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Old 13-06-2009, 10:17   #1
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Able 32 for Liveaboard?

I am trying to find a small live-aboard and have narrowed it down to a Pacific Seacraft 34 or an Able 32. I am very familiar with the PS 34 but not so much with the Able other than that they were a well built semi-custom boat. Does anyone have any details on them?
Thanks.
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Old 14-06-2009, 08:19   #2
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Some were built as cat-ketches - most have been converted to sloop or cutter by now. Chuck Paine design, similar to Morris's of the same size.

They were (I think) cored hulls, which makes the survey pretty important.

Very nicely made, but each one done to order, so the interiors vary widely. Make sure the one you're looking at works for you. Morris Yachts bought the old Able yard in Trenton, Maine, and may able to give you more info, it's worth a shot.

Since these are all a little older now, consistency and quality of maintenance becomes very important.
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Old 15-06-2009, 06:56   #3
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Nice boats, but they have teak decks and the headroom is barely 6'-- maybe less. Now an Able 42 would be a great liveaboard IMHO if you can find and afford one.
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Old 11-01-2010, 14:57   #4
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KP,

My wife and I currently own an Able 32..................great boats!! Off of the design board of Chuck Paine and built by Able.

We have modified our boat considerably from the original cutter rig as well as some changes to the keel.

We do not live aboard on a full time basis (soon we hope). But we do spend extended periods aboard, cruising the coast of Maine. We find the boat entirely adequate for the both of us.

If you have specific questions...........I would be glad to address them.

Steve
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Old 11-01-2010, 15:26   #5
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A few more thots.......................

The Able 32 is NOT a cored hull....... The 42 is. The 32 has a very robust solid lamination with all bulkheads, cabinets, and furniture heavily glassed in (no liner). Because of the shallow draft (center board) the boat was given additional layup at the turn of the bilge in order for her to easily handle settling on the bottom on a falling tide.......just in case someone pushed the limit in an anchorage. The point is that she is very ruggedly built.

Morris Yachts bought Able marine........and most of the production techniques from Able became a trade mark of Morris. Cherry trim and hereschoff style interiors with laminate covering.....etc.

Not all 32's have teak decks. There are many that do not. Ours for instance.

The headroom on our boat is 6' 3". There is a bit of a headroom issue while seated in the dinette area due to the side decks. The cabin sole is not as deep perhaps as other boats in order to house the center board (the board is below the sole). All in all it is a good arrangement, and I have no problems sitting or standing at 5' 11" tall.

There have been some problems with the center board that is unique to this boat. But that is another thread altogether.

The Pacific Seacraft 34 and the Able 32 have very similar numbers if comparing and evaluating boats for off shore work or general cruising. Either way would be a good choice.

If the Bahamas are in your future the 3' 8" draft (board up) is a definate plus.

Steve and Jules
s/v Honu

Somewhere along the line Able modified the mold and produce an Able 34. Its the same boat with a bit of a stretch added aft and a few inches to the sheer.
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Old 11-01-2010, 19:00   #6
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For a liveaboard I would like the Able - because the one I can find on the net has the galley running along full one side of the boat. I love to eat when in port.

For offshore I would pick up the PC, because I would like two opposite bunks to sleep in the lower one on the tack. I love to sleep when on a passage.

b.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:46   #7
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b,

Its a good point you make with regard to sleeping arrangements.........etc.

Our Able has one pilot berth to starboard (a great sea berth) and the settee to port. Two good sea going berths, one to port and one to starboard are vital IMHO. In port the vee berth provides gobbs of room..........great for the both of us.

One other comment regarding interiors.......etc. It is often said that these boats (Morris/Able) have "custom" interiors. In reality the interiors are often "customized." The layouts are all mostly the same......with a few exceptions. After all there is only so much one can arrange in a 32 foot boat.

That said..............the highly customized interiors and teak decks......etc. add considerable weight to the boat. All boats are sensitive to being "loaded up." But both the Able and the PC are at the lower limit when it comes to sail area. Both have relatively short and low aspect rigs. Some would argue that the strength of the shorter rig is good for offshore work. And I would agree with that. Everything is a compromise. Just something to keep in mind.....................be sure that she is floating on her lines.

