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Old 11-14-2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Hello Everyone,

New to this website. We're in the market for our first trawler for cruising in FL, the Bahamas and possibly the northernmost Caribbean Islands. Our questions:


1) Is there a significant difference in stability / sea-worthiness / sea-kindliness of a
mid 1980s Heritage East Sundeck 36' versus a similar-sized sedan or double cabin style perhaps due to a higher center of gravity?


2) If we go to a full displacement hull (e.g. KK or Willard) will the rolliness require stabilizers underway and paravanes at anchor to minimize the effect of a "first mate" prone to motion sickness?


CS
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:30 AM   #2
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Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Short answers:

1) No....many sundecks are built on the exact same hulls as their Sedan/double cabin counterparts. Regardless, there is no significant difference IMHO. *What is below the waterline affects this more than what is above it in this case.

2)Most likely. Those boats will roll without stabilizers underway. Roll at anchor is not much different than it would be for the above semi-disp boats. All will roll at anchor if it is a rolly anchorage. All will be pleasant if it is a pleasant anchorage. I think your main concern shuld be underway. All will roll underway but it is just a difference of motion. A full displacement boat is more rythmic....some would argue more tolerable once you get used to the motion. The S/D boats have a tendency to be more jerky....maybe not as rolly as far as heeling angle, but more jerky.

-- Edited by Baker on Sunday 15th of November 2009 07:32:18 AM
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

I had the Heritage East ...Nova...* 40' Sundeck. One thing that did suprise me on this boat was how stable it was even in snotty weather. I brought it up from California to Washington on it's own keel. In certain areas it would get kind of scarry with 20'+ swells where on the top all you see is air but in the trough, all you see is water.

*

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Old 11-15-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

There are huge differences in boats designed and built for blue water, and those made for coastal cruising, lakes , bays and rivers.

The prime consideration is not this deck layout or that layout , its weather you may get "caught out" and need a SEA BOAT .

Very few "trawlers" actually are really sea boats , so its up to you to decide before purchase weather the much higher cost (+300% ) is really what you need.

Laast week a very good friend lost his De Fever of about 50 ft.

It was his pride and joy , the product of decades of customization and improvements.

He blundered in leaving with a storm coming , with Hurricane behind.Houston bound for Tampa.

The boat rolled 45deg in 14 to 18 ft seas and the design flaw of improper (for ocean work) engine room ventilation caused the boat to flounder.

Happily he was pulled off after 4 days of wallowing with 2 dead engines and 2 dead noisemakers, and the boat was anchored.

The Hooligan Navy attempted a rescue attempt on the boat but tow line was payed out AS the cutter was backing , one fouled prop resulted.DUHHHH!

Da Book precludes the cutter from towing with only one engine , my friend's was anchored , and that's the last anyone saw of her.
Anchoring in 200 ft of water with a hurricane on the way probably takes more line than even most experienced boaters have ready.



Stability at anchor is usually handled by changing anchorages , or pointing the boat into the seas. St Bart's is hard as the swells come from 2 directions , so you chose the one with the slowest period to roll in.

If you want to go out in the Blue Water , it takes a BLUE WATER boat, Or uou must be very very cautious , be prepaired for weeks of delay at times and learn weather reading.

With cheap radios stable enough to copy weather fax and a simple computer program you can be your own weather man.

There is a lot to learn , get Dave Pascoes books and Dave Geere to learn of the required design compromises between a brown water and blue water boat.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

What FF is talking about has a lot of truth, but you are just talking about island-hopping. Most sundeck trawlers should be fine for work like that if you are careful and be ready to duck into safe waters when the weather goes poopy. You're not talking about Bermuda or Hawaii, Your just want to bop around the Caribbean. Just talk to people that have done it, plan carefully, and expect the unexpected.

This is only what I've been TOLD by others that have done it in similar vessels. I'm still new, so my advice is only second-hand. But we'll be heading down there in a few years.

