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Old 27-05-2011, 12:06   #1
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41' Formosa Ketch

After spending years now scanning through Yacht World, looking at spec sheets, learning as much as possible about boat design and equipment, and sailing on anything I could talk my way aboard I have finally narrowed my wish list of boats down to one. The 41' Formosa Ketch.

I feel that this boat combines the best of the characteristics that I put value in, and looks damn good on top of it. Now all I have to do is actually find one, and come up with the money to buy it.

Are there any Formosa owners out there who have any insights to share about their boat? Known issues to look for during inspection, peculiar sailing characteristics, or anything like that. Unfortunately, I have not been able to sail on one yet, and there is only so much you can learn about a boat from perusing the internet.
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:21   #2
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

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Originally Posted by pilot_wpe View Post
After spending years now scanning through Yacht World, looking at spec sheets, learning as much as possible about boat design and equipment, and sailing on anything I could talk my way aboard I have finally narrowed my wish list of boats down to one. The 41' Formosa Ketch.

I feel that this boat combines the best of the characteristics that I put value in, and looks damn good on top of it. Now all I have to do is actually find one, and come up with the money to buy it.

Are there any Formosa owners out there who have any insights to share about their boat? Known issues to look for during inspection, peculiar sailing characteristics, or anything like that. Unfortunately, I have not been able to sail on one yet, and there is only so much you can learn about a boat from perusing the internet.
Watch for Zeehag to respond... she LOVES her Formosa. You might want to search her posts, as she has made various comments over the months about them.
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:27   #3
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

Ditto on Zee. She is the closest thing we have to an authority on how to fall head over heels with your Formosa! She has made any number of improvements to Solitary Bird, and can also speak to her handling both under sail and power.
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Old 27-05-2011, 12:34   #4
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

I adore the Formosa lines too but make sure you understand ALL the points, good and bad
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Old 30-05-2011, 01:04   #5
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

My dad had a Formosa 41' and its the only sail boat I will look at with stars in my eye, Just like when i see a real nice vintage Bentley, (car) Formosa's are built to be tough.... but they just Ooooze Elegance and style and command your attention.
From what I understand is they can be a bit more work to keep up and maintain than many other wonderful blue water crafts out there.
The little I know about sailing, lol ... I would advise seeing the boat out of the water, to be sure the hull and through fittings are in good shape.
The Teak deck can get worn and perhaps even rotted and sun bleached, so keep an eye out...
Check as best you can "eyeballing it", that the masts are not full or Dry rot. My dads mizzen mast and boom were riddled with dry rot, he did the best he could to salvage it. In the end he was able to painstakingly repair the damage but most sailors would have pitched it and bought a new one at great cost. Those are the only things i am aware of that were issues with my Fathers Formosa. Hope i was able to help. PS. Formosa 41' CT is also my favorite. I would also go for a 51' if there were more of them out there at a lower price than well above $100,000. People just dont have that kind of money lying around!
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Old 30-05-2011, 06:08   #6
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

I owned a CT41 for about 8 years. The CT's are considered by some to be a better quality than the Formosa brand, but one can find good and bad examples of any marque.

The main issues are: teak decks plagued with leaks due to improper installation at the factory and/or worn out caulking. The leaks soak the plywood subdeck and it rots out. It's a big job to fix. The wood spars were victims of neglect and many are now troubled with rot. The cabin structures are usually plywood covered in fiberglass, and if water got under the fiberglass, the ply will be wet and rotted. Many Garden 41's have SS water tanks and the bottom of the tanks are prone to corrosion and leaks. Taiwanese boats in general have old wiring in need of improvement. Most Formosas have or had leaking ports and hatches. Taiwanese plumbing fixtures are practically impossible to find parts for. The cockpits don't offer especially comfortable seating.

Good news: great sailing boat, especially off the wind. Well behaved, and strong. Plenty of tankage. I cruised So Calif's Channel Islands and down to Cabo San Lucas, and my CT could certainly endure more than I was willing to. Good living space, but most are dark teak interiors. Consider some lighter paints and fabrics to brighten things up below. If I was sailing tradewinds, I would certainly consider another one of these boats. If you are looking to sail higher latitudes or stretches up wind.... well, a raked mast ketch isn't the first choice for close hauled sailing.

Shopping: Beware of "I fixed all those problems" claims. Some have fixed stuff, some even did a good job if it , and some have botched the job badly (especially the decks). You must poke and prod and inspect.
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Old 30-05-2011, 07:27   #7
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

You'll find an army of helpful, enthusiastic, innovative owners here, including Zeehag.
LeakyTeakyYachtClub : LeakyTeakyYachtClub
Great boats.
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Old 30-05-2011, 07:53   #8
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pirate Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

I'll ditto the Zeehag recomendation... and who knows she may even invite you to crew if you hit it off... and that way you get to kill two birds with one stone...
Test and Sail.....
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:23   #9
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

Thanks for all the advice guys. I am hoping to go down and look at a Formosa some time here in the next couple of weeks. I am not even close to having the money together yet, but the owner is being kind enough to let me take a look. Who knows, I might even talk him into a bit of time out on the water.

Also, interestingly enough, I think it was one of Zeehags posts on here that first got me looking at the Formosa line to begin with. They way she talked about her boat, I just had to see what inspired such commitment and passion.

That yahoo group looks very interesting; thanks for pointing it out to me. I think I may end up stay up way to late tonight browsing through it...
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:32   #10
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

I looked at several including a center cockpit. I like the boats but there was one problem that I couldn't ever get around. There aren't 2 separate sleeping areas unless somebody sleeps in the salon except in the center cockpit boat but it didn't have a salon. I ended up with a similar boat, a Vagabond 39. Probably made at the same place but if not it was made on the same street with the same problems, leaky decks, rotten iron tank, weird wiring and all.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:46   #11
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

pilot--there are a couple for sale in the yahoo group--i think one is a center cockpit, but i am not certain.... welcome--i love mine-- she sails well and does high winds well....doesnt poop in quartering seas--i get seas over the waist but cockpit stays dry..lol....and they are gorgeous inside.
some ct 41s were made by formosa boatworks...LOL.... all the same boat just some are a lil better looking than others....mine is plain, but sturdy

did i say that i LOVE my boat??!!!
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Old 15-06-2011, 10:38   #12
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Re: 41' Formosa Ketch

Just saw one listed here in Seattle. Try craigslist: dallas / fort worth classifieds for jobs, apartments, personals, for sale, services, community, and events Seattle / Boats
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