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A cruiser sail, or cruiser yacht, is a sailing boat intended for long distance travel on the sea. Often, we are more comfortable calling them cruiser yachts because they offer luxury and amenity for sailors with exquisite taste while sailing on the peaceful waves of the sea.
A cruiser sail has enough space “to live at sea” comfortably while also having a durable body that can withstand the rough waters and winds. With a formidable hull and topnotch speed, who wouldn’t want to experience an exciting journey riding a cruiser?
Some cruisers are for heavy-duty rides, having built with automated winches, allowing you to sail without hassle for many days.
The cabins and hull of a cruiser are designed to accommodate long-journey sailing. Friends and loved ones who love to spend days out on the open waters know that this cruiser yacht is what they need.
If you are looking for performance and comfort, the cruiser displays these descriptions. A right combination of safety and functionality, the cruiser is simply the right fit both for first-time and long-time sailors who want to enjoy the sea day and night.
Cruisers can be race cruisers or performance cruisers, that is, when you go beyond basic sailing, and you need speed to spice up the fun. Whether you are a solo cruiser or with a group, a cruiser is a perfect boat to ride with the wind.
Optimized for competition, racers are performance yachts for sailors who want to speed up and go the distance. Racers are gorgeous in design and intended to win yachting competitions.
Performance yachts can go to the extreme, with speed ranging from 40 to 70 knots, with unmatched engine power, formidable length, and robust appeal that only boat racing enthusiasts could understand.
Every sailboat has a purpose, and for racers, it is their drive to sail as fast as the wind can carry them. Strong wind is the ultimate power for racers’ to push their sails to their boundaries.
A racing sail is simply irresistible to bring out onto the sea and test its power while comfortably experiencing the two powers of nature—water and wind.
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A sloop is a kind of a sailboat with a single mast serving as headsail and one mainsail. For modern sloops, they can be rigged with the Bermuda type sail with a configuration of two triangular sails fore and aft.
The sloop is believed to be the most common type among the many kinds of sailboats. With a length around 11 to 20 meters, a sloop can have multiple decks. Small but efficient, a sloop can carry a weight of approximately a hundred tons of weight including the equipment on the surface deck.
As recreational sailing has become more prominent, sloops have become a popular choice since they require a few crew members. However it’s possible to have technology provide solutions that allow sailors to get away with having no additional help on board as well.
Coastal / Bluewater Cruiser
There is a slight difference between a coastal cruiser and bluewater cruiser. But both cruisers have always confused boat owners in general unless they go for the details in terms of body built and performance.
Coastal cruisers are medium-sized boats sailing from the shore up to 50 miles. Comparatively, bluewater boats can sail the open seas. A coastal cruiser has all the comforts of highly appealing interiors and a cockpit volume that defines eminence.
Bluewater cruisers on the other hand are performance-based vessels that can handle different conditions at sea. When the weather and water get rough, the bluewater gets tough.
In terms of mechanical performance and equipment characteristics, coastal and bluewater differ in keel and rudder. A coastal boat has a spade rudder/fin keel while a bluewater sail has a longer keel chord and skeg hung rudder. Bluewater boats have cutter rig designed for speed and weathering storms.
These differences dictate their naval performance to match each other’s hull, propeller, stern arrangement in relation to the propeller, and some hydrodynamic factors that affect their behavior on the water.
Although both the coastal cruiser and the bluewater cruiser can be good for any environment, they are configured exactly to perform their best on their intended purpose. For example, since most sailboats are built for optimized sailing, they can be best for their specific configuration.
Some boats are optimized for racing through smaller water bodies like lakes during the day and some of them are for coastal cruising. For bluewater cruising, expect to cross the ocean and thrive on the harshest water and wind conditions. Perhaps, this is the greatest difference of bluewater sails against coastal cruisers.
Coastal cruiser boats navigate the sea but not at length compared with the tough bluewater that can sail over the rough seas and spend days on the ocean and still go back to its home safer and more manageable.
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Full and Fin Keel
To be able to differentiate a full keel from a fin keel, we need to understand what a keel is and why it is placed at the bottom of sailboats.
On a water vessel, such as sailboats and ships, a keel is the structural piece on the bottom-most part. It serves to counterbalance the direction of water to keep the boat afloat. When leaning too much on one side, the keel is vital to balance the dynamics of water underneath.