Good luck!
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:30 PM   #6
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

With regards to the rolling motion differences, John gave a pretty good summary. A semi-planing (the term I prefer over semi-displacement) hull with it's relatively flat after-section and sharp chines has more surface to resist rolling but this results in a fairly sharp "snap-back" at the end of each roll. A displacement hull will generally roll farther but the direction change at the end of each roll will be more gradual. The roll eases to s stop and the eases back into the roll in the opposite direction.

I know people who get seasick in a big hurry in the longer-easier type of roll as the boat sort of wallows from side to side. And I know people who are very uncomfortable or who get sick in the snappier albeit not as far over roll typical of the hard-chined semi-planing hull.

So it's a matter of personal preference. What you might want to do if it's practical is to either charter or bum rides on boats with each type of hull on a day that's a bit lumpy and see for yourself which you prefer. Or which you dislike less, which might be the more accurate observation

As to the suitability of either hull for "blue water" cruising, there is not necessarily a hard and fast rule about that, either. Just about the time you have settled on the "hard-chine, semi-planing hull equals coastal cruising, round-bottom displacement hull equals blue-water cruising" rule, you visit New England and the Canadian maritimes and take a look at the bottoms of the lobsterboats that are hauled out of the water. The folks who run these boats go out in sea conditions that would keep most recreational boaters cowering in terror in their basements, and their boats are...... semi-planing hulls.

The attached photos are of a pair of very "blue water" boats.* Both have very flat after sections and hard-chine hulls. The lobster boat (this particular one was was brand new) have these hull-shapes because in addition to reducing the amount of roll which makes life a little easier for the guys working the pots on deck, they also need to get back to port as quickly as possible with their live catch and also to get the best price.* So these boats truly do make use of the semi-planing (or with enough power fully-planing) ability of their hulls.

The 1960s or 70s photo of the Hawaiian "aku boat" (aku is the Hawaiian name for albacore tuna), a boat I was around all the time during the near 30 years I lived in Hawaii, shows the typical hull form for these locally built boats. They fished every day year round in some of the roughest waters in the world including the infamous Molokai Channel. While the photo cuts off the stern, the sharp chine and flat underbody carries back all the way to the transom where the cross-section is remarkably similar the lobster boat in the other photos.* Very shallow draft in the afterbody, very flat bottom. Both these types of boats have these hull-forms for very specific reasons, most of them having nothing to do with trying to give the crew a comfortable ride. But it does go to show that a "hard and fast" rule is not always so "hard and fast."

And since you will be cruising for pleasure, as opposed to using your boat to make the house payment and keep your family fed, you won't have to go out when the weather's crappy., So the semi-planing type of hull will probably work just fine for you if that's the kind of boat you decide best meets your needs. And, if you find you prefer of a displacement hull, it will work just fine for you, too.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Marin does bring up a point about semi displacement boats(I prefer the semi-planing moniker as well and even typed it in my first post but didn't want to confuse anyone). Speed is stability. My boat has a very nice ride in crappy weather and likely has a hull similar to the lobster boats. Sportfishing boats are very seaworthy as well. Obviously, you are not going to get too much range out of a boat on plane. But it is something that should be discussed.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:26 AM   #8
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

"The folks who run these boats go out in sea conditions that would keep most recreational boaters cowering in terror in their basements, and their boats are...... semi-planing hulls."

But they have proven boats and DO not go out very far from safety.

The few rough miles to port and the presence of both the Hooligan Navy and their lobster pals with a tow rope are good insurance.

Island hopping in the Carib REQUIRES one to cross the Mona Passage or have the boat barged to PR.

That's about 180 miles of genuine ocean , roughed up a bit by inter island currents.

Many folks have crossed it in a good weather window and with a bit of planning.

Without flopper stoppers or hydraulic stabelization the roll check on a semi displacement boat is far more severe , far quicker than on a "rolly displacement " boat.

