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Old 16-10-2009, 22:01   #1
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In General

The Multihull Sailboats forum has a few threads loosely related to FP Belize
43's but none dedicated to that model. The Mahe 36 thread is now at 66 pages with 983 posts and is still going strong. It contains many suggestions for improvements to the stock model boat, hints on sailing them, and of course a few complaints.

I am starting this thread hoping that Belize 43 sailors will chime in with similar comments. Obviously as an older model this thread will probably not be as popular as the Mahe one.

Is there enough interest in starting a Social Group for FP Belize 43's?
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Old 17-10-2009, 17:56   #2
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Hey,

We have a Belize, hule # 62. We bought her from the original owner in May, he sailed her around the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to Florida where we picked her up.

We're in the process of a minor refit and a "get acquainted"
period before beginning a long term cruise, possibly terminating in Brazil.

We have found the Belize to be perfect for our needs, it's just my wife and I, # 62 was an owners edition with the very nice masters suite. We converted the bed to a king and removed the sofa and built shelving and storage. We also tuned the forward port berth into a pantry. It should provide excellent live aboard comfort!

We have also found some odd "factory cost cutting" items that seem a bit out of place. One ridiculous item that all FP owners should check is the steering line. The factory for some unknown reason installed rope for our steering to ruder line... Totally inadequate, the rope snapped just offshore in rough sees, causing a few extra grey hairs on both of us. We replaced the steering with steel cable.

All in all the boat is very very nice and sails much better than most of the reports I had heard.

I would love to talk to more experienced owners of this make to share issues and questions.

Cheers,

Jon and Jules
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Old 19-10-2009, 15:28   #3
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Good to see a Belize tread started on this site!
We bought our build #29 a duo four cabin layout in Feb -07 in Sweden.

One major issue in high latitudes is the fact that the side decks are single layer fibreglass, no sandwich. I found that the varnish on the roof panels started to fade in the area where it met with the main forward blukhead.

The reason was that condensation had saturated the plywoog strips glued underneath the dech as support for the panels.

I removed all panels througout the entire oat and replaced the supports with small pieces of sandwich panels. In addition the entire deck area has been isulated with the use of 19mm Armaflex. This har removed the condensation problem and made for a much more comfy boat.

Another area of concern, which I have not been able to resolve is the leakage through the sliding door bottom rail!
This is a problem I have taken up with FP but to no avail! This would not be a problem if water never flow down the door but even with a bimini the washing down would create leakage into the saloon area. I have made a canvas covering the entire door with side zippers so the whole thing can be rolled up in dry conditions.

The fridge / freezer arrangement i not optimal in my view, the fridge should have a top opening configuration. I have a plan to remove the door all together and design a "piano" lid top. Will also add more insulation internally and construct a railing system with wire trays attached to two side rails on each so that the trays can be lifted straight up and lowered by the aid og either springs or gas struts. This is still in my head and not down on paper.

The compressor and evaporator arrangement will also be changed. Our boat is equipped with a CLD marine system with one compressor and evaporator installed in the freezer compartment and a small thermostat controlled fan installed in the wall between the fridge and freezer compartments. This sucks cold air from the freezer into the fridge. I find that the rutime on the compressor is draining the batteries too fast for comfort at anchor. It also suchs in air through the poorly gasketed freezer lid causing the evaporator to be covered in ice and theby insulating the evaporator such that you cannot reach proper freezing temperature of -20 deg C.

Ihave started to use the freezer as a fridge when it's only the admiral and I taking out on the weekends. I have plugged the fan hole and drain into the fridge and adjust the fridga thermostat up to -say 25 deg C and the freezer slightly above zero deg C. This works a treatand hardly uses any power once the freezer has reached the temperature set.

That's the major negatives I have experienced so far.

The positives are luckily i the majority! I had the Bahia 46 as my dream yacht but the Belize came up closer to home so the evaluation process started and we found that the Belize is a really nice boat with a good design. We love the galley up and the galley as a whole.

