Sailboats that may fit my
particular needs and choices

Galleon Contact me.

This page updated:
December 2008

Various section
   Bristol (Hood) / Little Harbor
   Cabo Rico
   Cape Dory
   Cape Horn
   C&C Whitby
   Concordia (Ray Hunt)
   Creala (Crealock)
   CSY (Caribbean Sailing Yachts; Peter Schmitt)
   CS Yachts
   Fast Passage
   My Boat Model - Gulfstar page
   Island Packet
   Pacific Seacraft (Crealock)
   Pan Oceanic
   Paul Whiting
   Seguin / Sequin ?
   Southern Cross
   Ta Shing (Perry ?)

Out Of My Price Range section
   J (racing boat)

Low-End / Mass-Market ? section
   My Boat Model - Morgan page

High Maintenance ? (Lots of wood; teak deck; etc) section
   Cheoy Lee

Wrong Hull Material (for me) section
   Amazon (steel)
   F&C (steel)

Draft Too Deep (for me; > 5 ft 6 in) section
   CT (Ta-Chiao)
   Hallberg Rassey
   Hans Christian
   Lafitte (Perry)

An anonymous comment about this page:
Some of the info is questionable, although most of the opinions seem to be based on sound theory. The problem seems to be that some of them have not followed good logic when they tried to connect theory and practicality. Some of the posts seem to be very critical of boats that have proved to be very comfortable, safe, and successful cruisers. One of the best is the one who talks about 60kt winds and 6 - 8ft seas. Those are mutually exclusive unless the water is only about 4ft deep.

Truth is, every boat listed has been a successful cruiser, and every boat listed has failed.

Bottom line? After you do all the research and all the reading, you will step onto a boat one day and KNOW that this is the one. Then you will do all the rationalizations necessary to justify it, even if isn't perfect. Just keep in mind what you will be using it for, and where.

"If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space."


These are culled from various places and seem to fit my criteria (fiberglass, no teak deck, shoal draft, 35-45 feet, $100k or less).


Alajuela 48: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, modified-full keel, part-skeg rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 30k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36.
Alajuela 38: LWL == 33, Beam == 11.5, Draft == 5.6, full keel, transom-hung rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 27k, SA/D == 15.6, D/L == 348, B/D == 0.37.

Alajuela 38 review in Feb 1999 issue of Cruising World magazine.


Alden 50: LWL == ???, Beam == ???, Draft == 5.3?, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Alden 45: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 7.4, fin-keel, cutter, Disp == 23k, SA/D == 18.2, D/L == 250, B/D == 0.43.
Alden 44: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 4.9/8.7, modified-full keel w/ centerboard, skeg rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == 14.7, D/L == 300, B/D == 0.41 or 0.35.

Alden Design Office

From Alan Stowell of Alans Yacht Sales, Inc. about 1965 Alden Pearson Countess 44 Ketch asking $85k:
> 1- Does it have a teak deck ?

NO teak decks.

> 2- What is the mast height ?

Mast height above the waterline is 56'.

> 3- What is the standing headroom in the cabin ?

Standing headroom in the main saloon is 6' but in the galley area it is 6'6".

> 4- The ad says "we will guarantee the survey". What does that mean ?

Alans Yacht Sales, Inc. will guarantee the vessel's survey meaning will guarantee any defects the surveyor may not find up to a certain percentage (say for eaxample 5%) depending on the negotiated final price of the vessel. This would not include cosmetics and the surveyor must be of our choice.

We do this on yachts we feel are in good condition and the risk is minimal. It also gives you a better feel towards the overall condition and possible purchase of the vessel. We do not do this on all yachts.

From John Dunsmoor:
[Re: 1965 Alden Pearson Countess 44 Ketch:]

This is basically a flush deck vessel with a Rhodes bubble doghouse. If memory serves me right at the companion way ladder you have about seven and a half feet of headroom. The cabin floor is flat, the engine shaft is horizontal. Flush deck boats have a greater feeling of room since the cabin top goes from gunnel to gunnel. And a flush deck certainly is nice for sailing and stowing a tender.

I think you would like this vessel. The one down side is that they are a little dark inside, Pearson used a lot of teak and mahogany and teak Formica in these boats, they do well being repainted white in the interior to brighten them up.


On the this particular vessel you have excellent headroom in the main saloon, then it shallows up on the way forward then you have headroom again in the forepeak. There is a raised hatch. The trade off is more perceived interior space and a flush deck forward. Both of these elements might be enough. Also for most folks six feet ain't bad. Once again we get down to you just have to see and feel the boat.


Allied 42: LWL == 31, Beam == 11.5, Draft == 4.2, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.35.
Allied 42 XL-2 Mark III: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, modified-full keel w/ centerboard, skeg rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.39.
Allied Mistress 39: LWL == 30, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 4.5, full keel, attached rudder, ketch-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 14.9, D/L == 347, B/D == 0.27.
Allied Princess 36: LWL == 28, Beam == 11.0, Draft == 5.1, modified-full keel, attached rudder, ketch-rig, Disp == 15k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.32.

Allied Seawind II review by John Vigor in Jan/Feb 2001 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

From Liz G. on Cruising World message board, 4/2000:
There are 2 of them [Allied 42 XL-2] in the harbor here (Marblehead) -- a friend owns one of them. About as pretty a boat as you could ever imagine. Tall rig, so the proportions are exceptionally pretty.

One was for sale recently in the Maryland area, listed at $140K or so -- I think the general reaction was that was a fantasy price. Saw another one listed in Soundings recently for $110K or $120K. If it's in good condition, that might be closer to reasonable value. Of course, all good boats these days are running high, simply because there's a lot of demand and not much inventory for good used boats. That same boat 5 years ago might have been worth $70K or so.

Todd can probably tell you more about the history/reputation of Allied. Some of the 60's era boats have 60's era vintage plastic laminate. But with mahogany interiors, it's very pretty.

At this point, it would probably need some love and attention. Decent sailing boat, I think; centerboard, heavy displacement. (Haven't been out in one.) But depending on the economics, I'd say it's worth looking into. They're not well-known; can't remember, maybe only 20 built? But a definite head turner. My idea of what a boat oughta look like. Gives a Hinckley a run for its money. The downside is the fact that they're not well-known, so there might not be the same ready market for re-sale that you'd have for a Hinckley. (And, to be honest, I'm not sure the quality is the equivalent anyway.)

But if you're into classic boats with cute little flying transoms, it'll make your heart go pitter-patter.
From DK Fann on Cruising World message board, 4/2000:
Liz is right on the money regarding the Allied 42. Soundings has one listed for around $116k. A good friend of mine has one here in NC, but just left a couple of weeks ago for the Keys to join the Havana Cup race the end of May. Sexy lines, but as with most early 70's boats a little small below for a 42' boat. Seems to be well-built and sails just fine.
From Tad on Cruising World message board, 4/2000:
The XL-2 was designed by Sparkman & Stephens, and was built by Allied from 1969 through 1982. Oxford Boat Yard in Maryland just sold an XL sloop, asking price was $147,500. Before this, the general consensus for an XL was $70,000 to $90,000, but I am told that this boat, Saphire, was completely refinished in the interior. Martin Bird sold another XL, a MK 2 yawl named Rhapsody, last year for an ask of $94,500. The April Soundings has an XL listed for $116,000.

When we started our boat search, the XL was at the top of our list. We decided that for the money, a Bristol 40 was a better value, with more to choose from. We were concerned also that the interiors of the XLs had laminate finishes, and were not all that well-built.

The XL (I am told) performs well, but not as well as the Bristol or, the boat we finally found, the Hinckley 41. The XL, however, is less tender than the Bristol, but not as fast.

I looked briefly at a 1977 Allied Princess 36 ketch in Alameda CA in 8/2000:
Asking $44k.
No staysail.
6'4" headroom.
2 bow anchors.
No windvane.
LWL 27'6".
Kerosene stove.
15400 displacement.
Westerbeke 37.
4'6" draft.
6000 ballast.
Four berths 6'5".
Anchor chain locker opens into V-berth.
Hull #111.
Stern anchor and reel.
No autopilot.

From ad: 1974 Allied Mistress 39 CC ketch has 6'7" headroom.
From broker: 1970 Allied 42 XL-2 does not have teak decks.

I looked briefly at a 1974 Allied Mistress 39 center-cockpit ketch through Bill Browning in St Petersburg FL in 3/2001:
Asking $69k.
2 companionways.
Headroom: 6'2" under bimini, 6'5" in main cabin (except 6'2" under swing-down big main table), 5'6" in walk-through, 6'3"-6'4" in aft head, 6'2" at bottom of aft companionway.
Very good ventilation: only a few non-opening ports.
Great engine compartment.
"Great cabin" layout: V-berth and fore head are completely open to main cabin.


From Judy / BeBe on World-Cruising mailing list:
Re: Amels Distinctions

Basically, Amel makes only one model at any given time. They normally make the same model anywhere from 5 to 20 years, then switch to a newer model -- all being a refinement of the original hull model. The Amels have gotten larger over the years.

The Sharki is an older model; around 39-41 feet. Pretty basic because of its age. No bells and whistles as in later models of Amels.

The Santorin is also an older model; can't remember if it is 48 feet or 52 feet. Came either ketch rigged or sloop rigged. Don't see a lot of these for sale.

The Maramu is a slightly less older model; either 46 or 48 feet depending on who calculations you read. Only made one size Maramu.

The Mango is 52 feet and was produced during an overlapping time period with the Maramu. The Mango stern is straight down rather than sloped with steps. The foredeck has 4 large deck lockers. Might possibly have furling main but not necessarily, depending on year of manufacture. Probably does not have electric winches, again depending on year of manufacture. Interior layout very, very similar to Super Maramu. Did not come with clothes washer or some other conveniences.

The Super Maramu is roughly 53 feet and has sloping stern with steps. Other than the stern, it is basically the same hull as the Mango; but with numerous interior changes.

The Super Maramu 2000 is same size as the Super Maramu but several minor interior changes. Still basically the same hull as the Mango except with sloped stern and rear steps. Electric winches, clothes washer (supposed to be a combo unit and also be a drier but the drying function sucks), microwave, standard water maker of 40 liter per hour.

The current production Amel 54 is obviously 54 feet long and has many changes from its predecessors. Forward head and separate washer and dryer moved all the way forward. Centerline aft berth. Major change in forward berth arrangement. Captains chairs in saloon instead of settee -- which means you lose a great deal of storage area. This new ketch can be cutter rigged from Amel. Several options available.

We own a 2003 model Super Maramu 2000. Hull was laid in November 2002 and she left the Amel factory the 3rd week of January 2003. Our boat has what was called the "Comfort Package." This means we have 13 batteries instead of only 9; have 2 freezer lockers instead of only one (each can also be set as a refrigerator or a freezer); a forced air circulation system in addition to the standard 3 air conditioners, a larger generator, a 100 hp Yanmar engine instead of the standard 80 hp Volvo or Perkins, and our watermaker produces 160 liter per hour. Probably other items included in the Comfort Package that I am forgetting.

There is an Amel owners Yahoo! group that you could join and lurk if you want to learn more. ... There are a lot of differences in Amels from "normal" sailboats.

From Jerald King on Cruising World message board:
We have spent a lot of time on Amel 47s and 53s. We have talked to several owners who have sailed a lot of miles in their Amels. Every sail adjustment that I have on my Caliber 40 is also available on an Amel 53. The difference is that the Amel controls are powered by electricity. You, the captain, still have to think about sail adjustment, course, weather, fuel, navigation, sea state ... etc. You just don't have to spend as much physical energy performing the manual labor.

It is still sailing and you can work at it as hard as you want. You can trim the boat as you please and sail as hard or as easy as you wish.

The down wind rig on an Amel is a thing of beauty: well-thought-out and very well-engineered.

The entire boat is very practical and carefully considered. You have to get past your pre-conceptions about cruising and living on a sailboat. Henri Amel says you don't have to work hard if you don't want to and you can be very, very comfortable if you wish.

My wife has told me that she will sell the house and go sailing tomorrow if we buy the Amel 53 we spent the day on last month. I can't bring myself to do it. It is like owning and sailing a motorhome. They do sail well, 180 - 200 miles per day in the trades and they are very stout and safe.

They are also ugly and not my idea of a sailboat - I can't get past my predjudice that sailing needs to be somewhat uncomfortable, wet, and rough. That comes from 20 years of racing. ...


Bayfield 40: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 5.0, ketch, Disp == 21k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Bayfield 40: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, full keel, keel-hung rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.43.

From LDCBarker on Sailing forum:
[Re: "they're too heavy and slow. good for living on, but not for sailing":]
We looked extensively at [the Bayfield 36], the 36 is all they say it is or isn't. I had a long talk with a owner docked at Cedar Point, Sandusky Ohio. He was very disappointed with the boats performance.



Bowman 46: LWL == 32, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 7.0, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 24k or 30k, SA/D == 15.2 or ???, D/L == 323 or ???, B/D == 0.37.
Bowman 40: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, modified-full keel, skeg rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.38.


Brewer 46: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, full keel, keel-hung rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 34k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.34.
Brewer 45: LWL == 42, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 6.0, full keel, keel-hung rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 31k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.28.
Brewer 44: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.5, Draft == 4.5, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 29k, SA/D == 14.8, D/L == 302, B/D == 0.41.
Brewer 42: LWL == ???, Beam == ???, Draft == 4.2 / 9.0, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???

From YachtWorld:
The Brewer 12.8 has a similar layout to the Whitby 42 with a V-berth forward and master stateroom aft. Hull changes to the Whitby 42 were made by cutting out the long keel and attached rudder and replacing them with a more modern short keel and skeg mounted rudder. This eliminated wetted surface, thus improving light air performance. To improve windward performance a high aspect ratio centerboard extends through the bottom of the 12.8's shallow keel. The mast was moved aft slightly to balance the cutter/sloop rig. Mast height is 59'. All of these changes add up to a significant improvement in performance over the Whitby 42.

From Gary Elder:
Over the weekend we spent a few hours on a beautiful Brewer 42. This is a nice boat with a somewhat typical layout - very nicely done. There were nine people sitting comfortably in the cockpit during cocktail hour. The headroom below looks very tall to me, but I did not have an opportunity to measure it. The owner thinks it is mostly greater than 6'4", excluding the walk-thru. The draft, board up is only 4'2", 9' board down. This boat sailed circles around another Brewer 42 with a keel, no centerboard, on the way to Marco from Naples.

The owner was deeply involved in the design of the Brewer 42 and knows the evolution and changes that were made to the boat. Apparently there were several versions built ... Various rig, engine, and layout combinations were tried.

From FAQ distributed by Whitby 42/Brewer Sailboat Association:
Fort Myers Yacht 39 built 1987-1991. #234-272
Mostly cutters.
LOA 42' 0"
Hull same as Whitby 42 except for short keel, centerboard, and skeg-mounted rudder.
LWL 33' 9"
Beam 13' 6"
Molded rubrails. Cutter rig. (staysail)
Draft 4' 6"; 9' 0" Board down Some with fixed 5'-2" keel.
Displ. 23,850 lbs
Double spreader rig. Mast height std or tall.
Ballast 9,000 lbs
Bridge deck cut out for easy cabin access.
Engines vary - Leh-Ford 80HP, Perkins 62HP, Mercedes 72HP
Sail Area 867 sq ft Main 368
Water 200 gal
Fuel 125 gal
Optional bow water tank.
Displ/Lgth Ratio 276.96
S.A./Displ. Ratio 16.74

Fort Myers Yacht 33 built 1987-1991. #273-306
Mostly cutters.
Like Brewer 12.8, with 2' added to stern, making aft cabin larger.

Reverse transom.
LOA 44' 0"
LWL 35' 0"
Double spreader rig. At least one ketch.
Beam 13' 6"
Molded rubrails. Bridge deck cut out for easy cabin access.
Draft 4' 6"/9' 0" board down (At least one has optional 5'-2" keel)
Displ 27,500 lbs
Capsize angle 114 deg for 33000# displ; 118 for 36000.
Ballast 11,000 lbs
Engine 62 HP 4-154 Perkins
Sail Area 867 sq ft (Fore 481, Main 386)
Water 200 gal
Fuel 136 gal
Optional bow water tank.

From Bev Clary on Cruising World message board:
Whitby 42 and Brewer 42: Both Brewer Designs. Whitby 42 made from 1972 to 1988 and Brewer 42 from 1983 to 1986. LOA, LWL, Displacement, Sail area very close. Same basic attributes, advantages and disadvantages. Brewer draws 6 inches less water and has a centerboard and masthead rig, slightly finer ends and 6" more beam. Whitby is a ketch and Brewer a sloop. Brewer is a better sailer under most conditions. Whitby can go under a 50 foot bridge. Brewer has a more modern keel skeg underwater configuration. Whitby has the old full keel with a "Brewer Bite". Accommodations layouts are similar. Tankage is a bit larger in the Whitby. I heard somewhere that the Brewer 42 was specifically designed as a modernized Whitby 42. Don't remember where. I had understood that construction was also very similar.


Aluminum hull ???
Brise 40: LWL == 30, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == 18.3, D/L == 291, B/D == 0.33

Bristol (Hood) / Little Harbor

Bristol 45: LWL == 37, Beam == 13.3, Draft == ???, fin-keel, sloop, Disp == 35k, SA/D == 17.0, D/L == 298, B/D == 0.38.
Bristol 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, fin-keel, spade-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 28k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.39.
Bristol 41: LWL == 33.3, Beam == 12.9, Draft == 4.5, ???-keel, ???-rudder, sloop, Disp == 27k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.
Bristol 40: LWL == 28, Beam == 10.8, Draft == 5.4, full-keel, ???-rudder, sloop, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.37.
Little Harbor 38: LWL == 31, Beam == 11.8, Draft == 4.5, centerboard-keel, spade-rudder, sloop-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 15.9, D/L == 309, B/D == 0.41.

From bernie on Cruising World message board, 4/2000:
The Bristol 38 or her sister ship, the Little Harbor 38, designed by Ted Hood and built in Rhode Island, from 1976 to approximately 1987 are and have held their own against some of the best racing and cruising boats built with similar design characteristics. They are known for having very tall rigs, always a sloop, centerboard, sharp entry and bow, wide beam aft of center, a modern counter stern, powerful diesels and a beautiful and huge interior with lots of headroom. Average cost today, for a late 80's is in the ballpark of around 135K in good condition. presently I'm representing a gentleman who is selling a LH38 who wishes to move into a Valiant 42. She's beautiful, well-equipped and cared for.

The Bristol or Little Harbor 38 is a perfect example of New England boat building of the 80's, incorporating craftsmanship, design and technology.

Wonderful boats except the big companionway. I call them, the 38's, the perfect bay/island hopping and coastal cruisers of the 80's, all still being able to give the new kids a run for the money around the race courses.

From Tim Fuhrmann:
[Bristol 40:] ... specs page of the Bristol Brochure on my web site

Headroom, depending on who you talk to is either 6'5" or 6'6". I have a 6'3" friend who put it on his short list after visiting my boat. It's one of the few boats in his price range he can stand up in.

I looked briefly at the 1981 Bristol 41 sloop "Contact" in Ft Lauderdale FL in 3/2001:
Asking $119k.
Probably fiberglass centerboard.
Lots of oil in bilge.
No way to get at the centerboard mechanism.
Step down into galley walk-through.
Shrouds obstruct side decks.
Power winches.
Big cockpit.
Most ports are opening.
All backing hardware visible in cabin ceiling.
Headroom: 6'2" under bimini, 6'5" in main cabin, 6'1" in walk-through and aft cabin.
Exterior wood: rubrail, toerail, grab rails, cockpit coaming, Dorades.
Light blue topsides.
Roller-furling jib and main.

Cabo Rico

Cabo Rico 38: LWL == 29, Beam == 11.5, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 16.6, D/L == 377, B/D == 0.37.

Cabo Rico 38 reviewed in 3/2002 issue of Practical Sailor

John Anderton owns a Cabo Rico 38: aft-cockpit, teak deck, >6'2" headroom.
From Bernie on Cruising World message board:
The Cabo Rico 38 is extremely well-made, solid construction, attention to detail, overall good performance, a real world cruiser, very nice comfortable interior, a big 38', plus they're pretty looking ...

The earlier built 38's aren't as well-constructed as the newer ones, but for the average selling price of about $95K for a 16 year old vessel, that offers that much, I would have to say that it's one of the classics and a best buy.

Remove the teak decks.

From John Anderton on Cruising World message board:
Re: Cabo Rico 38- Teak Deck question

I'm out cruising singlehanded with an older model (1982). I'm enjoying the boat as I've lived aboard for 12 years. Several older Cabo Rico's I've seen have removed the teak deck instead of replacing the teak if required. Like Bernie says - good boat tracks well in heavy seas with a comfortable ride.


Cal 48: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 6.5, modified-full-keel, spade-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.38.
Cal 46 2-46: LWL == 38, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 5.0, full-keel, spade-rudder, sloop, Disp == 30k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.27.

SailNet's Cal files
Cal 40 reviewed by Ed Lawrence in Jan/Feb 2002 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

I looked at a 1976 Cal 3-46 yawl (asking $99k) in Alameda CA in 4/2000: huge; lots of headroom; 2 heads.

From Jim and George Ann Redden on Yachtingnet's Sailboat forum:
1987 Cal 33 has enough headroom for 6'3" person.

I looked briefly at a 1979 Cal 39 MkII aft-cockpit sloop in Alameda CA in 8/2000:
Asking $73k.
Aft swim ladder.
Barely 6'2" headroom.
6'10" draft.
LWL 32.

From Glenn on Cruising World message board:
Had a Cal 40 for 2 years.

We sailed it in the Great Lakes and for our light winds, we found the rig undersized and added 3' to the height of the spar. On a windy day, the primary winches got undersized and we needed a line-backer to bring in the jib. For coastal sailing, with breeze, the rig is the right height. She's well-built, though I have seen a few get their plywood core in the decks replaced (do it from the underside, don't ruin the deck surface). Originally, she was the first light displacement boat, though by today's standards she is heavy. She's designed for the downhill ride from Long Beach out to Hawaii. Some had sliding windows that are guaranteed to leak. The long keel is extra drag and really unnecessary, we ended up removing the 40 gallon fuel tank out of the back end of the boat and put a 20 gallon stainless tank down in the keelwell.

She was a friendly boat, easy to maintain, easy to handle, ample storage (important for family cruising).

About 1965 Cal 36, from Bill Wallace on Yacht-L mailing list:
I did a lot of offshore sailing/racing, a long time ago, in the Cal 36, and I regard it as an absolutely glorious boat. Its only vice is a tendency to pound a bit in a square wave situation.

Structurally I have seen three problems.

For one, the main bulkhead is susceptible to rot. Get it looked at carefully.

They lost a lot of masts, and that seems to be because the narrow shroud base puts a lot of force on the chain plates. And those chain plates, well inboard of the rail and perhaps not really well-designed, actually made fast (as I recall) to the sides of the cabin trunk, and that wants to be scoped out very carefully.

It is inescapable that all Cal boats of that era had problems with the plywood core of the deck rotting out. But I know of a bunch of them in which the owners thought it well worth the price to have decks re-done.

I say again: it is a wonderful boat. But employ a good surveyor!


Caliber 47 LRC: LWL == 40, Beam == 13.1, Draft == 5.2, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 33k, SA/D == 15.8, D/L == 239, B/D == 0.39.
Caliber 47: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.2, Draft == 5.3, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 29k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.
Caliber 40 LRC: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.8, Draft == 5.1, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 15.3, D/L == 281, B/D == 0.44.

Caliber 40 LRC reviewed in 4/1/2000 issue of Practical Sailor

"Big inside, lots of fuel/water, very well-constructed and very reasonably priced."

Caliber 40 LRC: "... well-built and strong plus reasonable performance ..."
"It is a huge boat, inside. A floating Condo with all the amenities. ..."

From Jerald King on Cruising World message board:
When I took delivery of our new Caliber 40 in April '95 it too had some warranty problems. There were six problems with the sail, two problems with the Link 2000R, a problem with the Raytheon R20XX RADAR, two problems with the aft holding tank, two problems with the fresh water pump, loose bolts on the prop shaft coupling.

We identified 22 problems in the first four months. Those problems were all resolved over a period of four months. Some were important, some were minor details.

My boat, and most cruising boats over 40', have quite complex systems. I was pleased to have as few problems as we did. The Caliber factory has outstanding customer support. Quick, comprehensive, and willing to accept responsibility when it is their problem. The Seattle dealer was just as good (Greathouse Yachts).

Here is my Caliber 40 comments from the SailNet boatcheck page:

Well built long distance boat. Very easily handled by a couple. The boat has a very comfortable and reassuring feel while sailing at sea. We have sailed her in 12' seas and 30 knot winds off the west coast of Vancouver Island and found the boat to be solid and seaworthy. When falling off 6' waves into the trough the boat does not pound but rather shoulders the water aside and settles gracefully. The cutter rig allows great flexibility in getting just the right sail set. Sailing upwind in 30 knots with the staysail and double reefed main the boat makes an easy 7 knots while heeled at 20 degrees. Sailing downwind in the same conditions with a single reef in the main and a 100% jib the boat makes a steady 8.1 knots with good helm control. We have seen extended 9.5 knot bursts while surfing in a gale. The interior is very well setup for a couple to live aboard. The forward head and large shower stall is great while at anchor and the aft head is perfect while offshore. The interior works very well offshore. There are three good seaberths and the galley is well-planned for offshore work. The nav station is well located but the seating position is uncomfortable. There is a great deal of storage available throughout the boat. We have noticed only a few weaknesses in about 4000 miles sailing. The most serious is the inability to maintain a windward course closer than 50 degrees to the wind. The other concern is that the refrigerator is too large. It is very well-insulated but it is enormous. We have put food onboard for two people for six weeks and have not filled the fridge. We have sailed our Caliber 40 in 55 knots and 6' seas and had no doubt about her strength and handling. She is a boat we plan on taking around the world.

---- end of sailnet boat check remarks -----

More starry eyed opinion:

I love the boat and am very pleased with it. I just wish it would go upwind a little faster. I sail with a Hunter 450 several times a month. Actually, I don't know the boat or owner but he has as much time to sail as do I and seems to be out in Commencement Bay whenever I am. In winds below 15 knots the Hunter 450 is faster on most points of sail. In winds over 20 knots the Caliber seems to be faster. Below 7 knots the Hunter blows the Caliber away.

And also from Jerald King: "The Caliber 40 is just a Caliber 38 with a larger reverse transom and a swim step. The hull and deck for the 38 and 40 are identical."

From Gerard on Cruising World message board:
I have a Caliber 38, they are solidly built and fast, in fact they are the best sailing vessel in their category, same level as Valiant and Dickerson.

From h40.5bob on Cruising World message board:
A friend in the next slip had a Caliber 40 LRC and I spent a lot of time crawling around on her and sailing with my friend ... the boat is beautifully designed and beautifully made ... for some reason I can't figure out, island packets are much more popular in fl ... I strongly prefer the caliber 40 for lots of reasons, including a preference for a modified fin heel with skeg, rather than the ip "modern" full keel and better value for money ... it may be that the small caliber factory simply makes fewer boats than ip ...

One poster commented that the caliber 40 is a great tradewinds reaching boat which i'm sure is true ... this boat was high on my list until I finally got a handle on my pipe dreams and decided that my ultimate goal was fl keys and bahamas cruising ... this boat is relatively heavy ... d/l nearly 300, if I recall, and sa/l a little above 15 ... no boat is perfect for all conditions ... the caliber 40 is not a light airs boat and doesn't point well, particularly in light airs ... above 15 knots or so, what a sweet motion!!!

From John McBay on Cruising World message board:
[Re: Lack of Caliber 40's on the used boat market:]

I own a Caliber 47 and spent a couple of hours talking to George McCreary, the owner of Caliber, at the Newport boat show the other day. We discussed this very issue.

His feeling is that used Caliber 40's are in rather high demand and that most of the few that do go up for sale are sold person to person, usually without a broker.

Caliber (727-573-0627) keeps a detailed record of almost all of their boats that have been sold or are for sale. You might try contacting them directly.

Caliber builds strongly made boats that are well-suited for the offshore environment and are reasonably priced. They are also very responsive to the needs of the boat owner. All around, a great company.
From JB on Cruising World message board:
We also own a Caliber 47. Prior to purchasing it, we owned a Caliber 40. We have found both to be awesome cruising boats ... bulletproof construction, well-suited to tradewind sailing, comfortable, nice to look at, etc. etc. When we had our 40, we often received calls and letters from folks looking to buy our 40. It seems most are sold that way and seldom go on the market. Seems people who know Calibers know what they want and go out looking for them.

From Jerald King on Cruising World message board:
The living arrangements on a Caliber 38/40 are perfect for live aboard, the boat is stout and sails well. The draft is 5'. The dedicated forward shower stall is wonderful. The amount of storage space is extensive. We loaded the boat for our two month cruise from Seattle to San Diego - and still had empty compartments. The refrigerator space is huge - too big in my opinion.

The only drawback is they are a little slow in less than 12 knots of wind. We added a 165% 2.5 oz reacher to our sail inventory. Now we can sail at 5 knots in 10 knots of wind.

A Caliber 38 is a Caliber 40 without the swim step - same hull/same rig.

Cape Dory

Cape Dory 45: LWL == 34, Beam == 13, Draft == 6.3, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.39.
Cape Dory 40: LWL == 30, Beam == 11.7, Draft == 5.7, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.39.
Cape Dory 36: LWL == 27, Beam == 10.8, Draft == 5.0, full-keel, cutter, Disp == 16k, SA/D == 15.7, D/L == 365, B/D == 0.38.

California Cape Dory Owners Association

From Geres on Cruising World message board:
Could be coincidential, but of the half dozen CD's (various vintage) we've had on our docks, all but one has had significant cracking in the gelcoat where the forward edge of the cabin meets the deck. One owner had a crew down from the CD factory twice. Each time, the cracking returned within a year. Look for cracks, mismatched gelcoat and have a surveyor concentrate his moisture meter in this area.

Other than that ... they are fairly narrow and like to heel early, but then they steady out, gaining speed as those long ends get wet. Engine and steering cable access is a challenge from the 27 to the 40 - you claustrophobic? Nice cabinetry, generous ventilation, and relatively good storage, particularly in the 33 (my personal favorite).
From Bill Bloxham on Cruising World message board:
I'll second the moisture meter. My CD had the cabin/foredeck cracks, and I wound up re-coring in that area. Bedding failures at the deck hardware (check the mast tabernacles) seems prevalent. The hardware mounting holes were not sealed off from the coring in any original CD installations I have seen. Since I fixed this condition 4 years ago I have not had any cracks there. The ones in the cockpit are a whole different story. I try to think of them as wrinkles around the eyes of a good friend - the mark of experience.
From Russell on Cruising World message board:
This is the biggest disappointment ...

