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Old 02-06-2009, 14:11   #1
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Buchanan 36 - Opinions?

Hello Everyone,

I'm a long time lurker of the forums and hope this 1st post of mine meets approval with the esteemable members of the site

I'm heading out in a few days to look at a well maintained Buchanan 36.

For those who don't know much about them... From photos and specs she reminds me of a shorter Rhodes Bounty II.

LENGTH OVERALL. 36' BEAM. 9' 10''
LENGTH ON DECK. 33' DISP. 17,OOO lbs
BALLAST: 6,000 lbs (est) DRAFT: 5' 3"
DESIGNER: Allan Buchanan


The specific example i'm looking at...
Steel Hulled (insulated above waterline)
Sloop rigged (with removable inner forestay)
1991 Yanmar 3HM35F 35HP 3 cylinder fresh water cooled 760hrs

Very well maintained and looks to be in very nice shape. I knew the owners a little bit years ago, and they are not IMO, people to neglect their boat.

Current owners rebuilt her 12 years ago, have sailed her regularly and are looking to downsize.

She is actively sailed, was equipped to go to the carib, but never used for that.

She has a windvane, sea anchor, good sail inventory, sextant, fuel day tank, etc, but only has the basic VHF, Handheld GPS.
At 1st glance I'd probably add SSB, EPIRB, Liferaft, New AIS equipped plotter... maybe radar to her.

My only real concern is her tankage and storage for 2 people.

Water tankage is: 46 US Gal.. 26 gallon tank + 4 x 5 gallon jugs in the bilge
Fuel is 40 US Gallons total


Anyone have any experience sailing this design ?
Could she work for 2 people to eventually circumnavigate on ?

So you understand where our inclinations lie.....
We don't want a large fiberglass floating RV, with so much gear that it requires a generator to power it and a huge bank account to feed it.
We want a boat that will get us there safely, take some abuse, and carry what we NEED.

I can post addtional details of this specific boat if needed, but at this point in the thread, I'm curious about the Buchanan 36 in general.


Regards,
Roy

Fair Winds and Functioning Heads !
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Old 02-06-2009, 14:40   #2
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How about a pic please?
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Old 02-06-2009, 15:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
How about a pic please?
Just finished uploading them to a photo site.....
Buchanan 36 :: Fotopic.Net

password is: sailboat

Specs are at the top of the gallery, photos at the bottom
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Old 02-06-2009, 16:46   #4
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Great looking boat. Too bad they put a reverse transom on it. It would have really been sweet with a traditional transom.
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Old 02-06-2009, 17:14   #5
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Originally Posted by bob perry View Post
Great looking boat. Too bad they put a reverse transom on it. It would have really been sweet with a traditional transom.
Thanks for the reply Bob !

I couldn't agree more. I'm a sucker for that look.
The Bounty II would work perfect for our needs, but this Buchanan is in nice shape and I have a thing for the strength of steel.

With luck... there's a way to increase her tankage.
Hopefully, additional water jugs can be stowed.
I like the idea of having mobile jugs for when you don't have dockside water. Easy to use a pump to transfer to the main water tank.

Not sure how many hours those fuel tanks would last either.

Time will tell....
Here's hoping the weather in georgia strait is good on the weekend
I can't wait to see how she sails. Forecast says 5 to 15.

Cheers,
Roy
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:33   #6
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I almost bought a Buchanan steel. Was an design older than your prospective boat. Allan Buchanan was a well respected designer. He drew good boats. One of the main editors of a sailing magazine in England owned a Buchanan woodie forever. Just sold it a few years ago.

The biggest trouble with steel boats in that size is that the SA/D ratios tend to be low, usually on account of low stability and therefore inability to carry any more sail area.

Measure the SA and do the math. I've seen some mid-30 foot steel boats have SA/D ratios as low as 13--which is too low.

