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Old 27-12-2009, 11:42   #31
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GOD JUL, & happy new Sailingyear.
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Old 02-01-2010, 16:26   #32
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Upgrade nav lights?

I'm thinking about upgrading to LED nav lights. I have the factory bow sprit and normally hang the genaker while cruising. With the forward nav light mounted on the gull striker (in the middle), I've often wondered during night crossings how much the genaker blocks others from seeing the light. Hence, since I'm considering changing to LED, I'm thinking about mounting new LED nav lights underneath/outside of the bow seats, making a SS bracket to hang them from the underside of the seat. I'm looking at the Aqua Signal 32203/32303 and fabricating a SS bracket from a normal SS 'L' bracket such that it will hang just under the rail holding the bow seat but tight to the fore stanchion. Since the bracket will be attached to the bow seat with screws, I should be able to maintain the proper angle so the light is legal (0-112.5 degrees).

Any other Belize owners attempt such a task? Opinions?
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:11   #33
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Lavessi v's belize

Hi everyone

I'm looking to buy a cat for the first time. Today I checked out a 2005 Lavessi and a 2007 Belize (both owners version). Both are nice boats but I've got to say imo the Belize has it all over the Lavessi. I love the side access to the beds in the sterns. Engine access looks a little cramped but there would be plenty of space to relax with a cold beer in the main saloon after you'd changed the oil or fixed the alternator. Man, 3 feet makes a huge difference.
I have a question though. The Lavessi was pretty much empty and had a serious squat in the stern from the weight of the engines. The stern was sitting on the water line but the bow must have been a foot further out of the water. Is this normal for a cat. Seems to me you would have to load the boat down just to maintain some trim. Does this suggest that the Lavessi would have some pitching issues in a seaway ? Some people say you need to have a minimum of 44 ft to limit pitching problems. Something to do with average wave length. I'd like to hear from Belize owners about their real experiences with hobbyhorsing while sailing or motoring to windward in a seaway.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:26   #34
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Hi again Jim,

It sounds like something is wrong with the Lavezzi you looked at! However the loading capacity is quite a bit less than on the Belize.

From my experience I can only recommend the Belize and especially the Maestro. Ours is the Duo with 4 cabins and two heads.

Some not so good points:
  • If I had the possibilty I would look for a yacht with upgraded engines ie. the Yanmar 38 hp from the standard 27 hp.
  • Need bimini with catwalk to pack the mainsail without to much work.
  • Also if you want folding props this is not possible because of the saildrive beeing to close to the rudders. Can only use the Maxprop type props, which is very expensive.
  • The saloon door railing does in general not drain the water out into the cocpit step as it is intended, it ends up on the cabin sole! Have not been able to solve this and FP is equally in the dark on solving this problem (I'm building a custom hardtopbimini as a concequense.
  • The refrigeration system in our boat from CLD is not working optimal due to the configuration of the fridge and freezer arrangement by FP. Believe this is improved on the later models. On our 2001 model I will cut the counter top and make a piano lid arrangement and possibly install a dedicated evaporator for the fridge compartment.
Positive
  • Sailing is good, the Belize actually perfom well in light winds as well as in extreme conditions. Due to the relative deep keels the tacking ability is reasonable but not good as with all minikeel cats.
  • Easy sailhandling, even though it's a good workout to hoist the mainsail single handed.
  • Very good with three reef lines allowing for heavy wind sailing.
  • Feels very comfortable and safe in a seaway
  • Good overview of all corners from the helmstation.
  • Love the galley arrangement, very good location to cook while underway as well as in harbour.
  • Good preparation for extending electrical installations by lots of cable pulling tubes installed behind the scenes.
  • Very spacious cockpit
  • Generally good access to all equippment on deck and from deck area, eg. the engine hatches, dingy davids and forward winlass locker.
  • As you pointed out the side access to the aft bunks and the spaciousness of the cabins. The foreward ones not equally good in this respect but still acceptable.
  • The matrass supports are excellent and always keeps the bunks comfotable and allows for good ventilation.
  • Very good ventilation throughout the boat. There are actually 25 ports in all that can be opened and allows for cross flow ventilation!
  • No squeaks from the interior in heavy seas.
Probably some more pros and cons but mostly cons can be sorted out by owners at a reasonsable cost.

Good luck with your boat hunting and keep posting on the Belize thread if descide to go this way.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 05-01-2010, 13:53   #35
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DotDun, didn't we meet you in the Dry Tortugas at the beginning of May? We were moving our boat from Florida to TX and made a stop over and were moored next to a sister cat, thought they said they were #91.