It is usually the accelerations that cause puking , not the depth of the roll.

Speed to smooth out the ride is great in 2 ft waves , useless in those 15 ft beauties that roll the boat 45 deg for days on end.

Coastal cruisers venture out at far greater risk than Sea Boats.

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Old 11-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Quote:
FF wrote:

"The folks who run these boats go out in sea conditions that would keep most recreational boaters cowering in terror in their basements, and their boats are...... semi-planing hulls."

But they have proven boats and DO not go out very far from safety.


Would you consider 100 to 200 miles (or more) not very far from safety?* That's how far some of the larger lobsterboats go ofshore in search of lobsters.

And while the aku boats in Hawaii were day boats, going to Pearl Harbor at dawn to catch live bait and then out to the tuna areas to fish all day and then back to the canneries in the evening, they boated in water that the Carribean only sees during a hurricane.* Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration but having been in the Molokai Channel on a day it was not happy about things (it was rolling container ships around pretty severely) it's not that much of an exaggeration.

Big Water does not automatically to equate to distance from shore.

*
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Thanks so much for all your input! *I've boated extensively in New England for the past couple of decades, *taking my 1987 23' SeaRay Weekender all over the place (Long Island, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Isles of Shoals, Casco Bay, etc. - waiting of course until the seas were 3' or less but have never used a bigger boat or boated anywhere but New England, so you're input has been extremely helpful.

After reading David Pascoe cover to cover, I was afraid that a sundeck trawler might be too "top heavy" to really handle seas well (even coastal cruising) and that I might be better off with a sedan or double cabin (especially given my first mate's seasickness), but from what I hear you saying, there really is no difference at all in the handling of a sundeck versus other semi-displacement hull models, despite their higher center of gravity. *If that's what you're saying, that's good news because the cabin layout does give you more square feet of living space. Are there any disadvantages to sundecks that I might not be aware of that should make me hesitate to purchase one and go with a different style instead?


Also, will a sundeck handle 4' - 5' seas okay (as compared with a sedan or aft cabin style), as we get those a lot in New England?


Thanks.


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Old 11-17-2009, 12:23 AM   #11
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Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Well, like any other configuration there are sundecks and there are sundecks. If your boating criteria is to be able to handle four to five foot seas, you'll want to make sure the sundeck brands and models you look at have this capability. Some will, and some won't do so well under these conditions.

You have probably done this already, but a great clue as to what works and what doesn't work in the waters you intend to boat in is to look at what everyone else is using. Are there lots of sundecks? No? Why not? Or if there are, talk to some of the owners for their opinions of how well their boats do when the water conditions kick up.

If there aren't a lot of sundecks but there are a lot of lower-center-of-gravity tri-cabins or sedans, that's another clue.

You mentioned in your first post a "first mate" that was prone to seasickness. As you know, regardless of stability, the higher off the water you get, the greater any rolling and pitching motion will be, underway and at anchor or moored. If seasickness is a consideration--- and believe me boating is no fun when your companion is not enjoying it, too--- perhaps looking for a lower style of boat would be smart. It won't be much fun if you are up driving on the flying bridge if you want to or have to run the boat from there, and your companion has to go lie down in the lowest part of the boat to minimize the motion.

If you express concern about rolling, an answer you might get from some people is to install stabilizers, either active (powered fins) or passive (birds in the water hung from stabilizer poles). Both work, no question. But...... an easy answer like "get stabilizers" can turn out to be a very expensive proposition if the boat you are thinking of buying doesn't already have them.

