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Old 01-06-2013, 19:05   #1
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Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

I read a post somewhere that commented that the Cheoy Lee Bemuda 30 ketch was a stretched Herschoff 28 design, and that stretching the original design and how Cheoy added weight created a boat that sailed bad, and was even potentially prone to getting the cockpit full of water and sinking. Apparently a couple was lost in a storm during a race of the coast of California when their Bermuda 30 went under.

The Cheoy Lee offshore 31 and 33 appear they may be even longer versions of the same maladapted stretched 28' design.

I love the looks of these boats, but don't want to find myself frustrated with the lack of sailing ability, or worse yet, prone to sinking in the wrong wave pattern.


Any merit to those concerns?

On the other hand there seem to be a lot of these boats out there with a lot of passages unde their keels...

These boats really all that bad? Should I steer away?
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:16   #2
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

Managed to find the original comment:

"These are boats that I want to like. They are pretty and come with an interesting history. The Choey Lee Offshore 31 was a rework of the Bermuda 30, which was a rework of the Herreshoff H-28. They were built in wood and glass. While the H-28 was a wonderful boat for its day, the wooden Offshore 31's and Bermuda 30's violated Herreshoffs cautions about raising the sheer, and adding a doghouse. The H-28's were intended to be constructed of light materials with minimal interiors, while the wooden Cheoy Lees had comparatively heavy planking, decks, and interiors.

Depending on who you believe, ballasting was reduced to compensate for the extra weight, injuring stability and motion comfort, and the sail area was reduced to compensate for the reduced stability. That combination resulted in a boat that reportedly was not as good in lighter air or heavier conditions than the H-28 that they were based on.

The problem got much worse with the glass boats as their hull weights went up greatly over the wooden boats and their ballast weight was further reduced. They also went to iron and concrete ballast further reducing stability. I have sailed some of these and they are useless in light to moderate conditions and not very good in heavier going. They don't up wind worth a darn (while the original H-28 sailed remarkably well for a long keeled ketch). "
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Old 01-06-2013, 19:49   #3
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You do have to keep in mind the H28 is a very good sailing boat, and most of the short coming comments about the glass boats would be true with many many production sailboats out there.
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Old 01-06-2013, 22:33   #4
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

I wrote an article for Latitude 38 about a Cheoy Lee Modified H28 (which I think is the 30) that went through Hurricane Iniki in 1992. The seas were huge and winds high. They washed the spreaders a few times and a piece of Cheddar "sharp" cheese, busted out a window from the inside. I'm sorry to report that it did not sink and Chris Catterton and Ted Neary made it back to S.F. in one piece.
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Old 02-06-2013, 16:43   #5
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

I have a good friend with a Cheoy Lee Hereschoff 31 and it sails very well. I've been on it numerous times, including one trip to Block Island in force 8 conditions, in which it was perfectly balanced on "jib and jigger." It's kinda small below, however.
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs
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Old 02-06-2013, 18:08   #6
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

There is a big difference between slow and dangerous! Many of the older glass boats are slow by todays standards of tupperware sleds, but that does not automatically make them dangerous. I think the Cheoy Lee boats have a very good safety record, even if they dont have a good racing record. The biggest problem I see with the Cheoy Lees is rotten decks which are expensive to repair.___Just another opinion.____Grant.
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Old 02-06-2013, 19:33   #7
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

I think plenty depends on what one wants to do with the boat.

Just chose the tool to match the job. As usu, this works.

b.
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Old 02-06-2013, 19:45   #8
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
There is a big difference between slow and dangerous! Many of the older glass boats are slow by todays standards of tupperware sleds, but that does not automatically make them dangerous. I think the Cheoy Lee boats have a very good safety record, even if they dont have a good racing record. The biggest problem I see with the Cheoy Lees is rotten decks which are expensive to repair.___Just another opinion.____Grant.
I know my decks are teak core no rot but I have heard a lot of other boats have this problem not just cheoy lee don't all cheoys have teak core?
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gah964 View Post

I know my decks are teak core no rot but I have heard a lot of other boats have this problem not just cheoy lee don't all cheoys have teak core?
I think your decks are probably balsa cored fiberglass with teak overlay, that is a common matrix in production boats. The balsa core rots out due to the fasteners holding down the teak overlay leak over time.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:36   #10
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

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I think your decks are probably balsa cored fiberglass with teak overlay, that is a common matrix in production boats. The balsa core rots out due to the fasteners holding down the teak overlay leak over time.
no I had samples holes taken out.its solid teak
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:54   #11
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

My family had a Cheoy Lee Bermuda 30, wood and second hand when we got her, when I was growing up. We sailed her extensively every summer from western LI sound up to Maine and in some pretty nasty stuff on occasion. She was a pretty stout little boat, not particularly fast but very comfortable (relatively speaking) in a seaway with her heavy displacement and full keel. I remember her having very good buoyancy in the stern which was quite broad by the standards of the day.

The Bermuda 30 was a hugely popular family cruiser back then. If there really were all these problems that were more than rumors of Herschoff's musings then you'd have heard a lot more about it. As far as the cockpit goes, it's pretty safe from a pooping perspective as it is not terribly large and the companionway theshold is raised. Almost any modern production boat is going to be more dangerous in this respect as the threshold has been lowered to to make the boats more "comfortable". The Bermuda does have relatively low coamings, however.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:19   #12
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no I had samples holes taken out.its solid teak
Learn something new everyday ...
A quick google search turned up a Bermuda 31 refit project a few years back that had teak cored decks as you described.
I guess Cheoy Lee experimented with different methods over the years, I have seen a Cheoy Lee motor yacht that had balsa cored decks that were completely shot, was to big of a job to tackle at the time.
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Old 18-07-2013, 03:05   #13
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

I have owned a Cheoy lee Offshore 31 in Australia. I bought the boat from an American who had sailed it solo across the Pacific without incident. I had never crossed oceans in it but I had been in some very bad weather at times when I wished that I was somewhere else. The boat never failed to return me to port undamaged, unhurt and unassisted. It never flooded the cockpit or put the mast in the water. Though it did live up to its nickname of Cheoy Leekie. I think this was due to all the timber paneling which made it hard to find where leaks where getting in. They are not fast but if I was in a hurry I would buy a power boat. I have NEVER read a journalists review of any boat, car or washing machine as far as that goes where an owner of such devices has agreed with the journalists opinion. They are notoriously wrong. I now own a Cheoy Lee Clipper 42 but I still have very fond memories of the Offshore 31. L. Francis Herreshoff was a excellent boat designer but he too can be wrong. Is he not the one that said fibreglass had no future and was nothing but frozen snot. Well just look around you. It outlived him.
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Old 18-07-2013, 05:35   #14
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Thackaringa.
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Old 18-07-2013, 05:43   #15
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pirate Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Dangerous and slow?

Hi Thackaringa.. Welcome to CF
Nice start... good to have insight from owners.
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