Finally..............if you do consider the Able.........we should discuss the center board. It is a unique design and arrangement (as far as I know) and it has its quirks. Nothing serious but I think its worth discussing if you are considering a purchase.

Cheers,

S.
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Old 01-02-2014, 19:00   #8
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

Hi There,
I know it's been a couple of years since anyone participated in this thread, but I am currently contemplating the purchase of a 1987 Able 34 with teak decks and keel centerboard. If anyone has any information, advice, or things to watch out for (particularly regarding the centerboard arrangement as mentioned by the previous poster) I would certainly appreciate hearing from you. Thanks so much.
- Glenn
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Old 02-02-2014, 16:51   #9
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

Glen,

We still own our Able. It is a great boat. We have made a lot of changes to the boat over the years to better fit her out for long distance cruising......etc. I would be glad to share any info and experience that we have gained over the years. Let me know what questions you might have.
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Old 02-02-2014, 18:55   #10
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

Thanks for responding. Wow, how great that you still own and enjoy your Able!

I'm going to look at a 1987 Able 34 this week (which I understand is just a slightly "stretched" version of the 32):

Listing is here:

1987 Able Custom Sloop/Cutter Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

It seems like an incredibly good deal, even with the cost of shipping it back East (I'm in Connecticut).

In fact, that's really my first concern; The old "if it's too good to be true, it probably is". The pictures look great, but...

In any case, by far my biggest concern is the teak decks. I've heard (and read on this site) nightmare stories about old, leaking, screwed-down teak decks. It seems like the the cost of replacing them (with new teak or something like Treadmaster) could easily exceed the asking cost of the boat. Do you have teak decks on your Able?
Would you happen to know whether the sub-decks are balsa? Plywood? Fiberglass?

Also, having only owned fixed-keel boats, the keel-centerboard and attendant mechanics for raising and lowering it are a little worrisome. In my research I found that the stainless weldment that holds the pivot pin reportedly has a tendency to form cracks. What's been your experience with this? Is the mechanism robust? Dependable? Easy to use?

Engine access seems very tight, which isn't uncommon in boats this size and vintage I suppose, but I'm just thinking how difficult it would be to re-power if necessary. Any thoughts?

Those are really the main initial physical issues. I'm sure I'll think of more. If any of the other systems need repair or replacement I can pretty much do them myself (other than big stuff like rigging obviously).

How does she sail? Handle under power? Do you have the cutter rig (assume a removable inner forestay?) I plan to sail mostly single-handed. Any quirks there?

Other than the above, I'd be very interested to hear about your experiences with the boat, any improvements you think would be worthwile and any other advice or things to especially look for when I go to see her.

These boats are so rare that it's really amazing to find a current owner who can speak directly to their experiences.

Thanks in advance for your help and guidance.

Best,
- Glenn
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:15   #11
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

Glenn,

Just took a look at the listing......what a great looking boat!!!

I think I can answer a majority of your questions. I am on the road traveling at the moment. As soon as I have more time I will PM you with some more in depth details.

In short, Julie and I love our boat. She sails great. Honu is the third Chuck Paine designed boat that we have owned.......guess you could say that we are fans of his work. We have made significant changes that I will explain later. Our original purchase price was fairly low so we felt more comfortable making some of these alterations even if it might affect the resale value. Our ultimate goal was to alter the boat to fit our ideas of a more long distance cruising boat......more tankage, changes to the rig, re-engine, keel alteration, and a rearrangement of the interior.

To be sure, not all of these changes would fit someone else's needs or desires. But they have been very successful for us.

More later.......

Steve
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Old 07-02-2014, 00:37   #12
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

Sailinguy - Did you get to see the Able 34? Would love to read your thoughts on her!
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Old 17-02-2014, 15:02   #13
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

This Able 34 is now under contract. I wonder if Sailinguy is the prospective new owner???
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Old 18-09-2016, 08:42   #14
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Re: Able 32 for Liveaboard?

New to the market......... Able 32 for sale.

She is our boat which we have modified and refit for live aboard and distance cruising. We love this boat. And she is "cherry." Most everything is new and she is in great shape.

Currently listed with Morris Yachts brokerage.
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