Our 20 year-old CD surveyed with no water in the deck, but as Geres describes, the deck fittings in cored areas are NOT voided and sealed with epoxy before fittings are bedded. The good news is that the fittings that pierce cored areas are relatively few. Most deck fittings, including chainplates, stanchions, cleats, and forepeak hardware, are placed along the edge of the deck, where there is no coring. The cockpit sole seems at greatest risk, with both rudder stock access and diesel fill piercing the core.

This is an unfortunate lapse given the build quality otherwise.

From Russell on Cruising World message board:
Most Cape Dories were designed by Alberg. A few of the later ones were designed by Clive Dent. Alberg's Cape Dory designs have a bit more waterline and a bit more beam than his CCA rule beaters. Compare the specs of the Alberg 35 to the Cape Dory 36, to see an example of this. There are definite benefits and drawbacks to Alberg designs.

PLUSES: They are pretty, stable, and comfortable, and sail well in a broad variety of conditions. Their helm is gentle and the boats are easy to balance. On any point from a broad reach on up to a beat, we can trim our sails, set the wheel lock, and eat lunch while the boat chugs along on course. I like that kind of sailing! Alberg liked large mains and relatively small foretriangles, which is an easier sail plan than the small mains and huge genoas that later race rules caused. The cutter-rigged Cape Dories are actually double headsail sloops.

MINUSES: These boats are not fast by today's standards. On PHRF, the Cape Dory 36, sailed as a cutter, gets 6 seconds a mile from the Crealock 37 (another traditional cruising boat designed about the same time), 30 seconds from the Catalina 36, which is not a particularly fast boat, and 54 seconds from a J/34C. Steering in reverse is ... well, let's just say it's easy as long as the direction you choose puts the bow dead downwind. Those long overhangs give the boat a tendency to hobby horse in chop, especially if you have ground tackle on the nose, which you will, since that's the only place to put it. Jeff H will tell you in detail the other drawbacks to this kind of design.

For the most part, our Cape Dory 36 is well-constructed. That was a large part of our purchase decision, and has been confirmed by what we've seen since, with one or two disappointments. That said, I would look at each boat in its own right. Cape Dory built a lot of models over the years, and there was variation across years and across models, if not as much as other builders, still enough to matter.

From Russell on Cruising World message board:
Cape Dory 36: Turns on a dime going forward ... Reverse is a more interesting story.

Wonderful boats. They sail well in a variety of conditions, are quite forgiving, and point surprising well for a "full" keel. In tight quarters, sailing under main and staysail is great, because the arrangement is self-tacking. For living, they're comfortable for the tropics, even though they were built in Massachusetts. (Carolyn and I spent Labor Day weekend on ours, with triple digit highs every day.)

And they are pretty. Carl Alberg designed no ugly boats.

Only 3 Cape Dory 45's and 16 Cape Dory 40's built.

From letter in 1/2001 issue of Seven Seas Cruising Association bulletin:
... our Cape Dory 40, which has more exterior woodwork than the law should allow. Teak caprail, handrails, Dorade boxes, cockpit coamings and bowsprit. ...

Cape Horn


Cascade 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.7, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.34.
Cascade 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, fin-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.33.

C&C (Cuthbertson & Cassian)

C&C 43: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, fin-keel, spade-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.47.
C&C 43 Landfall: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.37.
C&C 40: LWL == 31, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 7.0, fin-keel, spade-rudder, sloop-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == 17.5, D/L == 259, B/D == 0.44.

Doug Hunter's "From C to C"
C&C Photo Album and Resource Center
C&C 27 review in 12/2000 issue of Practical Sailor
"First Aid for C&Cs" article (C&C resources) by Dennis Boese in Mar/Apr 2001 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

From DeeB on Cruising World message board:
I purchased a Landfall 39' just over a year ago and am getting organized for cruising the Caribbean for an undetermined length of time. There were only 28 of the 39 footers built and I know of several that cruised offshore for several years with very good reports.

From "Bruce Cranner on Choosing a Sailboat: What Design?":
"The C&C 40 is an animal - built like a brick house."

From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
I would caution about the C&C landfall 38. The reason being that it does not have a bulkhead for the main chainplates. They are bolted to boxes which are glassed to the hull. This is not as strong as a bulkhead. I was on a C&C38 (MKIII) which lost its mast due to this failure. The landfalls are constructed the same way.

From DBM on Cruising World message board:
Ventilation on the C&C Landfall 38 is insufficient for tropical climes.

About C&C Landfall 38, from Graeme Scott on Cruising World message board:
Practical Sailor did a review that was pretty positive as I remember (build quality, sailing performance, etc). The interior layout is what sets the boat apart (kind of chopped up with the galley and head amidships). I believe the boat was intended for the charter market and was an early attempt at an aft cabin / aft cockpit design to appeal to two couples. Most people either love the interior or hate it.
From TalW on Cruising World message board:
George Cuthbertson's vision of a line of performance cruisers was best exemplified (and inexpensively executed) using the hull mold of the original C&C 38 Mks I and II to create the LF38. The earlier LF 42 (primarily the work of Mark Ellis, who went on to Niagara and Nonsuch fame), was an excellent offshore boat, but was not successful as C&C's 1st serious entry into this market. Most subsequent Landfalls were more charter-oriented mid-cockpit creations.

The original mold was altered by cutting off the transom to create a traditional shape, and slightly deepening and reshaping the hullshape to allow installation of a longer shoal draft keel and balanced rudder, and at the same time increasing interior volume. A new deck, with raised deckhouse and a deep, well-sheltered cockpit, added more interior space and headroom forward. The interior layout is definitely the love it or leave it aspect of the boat, but was NOT developed for the charter industry, but rather for performance cruising with suitable berths for a couple whether coastal (double quarter or V's) or offshore (settees - too far forward IMHO). Ventillation was adequate for the time, and can be readily augmented with more hatches on the relatively flat cabintop, and additional opening ports.

As with most C&C's, this boat's strong suits are her adequate construction (not outstanding, but offshore-capable), excellent quality original hardware (comes from the racing side of the business!), and great sailing characteristics. This boat's a real mover for a "traditional" 38' shoal-draft cruiser (PHRF-LO 123) - a true joy in reaching and upwind conditions. Maybe a little challenging off the wind in rolling conditions with those pinched ends and small rudder, but that's the price you pay for overall performance in a design of that era. The rig is very heavily foretriangle based, but perfectly suitable for cruising. Just keep in mind that a 135% genoa is over 520 square feet, so the quality of that sail and associated deck hardware (and excellent perfectly-functioning furling) will increase sailing pleasure of the boat ...

Biggest caveat for this boat (and any C&C) is the condition of the coring material, both in the hull and deck ...

From sailor jib on the SailNet liveaboard-list:
I worked at the original C&C plant in Niarga on the Lake. Just this weekend we started repairs on a C&C 39; second one this year with bulkheads moving. We had the same repair on a 33 C&C with the bulkhead moving so much that there were stress cracks in the sides of the hull this spring. C&C was famous for not properly bonding the bulkheads, especially around the separation between the v-berth and main cabin. Just to clarify one of your points the Endeavor and Irwin cruising boats (38 and up) used both grid and fully-glassed bulkheads in their boats. As a matter of fact on Irwin 38's thru 68' we put small movable sliders at the front and aft bulkheads which re-forced serve as collision bulkheads.

As far as C&C's they were built heavy but still were considered coastal boats which their main intention was club racing. I did crew and deliver some 53' C&C's which were campaigned in the SORC races. Nice and roomy and were built for offshore work.

I would tell you when you are sailing in the Caribbean as well as South America etc you will see all sorts of boats but mainly cruising boats like Perry designs and a lot of Irwins and Endeavours plying the waters. One major drawback of C&C's is lack of ventilation and usually no opening ports. Beware if sailing in the tropics: those boats will be like ovens.

C&C Whitby


Challenger 40: LWL == 35, Beam == 13, Draft == 6, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 26k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.32.
From Mark:
Challenger 40, built in Wilmington California.

Came in a Ketch or Sloop rig
Came with a fin or full keel, fin keel seems to be much more common.

LOA = 39'10"
DWL = 32'8"
BEAM = 12'8"
Draft = 6' (fin keel)
Ballast = 5200 lbs of lead antimony
Approx displacement = 18,900 lbs (this has got to be light with empty tanks, hard to believe, but that's what the factory brochure says).
Sail Area 670 sq ft

Her high deck and big windows give her huge headroom and very light and cheery down below.


Choate 37: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 14k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.48.


Columbia 50: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 6.6, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 27k, SA/D == 17.4, D/L == 326, B/D == 0.49.
Columbia 45: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 5.3 or 7.3, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.
Columbia 43: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 7.0, fin-keel, spade-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 22k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.46.
Columbia 40: LWL == 29, Beam == 10.7, Draft == 4.5/9.0, centerboard-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.46.

CYOA's "Columbia Model Specifications"
Columbia Yacht Owners Association
Columbia 9.6 reviewed in 8/1/2001 issue of Practical Sailor

Columbia 34 has 7' headroom ?

According to ad, Columbia 40 has 6'2" headroom.

From Tom on Sailing forum:
[Re: Columbia 36:]

I owned a Columbia 36 from '76 to '82, raced extensively in SoCal. Cruised from LA to Mexico, Sea of Cortez and back, no problem. A lot depends on condition of boat and crew, experience, preparation and attitude.

The 36 was well-built, solid, with a good turn of speed. Comfort aboard was adequate. I had an Albin, 2 cylinder diesel, 22HP that was reliable, sufficient power. We met a guy who had cruised his 36 from LA through the Panama Canal, around the Caribbean and back. He had experienced a 360 degree rollover in the Tehauntepec and not lost his rig.

Things to check out:
Keel to hull joint & attachment.
Deck leaks around fittings and migrates via hull liner. Difficult to repair.

From Alan Lewis on the IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
The 41 and 45 were very different in design (at least above deck) from most Columbias. The 43 was a large flush deck cruiser. The smaller Columbias (< 35) are probably not suitable for serious liveaboard purposes.

The 41 and 45, although probably designed to compete with the Morgan OI 41's and Gulfstar 41's of the same era, are better classified as motorsailors.

From Paul Esterle on the IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
We have a 1978 Columbia 10.7 (35') "meter" boat. It is arguably on the smaller side for living aboard but workable. It has a solid fiberglass hull and an interior that was built in place so is easy to fix. We are redoing the whole boat. We love ours. There is an extensive Columbia support group, with an active mail-list and a newsletter. One of our members just sailed his <30' Columbia to Hawaii.

From Louise Shekter on the IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
I own a (Hughes) Columbia 8.7 (translates to just under 29' LOA). This is a wide boat at 10 feet beam, over 6'2" clearance, and that makes it a good liveaboard boat. The interior is teak. The table fully lifts up and attaches out of the way against the bulkhead so the main area has lots of room when you're not eating, which is most of the time.

There is a built-in bar in one of the bulkheads. The head compartment has a sink and is reasonably large, this one with an opening hatch. The boat has a hot water heater, as well as a small shower in the head. A separate sump does exist if you wanted to set up the shower to drain in there with its own pump, though personnally I don't need to use it.

The V berth is large and OK for two adults, and the quarterberth also large. There are fiddles/shelves everywhere to put your gear, a large closet, and the galley has a built-in garbage compartment, a nice touch.

Engine access is reasonable, the companionway ladder isn't a suicide drop either. There are handrails everywhere, very important for offshore runs.

Altogether a lot of amenities inside.

She has a modified full keel and is built for Atlantic Coastal cruising, which is exactly what we did when we brought her up from Florida to North Carolina on the stream. At 8500 lbs (moderate) displacement she took the two meter waves well without being wet.

The construction is solid, bolted through bulkheads and chainplates, and a horizontal reinforcment rib running inside the hull for the full length of the boat, on both sides.

A good boat to cruise AND noted as being roomy and well laid out for it's size when it was first launched in early 1980s.

From Gary Elder:
... Columbia 34. Good boat, cheaply built, sometimes tricky to balance, very spacious inside, too much draft for Florida. ...

From BillZ on Cruising World message board:
I really love the early Columbias (pre 1970 Bill Tripp designs) the 45 and 50 to me were simply beautiful boats that sailed great. Keep in mind though that they had long overhangs so the 45 and 50 had all the interior room of say a 30ft boat. The later Columbias started getting better with the "room" below, the sacrifice was to the "looks" of the boat. To my eye they started looking very boxy and somewhat "top-heavy looking".

From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
Columbia: lotta boat for the money. But not a high reputation. Many of the models have an iron keel. Guess it was cheaper than lead.

Quite a few still around, still sailing. I have never heard anyone say, "ahh, now there's a good boat" while looking at one.

Don't look for getting a high resale so if ya want to enjoy one of these boats, make sure you get it cheap.

I looked briefly at a 1974 Columbia 45 in West Palm Beach FL in 3/2001:
Asking $50k.
7'3" draft.
Cockpit completely open to stern; big.
Very clear decks.
Wire winch for main halyard.
2 steps down from pilothouse area to cabin/galley, and to walk-through.
Headroom: 6'5" in pilothouse, 6'1" in aft cabin and aft head, 6'1" in part of the main cabin and galley, 6'1" in V-berth.
No ports opening.
Needs rewiring, new mast step, probably new keel bolts, could cut down draft (iron keel) at same time.

Concordia (Ray Hunt)

Concordia 46: LWL == 40, Beam == 14.2, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 25.4, D/L == 144, B/D == 0.40.
Concordia 40: LWL == ???, Beam == ???, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

Only older-than-1956 available in 40+ length ?

Narrow beam and little cabin space ?


Lester Helmus's Corbin 39 web-site

I looked briefly at the 1980 Corbin 39 cutter "Magic" in Marathon FL in 3/2001:
Asking $99k.
Aft-cockpit pilothouse.
Mostly 6'2" headroom; 6'1" in forward passage/head.
Canadian-manufactured kit boat. This one built and recently interior rebuilt by a shipwright; interior is stunning.
Exterior wood: caprail, companionway, trim.
Moderately clear decks: shrouds inboard a little, railings around mast.
All main cabin ports non-opening.
Two-step step-down from pilothouse area to main cabin.
Good access to bilge, clean.
Great access to engine.
Smallish cockpit, wheel takes a lot of space, wheel comes right to edges of benches.


Coronado 45 shoal draft: LWL == 34.5, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 4.9, fin-keel, sloop-rig, skeg-rudder, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.49
Coronado 45 deep draft: LWL == 34.5, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 7.3, fin-keel, sloop-rig, skeg-rudder, Disp == 23k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.45
Coronado 41: LWL == 31.7, Beam == 11.3, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, sloop-rig, ???-rudder, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.44
Coronado 35: LWL == ???, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, ???-keel, ???-rig, ???-rudder, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???

Designed by W. H. Tripp.

Coronado was Frank Butler's first boat company; he later started Catalina. Coronado acquired by Columbia in 1975.

Coronado HIN's are listed on Columbia web site

From Sailrite:
Coronado 45: I = 52.1, J = 18.24, P = 45.0, E = 15.0
Mainsail specifications for the Coronado 45 (in feet -- calculated from I,J,P,E data):
Luff 45.0, foot 15.0, leech - aft HB corner 46.78, tack angle 88.0, diagonal (clew/head) 46.93, head (inches) 6.0, area excluding roach 337.15

From Performance Yacht Systems "Rig Dimension Database":
Coronado41 45.0017.0045.0013.50  
Coronado45 52.1018.2434.4015.00  

From "Boatwatch" by Max Wade Averitt:
Coronado 45: SA 810 sqft.

From Gary Elder:
Coronados were built and marketed as a cheap boat. My less than perfect memory tells me that most everything on them was usually cheap and/or undersize. The Coronados in the 30 - 35' range that I looked at had areas in the hulls that were quite flexible, which could be a hint that they are not terribly strong. The standing rigging on the ones I saw was undersize also. I would prefer a smaller better boat to a bigger Coronado.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
First of all, any boat that age will be more likely to have serious problems than a newer boat just due to the normal aging process. In the case of the Coronado, they were built cheaply using some chopped glass materials, narrower tabbing and reinforcing than even their sister yachts, the Columbias. Hardware tended to be cheaper as well. Quite a few of their models had cast iron keels with galvanized iron keel bolts. They were known for electrical problems. As a result they got a reputation for not being as well built as other boats of this era. That kind of reputation suppresses the price of a boat. It makes it seem like a bargain and so they are often bought up by people who are short of funds and so are less likely to have the money it takes to properly maintain a boat. It's a kind of inbreeding that takes place. Cheap boats often are more maintenance-intensive than quality boats. Cheap boats attract people with little money. People with little money can't as readily afford to properly maintain these boats with greater maintenance problems and so more of them are in rough condition. This further adds to the reputation of a poorly built boat.

The reality lies somewhere in between. These were not well-built boats. I have worked on them but on the other hand they offer a lot of boat for the money and if you find a good example, are willing to have the boat thoroughly surveyed, and make sure you make the necessary repairs, you could end up with a reasonable boat for coastal work or a trip to the Bahamas. The only problem with that plan is that putting any boat back into shape can cost a lot of money and by the time you put the materials and labor into fixing up a boat with a poor reputation, fair or not, you could have easily bought a better boat and had something worthwhile to sell when you are done with it.

From bjv on Cruising World message board:
While generally people, especially on this board, will readily trash the Coronado there seems to be a number of them out there still sailing around which means some people still like them. As an owner of a Coronado 35, I have to admit it is an ugly duckling, but for coastal cruising with two teens, a dog and a cat it's got a lot of room and is comfortable to live on (we call it our Winnibago on the water). If you want something fast, sleek, ocean crossing, show off at the yacht club then don't get it. If it's in sound shape and you want to hop from port to port / island to island then maybe you should, recognizing that a boat this age might need some solid elbow grease and work; but for many of us that is half of the hobby / fun / keeps us out of trouble aspect of boat ownership. Make sure you check out the hull and deck closely.

From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
They were the cheap boat of the 60's.
You get what you pay for.
If you just want a boat for light use and you want a lotta boat for the money, and don't care in the least about having a boat with a stigma similar to a Yugo, it's for you. Just don't overpay or put much money into it because I think you'll have to price it low to ever sell it. Good boat for a nonserious sunday sailor.

From Chris Ross:
The Columbia list at SailNet, or the CYOA list at will provide a wealth of info re: the Coronado. Coronado inquiries turn up there frequently and are diligently answered by the Columbia folk. There are several Columbia 45 owners who are active and will have good insight into the Coronado 45 (shared hull).

From Carl Revine:
I read the critiques which were provided to you on the Coronado 45. I must say I was very disappointed by the apparently uninformed opinions. I have been sailing and living aboard a deep-draft Coronado 45 for the past two years. I can tell you that this is a great boat! She's solid, fast, and spacious. She performs well in any condition, and has never failed us yet. I feel much better on this boat then I do on many new production boats, such as the Hunters and Catalina's out there. Her hull is made from laid woven glass, not from a chopper. Her hull is not cored and is about 1.5" thick, the deck is strong but could use some reinforcement. I have found no delams or blisters on this boat. The gelcoat is original and does show stress cracks and voids. For a 28-year-old boat, she's hanging in there very well and better then I would expect from any glass boat. By the way, this boat was built at the Columbia factory on the East coast with the identical hull to the Columbia 45. Maybe the things these guys were saying apply to the smaller Coronado's, but this baby shows no signs of bad quality or design. For the record I would like to add this testimonial.


Creala (Crealock)

Creala 40: LWL == 32, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 5.7, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 16.9, D/L == 336, B/D == 0.42.

From Ron Rogers on The Live-Aboard List:
Crealock 37: No storage space. Excellent hull and rigging. There have been at least three owners of Pacific Seacraft to date. I would look for one made in the 90's. I believe that it would be difficult to live aboard. Another Crealock 37' owner in my community agrees. Many interior design defects remain. For example, there is not 4" of insulation all around the refrigerator. In warmer waters, the engine puts out a lot of heat and may overheat, depending on the year. Galley sinks are too low - especially when vessel is loaded with supplies. Owing to shallow bilge, any amount of water makes most under seat stowage wet. It is also cold as heck to liveaboard during winter.


Creekmore 47: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 5.5, ???-keel, ???, Disp == 30k, SA/D == 17.5, D/L == 326, B/D == 0.37.
Creekmore 46: LWL == ???, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 6.0, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 30k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Creekmore 45: LWL == 33, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.7, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 31k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36.
Creekmore 40: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.7, modified-full-keel, ???, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

1980 Creekmore 40 "Whale II"
Ryan Neve's Creekmore page

From "SailNet - Owner's review of 1980 Creekmore 40":
"... all Creekmores were custom and I have seen a great variation in finish quality and rigging. ..."

According to broker: 1985 Creekmore 45 has fiberglass deck, 6'3" or 6'4" headroom, full keel.

I looked briefly at a 1985 Creekmore 45/46 center-cockpit cutter in Ft Lauderdale FL in 3/2001:
Asking $79k.
Headroom: 6'1" under bimini but could be raised, beams at 6'1" and 6'2" in main cabin, 6'0" in aft cabin.
Small cockpit.
Shrouds obstruct the side decks.
Deck paint is all cracked.
Exterior wood: toerail, grab rails, cockpit coaming.
5'8" draft.
Probably underpowered: 55 HP engine with 31k displacement.
Under-tanked: 50 gal fuel, 100 gal water.


Caribbean Sailing Yachts, a charter company; Peter Schmitt.

CSY 50: LWL == 39, Beam == 14.0, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, ???-rudder, sloop-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
CSY 44: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.3, Draft == 6.5 or 5.0 ?, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 33k, SA/D == 14.2, D/L == 308, B/D == 0.36.
CSY 37: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == ???, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.40.

Sturdy, good ventilation. Very solid hull.

From Don McNair:
... CSY made some very good boats back in the 70's. Check out the CSY 37. It's raised deck makes it very roomy inside and it has excellent sailing ability and wonderful ventilation. Should be able to find them fairly inexpensive. The earlier the hull the better. The very last hulls were molded not in their own facility but by Irwin and were not built nearly as well.

From Jack Tyler on the SeaRoom Cruising Forum:
CSY's are big (that's BIG) roomy cruising boats originally designed and built for the charter trade. They aren't known for their sailing ability but are stout, beamy and shallow of draft. 'Watch outs' are the early designs that lack a walk-thru from the main cabin to the aft cabin, and used boats that have been active in charter and may not be in great (or even acceptable) shape. The design evolved a bit when CSY went under, and was subsequently built as an Antigua 44 for a while until it too disappeared.

From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
CSY 37. Bounce em off a reef = no problem.

Heavy solid boat. They did make em in a short and tall rig. I would certainly hope for the tall rig. There is one of each on my dock in St. Pete. The tall rig has double spreaders. Looks like it would carry enough sail area to make it go in moderate breezes. The short rig would need quite a bit of wind or you'll be motoring a lot.

I do not know if it befell the same fate as the CSY 44, namely that late in the production history the molds were sold to another builder which did not make em as well as the orig.

Had some friends who lived on one for years. They really enjoyed it, taking many trips to the keys and bahamas from Tampa Bay.

I hope you like to varnish things ... it's got a lot of wood.

From h40.5bob on Cruising World message board:
A friend has had a CSY 37 for years. He loves it ... a bullet-proof, heavy, trade winds reaching boat ... performance in light airs isn't its forte ... doesn't point well ... he motors a lot in the fl light airs ... but it's a compromise between a sailboat for him and a trawler for his wife ... he wouldn't trade it for anything.

From William G on Cruising World message board:
Was aboard a CSY 37 for the St Petes to Isla Mejers race this past May. Very luxurious surroundings for a race boat. Hot water showers once a day, freezer, etc. We were on a port tack going out and coming back. The only problem was we could only sail at 60 degrees off the wind. Any closer and she would jibe. However with jib and main we could accomplish 7 knots. One other thing, the baby stay doesn't leave a lot of room to move the jib from side to side. We would roll the jib up to tack and jibe. The stay sail was good sailing close to the wind but we didn't use it for broad reaching, it seemed to interfere with the jib.

From Brian Woloshin on Cruising World message board:
Some CSY 44s were built by Ted Irwin and very poorly done. CSY switched builders. When I was looking for my boat I saw an Irwin built CSY 44 that was falling apart. If it's one of his I would stay away.

From Gary Elder:
... CSY 44 ... Some were built as walk-overs, others were build as walk-thrus. They easily fit under 65' power lines, and were built with a 6.5' draft that could be shortened to 4.5'. The keel has a 'score' line built into it for the purpose of reducing draft. ...

From a friend of Gary Elder:
My CSY 44 had a 56' stick. They do make a tall rig for the same boat that is over 60'. Draft was 6'6" but many have been cut down to 4'8". They are designed to do that easily. Beam was 14'8" and wet she was about 40,000 lbs. Can you say heavy slug? May not get there fast but YOU WILL GET THERE in one piece.

110 gallons of fuel and 400 gallons of water.

I looked briefly at the 1980 CSY 44 CC cutter "Aurora" in West Palm Beach FL in 3/2001:
Asking $119k.
Walk-over: we hated the way it made everything seem chopped up and small.
Club-footed staysail.
Exterior wood: toerail, rubrail, cockkpit coaming, grab rails, boom gallows.
Stack-pack and lazy-jacks on main, roller-furling jib.
Ratlines on port side.
Big cockpit.
Clear side decks; cluttered aft deck.
Boom gallows.
Broken-off davits.
Aft companionway; navigation station at foot of it.
A couple of flexible spots (no stringers) on deck.
Headroom: 6'2" in aft cabin and aft head, 6'3"-6'5" in main cabin and forward head and V-berth.
Almost all ports are opening.
Whole aft end of main cabin is galley; some wasted space.
Great access to engine.
Forward head is big, with separate shower stall.
Moderate amount of storage space.
Main cabin feels a big small/tight.
Surgace is worn off some fiberglass hatches.

From Grandma Rosalie:
There are NO CSYs that are 50 feet. The original Schmitt specs and drawings were given to Irwin to build under the name of Windward. I know at least three of these boats were produced in 1976, but they were such poor quality that CSY bought them out (cost them $1 million).

There are three or four models of the CSY 44, and two versions of the 37 (A and B) and two versions of the 33 (A and B). The models of the 44 are Walk Over (the majority), Walk Through, and Pilot House. The Pilot House are the rarest, and only 22 were made, plus the yard manager in Tampa had a Walkthrough Ketch Pilothouse combo made for himself which he still owns, cruises and lives aboard.

There were 41 Walkthroughs made, some of which were finished by Antigua, and there are some Antiguas which were made with the CSY Walkthrough molds. CSY resisted making this model strongly. The Pilot Houses are ketches. Two of the Walkthroughs are also ketches. Almost all the CSYs were originally configured as cutters but some people take off the staysail. The fourth model of the 44 was the fishing boat, which were also (I think) ketches, and there were only 5 or 10 made.

The boats that were completed after CSY went out of business in 1981 were completed by Antigua and NOT Irwin.

After 1982 CSY had to replenish their charter fleet so you have some boats that are called CSY (like the 1987 50 foot one), which are not real CSYs. The guy who was with Annapolis Sailing School in FL and St. Croix (managed the St. Croix branch) wrote me that, "After CSY went out of the boat building business Gulfstar build two models for them, the 42, and a 50. These two boats were not as graceful or "pretty" as the earlier models Gulfstar built for themselves, typically called the Gulfstar 42 and the bigger sister Gulfstar 50. The CSY Gulfstar, however (which has a stylized/italicized "CSY", on either side just forward of the transom and below the sheer) was a higher sided boat and not a terribly good performer or good looker. But it DOES have room inside.

"After that, CSY went to Morgan/Catalina to have boats built. The first version was a 43, and then a year or so later it was called a 44, but I cannot tell the difference. These boats had a peculiar rigid hardtop, similar to the earlier CSY Gulfstar 42s, propped up on 4 or so aluminum poles. The effect was quite "an afterthought." This put the boom quite high off the deck, and this arrangement made furling the main, and worse, reefing it underway quite "exciting!!" "

The boats come in two drafts - the 44 shoal draft is 4'11" and the deep draft is 6'6" (or 6.5 feet). They also have tall masts with two spreaders (65 feet for the 44s) and regular masts of about 57 feet with one set of spreaders.

CS Yachts

I looked briefly at the 1989 CS Yachts 40 sloop "Eloise" in Ft Lauderdale FL in 3/2001:
Asking $100k.
Volvo engine (bad).
Traveler is in middle of companionway, obstructing it.
Headroom: 6'0" under bimini (might be able to raise it a little), 6'2" in main cabin and forward head, 6'1" in V-berth, 6'2" in aft cabin.
Big aft cockpit, but huge wheel and some fiberglass intrusions into cockpit, awkward crouch into companionway.
Clear decks.
Exterior wood: seats in cockpit, companionway, nothing else.
1/2 of ports are opening.
Entire cabin sole is screwed down.
No swim platform.




Dickerson 41: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 4.5, ???-keel, ketch, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.34.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
Re: Dickerson 37: "Which of the three Dickerson 37's; the hard chine wooden one, the Farr designed IOR race boat or the fiberglass round bilge ketch?"


Downeaster 45: LWL == 35, Beam == 14.0, Draft == 5.9, full-keel, ketch, Disp == 39k, SA/D == 14.2, D/L == 392, B/D == 0.31.
Downeaster 38: LWL == 29, Beam == 11.9, Draft == 4.9, full-keel, cutter, Disp == 20k, SA/D == 14.7, D/L == 357, B/D == 0.41.

From Gary Elder:
Downeast 38: Bowsprit, short waterline, aft cockpit, and it pitches badly.

From Rey on Cruising World message board:
Good sturdy solid boat. They make the 34, 38, and 42 I believe [actually 32, 38 and 45]. Dan recommends the 38' over the 34'. Dan almost bought one instead of the Freeport 36. Downeast is a bluewater cruiser - I knew of two in Hawaii when I was there that cruised in from the South Pacific. It's an "anywhere boat".

Made in Newport Beach, CA during the late 70's, early 80's. Voluminous interior, comfortable. Cockpit is a little exposed to us - if you put lee curtains around the stern rail, you might find it a bit more protected and comfortable.

Dan purchased the Freeport instead, only because he didn't plan on any bluewater cruising at the time, and he could walk into the cabin a lot easier (Dan is 6'4") on the Freeport.

I've never heard anything bad about the Downeast, and the owners that I knew in Hawaii loved their boat. If you do Caribbean or Bahamas - watch the draft.

From Gary on Cruising World message board:
A friend just sold his 38. Pretty solid boat. As I recall, the waterline was a little short and the overhangs a little long. The engine room was like a big vertical cave - lots of room, but difficult to use the volume.

From Werner on Cruising World message board:
Built in Costa Mesa calif 32' 38' and 45' from 1975 to 1983, problem cored foam decks, watch for delamination, delivered 32, and 38' on the baja bash good up wind but most are under-powered. Boat had a ferryman diesel 30hp in the 38' 32' had a 24hp westerbeke, they also made a couple of schooner rig 38'.

