Looking at Tempest 31

Post Reply
LulaBelle
Posts:31
Joined:Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:36 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly
Looking at Tempest 31

Post by LulaBelle » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:58 pm

I've been looking for my dream mid life crisis (50 next year) boat.

At some point nearer retirement, I want to sail across (from the UK) to the Caribbean and beyond!

Because of my eventual ocean crossing adventure, I have been looking at bigger boats around the 33-3 size6. I single handed sail as my wife suffers bad with arthritis! so I didn't want anything bigger than maybe 36 foot.

However, we have just looked at the smaller Tempest 31 and we love the two aft cabins and the huge cockpit.

And now the big question... What are they like crossing big seas? I know this is a bit of an 'open' question, however is the feeling that they are about the same as any 31 footer, worse? or better?

Thanks for any advice

Paul

Jolly Roger
Posts:1005
Joined:Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:08 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly
Location:Kent, UK

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by Jolly Roger » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:33 pm

Paul

There have been plenty of boats sail across the Atlantic that are 30 foot size. The biggest problem is storage of food and water required for such a journey. So stop thinking of twin aft cabins and think storage, if this is the boat for your dreams. For coastal/cross Channel sailing the Tempest will be fine. You may buy a Tempest for your current sailing and then change to a larger boat once you retire, if sailing the Atlantic is still your dream.

You do not mention your sailing experience, but that is an important factor in your plans. I sail my Fulmar singlehanded and have been sailing since 1965 despite only being slightly older than you, but I would be unlikely to sail singlehanded across the Atlantic. In my experience I have sailed in some large seas in high winds (up to Force 10), on fully crewed racing boats, and the boats can all ride big waves fine. However it can become very tiring sailing in those conditions for hours on end, let alone days. The difficult thing is all the usual bodily function like eating and sleeping as there is way to stop the conditions for several hours.

The Tempest will ride large waves just fine. You can never take acount of the rogue wave that does something different to the regular large waves, e.g. steeper and breaking over the boat and causing the boat to go off course. Yes, I have experienced that and it can cause major problems onboard with water below and loose items in the cabin being dislodged and dumped on the floor.

My plan in several years time is to sail singlehanded around the UK. This will still take a lot of planning and is still rated as a major achievement as most of which will be in waters and to ports I have never been before. I still have not decided the exact route, just some places I want to visit.

This year I visited the Solent from the Medway for the WOA 50th and for 2017 I plan to sail to the Isles of Scilly and back in 3 weeks. These are part of my shake down to sort the boat out fully for all conditions. Normally I will sail singlehanded in winds to Force 7, then I consider it wisdom to wait for better weather.

Hope this has been of help.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

mikebuggy
Posts:137
Joined:Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by mikebuggy » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:48 pm

Basically anything is doable in anything!! Bottles and tin cans cross oceans....so do open rowing boats....and even swimmers! As a past regular long distance ocean sailor, my broad advice would be that It is NOT the ocean crossing itself that is the problem....it is living on the boat before, during, and particularly after the event. A typical late autumn/early winter atlantic crossing, even for a small boat, only takes 3 weeks to a month. You are then living on your boat for many months....even if you decide to come home at the first opportunity in the late Spring/early Summer. It can be very hot, very choppy, and often breezy (applies to both Caribbean and Med of course). You can be in exposed anchorages for long periods....or hot and sultry places. You need a boat which allows good ventilation, a good cockpit size.....a lot of your time is outside......good sleeping and galley areas......good water and fuel capacity......holding tank...much room for extra food and spares, 2 or 3 sets of anchors+chain etc, heavy weather and downwind sails and gear. Size has some importance, not so much for seakeeping, but for comfort, resilience, and self sufficiency. This means there is a kind of optimum size for short handed long distance cruising....and its widely agreed to be in the range around 35 to 40 ft. It may be counter-intuitive but 'over there' you will find, say, a 36 footer much easier to handle and more predictable and stable than a 31 footer. You will for example often find yourself anchoring in very tight spots on a wildly moving deck......you will want your boat to be as stable and less affected by wind and wave as possible.
Dont forget also that while the trip 'out' may be largely a trade wind 'milk run' the trip back certainly isn't. It can take 4 to 6 weeks and may often be in big seas and depressions and can be hard work. Arguably better for your safety to be in a relatively comfortable and durable boat which doesnt throw you about too much and is not stopped dead by head seas.
Of course anyone can quote lots of examples of people successfully doing the oceans in tiny boats......anything is possible.....but you can probably achieve even more, and more safely and comfortably if you can just come up perhaps 1 notch in size.