One thing we have found after getting a TV onboard is the lack of 90 deg corners in the saloon to snug into. but the seating works fine, would mind one of those fancy tables that fold up into a smaller coffee table but not easily done with the layout.

Chart table is OK but obviously a foreward facing one would be preferable.

Aft cabins we love, plenty of space and comfy beds. The locker could have been higher, still 30 cm up to underneath the deck. Good airflow and enough light.

I'm inthe process of changing the port genoa sheet to the steering position. Plan to add a block to the port rail and lead the sheet forward to a point on the mast just below the gooseneck and back to a new winch.

Thats all for me now it's 1130PM and it's approaching bead time.

Love to hear further from all Belize owners out there.

Happy lead free sailin'
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Old 20-10-2009, 20:29   #4
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Hull #110

Now that interest has been established on this thread, I'll pass on a little about our Belize:
Hull number 110, Owner's version
Finished building July 2003
Delivered by freighter to Vancouver, BC
Outfitted by Emerald Harbor Marine, Seattle: Icom VHF, Furuno Radar/chart plotter, 110VAC wiring, Cruise Air air conditioning, Northern Lights 6KW generator, Spectra Catalina watermaker
Owner (me) installed: Skymate e-mail system, Icom 718 SSB, Bose Media Center, Flat screen TV, Four 130 Watt Kyocera solar panels with Outback MX 60 MPPT charge controller

Dinghy is Caribe C-10X with Yamaha 15 hp two stroke engine

John and Jules,
Thanks for posting to this thread.

As I recall the steering mechanism uses a Spectra line that is supposed to be inspected and tensioned annually. I have not found any significant wear on ours yet but will definitely inspect a little closer next time. Did you replace the plastic pulleys when you put in the steel cable? How did the auxiliary tiller work?

Lucky,
Thanks for posting to this thread as well.

We also had some condensation issues during our winters in Seattle. The starboard shroud chain plate was covered by a small piece of wood below the false ceiling. Condensation on that component ran down the hull and caused an unsightly stain on the bulkhead all the way to the deck through the hanging locker. I put a small plastic storage container in the little niche behind the wood to catch the water before it dripped down the bulkhead to solve that issue. Apparently any condensation caught in the container evaporates before causing a problem.

Leakage through the sliding door rail remains a problem with our boat as well. Fortunately our bimini arrangement has all but stopped rain from being a problem. On the rare occasion that I spray too much water on the door while washing, I just wipe up the drips with a rag.

I wish I had a nickel (5 U.S. cents) for every time my wife has complained about the refrigerator. She hates having to sit on the cabin floor and unload everything to get something out from the back. Our configuration has no hole between the freezer and refrigerator. Identical Isotherm compressors cool both boxes separately so battery drain is not a major problem, especially now that we have added closed cell foam insulation around the insides and bottom of the freezer. (One time we noticed blood leaking from the freezer into the refrigerator coming from some meat we had put on the bottom of the freezer several days earlier. Upon investigating we discovered unfrozen meat in the bottom several inches of the freezer.) We cut up an extra foam cushion for the cockpit seats and a foam body board from Wal-Mart in Mexico for the insulation.

My wife wants to cut our saloon table down and lower it to make a coffee table. We saw a sister ship, Rapscullion, in La Paz, Mexico, with a cut down table so she has decided she wants a similar setup. I have resisted cutting up the beautiful wood table but may eventually have to give in to her desires.

One data point about the Belize handling: As I mentioned above Emerald Harbor Marine in Seattle, WA, outfitted our boat. Just before doing ours they had carte blanche to outfit an FP Marquesas 56 for a retired doctor. They spared no expense and really did her up well. Interestingly the two EHM workers who went out on sea trials with me to align the radar commented that our boat sailed much better than the Marquesas did. We saw 9.5 knots with 19 knots of wind on the beam in Puget Sound. Of course then we started loading her down and now we're lucky to 7.5 knots in similar conditions.