From Dave on Cruising World message board:
I saw one here in Japan a couple of years ago. Husband and wife crew, didn't have any real problems, but spoke of some problems with ballast material/installation. I can't remember the specifics, but some were made with concrete, some with iron. ????


Durbeck 46: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.6, Draft == 5.0, full-keel, ketch-rig, Disp == 37k, SA/D == 15.7, D/L == 361, B/D == 0.34.



Endeavour 42: LWL == 33, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 15.2, D/L == 290, B/D == 0.38.

Endeavour 40 very slow; 42 better ?

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
The Endeavor 32 started life as an Irwin 32. In that form it was offered as a centerboarder. While it was not all that well-built, in that form it was a pretty good sailing boat for its day. When Endeavor started producing the boat, they eliminated the centerboard and altered the rig, reduced ballast and went from the lead ballast in the Irwin to lower density ballast in the Endeavor. They also dropped even further in build quality. My experience with two Endeavors in my family was that the hardware was really too small for the purpose and a lot of corners were cut. The result is a boat that I would never recommend to anyone.
From JoeC on Cruising World message board:
... Jeff H. makes some important points that you need to keep in mind. The Endeavour was definitely a mid and not high end market boat. It too has its problems, but it really depends on the specific boat you are looking at and how much you want to spend and/or invest in your own effort.

I have owned an E-37 for some 10 years. Is it a Valiant or a Tartan or a PacSeacraft? No, certainly not, but when I dig down into the basics: Perkins & Hurth, Michigan Wheel, significant hull thickness, absence of blistering, a pretty good mast, a rig tuned to offset the admittedly awful underbody shape, a lot of ABI hardware, and most importantly stuff I and the previous owner did to the boat produce a pretty good sailing boat that is strong, safe, and prefers winds in the teens if I want to get somewhere.


In late 70's 80's, E37 was a mainstay of the cruising fleet in Carib. In a good wind, boat points quite well. We have beat to many a mark and held our own with other, more capable boats. When the boat powers up, she moves very nicely, pushes a lot of water, but moves. Given the wind in the Carib, you are probably going to be working with reefed main which will help with balance. We have full batten main and 110 jib and are very happy (plus occasional asymmetrical for fun). We can hold wing-on very easily and when wind is on or just aft of beam, she drives very well. She is a bit tender when you push with full sails, reducing sail, brings boat even with virtually no loss of power.

If you are intent on Carib, strongly suggest you consider increasing capacity of cockpit drains. Boat can carry lots of weight, tons of storage for gear, food, etc.


[Re: Would you take E32 or E37 across Atlantic?:]
No, I would not. The E37 is NOT intended to be an offshore boat. Its cockpit is too(ooooo) big and the rudder is too small and it lacks sufficient draft. However, would I trust it in big seas, Yes!

From John Dunsmoor:
... I have sailed aboard a couple of Endeavors and while it is a solid vessel they are notoriously slow. When a vessel is healed over and pulling hard in twenty knots of wind and the GPS still says 5 knots, I get a sick feeling and start looking for the kelp bed or lobster trap we must be pulling. ...

From Steve Arnold on Cruising World message board:
A common and expensive problem for the Endeavour 40 and 42 is fuel tank leaks. There is a design problem where bilge water comes in contact with the tanks and the repair involves major interior disassembly. I've heard that some repairs run over $10,000 even with the owner doing much of the disassembly/assembly.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
We had two in my family, a 37 and a 40 plus I have spent some time trouble shooting a 42.

Endeavours of that era (1980's) are a real mixed bag. I thought they had reasonable interior finishes and offered a lot of room for the dollar. As far as build quality I would put them pretty much on a par with Morgan or Hunter. Both boats had undersized and poorly laid out hardware. Both boat had miscellaneous build quality problems, leaks, electrical, glass work. One boat was bought new (hull 2 or 3) and the other was a used mid production run boat.

I thought neither boat sailed all that well. In light air they did not sail at all; they really were underballasted in heavier stuff. There are some current owners who disagree with me on that point but coming out of a performance boat orientation, I thought the boats were not very good heavy air boats. I also thought that the 37 had one of the most uncomfortable motions in a seaway of almost any boat I have ever sailed; light or heavy.

The 42 was an ex-charter boat. It was really full of problems. Some were pretty minor (the traveller was shot) and the other was a coked turbo charger and fried engine. This was a turbo-charged Yanmar which I think is really is not a great engine for this application.

You can expect that some of the problems will have been addressed by prior owners or will be glaringly visible. To me Endeavours are a good example of getting what you pay for. They not really trashy but they are not gold platers either. For some uses they are perfectly fine: living aboard, cruising the ICW (with a different engine), jumping over to the Bahamas when the weather window looks good, stuff like that. They are not my idea of a real offshore boat or a good coastal cruiser if you like to sail and hate motoring.

From John on Cruising World message board:
I own a 37 Endeavour "A" plan. You need to ask yourself what your cruising plans are. Do you want to sail across an ocean? ... the Endeavour is not the right boat. Do you want to lake sail, cruise the Florida Keys or skip on over to the Abacos and Bahamas? Then this IS the boat for you. Most of these boats were built very conservatively and fairly strongly. They will sail very well off the wind and offer lots of space ... both below and in the cockpit. Typical problems include crazing of the gel coat, corroding tanks and some minor electrical gremlins. Most of these problems should have been addressed by the previous owner if you're looking at an 80's production vessel. For the money, and if used to do what they were designed for ... shoal water coastal cruising in Florida and the Bahamas, these boats will get you there safely and for a reasonable cost.

I looked briefly at a 1980 Endeavour 45 cutter ketch in Ft Lauderdale FL in 3/2001:
Asking $99k.
Exterior wood: rubrail, toerail, trim on cabin sides, grab rails, bowsprit, cockpit coaming, hatch rims, stern boxes.
Clear decks.
Roller-furling jib and main.
No swim platform.
Traveler behind cockpit.
Big cockpit; side instruments well-protected.
Headroom: 6'4"-6'6" everywhere; 6'1"-6'2" under bimini (room to raise it).
Slightly limited settee space; big low cabinets on port side.
Lots of refrigerator space.
Spacious heads.
Aft cabin bed's headroom a bit obstructed.
Tough access to engine.
All ports are opening.
Moderate access to bilge.
5'6" draft.


Endurance 38: LWL == 30, Beam == 11.7, Draft == 5.6, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 18k, SA/D == 16.7, D/L == 313, B/D == 0.35.


Ericson 43: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.5, Draft == 7.0, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 17.8, D/L == 207, B/D == 0.45.
Ericson 41: LWL == 29, Beam == 10.7, Draft == ???, modified-full-keel, spade-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.46.

Ericson Library
Ericson 32 reviewed in 7/1/2000 issue of Practical Sailor.
Ericson 36 articles in Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

I sailed on 1978 Ericson 30: barely 6'1" headroom, boat didn't track well (had to adjust helm constantly), space behind wheel is a bit cramped.

From John Cook on Cruising World message board:
I owned and lived aboard an Ericson 30 some 28 years ago. It sailed well, but was a bit tender. It was a responsive and exciting boat to sail. Although these are not built tough as tanks, there is no reason to fear anything about them. I had my 30 in as much as 60 knots around the Channel Islands in California, was knocked down several times, broached hard once with the spreaders in the water, and had it in gales with waves that wet the sails beyond the spreaders. Once, a surprise storm built quickly and the seas steeped up enough to swamp the dinghy on davits, bending them and tearing the dinghy off. We sailed in under bare poles, pulling an upside-down dink. Other than the dink and davits, there was no other damage.

The 35 is built similarly to the 30, and both are internally ballasted fin keels with spade rudders. This is a positive point in that there are no keel bolts to come loose. Although I would have no problems with using a cruising equipped Ericson 35 on the open ocean and for extended voyaging, it may prove a bit spirited for *comfortable* cruising. Also, that boat has a giant cockpit and lacks a bit of internal room. I have sailed both the 35 and the 41 (or is it a 40 - I have forgotten) and they all seem to be too tender (as cruising boats) for my taste. While a tender vessel won't strain her rig so much as a stiff vessel, I still prefer a boat that will stand up to a blow. It's just a personal preference.

I put a thruhull in my 30 and the hull was well laid up, a bit over a half inch thick (not cored, but this was below the waterline). I did get blisters, but nothing much over the size of a pencil eraser. Overall, I would have to say that they are not as solid as some, but they were built as racing machines and intentionally kept light. They have quick motion at sea, but will sail themselves for hours when trimmed correctly and the wind a fair bit ahead of the beam. They don't pound excessively, and surf to an extent. I was easily able to reach 12 knots surfing downhill in my 30. I enjoyed it, but my wife did not; too tricky to sail easily, she said.

As a cruising boat, I would prefer something with more room. 90-percent of cruising is being anchored and the rest is traveling from point to point where you will again anchor. In light of that I look at cruising boats for their carrying ability and comfort at anchor. The Ericson 30 and 35 sail erratically at anchor. It's annoying, but can be stopped by anchoring stern first, or flying a riding sail from the backstay.

I doubt the Ericson 35 will cause you any difficulties with living aboard or sailing in weather to about 30 knots. Beyond that, they can be a handful.

From John Lark on World-Cruising mailing list:
I have owned an E34 for the past 5 years, love the boat and she sails like a dream, I'll try to give you some of both good and bad sides.

I have been racing dinghies for years and when we bought the E34, thought it would also be a good boat to race or cruise. Previous owner raced it. What we have found was that we ended up cruising and day-sailing her and never got into racing much. I also like a boat with some performance, What I found was that the Ericson was a lively, fast, somewhat tender sailing boat, really more of the racer/cruiser class. She is well built, tracks splendidly and turns on a dime. She will heel early, and doesn't like her rail in the water, although I have sailed her with full sail in 22-26 knots, she really should be reefed at about 18 and is actually faster reefed above 20. With a hull speed just over 7 knots, I frankly don't think you will see 10 knots out of her under any point of sail without gale-force winds, but she will easily run at 8+.

The good side - besides being a great boat to sail, and with a little forethought, easy single-hander, the following are all plusses:
- excellent hull to deck joint, love the low maintenance fiberglass rail.
- good engine access.
- one of the largest quarterberths you will find on any boat.
- spacious interior for a 34 foot boat.
- good stability index, check her out on performance calcs, it will surprise you.
- great support group - yahoo Ericson owners list is very active with regular group get-togethers on both east and west coast.

The not so good side - mostly from a cruising viewpoint:
- limited storage space.
- subject to water down the mast to step and into bilge. Regularly pump bilge after a rain. If the sole shows signs of water deterioration that is where it is coming from.
- like any older boat no longer made, parts can be a problem. Engine probably still readily available, but for example if you don't have screens and need them where you are going, they are impossible to find something that fits, so you end up making something.
- ports and hatches will leak - if they haven't been reset or replaced, plan on doing it.
- check chainplates and posts for seal, common for cored decks to have some water infiltration.
- The hull is solid laid up fiberglass, great for strength but poor insulator and depending on where you are headed can be an issue.

I have sailed the E34 from Chesapeake, all along the ICW and home territory on Pamlico Sound in NC. Never taken her offshore. While I think she is a great boat for coastal cruising, I would not want to cross an ocean with her, although some people have. As I said, we have ended up doing mostly cruising, and the Commodore (me being the lonely Captain) had a list of the things we wanted on a Cruising boat ... namely:
- Windlass (getting too old to manually pull up a well-set anchor).
- Refrigeration (E34 has 2 iceboxes).
- Better shower arrangement (We rigged a deck shower from the head on the E34).
- A little more room for those times when we have kids and grandkids on board for a few days.
- Original engine is underpowered. We repowered shortly after buying the boat, stepping up to a 28 HP Universal and really glad we did after a couple times racing for shelter with the wind on our nose in the Pamlico chop.

Regarding the draft ... I have a Shoal draft 4'-11". I don't known where you are sailing, but on East Coast, and especially ICW I would not go over 5 feet. We have grounded a few times, mostly mud and we could easily back off, but once on ICW and had to be towed off. If you want to gunkhole into some really nice anchorages, as we do, stay away from deeper draft.

About six months ago we came across a Sabre 38 with everything we wanted and bought it. The Sabre is more of the Cruiser/Racer variety, and we have compared the E34 often to the Sabre. Really wanting a boat that handled as well as the Ericson, but with more cruising capability. In a lot of ways, I still prefer the Ericson, mostly for its sailing capability, have even thought about keeping it and trucking it to Chicago where my son lives for a boat on Lake Michigan, but then I really don't need 2 boats !

One other suggestion if you buy the E34 ... our previous racing owner did not have an autopilot, we added a hydraulic linear drive autopilot shortly after our first cruise on the Chesapeake. Really happy with it, the Sabre has a wheel driven autopilot ... scrap it if you have one, or go to the linear drive if you don't ...


Fast Passage

Fast Passage 39: LWL == 34, Beam == 11.2, Draft == 5.5, fin-keel, cutter-rig, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 15.0, D/L == 261, B/D == 0.34.


Ad for 1980 Formosa 43 says it has 6'6" headroom.

Ad for 1979 Formosa 46 says it has teak decks.

From Todd Johnson on IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
Re: Formosa 35

I just bought a CT 41, built by Ta Chiao, which was the boat yard right next to Formosa. They shared a lot of resources and often built almost identical designs (the Formosa Yankee Clipper is the same basic design as the CT41). I did a lot of research into these boats and give you a bit of insight that might help you out.

The hulls of these boats are generally overbuilt, and well laid up. The keels are usually encapsulated iron and cement, but do not seem to be a problem area (I haven't heard of any keel problems, at least). I do not believe that the sailing qualities are as poor as they are often described, but these are heavy, full keel boats, designed for comfort, not speed, and you just have to accept that. These boats are designed and built for blue water, but they do have problem areas that you need to look at carefully.

The biggest problem area is the deck and cabin trunk. The older boats were made with plywood cored decks and cabins. The teak decks and hardware were often screwed directly into the deck right into the plywood, without proper sealant and there is often rot, often serious. Later models boats were built with balsa cored decks instead of plywood (this is one of the first things you should check). If there is major deck rot, you need to seriously question whether the boat is worth it. If there is rot in the cabin trunk, you may be able to repair it, but if it is major, the whole cabin may have to be rebuilt.

Other potential problem areas:

Chainplates - sometimes poorly forged, check carefully.

Fuel tanks - usually made of "mild-steel", sometimes incorrectly called Black Iron. These are limited life tanks and should be check very carefully. Best to check them empty, use swabs to take samples from the interior of the tanks. Have a professional do this. Also, make sure that the tanks can be easily removed, without having to tear up the interior.

Wiring - often substandard, but not always.

Teak decking - if it is time to replace it, or if there is any possibility of deck delamination and rot, suggest removing it and putting in non-skid.

Wood masts and mast steps - The wood masts should be surveyed unstepped. In particular you should check the base of the mast and mast step for rot, as well as entry and exits for wiring.

Regardless of the titles sometimes given them ("leaky teaky", "Taiwan turkey"), these can be great world cruisers. However, if the problem areas have not been addressed, or the boat has not been taken care of, they can be more trouble than they are worth.

From Fred Gerbstadt on The Live-Aboard List:
I am familiar with the Formosa though my son. He has a Formosa 43 ketch, 30000 lbs. He bought it as a boat that sorely needed cosmetic treatments and had some structural problems. These problems were mainly in the deck, bulkheads, and mast step.

Many old Tiawan boats have teak decks that were improperly laid. They eventually leak and lead to rotting deck cores. Owners of this kind of boat must count on extensive deck repairs. Without correcting the problem the boat will be structurally unsound. Period.

Bulkheads are another source of structural problems. Bulkheads are taped to the deck and hull (similar to most all fibreglass boats). The tape dams water so that it soaks into the bulkhead eventually delaminating and causing rot. These are repaired by removing the rot and glassing in new wood with the tops of the bulkhead thoroughly saturated with resin to prevent future problems.

Masts are stepped on the keel. The mast step should be looked at skeptically because part of the step is wood.

The Formosa ketch has a bow sprit ... these have their own special problems. I prefer boats without bowsprits and boomkins because these are maintenance items. But she looks really shippy with a sprit. I am glad the others have boats with sprits ... I like looking at them.

On the plus side the Formosa layout is very workable and the boat sails very well at sea. The hull is a nearly bulletproof layup of heavy (uncored) fibreglass. There is only a very small cockpit well. This is good and bad. Water in the well drains very quickly ... and there is never much water because of its small size. But one does not have the feeling of security that a deeper cockpit offers.

My son had repairs in all these areas but now has a sound, classic, comfortable boat which easily makes the Chesapeake-USVI trip every season. It took him through the eye of Hurricane Mitch (26 hours of terror) while others were sinking and getting USCG assistance. I personally have made USVI-Bermuda and Bahamas-Moorehead City on her.

In short the Tiawan boats have their weak points (like American, French, English or Canadian boats do) but the hulls are very strong (usually) and those designed by William Garden sail very well if rigged to his specs.


Fuji 45: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 5.5, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 31k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.29.
Fuji 40: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 27k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.30.

From ads: 1976 Fuji 45 ketch has 6'5" headroom; 1978 Fuji 40 cutter has 6'10" headroom.

Fuji 45 is an Alden design; Fuji 40 is a Sparkman & Stephens design.


Gozzard 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 4.8, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.38.


See my Boat Model - Gulfstar page


From "Bruce Cranner on Choosing a Sailboat: What Design?":
"Hinkley Bermuda 40. Rock solid, but slow. If you buy one, it's a boat your grandchildren will be sailing - VERY S L O W L Y."


From Ron on Cruising World message board:
Take a look at a Hood 38, particularly the Mark II. It was built by Henri Wauquiez when he was the owner of his small yard in Brittany. He built "the Swans of France". It is a very high quality go anywhere boat. I own a Wauquiez Pretorian 35 built at about the same time (as does the prolific author and 2 time BOC entrant Hal Roth who, as I, loves his boat) also built by the same yard but designed by Holm & Pye. I'm extremely happy with mine and am limited in my sailing to only my available time. The boat will take me anywhere except were there is ice.

The Hood 38 has less bright work than the Bristol which may or may not be to your liking.
From Peter on Cruising World message board:
We considered the Bristol 38, Little Harbor 38, and the Hood 38. We understand that below the waterline they are essentially the same Ted Hood design. We also learned that the Hood 38 is extremely well-built (category 1 which means worldwide, go anywhere) and since it's less well-known in the market place than its cousins it offers an extremely good value for the money. We suggest looking at the Mark II which is the more American design as compared to the Mark I. We sold a Tayana 42 to buy the Hood 38 and have never looked back. There is no comparison in terms of quality of construction.


Hughes Columbia Assoc


Islander 44: LWL == ???, Beam == 11.0, Draft == 7.0, fin-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == 20k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36.
Islander Freeport 41: LWL == 33, Beam == 13.2, Draft == 5.0, full-keel, ketch-rig, Disp == 22k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.27.
Islander Freeport 36 Plan 'A' and 'B': LWL = 27.6, LOA = 35.75, Beam = 12, Draft = 5.25, fin-keel, skeg supported rudder, sloop-rig, Disp = 17000, Ballast = 6300, B/D = 33.16%, SA/D = 14.59.

From broker about 1971 Islander 44: "the Islander 44 does have teak decks that seem to be in very good condition".

From broker about 1976 Islander Freeport 41: "headroom is 6'3"; no teak decks".

From another broker about 1976 Islander Freeport 41: "headroom is at least 6'4"; fiberglass decks".

I looked briefly at the 1978 Islander 36 sloop "Sierra" in Ft Lauderdale FL in 3/2001:
Asking $57k.
Very clean.
No rubrail.
Big aft cockpit.
Minimal exterior wood.
1/3 of ports are opening.
Headroom: 6'2" under bimini, barely 6'2" in main cabin and V-berth.
Great access to bilge.

From Don Grass:
Islander Freeport 36 Plan 'A' and 'B':

Built by Islander Yachts of Southern California from 1977 to 1984, and designed by Robert Perry. Probably not more than 200 were built.

LWL = 27.6, LOA = 35.75, Beam = 12, Draft = 5.25, fin-keel, skeg supported rudder, sloop-rig, Displ = 17000, Ballast = 6300, B/D = 33.16%, SA/D = 14.59.

Islander Freeport 36 Center Cockpit: Robert Perry, NA. Originally conceived as a charter boat for a charter company. 30 boats ordered. Unknown as to how many were delivered. Same hull as the F36. Justin Thompson states that basically it's a F36 with the "B" interior, and the quarter berth from the "A" interior. Extra length is added in the bowsprit. A different rig, longer boom, mast a foot forward, two large windows in the salon. Main salon and settee slightly larger. Produced for only one or two years.

Islander Freeport 38C: Islander dropped the Freeport name in the late 1980's. At this time, the F38 was reconfigured to the I(F)38C. The Islander Freeport 38C is basically the same hull and superstructure as the F36, except with the addition of a 2' bowsprit, and four large windows in the salon, opposed to 6 large windows in the F36. Built from 1972 to 1974.

Island Packet

Island Packet 40: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.9, Draft == 4.8, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 23k, SA/D == 14.7, D/L == 259, B/D == 0.44.

1996 Island Packet 45:Sailing with Halimeda

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
To me these are not the offshore boats that they are sold as for a variety of reasons. First the source of my opinion. In the Chesapeake I get to see a lot of them underway and to watch their motion and performance. I have seen them in a wide range of conditions from high winds (over 60 knots), to moderate conditions, to almost no wind. I have seen them in flat water and in waves to 6 or 8 feet. Over the years I have made a point of talking to Island Packet owners as well. It is on that basis that I have formed an opinion. In fairness I personally have never sailed one.

First, Weight for weight sake: At the center of my core beliefs about what makes a good boat, I believe weight, in and of itself, does nothing good for a boat. It does not add, stability, strength, or comfort. It does add greater stresses on rigging, and the hull. It means greater forces on running rigging and on steering. These stresses wear down crew and place a greater emphasis on having mechanical equipment to help out. When it comes to safety, this dependency on mechanical equipment or an exhausted crew is dangerous in my opinion, especially as these boat are sold as being easier to sail than more moderate design.

Second: Ballasting and Weight Distribution: When I look at the numbers on the Island Packets, I see a boat with comparatively shallow draft for its length, not a particularly high percentage of ballast to weight when considering that the ballast is carried high in the boat), a lowish density ballast system (described in earlier literature loose ballast set in a binder of some kind) in an encapsulated keel. That said, I.P.'s 40 % plus ballast ratios on the newer boats are better than many in the industry.

The real issue to me is where is this weight carried. It's carried in solid glass topsides, it's carried in heavy rigging and hardware, it's carried in a small rainforest full of teak, it's carried in lockers mounted above the waterline.

When I think of an offshore boat, a 41 footer with 4'8" draft is not my idea of what should be going offshore.

To really achieve a comfortable motion, weight should be concentrated low. So, while a heavy mast will slow the roll rate it will also increase roll angle, while a low C.G. will not only slow roll rate but also decrease roll angle in an excitation situation. I've watched as I.P.'s have rolled mercilessly in conditions where even lighter boats were not rolling through as large an angle. There are two components of comfort at sea, roll angle and roll rate. The heavy boat world tends to focus on roll rate, which certainly is important, but roll angle is of equal import and little gets said about that.

Third- Easily driven hull issue: I think that an easily driven hull form is critical in a safe long range cruising boat. It means more speed but more significantly from a safety standpoint, it also means that you can get by with less sail area in a real blow. My limited experience with heavy winds (winds over 60kts) suggested that the winds don't just stay at one speed. They go up and down very rapidly. and you need to be able to carry enough sail area at the 40 knot side of the swing to maintain steerage and forward motion, while remaining survivable at the lower end of the wind range. If you look at genuine traditional hull forms, even reasonably burdensome versions, they were carefully modeled to be reasonably easily driven. When I stand below an Island Packet, this does not appear to be the case.

Fourth- Motoring. In talking to a number of Island Packet owners there is one common thread. The amount of time they spend motoring. It's almost universal. They motor in light air, they motor in heavy air. They seem to sail in a narrow range of windspeeds between 12/15 knots to something like 20 knots. That's what they say if you ask them or look around you. I have watched them beating in winds of 20 or so knots and they do not look like a traditional heavy yacht in those conditions. They are heeled a lot, they seem to have a lot of weather helm and they do not seem to be having an easy romp. Some of this maybe the skippers who sail them because I don't see dropped travellers and bladed out sails, but with a mid-boom traveller, it may not be possible to blade out the sail properly. Still a heavy weight cruiser should not have to hail me in 20 knots of wind to ask me not to pass as close as I was (fifty feet to windward) since he was having trouble keeping the boat on course. Indeed he seemed to be rounding up at times. These are sold as full keel boats and that just should not happen.

So what's so bad about needing to motor? To me that is a safety thing. Through a boat around and inevitably you will lose power. Not today, or tomorrow but someday, when you can't clean out the filters quick enough to address the gunk you just picked up in a backwater fuel dock. Its happened to me and we ended up disposing of a near full tank of diesel. Depending on motoring isn't safe in my book.

But beyond that I watched as an IP tried to motor into a 60 plus knot wind. It could not keep its bow up and was taking some big knockdown (we all were) but that means his engine intake was up out of the water part of the time and that his engine was operating at heel angles it was not designed to operate at. The IP was clearly going to leeward at pretty high speed. We (on a very light boat) were able to beat out of the river and achieve sea room.

... I know there are some out there who will disagree. I would love to hear from an IP owner or Bob Johnson for that matter, since they will have a different take on this. A couple final points, I do think the newer boats bigger boats seem to be better sailors than the earlier boats, and I really question the rudder arrangement which appears to be a rudder post supported spade rudder with an in line strut.

From John Dunsmoor:
... I think that the Island Packet is a bit over rated and their 38' was slow. I understand that the 44 footer is better but here again is another vessel that is very expensive. ...

From h40.5bob on Cruising World message board:
Jeff, can you (or others) explain the following IP mystery? ...

Unless i'm mistaken, IP's have won more cw boat of the year awards than any other builder ... while I realize there is debate about the value and methodology of these awards, highly knowledgeable people are involved, and there is a clear pattern there ...

IP's are made in pinellas co, fl, and there are many in this neck of the woods ... jeff, I agree with your critique of their sailing qualities ... while they may be good on a long tradewinds reach, they simply don't perform well in the prevailing light air conditions along the west coast of fl, and you often see them motoring or motorsailing ...

When I installed my genset earlier this year, things went smoothly ... the mechanic happen to mention relief that this wasn't another IP installation ... he volunteered that he added 20% to quotes for IP installations because of the difficulty in accessing and working with their systems ... he didn't suggest that the systems were cheaply done, but that work on them was difficult and time-consuming ...

When you read the numerous cw boat of the year articles on IP's, the authors uniformly praise the quality of the construction, design of the systems, and overall yacht design ... no reviewer that I can recall has seriously questioned IP sailing performance ...

IP and its many satisfied owners would point to the numerous boat of the year awards as excellent evidence that these are highly desirable boats, and good value for money ... how can all these knowledgeable panels of judges be wrong?..

Can anyone out there explain this??


Jeanneau Sun Kiss 45: LWL == 37, Beam == 14.4, Draft == 7.4, ???-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == 17.1, D/L == 220, B/D == 0.35.
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45: LWL == 38, Beam == 14.7, Draft == 6.6, deep-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 16.9, D/L == 162, B/D == 0.34.

Jeanneau America
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 tested by Hank Schmitt in Nov/Dec 2000 issue of Blue Water Sailing magazine

"Jeanneau have two main ranges, each covering appr. 20-50 feet (Odyssey and Fast)."

"If I remember correctly, a big advantage of the Jeanneau is that it is not built with a liner. Your repairs down the road would be easier."

Produced by Beneteau.

I looked very briefly at the 1989 Jeanneau 44 aft-cockpit sloop "First Run" through Gulf Coast Yachts in St Petersburg FL in 3/2001:
Asking $100k.
Headroom: 6'3" in main cabin aft half, 6'2" in main cabin fore half.


Krogen 38: LWL == 32, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 3.2 up / 6.7 down, twin-centerboard-keel, ???-rudder, cutter, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.29

Kadey-Krogen Yachts
The Krogen FAQ -- and other things Krogen
The Krogen FAQ's "38 Cutter FAQ"


Lancer 45: LWL == 39, Beam == 13.7, Draft == 5.3, ???-keel, ???-rudder, sloop, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.25.
Lancer 42: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rudder, sloop, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.37.

An Unofficial History of Columbia Sailboats talks about Lancers

From ad: 1985 Lancer 45 has 6'6" headroom.
From "SailNet - Owner's review of 1982 Lancer 43": "6 foot or more headroom throughout".

From Bob on Cruising World message board:
Re: Lancer 36:

Built by Dick Valdez and his pal, Murry. I visited the factory in the early 80s. Very poor construction. The building was full of illegal Mexicans wielding un-tuned chopper guns. Please stay away from Lancers. Now you know why the price is so low. In a blow, off the coast the boat could creak, moan and start to separate. Buy something older yet stronger for the money.
From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
Hard to do worse.

One of the lowest quality boat lines I've seen. Stay away. I know of no one with extensive sailing experience who would waste their money on one.

I have no actual experience with the 36 but from what I hear all the Lancers are poor workmanship and skimpy on construction. Once in a race we had a head on collision between a C&C38 (us) and a Lancer 27. The Lancer unwittingly approached a start in progress (not her division) on port tack right at the gun near the committee boat. We tried several evasive moves which were matched (in a seeming death wish) move for move by the Lancer's skipper. It's true our bow pulpit was bent, but that's about the extent of the damage. There were little bits of Lancer all over our foredeck. We went on to race. The Lancer retired with extensive structural damage. The small pieces were obviously chopper gun construction. I believe that boat was totalled. We never saw it again.
From Tom Hamilton on Cruising World message board:
Hey guys: Thanks for the input, but I have question. Are you guys talking about a 36 or the smaller Lancers ? I had a surveyor spend 8 hrs on the 36 I am looking at and he was pretty impressed with the quality. It was all matt layup and no chopped stuff. I sure don't know it all, but I posted this on another site and got only very positive responses. So as you may guess I am a little confused. I am told the 36 was built to be much more than the cheap Lancers and it was designed by Farr and Lee. It also won the Trans-Pac. Don't hold back if you are familiar with the 36. There are a few on the market and most are not that cheap. ...

From Charmaine (and Bill) aboard s/v September Sea:
We own a Lancer 36 built by Bill Lee and Bruce Farr. The prototype of our boat was Chutzpah, a 35 footer that to this day is the smallest sailboat to ever win the Transpac ... and Chutzpah won it twice.

The OTHER Lancers are not like the 36. Great quality in construction with a super fast hull and comfortable amenities. You can see our Lancer 36 s/v September Sea at our web site:

She's all teak inside with excellent joinery. Solid as a rock. All Lancers are not the same. Ours was built sharing the same facilities as the Endeavors of the same era. There are many similarities in the two manufacturers at that time.