Any type of keel is vital to keep the sailboat from capsizing. However, different kinds of keels serve different purposes. For example, the fin keel is used on waters near the shore for easier maneuvering. Because it is slimmer, a fin keel is better to avoid damaging the bottom of the boat when it bumps on rough spots. It is ideal to sail on a boat with fin keel on narrow channels.
A fin keel is like a shark’s fin turned upside down.
A full keel is ideal for long-distance cruising and it keeps your sailing much better. It covers the entire hull’s length thus, provides more stability, especially on strong winds and rough waters.
For safer grounding and more directional stability, a full keel helps in that stability. In fact, a full keep is almost half the length of the boat’s hull. However, it limits the areas you can sail without harming the hull. But full keel makes it easier to look for safer anchorage.
Another benefit of a full keel is that it prevents the boat from twisting due to turbulence. With greater stability on the water, the ride with a full keep is always smooth, preventing the boat from falling off, and tipping on its stern or bow.
Keels on sailboats have two main functions: serve as a leeway and heeling.
The movement of a vessel depends on the amount of wind blowing on the surface and on the amount of drifting water beneath it. Keels serve as a leeway to control the vessel with this lateral motion of water against the direction caused by the wind. Therefore, a keel counteracts the wind’s force to maintain balance, keeps the boat steady, and makes it easier to steer.
Due to inconsistent movement of waves, wind pressure, and amount of exposed topside, boats tend to lean to one side. This motion is called heeling. The keel is vital in preventing the boat from leaning too much to one side based on the amount of factors mentioned above. Additionally, boats tend to lean due to crew inefficiency, hull design, and point of sail, thus, make sailing inefficiently.
Most modern boats have a closed cockpit. The cockpit in a boat is where you can find the controls. An aft cockpit for smaller boats is located near the boat’s stern. But for larger boats, designers locate the cockpit at the center, that is, to protect the boat or the cockpit against weather and to keep off the water that could easily splash in on the stern.
A center cockpit has a more strategic location being farther from the stern. For cruisers, the cockpit is the safest location of the boat, considering the external parts, especially for the crew who control the vessel.
Most cockpits are open and half-covered. But there are also cockpits that are fully covered, if they are structured to provide more protection from rain and sun.
A powerboat with a cockpit situated in the center, according to sailors, provides for all kinds of advantages than if it were built near the aft.
Compared to an aft cockpit, center cockpits have easier access on the engine, wider aft deck that is perfect for sunbathing or lounging, more visible sails due to wider side decks, and a full enclosure.
Bluewater sailboats are preferably built with center cockpits for better crew safety.
Additionally, center cockpits are lower than their decks.
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Longer than a sloop, a ketch is Its main distinction compared to a sloop is its two hoisted masts; the main (fore) is larger and the aft mast being the jigger.
The word “ketch” was of Middle English origin, “cacchen”, which means “to catch” built intentionally for upwind and downwind performance of the sailboat. This is to maintain balance on the water so that sailors won’t lose control of the vessel.
The ketch is often mistaken for a schooner, where both are typically of the same feature except for slight differences; having the aft mast smaller makes the ketch slightly different and a stern with square end for stability.
With a ketch rig, sailors have better control over heavy winds as they can have more variety of mast setups to help the boat in control, knowing that in the past, this boat type had only a small crew.
A ketch rig was mainly used for fishing on the shallow waters and great for local trade in the coastal villages in New England in the 17th century. But then, the schooner arrived with a similar rig type which is easier to sail. It is believed that a ketch and schooner is one and the same as they have almost identical configurations.
Sailors and cruisers found the practical advantage in riding with a ketch rig as they maintain more balance and have to achieve desirable adjustments in many ways to compensate for the heavy winds.
A sailboat with a fully enclosed helm or wheelhouse is called a pilothouse. This design is intended to keep the crew protected and safe, and on watch without having to step out on the deck.
When the helm’s controller is in the pilothouse, there should be ample visibility of the outside while being safe from any harsh element.
From the way it is designed, a pilothouse is where you will find the boat’s steering wheel or helm and the cockpit, which is the controlling console of the boat. But the reason the pilothouse is made like this is to give full access to the steering wheel. And so that other parts of the boat are reachable, such as the salon, cabins, and galley.
Cruisers who find delight in extending their days in the voyage can find perfect refuge in boats with pilothouse design as they can spend time in the rain (without having to get soaked) and the sun with uninterrupted view of the horizon, from sunrise to sunset.
The greatest advantage of an enclosed pilothouse is the pleasure to sail amidst all kinds of weather conditions.
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