LulaBelle
Posts:31
Joined:Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:36 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by LulaBelle » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:34 pm

Thank you for your replies... definitely got me thinking more about storage and the return trip. I've spent so much time thinking about getting across to the Caribbean when it sounds like the challenge will be the getting back!

I've promised my wife that this WILL be the very last boat I buy :) so trading up for the future trip won't be an option, unfortunately.
The Tempest has two very large cabins so maybe I could temporary convert one of the cabins into storage room.

Like Mike has pointed out, all sorts of boats have crossed the Atlantic for the 'challenge'... to be different... or maybe just insane:) However, I'm wondering if there is much difference in handling Atlantic seas from a 31 footer to maybe a 36ft boat? (My budget and ongoing cost would not stretch to much over 36ft).

I really like this Tempest for UK coastal stuff but if I had to look for something more suitable, better handling for Atlantic crossing, how much bigger would I need to go?

Paul

Jolly Roger
Posts:1005
Joined:Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:08 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly
Location:Kent, UK

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by Jolly Roger » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:33 am

Paul

Remember by the time you retire you will be quite a bit older than now, even if you retire at 60. Your body will will not be as strong then as you are now, so keep that in mind. Also your idea about sailing the Atlantic may also change to going to the Med instead. That would be a much easier challenge with plenty of places to stop enroute. So for that a Tempest would be fine.

If most of your sailing is singlehanded then check whether the Tempest is your best choice for sailing. My choice was the Fulmar, a slightly older design with no aft cabin, but sails beautifully. Many Fulmar owners keep them for years, and I have met plenty in my travels. One of the main reasons for my choice was it was a ¾ rig, which makes the headsail easier to handle (especially short tacking!) and the large mainsail is easier to control. The Fulmar is also quite a bit faster. You could also consider a Storm, which slightly larger and faster still, and has an aft cabin.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

steve parry
Posts:338
Joined:Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:23 pm
Anti Spam measure:Yes
AntiSpam Text:Pentland
Location:St Helens on the Isle of Wight

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by steve parry » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:58 am

Hi Paul,

Just seen Jolly Roger's post just minutes after posting mine, you are male!!(sorry about my mistake!) Would you be taking the wife with you? If so, she has to be happy and at one with the boat as well, not just you.

Regards

Steve

steve parry
Posts:338
Joined:Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:23 pm
Anti Spam measure:Yes
AntiSpam Text:Pentland
Location:St Helens on the Isle of Wight

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by steve parry » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:07 am

Hi Paul,

I don't know what is going on with the Forum but my post on the question you put on, hasn't been posted or is somewhere in mid air!

It would be easier for me to speak on the landline on the subject, happy to talk number in WOA handbook. I have done a fair bit of ocean sailing and what I learnt during that time might be helpful.

Regards

Steve

LulaBelle
Posts:31
Joined:Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:36 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by LulaBelle » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:49 am

Steve, no problem. Lula Belle (my username) is the name of my present boat...

Jolly Roger, thanks for the pointer about the 3/4 rig... That's is definitely worth thinking about.


Cheers

Paul

LulaBelle
Posts:31
Joined:Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:36 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by LulaBelle » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:38 am

I was having a think about the ballast ratio on the Tempest... it's only 29%!!

Putting the idea of Atlantic ocean crossings to one side ;)

I will be single handed sailing most of the time as my wife won't be much help below. I don't see myself as a novice! but also, I don't have years an years of experience. I don't care much about speed, just getting us to places in comfort and safety.

