Originally Posted by djmarchand
With all due respect I am not sure that the Alaskan 49 that you are interested in can handle blue water conditions. Yes it has a lot of fuel tankage. But here are some criteria to consider:
1. Hull ballast (not sure this boat has any)
2. Windows that can withstand slugs of blue water
3. Engine ventilation that will let it withstand significant heeling without downflooding
4. Doors that can withstand significant heeling.
The list goes on and on.
As nice as Alaskan's are I think they are really coastal cruisers. But join the Grand Banks owner forum and ask Bob Lowe. He owns or used to own an Alaskan and is a retired boat yard owner.
In general there are lots of sailboats like your Beneteau that can handle blue water passages, but few trawlers can.
I happen to own an Alaskan 49 PH. David is correct on the issues, but they can be corrected very easily. I will address them as listed and our corrections.
1. Hull ballast (not sure this boat has any).
The 49 does not have any ballast other than engines and tankage. My correction was to place 4000 pounds of lead ingots distributed along the keel under the staterooms. That did increase the draft by 6", but the boat rode much better and reduced the roll.
2. Windows that can withstand slugs of blue water. The PH windows are strong, but not toughened glass. The PH is protected by a Portuguese bridge wall that WILL deflect green water over the front glass. Also the glass can be easily replaced with 5/8" tempered glass.
The side windows need storm shields installed of 1/2" plexiglass ( as do Nordhavns ). This is easy and very inexpensive. The portholes must be dogged down at all times. The Nordhavns also ad inside SS covers which can be added to most any boat.
3. Engine ventilation that will let it withstand significant heeling without downflooding.
That is a problem but can be improved. The intake vents are on the outside of the hull which does allow big waves to be washed in. My correction was to remove the outside intakes, and place them in the inside hull channels facing to the rear. The exhaust vent is powered and exits on the main cabin roof.
4. Doors that can withstand significant heeling. All doors are fairly strong and we added double locking laches to all doors. They are also kept locked in any heavy weather.
I have personally seen 9' close seas on the beam with 50 deg. rolls and the boat was ready for more. But my wife was not so we altered course and tacked for a few hours.
I know this boat is not as good as a 50' Nordhavn, but will most likely take more seas and weather than the captain and crew. Just be sure EVERYTHING is bolted or fastened down. Check the galley twice.