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The Calkins Bartender is a contender for seaworthiness. It's a double-ender planing hull, which is quite a design trick. I don't think you can buy one. You have to build your own.
I have 3 Bartenders a 22' which is the model the US Coast Guard used , 26' project that is for sale, and a 29' . Also built 2 - 19 ' from aluminum. I would agree very seaworthy ,the Coast Guard used the 22s here, but not unsinkable.
 

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To me, there's a lot to be said for positive buoyancy (meaning the hull will float even if compromised.) One innate advantage of those home-built wooden hulls.

20' and longer glass boats like a Striper, Trophy, or even a Grady White (and I love Grady Whites!) don't have any, and though fiberglass floats an upside down boat hull may not float very well after the weight of motors and gear is considered. Big argument in favor of foam-filled Whalers and Arimas.

Water Watercraft Vehicle Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies
 

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"seaworthy" and "unsinkable"

Those are 2 completely separate things, that don't always go together. Many boats have positive buoyancy and will not sink if filled with water. But they might be upside down.
Mark's observation is right on! I would put a slight twist to his categories and add one. First I need to ask myself what are the likely boating emergencies I might face. Given that criteria I come down to 3 main categories of potential catastrophes:
  1. Hitting a large object
  2. Caught in extreme ocean conditions, breaking water on a rough bar
  3. Equipment or boat failures.
Everyone likes to think our boats as the best, I know better, mine was a compromise probably like most everyones. My boat has a closed bow and self bailing deck. It is a 20 foot Silver Streak with a 115 Yamaha outboard + independently controlled 8 hp Yama kicker. I got caught in some really bad stuff 5 years ago so I know I was under-boated for those conditions. Given a choice of boats for those three different calamities I would choose these:

Category 1. Hitting a large object - I would choose a boat with separate sealed air chambers, that would be an Ed Wing hands down, preferably a larger one

Category 2. Caught in extreme ocean conditions and or a breaking rough bar, again a large Ed Wing (over 25’) with plenty of extra power for when you need it. (soft tops like mine need not apply) again sealed chambers might save you if the worst happens and you capsize and need to crawl on top something. The air chambers will keep you afloat.

Category 3. Equipment or boat integrity failures, this leaves out ALL inboard/outboard boats with thin walled boots keeping you right side up. Most pre large outboard boats have this week link even on the best of bluebird days. I don't like potential big holes below the water line, period!

I assume the original thread starter meant recreational boats that most of us own - basically boats under 30’. If seaworthy and unsinkable were my main concern (most of us compromise) and I could pre choose a boat for the different emergencies outlined above I would choose a large Ed Wing with Outboard power to spare combined with a properly sized kicker motor (by the way they are welded 1/4” 5086 Aluminum hulls and built helluva stout).

I have no connection with Ed Wing boats other than I looked at them when I bought my boat 20 years ago. At the time I didn’t have adequate storage space for the 23’ or I probably would have pulled the trigger on one.
 

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Another vote for Boston Whalers.
I’ve been enjoying my new to me 1989 27 whaler.
I spent the first few months rewiring and doing some fiberglass work but it’s been well worth it.
It’s definitely a heavy boat and not the driest but very unsinkable.
View attachment 986401
Nice ride. I have her little sister, a 1989 22 ft. Revenge. :) Got to be honest, though.
I'm a little jealous.
 

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ChetcoTyee, I would add fire to your list. Every sailors nightmare is the choice of burn or swim.You have less than a minute to get control of a fire on a boat. After that your chances of putting it out are dropping fast. Fuel burns but not aluminum. We still plan for fire. Things on the boat that are powered can be isolated from power with one switch. That puts out an electrical fire. Fire extinguishers for anything else that starts burning.

The whaler commercial I remember is a guy in a 16 or 17 foot boat with a tiller engine. He drove out to a spot, pulled out a chainsaw and cut the boat in half, gunnel to gunnel. After kicking the bow free he started the outboard and drove the aft half of the boat away.

That seems fairly unsinkable. You would have other problems if something ripped your boat in half.
 
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I did a ton of research before buying my boat to go offshore. I am fairly new to the salt as a captain, so I wanted to make sure I made the right choice. I had to balance going off shore and also wake boarding. I did not think a good compromise was to be had - my wife, after having gone to the boat show said you need to buy this boat - OK twist my arm. It is a Whaler 230 vantage. It does have an open bow but I have only taken 1 wave over it, since it is self bailing your feet wet and that is it. Just got back from 3 days at the CR buoy fishing for salmon, I even crossed the bar at low tide (I was heading in). Performed like a champ. I opted for the 350 Merc (2019) boat and did put in a 9.9 merc trolling motor. I can troll perfectly with the main so I never use the kicker, but always glad I have it. I will also say it is pretty fuel efficient. We moored in Warrenton and ran out to the CR buoy 3 days and running at 30 MPH most of the time. I went through 30 gallons of fuel in 3 days, not bad IMO. It was clear premium 94 Octane (spendy). Other than Colbach's boats not much more experience, but I am a thumbs up on the whaler and the Merc 350.
 

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"seaworthy" and "unsinkable"

Those are 2 completely separate things, that don't always go together. Many boats have positive buoyancy and will not sink if filled with water. But they might be upside down.
Reminds of the picture posted here years ago of a turtled Grady. Didn't sink, but not really seaworthy.
 
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