At 29% on a 'light' Tempest... then with the added weight of stuff for a long voyage, would this boat start to become a bit of a challenge offshore?

Would I be right in thinking the bigger percentage ratio, the more forgiving she will be with my mistakes! or is low ratio not that big a deal!

Paul

Jolly Roger
Posts:1005
Joined:Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:08 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly
Location:Kent, UK

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by Jolly Roger » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:29 pm

Paul

A ballast ratio only shows part of the stability of a yacht as you must consider form stability as well. When I started sailing most yachts has a ballast ratio about 50%, but the boats were heavy with a narrow beam. Over time the beam of yachts has increased substantially, along with the hull volume, both give form stability. Personally I am not in favour of truncated bows and extreme beam being carried aft, as on modern yachts. These yachts tend to sit on the water rather than in the water and when heeled tend to become bow down.

You may say 31% balast ratio seems low, but compare the displacement of the Tempest to a modern boat of equivalent size and you will see it weighs considerably more. Over the years of building yachts with fibreglass, the construction has been altered in many ways to reduce weight, cost and speed of build. A Westerly has a solid laminate hull with bonded in bulkheads, althought the deck is of sandwich construction either with a balsa core or foam core depending of when built. Most modern yachts have a foam core hull above the waterline and a reinforcing rib bonded to the hull. This rib holds all the bulheads and furniture in place, but none of which is actually bonded in place. Many modern boats flex slightly in rough conditions and the furniture can be heard sqeaking as it moves slightly. If the reinforcing rib looses its bonding to the hull (e.g. after a hard grounding), the structural strength of the hull will have been compromised. This is what happened to Cheeki Rafti, which sank in the Atlantic, as an ineffective repair to the bonding of the rib was made after a hard grounding.

The lower the ballast ratio is a loose indicator of the likely performance of the boat, depending on the sail plan. Very few sailors can make their boat perform at 100% efficiency all the time, but cruising sailors are more likely to be in the 60-75% region. So changing that into real numbers. If the likely 100% speed is 8 knots, the the cruising sailor will be sailing at 4.8 to 6 knots. The difference of distance travelled in 10 hours could be 20 to 32 miles, or in 24 hours it would be 48 to 77 miles. So yes speed does matter if you are on a passage. To check out the performance of different yachts have a look at this web site with Portsmouth Handicap Ratings. http://www.byronsoftware.org/boats/byboat.htm The lower the number, the faster the boat.

I have not sailed a Tempest, but I can say the Fulmar is very forgiving and I press mine hard. Many Fulmars were raced and used for sailing schools, quite an unusual combination, but does show how well appreciated the design proved to be. Earlier in the thread I did mention the Storm as another boat to consider. The Tempest was a scaled down Storm, so take some time and look at examples of the Tempest, Fulmar and Storm. If you can, try and have a sail in each, so you can feel exactly which is best for you. If this is planned to be your last boat (heard that before!), then take you time to choose the right boat for you and for what you intend to do with it.

From your comments so far in this thread you have seen a good Tempest and it appears to be close to your ideal boat. Do not jump at the first boat you see as currently the secondhand market is flooded with boats, both good and bad. Prices have fallen over the past few years due to the economic climate and increasing costs associated with mooring and sailing. So find the right type of boat and then look for the best example.
Roger
Concerto Fulmar FR38
Photos at http://s1294.photobucket.com/user/Conce ... 2/library/

mikebuggy
Posts:137
Joined:Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:42 pm

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by mikebuggy » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:23 pm

May I, with resepect, clarify some points (just my opinions of course!)? Ill also apologise as this is somewhat 'off subject'!