With a 37' deck stepped mast, I'm going to guess this boat is 15, perfectly acceptable for offshore use, albeit a little less than what I like for Puget Sound. I suspect that the 17,000 pounds of displacement is a tad optimistic for what she really is.

You have identified tankage as one potential issue. The holding tank is SS. Those don't last forever. Plastic is much better material for holding tanks.

Looks like a great boat. A real cruiser. Find out who did the paint job inside, and when. That's important. She's narrow beam, which is good for sailing, not so good for storage and living aboard. Definitely old school.

I hit a 3' diameter log off Matia last weekend at 6 knots. Didn't have to worry with a steel hull. Steel has its plusses and minuses, but up here the plusses are meaningful.

Bob, is she a true cutter? I can't tell.

BTY, get the hull tested. I can refer you to somebody (ex-steel boat owner, now surveyor) who will do a good job surveying and testing the hull, if you wish. The hull testing is an extra $400 or $500, but well worth it IMO for a 1975 steel hull.
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:28   #7
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Oops. I now see that LOD is 33' not 36.'

I think the displacement of 17,000 pounds might be pretty real.





IMO, regarding new electronics: Start with radar. You don't need it often, but when you need it you REALLY need it.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeward Rail View Post
Here's hoping the weather in georgia strait is good on the weekend
I can't wait to see how she sails. Forecast says 5 to 15.
I don't know what you are used to sailing, but I think you are about to discover new meaning for the word 'seakindliness.'

Heavy displacement, narrow beam, moderate B/D ratio (.35), moderate draft, round hull, some overhang. All indications are that this boat will be seakindly. Enjoy. Definite old school.
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Old 03-06-2009, 12:55   #9
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Thanks for the reply Hiracer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
I almost bought a Buchanan steel. Was an design older than your prospective boat. Allan Buchanan was a well respected designer.
As of a couple years ago, based on a thread i read, he still alive and working ! Kudos to him

Quote:
The biggest trouble with steel boats in that size is that the SA/D ratios tend to be low
Yeah, thats the dilemma for me.
I'd prefer the a boat that is small enough to be easy to deal with (on all levels), but still fairly liveable.

As you note, Steel is a huge plus in some locations.
While you still need to be vigilant for deadheads, I'd breathe a lot easier with steel.
I think that alone outweighs the other problems like, shorepower isolation, rust etc.

What are your thoughts on the insulation ? I would assume that removable foam backed panels would be a BIG plus over spray foam ?

Quote:
You have identified tankage as one potential issue. The holding tank is SS. Those don't last forever. Plastic is much better material for holding tanks.
Thanks for the heads up. That makes perfect sense but it was something I would have overlooked.
Are modern tank coatings effective ?
I have used a fuel tank coating for classic car/motorcycle restoration
and wonder if somthing like that would work for the holding tank and the main fuel tank, which is an integral part of the keel

Quote:
Looks like a great boat. A real cruiser. Find out who did the paint job inside, and when. That's important. She's narrow beam, which is good for sailing, not so good for storage and living aboard. Definitely old school.
Not sure when it was done, but I will check.

The boat was purchased by the present owner (who I know), in Ontario.
They rebuilt her then (12 years ago) with the intent of living on her and sailing her south. They lived on her for 5 years on the great lakes. She then spent time on the hard while they land travelled for a while. She was then shipped to the west coast in 2002. She has been used summers, since then.

Quote:
BTY, get the hull tested. I can refer you to somebody (ex-steel boat owner, now surveyor) who will do a good job surveying and testing the hull, if you wish. The hull testing is an extra $400 or $500, but well worth it IMO for a 1975 steel hull.
She had an "in water" insurance survey done yesterday.

I'd love to have the name of the surveyor you mention.
Does he work in Canada ?
If we decide to buy her I'd like to get a full survey done.
Any idea on what a full survey on Vanc Island would cost, not including haulout costs ?
$20/ft + $500 sound about right ?

