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Old 27-12-2011, 00:33   #1
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Challenger 32'

We own a 1972 Challenger 32' sailboat with a brand new Yanmar 30 horsepower inboard. We want to sail from San Diego C.A. to Newport, R.I. Via the panama canal and caribbean. Do you think this type of sailboat can handle a voyage of this magnitude? Your thoughts and other advice regarding the trip would be much appreciated.

J.R. Black

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Old 27-12-2011, 00:57   #2
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Location: In Aberdeen, Scotland, but retiring to Spain.
Boat: Westerly W-35 (Latterly sold as Conway 36 Aft Cockpit)
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Re: Challenger 32'

Hi JR, with main cabin port-lights so large I'd be hesitant to take her ocean sailing without some sort of shutter arrangement, but for the trip you are looking at she should be good as long as you've checked her out for seaworthiness. Pick your weather windows on the toughest/longest legs and your boat should be OK.

Sweet are the uses of adversity.
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Old 27-12-2011, 11:05   #3
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Location: In Mexico, working on the boat
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Re: Challenger 32'

Lesser boats have done that...But not lesser sailors
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 13-02-2012, 04:40   #4
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Re: Challenger 32'

Several years ago we owned a Challenger 32. Never had the chance to test her in the real ocean, only along the coast of the GOM. That said we would have ventured out had we had the time, as she performed well for us and we gained confidence in her over the ten years that we sailed her. Very tough boat, well rigged, lots of interior room. The boat is still in this area and we see her on occasion. She survived Katrina at the Orleans Marina, while many others, with more impressive credentials, didn't. That is a very general statement, however you had to see the aftermath, in person, to apperciate the situation. I was impressed.
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Old 03-03-2012, 15:59   #5
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Location: aboard Karen in Ft.Pierce, Florida
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Re: Challenger 32'

I sailed Pacific Challenger, a C32, from Pedro down to Mexico and, to win a bet, from Cabo to Hilo with only a compass and am receiver. Landfall on the Big Island was only 12 mi. off. The boat took conditions in stride that larger boats got beaten up in. With 2 reefs in the main and a small storm jib, I took three locals in Mazatlan out without an engine in her in 35-40 kts. The Mexicans showed up in storm gear. We sailed off my mooring and tacked out to sea. Two of my passengers were down in the cabin having an earnest conversation with their foulies all open and my friend and I were sitting on the "park bench" I had made for the stern pulpit chatting and PC was picking her way over and around the waves without any water coming aboard. After awhile the other two came on deck to heavy wind and rough seas. Their mouths dropped open at the sight of the boat averaging 6 kn. and not pounding to weather. Most people sail with too much sail up, I told them. don't put up a square inch of canvas you don't need. That boat will go anywhere you want it to. they were built in San Pedro by a dicey guy named Howard Stern, who, after building himself a 50 foo Challenger, took off with a bunch of deposits and was not heard of again; until I answered an ad in Ft.Lauderdale around 2000 and , when I arrived at the boat, there was Howard Stern tied up behind a nice house on a canal. I never brought up the subject of having owned a Challenger, just enjoyed the sail, JLS
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