Granted, many of the smaller Lancers were junk and that was proven. But the 36 designed by Lee and Farr is not one of them. Their names should attest to that fact. We've lived aboard ours for over three years and we are avid sailors. We can't say enough about the ruggedness of this vessel. She has handled 10-foot seas with ease and has survived eight hurricanes in the last 15 months (we're down in the Florida Keys). She is a screamer of a sailer and she takes excellent care of her crew.

... I believe our boat was made only from 1980-1984. ...

Someone told me of a kit-built Lancer; maybe some of them were sold as hull-deck-bulkhead kits and assembled by owners ? Not sure if true, and what model.


Mariner 40: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.5, Draft == 5.7, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ketch, Disp == 27k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.33.


Niagara 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, fin keel with spade rudder, sloop, Disp == ???k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

From SG on Cruising World message board:
[Niagara 35:] ... they were a well-regarded cruising boat which feature a very large cockpit, reasonably roomy interior, and solid construction. They are a bit heavy for light air work -- but I had a friend with one that managed to enjoy light Chesapeake winds with a cruising chute.

Their design is typical of the late '70's early '80's with a sail plan that utilizes a relatively large foretriange for its drive.

From a construction standpoint they were above average in terms of finishes -- but I recall them as a very nice cruiser with decent finishes and construction.

They're on par with the better older Pearsons (before the last five years of that line).

From Geres on Cruising World message board:
[Niagara 35:] ... there at least two interior plans. One has a bulkhead right inside the companionway. Guess what? That's HOT! as air can't circulate. The second plan is more traditional and breathes better. Think about where you plan to sail (and resale) and plan accordingly.

From Janice on Cruising World message board:
Owned a Niagara 35 1974 for 4 years ... lived aboard and sailed her from Toronto to the Bahamas in 1991. Great performer, comfortable and reliable offshore. The only problem we had, as many do, was some delamination of the forward deck. The balsa got wet when the previous owner caulked the stantions with bathroom caulking and not a more solid compound. The deck was repaired by digging out the wet balsa core and replacing it with epoxy ... and glassing over. I must say that the layout was superb for offshore work as the two quarter beths aft were ideal for offshore work. Very, very happy with the boat. Bruckman Yachts (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) has the molds and will build the 35 and 42 (see Sept [2000] Sail magazine ... they had a layout of Piniped the Niagara 42 mold with a custom interior).
From TalW on Cruising World message board:
I sailed on Janice's boat before they headed south, and have spent quite a bit of time on another Niagara 35 Classic (1979) with the original layout (workshop forward, then salon, then galley to port and head to starboard, then 1/4 berths - port is a double and starboard has nav station). The layout's great for coastal and offshore (for people who're happy with a snug double quarter berth). I've heard that ventilation's a problem in the sleeping quarters in tropical heat, but it's great in the rest of the boat! Niagara introduced the Encore in 1984 with a more conventional interior layout - more preferable and much more $$$ on the used market. The boats came with different Volvo diesels (both saildrives) or a Westerbeke with a V-drive, a much better, but less popular, choice IMHO.

The Niagara 35 was one of Mark Ellis's first designs after leaving C&C, and was built alongside the Nonsuch 30 at Hinterhoeller Yachts in St Catharines. It's always struck me as a reasonably attractive traditional-looking cruiser - if only it had 3"-4" less freeboard I'd call it VERY attractive! Hinterhoeller-built boats were consistently well-engineered, constructed, and equipped, but many suffer from serious deck delamination problems (similar to their counterparts at C&C just down the shore a few miles!). Make sure to check this area carefully.

Performancewise, the boat's a decent sailor (PHRF-LO's 165), but a little tender for my taste. Not totally unexpected in a 35' boat with high freeboard which weighs only 14000# (design displacement - I doubt they're actually that light), draws only 5'2", and has a reasonably large spread of sail (598 sq ft). That sail area is pretty skewed towards the foretriangle, so make sure the winches are big (and preferably self-tailing) to simplify sailhandling.


Oh yeah, and the Niagara 31's a completely different boat - similar appearance and very traditional interior layout, but designed by German Frers and much more performance oriented than the 35 ...


Nordic 44: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.40.

Nordic 44 cruising article in 7/2000 issue of Blue Water Sailing magazine

From Brian Woloshin on Cruising World message board:
I have a Nordic 44 which I took around the world. They are basically good boats, well-built structurally but mine had some corners cut in the systems construction. They used untinned wire and did a sloppy job of wiring the electrical panel. They also used cheap hose in the plumbing. The stanchion bases were aluminum with stainless stanchions and they seized together. I had to do a lot of rewiring, plumbing and replace the stanchion bases and many of the stanchions.

Overall they did good on the important things like good, solid construction, well-built mast. My boat was built in '85. I have seen a later boat where the joinery was terrible.

The boat is a great sailing boat and typically did 180 to 200 nm per day on downwind passages. Best day ever was 208!

From Ron on Cruising World message board:
I have about 4000 offshore miles on a friend's Nordic 40. It is a great boat. He is now in the Maldives on a circumnavigation and he is over 70. As noted by the owner of the 44, the boats were built less well by about the mid 80's. I once almost bought a 84 model which was still very well-made. (You could contact Bob Perry who was the designer. He'll act as a consultant on the purchase of an offshore capable boat for a few hundred dollars.) The boat is fast and goes to weather, nice attributes I think. In the 40 foot size, I can't think of a better offshore boat.

From Steve Lebowitz on Cruising World message board:
Nordic 40 was Bob Perry's further refinement of the Valiant 40 / Passport 40 concept, which continued with the subsequent Passports. A high quality production yacht built in Bellingham, WA, comparable in fit and finish to a Tartan or Sabre.


I looked at a 1984 Norseman 447 cutter (asking $235k) in Alameda CA: big; lots of headroom; totally teak deck.

From Jeff M on Cruising World message board:
I'm 6' 2", and specifically did NOT get serious on a Norseman 447 because headroom was lacking. The whole boat made me feel like it was built for someone up to 6 feet, but no more. Seats, bunks, headroom, everything. This was in 1983, perhaps later models have changed.

From Steve Lebowitz on Cruising World message board:
Norseman 400 was drawn by Gary Grant, a former associate of Bob Perry, and built for an American firm by Ta Shing Yacht Bldg Co, builders of Baba, Panda, Tashiba, Taswell, and Mason Yachts. Hull and foils are similar to the Passport, although slacker bilged and higher in freeboard. Taller rigs and lighter displacement than the Passport 40s, more in line with today's Passport 41/43. Fit and finish is excellent.


O'Day 40: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 4.5 or 6.3?, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
O'Day 39: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.6, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.40.

O'Day Owners Web

From Alfadan:
In reference to my 1985 O'Day 35, the headroom is 6'3" according to the manual, and the decks are not made from teak, rather, they are balsa cored.


I have been in correspondence with Joan Santomenna who has been living with her husband (I assume) in the Caribbean on an O'Day 40 for the past ten years or so. I asked her how the O'Day held out all this time. She said they had weathered five hurricanes and travelled up and down the Caribbean, and the boat has held out beautifully. In her words, "she sails like a duck" - meaning she won't knock down and is seaworthy. The O'Day 39 is used by sailing schools in the Chesapeake. They are tough, easy to work on and sail wonderfully.

Pacific Seacraft (Crealock)

Pacific Seacraft 40: LWL == 31, Beam == 12.4, Draft == 6.1, full-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 23k, SA/D == 16.8, D/L == 338, B/D == 0.37.
Pacific Seacraft 37: LWL == 28, Beam == 10.0, Draft == 4.4, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 16k, SA/D == 15.7, D/L == 332, B/D == 0.39.

Pacific Seacraft 34 and 37 article in 5/1/2001 issue of Practical Sailor.

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
I consider the PSC 34 and 37 one of the timeless classics in the making. They sail wonderfully, strong, stiff and with confidence, able to take whatever the ocean might throw at her. The finish, construction and design is up there with the best. We loved the 34 but it didn't give us the platform which I wanted, that my present vessel gives me. They're a little tight down below for living aboard.

From Geres on Cruising World message board:
If your intended use is long-distance cruising, you might find the PS37 a bit shy in storage space for gear. Since the interior is a fbg pan, modifying cabinetry would be tricky. Anchor stowage on the bow is secure and the molded windlass platform is a good thing, but there's not much room for rode in the forepeak - if you plan to use chain, it might castle, then tangle pretty badly up there. Even on the 37, finding room on the cabin top for a hard dink is going to be a challenge. I'd advise that if all things were equal you *pass up* a 37 with the "singlehander's package" (all lines led to the cockpit) in favor of the less cluttered, simple and more powerful option of winches on the mast.

Wiring is very professional looking, with access behind the hinged breaker panel a breeze. Fixtures are of good quality. However, you might find quite a bit of the harness running through the bilge (less than ideal). At the time we owned our two Seacrafts, the factory did not provide a wiring diagram to the original owner nor would they draft one up after repeated requests.

The pressure water pump on our two Seacrafts seemed to have a life of just over a year before requiring replacement. Also, the design (or something) caused the pressure water to jet out in squirts accompanied by hammering and shaking something terrible until we installed an accumulator tank which (come to think of it) also seemed to extend the life of the pumps. The hot water heater is prone to rusting and are a *itch to winterize. But then many of these issues are not limited to the Seacraft ... common to lots of production boats, right?

Unlike the Cape Dory, that gets those pesky cracks where the cabin joins the foredeck, or the Bristol Channel Cutter which seems plagued by crazing and small cracks everywhere, Seacraft glasswork is exceptionally well-done, on all but a few boats. We toured the factory and found it very well-organized, clean and packed with knowledgable workers going about their business.

What did I mean "on all but a few boats"? Well, we ordered up a Dana 24 back in 1988 that quickly developed a chalky gelcoat and never seemed to be rid of the strong smell of uncured resin. After a couple trips to NC to do patch repairs and assess numerous voids under the deck non-skid, Pacific Seacraft trucked the Dana back to Fullerton, CA for a comprehensive repair (at their expense) that included decking it over in teak. They were quite patient with us when even after all that work, we decided to reject the repaired boat. Over a couple-few months, their marketing VP bent over backwards to keep us happy campers, eventually getting us a terrific bargain on a PS31 that included accepting the Dana on trade. We understand our old Dana is in charter service somewhere in the Florida panhandle now.

So, while customer service was *super* if you're looking at a late 80's vintage Seacraft, be very wary of spotty, chalky gelcoat with cracks and voids -- one of their engineers told us our Dana was only one of several in a series that had a problem. On one trip to the factory, they had removed the seahood from one PS37 and were doing extensive tests to see if they could figure out what went wrong (last we heard, they never did understand it).

If you see no evidence of that nasty quirk, and you think storage space adequate, you'll find the Seacraft line well-constructed boats that hold their value and sail kindly and well-balanced. When we sold our PS31 a few years back we actually got more than we paid for the boat and installed accessories (of course the great deal Seacraft's marketing VP arranged for us could have been a factor).

From Walter Hanley Smith on Cruising World message board:
I spent a weekend on board a PS 37 recently and I agree that the finish doesn't seem to be the best quality, however she sailed very well and was very easy to handle.

From a former owner of a PSC 40:
... The 37 and 34 will get you wherever you want to go, but are small inside for a family of 3. I found the 40 to be very well built, and the layout great for three. We lived on it for almost a year, and singlehanded in 20 to 32 knots all the time. I felt that the beam might have been enlarged too much to satisfy marketing, as when we motored to windward, I felt the boat stall when punching through seas. ...

Pan Oceanic


Passport 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.9, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 26k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

Passport 40 article by Ralph Naranjo in 3/2001 issue of Cruising World magazine; says 148 produced.

Des Ryan article on Sail World

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
Bob Perry's designed Passport 40 is an extremely large 40 footer, reason being that the wide beam is carried way aft, making lots of interior real estate to offer 2 nice size cabins and a large nav/salon area, with stall shower, etc. The construction is middle of the road, one step down from Tah Shing. With its modern underbody and large skeg hung rudder, and cutter rig, they sail well.

From Rich and Kathy on Sailing forum:
[Re: Passport 42 (Solar Marine):]
In April we purchased a 42 Slocum (Solar Marine) which, I believe, is the same boat. We have sailed her in 25-30 knot winds with the main and staysail, and she was very stable. We have mostly sailed in light winds in that we live in the Pacific NW and summers aren't very breezy. Windward her best point of sail is at least 30 degrees off the wind, although she does point closer. We are very pleased with the boat and her performance. Our plan is to go offshore in two years. Check the wiring because the original wiring, we're told, was inadequate. Ours has been redone.

From John B on Cruising World message board:
[ Re: Do all the Passport 42s have a cored hull?
If so, is that a bad thing for a cruising boat? ]

Yes they all do and as long as you keep water from getting in the cored area you are ok. Otherwise you could lose some of the structural strength. The Slocum 43 was similar to the PP42, same designer same Taiwan builder and Practical Sailor Magazine did a very thorough review of the Slocum (which you can request a copy through them) with emphasis on the pros and cons of a cored hull.

From Steve Lebowitz on Cruising World message board 2/2001:
I work for Wagner Stevens Yachts, the original dealer and since 1988 the builder of Passport Yachts.

What follows is my canned reply letter to inquiries on the Passport 40, of which Bob Perry said, "has earned, and does in fact deserve 'classic' status." Anyone who would like an information packet with original specifications, brochures, ads, reviews, etc. can email me.

I should mention that most Passport hulls are not cored. Airex or Klegicell coring was and is an option, primarily for sound and thermal insulation rather than weight saving or stiffening. Decks were originally cored with marine grade mahogany plywood squares, encapsulated in a honeycomb pattern. Today we use closed cell foam, except where deck hardware penetrates.

Our founder, Wendell Renken, introduced the Bob Perry designed and Taiwan built Passport 40 in 1980, and Thom Wagner, president of Wagner Stevens, sold Hull # 1 at the Annapolis Sailboat Show that fall. That yacht is still sailing, as are the 147 hulls delivered from 1980 to 1990, each custom finished to owners' individual expectations. The Passport 40 remains a popular performance offshore cruiser with classic lines, robust construction that has stood the test of time, and a richly finished warm teak interior with maximum use of cabin space.

In 1988 Bob Perry redesigned the transom of the Passport 40 and increased the sail area (lead ballast, which was a popular option on the Passport 40, was made standard, lowering the center of gravity to accommodate a taller rig). Eleven Passport 41s were delivered from 1988 to 1991, after which the recession and the ill-conceived luxury tax halted production.

When demand for new luxury sailing yachts revived in 1994, Thom Wagner, who had earlier assumed complete control of Passport Yachts, commissioned some minor modifications to enhance performance (again increasing the mast height) and reintroduced the yacht as the Royal Passport 41. Two years later, Cruising World named the Royal Passport 41 Boat of the Year. An extended version with a gently tapered counter stern but the same lwl and interior volume, the Passport 43, is also available. We have since dropped the "Royal" designation, which never took, and we've completed 14 hulls of this spectacular design and have 2 more under construction. Our yard is working at full capacity, and delivery time is now 10 months from date of order.

Alack, what was considered a roomy 40' saling yacht in 1980 is a narrow-beamed, low freeboard thoroughbred in today's market. While the classic Passport 41 and 43 remain in production, Bob Perry recently drew for us a Passport 415 and 435 that is 8" wider at max beam and 3" higher in freeboard, to answer our voluminous competitors.

From below, all three versions have the same feel, although each yacht has unique custom modifications. All Passport 40 interiors have solid teak staving, which provides a rich, traditional ambiance. All newer Passport 41s are finished in flush teak veneer with contrasting solid teak accents, providing a lighter and more contemporary appearance.

About 50 percent of the Passport 40s have a head forward layout, followed by a roomy pullman berth forward of the main bulkhead. There is a quarter cabin aft to starboard, often with a "hideaway head" and wash basin. The other 50 percent are V-berth forward, followed by a head with separate stand-in shower and the same quarter cabin arrangement. The main saloon has either a U-shaped settee with the engine under the aft seat, an L-shaped settee with the engine under the table enclosure, or a bulkhead mounted hinged table (rare). Nav stations face either forward, aft, or outboard, and quarter cabins vary in size. The galley to port is grand, and each was customized to meet the original owners' needs.

Then and now, the first step in building a new Passport is to measure the owners. This determines everything from counter height, length of berths, to the level of the sole (we make sure you have headroom). Halyard winches are positioned for maximum leverage without stooping or reaching. You will find other creature comforts, such as toe spaces on base cabinets and corners on settees (rather than the circular settees that appeal to the eye at boat shows but are uncomfortable to sit in).

Most Passport 40s built from 1980 to 1988 have teak plank overlay side decks. In the history of our production we have never had a single case of deck core softening, and I have never seen a Passport teak deck in need of overhaul. Just wash lightly with salt water, and they silver over very nicely. Occasionally, a plug might have to be replaced, or some caulking. We built some Passport 40s without teak side decks (most newer Passports have fiberglass nonskid), and even a few with aluminum toe rails in lieu of teak caprails. All have safe bulwarks at the gunwales to which the stanchions are securely mounted.

Part of our commitment to Passport owners is design consistency. In 21 years of production, we have made only two minor modifications. This consistency, plus our quality of design, materials and execution, explains why Passport 40s have consistently appreciated in value. A well-maintained Passport 40 will sell today between $140,000 and $200,000, depending on outfitting and condition. Passport 41s have sold in brokerage between $225,000 and $275,000. Royal Passport 41s are rare to the market and have sold at prices higher than new construction ($361,000 equipped price for the next available hull). An extended version with a gently tapered counter stern but the same lwl and interior volume, the Passport 43, is also available.

A careful inspection of any Passport will reveal exceptional materials, construction, and workmanship throughout. Indeed, Passports are durable in all respects and retain their good looks much longer than most yachts when properly maintained. Try opening and closing a lazarette locker lid. Notice the tight fit and even gap. Do the same with a cabin locker door. Lift a floorboard. We use quarter-inch solid teak and holly with a marine grade plywood backing, capped in solid teak around the perimeter and barrier coated on the bottom with unepoxy. (Surprisingly, other builders with glowing reputations use paper-thin veneers on unfinished and unprotected plywood).

You simply won't find any better hardware or materials on any other yacht. Knowing that engines, tanks, heads, and other components won't last as long as the yacht, we designed everything to fit through the companionway and to be replaceable without major surgery.

Of course, none of this overshadows the fact that Passports sail comfortably and securely in all conditions. Our yachts have circumnavigated, cruised the Caribbean and Pacific islands, or sail weekends and holidays in coastal waters.

Paul Whiting


Pearson Countess 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 5.3, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 28k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Pearson 43: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.8, Draft == 6.5, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 22k (28k loaded), SA/D == 14.3, D/L == 404, B/D == 0.42.
Pearson 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == 5.3?, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36.
Pearson 424: LWL == 34, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.3, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 21k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Pearson 39: LWL == 31, Beam == 12.4, Draft == 6.8, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 17k, SA/D == 18.2, D/L == 245, B/D == 0.40.
Pearson 365: LWL == 30, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == 14.5, D/L == 293, B/D == 0.41.

Pearson 37 review in Practical Sailor's 3/2000 issue.

I looked at a 1981 Pearson 365 ketch (asking $60k) in Alameda CA: big cockpit; headroom was barely 6'2".

Pearson 390 was built for the charter trade. Not same as Pearson 39.

"... a nice later version of the Pearson 35 has about 7' of headroom ..."

From Lew Hill, owner of a Pearson 40:
I noticed that you list several Pearsons as possibilities. Did you know that Bill Shaw, designer for most of these, reported that his choice of all production boats for an offshore cruise would be the Pearson 40 ? At about 65 to 75 K it is a real bargain. It is also quite easy to single hand.

Mine is number 65 and was built in 1981. What makes it easy to single hand is that it tracks very well. I use a wind vane with a tillermaster hooked up to the vane for motoring and compass steering. I generally sail with only the jib (roller furling) for day sailing. It has an unusual bottom in that it is kind of roundy. The people at the yard call it "fudgy the whale" but it only draws 4 1/2 feet with the centerboard up. Nine feet with the board down. It is pretty heavy (28,000 lbs) and really likes a blow. ... The Pearson 40 also has a PHRF rating of 117 which means that it is pretty fast as well.

I sailed the last Carib 1500 on a Pearson 424. It had a little more room below but didn't seem as fast. I would prefer the 40 for cruising and have spent about a month single handling in the Chesapeake and another on Long Island sound and Block Island. Anchoring was not a problem and I do not have a windlass. I would run the anchor line back to a winch and wind it up until the chain (35') was back to a mark on the deck. Not bad for a guy in his late 50s.

From John Dunsmoor:
[Re: Pearson Countess 44 ketch:] These are solid boats with great headroom and excellent sailers.

I looked briefly at a 1988 Pearson 37 sloop in Key Largo FL in 3/2001:
Asking $80k.
Roller-furling self-tacking jib, in-mast roller-furling main.
Headroom: 6'3" in main cabin, 6'2" in V-berth, 6'4" under bimini.
Most ports are opening.
Separate shower stall.
Fairly clear decks (shrouds mostly inboard).
Walk-through helm seat becomes swim platform.
V-berth only; no aft cabin.


From Frank G on Cruising World message board:
Perry 47: a lot were built in the late 1970's, by professional yards. The Perry 47 had a boom time 70's to early 80's than for some bizarre reason fell away from popularity. They were mostly rigged as sloop in the 70's then became a popular ketch 80's. I hear this was because many were built to sail downhill and ketch suited the use and hull design well. The professionally built boats are beautiful even by today's standard. They are a renowned fast passage maker and did really well in offshore cruiser races. They also were one of the best balanced designs in most winds, lock off the helm and off you go with an autopilot doing minimal work. The design also had some new fangled mod cons for the day with ducted air conditioning for example, hell most cars of era didn't have that. Many were touted as "luxury cruiser". I am not sure how many are out there but I know of at least 12 I have run into during my travels. The good ones are real head-turners with the lines of a thoroughbred. ...


From bernie on Cruising World message board:
The amazing thing about a Roberts designed boat, is that you see them in every harbor around the world. Most, if not all, were owner built or completed. All have very straight sheerlines, with the underbody reminding of an Amel, same look above and below. As for value, its a good one, in your favor.

I never really sailed one, so I can't really comment on that one (but I will, the boat will sail fine, stiff and track straight).

Down below, just hope that the owner/the guy who finished it, did a good job. I'd get a good survey, for plumbing, wiring and mechanical installations need to be checked.

They shouldn't be selling for too much, compared to other 45'ers out there.

From Jon B on Cruising World message board:
[In response to someone who said you have to start the engine to tack:]
Hate to disagree but:
I have been sailing a Roberts 53 for about 5 years now and have never had to turn the engine on to tack. Granted this boat is not as nimble as a day sailer but any 50 foot boat (or 45 for that matter) would certainly tack slower, but it will tack. I have tacked that boat in 4 knots of breeze. The fact is that Roberts designs are simple but if built properly will sail fairly well. I am talking about the conventional designs, not the Spray, which I personally do not like.

From Andrew Bebbington on Cruising World message board:
Two weeks ago I posted a picture of a steel Roberts 38 under spinnaker winning a race. The shot was taken from the Sigma 33 which came in behind. And what about 'Zeal', featured in YM recently, also a Roberts 38, which beat Robin Knox-Johnson to the single-handed round-Britain record.

Yup, they'll tack - even under storm jib alone if needs be. Not 90 degrees mind you, but after all they are designed for blue water cruising down-wind.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
Bruce Roberts is a popular designer but I am not a fan of his work. It is not so much that I do not like his work per se. I think that for the most part Roberts designs conservative simple boats, but to me they are dated. He has designed several 45 footers including his Spray series. His Spray series have less than no appeal to me. Having read about the original Spray and the sailing ability of some of the so-called copies of her, I have come to believe that Josh Slocum made it around the world despite the short comings of Spray rather than because of her sterling virtues. Josh Slocum was the consummate seaman. Spray was a coastal oyster boat. Why anyone in this day and age would want to use her as a model for a whole line of boats is completely beyond me. But I emphasize this is only my opinion and Roberts has sold a bunch of these things so my opinion is not shared by everyone on this.

Roberts more modern designs were probably good designs in the 1970's but a lot has happened since then. To me his design ideas have not advanced as well. My parents came close to buying a Seamaster 45 kit which was a Roberts 45. I found the boats to have very mediocre sailing abilities being undercanvassed for light stuff and really without sufficient ballast to stand up well to the heavier stuff. These are very heavy boats and I strongly believe that weight, in and of itself, has no inherent virtue either from the point of view of seaworthiness or comfort and is a very serious liability.

The interior plans on these boats were all over the place as was the ballasting schemes which varied from lead shot in polyester or concrete, to scrap steel in concrete. I have never heard of one with a cast lead or even a cast iron ballast. These low density keels only make the problem of a low ballast to displacement even more critical.

From Efraim on Cruising World message board:
Just to give some information from someone who built a Roberts and had been sailing her for the last seven years. First the ballast point by Jeff: We have poured lead into the steel keel and enclosed it with a top steel plate. Then we filled it with oil so no corrosion will happen. This gives Aliza great ability to sail close into the wind and not to heel a lot compare to other yachts we see sailing next to us. I might concur about the sail area (I could use more) however owners' choice here is what we did: In addition to the ketch rig, which gives us a very manageable 1600 sqft with a 135% Genoa. We added a 2308 sqft Asym. Spin. on a retractable bowsprit. This gives us ability to go almost into the wind with an asymmetrical sail. (My best angle to date is 85 degree.) When I sail her with Main and Genoa I can go up to 32 degree into the wind (once I did a 28 Degree in 25kt and it was great, however I also had the mizzen to help.) So she sails nice IF you give her enough wind (anything above 12kt is OK; 15 is good; 25 is superb). To the point about tacking: For a number of times in NY harbor I went out where there was almost no wind ~ 3-4 kt which with this heavy baby (about 28 tons or 60,000 lb) is close to nothing! I was able to go at about 1-1.5 kt and tack!!! Very slowly I might add, however the huge mass she caries helps complete the turn. When doing the tack I always have the inner stay out (about 180 sqft) and it helps slide that big Genoa when I need to. On the other side I have also tried to Gybe and got even better results as far as ease of turning.

Just wanted to give some testimonial from someone who actually done that and not just have an opinion ...

With that said, the whole idea is to have a safe enjoyable fun cruising yacht, it is the owners responsibility to create the environment supporting their ideas. We have done that with Aliza building her from ground up so it was easier. I'd look at any yacht see what she is now, the $$$, and what can I do with her in the future.

I looked briefly at the 1981 Bruce Roberts center-cockpit ketch "Whittle Seas" through Bill Browning in St Petersburg FL in 3/2001:
Asking $119k.
Headroom: 6'7" under companionway, 6'3" in fore half of main cabin, 6'1" in V-berth, 5'10" in aft cabin, 5'6" in walk-through, 5'11" in aft head.
Very good ventilation: all ports are opening, and 6 dorades on deck.
Lots of hatches in cabin sole.
Exterior wood: two wooden rub-rails, one near toerail and another 2 feet down from that.


S2 11.0 A (36' LOA): LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.0, Draft == 4.7, fin-keel, spade-rudder, sloop-rig, Disp == 15k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.40.

Mailing list


Sabre 36: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.3, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 13k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.

Seguin / Sequin ?

Southern Cross

Southern Cross 39: LWL == 31, Beam == 12.1, Draft == 5.3, fin-keel, cutter, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 17.6, D/L == 315, B/D == 0.37.

Southern Cross 31 review by John Vigor in July/August 2000 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
Designed by Tom Gillmer.
Built in Rhode island by CE Ryder.
Last 39 built around 1985.
About 40 hulls built.

Most were sold as owner finished with just bare hulls and decks sold. All are cutter rigged.

Underbody similar to a Valiant 40.

You ain't ever going to find a better ocean voyaging boat than a SC39, besides a Valiant40, PSC37 or Westsail.

More from bernie on Cruising World message board:
The southern cross 39 is probably one of the best boats under 40 feet ever built to sail the seven seas on.

Only problem is that 75% of them are owner completed and I think that most screwed things up. For the hull and shape ... just wonderful.

Satisfied owner:
"We have owned Kristali (SC39) since birth (June 84); it's a very solid boat, sails well and is great to look at."


Spencer 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.3, Draft == 5.7, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 35k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Spencer 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == 11.5, Draft == 6.5, full-keel, attached-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 24k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.


Tanton 42: LWL == 39, Beam == 13.1, Draft == 5.1, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 30k, SA/D == 17.7, D/L == 223, B/D == 0.31.


Tartan 42: LWL == 32, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 15.5, D/L == 300, B/D == 0.42.
Tartan 4100: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.5, Draft == 7.0, fin-keel, sloop, Disp == 19k, SA/D == 18.3, D/L == 185, B/D == 0.34.
Tartan 37: LWL == 30, Beam == 11.8, Draft == 4.2, centerboard, sloop, Disp == 16k, SA/D == 16.1, D/L == 270, B/D == 0.48.

Classic Sailboat (replacement parts for classic Tartans)
Tartan 3700 and 4100 reviewed in 11/1/2000 issue of Practical Sailor

From DougR on Cruising World message board:
I have a 1989 31.4 sloop. Tartans in general have a good reputation for craftmanship and comfort. Their resale value holds up well and indeed has a loyal following of owners who have friends wishing to purchase a like ship or move up. I have not seen a Tartan in good shape stay on the market for more than a month.

Ta Shing (Perry ?)

Double-ended design and all-teak interior.

Ta Shing is builder; also built Mason's, Taswell's, etc ?


From Bernie on Cruising World message board:
... the [Taswell 49] is one of the best designed, constructed and detailed boats ever built. Her glasswork, stainless, and installation of her mechanical systems are at a level that only a few of the best builders share. They sail wonderful.

I also had a Tahshing built boat, a Norseman 447 myself, that was the platform that the Taswell came from.

You can never go wrong with that caliber of boat.


Tayana 48: LWL == 40, Beam == 14.5, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 35k, SA/D == 15.7, D/L == 241, B/D == 0.33.
Tayana 42: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 5.9, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 29k, SA/D == 16.0, D/L == 362, B/D == 0.40.

Tayana 37 review in Jan 2002 issue of Cruising World magazine.

A dialog I had with Peter Hendrick, who owned a Tayana 42 and then a Wauquiez Hood 38:
> I'm interested in your comment that "Wauquiez is much higher quality than
> Tayana". I thought Tayana's had a reputation as strong and good quality.
> Can you give some specifics ?