One of my biggest complaints about the boat is that I must remove the switch panel for the port engine to check the start battery electrolyte level. The other big complaint is having to haul out to change sail drive oil, which is discussed at length in the Engines and Propulsion Systems (forum http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f54/) and Propellers & Drive Systems forum (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f114/).

Anyone had a propellor fall off? We lost our port propeller in Costa Rica and had to limp all the way to Panama to get and install a new one. Anchoring is tricky with only one propeller and mooring to a dock or getting underway with only one is also a bit tricky, especially with a cross wind. This is also discussed at length in thread Prop Fell OFF! Help (Prop Fell Off! Help!)

We are on our second set of house batteries now. We chose to use 6 golf cart batteries in series parallel because we could find them in Manzanillo, Mexico, when the original Hoppeke 12 volt set died after 3.5 years.

To read our cruise log, visit: Log of Yachtsman's Dream.

Looking forward to sharing much more on this thread.
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Old 21-10-2009, 15:32   #5
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Hull #29

John
Good to hear we where not the only ones with some of these problems!

Two years ago in a gale we lost a propeller whenwe were in the process of docking. Luckily I got all the crew to get out all the fenders so we had a soft landing on the other side of the little harbour we entered.
It turnded out ther the starboard prop had fallen of just as I started to turn the boat into the wind.

I friend of ours was called and he arrived with diving gear and a spare prop I had borrowed from a friend who replaced both props on his new Mahe 36.

What has happened to both propeller shafts (SD20 saildrive) was that the tip of them had broken off! This left only a few threads to hold the prop in position as the centre bolt had unscrewed. The reason for the tip breaking off I believe was a cross hole where the breakage occured.
I took the matter up with the Norwegian Yanmar agent but they where not very helpful. They told me the price was approx. NOK 8.000, which is about $1.500 US.

I have not replaced the shafts! However, the cure for keeping the prop in place is to use threadlock paste on the centre bolt three inner threads when doing it up. To prevent it to get permanently stucked the treads above the bottom ones should be greased with marine grease.

John, I had problems open up the links in your attachements. I can vaguely see that you have a bimini that loks like it's solid and not canvas. I'm looking at building a solid sandwich bimini and would appreciate any good design suggestions.

Also the counter top with the freezer lid looks different on your boat. Ours got the lid countersunk flush with the blue top, which is covering all of the to area. There are no sealing around the lid, consequently warm air is sucked into the freezer. Are your lid roperly sealed John? From the pic's on your website the lid sits on top of the counter and is probably a better design that ours. Pichtures would be nice if you could be so kind as to post some on the thread.

That's it for me tonight.
Happy lead free sailin'
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Old 25-10-2009, 00:41   #6
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Lucky,
Our propeller shafts do not have cross holes in them. For some reason, the center bolt unscrewed even though it had Loc-Tite applied when it was last serviced by Yanmar technician Bob Buchanan in Guaymas, Mexico. I really wish Yanmar would put a positive fastener such as a lockwire or tab washer on the propeller nut.

Which links/pictures were you having trouble opening? Some of the earlier chapters had links to some rather large picture files that may have caused your browser to time out if you have a slow internet connection. If the links are really broken I would like to fix them.

Our bimini is actually a polished aluminum frame with Stamoid fabric stretched over it. We chose that material because it supposedly resists UV damage much better than Sunbrella and it is much cooler because of its light color. If you need more photos of our arrangement, let me know and I'll see what I can find. We lost quite a few pictures when our computer was stolen in Panama last December so I may not have any at the moment. We will be going back to the boat on Dec. 1, though, so you won't have too long to wait.

Our freezer lid sits on top of the counter. It has a seal around it that does a pretty good job keeping the warm air out of the freezer, now that I replaced the original soft foam with a sturdier brand. I can tell immediately if it develops a leak because the freezer will frost up almost instantly. We usually can go about a month between defrostings unless we see particularly humid weather.