Relatively few modern boats now have foam-cored hulls. There was indeed a trend in this direction, so there are quite a few about, but for production cruising boats in recent years, the technique has largely been superceded by new manufacturing techniques using solid lay-ups with new types of resins and cloths. The intention is to produce hulls which are both light and stiff.
Most modern production boats have a moulded inner lower hull matrix structure. This consists of a large complex structure of moulded longitudinal and tranverse frames. The matrix includes solid moulded 'floor pans' between each set of transverse frames. The whole matrix structure is bonded into the lower part of the bare hull moulding under pressure. Keel bolts pass through both the outer skin and the inner floor pans, which have reinforced areas appropriately placed. Effectively the keel plate surface, the bolts and their backing plates, and the inner and outer skins form a strong composite sandwich.
On many modern production yachts, the foremost transverse matrix frame also provides the mast compression post heel and is also extended up the hull to provide the attachment area for the main shroud chainplates...ie a ring frame in the mast area. Generally speaking most modern production yachts are strong and well made, and the design, quality control, and durability has improved over the last 10 years or so.
It is all too easy to become transfixed on horror stories of keel failures etc. Considering the huge number of production yachts out there, structural failures are relatively few and far between (they do occur of course...but then so do lots of other things!). You are far far more likely to suffer the consequences of a myrad of many other types of failures or mistakes whatever boat you have, and older boats, I'm afraid are no less vulnerable.

Back on subject! Again only an opinion, but having owned a Storm for many years, I would not particularly recommend one for long distance ocean sailing. Great boats, very strong and fast, and a great layout below and on deck, but not a steady tracker in a big sea without a lot of attention to the helm. I would say fine for coastal, modest offshore, and the med, but tiring over long distances and bigger seas. Older Westerlys in the 33 to 36ft range I would say are fine, and Ive seen many 'across the pond'. The Corsair, for example, always gets the thumbs up as a good load carrier and distance coverer.

steve parry
Posts:338
Joined:Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:23 pm
Anti Spam measure:Yes
AntiSpam Text:Pentland
Location:St Helens on the Isle of Wight

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by steve parry » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:05 am

Hi Paul,

I fully agree with Mike comments.However, he lost me a bit in the first paragraphs!! But having done many thousands of miles of sailing and nearly 15,000 miles of it in deep ocean I would fully support his last paragraph. There are many yacht designs out there which fit the bill, Nicholson's, Sprays, Sadler 34, W33 ketch,Pacific craft, HB's to name but a few.

If it was me I would go for a steel boat with a long keel or a Corsair. What I would say is: you have to at one with your boat, so when the going gets tough (which believe me it will!!) you have complete faith in the boat. You can't call for a taxi half way across the pond if things start going wrong! Storage was a problem a few years back when you have to store nearly half a ton of tins, water, fuel, fresh veg etc. But nowadays with freeze dried food in packets which you just heat up, cuts the weight down quite a bit

So choose wisely, get the boat that suits you, take advice from everyone who has been off shore but in the end it is your choice.

Regards

Steve
Last edited by steve parry on Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TyroSailor
Posts:630
Joined:Mon May 18, 2015 6:48 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by TyroSailor » Tue Nov 29, 2016 2:27 pm

My friend regularly crosses the Atlantic (winters in the Carribbean, summers in Portugal - a tough life, I know) in a Contessa 32. She finds it comfortable and reliable, and they have the best of reputations for stability. Worth a thought?
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

steve parry
Posts:338
Joined:Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:23 pm
Anti Spam measure:Yes
AntiSpam Text:Pentland
Location:St Helens on the Isle of Wight

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by steve parry » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:01 pm

Hi

Contessa 32, yep another good boat, good full length keel with great windward performance (could go to windward day without any fuss). A bit of a pig when going backwards but hey-ho who goes backwards across the pond!?

A friend of mine did the Atlantic in a Ketch Rigged Westerly 33(bilge keel) called 'Celtic Dawn' last year and the only problem he had was a broken spinnaker pole two days out from Antigua, mind you it was a well prepared boat. which is the key to success when doing long distance.

Regards

Steve

TyroSailor
Posts:630
Joined:Mon May 18, 2015 6:48 pm
Anti Spam measure:No
AntiSpam Text:Westerly

Re: Looking at Tempest 31

Post by TyroSailor » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:36 pm

steve parry wrote:
... but hey-ho who goes backwards across the pond
Now there's a challenge for someone!
Experience: That which would have been most useful five minutes before you acquired it.

Steve
Tyro (Centaur 1361)
at Southampton

Post Reply