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Old 21-09-2009, 11:20   #16
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SabreKai - have you sailed the N Atlantic, the US coast to La Manche before?

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Old 21-09-2009, 13:44   #17
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Nope, I haven't.

Go ahead, discount or disregard what I posted if you like. I've owned two of them for aggregate time of about 12 years. They are tough little boats.

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Old 21-09-2009, 14:42   #18
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I do not discount what you have said Sabre. I have often wondered about the Grampian. How do they handle a seaway. How would they compare to a Contessa? Talk to us Sabre- there are people that would love you opinion on these boats.
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Old 21-09-2009, 16:57   #19
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N Atlantic, even in the summer is quite demanding on the boat. Grampian, as far as I remeber, has a spade rudder and most of them may be (?) 30 years old or so. So I think it can be done, but will not be easy nor risk-free.

There will also be a tax to pay once the boat is in Finland.

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Old 21-09-2009, 22:46   #20
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My first cruising sailboat was a English-made Westerly Centaur 26. It is a well built, but basic boat with more interior volume and standing headroom than most 26-footers. Some can be found in Europe in your price range.
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Old 22-09-2009, 19:52   #21
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Ok heres a Grampian;



Sadly its the only photo I have of my first cabin boat and it doesn't show the back end. However, it shows the the main features. As noted in my previous comment, the main cabin ports are huge, and would have to be blanked off as they are only held in with flimsy rubber gaskets and a wave against them would punch out the lexan. Now one nice thing about the Gramp is the way the interior is built as a seperate FG molding on some of them. From the bow back to the forward bulkhead, (between the two smaller ports, the interior is broken into 3 compartments which are either watertight already or can be made so with little effort. The level of the vee berth comes up to about 8-10 inche above water so a hole might well be contained in one compartment. Nice to have in a collision with a container or log.

The cockpit is a bit of a liability as manufactured as it is fully 8 feet long with two small 1 or 1.25 inch drain ports in the transom. My plan was to deck over the aft end, and extend the rudder shaft up thru the new deck. Shorten the cockpit to about 5 feet and add some serious drains. The cabin entry is also poor as it is only about 10-12 inchs above the cockpit deck. I built a step that high and fixed the bottom two hatchboard in place permanently to keep water out of the cabin if I got pooped. (You will need to extend the companionway steps.) Another thing is that the cockpit lockers are open at the bottom and allow water free access to the cabin interior. This can be easily remedied with some plywood, and glass, there by giving you two more sealed compartments which extend a bout 12-14 inches above the water line. The main cabin seats are also compartmentable, (unfortunately only 6-8 inches above the waterline) so that you end up with mini watertight compartments for about 2/3s the lenght of either side.

The chain plates are strap stainless, bolted into plywood plates glassed to the skin. Addition of backing plates makes them stronger and less likely to pull out. The bow fitting is a casting, bolted thru the deck with 4 large bolts and then secured at the front by the bow strap which goes down about 8 inches, also bolted thru the stem with large bolts. The stem thickness in this area is approx 1 inch, while the rest of the boat averages about 1/4 inch. On a sunny day you can see the waterline from inside. The split back stay goes to two stainless straps, about 8 inches long, bolted thru the transom. Backing plates are a good idea here too.

Inside there are two main bulkheads which not attached to the deck and cabin. They are glassed into the hull. There is a small amount of space to allow movement. I don't know if glassing them in place to the deck would help or hinder. I've never heard of anyone having a problem with that particular area.

The boat has a cast iron keel, which is secured with about 12 3/4 or 7/8 bolts thru the bottom of the hull. The laminate here is about 1.5 inches thick. Very solid joint. I've never hear of a keel weeping or shifting from a grounding. My own boat had a chunk about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches chipped off the leading edge because of an impact on granite rock in Georgian bay. No damage done to the keel joint at all.