Her asking price is the equivalent of $23,000 USD BTW

EDIT: I figure I could find a Rhodes Bounty II for around $30,000, but I don't think I'll be lucky enough to find a boat of similar design that doesn't need major work at that price. Hmmm.. Maybe a different design choice.... Anyone have a Peterson 44, Amel, a Sundeer or one of Bob's designs for around 40K ready to go ? LOL
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Old 03-06-2009, 13:15   #10
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Leeward,

That price is very attractive. You might want to delete it if possible, or ask the moderator to do so. I would.
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Old 03-06-2009, 13:39   #11
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Leeward,

I wanted to get that last missive off fast.

Now, onward,

To insulation. These are fighting words among steel boaters. There are lots of opinions about whether to spray foam, have removable foam panels, don't foam at all, foam only about water line, etc.

I never developed strong feelings on insulation. I think the quality of the original paint job is most important thing. Foaming less so. Others will violently disagree with me here. I can go either way with foam because mainly I obsess about the quality of the orginal paint job.

I looked at a 1970s Dutch steel boat. Her interior paint was still in first class condition.

About the SS holding tank, I don't think you can use tank coverings for interior SS tank. Just realize that at some point you will have to remove and replace that holding tank, preferably before you cut shore ties. I had 316 SS for water tanks in my prior boat and they worked fine. But I recall reading that SS for holding tanks just don't work out so well. Holding tank environment is too corrossive for any SS.

You don't need to coat mild steel fuel tanks. My fuel tank is part of the keel also. Weight down low where is does a boat good. And it's out of the way. Perfect.

An in-water survey is not particularly helpful, you know that. I will PM with name of surveyor. I'm sure he can work in Canada.

Shore power: I don't use it, for the most part. I hook up when I need AC for drills, etc. Most times, I'm not connect to shore power. My first boat had no AC but did have saildrive (aluminum in the water all the time). After 27 years, the paint on the saildrive was still brand new. On the current steel boat I get one year + for zincs. None of my neighbors with fiberglass boats can say that. Because I'm not hooked up to shore power. Lesson learned.

If the owners of this boat have been dragging her around the continent after themselves, that means they loved the boat. A loved boat is a good thing. A loved steel boat is an even better thing. If you stop the rust, steel never gets old. You can't say that about fiberglass. It absorbs water over time and gets soft.

Do measure your sail area. Here is a calculator to compute SA/D ratio: SA / D Ratio You do understand that sail-area-to-displacement ratio is a dimensionless ratio?

If you are looking for a hard-core couples cruising boat, personally I would be more than a little excited about this boat. I like her.

I'll bet the tankage issue can be handled in some fashion. A water maker comes to mind.
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Old 03-06-2009, 14:13   #12
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PM my foot.

Reisner, McEwen and Associates - Our Staff

John Sanford is from England and got here via a steel sailboat. His hull paint disintergrated when a DC wire fell into his bilge water and did a number on his boat. This was BEFORE he became a surveyor. Might in fact be part of the reason why he is a surveyor these days.

Anyhow, he has a thing for steel sailboats. Give him a call. He surveyed my boat and I was happy with his work. He does the ultrasound hull testing to see how thick the hull.

A good guy, he is.
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Old 03-06-2009, 15:20   #13
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Here is an article about Alan Buchanan, found in the Buchanan Owners Association website.

Buchanan Owners Association
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Old 03-06-2009, 15:59   #14
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Here is your sail area calculator. http://www.pipeline.com/~wayneb/java3.htm

Mmmm. With a deck-stepped mast of 37', IIRC, I don't see how the SA/D is going to hit 15. More like 14.

Double Mmm.
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Old 03-06-2009, 19:58   #15
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Hello John.. Sorry I took so long to reply. My ISP is evidently having email problems today.

I assume by your comment about not posting the price, that you are concerned that someone else may buy the boat from under me ?
In this case the boat is not on the open market yet, and the owners, who we know from before they bought this boat, have told me it's 1st come 1st served.
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