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Old 28-08-2014, 13:20   #61
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

A old thread indeed! However I'll add my personal experience with Passage, a Formosa 34' Center cockpit. It was a Bob Perry design and built on order boat. I bought it from a friends Uncle in PA, then had it hauled to Muskegon. I spent $2500 to buy it and more than that to ship it. It was a waste of money...

The decks of course leaked and the teak was WAY too thin. Decks were delaminated ect. It was my third project boat and by far my largest. Once I got tearing into it I began to see that what I thought was gelcoat crazing from the top side was actually fiberglass cracks all over the undersides of the deck. The decks appeared to be made up of only chopped strand matte! Also with all the deck leaks left unattended for the years before I bought it the bulkheads had rotted out where they were tabbed to the hull! So it was looking more and more like a total gut job. The bilge had been full of water several times up to the bottom of the floorboards. Tore up the floors and replaced with plywood but the timbers underneath weren't in great shape either.

In the end I worked on it for 2 years and gave up. I was a young 22year old who had worked and saved up and spent over $9k on the stupid thing and it was bleeding me dry. If'd I'd have been smart I would've taken a crow bar to the decks and all their da#$ed screw holes and fiberglassed them over. But hindsight is 20/20. In hindsight there were plenty of closer project boats in far better shape and far better quality I should've gone for.

The steel tanks were rust and the steering cables/ pulleys where they mounted to the mentioned floor timbers was questionable at best. So many leaks and rebedded ports only to have it leak through the fiberglass crackes ect.

I ended up giving the boat to the marina. They awlgripped it tore the decks off patched up the bulkheads and just sold her for $28k! If I were the new owner I'd be checking out those system VERY carefully. Anyway that was my younger self's experience with Formosa's. I've since redone several other boats and enjoyed actually sailing every years. Since then I've developed a taste for boats that point well and are good sailors, not so much pretty woodwork and teak decks! No offense to those that own a Formosa now there are some nice ones and they all serve a purpose.
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Old 28-08-2014, 19:25   #62
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
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Thank U very much, it is always nice to hear some history of the boat ;-)
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Old 28-08-2014, 19:56   #63
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Yes, a lot of "cheaper" boats become very expensive because of poor maintenance.
When I had to go to Europe for some papers a year ago, I gave the voyage a double purpose by looking around for another sailboat, I found one in Denia, Spain, on internet and the broker send me some extra info and pics, when I arrived I found the "Formosa 51" on shore, the bilges full of water and oil on top, rotten decks leaking everywhere, the hull did not had a lot of blisters but was full of cracks, 2 big holes next to the rudder post made her sink partially, when I took the dipstick out the engine there was seawater coming out of the engine block, a very rusted gearbox, the generator was locked up, all electric wires under the floor have been underwater so need to be replaced, the upper structure was so rot that you could push your finger straight true it, the sails where worn out, and everything on deck was rot as well and needed replacement.
And on top of that 5 owners who don't agree on a price because they remember the boat of a few years ago when they chartered it and still wanted 38000€ for it
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Old 28-08-2014, 20:33   #64
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
I tried to deliver a ct41 from LA to SF in the '70s. Boat sailed like a pig. It would actually surf backwards rather than sail forward. Because of a design f/u lost the engine soon after leaving MDR. Took 5 days to sail to Santa Barbara. At one point we were doing the backward surfing routine when a racing fleet came out of either Channel Islands or Ventura, sailed around one of the Channel Islands and back home. We got to wave at them as they went in both directions while we wallowed for another two days before finally reaching SB.

The boat had been built for it's airline captain owner who'd gone direct to the yard and ordered the boat. It's appearance was outstanding. Hand carved varnished teak everywhere. Unfortunately, it was all surface fru fru. The boat leaked like a sieve even in the benign weather conditions we were in. Lost the engine because they hadn't looped the fuel tank vent and the vent scooped water into the tanks at very gentle angles of heel. Fastenings were suspect bronze that looked like they'd taken sand castings and filed them to resemble a screw. Broke more than a few trying to fix the ton of things that were wrong with the boat.

