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Old 25-06-2016, 22:37   #1
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How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

Hi all.
We're trying to find out next boat for long-term cruising (will probably be asking for advice on here more than once). I have blue-water cruising experience (grew up on boats) and have repaired more boats than I remember, mostly wood.

That said...

Recently came across a 1938 Berthon "Gauntlet" 36'

No dry rot spotted yet. Decent shape everything. I like it better than the other boats we've found in that price range. It has too much varnish (but that'll fade).

Any advice on how it handles or you'd expect it too?

I have some ideas but I'm not familiar... I'd be worried about tripping downwind and too tender for my tastes, but I don't know -seems like a slightly slim Alejuela 38? Weather helm is fixable. I'd expect with that longer keel it should reach well and not be too squirrely...

Anyone sailed anything like this and can comment on how it handles?
---
He's got the mast out or we'd go out and test it out and see ourselves before we got any more involved.

...Thanks for your input!
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Old 26-06-2016, 06:05   #2
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Re: How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

I remember an article in woodenboat about a gauntlet class with severe nail sickness due to galvanic action. It would be worth digging out. I believe its in a woodenboat Magazine compilation book of some sort, but I might be wrong, and of course hopefully this hull may have none of these issues. Though I think berthron may have used galvanised floors?

On the sailing at a guess from the hull shape I think you are probably spot on. She would likely be a touch tender at least initially, slow in stays etc. I wouldnt be too concerned about her tripping. These deep forefoots (as long as they aren't too fine)dont seem to hurt them much downwind, contrary to how it might seem. Some of the sweetest boats I have sailed downwind have had deep forefoots. It tends to drag the centre of gravity forward faster than it drags the centre of lateral resistance. So they end up wanting to go reasonably straight, though the tiller loads can get high simply because the rudder is a big barndoor.

I think her motion in a rough sea would be very easy but she would likely roll on wet grass, at least it should be a slow roll, not remotely snappy.

I figure she would be easy to balance, but helm loads could get high at times such as broad reaching in a seaway, when your shoulders will get a good workout.

She would probably be surprisingly fast at times. Though you shouldnt push an old boat like her..

I am not sure Id want to take on an old boat like her, and I am even more sure Id not want to take her far offshore, but each to their own on this, and if lots of work has been done to her over the years she might still be safe offshore. But then I like my bulletproof metal boats.

The cockpit looks very unseaworthy in the pictures.

I love the woodstove, and the homeliness of those old wooden boats.
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Old 26-06-2016, 06:25   #3
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Re: How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

"heres photos from 2009. its got a little rough on the edges since then, but for some one with motivation it wouldnt be hard to get her looking that good again."

It looks a little rough to me back in '09 -- I don't think it's too difficult to take new photos. All I'm saying is this sounds like a big project, and I wouldn't travel far to look at it unless a big project is what you're looking for. Forget about the $10k asking price, even if you can negotiate down to $1 this is going to be a costly boat to own. My guess is that's why it's up for sale. Let the buyer beware.
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Old 26-06-2016, 20:34   #4
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Re: How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

Yeah. I got real critical with the ad after getting some more details and had an old friend stop by and look it over.

It's got the iron strap for floors, decks shot, and will need some serious, serious work. And it's not an ocean worthy boat, though with a lot of work restoring it, it could be a cool coastal cruiser -it's fairly fast and has a real nice design.

Thanks for the input!!!
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Old 26-06-2016, 20:45   #5
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Re: How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

Smart man! Much as I love an old boat like her, without a serious amount of work to make sure the hull is completely sound going offshore in an 80 year old boat is risky.

I have had a few frights on older wooden boats. One was a 105 year old wooden boat I helped to deliver down from Sydney to Hobart. In flat calm conditions with a mild swell the rudder post and the horn timbers started to work loose, leaking continuously. Fortunately it was flat calm, and a harbour was nearby. We temporarily reinforced the area in port over a few days and made it across bass straight in a very good weather window. But..
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Old 27-06-2016, 16:13   #6
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Re: How does this handle: Berthon Gauntlet 36' ?

There's quite a few classics for sale if you've got the constitution to take one on. Here's a few more deals you may already be aware of:

https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/bod/5648797099.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5609011760.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/boa/5655216168.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5641077447.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5651907095.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/kit/boa/5609715090.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/boa/5628299882.html
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