MeckDC #62
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Old 05-01-2010, 14:43   #36
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Originally Posted by MeckDC View Post
DotDun, didn't we meet you in the Dry Tortugas at the beginning of May? We were moving our boat from Florida to TX and made a stop over and were moored next to a sister cat, thought they said they were #91.

MeckDC #62
That was me! I wondered how your crossing to Texas was, if I remember you had some pretty wind!

Good to hear from you!
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Old 05-01-2010, 15:05   #37
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Our crossing was great! We had one day of 25 knot winds and 10 foot seas. 11 knots up the swells 13 down. A couple of days we had almost no wind so we turned on and engine to maintain motion. We blew out our genniker twice. It was a huge learning experience. We learned our "captain" was a nut job. He didn't bring enough meds for the duration of the trip and halfway across it started showing. Luckily I knew how to sail however my husband had about 8 days under his belt when we met you. I've attached a photo we took from shore. Where are the winds taking you now?

MeckDC
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Old 05-01-2010, 16:28   #38
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Jim,

I agree with Lucky, the Lavezzi you looked at must have had something wrong with it. I've never sailed a Lavezzi but did examine it extensively at the boat shows before I bought my Belize. The Lavezzi hull design is 'sportier' than Belize, I'm sure the weight capacity is significantly different. Plus, if I remember correctly, the saildrive is aft of the rudder on the Lavezzi. If you lose an engine, steerage short of 1.5-2 knots will be 'tricky' (I chartered a Lagoon 380 and tested it). Did that one have a big heavy genset stuffed in the back somewhere? In fact, the ability to hide the genset in the port engine room is one big reason I went with the Belize over Lavezzi. I like the engine rooms separate from the living space and I figured the Lavezzi genset would end up under an aft berth defeating my 'no diesel in the living space' desire. I think you'll find resale value will follow the difference in upfront cost, so if you can afford it up front, why not?

Now for my experience with the Belize.

I wouldn't put much stock in "Some people say you need to have a minimum of 44 ft to limit pitching problems." I don't understand what 44 ft has to do with it, if the waves are right, a 50 ft would be pitching. Have I been in a situation where the direction I wanted to go was an uncomfortable ride? Yep! The choice is to change direction or ride it out. The bottom line is I've always felt safe. Going windward in 4-6 footers is not a problem. I've been in 12 ft. short frequency waves with horizontal torrential rain driven by 50 knots of wind for 2 hours as a front passed. I was irritated because I messed up the weather forecast, but we dropped the sails and motored into it, got soaked due to not having the foulies on, but we never felt unsafe. But I also remember a beam reach with 35 knots of wind rocking on the 6 footers (occasional 8s) triple reefed for 8 hours. Fully loaded fuel (300L), water (600L), and provisions with 4 people on board making 8.5 knots. We cooked, ate, and drank beer. Other than the occasional spray over the salon, it was a perfect 'sailors' ride! Note: we cooked on a non-gimbeled stove top running 8.5 knots in 6 footers hitting us beam!

I mostly agree with Lucky's pros and cons, but have some comments. My hull is #91, a 2003 model, so I might have slightly different features/equipment than Lucky.

When it comes to changing oil in the saildrive, I agree the 38hp w/SD40 would be nice. But when it comes to motoring, the smaller lighter engine that drinks less fuel is also nice. It's a trade off!

My bimini has the cat walk. It's the factory bimini, the original canvas is showing it's age, but the frame is holding up remarkably well. It's riveted together and I thought it would fall apart within a few years. At this point, it'll be a decision whether I simply buy new canvas or build a new welded bimini within a few years.

Folding props would be nice, shame on you FP! I run fixed 2-blade props (because they are cheap).

My salon door does not leak! Lucky, maybe we should trade pictures!

My refrigerator and freezer are separate 12v compressors. The refrigerator is fine, but the freezer could use a little more compressor, it won't go below 0 degrees f - it won't keep the ice cream nice and frozen. We load it up with frozen meat, etc. and have kept it for 2+ weeks with no problem. The freezer stays between 0 to 10 degrees f. The good news, I shouldn't eat ice cream anyway!

I agree with all of Lucky's positives, except I do have a noise in the galley (something rubbing something) when we're rocking and rolling in the big stuff. I'll figure it out some day when it gets too irritating.