The picture of this galley is not actually our boat. It was the one we saw at the Miami Boat Show in 2003 but our galley arrangement is the same. I have annotated the refrigerator door on the face of the counter across from the sinks. The door swings forward towards the stove.
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Old 25-10-2009, 14:35   #7
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John,

The photoes came to life when I changed from moble network to the home network so it all seem fine. Lovely to read about your trip and se all the nice pic's.

When I get around to work on the design of the hard bimini I'll post info on the thread. It's still some way out before I get enough time to work on it, but this winter (cold Scandinavian) should hopefully come out with a workable affordable design.

Still it would be nice to see some more pic's of your setup John, I'm especially interested in getting the optimum aft size, mainsheet in consideration. Also the areas around the helmsman seat and the winches to port. For us itv is important to also use the clears rollede down providing enough space to prevent the back of patrons head rubbing against it while seated.

On a totally d ifferent matter, I miss other Belize owner taking part of this thread! There must be quite a few out there with storys to tell and experiences to share!
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:47   #8
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I am very interessed, no more than 8 days ago i have bay a Belize 43. If you organized a forum menu of Belize 43 please advice me!!
Sorry egain for my englisch, i am italian...
Ciao

Please there is sombody that know wich propeller is good for Belize 43 with Yanmar 40 HP ????
Ciao
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Old 09-11-2009, 14:08   #9
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Reefing Guidelines

Hi all,
Not currently an owner (maybe someday) but I am chartering a Belize 43 in the Caribbean in a few months. For other cats, I have seen some tables that give reefing guidelines according to wind speed, but I've been unable to find anything on the Belize. Of course, these are just guidelines, and need to be adjusted based on sea state, crew experience, etc, etc, etc.

But, I have found them helpful as a starting point. Anybody have any reefing guidelines (based on personal experience or documentation)?

Thanks,
Brett
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Old 09-11-2009, 14:45   #10
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With the wind forecast to build above 25kts, go for the second reef this will carry you through to 40-45kts ok.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:08   #11
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Reefing Belize 43

There should be a table for reefing in all chartercats from FP, these are however quite conservative and for comfort I would drop the main to second reef at approx 10m/s, and roll in to the first dot on the headsail.

This of cause depends on the sea state and the POB and their requirements for speed or comfort. If you reef to much the boat is quite slow and will not tack properly. I would use the table developed by FP as a very conservative advise and increase sail in accordance with your ability as a sailor and your crews comfort requirements. Keep everyone happy!

As a rule the Belize is a fast boat for its type and in high winds you can leave sail up even if the table advise to the contrary. I have been sailing mine in up to 20m/s with ony one reef in the main and one dot in the headsail without any problems, this was on a reach with 2-3 meter waves from the side.

Have a nice charter holiday.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:30   #12
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Hey Lucky,

Here are photos of the custom fiberglass top and dodger set up. Hope this helps with your decisions.

Meck
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:32   #13
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Looks like I need to post a couple of times to get all of the photos up.
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Old 10-11-2009, 15:27   #14
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Hard bimini

Hi Meck,

Thanks for posting the pic's, really helpful for me. I believe I'll make a sandwich top that is self supported with tube reinforcements and use stainless steel post for the main support. I'm a bit concerned about the view when I dock with my port side (that's how I dock at my longside jetty)

Thanks again I'll get started on my design this weekend.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 14-11-2009, 09:56   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky View Post
Hi Meck,

Thanks for posting the pic's, really helpful for me. I believe I'll make a sandwich top that is self supported with tube reinforcements and use stainless steel post for the main support. I'm a bit concerned about the view when I dock with my port side (that's how I dock at my longside jetty)

Thanks again I'll get started on my design this weekend.

Happy lead free sailin
Very good idea to made the bimini in vtr. Lucky if you need to make it i cane do it in the ship yard that i worck for. The owner was the ex owner of my Belize 43 and he told me is happy to make Biminis for how need them. Contact me at g.sonnino@libero.it ciao
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