Tayana does seem to enjoy that reputation, but in actual fact there is no comparison between the quality of construction between Wauquiez and Tayana. You need to start looking under the sole, in the back of cabinets, or in the lazarettes to really appreciate the differences. As one isolated example, the bulkheads on Wauquiez continue right through the sole and are solidly tied into the hull via many layers of overlapping glass. In the case of the Tayana the bulkheads didn't even continue below the sole; it was unbelievable. We had sole boards popping up when heeled due to (extreme) compression of hull caused by shroud tension exerted against structurally unsound hull. In talking to owners of sister ships, they experience same or even worse. In comparison, the Wauquiez is solid and there is no apparent distortion when well heeled over. By the way, the Tayana had a ballast displacement ratio of 40% whereas the Wauquiez is 50%. Surprisingly the Wauquiez does really well in light winds (ie, 4-6 knots) whereas the Tayana did nothing until 10 knots or more! We're very satisfied with the Wauquiez. We understand that under the water she is the same as a Little Harbor 38 and a Bristol 38.8. All of these hulls were designed by Ted Hood. We also understand that of the 3, the Hood 38 gives the best bang for the buck. On the negative side, she does not have a full skeg on rudder; it's very short so we get a little nervous in and around coral. Also, she has low initial stability which means she goes over to 15 degrees really easy and then hardens up. It was a bit of a shock after the Tayana 42 which was very stiff.

From Chuck Harris on Cruising World message board about Tayana 37:
They are great bluewater boats. Over 650 have been built. The Tayana owners group provides great support. We have over 400 members. They usually have superior storage, large tankage, and are built very well. They sail well, being a Robert Perry design. Many were built w/ teak decks and wood masts neither of which I like. Ours has neither. Try to find one w/ a larger engine than the three cyl. Yanmar. You can usually find many on the market at any one time simply because so many were made.

From RichH on Sailing forum:
[Re: 1983 Tayana 37 cutter:]

Moderate displacement, cutaway full keeled cutter. Robert Perry design that sails quite well; PHRF is 174. Taiwanese-built like a tank. A well-priced, good quality boat with good circumnavigation record. Interior - extremely well-made, usually to buyers specs (custom) - tons of teak staving. No two are alike inside. Typical comment is a crash between a good boat builder and a very fine furniture maker. Most need new sails to prevent weather helm - most were built with poor quality (Lam) Sails. Mast should be dead-straight-up instead of raked. Teak decks can be a soggy problem but the underlayment is made up of 2"x2" wood squares that can be locally injected with epoxy - instead of ripping up the entire deck! Some have spruce spars.

I'd opt for: the Mark II configuration - deeper cockpit; and, the Perkins engine instead of the Yanmar. An '83 probably needs the iron fuel tanks to be replaced. The ketch version (rare) is grossly under canvassed and is reputed to be a DOG! A little overpriced in today's market. Haggle deep! There is a Tayana Owner's group on Contact them for specifics. They all seem to LOVE these boats.

From Bernie on Cruising World message board about Tayana 42:
The Tayana Harris designed 42 is a great choice for liveaboard bluewater sailing. They offer solid performance and bulletproof construction. Fellow sailor ErikH on our BB owns one. I like the sharp high bow, and teardrop hull shape, underbody and rear. Down below, is a palace. The stainless and workwork is top notch.

Everything that I ever heard about the T42, and seen, makes me believe that, in that size, its a strong contender for one of the best values for a true bluewater sailor.

From Erik Hammarlund on Cruising World message board:
I own a V42 ... you should solicit replies on the Tayana Owner's list on SailNet. ...

Blue water boat: yes, absolutely. Bulletproof, lots of stowage/tankage, great capsize angle.

Sailing Characteristics: Nice. Better upwind than many full keel boats like T37 et al -- V42 has a modified fin and skeg hung rudder. Not as good as fin keel boats or those that are light. Not the best in light air though will move faster than you expect. Can carry a lot of sail, which helps. Good rig. Fine bow entry = not much spray or slamming though you have to keep weight out of the ends to avoid pitching. Typical Taiwanese construction with some betterments.

CC vs AC: We have an aft cockpit and I've never seen a center cockpit one. We will probably never own a center cockpit boat because ... well, we just won't. Many people are quite happy with them; some of those people are on the board. Other than personal preference there seems to be little performance difference between the models.

From owner of a 1981 Tayana 42 for sale:
The boat does not have teak decks, standing head room depends upon your height! The headroom is nominally 76" ...

From Dee Dee on The Live-Aboard List:
I visited a friend who was cruising his Tayana 37 in the Caribbean. When we entered the mouth of the Macarena River in Venezuela, we ran aground. (It turned out that we should have been following the Xeroxed hand drawn map instead of the British Admiralty chart.) The experience was horrible. The waves were picking the boat up and dropping it on hard sand which was like cement. The whole boat would shudder each time. After 45 minutes of constant pounding, we were dragged into deeper water by a fishing boat. The episode caused some rigging problems, but amazingly the hull was totally undamaged. I was impressed. The boat was also very comfortable and seemed to handle well.




From John Anderton:
... Teak decks, and several other features of traditional boats have received bad press due to the shoddy workmanship and marginal boat building practices in the Far East. There are several models of quality brand name boats that used non marine grade woods in their construction. There were several pilothouse 48' foot Hans Christians that were cored with household plywood! Indeed Bob Perry has gone to court to have his name removed as the boat designer of several boats, the Union 36 being one.


Vector 39: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.34.

According to broker, 1979 Vector 39 has 6'8" headroom. Tiller steering. Treadmaster deck. Airex coring.


Wauquiez Centurion 47: LWL == nnn, Beam == nnn, Draft == 5.9, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 30k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Wauquiez Centurion 40: LWL == nnn, Beam == 13.5, Draft == 5.5, ???-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Wauquiez Hood 38: LWL == 31, Beam == 11.8, Draft == 4.5/10.7, centerboard-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 14.1, D/L == 330, B/D == 0.50.

A dialog I had with Peter Hendrick, who owned a Tayana 42 and then a Wauquiez Hood 38:
> I'm interested in your comment that "Wauquiez is much higher quality than
> Tayana". I thought Tayana's had a reputation as strong and good quality.
> Can you give some specifics ?

Tayana does seem to enjoy that reputation, but in actual fact there is no comparison between the quality of construction between Wauquiez and Tayana. You need to start looking under the sole, in the back of cabinets, or in the lazarettes to really appreciate the differences. As one isolated example, the bulkheads on Wauquiez continue right through the sole and are solidly tied into the hull via many layers of overlapping glass. In the case of the Tayana the bulkheads didn't even continue below the sole; it was unbelievable. We had sole boards popping up when heeled due to (extreme) compression of hull caused by shroud tension exerted against structurally unsound hull. In talking to owners of sister ships, they experience same or even worse. In comparison, the Wauquiez is solid and there is no apparent distortion when well heeled over. By the way, the Tayana had a ballast displacement ratio of 40% whereas the Wauquiez is 50%. Surprisingly the Wauquiez does really well in light winds (ie, 4-6 knots) whereas the Tayana did nothing until 10 knots or more! We're very satisfied with the Wauquiez. We understand that under the water she is the same as a Little Harbor 38 and a Bristol 38.8. All of these hulls were designed by Ted Hood. We also understand that of the 3, the Hood 38 gives the best bang for the buck. On the negative side, she does not have a full skeg on rudder; it's very short so we get a little nervous in and around coral. Also, she has low initial stability which means she goes over to 15 degrees really easy and then hardens up. It was a bit of a shock after the Tayana 42 which was very stiff.

[I belatedly realized that Wauquiez Hood 38 is a centerboard boat, and asked about that aspect of it:]

Actually it's called a centerboard/keel because it's a combo. It sails nicely without the use of centerboard, but when pinching we can gain a few extra degrees with the board down. We like it very much. It gives us nice performance when we need it and shoal draft capability when we don't. Our surveyor told us that this is the only centerboard boat he likes. Not sure exactly what he meant, but I assume he meant the quality of construction and reliability.


Wellington 44: LWL == 37.3, Beam == 13.5, Draft == 4.3/9.5, centerboard-keel, cutter-rig, Disp == 26k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

I looked briefly at the 1980 Wellington 44 CC cutter "Friendly Island" in West Palm Beach FL in 3/2001:
Centerboard: draft 4'3" or 9'6".
Hull #5.
Headroom: 6'3" under bimini, 7' in main cabin, 6'2" in walk-through, 6'1" in aft cabin and aft head (separate shower), 6'3"-6'4" in forward head and V-berth.
Exterior wood: toerail, rubrail, anchor platform, cockpit coaming.
Mast steps (with pretty wide spacing).
Roller-furling on all 3 sails.
Fairly clear decks.
Davits, solar panels.
Poles holding RADAR and wind generator on stern; RADAR not very far from helmsman's head.
Mostly non-opening ports.
Clean, open main cabin.
Big step down to V-berth; step down to walk-through.
Transparent lazarette cover over shower compartment.
USCG doc 974384, HIN WLN44XX50780 ???

From Paul on the Morgan mailing list:
[Re: Wellington 44:]
I know a little ... friend had one ... he purchased the moldings from Bill Wellington (Jacksonville, FL) and 'built' it himself. The boat is a very sturdy design and quite pleasing to the eye. Mr Wellington did offer the full flotation version which rendered the boat unsinkable - they tested the prototype on the St. Johns R ... opened the seacocks till she flooded. The boat sank only 12" on the DWL ... not bad. My friend did sail from Chattanooga, TN to Washington state via the Panama Canal ... had some bad weather and bad/hard groundings ... boat survived fine ... personnel were not happy. Not very many were produced. Sailing wise I believe they would require full tradewinds to perform decently ... but on the other hand there is room for a good sized engine.


Westerly 43: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.8, Draft == 5.9, mono-keel, sloop, Disp == 30k, SA/D == 17.1, D/L == 287, B/D == 0.41.

Westerly Owner's Association (UK)
Westerly Owner's Association (USA)

From PVB on Cruising World message board:
I've owned 3 Westerlys (during the 70s and 80s) and I trial-sailed a new Seahawk in about 86. As I recall, it was OK dynamically, but the cockpit felt so amazingly high up, and very shallow and exposed. This is partly explained by the cavernous interior - which has to have a trade-off somewhere. My wife and I felt very uneasy in the cockpit, and ended up buying a Westerly Corsair 36, which had a more reassuring feel to it.

From DG on Cruising World message board:
... a good friend has a 40 foot Westerly Oceanlord. The thing is a tank. It is very well-built, and it is quite stiff. My friend has cruised her fairly extensively (though no Atlantic crossings yet), and he swears by her. I do know that below about 12 knots of apparent wind she does not do very much under sail. ...

From Andrew Bebbington on Cruising World message board:
... I've not sailed a Falcon, but have cruised the more popular Fulmar, a similar 32 footer. Not a bad boat, just about OK to join the back of the fleet for club cruiser-racing in the fin-keel version, but not an exciting performer either. Build is solid and first rate, without going overboard on the finish. The only recurring problem with older Westerly's seems to concern the join between hull and keel, specially on bilge keel models. Otherwise, just the usual things, though they last well, with 1960's Westerly's still going strong.


Westsail 43: LWL == 33, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.7, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 32k, SA/D == 18.1 or 15.5, D/L == 381, B/D == 0.43 or 0.35.
Westsail 39: LWL == 33, Beam == 11.9, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.44.

Worldcruiser Yacht Company
Westsail Owner's Association
Westsail 32 article by John Vigor in Sept/Oct 2000 issue of Good Old Boat magazine

From Bud Taplin of Worldcruiser Yacht Company, 8/2000:

There were 117 of the W42's made, and 71 of the W43's.

To get the full story, come to a Westsail rendezvous. ...

From Latitude 38:
Westsail production numbers:
W28 == 60.
W32 == 830.
W39 == "a handful".
W42 == 120.
W43 == 65.

From John Dunsmoor:
[Of the Beneteaus we have,] the 432 was probably the best sailer, but we also have an old Westsail 43, all 50,000 pounds of vessel and it is just as quick on the water under 15 knots and is still pulling hard at forty knots which is a show stopper for the Beneteaus.

From Rufus Laggren on IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
... buy a Westsail 43. 20 years old, $70-90k for a good one, huge inside, solid as granite, refit it from through hull to mast head for $30k or $50k if you get a new engine, and you end up with 5 times the boat and less than 1/2 the cost of most new models. Holds its resale value. But I might be prejudiced :-), and it doesn't race; it just sails reasonable and is strong-like-bull, there for you when you need it. ...

From Frank Nelson on Westsail Owner's Association message board:
A few comments about the Westsail 39. There were 11 of them built; it was designed by Robert Perry; displacement is 21000 lbs; ballast 8900 lbs in encapsulated keel. Rigged as either a sloop or cutter. Mine had a 40hp westerbeke with v-drive for auxiliary power. The 39 sails extremely well and, like all Westsails, is a tough boat. I enjoyed mine travelling up and down the West coast and into the Sea of Cortez.

Westsail 32, from Rick Kennerly on The Live-Aboard List 6/2002:
All Westies date from the 70s because last boat rolled off the line in early 78, although a few kit boats weren't finished until as late as the 90s. Actually, there are still some bare hulls around.

There were a few boats over 1100 Westsail 32s built; about 700 were kit boats finished to various stages of completion. You can identify boats by their serial number: WSSK for kit and WSSF for factory-finished from two plants -- one in CA and the other in NC (CA boats have serial numbers about 1/2 inch high while NC boats have serial numbers 3/4 inches high). Some of the kit boats are so finely finished that they are followed like a piece of the Cross and are traded inside the Westsail Owners Association, never hitting the open market. Actually, after 25 years even many of the factory boats have been extensively reworked, so I'd not be put off by a kit boat, although there are some real chop jobs out there.

Like all boats, the W32s are a bag of compromises. True to their north seas heritage they're built stout and heavy. No one knew how strong fiberglass was back then, so the boats are an inch to an inch and a quarter thick from the bilge to about the waterline, a few surviving days on reefs and have been pulled off floating. But at 10 tons, it takes some to move them (and stop them -- never approach anything breakable at a speed greater than dead ahead slow). Most of the boats have had major sailplan reworks by now to improve speed, but they'll not fly to windward. On the other hand, they'll point with other boats in their class -- Tashibas, Hans Christians, Masons, BCCs, Island Packet, that kind of thing. The large full keel without cutaway forefoot makes close maneuvering a challenge -- turns on a football field, steers like a loaf of bread, we say. OTOH, that keel sure helps with tracking on long ocean passages. Essentially, W32s are efficiency apartments that sail reasonably well to windward, but J boat they're not. A cruising chute really helps move the boat downwind.

Accommodations have come a long way since the 70s. A couple of years ago I was aboard an Island Packet 32 or 35 at the Annapolis Boat Show and was amazed how usable the layout was compared to our 32. Both the IP and the W32 had about the same interior volume, but IP had done a lot more with it. Still, the W32 has cavernous storage and can carry two or three tons of stores without hampering the boat's sailing ability. Having said that, even people of very modest means can sell out their land lives and afford a cruise-ready W32 while still having cash to spare for cruising. Depending on the year Island Packet you're looking at, you can usually afford two or three Westsails for IPs of about equal performance. The difference is a lot of freedom chips to play with.

Living aboard and carrying on a professional life and maintaining a professional wardrobe is a challenge on any boat. Most who do need a considerably larger boat than if they're actually cruising and wearing shorts and t-shirts all the time. If you are in the former group, a W32 is going to be a trial, but if you're in the latter crowd, you'll do pretty well.

Tony Gibbs wrote a little article in the Boat US mag about being in the SoPac and finding a W32 just about everywhere, which pretty well fits with our 5 years cruising and 5 living ashore out there. Here in the Carib, they're everywhere, quietly going about their business. One of the strengths of the boat is a strong owners association. We have a web site and a bulletin board with boats for sale. And we have several suppliers who've made careers serving the WS aftermarket. All told, it's a bit like having factory service on 30 year old boats. Michael Savage did a pretty good three-part article in Cruising World recently on rehabbing a very worn Westsail 32. Ferenc Mate wrote a book, "From a Bare Hull", on finishing out a kit boat and featured the W32 in a section of his book, "Best Boats". Good Old Boat mag did a pretty good article on the 32. Both Cruising World and Practical Sailor have reviewed the boat recently, so there's a good deal of info out there. On thing for sure, people either hate the W32 or love it.


From Peter Ogilvie on World-Cruising mailing list:
I've got to stand up for the old 'Wetsnail.' We put more than 10,000 nm on ours and a subsequent owner put another 20,000 miles on the boat. We averaged 118 nm per day by the Walker Log with virtually no engine time for all those miles. Best day's run was 177 nm, did 900 nm in 6 days. Worst day's run was 14 nm in the doldrums, but, even in very light air, typically covered more than 50 nm in a day. No boat we sailed with beat us into port. We flat-out walked away from boats as large as 50 feet, smoked an S&S One Ton world champion and had more than one boat skipper accuse us of using our engine when we left them in our wake. It made all those nice daily runs without touching the helm. We didn't have an Autopilot and I don't drive. The Aries steered the boat 99% of the time.

A perfect sailboat, no. It wouldn't go to weather in choppy waters and light air. The few times we experienced those conditions, we either motor-sailed with the engine ticking over just above idle or cracked off ten degrees or so and footed nicely. Other than that one sea-state and point of sail, the boat would move nicely. It would sail in very light air but, of course, loved a cup of wind better.

It did all that fully loaded with provisions for a year, in relative comfort. It was our very comfortable home for two years before we left. When we got back, the modest house we rented wouldn't hold all of gear off the boat.

It was not a 'fun' boat to sail but rewarded us with a comfortable motion and steady dependable progress. It was an easy boat to sail single-handed though it's 23,000 pounds displacement and long keel didn't make it a marina ballerina. If things got nasty, can't think of another boat that I'd want to be in. As Satori of "Perfect Storm" exemplified, these boats can handle almost anything nature can throw at them and certainly more than the crew can.

The W32 is an open-ocean boat that will get you there with all the comforts of home in relative comfort.


[Someone questioned outsailing a 50-footer ...]
The 50-footer was one those Garden-designed 50-footers. The boat seemed to have correct sail combination and not inefficiently sailed. It was a reach in strong trades which is the 'snails' ideal sailing conditions. Overtook the boat and put it hull-down in a couple of hours. Went from Honokohau Harbor, Kona to the Ala Wai in Waikiki, solo, in 22 hours and change on that passage.

The IOR boats are not especially fast sailors off the wind, especially if they don't have a chute up. This boat was on a delivery and didn't raise a chute. It was our working cutter sails against their short footed main and number 2 genoa. They were definitely aware of us and tried their damndest, including a headsail change, but it was no contest.

As I said, a well-sailed Westsail, on the right point of sail and conditions, will eat the lunch of almost any boat near its waterline length. Our best day's run on a W32 was 183 nm on a 3.5 day delivery from Alameda/SF Bay to Newport Beach. I did that without self-steering so drove the whole way. Distance measured by Walker log backed up by a B&G log. BTW, 3 days without sleep makes you get real strange. That's the sail that I hallucinated getting torpedoed mistaking playful dolphins in a phosphorescent sea for a U-boat attack.

The lightweight sleds will undoubtedly surf away downwind if they can keep under control with their chute up. Most boats will definitely outpoint a W32. In light air, any boat with less wetted surface will perform better, though the 'Snail' will still sail. On the points of sail and conditions that are 90% plus of what you'll see cruising, the W32 acquits itself more than adequately. The nicest thing, the W32 does it without heroics and can keep it up 24/7, even single-handed.


Whitby 42: LWL == 33, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 5.0, ???-keel, ketch, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 17.1, D/L == 300, B/D == 0.36 or 0.34.

Yachts with Experience

From Frank on Sailing forum:
I just bought a Whitby 42 Hull #24 built in 1973 ... the boat is solid. Sails very well and is great as a live-aboard. The original boat's rudder was too small, but most have been modified. The important thing is to find out HOW it was modified. There is a Whitby association located in the Baltimore area headed by a Bernard Boykin (410) 828-5690.

From FAQ distributed by Whitby 42/Brewer Sailboat Association:
Whitby Boat Works, Whitby, Ontario
200 built 1973-1983. #1-200.
Nearly all are ketches, some "cutters" with bowsprits and staysails.

Full-length keel.
LOA 42' 0"
LWL 32' 8"
Beam 13' 0"
Draft 5' 0"
Bridge deck at fwd side of cockpit.

Displ. 23,500 lbs.
SF = 1.82.
Ballast ratio 38%.
Sail Area 875 sq ft 374 fore tri, 325 main, 173 mizzen

Engine Majority 4-254 85 HP Lehman-Ford Diesel; also Volvo, Perkins
Fuel Cap. 210 gal --- 100 in keel tank, 50 each port and stbd
Water Cap. 290 gal --- 100 each port, stbd (under sole), bow (under bunk).
Holding tank varies.
Single spreader rig.
Mast height 50-55' above water.

Fort Myers Yacht 32 built 1983-1990. #202-234
Mostly ketches.
Specs same as Canadian boats, with minor differences.
Some with no bridge deck.
Water 200 gal
Fuel 136 gal.
No bow water tank.

N.B. - All boats have problems, even new ones. It's a house and a car in one package!
Weak rudder post (Canadian Whitbys)
Access to tanks for repairing leaks.
Mizzen mast support (early Whitbys)
Rigging and chainplate sizes.
Some consider boats without bridge deck are less safe than those with it.

ENGINE ACCESS Separate engine room makes this excellent, though inclusion of refrig compressor, aux generator, A/C, and watermaker can make it crowded.
TRANSMISSION ACCESS Very poor, from shower floor and behind engine.
SEA COCKS Sea chest for engine cooling and heads. Poor access to cockpit drains. Aft W42 starboard cockpit drain needs additional sole hatch for access.
TANKS Water and fuel tanks - hard to clean and repair leaks. W42's center fuel tank subject to sea and bilge water influx. Hard to draw from. Better to keep water/antifreeze in it, unless you're on a long voyage.
RUDDER POST Weak at bend over prop - Canadian Whitbys.
CHAIN PLATES Some boats have had problems here.

From Bev Clary on Cruising World message board:
Whitby 42 and Brewer 42: Both Brewer Designs.
Whitby 42 made from 1972 to 1988 and Brewer 42 from 1983 to 1986.
LOA, LWL, Displacement, Sail area very close. Same basic attributes, advantages and disadvantages. Brewer draws 6 inches less water and has a centerboard and masthead rig, slightly finer ends and 6" more beam. Whitby is a ketch and Brewer a sloop. Brewer is a better sailer under most conditions. Whitby can go under a 50 foot bridge. Brewer has a more modern keel skeg underwater configuration. Whitby has the old full keel with a "Brewer Bite". Accommodations layouts are similar. Tankage is a bit larger in the Whitby. I heard somewhere that the Brewer 42 was specifically designed as a modernized Whitby 42. Don't remember where. I had understood that construction was also very similar.

I looked briefly at a 1973 Whitby 42 CC ketch in Ft Pierce FL in 3/2001:
Headroom: 6'5" in main cabin, 6'3" in V-berth, 5'10" in walk-through, 6'1" in aft cabin and aft head.
Very open main cabin.
Good engine access.
Exterior wood: toerail, grab rails.
2 companionways.
Half of ports are opening.
Big step-down into walk-through, step up into aft cabin.
Good access to bilge.
Mizzen shrouds obstruct deck badly.

Out Of My Price Range



LOA 40+ only produced 1990+ ?

From Norma on Cruising World message board:
We sail a Bavaria 38, shoal draft and she is a great boat. Bavaria's are really strong boats (have you seen the video where they ram the boat at the rocks three times). The 34 is a new boat and seems really good value. Bavarias are well-made. The joinery is good and the equipment top class.

From GerryE on Cruising World message board:
We own a '85 Bavaria 960 (32') and sail out of Oriental NC. Have Made several extended Bahamas cruises and love the boat. Generally high quality construction and parts. Good sailor, however a bit squirrely in following seas as are most boats with a short keel. Love the fractional rig. BUT: service from the yard is dismal to nonexistent. If you need parts you are on your own. This situation may have improved since they have a few dealers in the U.S. though their Miami dealer has already given up on them because of their unresponsiveness.

J (racing boat)

J/44: LWL == 39, Beam == 13.6, Draft == 8.0, fin-keel, sloop, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 21.5, D/L == 169, B/D == 0.41.



Shannon 43: LWL == 37, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, ketch, Disp == 27k, SA/D == 17.0, D/L == 246, B/D == 0.36.

Low-End / Mass-Market ?

From John Dunsmoor:
> I went to the Pacific Sail Expo, where I saw new Catalina's and
> Beneteau's that were quite nice. Some things I liked: no "interior
> ceiling" so all backing plates are easily accessible, entire cabin sole is
> screwed down so it can be removed for complete access to the bilge, almost
> no exterior wood so lower maintenance.
> I don't plan to buy new, but what do you think about older Catalina,
> Beneteau, Hunter boats ? Given that:
> - I probably won't be crossing oceans any time soon
> - I realize you have to evaluate ex-charter boats carefully

... Specifics: don't buy a Hunter under any condition, they are crap. Old Catalina's can be OK boats, but they are a C grade production craft, Beneteaus are B grade. Fairly solid but junk for equipment and hardware. Hatches suck on all these boats and all of them leak terribly with age.

I would never, never own a boat without a proper bilge and drainage, and a proper sump. None of these fin keeled production vessels have a proper bilge, sump or drainage. I would never own a vessel with an iron keel if I could help it. Not that they will ever completely rust away, but rust never sleeps.

Response from Gary Elder:
For many years Catalina refused to do any national advertising, they relied solely on local dealer advertising while Beneteau did major national advertising campaigns and succeeded in convincing people that they are a better boat. Both of them are Chevys, but Beneteau's frequently pound and often have tiny vee-berths.


I have owned 2 boats with iron keels, and they were just fine.

More from John Dunsmoor:
... I would not even look at a large number of vessels, Irwins, Hunters come to mind. ...

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
While the Catalina line tends to reflect a single design philosophy and market focus, Beneteau builds several model ranges, i.e. First, Figaro, Oceanis, Jeaneau, etc. The purpose, design type, equipment and build quality varies with each line. Beneteau tends to use "name brand" yacht designers while Catalina uses an in house design team. I think (for better or worse) that the Beneteaus tend to be more creatively designed. In general, I personally like the hull shapes and rigs that are used on the First series Beneteaus better than on the Catalinas. Beneteaus tend to have better ventilation and nice little features. Catalina tends to use hardware and details that are more familiar to North Americans.

Otherwise, in my mind, it is not really possible to do a blanket comparison between the two companies since Beneteaus vary so widely. In a comparison, some of the Beneteau lines are far better built than the Catalina and some do not seem to be as well-built. Similarly some Beneteau lines will sail rings around the Catalinas and some lines appear to be about the same as the Cats. Some Beneteau models almost require you to take in mast furling (a bad idea to me), and so on.

I do not consider Jeanneau to be on a par with Catalina and is more on less on a par with some of the lower quality Beneteaus and the Jeanneaus seemed to be more expensive. I may be judging them unfairly but that is my impression after crawling around both last fall.

From h40.5bob/chay/josh on Cruising World message board, 8/2000:
Comparison of catalina vs beneteau 40 ft models:

When I was in the market for a late model 40 ft coastal/islands cruiser 2 years ago, I looked in detail at the catalina 400 and beneteau oceanis 400, as well as the hunter 40.5 and more expensive models by sabre, tartan, and caliber ...

Both the catalina and beneteau were very well done, sail well (including good upwind performance), provide good value for your money, and i'm sure I would have been happy with either one ... I previously owned a 1977 cat 27, and it was apparent that within the last 10 yrs or so catalina has significantly upgraded the quality of its fit and finish and equipment ... with the exception of dual wheels on the cat 400 (which I personally didn't care for), catalinas tend to be conventionally designed and to follow more creatively featured beneteaus and hunters once the market has accepted their changes ... I eliminated the cat 400 because of the very low headroom over the centerline aft double berth ... my wife and I plan to liveaboard winters in the bahamas, and sleeping accommodations at anchor or in a slip were very important to us ... also I didn't particularly care for the catalina shoebox hull to deck joint, although i doubt that would be a serious issue for the kind of cruising planned by me and my wife ...

I was very impressed with the oceanis 400, and easily could have bought one if I could have found a model in fl at the right price without an in the mast furling mainsail ... I didn't want to give up the performance, and I couldn't locate a boat with a conventional mainsail ... the beneteau was creatively designed and well- constructed with quality equipment ... in my opinion beneteau fit and finish and interior joinery work is the best of all the volume production builders ... negatives included a small nav area, iron keel, screwed (not through bolted) hull to deck joint, and absence of a bilge ... all boats are compromises, and these negatives wouldn't have kept me from buying the oceanis 400, if I found the right boat at the right price ...

As much as I loved the sabre, tartan and caliber, each of these boats also had a few negatives along with their many positives ... unlike many posters to the cwbb, my wife and i simply wanted a late model cruiser, and we couldn't justify the additional cost of a sabre, tartan, or caliber for the type of cruising that we plan ( and are currently doing) ...

We ultimately settled on a h40.5, but I won't get into that, since that wasn't the subject of the question, and I don't want to start another hunter food fight ...

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
Each manufacturer [Beneteau, Catalina, Hunter] has their strengths and weaknesses.

Beneteaus: Beneteau builds a whole range of boats, some very high quality and some quite junky. I generally like their 'First' series and am less taken with their more general purpose lines. The First series are a bit more expensive than the other boats you are looking at and can be a bit more spartan. I like Beneteau's naval architecture better. I think their hull forms and keels seem to be more advanced than the other two. Their interior finish seems a bit better but a bit darker. They have more ventilation. I really hate the roller furling mainsail that is standard on Beneteaus and strongly advise you against a roller furling mainsail on the Chesapeake. What ever it costs get a "classic rig". According to marine surveyors, one weakness with Beneteau is a tendency not to meet U.S. codes and standards with the consistency of Hunter.

Hunter: Hunter tries very hard to be innovative. That is a strength and a weakness. They have had some good ideas over the years but they have also had some dubious ones (the arch). Hunters tend to have bigger brighter interiors. Their backstayless fractional rigs are a good idea on the Chesapeake. They seem to be reasonably fast and sail reasonably well in the kind of conditions we most often see on the Chesapeake. I think the naval architecture is compromised too much for the accommodations. I don't think the engineering on the Hunters is on a par with the Beneteau First series but is pretty comparable to the other Beneteaus and Catalinas. Surveyors say that Hunter, more than almost any other manufacturer does a good job of consistently meeting U.S. codes and standards. I have heard this out of quite a few knowledgeable surveyors. Just remember that codes and standards are a minimum and do not mean that the boats are necessarily built for rough duty just because they meet code. The aethetics are an acquired taste that most of who have spent any time in the sport are turned off by, but which also have their fans. It must be an acquired taste and I have just not been in that market. On the various BB's nothing gets trashed worse than Hunters, Macgregors and Island Packets. In my mind Hunters do not deserve all of the garbage that people toss their way. (I won't talk about the other two cause if you can't say anything nice ...)

