Dangers of offset companionways??

Boat handling, ideas, questions...
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Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by moy »

So, the Hoyt F33/35 (at least - don't know about other models) has the companionway offset to starboard.

Does this not represent something of a vulnerability to having large volumes of water entering the vessel - in the event of a knockdown to that side, for example. Or in any other circumstances when that rail gets buried whilst sailing (& please don't tell me that never happens with these boats!)?

Comments? Experiences?

Why should I not be concerned about this possibility, if considering buying one of these?

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Re: Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by Lionel7 »

Yes of course it is a vulnerability and one that is mentioned in writings about selecting off shore capable sailing vessels. If you get knocked down on that side you are more vulnerable. However first, how will you use the boat? Will you cross oceans, be offshore for weeks on end outrunning favorable weather forecasts? Then it might be more of an issue. If you are a coastal sailor and taking short trips subject to a good weather forecast, it’s less of an issue. Also in rough weather you will have your hatch boards in place and secured. Also, does the boat have a strong righting moment statistic. If it does get knocked down most often it doesn’t stay down long. This reduces the risk. Overall if everything else met your needs and criteria I think it wouldn’t keep me from buying the boat even if going off shore from time to time. Quite a few especially older boats have offset companionway feature.

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Re: Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by RadioZephyr »

moy wrote:
Wed Aug 31, 2022 7:48 pm
& please don't tell me that never happens with these boats!
I sail my F38 hard. I sail in real weather, and I'm not afraid to go out when it's blowing 30kt. In my six seasons of sailing this boat, I have wet the rail exactly once. I cannot speak for other models, but the F36/38 just doesn't go over like that.
Sunset Spy
F38, Hull #152
Boston, MA

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Re: Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by jdpandlp »

I have had a 39 Express for 25 years. Lots of off-shore work from Maine to the Dry Tortugas in all of the weather one is eventually gong to encounter regarless of the best weather planning. I have had WhiteWings starboard rail in the water only once and that was on a clear summer afternoon just outside of Montauk in a down draft that came from nowhere on a day of steady 15knot winds. With boards in the position of the companionway is really of little consequence. More over, I have sailed most of the freedom models and open ocean or coastal being nocked down and held down is just not a concern.

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mike cunningham
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Re: Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by mike cunningham »

We would have boards in and locked in heavier weather. When I am offshore I install a permanent (locked in) lower board to the height of the weather deck. I have built a second board to complete the heavy weather closure. The second board can be locked in place as can the slider. The latter bits can be opened and locked from inside and outside of the boat. I would not be sailing without boards in any kind of a seaway or weather so the offset of the companionway (about one foot on the Freedom 30) has never been a concern.
Mike Cunningham
Freedom 30 (Mull) Hull #3
Build date...June, 1986 . Freedom Yachts USA, sloop, shoal keel
Gun Mount and pole retrofitted (purchased from a Hoyt Freedom 32)
Yanmar 2gm20F , 1600 hrs fixed two blade prop
e-rud and ocean racing equipment

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Re: Dangers of offset companionways??

Post by Castaway »

The PO of Castaway suffered a knockdown in the Atlantic, in very poor weather. Although some water got in, it was nowhere near enough to threaten the boat's safety. More of a problem was that, having lost the spray hood in that incident, water from rain and spray continued to get below until he reached port. Of course, the offset of the companionway was irrelevant to rain ingress. Search this board, or look under my posts, for "Castaway's Knockdown", an article from Yachting Monthly in 2001 which can be downloaded as a .pdf file.

When sailing, even in strong winds, we would not expect to get even the rubbing strake in the water, let alone the gunwale. We ease the sheets, tension the outhaul, or reef to try and keep the boat upright, or nearly so. The F33/35 is really very stable at sea.
Gerald Freshwater,
s/y 'Castaway', (UK F35 cat ketch, centreboard, 1987)
Lerwick Boating Club
Shetland Isles, Scotland

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