The rudder is as mentioned a spade with a 1 inch shaft that comes up thru the cockpit floor. The shaft has a pin thru it that rides on a bearing. The rudder head is keyed and bolted above that but doesn't take any load from the rudders weight. I would add some triangular flanges to the rudder tube below the cockpit to strengthen the area

I've had mine out in the previously mentioned weather, plus one nasty weekend up on Georgian Bay where the wind was also blowing about 35-40kt. Sailed her about 12 miles back to harbour, using the bloody awful rolling boom reefing system and a very small jib. Running down wind, no tendancy to broach and running at about 6.5-7.2kn on the log. Very steady, if a bit white knuckled. After this trip I had jiffy reefing installed on the main and got rid of the furling gear on the bow, changed to roller reefing. The original gear was wire luff furling only, so it was either all in or all out. If you wanted to change sail you need to drop it on the side deck. After these changes, sailing in anything up to 40 kn was easy. As long as you paid attention, and were conservative, reefing down when you got your first twinge, up to 35-40 is not a scary thing. Over that it gets a bit exciting again. As I mentioned in one post, I lived aboard this one for a year and a half, so sailing a blizzard or among the ice was interesting. I wouldn't plan on going out looking for trouble but had enough trust to be able to deal with what ever the weather handed me.

I had her blown onto the rocks on the side of the Murray canal when the wind overpowered my outboard and we didn't have enough power to get her turned. Hit the rocks and rode up about a foot out of the water at about 5 kn, no damage what so ever other than a small crimp in the chrome stem band that runs below the waterline. That was my fault. I had replaced the old 9.9 Mercury with a 5hp Mariner due to money problems. It worked fine except when the wind was up. With the Merc, I would have been able to get her turned again.

The Gramp was my first cabin boat, and I learned a lot from her. The way she was first trimmed, she would automaticly turn to windward if overdriven, and you could put the rudder hard over and she would still turn to wind. The fellow who was teaching me set it up that way to keep me out of trouble for my first year. The following year we changed the trim a bit, and you now had to pay attention to what you were doing. She could be driven hard, But now I was experienced enough to know when to back off. As things progressed I developed a trust in her. She wouldn't let me down unless I did something monumentaly stupid, and even then maybe not.

I asked a couple of people locally who had some trans atlantic experience about taking her to England. Given some modifications which I listed, their opinion was it was doable with the normal amount of risk.

Oh yeh, I can't say how she compares to a Folkboat or Contessa as I've never had the priviledge of sailing on of them. A Gramp is light, about 5900lbs, fast, 7.2-7.5 on a good day and very responsive. With her interior compartmentation, I think she'd do Halifax-Lands End very well in the summer months.


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Old 29-09-2009, 16:45   #22
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Hi if you're after headroom/accomodation see if you can find an Ichen ferry, I had one before I got my Vancouver 27. The Itchen ferry has standing headroom 4 berths in 2 cabins and a very cunning layout the companionway is offset to one side so you have a seating area for 4 people at the dinette table and still room to walk past to the heads etc, along the other side is a linear galley and storage, it even has a separate heads compartment with hanging locker opposite, a deep safe cockpit that has room for 4 all in a boat only 22' long, its the biggest little boat I've ever seen, mine had a 2 cylinder 15hp diesel. Fiberglass versions built mid 1970, you should be able to find one in your price bracket.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:55   #23
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It sounds like the OP needs a boat that must be in Sweden or Finland (though what about Denmark?) that is within your price range and probably does not need enormous amount of work to live on (though it may need more to sail it. (eg a working head will be more important than spiffy sails) I'd suggest three things:

(i) getting some boat experience so you know what matters to you about a boat
(ii) spending time online searching for boats for sale in the region, and
(iii) finding and searching local boat yards. We always look in what we call the 'unloved boat section' - the bit at the back where the older, trashier boats are hiding. That's where to find your cheapy boat to live on while learning all the skills needed to manage the boat and then how to sail it.

I'd advise investing time in (iii) rather than the expensive risks of flying further than you are able to sail it!

Good luck and enjoy the search - it's a fun part of the learning curve!
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Old 05-10-2009, 16:16   #24
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Definately agree with the bit from 'Roaring Girl' about searching the unloved section if you are willing to do a bit of work this is where you will find a lot of boat for not so many bucks, we did this with our previous boat and only a small amount of work was required to make the boat seaworthy, we sailed her like this for a season before I refitted her through the winter. My wife used to call her the pirate ship because she looked tatty, but we has a lot of fun that summer, once I had done the cosmetics I sold her for a profit
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