Originally Posted by Seevee
For the most part, I could argue that a speed option is not as much as a crucial safety items instead of just personal preference. We have a number of members here with slow boats that have safely navigated all over the US and in many parts of the world. Perhaps hull design or size is a more important feature.
As for weather, you generally cannot outrun weather, even with a fast 20kt boat. Sure, you can better position yourself at times. Weather is often fast moving, widespread or both. I could argue to deal with the weather that trying to out run it.... or just stay in port.
So is there a speed that is a minimum run-away-from-bad-weather speed? Of course you can
go faster to run, say 200kn
, but I'm thinking a minimum. From the posts here, it looks that around 10-14kn could be said to be a common minimum?
Of course if you're 1 day away from a fast-moving hurricane in the open ocean coming right at you then 5kn isn't going to be fun. 10kn means 240nm in a day which is pretty good to get you out of the worst I would think. 14kn would be 340nm in a day which, while "better" may not be terribly much more. So how would 10kn be as a minimum safety speed?
The other factor is how fast can your boat comfortably go for days and days in rougher water? Can most boats that could hit 20kn maintain this for days in a rougher ocean, or is 10kn a more likely scenario for both human comfort as well as not making the boat and systems suffer?
Oh, and reiterating the OP's title that I meant cruise speed, not short-term get-over-the-bar speed: something that can be kept up for days and days. Implicitly I'm thinking more open water than a (long!) river.