Originally Posted by O C Diver
I run a fair amount at night and my biggest concern is hitting floating debris from cargo ships. If you are passage making, you are running at night. . . . I want a steel hull with a real collision bulkhead. IMO, if you are not running at night, you don't need a passagemaker.
I have traveled thousands of miles offshore and have never seen anything big enough to do damage semi-submerged (ie, too low to return a decent radar echo) in the water more than 20 miles offshore. Day or night, I regard the risk of hitting a container offshore as negligible, but even during the day, I suspect that I am unlikely to see a semi-submerged container. I may be wrong about the remoteness of the risk of encountering a semi-submerged container (and I am not sure how much damage would be done to my hull if I hit it at 8.5 knots), but if the risk is to great to disregard, wouldn't one need a steel hulled vessel, day or night?
By the way, if we hit something and start taking on water, my plan is to grab the ditch bag (containing an EPIRB, VHF with GPS, and sat phone) and hop in my life raft. (Actually, if conditions permit, we will hop in my (boat deck mounted) dinghy and take the life raft with us.