I have no idea what your boating budget is, but it's smart to be aware that some of the seemingly easy solutions you'll hear to your concerns--- stabilizers for reducing roll, bow thruster and/or stern thruster to improve maneuverability, etc.--- do come with a price tag, and sometimes a very hefty one. You don't want to buy a boat thinking that you'll "just install some stabilizers" if it proves to be too rock-and-rolly for your companion and then find out this costs more than you want to spend. Then you're stuck with a boat that gives a problematic ride.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 17th of November 2009 01:26:27 AM
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Old 11-17-2009, 03:19 AM   #12
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

I almost want to say that to get her sea-sickness under control would be easier than try and buy a boat that minimizes it. There is going to be a big difference in any trawler and a 23' Sea Ray, but every boat will move around. Has she seen a doctor about it?
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:37 AM   #13
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

FF* Sorry to hear of your friend losing his vessel. Why was he out and about in very bad weather to begin with? Hardly the boat's fault.

Until only a few years ago too many vessels were made with air intakes no more than 3-4 feet above the water line and on outside of hull. Careful boat shopping should avoid this problem.

Seasick? Try ginger. We are currently with another couple and she always gets sick. Yesterday in rough water she had no problem after dosing with ginger tablets from Walgreen.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:59 PM   #14
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

"Hardly the boat's fault.'

He mistakenly assumed the vessel was capable enough to make a run in front of the storm.

De Fevers have a good rep as modest cruisers , at 79 , I guess he was in a hurry >

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Old 11-17-2009, 05:09 PM   #15
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Quote:
sloboat wrote:


* The Grand Banks 49*motoryacht (sundeck, semi-planing)*is another*examples*that isn't all that much taller*in the aft section as for*it's trunk cabin sibling.** It would be interesting to compare the vertical CG of say a 49 GB sundeck motoryacht and a 49 GB classic trunk cabin configuration....
To my knowledge Grand Banks has never made a boat with the "sundeck" name.* So I'm assuming you are referring to the GB models that have a full-width aft cabin. In GB nomenclature these are called "motoryachts" and this configuration was available all the*earlier*GB models except the GB32 and (I think) the GB52.* But regardless of which name you want to apply to them, you are correct in that their profile is almost identical to the profile of the "Classic" or tri-cabin model.* Judging from the GB motoryachts in the large GB charter fleet in our marina, the height*of the aft cabin of a motoryacht and the aft cabin of a tri-cabin is identical, or if it isn't it's only a few inches different.* Because the engine room in a GB is pretty much amidships under the main cabin, the aft cabin, regardless of width, can be placed very low in the boat.

*
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

A full displacement hull is designed to be fully in the water though its entire range of speed.* Where as a semi displacement tends to climb out of the water.* A full displacement can have hard chines and have the same initial stability as a semi displacements. **Most steel and/or commercial full displacements have hard chines or chines have been added.* So just because a boat is full displacement does not mean it is rolly.

A comfortable cruising *roll is between *4 to 8 seconds. Not sure where I got that?* Anyway, to short of a rolling is too snappy, and to long feels like and it may roll over.* So a boat for the kind of water should have a comfortable roll.* There are also ratios like;* Displacement/Length Ratio (D/L) Speed/Length Ratio (S/L) Above Water/Below Water Ratio (A/B) *that are also help define/tell what a boats is and capabilities. It is easier and cheaper to increase a boats initial stability than to increase a boats ultimate stability.*

*

*****


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Thursday 19th of November 2009 11:43:03 AM
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Old 11-19-2009, 12:33 PM   #17
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

FF: Yup, Defevers can sink. And so*have many numbers of as you call them "blue water" vessels. Nordhavns, Selenes, crabbers etc. have gone down. The biggest mass sinking I've heard of for blue water boats is the 15 year ago Isle of Wight (?) and 6 years ago Hobart to Tasmania saiing races. Lives lost and boats down are all too common when in bad weather. I've known those who have rounded Cape Horn in 28 foot sloops. It all depends --------------.

No hard and fast rules so enjoy your sundecks and know your own limitations.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:11 AM   #18
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

Mike - It looks like a NH 67. At least his single prop is protected. Maybe he needed twins???
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:28 PM   #19
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Re: Sundeck trawler's stability, sea-worthiness, sea-kindliness

More likely he needed paper charts , but who knows?

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