Catalinas: These are the "girls next door". There is nothing especially great about Catalinas and nothing terribly bad either. They sail pretty well. Again the naval architecture is not my favorite but isn't bad either. The ergonomics and finishes on the Catalinas are not as nice as the other two but their looks are more classic. I once put down a Catalina detail on this BB and Frank Butler, founder of Catalina, called me personally, and politely explained where he thought I had gone wrong in my thinking. That was helpful to me and Frank Butler was very gracious when I looked him up at the boatshow. That was nice (then again the Hunter guys made sure I had a chance to talk to Warren Luhrs, the president of Hunter, who I found to be a really impressive and interesting guy).

There's no right answer here. ...

From Jeff H on Yachtingnet's Sailboat forum:
... Why is it that people who feel free to trash Hunters or Beneteaus don't have the same venom toward Catalinas?

Having talked to marine surveyors who have looked at hundreds of these boats, and spoken to the factories at Hunter and to a lesser extent at Catalina, raced aboard Catalina, 22's, 25's 27's and 30's and crawled through a few more Beneteaus than I would prefer, I have concluded that all three are of a similar construction quality.

I know they all have things that one or the other does better or worse but on a whole they are pretty similar in the way that they are built. All three use minimal tabbing on bulkheads. All three depend on inner liners for major structure. Hunter and Catalina use similar hull to deck joints and adhesives. Normal Beneteaus rigging is similar to Catalinas both in design and apparent engineering. and so on right down the line ... and yet Hunters and Beneteaus take a real beating on almost all BB's, typically from people who have never actually owned one, and Catalinas seem to skate every time.

So- What's the deal here?

From Chopper on Yachtingnet's Sailboat forum:
Hunter boats have by and large designs that were made to look futuristic and attract unknowledgeable buyers at boat shows. They stress interior features such as VCR's etc. They have rigs that are hard to tune and the ridiculous mast strut supports (which you have to climb around in order to go forward). They have no backstays. Hunter redesigns its entire line almost every year reminding me of the days when carmakers used to change the tailfins and claim that the product was better than the year before. Hunters are designed by stylists in my opinion. Hunters have flimsy cored hulls rather than solid layup used by Catalina. Check out Dave Pascoe's site for info on cored hulls. (That is a whole other can of worms).

Catalina and Beneteau on the other hand make strong seaworthy sailboats within the confines of what their position in the lower price end of the market will allow.

The designs are seaworthy and practical. The deck layouts are laid out for sailing.

I had the opportunity to charter a Beneteau 461 a couple of months ago down in the BVI and I can tell you it was a real sailors dream. It was built like a tank and the systems were all easy to operate and maintain when there was a problem.

I was so impressed that my next boat will be a Beneteau.
From Steven on Yachtingnet's Sailboat forum:
I think the previous posters hit most of it ... I think the Hunter is marketed as the "latest and greatest" whereas the Catalina is marketed as what it is - a nice boat and a good value. You're right that they are constructed similarly, but in my surveys, I generally know what I will find in terms of construction in the Catalina. In Hunter there seems to be more variability from year to year, model to model.

I think there is also a difference in how the Hunters are portrayed by sales persons at boat shows. I'll admit to baiting sales people on occasion with questions like "Can I take this boat to Bermuda?" just to see what kind of answers I'll get. The Hunters seem (and again this is just my impression) to be the ideal boat for just about anything if you listen to the sales people. While I understand that it is their job to sell the boat, not give seamaship advice - I've never had a Catalina sales person say "Hot boat, Huh?"

I know many of the local boat dealers. The Hunter dealer is the only sailboat dealer I know who hires professional sales persons with no sailing experience for the boat shows. I know this practice is widespread among powerboat dealers. The other sailboat dealers seem to be able to find sales people who have some sailing background.

As for Beneteau - they claim to be good sailing boats and they are, though I'm not a great fan. (I've seen gelcoat cracks from oilcanning in the hulls - I can flex some of the hulls significantly by putting my shoulder against them. I've also seen significant fracturing around the stern tube and rudder on some of the models.) But I don' want to get into boat bashing here.

I think the bottom line is that the Hunter is made out to be such an advanced "ideal" boat, any shortcomings (remember, ALL boats are a compromise in some way) stand out.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
> ... Catalina 42 mkII or the Hunter 410 ? This will be a live-aboard.
> I will be cruising the US eastern seaboard and the Caribbean. ...

When it comes to durability, reliability, and sailing ease of each model the reality is that choosing between the Hunter and Catalina is really a matter of personal preference. They each have their strengths and weaknesses. Both boats are capable of doing what you are proposing with a fair amount of skill and some luck with the weather. That said, both boats are really optimized for coastal cruising rather than serious offshore work.

There is a lot of emotion surrounding the big three boat builders: Hunter, Beneteau and Catalina. They have strong fans and strong detractors. I have spent a lot of time trying to sort out their strengths and weaknesses and separate the rhetoric from some kind of reality. The answers on these boats generally fall somewhere in the middle of the extremes you so often see posted in places like this.

To understand Hunters, Beneteaus and Catalinas you have to try understand the design philosophy behind them which in many ways are very similar. While Beneteau makes a much wider range of products than the other two companies, all three have lines that are meant to be a good value for the way that most people use their boats. They try to offer as much comfortable accommodations as they can for an anchor to anchor cruising situation. They try to offer comfortable cockpits and reasonable sail handling gear. They try to offer good moderate air sailing abilities. They try to produce boats that will hold together in that kind of conditions. I have had the opportunity to discuss engineering with factory representatives and designers for all three companies and they are really trying to produce reasonably well-engineered boats for their intended purpose.

So does that mean that these are truly blue water boats? Not by any traditional definition. Their cockpits are too large. They have too many deck openings and large plexiglass panels. They have comparatively quick motions. They are hard to fit out with the kind of heavy weather gear that is ideal on offshore boats.

Those who tell you that there are better boats for the kind of thing that you are thinking of doing, are not wrong but they are also not entirely right when they say that neither boat can work for what you are proposing. In the used boat there are good solid cruising boats that are truly designed to do what you are proposing. Depending on the age and condition of the boat you should be able to find one in the general price range of the boats you are considering, which I assume is somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000.

If you were to pursue the serious cruising boat route, you can easily find really nice sailing cruisers in this price range. Boats such as a 10-12 year Peterson 44 are readily available for far less than you a newer Hunter 410 or Catalina 42 II. The Peterson 44 (for example only) far excels in terms = of durability, reliability, and sailing ease not to mention comfort at sea and seaworthiness. Other cruisers in that size and price range might include the Moody 44 (actually a 43 footer), or the Dehler 43 which represents a good compromise between great performance and offshore ability.

I think that is the point of the comment that neither is ideal for what you are considering. This does not mean that buying a boat from Hunter, Catalina or Beneteau is necessarily the disaster that many on this BB typically like to portray. I think that going in eyes open these boats may make sense.

Before I continue with this discussion, I would strongly suggest that you consider the Beneteau 42s7 in your list. This is by far a faster, better designed and better built boat than the other two with a couple caveats. More on that later.

When you talk about heavier cruising boats you are also talking about giving up some of the 'creature comforts' that Hunter, Beneteau and Catalina do very well. These boats are considerably faster than your average 42 foot offshore cruiser. This means that you have a better range in a day and are likely to spend less time motoring. They are more responsive to sail trim and so you are more likely to learn to sail better. They are designed to excel at the kind of island hopping that you are considering. That is why these boats see so much use in the charter fleets.

So back to the Beneteau 42s7. These are by far the more modern design in terms of hull form, rig and sail-handling gear. They should be the most seakindly of the three. They should be the easiest of the three to handle shorthanded. The Catalina would be the hardest of the three to handle short-handed. They are far and away the fastest on all points of sail and their fractional rig makes them less dependent on spinnakers off the wind. They have the best finish level of the three and I think they have the best hull/deck joint of the three. Catalina comes next and Hunter has the worst in my book because it has the smallest contact area and the joint is rolled out where it can be damaged in a hard landing or worse. On the other hand, Hunter's joint is the easiest to repair. The Beneteau also has the best ventilation.

If the Beneteaus have a shortcoming it is in their systems design. Hunters actually have the strongest reputation of the three, amongst the surveyors that I have chatted with, for building boats in which all of the systems are well worked out and which meet American (and EU) standards. Catalina also does a reasonably good job as well. Beneteaus sometimes have odd little details that can be less than ideal or which do not meet US standards. These are generally easy to rectify and not all that expensive to correct (and good clean used 42s7's are slightly less expensive than the two boats you are looking at.)

Bearing all of that in mind, if I had to pick one of the Big three's 42 footers built in the last 10 years, I would pick the 42s7 without even a second thought.


Each model from different designer, interiors by separate designers.
Moorings: a Beneteau customized for chartering.

Each boat has to be evaluated separately, and watch out for ex-charter boats.

Good: almost no wood to maintain.

Beneteau Oceanis 461: LWL == 39, Beam == 13.9, Draft == 5.8, fin-keel, spade-rudder, sloop, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 19.2, D/L == 156, B/D == 0.36.


I asked what keel material each Beneteau model uses, and got this from someone at Beneteau:
As a general rule, shoal keels are lead, std keels will be Iron, and race keels will be lead or a lead/iron combination.

From a story of a collision where a full-keel cruising boat badly damaged a charter boat: "Those chartered Beneteaus and Hunters are pretty, but they are lightly built."

"Beneteau has two main ranges, the 'cruisers' from 28 to 50 ft (Oceanis) and the 'racers-cruisers' from 21 to 47 ft (First)."

"Beneteau boats have an amazing reputation for not blistering due to their layup, barrier layers, and gelcoat qualities."

Beneteau 40.7 review in 7/2000 issue of Blue Water Sailing magazine
Beneteau First 47.7 (new) review in Cruising World magazine 8/2000 issue.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
I had talked to an owner of an older Beneteau about his boat. He was very positive about the boat. He mentioned that he had had blisters on the boat. The story he told is that the blisters had shown up in very minor form early in his ownership of the boat and he had not worried about them. Around the time that the warrantee had expired he had taken the boat south for the winter and had stayed in the water for something like two years rather than his usual annual haulout. When he hauled he had a very widespread blister problem. Although the warranty had expired the year before, Beneteau honored the warranty and did the repairs and no cost to him, except I think he said he had to pay for the hauling and the bottom paint which he had already commissioned and was how the problem was discovered in the first place.

I have been less impressed with Beneteau's warranty on some other issues. In the early 1990's Beneteau used a pale green plastic Lexan or Plexiglass for hatches and details on the First 38s5's and 41s5's and the Pininfarina 42f7. These plastic parts have just not lasted at all, crazing very badly, with some variation from boat to boat. In the worst case we saw a boat in which almost every hatch had crazed to the point that structural integrity of the plastic was dubious. In a casual inquiry to Beneteau, Beneteau seems to be willing to stand behind these or provide assistance. While I believe the hatches in question are Lewmars, the other pieces of matching plastic are Beneteau's custom parts and Beneteau clearly specified this color Lexan (or Plexi). With 9 hatch covers at $350 retail each we are discussing a significant expense here.

I personally like Beneteaus. While I think the quality of the boat and their designs vary quite a bit, I really think the design quality in the First series has been consistently quite good. (Except I still don't get the idea of using marble counter tops in a boat intended to be a performance boat, but hey that's minor enough.)

More from Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
For the past couple years I have been looking at a lot of Beneteaus for a friend.

I have been amazed at the wide range of construction and design qualities found in boats built by this company - from very high quality design and execution to just plain junk. I have seen big variations from boat to boat even in the same model. In general the "First" series have been nicely built and detailed while the other series have had more very notable short comings.

My experience with customer service has has a similar range of erratic experience but they do seem to be willing to supply replacement parts for even older models which I consider a plus. I also have noted that they have routinely stood behind their blister warrantees as well.

From Susan Lunn:
... We have bareboated on various boats -- a CS 36, a Hunter 37.5, a Catalina 42, and a Jenneau 47 in Florida and the British Virgin Islands ...

... no way would I trust any of the boats we chartered on a bluewater cruise. They were wonderful for the Keys and the BVIs. ...

From John Dunsmoor:
... It is important to be able to get to the bilge, and every corner of the vessel above and below decks. Just a note, a common scheme for liner boats like Beneteau and Hunters is to run plumbing and wires between the liner and the hull. Since this series of ribs and stringers form hollows they make perfect runs, but they are impossible to get to these areas. And because of poor drainage the wiring takes a real hit after a few years. We have repulled at least twenty circuits in our Oceanis 400 Beneteau, cursing all the time. Wires should be run in conduits above the waterline not in a wet bilge.

From Ed Alcott, who (with little experience) took a Beneteau 43 from San Francisco to the South Pacific:
The boat handled rough conditions and misadventures better than the crew did.

I looked briefly at a 1986 Beneteau First 375 in Alameda CA in 8/2000:
Aft-cockpit sloop.
Roller-furling jib.
6'1" headroom.

From Bernie on Cruising World message board:
... Beneteaus offer good sailing performance and a big boat for the dollar. They all have inherent design problems, having sold just recently a 473, 44?, a 39. They all have this water bulkhead delam problem, every one of them. They all offer terrible offshore cockpits, the rig is not meant for serious offshore work. The 473 has a recall on backstays which were put in the wrong place to accommodate the large swim platform. All offer very shallow bilges so that they all have a huge interior. When delivering the 473 from Boston to Annapolis, the cockpit was so huge with no padeyes, no handholds, 24" lifelines, that it actually made sailing dangerous. ...


Lots of variation, by model and year.

Each boat has to be evaluated separately, and watch out for ex-charter boats.

Good: almost no wood to maintain.

Catalina 42: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.9, Draft == 6.0 (wing-keel == 4.9), ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 21k, SA/D == 17.1, D/L == 196, B/D == 0.40.

Catalina (lots of discussion forums)
Catalina 42/425 International Association
Catalina 36 MK II article in 6/2001 issue of Practical Sailor.

I asked what keel material each Catalina model uses, and got this from someone at Catalina:
All the newer boats have solid lead keels with stainless steel keel bolts.

[I pressed for more details ...]

Only the C22 and C25 has cast iron keels. The C22 went to lead covered with fiberglass around 1986.

[I pressed for more details ...]

36 and 42 have always had lead.

Sailed on 1978 Catalina 36: 6'3" or so headroom, boat tracked well, backing plates easily accessible in cabin (no headliner), all of cabin sole comes up by removing screws.

Sailed on 1993 Catalina 42: 6'6" or more headroom, boat tracked moderately well.

From Tom S on Cruising World message board:
I was second mate on a delivery of a 1996 Catalina 42 ... My problem with this boat being used offshore is some really stupid design flaws. A few I can remember are: Leaks everywhere from "working" of the hull when in heavy seas, fiberglass dust that was not cleaned out at the factory which found it's way into the bilge which clogged up the bilge pump, bulk heads not "tabbed" into the hull which "worked" so much you could lay in your bunk and see dust filter down, straight galley layout with nothing to lean against, lack of hand holds ... The captain, who had made this trip about 50 times, said he was adding Catalina's to his list of boats he would never take off-shore again. Hunter's were on the top of this list. Great boat for coastal cruising.

From Susan Lunn:
... We have bareboated on various boats -- a CS 36, a Hunter 37.5, a Catalina 42, and a Jenneau 47 in Florida and the British Virgin Islands ...

... no way would I trust any of the boats we chartered on a bluewater cruise. They were wonderful for the Keys and the BVIs. Our current boat [Catalina 27] is wonderful for Lake Lanier [Atlanta], she's a tall rig and she cruises in the lightest of winds, (and we get the lightest of winds here) but she can be a bear when the wind goes above 20 knots, despite having a fairly deep reef in and using a storm jib. I'm not even sure I would trust her for a coastal sail. ...
From Hagar on Cruising World message board 12/2000:
We bought a Catalina 42 last year sort of by accident.

Weren't looking for anything quite that large but found a 1990 3-cabin locally in a distress (spelled d-i-v-o-r-c-e) sale. Thought we'd give it a try as the final price was about 20% off market and we could always get out of it if it didn't work out.

After 1 year our comments:

It's no Tayana or Tartan but is reasonably well-built. There have been no surprises.

Lots of room but for a couple the 2-cabin version might make more sense. Better galley and galley storage in the 2-cabin.

Catalina has provided excellent support considering we are 3rd owners of a 10 year old boat.

The sailing performance has been a pleasant surprise. Points well and is always well-balanced.

Available as a medium draft with beavertail keel or fin keel.

The pullman berth is a joy after dealing with v-berths for years. (We're in our 50's.)

Only significant complaint is the rudder is not deep enough on our fin-keel boat. It has a 18" 3-blade prop that disrupts the flow over the rudder. The Yanmar transmissions isn't supposed to be allowed to windmill. A feathering prop would help a lot.

As stated above we weren't looking for a 42 and I've always been a little snobby about Catalina but we are pleasantly surprised. We'll keep it now that we like it.

From Hal on Cruising World message board:
I had a 1990 Catalina 34 for seven years. The fit and finish is fair below and good topside. The structure of the hull is on the light side. The rigging is adequate and well-engineered. The hull to deck joint is very strong. The systems components are good with installation fair.

These boats are made to a price and for the dollar they represent a fair value. They are coastal cruisers and are not designed for (and will not stand up to) extended offshore work. I sailed mine hard and often in our Hawaiian waters which are very rough and the boat was not standing up to the service.

The forward quarter panels pumped. The floors to hull connections sheared and some of the bulkhead tabbing popped. I had what I consider a minor grounding which sheared the hull and pulled the keel bolts through the keel stub.

The 34 was just the right size for us and we had some great trips in her. Sailed moderately you will get fair quality at a good price.
From Gary Elder:

We spent several hours on a Catalina 42 Saturday. This boat is the twin aft state room version, with a pullman forward and wing keel. The headroom seemed wonderful for a tall guy, but I did not measure it. The galley is great for dockside use, but could be dangerous at sea. Like many newer boats, the living spaces are very large, at the expense of storage space. The owner volunteered that "there is almost no storage space on this boat." "Most of the volume is taken up by cabin."

We were anchored in a very well-protected anchorage where the only waves present were caused by passing boats. This boat pitched and rolled with an uncomfortable motion that was at best, not pleasant. I was surprised at how 'lively' this boat was in such a quiet anchorage, but I am more accustomed to being in the same anchorage on boats like the Morgan O.I. 41 and Brewer 42. The owners like this boat, but seldom spend more than a week or two on it at a time.

From Gary H on Cruising World message board:
With minimum upgrades and some luck there's no reason they wouldn't make a good liveaboard and short range cruiser. I don't know what size you have in mind, but generally, for a mass produced boat, they are of good enough quality that a Caribbean cruise shouldn't be a problem. They are light enough that long term, blue water cruising might be a little much to ask. I've never tried it myself, but from reports I've heard (I owned one and seriously checked into cruising it), they tend to "oil can" in moderately heavy seas, and have been known to pop a few tabs on the drop in liner that makes up a significant portion of the strength calculations. For island hopping and liveaboard use they have a lot going for them though. They're plentiful, fairly inexpensive, parts are still available, and they are pretty simple to maintain.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board 12/2000:
My experience with Catalina is that they are no better built and no better sailors than the Hunters or Beneteaus. They each have their strengths and they have their weaknesses. The thing about Catalina (at least in the US) they are seen as being the most normal. They are not great boats, but they have no big faults either. Catalina uses a lot of well known hardware and details. They tend not to walk down the path less traveled which depending on your perspective is both a real strength and a real disadvantage. They definitely care about how they are perceived. I raised some issues with Catalinas on another BB and Frank Butler, the founder and president of Catalina, called me personally and explained to me why I was wrong in my opinion. (I have actually met both Frank Butler and Warren Luhrs from Hunter and both are people who are trying to do the right thing. They each have a vision of what that right thing is and (and even if their detractors question their definition of what is the right way to go with their boast) they seem to pursue their goals with a lot of personal integrity.) Catalinas are generally roomy and generally sail reasonably well. They don't have the kind of quirky details that can drive you crazy with the other two companies.

The negatives on the Catalinas are somewhat subjective, but in terms of fit and finish, Catalinas seem to be the worst of the three. (The flip side is that they have finishes that the average guy can maintain.) Their boats have a dated look to my eye but to many people that can be seen as a traditional charm.

Then there is the cored hull issue. Beneteau does not core their hulls but the other two manufacturers use some coring in their hulls. This is important to me and I would not buy a boat for coastal cruising that did not have a cored hull. Cored hulls are considerably lighter and stiffer. This means less heeling and less flexing which can fatigue the glass over time. (Obviously this is not a universally held belief and I am sure that there are people out there who would not buy a cored hull on a dare.) Cored hulls are actually more expensive to produce if they are produced with care.

In any event, per conversations at the Annapolis Boat Show, Catalina is in the process of switching over to cored hulls with a couple models that have already switched over and newer cored models in the works. To me building a boat intended for coastal use without a cored hull is just plain backwards BUT I emphasize that this is only my opinion and its not hard to make the case for either side of this argument.

Catalina like Hunter uses glued hull to deck joints. As Mr. Butler pointed out to me, Catalina uses a space-age adhesive caulk developed for the aerospace industry and it is very tenacious stuff. The bolts are only there for alignment during construction. I think that this is a reasonable hull to deck joint but it is not my favorite.

In conclusion, it all comes down to how you will use your boat. If all you are doing is coastal work then any of the three should work. None of these are true offshore boats. They have been used that way with varying degrees of success. I have spent a lot of time on examples of all three manufacturers and none of the three are compellingly superior to the other two but each have produced a model or two that are better than most of their line in build quality or performance.

From Nick Wigen on Cruising World message board 12/2000:
We bought a Catalina 42 sort of by accident 16 months ago.

I'd never been too smitten by Catalina in the past. A 1990 came up for sale at a very good price and our kids liked the 3 stateroom layout. The price was good enough to give it the "yeah, why not?" approach. We made an offer which was accepted and sold our Cal 31.

Jeff H makes some good comments about Catalina not changing their design. Ours is 10 years old and although they have changed the aft end in the Mk II we still would race head to head with the new boats. The Catalina factory has been good with support of us, the 3rd owners. Parts are readily available and fairly priced.

I like to work on our boats and make modifications. I haven't found any ugly surprises anywhere. The rig is strong enough, the systems are adequate. Not my first choice for a boat to take around Cape Horn but we aren't going there anyway.

One very pleasant surprise is that the boat balances very well under sail. I didn't have high exptectations but it has turned out to be more fun to sail than our Cal because the helm balances well and it stays in a groove to weather. It isn't especially fast in light air but we haven't added a cruising spinnaker yet.

We bought the boat with fairly low expectations, planning to keep it only for a few years until our 2 kids left home. We've grown to love it.


Lots of variation, by model and year.

Each boat has to be evaluated separately, and watch out for ex-charter boats.

Good: almost no wood to maintain.

Hunter 42: LWL == 38, Beam == 14.0, Draft == 4.9, fin-keel, sloop, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 19.4, D/L == 195, B/D == 0.32.

Hunter Marine Corp
(unofficial) Hunter Owners Web
(New) Hunter 320 reviewed in 10/1/2000 issue of Practical Sailor.
(New) Hunter 410 reviewed in 1/1/2001 issue of Practical Sailor.
Interesting article about the Hunter production line in 11/2005 issue of Sail magazine

From a story of a collision where a full-keel cruising boat badly damaged a charter boat:
"Those chartered Beneteaus and Hunters are pretty, but they are lightly built."

From Susan Lunn:
... We have bareboated on various boats -- a CS 36, a Hunter 37.5, a Catalina 42, and a Jenneau 47 in Florida and the British Virgin Islands ...

... no way would I trust any of the boats we chartered on a bluewater cruise. They were wonderful for the Keys and the BVIs. ...

From John Dunsmoor:
... It is important to be able to get to the bilge, and every corner of the vessel above and below decks. Just a note: a common scheme for liner boats like Beneteau and Hunters is to run plumbing and wires between the liner and the hull. Since this series of ribs and stringers form hollows they make perfect runs, but they are impossible to get to these areas. And because of poor drainage the wiring takes a real hit after a few years. We have repulled at least twenty circuits in our Oceanis 400 Beneteau, cursing all the time. Wires should be run in conduits above the waterline not in a wet bilge.

From Jim Mitchell on IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
I'm not an expert on Hunter boats by any means, but can pass on that the workers here in a large and competent commercial yard have no small degree of contempt for the current production boats. Now, while it is true is that every dockside idler has an opinion, and most of them are either wrong or unjustified, these folks see a goodly number of sailboats come through and have a vested interest in the quality of their final 'product' (the commissioned vessel) which is directly influenced by how well the boat is made and finished at the factory.

Complaints about the Hunters include - chainplates unbedded and not sealed, interior joinery not 'tabbed' to the hull (e.g. entire structures just laid in place and not fiberglassed to the hull), headliners left open and unsealed, and at least one hull so badly distorted that the bootstripe was 2" out of true.

Again, take this with a grain of salt, I'm not talking from personal experience - but am reporting a consensus of what I hear. Also, in some cases a well-cared for and sorted out example of a 'lesser' boat like a Catalina, Hunter, or even the much-maligned Morgan Out Island 41 may serve you better than a ragged, used-up 'better' boat at the end of its life.

I posted a list of negative opinions I've heard about Hunter's.
Response from Les Blackwell (owner of Hunter 380) on Cruising World message board:
I have owned 4 Hunters including the present one (H40, Vision 32, H35.5 and our H380). My wife and I have also owned a Cal 20, Pearson 27, Ranger 29, Ranger 32, and a Sceptre 36. I've raced on a J36 and some smaller San Juans and cruised on a Valiant 40.

The Hunter 35.5 won boat of the year in our local club races, and I hold a Master license for inland waters to Alaska. Those are my qualifications. Now to your list of things you have heard.

1- lightly built (hull)

The four boats I have had are well-built in my estimation. Corings taken out for thru hulls are as thick as other boats in the harbor (we compared -- C&Cs, Js, and Catalinas). The Hunter line is designed to be light, but not necessarily lightly built. I have had the H35.5 out in forty to fifty five knot winds in the Strait of Georgia -- the boat did better than the crew). If you like heavy hulls, i.e., Valiant, you would probably not like the Hunter line.

All necessary gear is backed with steel plates (winches, cleats, stanchions, etc). Gear used aboard the Hunters are top of the line in my estimation; Force 10 stove, Raytheon electronics, Edson wheel, Bruce anchor (not a copy), plastic fuel and holding tanks with gages (Peggy Hall approves), Guest chargers, and Lewmar winches. Oh, yes, Harken blocks and traveller. According to the Harken catalog, this is the right traveller for this size boat.

2- built with a "liner",so you can't get to all parts of bilge and hull interior.

3- plumbing and wires run between the liner and the hull (wet, hard to trace/fix)

[I'll answer these together]

Yes, they are built with a liner. The hull is completed (solid to the waterline and cored from there up -- just like several of the unlimited sixties), then a liner is placed into the hull and glued. It reinforces stress areas, and acts as a place to put parts of the boat, such as the engine, bulkheads, refrigeration, etc. At this time in production, tubes for wires are installed, thru hulls go through liner and hull. In fact, I don't know of a single part of my boat that I can't get to to repair something. Wires go thru tubes and are coded and tied. This spring I put on an autopilot and my electrician found all the wires ready to go. We even found cord to pull wire through for the RADAR and chart plotter.

All plumbing is easily accessed. I changed the galley faucet to a single arm and I did have to remove a shelf to get at the fittings. I plan to change the shower faucet as well and there is a large access panel already there.

As far as wet, hard to trace, this is not true. If it was wet it would mean the plumbing had leaked -- I have a dry boat. As I said, all wires are coded and and easy to change.

What I like about this method of building is that all my lockers are smoothly finished when I open them. In my Rangers, I had rough fibreglass which I had to sand to make smooth. In my present H380, I even have places to remove in the overhead to get at all my winches and line clutches.

4- chainplates unbedded and not sealed (inconsistent quality control from boat to boat)

My chainplates on all my boats were well-bedded, backed and tied to the hull and keel. There are also panels that can be taken off so that you can inspect all chainplates from below. I don't know how you would make these fittings any stronger.

I don't know how to answer to quality control comment. My four Hunters were well-made -- I had no problems with the quality of the boats. I started buying Hunters in the 80's and they are all good boats.

5- interior joinery not 'tabbed' to the hull

I'm not sure what you mean by this comment. All my bulkheads, interior cabinetry is very solid. Nothing moves. Bulkheads are glued or fibreglass to hull and liners. All my boats were solid (from the Cal to the Hunters).

6- "oversold" by Hunter salespeople as wonderful/bluewater boats.

I think the key word here is "salespeople". First Hunter does not have salespeople -- they have dealers. As far as I am concerned, salespeople will say anything to make a sale. I know a dealer that sells Hunters, Catalinas and Js and his salespeople will tell you they are all bluewater boats.

The other word to look at is "bluewater." Everyone has a different idea of what that means. I have a friend who sailed a Columbia 26 around the south pacific for several years -- with his family. This is back when we used to say that buy a Columbia and get a second keel for free because we thought they were lightly built then (1960-70s). On the other hand, I just last week looked and sailed a 1970 something Fisher Cat. Is that heavy built or what ? We took it out for a spin in clocked 40 knots of wind and didn't ever reef. We chugged along at 4 knots no matter what we did. New sails too. It had just come back from Hawaii. If you had asked me earlier I would have said that I wouldn't take this Fisher anywhere, but now, I'm not so sure. Very solid. But sloooow.

The Hunter Dealer in South Africa generally sails his boats over 34 feet to his location from Florida.

In the last Victoria to Maui race, a Hunter 35.5 did very well but didn't win. I want to do this race as well, maybe with this 380.

7- Hunter redesigns its entire line almost every year.

Even if it were true, what's your point?

8- flimsy cored hulls rather than solid layup

To some degree, I have already answered this comment. They are solid fibreglass to just above the water line, then cored on up. I think most boats in the lighter weight categories do this besides Hunter. Several of the Unlimited sixties did the same thing.

The word "flimsy" means "thin and easily broken or damaged; poorly made or fragile." This word has nothing to do with my four Hunter boats.

9- rigs that are hard to tune and no backstay

On my Ranger 32 (a racing boat of its time), I broke a mast from the pumping action when reaching the sea swells when racing in the Swift Sure Race. The mast needed a baby stay which the designers did not think about. Tuning that boat was hard.

I like the B and R rig. I'm having Brion Toss tune it this winter -- I've already talked to him. He says it is a good rig. I've also taked to Steve Pettengill who would not do the single handed race around the world in a different rig. I have tuned one of these B & R masts. You pre-tension them on the ground and then place them on the boat. This doesn't put tension on the boat. With my Ranger 32, I could pull the stern up almost two inches with the hydraulic back stay. True, it did bend the mast but it added tension to the boat.

I very much like having no back stay. Always in the way. Now I have a big main that I can control. It's what you like.

10- Hatches suck and all of them leak terribly with age.