Since then, have seen a number of CT41's sitting derelict with rotting decks and cabins. Swear they were built without absolutely any caulk.

Even if all the structural problems are handled, the poor sailing qualities remain. Believe the sailing abilities carry over to the 51 as well. On a single handed passage to Honolulu from Kona in our Westsail 32, left a 51 over the horizon in my wake in a matter of an hour or so. Conditions should have been ideal with strong trades on the beam. I was doing hull speed with surfing bursts to 10 knots, they were looking good but making way less forward progress.

Aloha
Peter O.

If I was going with a Taiwan boat, would probably buy a Peterson 44. They are of an age of the CT's so have some issues but it's largely age related, not poor construction. Sailing wise, they are reported to be worthy of their designer. Watch out for the tanks. If they haven't been replaced, it's an expensive refit.
Very true words, Roverhi.... Delivered a CT 41 from San Diego to San Francisco in 1983 and nearly lost the boat in the hurricane that flew up the coast from Baja. We got pasted off Pt Conception and made the mistake of tying down the helm which resulted in breaking the streering cable which I ended up jerry rigging (my bad entirely!). The original destination was Vancouver BC but I got it as far as San Francisco and suggested to the owner that he either sink it, sell it or burn it! He was along on the trip but spent 2 weeks in his bunk drinking... not great company!!
Also took a Formosa 51 from Port Townsend to Mazatlan, MX and going down hill she was fine but sailing on the wind across the Sea of Cortez a bit wet, deck leaks and difficult to maintain a course with the autopilot requiring someone on the helm for 1 1/2 days across the Sea of Cortex. Same drill coming out of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, wet and didn't sail well into the wind. The 51 footer was very roomy (crew of 4), very comfy below, no hobby horsing or roll in about 25-35 knots of wind... definitely a fair weather sailing boat. Coming down the coast with a following sea she was very stable and a dream to drive (long keel).
I belive she would make a great liveaboard in protected waters but would take a major investment to bring her up to blue water standards. Phil
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Old 28-08-2014, 21:32   #65
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Very true words, Roverhi.... Delivered a CT 41 from San Diego to San Francisco in 1983 and nearly lost the boat in the hurricane that flew up the coast from Baja. We got pasted off Pt Conception and made the mistake of tying down the helm which resulted in breaking the streering cable which I ended up jerry rigging (my bad entirely!). The original destination was Vancouver BC but I got it as far as San Francisco and suggested to the owner that he either sink it, sell it or burn it! He was along on the trip but spent 2 weeks in his bunk drinking... not great company!!
Also took a Formosa 51 from Port Townsend to Mazatlan, MX and going down hill she was fine but sailing on the wind across the Sea of Cortez a bit wet, deck leaks and difficult to maintain a course with the autopilot requiring someone on the helm for 1 1/2 days across the Sea of Cortex. Same drill coming out of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, wet and didn't sail well into the wind. The 51 footer was very roomy (crew of 4), very comfy below, no hobby horsing or roll in about 25-35 knots of wind... definitely a fair weather sailing boat. Coming down the coast with a following sea she was very stable and a dream to drive (long keel).
I belive she would make a great liveaboard in protected waters but would take a major investment to bring her up to blue water standards. Phil

Boats sailing capabilities depends greatly on the design so one Formosa can be very different from another Formosa because the Formosa Boat Building Co. made boats of different designers.
For example my boat is a Formosa CC 47 and has a fin keel with a skeg hung rudder and I have sailed her in all kinds of whether offshore without seeing land for more than a month and repeated that after resupplying several times.
Just to say that Formosa refers more to where she was build and not to a designer such as William Garden, the Formosa 51 has a long keel indeed and will react very different ;-)
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Old 28-08-2014, 22:32   #66
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Quote:
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<snip> I found one in Denia, Spain, on internet and the broker send me some extra info and pics, when I arrived I found the "Formosa 51" on shore, the bilges full of water and oil on top, rotten decks leaking everywhere, <snip>
Q1 - What "good parts" could he have possibly taken photos of to spark your interest? - LOL...

Q2 - After arriving to see this scrap heap did you kick his a$$ for wasting your time?

