDEN 46/50 MK II ALDEN 0.858 PACIFIC SEACRAFT 40 CREALOCK 0.815 SEQUIN 44 S&S 0.72 CABO RICO 40 PAINE 0.717 TARTAN 42 JACKETT 0.712 HINCKLEY 42 McCURDY & RHODES 0.71 LITTLE HARBOR 42 HOOD 0.71 NAJAD 420 KARLSSON 0.635 CONTEST 42 ZAAL 0.61 ALDEN 48 ALDEN 0.576 VALIANT 42 PERRY 0.539 PACIFIC SEACRAFT 44 CREALOCK 0.526 BLOCK ISLAND 40 TRIPP 0.523 HEDONISTE 44 IBOLD 0.512 BREHERET 45 CHAUVEAU 0.504 OCC IDEAL CRUISING YACHT OCEAN CRUISING CLUB 0.438 TROUBADOUR 44 CUSTOM POCOCK 0.438 BRISTOL 45.5 HOOD 0.429 ALDEN 44 ALDEN 0.427 HALLBERG-RASSY 49 RASSY/ENDERLEIN 0.415 ROBINHOOD 40 ALBERG 0.402 CALIBER 47 McCREARY 0.394 HINCKLEY BERMUDA 40 TRIPP 0.374 CAMBRIA 44-46 WALTERS 0.372 TAYANA 42 HARRIS 0.333 IRWIN 42 IRWIN 0.327 JONMERI 48 NYMAN 0.314 FREEDOM 45 PEDRICK 0.262 FREEDOM 45 CC MULL 0.262 ACAJUTLA 42 BREWER 0.257 MASON 43 MASON 0.247 SS CUSTOM 42 S&S 0.247 CABO RICO 38 CREALOCK 0.244 MASON 44 MASON 0.239 DESIGN NUMBER 37 WHITE 0.229 SHANNON 43 SCHULZ 0.193 TOPPER HERMANSON 0.177 ROYAL PASSPORT 49 PERRY 0.174 TRINTELLA 47 HOLLAND 0.163 WESTERLY 43 DUBOIS 0.147 COLOMBIA 43 MK III TRIPP 0.133 ISLAND PACKET 44 JOHNSON 0.125 BRISTOL 41.1 0.12 BREWER AHQUABI BREWER 0.092 BRISTOL 40 HOOD 0.085 WHISPER TANTON 0.08 TAYANA 48 PERRY 0.076 MALO 42 OHLSEN 0.063 ENDEAVOUR 42 0.061 VALIANT 42 RS PERRY 0.021 PILOTHOUSE CUTTER DIX 0.021 ROYAL PASSPORT 41 PERRY 0.018

OVER 50 FEET

 IRWIN 52 IRWIN 0.716 ROYAL 58 PH KETCH CONTEMPORARY YACHTS 0.415 LITTLE HARBOR 54 HOOD 0.404 KANTER 51 EMPACHER 0.396 SOU'WESTER 52 HINCKLEY 0.293 S & S CUSTOM 50 PH S&S 0.28 HALLBERG-RASSY 53 FRERS 0.232 ALDEN 52 ALDEN 0.227 SOU'WESTER 51 RHODES-HINCKLEY 0.146 VALIANT 50 PERRY 0.12

Take these results with a grain of salt. Not all the boats on this list are great world cruisers, they just share a set of common features that indicate a suitability for offshore use, as defined by a group of recognized experts. If your evaluating a boat for offshore cruising, and its not on this list, it would be prudent to determine why. Look at the factors that are different and make sure the "trade offs" they represent are acceptable. Don’t hesitate to ask the designer for an explanation, and apply that to your personal requirements. For example, a crew of four young men may put more emphasis on performance than an older couple. For the guys, lower disp/lwl ratios, higher sail area/disp ratios, lower comfort factors, and higher capsize risk may be acceptable. An older couple will probably be more interested in a higher disp/lwl ratio, high comfort factors, and low capsize risk.

The complete data base and details about the fuzzy logic process used to select these boats can be downloaded, Download the Data Base, for your use.   The file is available as a ZIP or regular XLS.