None of my hatches suck, spit, or leak. In the first two Hunters, they were Bomar hatches and they worked very well. In the last two Hunters, they were/are Lewmar hatches. I really like the hatches in the 380 -- I have 11 opening ports or hatches and none leak. Here in the northwest, it rains a lot so we would know about leaks. The latest Lewmar hatches all have screens that are easy to place. The part that I cannot confirm is what they will do when they age. But if they ever did, would it be Hunter's fault or Lewmar's fault? But as of today, no leaks in any of my Hunter boats.

I had enough Microsoft stock to have my choice of many different boats. I couldn't have bought a new Oyster or Swan but certainly many of the present day boats being built. I like Hunter. It is a good boat for me. Who knows, maybe tomorrow something else will be built that will catch my eye, but for the moment, I'm satisfied.
Another response, from Richard Owen on Cruising World message board:
I sail a Hunter 460, it's now 2 years old [in 11/2000]. It's like every boat I have owned - over time I learn about all of the really good things about it and about all of the really bad things. I think I know it fairly well now. To answer the specifics, as they relate to my boat (and I'll try to be honest - just the facts as I see them):

1. Lightly built: I don't think so, 27,000 lbs; 9500 lbs of lead ballast. I have drilled the hull to add thru-hulls, and found good glass. Checked this boat for hull flex - there is none.

2. Has a liner - correct, and I wish it didn't, but have not yet found a problem locating anything. I wonder what happens, however when you hit something and there is water coming in and you can't get to that part of the hull??

3. Plumbing and wiring on this boat is good - everything is accessible or in conduit - have added many items with no problems finding piping or wiring or routing. I don't know what you mean by wet, but this boat is very dry in the bilges.

4. Chainplates, etc. The rig is directly fastened to ribs built into the hull - about 5" thick, solid glassed into the hull. I have no concern about strength here. Any deck fittings have aluminum backing plates glassed into the deck. I don't like the backing on a few of the attachments - 2 places on the stern rail had to be re-done, and one of the cleats in the anchor locker is attached to a fairly thin piece of fiberglass which I will change.

5. Interior joinery ... - I think some of the interior pieces should be better attached - in looking at this, I wonder about some of the "screwed-on" parts in really difficult conditions.

6. Oversold - probably true, just like every other marketing activity.

7. Yearly re-design - absolutely false - the boats often change in little things, but the base boats seem to stay the same over many years. Often they will change the configuration and layout, and improve some things, market it as a different boat, but it's the same hull as a recent model.

8. Flimsy cored hulls - wrong - this hull is solid glass to above the water line, I haven't seen flimsy, but I admit to an interest only in the larger ones, i.e., 40 ft. and up.

9. Hard to tune rigs - I don't think so, different from what the industry is used to (including me), definitely. B&R rig - yes, I have mixed feelings on this - I like the size and power of the full roach, battened main, but there have been occasions when I would have liked to run wing on wing, and it's not as easy with this rig - I have been used to being able to tighten the forestay tension with a backstay adjuster, and I still want to do that some days. As to strength, the boat has fared well in strong weather so far, and shows no signs of concern such as excess pumping, etc.

10. Leaky hatches ... For my boat, absolutely incorrect. They are Lewmar Ocean series - no leaks at all. This is the dryest boat I have ever owned (and I have owned many over the last 25 years). It is one of the things I like about the boat - sitting in a northwest downpour, in a perfectly dry boat. Time will tell, but they won't leak any more than any other Lewmar hatch. By the way, the boat came with a lot of other well-known quality gear.

What don't I like?: I would like better sails; The stainless needs care to keep it in good shape (I sailed in fresh water previously so I don't have comparative experience); The engine compartment could be better insulated. Other than that, as a hands-on owner who belongs to no particular boat religion, I'm quite happy with it. I would still like to sail the new J46, however!!!

From Gary Elder:
My own experience with Hunters is quite limited. When I was in the market for a 30 - 35 footer, the Hunters that I looked at seemed to be made for midgets. Narrow doorways, narrow bunks, narrow vee-berths. When I was in the market for a 40 footer, the Hunters that I looked at still seemed to be made for midgets, Narrow doorways, narrow bunks, and narrow vee-berths. At that point I went looking for another brand of boat. [And Gary is not a large person.]

And that goofy 'B & R rig', I have seen many of them so badly out of tune that it looked like they were trying to imitate a pretzel. My main complaint with the rig is a fitting that attaches the top of the shrouds to the mast. It's sort of a ball and socket arrangement (I don't remember the terminology) that, once installed, is impossible to inspect. It is possible to install the ball portion without having it properly seat in it's mating socket. The problem is, there is no way to check the installation to verify that it was done correctly. If not properly seated, the ball portion will wear on the mast, and eventually lead to a massive failure. This actually happened to a friend of mine last year while he was well offshore, late at night, with a full crew aboard. He is lucky no one was killed. Strangely, one of the few pieces of the mast saved was the one with the failed ball/socket affair. The total repair bill was close to $30,000. All the standing rigging, all the running rigging, mast, boom, main and jib were either lost or had to be replaced. The prop, prop shaft , transmission, engine all had major damage. There was also considerable damage to the fiberglass.

This is not sour grapes. The Hunters I looked at were too small for me. The dismasting really happened.

From Steve Honour on Cruising World message board:
... You may be tempted to get a Hunter. They are appealing when you see the space below. But these boats come with a stigma. They are not well-respected so you'll have to live with the fact that many in the know are not very impressed with your boat. Works for some folks, but it gnaws at others. I've never owned one, but sailed on a few and they seem to be a bit flimsy which leads to flexing and deck leaks. You can probably get them all sealed up for comfy living, but if you sail them much, the leaks open back up. Living on a boat is a great compromise of space so you want that space to be dry and comfy. Deck leaks are a royal pain in the act. Hatches, ports, hardware, chainplates, stanchions, toe rails ... There are a lot of potential leaks and it takes a solid boat to keep them from making life down below miserable.

Hunter Legend 43: want 1990's vintage, not 1980's ?

From dougjnn on Cruising World message board:
Hunter Legend 43: 42.5 feet LOA, 38 ft LWL. Queen aft and large forward cabin, plus a third cabin/nav station somewhat aft of midships on the starboard side, with double bunks (good sea births). Beautiful and capacious down below. Two full heads with showers, pressure hot water.

Fractional sloop rig, but set up with sheavs, tang and halyard messenger line for a removable inner forestay = cutter rig.

4'10" spec draft (I'd say 5 ft loaded), with a bulb/low ballast keel. Nice swim platform, quite high off the water, but with a high and wide bridgedeck keeping water from getting down below. No arch. Aft cockpit.

Great sailing boat. PHRF 81. Sails upwind like a dream.

Henk Mezuleaar has sailed his Rivendell II (Legend 43) across the Pacific in both directions, including upwind, and raves about it offshore. With gear upgrades of course, but but not too much of the basic stuff. I added another 45 gal to the inadequate 50 gal diesel tankage it came with.

From Gary Elder:
> Is Hunter Legend a different animal ?

Newer design, but I don't know how much of it is just cosmetic. A friend has a Hunter Legend 35.5 that he really likes. I've been aboard a few times, but never sailed it. The boat seems to be quite liveable for a 35, and quite nice looking inside. We have had dinner in the salon with a total of six or eight people and it was fine. Sailed in company with this boat to the Keys - it did just fine, but it seems to want to 'sail around the anchor' some. The owner uses a riding sail to minimize that.

From Russell on Cruising World message board:
People go on and on about how the hull-deck joint is fabricated. Here's my question: How often is there a structural failure of the hull-deck joint? I've read about all sorts of failures in heavy seas: ports being stove in, anything mounted on the deck being ripped off, cabin trunks being crushed, demastings, etc. The first two seem so frequent that they are sometimes mentioned in passing. But only once have I ever read about the hull separating from the deck.

A simple leak is the kind of hull-deck failure I have seen, on quite a few boats. This is no surprise. Adhesives age, water finds its way in, the freeze-thaw cycle does its job, and gradually there is some intrusion. I think the ideal hull-deck joint is glassed over. But that is an expensive operation I don't expect to see in many boats. As long as the joint relies on adhesives and sealants to keep the rain and sea out, the main quality I want in a hull-deck joint is accessibility. I want to be able to reach and inspect every inch, from the inside, so that if a leak does develop, I can trace it back to its source and fix it. On far too many boats, the hull-deck joint is inaccessible, behind some kind of pan or liner. The owners have mysterious leaks that they can never find. Which means that water damage proceeds, undetected.

Hunters seem particularly egregious in this regard. If you search the Hunter Owners site, you will find a Hunter representative's suggestion on how to trace leaks in its new boats. In essence, you turn the boat into a balloon: take off the rub-rails, seal or tape down outside openings, use a plastic bag and more tape to attach a shop vac (in reverse) to the companionway, pressurize the interior, then use a bucket of soapy water and a brush to search down leaks from the outside. It is no surprise that this procedure is recommended only after the owner has sealed random, suspected sources of the leak, and is at wit's end. (Any boat dealer that recommended this procedure to me would quickly find himself at foot's end.)


I should not have written that "Hunters seem particularly egregious." That's only true for some Hunters, and equally true for many other boats from many other builders.

Hunter 320 and 410 have backing plates that are buried between layers of fiberglass ?


Irwin 42: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.3, Draft == 5.7, fin keel, ???-rudder, ketch-rig, Disp == 29k, SA/D == 16.3, D/L == 299, B/D == 0.41.
Irwin 38: LWL == 28, Beam == 10.5, Draft == 5.7, fin keel, ???-rudder, sloop, Disp == 15k, SA/D == 16.9, D/L == 331, B/D == 0.42.

Irwin Yacht International

From Captain Hugenot on SFSailing:
Ted Irwin designed two very different Irwin 34's.

If the vessel is a Irwin 34 Citation displacing 11,500. lbs, then you will have no problems sailing on the Chesapeake, or offshore rounding Cape Charles and sailing up to Cape May and beyond.

The Irwin 34 which most people know, is the Citation 34 built after 1978. It is 34 ft 3 in LOA, 27 ft 4 in Waterline, 11 ft 3 in beam, and 4 ft draft with the swing keel up and 8 ft 1 in with the keel down.

However, there is also a lighter boat the Irwin 34 Competition 3/4T. Which Ted designed in 1976. The 34 Competition was built light for racing and displaces only 9,715 lbs. It has a length of 34 ft 0 in, a waterline length of 28 ft 3 inches, and a beam of 11 ft 5 in. She has a draft of 4 ft 0 in.

The Competition is the one that has the reputation for oil canning in the upper hull at the bows when sailing in a heavy chop. This is because there is no fo'c'st'le chain lkr with its stiffening bulkhead.

I have not sailed either of the Irwin 34's, but I have sailed quite a bit in an Irwin 46 ketch. I have read Naval Architect Robert Perry's review of the Irwin 44, and two separate reviews of the Irwin 38, which were published in Sail Magazine over the years. My analysis is that Irwin builds fine yachts and except when designing for racing competition and the inherent lightness demanded by fast boats, Irwin builds excellent offshore yachts.

The criteria I use for offshore yachts are:
1. They should be over 30 ft.
2. They should weigh in at about 12,000 lbs on a 36 ft hull.
3. They need to have an inboard engine between 22 and 30 hp.

The Irwin 34 meets all of these criteria.

From Jeff on newsgroup:
The terms "quality" and "Irwin" are not often seen together, at least in my experience. Ted Irwin built boats to a price line, rather than doing things correctly and then calculating the cost. This is okay, provided the buyer understands that fact. The results, however, were some pretty awful components and manufacturing techniques. Years ago I saw new Irwins at the boat shows with voids (pits) in the gelcoat, lazarette hatches so flimsy as to be dangerous to walk upon, and joinery mistakes below so glaring as to require repair before using the cabin and galley. I've also seen some larger Irwins (52' plus and minus) that were beautiful and seemingly well-constructed. I suspect their smaller boats suffered while aiming at a price point, and their larger cruising boats were built with chartering or limited offshore use in mind.

If you are considering one, get a competent surveyor to examine it with a fine tooth comb. A friend has a 37' Irwin CC ketch -- while not a bad dockside condo, it is insufferably slow and the helm pulls annoyingly to starboard when motoring. Add to that that the boat is shabbily constructed, has gelcoat cracks throughout the deck, has gelcoat that has flaked-off in spots, and leaks like a WWII shelter-half tent. Sadly they've socked a lot of money into it and probably won't be able to recoup much, if any, of their investment.

From Steve on newsgroup:
[Quality of Irwin's is] very variable. If you find a good one, you've found a whole lot of good boat for very little money. If you find a bad one, you've found a headache. I know you can say the same thing about many different boat makes but it's more true for Irwins than for most. Luckily, mine has turned out to be a good one.

From Andy La Varre on newsgroup:
I thought [quality of Irwin's] were pretty good. I had a 1981 Irwin Citation 31. It was very seaworthy, well put together, thick keel stepped mast, solid 3/8" rigging, good engine access, thoughtful design, looked good, went fast. Very pleased.

From Paul D on Cruising World message board:
Irwins are low end production boats relying heavily on chopped mat construction to keep their price down.


One of the most common boats seen on our trip down the ICW last fall and also in the Bahamas was the center cockpit Irwin 37. It is huge down below for its length, a very nice liveaboard. It is not what I consider attractive. I would not hesitate to take the ICW/Bahamas trip in that boat. On the other hand I wouldn't try to cross to Bermuda in one.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
Irwins were mid line production boats about on a par with Morgans.

The Citations were the racer cruiser line at Irwin and were slightly better built and were usually considerably better equipped on deck than the other Irwin lines. ...

From Matthew J. Cherry on Cruising World message board:
I'm rebuilding an Irwin Citation 35.5

... The Citation was designed as a comfortable racer/coastal cruiser that was also affordable. Others have mentioned that the boat was built to a price point, this is true. However, I must say that after tearing one apart, it seems that most all of the compromises were made in the fitting out. The joiner work (what there is of it) is not very good. Actually it sucks. You can't believe how many bungs did not have screws behind them, I'd say four out of ten. The systems are plentiful, but they are the lowest quality that you could buy. It has (like many production boats) a molded headliner that makes working on deck hardware a bitch.

As I was buying the boat at a third of its market value with the intention of rebuilding it, none of this mattered to me. Friends who saw the boat thought I was nuts to tear it up, they liked it how it was. So as far as fit and finish goes - that's really up to your personal standards.

As far as the basic structure of the boat, there is only one thing that I don't like (within the parameters of the boat itself) and that is that the hull to deck joint is screwed and glued instead of through-bolted. I have spoken to other Irwin owners who had leaks in their wooden toerail, but Citations don't have one so it's not a problem. I wasn't very fond of the stanchion design and have since changed it. The hull is solid glass and was laid up by hand, I can't comment on the lay up schedule as I don't know what it was.

For what it is the boat sails real well. The shoal draft keel is similar in design to the Cal 40 underbody with the long fin and spade rudder with a very small skeg located at the top of it. Its ample beam gives it great form stability which, with the tall rig, is a plus for racing. This is obviously not what you would want to sail the Pacific in. If you want to cross oceans you're looking at the wrong boat. If you want to cruise on the weekends and maybe do some island hopping, you're looking at a good boat. That said, I know of one that regularly competes in the Newport-Bermuda race and one that has sailed the Transpac. If you are handy and enjoy working on boats, I think the Citation represents an excellent value.

One other note, as with many racer/cruisers there isn't a lot of *real* storage space on the boat. ...

From captkeywest on Cruising World message board:
6000 Irwins built in the last 35 years.

I have one of the early Irwin 37s (1972 hull # 29).

Between the later series of 37s known as Mark II, Mark III, Mark IV and Mark V (a total of 5 production runs of three or four years each), add to those five models the three keel configurations Shoal (mine), C/B, and Deep then add the three different rigs offered, Sloop, Cutter, Ketch.

I believe I read there are about 875 Irwin 37's but I would not consider them a "generic" product --- during my conversations with other 37 owners I have learned our boats have many differences !

I believe Irwins been around so long they have had to produce a variety of boats in order to adapt to the constant changes in the boat building/selling market to survive.

From Barry Brazier on WorldCruising mailing list, about centerboards:
I have an Irwin Citation 39 with a Centre board. I sailed her from CT to Australia via Panama. The shallow draft was an advantage in a few locations. The centre board help windward ability but was no help in a blow. I would have preferred to have had the lead lower down to increase stability. This would have been far more helpful when sailing to windward in 30 or 40 kts.

I broke the centre board on two occasions: once when grounding and once while in open ocean. Maybe I hit a big fish? The slot did not fill with weed being well down and antifouled. Keeping on the move with CFP (copolymer antifouling) loosens growth. Not so good if you stay in the one place for months.

The board rattles in the slot in a seaway. Can be annoying over time. It rattles less when up and more when down.

From Don on Cruising World message board:
... I've found Irwin to be among the leakiest and prone to break boats I've known. ...

From Dan P on Cruising World message board:
Were the older Irwins built better than the newer ones? The older ones are heavier. The 44 built in 78-79 weighed 30500# and drew 4'4" with board up. The 46 built from 80-85 was 33000# and drew 4'8" with board up. ...
From h40.5bob on Cruising World message board:
A friend of mine has a mid-80's irwin 37cc ...

You are going to hear that Irwins had a poor reputation in FL for quality, that they were cheaply constructed, etc. My friend has spent the last 6 winters in the bahamas on his irwin, and returns to tampa in the spring. While he hasn't done truly heavy bluewater sailing, he's been in a number of situations with gale force winds for extended periods of time. His irwin has survived without any serious problems. He's been happy with it for 15 yrs after buying it new. I wouldn't head across the pacific in his boat, but for coastal/islands sailing, I'm quite certain that it's completely adequate ...

From Bill Shirko on Cruising World message board 12/2000:
It's interesting to see that on this web site Irwins are so generally disliked. As an Irwin owner, it's a 1986 32ft Citation, I'm a bit concerned. To me, it's a good boat. But I too am an inexperienced boat owner. This is my first boat, actually second I had a 1971 Cal 27 for a short period of time (that's another story) and bought the Irwin in the late summer of 1999 from the original owner.

As I get to know the boat better, and other boats too I do see some flaws but all in all it seems to be okay.

Only a couple small water leaks on the side windows. The hatches and portholes are tight. Some of the deck hardware needs replacement ...

From Dick Giddings on Cruising World message board:
We have had our 37' Mk III for over a year, and still find it absolutely perfect for what we have in mind. Let me say that we do NOT plan to cross any oceans, and our cruising plan is much as Tom and Mel Neale's "Cowardly, Comfortable Cruising". The Irwin should not be considered a bluewater boat; it isn't that strong. It IS an inexpensive, roomy, comfortable boat with moderately good sailing characteristics (ours is sloop rigged with swing keel which certainly makes a difference into the wind). The fixed light leaks are inevitable ... we HAVE found that if we religiously keep tightening the screws after each day of rough water sailing, we keep the leaks to a minimum. We love the boat, we love the center cockpit, we love the storage space, and the interior roominess, the berths are comfortable, there is lots of light from a gazillion ports and hatches, there are lots of handholds, the galley is compact and safe for the cook when seas have a little chop ... we got our money's worth ... and we didn't blow our whole cruising budget on a much more expensive, slightly stronger bluewater boat which we didn't like the interior layout of anyway! This is why they make vanilla and chocolate; Ford and Chevy ... you follow my thinking. We expect to make many Gulf Stream crossings in our Irwin, and spend many nights at anchor throughout the Bahamas and Florida Keys, and transit to Maine for the summer. Steer away from loud noises, keep your eye on the weather, and when in doubt, DON'T!!! Good advice for all.

From John on Cruising World message board:
Not as good quality as Pearsons or Morgans. Slightly above a Hunter and way above Watkins and Macgregors. I owned a 1970 I23 back in the 70's. Raced it hard. They sail well when they stay together.

From SG on Cruising World message board:
Irwins are a mixed bag. The mid sized cruisers (like the 32ish) models made in the prime of the company in, say, the early 80's were reasonably built as a coastal cruiser. The larger ones seemed to me to be a stretch into a market that Irwin wasn't really prepared to compete in. The construction was relatively light and the cabinetry was okay. Having said all of that, you aren't planning on going out Hurricane chasing -- but as the sinking off of Miami this week showed, you're not sailing in Lake Placid (and, that lake is that in name only if you're unlucky).

If you asked to compare the Irwin with Catalina, Columbia, Ericson, Pearson, Tartan, etc. -- then I'd put it's construction in the lower middle of the pack, the interior fit-out in the same position, the deck hardware generally in lower end, and the resale value at the lower end of the spectrum. ...

From Tom on Cruising World message board:
When I asked questions about Irwins a while back I got some beautiful pictures from a man who said he and his family cruised the Bahamas for 2 years in an Irwin 40 center cockpit. But he sold it for $12,000 when he was done with it and would not really recommend it to me. He said he thought the quality was poor and the price would reflect that. Another person said he didn't think the Irwin was capable of crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas because of the poor quality of construction and he also recommended I look at something else. ...

From Dan on Cruising World message board:
My wife and I just considered buying a Irwin 34 Citation. Compared to a majority of the boats we have reviewed it appeared very well-built, not a bluewater boat but very nice as a coastal cruiser.

One Irwin I called about, I think it was a 28', had a broken centerboard. The owner told me that while he was showing the boat he lowered the cb while in the slip, it stuck in the mud and snapped off. After kicking himself in the ass for such a dumb move the called Irwin to get a replacement. They wanted 4 times the cost of a comparable cb for a Morgan and refused to send him a line drawing so he could have one made. The owner quite upset felt he was being ripped off and has been sailing without a cb since. He said it still points well without it.

From danp on Cruising World message board:
There are three older 37's in our marina in N.J. and they all seem to be in good shape. Got on a 43 this summer and my wife loved the layout. Raised salon with a lot of windows. It weighed in at 26000 lbs. with a wing keel and 4'11" draft. 85 and older model 43s also have a centerboard with 4'10" draft. Irwin 46's built 1980-1985 were 33000 lbs and centerboard was 4'8". 44's made in 1978-1979 were 30000 lbs with a ctrboard of 4'4". The 37's were 5'6" fixed keels or a ctrboard of 4'0" and 22000 lbs. ...

From Gary Elder 1/2001:
Had a conversation with my friend Jim who [just bought a] Irwin 52. His perception of recent sales is that the Irwin 52 is selling for about 20% above the Buc Book price, regardless of asking price. I realize that is very subjective and perhaps difficult to quantify because CONDITION is hard to judge, and equipment is hard to put value on.

Also, he pointed out a couple of other issues: these boats, like so many others, have a potential problem with the mast step: mild steel, wood timbers, moisture. Most of these boats need to have the mast step area repaired. This is about a $5K repair. If it has already been done, you're in good shape, if not - negotiate. We had our Morgan OI 41 done at purchase time.

The other issue is the mast height. These boats are not ICW friendly: too tall. Jim's boat has a shortened rig (64 ft) that allows him to pass under most ICW bridges. This is a big job, and pricey.

If neither of these projects have been done, it makes sense to do both at the same time. The going rate to have ALL of these projects (mast step and rig) done is about $10K to $15K.

The Irwin 37 I looked at, and drawings of an Irwin 42, both have a lot of steps up and down in the floor plan. The main cabin is one or two steps up from the V-berth, the galley, the walk-through, etc. I don't like this. A broker suggests that it is no problem for owners (who get used to it), but can be dangerous for guests.

I looked briefly at the 1984 Irwin 42 CC ketch "Jacks Or Better" in Ft Pierce FL in 3/2001:
Headroom: 6'1" in aft head and aft cabin, 6'0" in walk-through, 6'3" in main cabin.
Open layout in main cabin.
All ports are opening.
Exterior wood: toerail, grab rails, companionway, binnacle trim.
Step-down into walk-through, galley.

From Peter Kraus on the SailNet liveaboard-list:
I have been searching for a sailboat to cruise for 1 to 2 years with wife and 3 boys (9, 8, 6). We have looked at Island Packet, Amel, Oyster, Tayana, Tartan, Shannon, Mason along with others. By chance we got a tour of a Irwin 52. Wow it has everything that we wanted in terms of space and layout. Furthermore, the draft and mast height allow ICW travel and Bahamas exploration. So I have talked to several acquaintances, some own sailboats, some trawlers, and they have offered several key reasons to avoid an Irwin:

1- Built to a dollar budget often resulting in cost cutting selection of components. Result could / would be more maintenance / down time.

2- Very heavy boat will keep you off moorings at common anchorages.

3- Sails poorly. Slow, unable to point well.

4- Tough to sell, old and poor reputation.

In spite of these concerns we are unable to find offerings at twice the price that combine the features we desire. ...

From Jeff H on Cruisers Forum:
Depending on the specific year and model, as a rule the bigger clipper-bowed series of Irwins were poorly built and have mediocre sailing ability. They were generally optimized for reaching in moderate conditions and really do not sail well at the lighter or heavier ends of the wind range.

I had a chance to talk to a number of people who owned, managed, or captained these boats. These were not terribly robustly engineered or constructed boats and the one theme that I kept hearing was that they seemed to require multiple multi-$100K refits which occur with a fair degree of regularity throughout the boat's history.

Most of these boats are well over 20 years old and so starting out poorly engineered, need a lot of very expensive reworking. Probably the biggest issue that would concern me is fatigue. These were very flexible boats and over time that creates a lot of fatique in the fiberglass. Irwin tended to use a lot of non-directional laminates to build up thickness quickly, and these are especially prone to fatigue and point load issues.

From Graeme Scott on Cruising World message board:
First let me say as an owner of an Irwin 39, I'm naturally a little bit biased. Irwin had a long run and built a lot of boats over the years. They were certainly built to a price and suffered from quality control issues from time to time. (Things like some pulpits being attached with screws, cleats without backing plates, gate valves on thruhulls, leaky ports, etc). I've heard lots of horror stories about first owners having long fights to get warranty from dealers/factory. However, the basic designs were decent and my 25+ year old hull seems to be holding up fine. The boats sailed quite well for their time and mine doesn't seem to have any particularly bad habits under sail.

It really comes down to what you want to do with the boat. For example, there's no doubt that a similar vintage Sabre 34 is a better boat than the Irwin 34. The question you have to answer is: at twice the price is it twice as good for you? If you're looking for a family cruiser for weekends and daysailing in near coastal and sheltered waters and don't want to have more $ in your boat than you paid for your first house, an Irwin is probably worth a look. This is especially true if previous owners have corrected many of the build flaws and shortcuts described above. A couple of things to watch for in these boats are the mast step (corrosion) and engine size (standard was 2 cyl 15 hp Yanmar that was underpowered by today's standards ... look for a boat with the 3gm 20 hp option).

Both Practical Sailor and John Kretschmer's "Used Boat Notebook" have reviews that are basically positive given the boat's drawbacks. PS concludes by saying "for a coastal cruiser" it "offers a lot of basic boat, especially at the price". Kretschmer says "Inexpensive coastal cruiser with great potential" .

From Chuck on Cruising World message board:
... The Irwin is notorious for poor construction. I have seen many that had loose concrete in the keel as ballast. ...


See my Boat Model - Morgan page

High Maintenance ? (Lots of wood; teak deck; etc)


From fred on Cruising World message board:
... I owned a 1984 Baba 40. Very good boat but very very high maintenance. If you can deal with the maintenance she will be a very capable cruiser. ...

From SG on Cruising World message board:
Had a friend with one.

The boat was very nicely finished -- but the teak took a LOT of effort to keep looking okay (that's not varnished -- that would have taken a very great deal more).

I didn't think much of the boat's handling. It was relatively slow and I thought it tended to have a rocking motion in a seaway that seemed exaggerated for the actual wave conditions.

I don't know about the boat in trade wind conditions -- but it was not much of a performer in the wind.
From Duane on Cruising World message board:
I'm not so sure the performance comments by SG are that accurate, many consider the Perry designed Baba to be a very good performer, given it is a heavy, off-shore cruising boat.

So far I am very pleased with my Tashiba 40 (same as Baba) which I purchased 2 years ago. I would be glad to respond to an e-mail of specific questions you might have.

Cheoy Lee

Cheoy Lee 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == ???, Draft == ???, modified-full-keel, skeg-rudder, ???, Disp == 28k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.

Cheoy Lee Association
Cheoy Lee Offshore 41 reviewed in 6/2000 issue of Practical Sailor.

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
Cheoy Lee equals beautiful but it also equals to much exterior wood equals to many screws equals to many bungs equals to many leaks equals high maintenance.

From owner of a 1988 Cheoy Lee 41 for sale:
Yes, it has teak decks. The standing head room in over 6', maybe 6'3", we'll have to measure exactly.


Hardin 44: LWL == nnn, Beam == 13.3, Draft == 5.5, ???-keel, ???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 32k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.27.

From Alan Lewis on the IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
Although I have not owned a Hardin,I have significant sailing experience on two different models of the 44/45, including sailing from CT to Bermuda on one. Both were built in the 70's.

They are commodious, heavy (about 35,000 lbs.) vessels with nicely finished interiors in typical Taiwanese fashion. The workmanship is mid-quality and they are fairly high maintenance boats. Some of the wiring in one of the boats was fiberglassed into the bulkheads - not very safe. We wound up re-wiring much of the boat. Beamy for their length (thus they are very roomy), they tend to be heavy in the ends and pitch badly in a head sea which also slows them to weather (or even powering) if there is much of a sea running. They sail well on a reach.

They lack good sea berths for off-shore work and the main cabin's large distances between handholds makes it difficult to move about without crashing into things.

At the dock or for coastal cruising in good weather, they are wonderful. Lots of room (one had a bathtub), good engine access, reasonable sailing characteristics (one was a ketch, the other was a sloop), good deck space, large cockpit. One (the 45) had the galley in the walk-through which was not favored by the cook. The 44 had the galley in the main cabin.

The 45 is still being lived aboard by its original owner and has been extensively upgraded and maintained well. It had a serious blister problem that was noticed and repaired about 5 years ago. The boat has been used primarily for coastal cruising in New England, although the owners have taken it south now. Both vessels had Ford Lehman 80 hp diesels which were adequate except in a steep head sea.

I guess my advice is to be sure to have any Hardin well surveyed and to know how you intend to use it. Both the liveaboards I know who had them liked them - and we all lived aboard 12 months a year in New England. In the winter I always envied their water capacity (300 gallons) since I had only 100 and we could fill tanks only once a week. And you will need to like doing maintenance.


Teak deck.

Polaris 43: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 6.2, modified-full-keel, cutter, Disp == 25k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.34.

From Cadien Johnson:
We have a Polaris 43 (a Taiwanese knock off of a Perry one-off similar to the Valiants). As you may be learning from your shopping, boats are an incredible collection of compromises. So the compromises we made are fairly unique to our plans and might not be relevant for you. We love the flush deck, the teak below deck, the way she handles under sail, the solid feeling of her 28000 lb displacement. We are not too enamored of the Perkins 4-108 diesel which is a perpetual oily mess, so we run it as little as prudent diesel maintenance and adverse wind and currents allow. The boat had teak decks which we loved until we discovered the underlying rot and had to remove the teak and the deck core. Now we love the fiberglass deck that replaced it. We spent four years and about $50,000 on upgrades to what was initially a pretty basic boat with three electrical circuits and hand pump water. Now we are ready to make a 10 to 20 year cruise.