Q3 - Don't tell me you bought it? -
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Old 29-08-2014, 00:05   #67
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Q1 - What "good parts" could he have possibly taken photos of to spark your interest? - LOL...

Q2 - After arriving to see this scrap heap did you kick his a$$ for wasting your time?

Q3 - Don't tell me you bought it? -


The pictures where not recent pics, so I made it clear that I was a little bit less than happy with the broker wasting our time and I'm happy to announce that I'm not the new owner of that submarine

The first picture is from the broker, the rest is the reality.
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Old 29-08-2014, 07:42   #68
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

*WOW!*
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Old 29-08-2014, 13:24   #69
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Well said, Capt A... you are dead right! The sailing characteristics of differently designed vessels even from the same yard will differ greatly. A fin keel and skeg hung rudder design will perform very differently than a full keel sailer and outperform the latter. Not familiar with the Formosa 47 but sounds like she would certainly perform better to windward than the full keel design regardless of LWL.
I owned, lived aboard and cruised a Transpac 49 for about 6-7 years and for a full keel, ketch rig, she performed acceptably but not great on the wind. Made up for her mediocre performance with the room below and split rig was great for only two of us to handle in a blow. Cheers, Phil
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Old 05-11-2014, 15:09   #70
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Ignore posts by Jeff H

I've read Jeff H reviews of many boats. My opinion...He's a blowhard who does not know what he's talking about.

The thought police are going to chastise me for saying anything bad about Jeff H since he's a "respected" moderator here. It's ok for him to spew inaccurate garbage year in and year out, but when someone calls him wrong, the creaks come out of the wood to criticize and ridicule.

In my experience, I ignore what Jeff H says. Surveyors, owners, brokers and insurance companies all agree.

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Old 12-01-2015, 22:51   #71
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Capt. A ,,

Any new pictures of Music and latest and greatest travels ?

Thanks,

Henry
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Old 12-01-2015, 23:24   #72
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Sure, you can follow us on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Phoen...59682970838439
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Old 12-01-2015, 23:44   #73
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Capt. A

thanks for the info will check it out

Henry
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Old 12-09-2017, 17:13   #74
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Hi fellow cruisers, I am looking for my next boat and am considering this 1980 Formosa 51 Ketch "Tiara" in San Diego - do any of you know anything about this boat? I am getting a recent survey in a few days so I'll be able to do triage to figure out if I want to pursue looking at the boat. She is on a mooring ball and the broker needs some notice to arrange a dinghy to take us out to the boat so I don't want to waste our time if the survey shows some major red flags.

A bit of history about me and my wife: we have been racing and cruising in the San Francisco Bay and coastal areas on our Ericson 32-3 (1985 vintage) as well as other people's boats, and now that our kids will be out of the house in a year and our old dog died a few months ago, we are ready to buy a blue water cruiser, spend a few years getting to know her by sailing and racing her in the bay and the coast, doing the Ba Ha Ah Ha a few times and living on her for a few days at a time to get their feel of how she sails and how she does as a live aboard. I think that after about three years of doing this in the relatively low risk area of the bay and California coast, we will have a good feel for whatever boat we buy (which may not wind up to be the Formosa 51). As background, we are also looking at a Norseman 447 and an Amel Super Maramu. I have done most of my own work on my Ericson other than the haulout and bottom job, so doing boat maintenance and rigging is something that I'm very comfortable with, and understand that a boat like the Formosa will afford me plenty of opportunity to get my hands dirty ;-)

Our goal is to lease our house in San Francisco, point the boat West and head out to the next adventure in our life in a few years.

I know I said we would be racing the Formosa if we bought her - I also know that she is not a J boat ;-) but a sailboat race is any two boats competing for who picks up the bar tab at the club after rounding the buoys ;-) I've raced enough to know what's important!

TIA for any comments on this particular boat and Formosa 51's in general. This thread has been a particularly long running one and I've gleaned a lot of really useful information about the Formosa - thanks!
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Old 12-09-2017, 17:23   #75
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Re: '79 Formosa Ketch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

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...I am getting a recent survey...
Presumably paid for by the seller? This should be worth less than zero $ to you.
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