I also have the factory bow sprit and genaker. A nice option if you can get it!

Good Luck! And lets us know your final decision.
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Old 05-01-2010, 16:45   #39
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I've attached a photo we took from shore. Where are the winds taking you now?
Nice picture, Thanks! I'll bet it's not often one can see (2) Belizes in the same spot! (outside of maybe BVI)

Unfortunately, I still work for a living, hence we're staying around home (southwest Florida) and are planning our trips to the Keys for the spring time. Too bad you didn't have more time in the Dry Tortugas. That's are real nice place if you like fishing and snorkeling/diving.

How about you? Still in Texas?
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Old 05-01-2010, 17:58   #40
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Lucky/DotDun

Thanks guys, Great replies.

I got to say that the Belize is firming with me. The owner of the boat I saw yesterday also owns a Broadblue 385 and Nautitech 40. (Some people collect stamps.) As far as I know this Belize is the only one for sale in Australia. I"m hoping if I ask him nicely he'll let me join him for a sail.
Lucky, two things you mentioned make me pause, the door railing and the folding props.
The leaking door railing must be annoying. Do you think it would be a safety issue if you took a lot of water in the cockpit ? It would leak when water gets on the glass and runs down. Does it often leak from overflow on the cockpit floor ? By 'rail" do you mean the "track" that the door slides on ? I didn't notice that setup when I looked yesterday.
So neither a two or three blade folding prop will fit ? How much extra room would you need to fit it ?
I"m sure you've worked these problems to death. Sometimes you just got to "suck it up" and live with it. I was determined to put a folding prop on my tri 14inch but of course all the folding props are 15 inch. Which meant I would have to cut a hole in the bottom of my boat to make it rotate (just joking, I wouldn't really cut a hole in my boat...or would I ?) Then I thought to put in a longer shaft but that would have exposed the prop when I went aground. At one stage I found a bloke who said he could cut down a Kiwi prop so it would fit. I think by this stage I was clinically insane. In the end I was saved by my wife who as usual is the voice of reason in a crazy world. So I still have a fixed 3 blade prop... but i have made some other interesting modifications.
Jim
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Old 05-01-2010, 18:04   #41
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DotDun
You might be right about the Lavezzi. The engine compartments were locked so who knows what was in there. Whatever it was it was damn heavy !
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Old 05-01-2010, 18:26   #42
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Nice picture, Thanks! I'll bet it's not often one can see (2) Belizes in the same spot! (outside of maybe BVI)

Unfortunately, I still work for a living, hence we're staying around home (southwest Florida) and are planning our trips to the Keys for the spring time. Too bad you didn't have more time in the Dry Tortugas. That's are real nice place if you like fishing and snorkeling/diving.

How about you? Still in Texas?


We're heading to Isla Mujeres this month then hugging the coast for ????? Not sure where the winds will take us. Hoping to be able to make some money doing massage and adjustments (I'm a Chiropractor) and sewing work. We've also done remodeling for several years with our property management company.

Send us a personal message with your email, we'd like to keep in touch.

MeckDC
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:04   #43
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So neither a two or three blade folding prop will fit ? How much extra room would you need to fit it ?
I measured 10" between the thrust bearing (Yanmar calls it a spacer - the thing the prop pushes on at the front of the spline shaft) and the rudder. I didn't investigate every folding prop manufacturer, but the blades would need to hinge really close to the front of the prop in order for a 16" to fold up and clear the rudder.

If you find one that works, let us know.

Remember, if you go to a folding or feathering prop, you'll also want to convert to the 2-piece zinc setup (yet more $$). I change zincs religiously every 6 months (Yanmar recommendation) and I have a spare set of props. Hence, during the 6 months, I sand and repaint my spare props and put them back in service when I change zincs. Folding or feathering props are more work to remove and install, so you would want the 2-piece zinc system so you didn't have to remove the prop to change the zinc. Of course, folding or feathering props don't require painting.
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Old 06-01-2010, 16:10   #44
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Dotdun, I know of two props that may work in your situation, they are both designed to fit into tight spots. The variprop is a German feathering prop and they have a US distributor. And the Hydraprop I believe it is called, is an Australian product. A.J.
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Old 06-01-2010, 16:55   #45
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Dotdun, I know of two props that may work in your situation, they are both designed to fit into tight spots. The variprop is a German feathering prop and they have a US distributor. And the Hydraprop I believe it is called, is an Australian product. A.J.
Thanks! I'll check them out.
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