> What is the standing headroom in the cabin ?

Thru most of the cabin it is about 6'6" maybe just over 6' a couple of places (I am 6'0" and never bump). There is one step down from the level of the galley to the main salon and there the headroom at the bottom of the step is about 7'6".

> How expensive was it to remove the teak decking ?

Just to remove was about $4k, the problem was putting the new deck back and that was another $16k.

> What kind of keel (fin, full, modified-full) and rudder (spade, skeg, fully-attached) does it have?

I think it would be described as a modified full keel with a cutaway forefoot also known as a Brewer bite (so looks like a long fin). The rudder is mounted on a full skeg and the propeller is supported by a strut in the open between the keel and skeg, so the boat turns and backs easily. She is a double-ender.


Teak deck.

From Joe C. on Cruising World message board:
[Re: Slocum 43:]

We considered one and though we did not look, we were told that it is underpowered when motoring and it is not a fast or particularly able sailer.

However, they are very strong and often well-equipped.

It is a Taiwan built boat which to some is a negative.

From Bernie Jakits on Cruising World message board 12/2000:
[Re: Slocum 43:]

Back in the very early 90's, I had the pleasure of being on the hard next to a Slocum 43. Having my TahShing Norseman 447 next to her made for a great comparison. The gentleman who owned her at the time was preparing her for a Caribbean and South American cruise, which he did do on her. Upon launching of her, we took her for on a shakedown sail in typical 20K gulfstream stuff off Ft. Lauderdale where she sailed solid and true her course. A good boat.

Ten years later, I ran into the gentleman, while he worked at LongBoat Marina, and the only thing he had to say about her was good things. The boat is built solidly, the finish is top notch, the interior is extremely liveable, the onboard systems are very well thought out. The boat is a solid offshore sailor capable of taking you anywhere. For a 43 footer, she's a big 43. Much much bigger than my Valiant 40. She's a bit traditional in looks, with her "lapstrake look", full sheerline, high bulkwarks, spoon shaped hull. Typically, a mid to late vintage should sell for around $165K to $200K.

I also think that the Slocum 43 is better built than a Hans Christian BUT not as pretty if viewed sided by side.


Vagabond 47: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.4, Draft == 5.5, full-keel, ketch, Disp == 40k, SA/D == 16.5, D/L == 383, B/D == 0.30.

From JoeC on Cruising World message board:
Have sailing friends who bought a beautiful Vagabond 47 here in Ches Bay area. Their primary difficulty and the reason they sold the boat after 2 years was the level of maintenance. Felt they could never get away from the dock. Lots of teak on deck and below deck. (They moved up from a very nice 38' and were experienced sailors).

Its a big, heavy boat best suited for good steady wind. Absent that, its motoring time.

"... all the ones we looked at had fuel tanks replaced or lined, as a result of tank corrosion"

From Doug on Cruising World message board:
I've looked at the Vagabond 47 extensively considering for purchase. I believe they all were built in Taiwan. The interiors were semi-custom. I have never found two alike and some are downright disastrous interiors.

From Bev Clary on Cruising World message board:
Second hand: Vagabond 47 supposed to be very good ocean type boat with terrific room for stores and such. Supposed to have a super comfortable motion ... a ship rather than a boat. Not super fast but seaworthy. On the other hand big enough that it doesn't need to be super fast for its size to make good passages. Word was to look out for deck leaks. Apparently a continuing problem. Extra teak upkeep seems obvious.

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
Vagabond 47: Built by a below average Taiwanese yard. They built about 20 or so of them (if) ... they have acres of teak everywhere, usually most are found on the west coast, especially the PNW ... they all leak, and only really sail when the wind is above 15 knots.

Sure, they're big boat for the money, but there is better out there.

From Jon Eisberg on Cruising World message board:
Around 20 years ago, I ran a few of the first of these boats to be brought into the States. One of them, did the round trip from the Sassafrass to Palm Beach perhaps 6 times. Delivered another from Mobile to Palm Beach, and a third from the Chesapeake to Cleveland ... And another once from New York to Marsh Harbour ...

The boat I ran back and forth to Florida had an engine alignment problem that no one on the planet seemed to be able to solve. This led, in the course of a single trip north, to THREE SEPARATE COMPLETE TRANSMISSION FAILURES ... Probably my single worst delivery trip of all time ...

The other two - fresh from the factory - suffered broken welds in the stainless waterlift mufflers within the first 24 hours of running ...

These boats had a curious feature which someone over in Taiwan apparently thought was incredibly clever - the fuel vents were routed out the stanchion bases! Absolutely guaranteed to soil the teak deck with diesel every time you took on fuel ...

Certainly a comfortable boat below, to be sure ... But a motorsailer in the truest sense - you had to motor to sail her ...

In all the miles I've travelled in these boats, I only tried purely sailing one once - and in fairly boisterous conditions, at that. I fired the engine back up within 5 minutes, and got the damn thing moving again ...

Those trusty old Ford Lehmans probably were the best things about those boats, come to think of it ...

Wrong Hull Material (for me)

Amazon (steel)

F&C (steel)

Draft Too Deep (for me; > 5 ft 6 in)


Cambria 40: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.2, Draft == 7.5, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 16.3, D/L == 289, B/D == 0.43.

CT (Ta-Chiao)

CT 49: LWL == 38, Beam == 13.3, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 29k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.
CT 47: LWL == 38, Beam == 13.2, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 29k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.41.
CT 42: LWL == ???, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == ???, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
CT 41: LWL == 32, Beam == 12.2, Draft == 6.0, full-keel, ketch, Disp == 28k, SA/D == 13.6, D/L == 392, B/D == 0.32.
CT 38: LWL == 31, Beam == 11.4, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 17k, SA/D == 15.9, D/L == 262, B/D == ???.

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
"the ct54 is a great boat, designed by a great designer, and built by a real good yard"

From Tom Watson on Yachtingnet's Sailboat forum:
"... 1977 37' CT. It's fantastic, built like a large brick building, and 7' 4" headroom. If you can find one ... pay attention and check it. We love our CT."

From Todd Johnson on IRBS live-aboard mailing list:
Re: Formosa 35

I just bought a CT 41, built by Ta Chiao, which was the boat yard right next to Formosa. They shared a lot of resources and often built almost identical designs (the Formosa Yankee Clipper is the same basic design as the CT41). I did a lot of research into these boats and give you a bit of insight that might help you out.

The hulls of these boats are generally overbuilt, and well laid up. The keels are usually encapsulated iron and cement, but do not seem to be a problem area (I haven't heard of any keel problems, at least). I do not believe that the sailing qualities are as poor as they are often described, but these are heavy, full keel boats, designed for comfort, not speed, and you just have to accept that. These boats are designed and built for blue water, but they do have problem areas that you need to look at carefully.

The biggest problem area is the deck and cabin trunk. The older boats were made with plywood cored decks and cabins. The teak decks and hardware were often screwed directly into the deck right into the plywood, without proper sealant and there is often rot, often serious. Later models boats were built with balsa cored decks instead of plywood (this is one of the first things you should check). If there is major deck rot, you need to seriously question whether the boat is worth it. If there is rot in the cabin trunk, you may be able to repair it, but if it is major, the whole cabin may have to be rebuilt.

Other potential problem areas:

Chainplates - sometimes poorly forged, check carefully.

Fuel tanks - usually made of "mild-steel", sometimes incorrectly called Black Iron. These are limited life tanks and should be check very carefully. Best to check them empty, use swabs to take samples from the interior of the tanks. Have a professional do this. Also, make sure that the tanks can be easily removed, without having to tear up the interior.

Wiring - often substandard, but not always.

Teak decking - if it is time to replace it, or if there is any possibility of deck delamination and rot, suggest removing it and putting in non-skid.

Wood masts and mast steps - The wood masts should be surveyed unstepped. In particular you should check the base of the mast and mast step for rot, as well as entry and exits for wiring.

Regardless of the titles sometimes given them ("leaky teaky", "Taiwan turkey"), these can be great world cruisers. However, if the problem areas have not been addressed, or the boat has not been taken care of, they can be more trouble than they are worth.
From Todd J on Cruising World message board:
[Re: Island Trader 41:]

I own the CT 41 equivalent.

I looked a number of Formosa, Island Trader and CT 41s before buying the one I chose. They tended to be in either beautiful shape or crappy condition. This design was one of the most popular built in the 70s (a number were built in the early eighties), and they come up for sale quite often. You should not need to compromise. If this is the design you are looking for, you should wait until you find one in really good condition.

These boats are designed to be blue water cruisers, and have very comfortable accommodations. They have overbuilt hulls and heavy, full keels. They make great liveaboards, and are a popular circumnavigator. They are not fast (though not as slow as some make them out to be). Being a full-keel design, they don't sail into the wind nearly as well as a fin-keel (and can be a bit difficult to tack in really light air), but with the ketch rig, they can really do well off the wind. If you are looking for a performance cruiser, this is not the right boat. However, if you are looking for comfort at sea, something that can take rough conditions with grace, this is a great boat. Few boats get the kind of looks that these beauties do, and the interior woodwork is exquisite. There is lot of teak to take care of, so prepare yourself for that. I am learning the joys of Cetol right now.

Supposedly the CTs were known for a bit better construction quaility than the others, but I'm not really sure what that means in terms of exactly how they compare. There was a lot of variance in the quality of the work done on these boats, depending on when they were built and how well the owner supervised the construction.

Problem areas to look for:

First and foremost, the decks and cabin house. During most of the seventies, the decks and cabin house were made cored with plywood. For CT, in 1977 they began building with balsa cored decks, but still used plywood (covered with fiberglass) for the cabin trunk. Somewhere around 1980 they switched to a one-piece molded deck/cabin trunk for some of the boats. I don't know what the schedule was like for Formosa / Island Trader. The reason this is all important, is because these boats are notorious for deck problems. Often the deck hardware or the teak overlay was poorly installed, leading to leaks into the deck coring, and subsequently rot (they don't call them Leaky Teakies for nothing). This is the single most important thing you need to have looked at. Make sure the deck is in really good shape. If it isn't, walk away, you'll find another.

The teak overlay itself can be a real headache. Personally, I intend to remove most of the teak deck on my CT41.

The quality of the stainless steel on these boats was often not very good. If it has the original chainplates, they should probably be replaced.

These boats were built with wooden masts. Sometimes the masts are in great shape, often they are not. Look for rot at the base of both masts, and also where cables feed in and out of the mast for the anchor and steaming lights. IMPORTANT: Look for rot in the mast step itself! This is a common problem area, though fairly easy to fix. If you find a boat that has had its masts replaced with aluminum, mark that as a BIG plus.

The fuel tanks: Usually made of mild steel (sometimes incorrectly called "black iron"), there are often problems. These tanks corrode more quickly than others, and have a decidedly limited lifespan. What is important here is that you look at the tank layout and determine how easy it will be to replace them. You don't want to have to rip up that beautiful teak interior to do it. On my CT41, the tanks lift straight out, without any cabinet removal. However, the fuel tanks on my boat are in good shape, but the water tank needs to be replaced.

Steering hardware: On the center cockpit boats, it is hydraulic, on the aft cockpit boats it is usually mechanical. The hardware used varied. Sometimes it was genuine Edson, sometimes a pretty good knockoff, sometimes a really crappy knockoff. Have it checked carefully.

On the aft cockpit boats, the lazarette construction was poor, and will probably need to be re-built (if it has not already been done). This is NOT a major project.

The electrical wiring was sometimes (but not always), sub-standard. Usually there is no GFI on the AC power.


From Stinger:
The deck of the CT 47 "Stinger" is fiberglass balsa core. The teak is attached on top but the screws do not penetrate the core. No leaks. I have never done anything but clean them well with detergent and clorox. Works fine for a light tan natural look. Less maintenance for the strong Carib. sun.

From Todd J on Cruising World message board:
I own a CT 41.

Pros: Generally well-made, seaworthy design. Good fiberglass work. Gorgeous interior woodwork. A lot of boat for the money. They look great. Nice liveaboard interior. Lots of tankage. Very seakindly, and tracks well. Not as slow as some critics claim. Same basic design as the Formosa 41, but the Ta Chiao yard generally had better workmanship and QC than Formosa.

Cons: This is NOT a fast boat by any means. With their stock sails they are undercanvassed (really needs a big genoa). This is a full keel ketch, and its performance to weather does suffer (though not as bad as often claimed). There is a lot of exterior woodwork to take care of, make sure you are prepared for that.

There are often deck core problems because of leakage. This needs to be checked out very carefully (and should be a deal breaker). "Black Iron" used for the fuel tanks has a limited lifespan (have a pro check the tanks). If the tanks need to be replaced, make sure they can be removed without ripping up the interior (this varies depending on interior layout). Wooden masts and mast step need to be checked VERY carefully for rot. When doing the survey, have the masts unstepped and examined. Carefully check the condition of the chainplates (and the deck core around the chainplates, as they often leak), and all fittings, particularly at the bowsprit and the masthead. The Taiwanese steel quality was very inconsistent (ranged from decent to crap).

From Zac Brown:
Since my CT 41 was ordered as a bare shell, the original owner did the fit out and avoided CT's famous shortcomings as listed by others in your site (leaking teak decks and black iron tanks). Also the wood trim at the trunk cabin deck interface was removed when new and glass-reinforced to avoid rot and separation.

Sailing a CT 41: Bill Garden got a lot of things right when he penned the CT 41, the hull is well-balanced and smooth and stable in all conditions. If you have ever sailed an Endurance 35 you will know what a boat with too much overhang feels like (rocking horse action). I've had my CT in 40 knot winds in a following sea and can only describe the experience as fun and filled with a sense of solidness. At no time was there the slightest indication of her coming unglued.

Being a ketch the variety of sail plan options is helpful in big seas. One can drop the main and balance well under just mizzen and genoa. Reefing the main is an option as well.

CT 41s are cutter rigged from the factory and I would recommend removing the inner forestay and staysail and using a big (140%) Genoa; roller furling is nice too. My boat is fitted out with self-tailing winches and a Profurl unit. This setup allowed the original owner of the CT 41 to sail from Vancouver to Tahiti and back solo.

Docking this full-keeled girl can be tricky particularly maneuvering in reverse. I intend to add six inches to the rudder to give a little more paddle and increase the bite of the rudder in reverse. The fiberglass work is first rate and to Lloyds spec. The surveyor of my boat had surveyed many CTs over the years and said that he had never found a CT with hull problems or delamination. Deck rot is CT's weakest link.

Other things I like: 6 foot 4 or more of headroom, lots of storage and fuel capacity, great motor access, huge cockpit, clipper bow and romantic counter stern (I pull into an anchorage and get looks no plastic fantastic Hunter could get). Classic looks without the wooden boat maintenance!!

Wooden masts?? Well, more maintenance but look great and I've not had to revarnish them since I've had the boat. No cracks or structural problem; if replacement becomes necessary I would consider aluminium but wouldn't rule out wood. Mine are 28 years old and no problems yet so wood is not so bad.

From Bryan Genez on WorldCruising mailing list:
I've never owned a CT 41, but know others who do.

Plus - You get a lot of boat for minimum cost.

Minus -
1. Tanks are made of iron and are often under the cabin sole. They will corrode in the bilge, but are impossible to remove or replace without major surgery to the boat interior.
2. Metalwork generally is lower quality. Look at chainplates and stemhead fittings closely.
3. Interior access to chain plates is often poor.
4. Leaks may be serious. Your surveyor will be able to tell you.
5. Osmotic blistering is common.

Another plus ... The first owner may have already corrected a lot of the minuses, in which case you'll get a pretty nice boat for the money.

As far as speed goes, they're OK. Certainly suitable, IMO, for a cruising/liveaboard boat.


Fraser 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == 14.0, Draft == 6.1, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 28k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Fraser 42: LWL == nnn, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, sloop-rig, Disp == 27k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.17.


Freya 39: LWL == 34, Beam == 11.3, Draft == 6.0, full-keel, cutter, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 14.4, D/L == 280, B/D == 0.42.


Gibsea 472: LWL == 39.4, Beam == 14.1, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, sloop-rig, ???-rudder, Disp == 26k, SA/D == 22.1, D/L == 190, B/D == 0.34
Gibsea 454: LWL == ???, Beam == 14.1, Draft == 7.7, ???-keel, sloop-rig, ???-rudder, Disp == 22k?, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36
Gibsea 42: LWL == ???, Beam == 13.3, Draft == 6.5, fin-keel, ketch-rig, ???-rudder, Disp == 18k?, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.58?

1997 Gibsea 454 has teak decks.

Hallberg Rassey

Hallberg Rassey 42: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.9, Draft == 6.6, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 28k, SA/D == 16.7, D/L == 320, B/D == 0.37.

Hans Christian

Hans Christian 43: LWL == nnn, Beam == 13.0, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ketch, Disp == 32k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.37.
Hans Christian 38: LWL == 33, Beam == 12.4, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, Disp == 27k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.
Hans Christian 34: LWL == nnn, Beam == 10.9, Draft == 5.5, modified full-keel, Disp == 19k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == ???.

Plenty of headroom in Hans Christian 38.
From Christian Lonjers:
... I have a Hans Christian 34. She is heavy: about 22,000 pounds. I use an Auto-Helm windvane on her. This vane has steered the boat without mishap for many years, including an 8,000 mile trip from Long Beach CA to Washington D.C. via the Panama Canal. During this trip the windvane steered about 90% of the time. ...

... the headroom is about 6' 3". ... As you know all boats are trade-offs, but I have to tell you mine is as close to perfect as they come. Hans Christian makes a great line of boats, and no I don't work for them. I have owned mine, since new, for 21 years.


Mine has worm-gear steering. There were very few built this way. The wheel does not sit in the cockpit like those with cable steering. The wheel actually appears to be mounted backwards where it protrudes from the cover located in the back. I know that explanation makes no sense, but I don't know how else to describe it. ...

From SG on Cruising World message board:
... The boats that I sailed on had owners that said they loved their boats. They bitched about the teak and what it took to keep it "nice" -- one was Varnishing it and the other was trying to "oil", Semco, etc. I was not impressed with the handling, performance, and feel of the boat as sailboat. The insides were roomy, the equipment seemed heavy enough, and the systems seemed "orderly" enough in their layout. But I wouldn't buy one, and certainly not at the price points that you listed [$170k for HC 41 in 8/2000]. (We sold our Sabre 42 -- '88 for $165K in 1999, before taking a bit off for the blister repair. It's a lot more performance and comfort than the HC. I think a Valiant 40 would be a lot better boat, faster and stronger -- but it's no light air boat either.)

From Bob on Cruising World message board:
Just another word on the Hans 41 you're considering. I've owned a 43 for 11 years and I LOVE the boat. It was my fifth boat. I've crossed the pacific (HNL to SFO), cruised the coast of California and Mexico twice, spent the last winter in Mexico and now have the boat back in San Diego. My wife and I LOVE our Hans Christian 43.

Ask anyone who's crossed an ocean or done extensive sailing on a 38, 41 or 43 and I doubt you'll find any negative comments. Obviously, she doesn't point as well as some. However, last year, we put a new set of North Sails on our boat and the difference was amazing. North worked with us for a fuller roached, full batten main and little different shape genoa and we were very pleased with the results. We would consistently see 7 knots of boat speed in 10 to 12 knots of close reaching. In the 99 Haha, after leg one, we were only 6 hours behind a Swan 65 landing at Turtle Bay ... we averaged 7.45 knots for 350 miles. Winds less than 10 knots of true wind, well, very few heavy displacement boats will do well ... I can't think of one that you would be better off with. In 1995 during the Colin Archer Memorial Race in SFO, we were neck and neck at the start with a very well-known Valiant 40 ... Grey Eagle(?). Beam reaching in 7-10 knots there appeared to be no advantage (we did win the start, by the way).

Is the Price [$170k for HC 41 in 8/2000] high? Don't think so, if you look around at other HC's on the WEST coast. ...

From bernie on Cruising World message board:
... the tristar underbody is what you want. The hull has a better turn of speed, better pointing angle and its just a nicer looking bottom, able to back down with its skeg hung rudder configuration. ...

From Bryan Genez on WorldCruising mailing list 9/2005:
I'm amazed to hear they're still in business. Hans Christian has had a very checkered past. When they were built in Taiwan, at least three different yards built the models. Sometimes, one yard was overbooked, so they'd truck the molds to a different yard that was less busy. Quality varied greatly from yard to yard, but the buyer rarely knew which yard built his boat. Sometime in the late '90s, HC moved their operations to Thailand. The yards in Taiwan were less than happy about losing the business, so they sent overdue rent bills to the company for "storage" of the molds over the years. Essentially, HC had to ransom their molds to get them out of the country. IIRC, the HC-33 and HC-38 molds were not ransomed; they were abandoned. I saw a few HCs that were built in Thailand. Let's just say you wouldn't want to own one, even if it was a gift. I'd heard that HC completely shut down operations, but perhaps they've risen like Lazarus once again. Caveat emptor.


Hylas 44: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.4, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 22k, SA/D == 17.5, D/L == 234, B/D == 0.49.


Ingrid 38: LWL == 32, Beam == 11.3, Draft == 6.0, full-keel, cutter, Disp == 26k, SA/D == 15.5, D/L == 354, B/D == 0.31.

From Jeff H on Cruising World message board:
[Ingrid 38's] are certainly venerable long distance cruisers. They are based on the Atkin's Ingrid which are yachtified Colin Archers but they are only good for one thing. IMHO They are useless as coastal cruisers in areas with predominantly light to moderate winds. They are really not great live aboards as they are narrow and the double end means a smallish interior ...

From Bernie on Cruising World message board:
... [Ingrid 38's] have such a sweeping sheerline, high bow, small offshore cockpit and tall rig, with her tiller and outboard rudder configuration. Most were owner completed, built in California I think. A mid 80's vintage should sell between a low of 75K to a high of about 125K. They're great boats, except in light air, and then most suck in that stuff anyway. For living aboard, I feel that they offer an "old world" feeling ... one of warmth, low light, brass and nice woodwork.

Lafitte (Perry)

Lafitte 44: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.7, Draft == 6.3, long-fin, sloop, Disp == 28k, SA/D == 16.2, D/L == 282, B/D == 0.40.

David Pascoe's review of a Lafitte 44


Liberty 458: LWL == 40, Beam == 12.5, Draft == 6.4 / 5.9, modified-full-keel, cutter-rig, Disp == 31k, SA/D == ???, D/L == ???, B/D == 0.36.

From owner of Liberty 458 cutter "Eagle's Wings":
"Standing headroom throughout the boat is 6'3" ... and yes, it does have teak decks."


Mason 43: LWL == 31, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 6.3, full-keel, attached-rudder, cutter, Disp == 24k, SA/D == 17.4, D/L == 349, B/D == 0.35.

Mason owner's group mailing list owner

I sailed on a 197x Mason 43 ketch in 6/2000. About 6'8" headroom. Lots of wood everywhere. The teak deck looked like a maintenance headache. Boat heeled surprisingly quickly when hit by big gusts. Easy to lose headway when tacking.

"It's very well-built, heavy glass layup, excellent wood working. One of the few boats that I have seen that was designed and built as a blue water boat and it has beautiful traditional lines."

From BobG on Cruising World message board, in response to someone else's recommendation of a Mason 43:
I have some questions for you:
1. What year was it built (or hull number)?
2. Did you buy it new or used?
3. Were the teak decks screwed down - and did you ever find 2 headless screws in one bung hole? If so, how many?
4. Did you like the limited athwartship range of the traveler?
5. Did your boat have Taiwanese brass gate valves on the several manifolds?
6. With the boat heeled over to starboard in a brisk wind, did you feel secure coming up on deck from below and having to cross the bridge deck to reach the cockpit?
7. Did you feel the necessity for a cockpit dodger that could span the width of the cockpit, and if so did you find a really satisfactory solution?
8. Where you satisfied with the size of the steering wheel, and could you move around it comfortably?
9. If the boat came with standard winches, were you satisfied with their size?
10. Did the welds on the stainless steel fuel and water tanks ever develop leaks?
11. Were you satisfied with the stainless steel quality used on the cleats, and were you pleased with the way they were finished?
12. Did you have deck leaks that were impossible to trace?
13. How did you use your boat - weekends and vacations or live aboard cruising?

[and a follow-up message:]

I owned a very early one, and that may have been the problem. She was - and still is - a beautiful cutter that sailed magnificently. But I believe there were several construction problems due to Ta Shing not being supervised by PAE until much later. I had no problem with the construction of the hull - it was a bulletproof tank.

The technique used in the laying of the teak decks (lots of screws thru the teak, continuing down thru the glass and into the balsa core) caused lots of deck leaks and rotting balsa core. The workmen used power screwdrivers with too much torque, causing the screw heads to twist off. When this happened (I discovered and had to replace 16 of these) they drove another screw right up against the first one, so there were cases of 2 screws with no heads with their threads intertwined. TRY REMOVING THAT! When I told Ta Shing about this, all they had to say was that they no lomger use this construction technique.

The stainless steel used on custom parts was of poor quality and poorer finish.

Al Mason was an excellent naval architect and designed a boat that sailed fast, went to windward very well and had a sea kindly motion. However, I think he made a few mistakes that were later overcome in the Mason 44 (I don't know if Mason did the 44 or PAE did it without Mason).

In order to create maximum room below, the cockpit companionway was set all the way over to starboard. Not particularly unusual, except that in this case you stepped out onto a bridge deck and then had to walk (or crawl) about 2 or 3 feet before being able to step down onto the cockpit sole - so, if the boat is heeling way over to starboard while you are trying to reach the cockpit, you feel like you would if walking forward on the lee rail. Not very secure.

There's more, but you get the picture. We lived aboard and cruised continuously for 4 1/2 years. The living space below was excellent. My biggest complaint was that I was always chasing and repairing leaks thru the deck.

From Jeff M on Cruising World message board:
... I ended up buying a Mason 43. At least 6'4" of headroom. These models vary in interior and cabin sole height, so headroom may vary a few inches from boat to boat.


Moody 44: LWL == 36, Beam == 13.6, Draft == 6.5, ???-keel, sloop, Disp == 23k, SA/D == 16.2, D/L == 220, B/D == 0.39.

From Librayacht on Sailing forum:
The Moody sailboats have a very good reputation for build quality and sailing ability. I have sold several over the years with only very favorable comments from the new owners. They are built to Lloyds certificate which ensures that plumbing, electrics, scantlings etc are all to acceptable standards.

The Moody lawsuit you are referring to involved a Moody 39/40 which was a older design by Angus Primrose and arose because the rudder detached itself on a circumnavigation. The newer designs are by Bill Dixon and are very different from the Primrose designs.


Oyster 435: LWL == 37, Beam == 13.7, Draft == 6.0, mono-keel, sloop, Disp == 28k, SA/D == 15.2, D/L == 244, B/D == 0.32.


Peterson 44: LWL == 39, Beam == 12.9, Draft == 6.3, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 30k, SA/D == 13.4, D/L == 231, B/D == 0.33.

From BobG on Cruising World message board:
P44 and F46 are very much the same boat - one stretched a bit.

As to construction, now here is where I get some people PO'd.

As you know, these are Taiwanese built boats. The Taiwanese are extremely capable boat builders, BUT they build to order FOR A PRICE. In other words, you get what you pay for. This is true for boats, bicycles and anything else made in Taiwan.

I know of one case involving the construction of 12 Peterson 44s. A friend of mine was the second owner of one of these. The hull was very well-built. The interior joiner work was magnificent, BUT - the seacocks were brass gate valves, the stainless steel was poor quality and generally, everything you couldn't see was cheaply done.

I had a similar experience with a Taiwanese boat I bought.

Soo, if you are considering buying one of these, look carefully under the covers.

From Bernie on Cruising World message board:
The Peterson 44 offers one a lot of boat for the dollars. A boat that's big and comfortable, if under sail or at anchor. The lines are very well-balanced and the underbody spells good tracking abilities and seaworthness.

For overall construction and detail, I think that it's just middle of the road or just below that, but where else do you get a 44 foot that will sell for around 100K, in fairly good condition.

Most for sale, will need work, need leaks fixed and systems replaced. I haven't ever seen a Peterson 44 in "bristol" condition. I guess they were all ridden hard.

From John F. on Cruising World message board:
[Re: Good/bad years for Peterson 44?]

I looked carefully at about 10 Peterson 44's in our quest for the perfect cruising boat. In the under $120K cruising boat category, the Peterson 44 is still very high on my list. I am not aware of any "bad" years. The tanks are a common problem, and it is a BIG job to replace the tanks so try to find a boat that has already had the tanks replaced. I believe all years of the Peterson 44 are known for too much weather helm, a problem that many owners correct by reducing the length of the boom and/or the foot of the main. I wonder if your friend might be confusing "bad years" with the "Peterson" Formosa 46. An unauthorized knock-off of a stretched Peterson 44. The Formosa copy had a reputation for substandard fittings and a variety of problems.


Swan 44: LWL == 35, Beam == 13.6, Draft == 8.2, fin-keel/spade-rudder, sloop, Disp == 25k, SA/D == 17.0, D/L == 262, B/D == 0.31.
Swan 41: LWL == 30, Beam == 13.6, Draft == ???, ???-keel/???-rudder, ???-rig, Disp == 18k, SA/D == 17.3, D/L == 288, B/D == 0.54.


Valiant 42: LWL == 35, Beam == 12.8, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, cutter, Disp == 25k, SA/D == 16.1, D/L == 267, B/D == 0.39.
Valiant 40: LWL == 34, Beam == 12.3, Draft == 6.0, ???-keel, ???-rig, Disp == 23k, SA/D == 15.6 or 16.9, D/L == 256, B/D == 0.34.

From Bryan Genez on Yacht-L mailing list:
> My friend Fancis Stokes, who sailed a Valiant 40 in two stars, also thinks
> it is a glorious boat. I cannot understand why Richard Henderson knocked
> the boat as he did in his book. Have you ever had any trouble with
> oil-canning, going to windward in a chop?

Never ... not once. And believe me, at least 50 percent of sailing in the Chesapeake is "going to windward in a chop."

I don't believe the boat was perfect as built. Many, many corners were cut to save money. I've ironed out a lot of them, others I'll just live with. The Valiants that were built in Texas (since '84) are of much higher quality. Unfortunately, they sell for more than I can afford, so I'll make do with my "inferior" version.

From Wally Wells in 10/2006 issue of Sail magazine:
Valiant 40 hulls starting around number 123 and going to less than 250 were affected by a blistering problem caused by bad resin. These boats were built between 1977 and 1981. Since the fix, there have been no blistering problems.