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Old 18-12-2014, 07:29   #1
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Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

I'm going to look at a 1973 Cheoy Lee 33' Offshore Ketch tomorrow. The boat belongs to a friend of a friend and it is not really "listed" for sale, so I'm getting an AWESOME price.

I have a couple of concerns, however:

It has original wooden spars for the main and mizzen. I'm not sure what wood they're made of or what the owner's maintenance routine was for the masts. I did some research on the web and found conflicting opinions on wooden vs. aluminum. Almost as much as Mac vs PC.

Another thing I've seen is that Cheoy Lee's tend to have coring issues. Of course I will get a survey, but before I spend the money, what should I look for regarding core moisture?

Any other tips for a newbie? This will be my first boat, so I want to ensure I'm not getting in over my head.
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Old 18-12-2014, 07:47   #2
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

Beware of teak decks with leaks.
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Old 18-12-2014, 07:49   #3
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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Beware of teak decks with leaks.
The owner had the teak decks professionally removed and the deck surface finished. Not sure if it has non-skid or not.
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:02   #4
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Beware of teak decks with leaks.
Beware non teak decks with leaks!

Oh... And the spars "should be" over your head...


Good luck on your lookin'!
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:05   #5
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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Beware non teak decks with leaks!

Oh... And the spars "should be" over your head...


Good luck on your lookin'!
Hahaha, my buddy Alex Dorsey has had a Cheoy Lee Midshipman for a few years. He used to call her "Cheoy Leaky".
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:37   #6
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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Originally Posted by rb1685 View Post
...
It has original wooden spars for the main and mizzen. I'm not sure what wood they're made of or what the owner's maintenance routine was for the masts....
You are on the right path to get a survey just to know what you are getting into. Be careful with the "Awesome" price, you may get more spending awesomeness afterwards.

Does it have a diesel or A4? The spars are sitka spruce and they used cast iron keels.

Offshore 33 - Cheoy Lee
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:40   #7
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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You are on the right path to get a survey just to know what you are getting into. Be careful with the "Awesome" price, you may get more spending awesomeness afterwards.

Does it have a diesel or A4? The spars are sitka spruce and they used cast iron keels.

Offshore 33 - Cheoy Lee
She currently has a Volvo Penta MD3b. Not sure of the hours.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:31   #8
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

I came close to buying one about 20 years ago. I still think they're one of the prettiest boats around. This is truly classic plastic. Spend as much time on the boat as you can before buying it. Open every locker, really check out the decks. Any boat this age probably will need some repairs. Unless you pull the spars the only way to check them out is to go up. Wooden spars are beautiful & functional but, unlike aluminum, need to be maintained which is a lot of work that can't be ignored. Regarding the Volvo the hours don't matter. Has it been well maintained. Start it when it's cold, not after the seller has run it. Volvo parts are crazy expensive.


If you're thinking about buying this boat because it tugs at your heart I say go for it! If you're thinking about buying it because it's cheap just remember, the cheapest boat often ends up being the most expensive boat.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:50   #9
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

They are pretty boats... many of the old Cheoy lee's are. But beware if the cabin and deck are ply with glass over. It's almost certainly rotted in places.... and even non rotted places the glass layup tends to be brittle, with a lot of less desireable glass/chopper etc used in the layup.
If you haven't read the Rebel Heart thread you should.. the CL's weren't built near as good as that boat, and a similar fail could happen... and has. One had the deck to hull seam come apart going down the west coast.
Having said that, if your intention is local cruising it might be fine.


and great last sentence from Scout30!
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Old 18-12-2014, 10:21   #10
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout 30 View Post
I came close to buying one about 20 years ago. I still think they're one of the prettiest boats around. This is truly classic plastic. Spend as much time on the boat as you can before buying it. Open every locker, really check out the decks. Any boat this age probably will need some repairs. Unless you pull the spars the only way to check them out is to go up. Wooden spars are beautiful & functional but, unlike aluminum, need to be maintained which is a lot of work that can't be ignored. Regarding the Volvo the hours don't matter. Has it been well maintained. Start it when it's cold, not after the seller has run it. Volvo parts are crazy expensive.


If you're thinking about buying this boat because it tugs at your heart I say go for it! If you're thinking about buying it because it's cheap just remember, the cheapest boat often ends up being the most expensive boat.
Very well put. The owner has pretty much given me free reign to check it out, so I can spend as much time as needed to properly check everything. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I'll be looking for leaks.

I've had my eye on Cheoy Lees and Westsails for a long time now. I'm flying to California on Saturday to look at a Westsail 32. It's good timing for serious comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
They are pretty boats... many of the old Cheoy lee's are. But beware if the cabin and deck are ply with glass over. It's almost certainly rotted in places.... and even non rotted places the glass layup tends to be brittle, with a lot of less desireable glass/chopper etc used in the layup.
If you haven't read the Rebel Heart thread you should.. the CL's weren't built near as good as that boat, and a similar fail could happen... and has. One had the deck to hull seam come apart going down the west coast.
Having said that, if your intention is local cruising it might be fine.


and great last sentence from Scout30!
Local cruising in the short time, voyaging in the long term. My friend that I mentioned above, re-glassed the decks on his entire 41' Midshipman. It took something like two years. A project I really don't want at this point. I will look over her as thoroughly as I can, but I'm hoping a good surveyor will tell all.
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Old 18-12-2014, 11:21   #11
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

My favorite has always been the 36' Clipper.
Clippers by Bill Luders
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:03   #12
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

I owned a 1966 Cheoy Lee Offshore 36 (sloop) from 1972 to 1984. I loved that boat - loved the way she sailed, loved the below decks layout and she was a pretty boat. But these were mass produced boats - built mostly for the American market. There were many problems. The teak decks became spongy (because the teak dots could never get a good seating because of the thinness of the teak overlay, water leaked into the fiberglass core and we had a trampoline. So I replaced the teak deck with thicker teak (cost $22K). The deck was a fiberglass sandwich with plywood - not marine plywood - that rotted out.

And there was the osmosis problem below the waterline, it looked like the boat had small pox. And every haul; out we'd be popping bubbles, filling them with epoxy and re-applying the bottom paint. But eventually, the bottom de-laminated and a new owner was stuck with that job.

Then there was the spruce mast. Rotten and getting more rotten every year. Wire halyards would bang on the mast, knock the varnish off and water would come in contact with the wood, seep in and -ROT. Of course, I could have re-varnished the mast every 3 months - but, OK, I didn't. And the stainless steel fittings were not 316 but a cheaper variety. A few of the mast tangs broke and had to be replaced while I owned her. Thank God nothing bad happened while crossing the Gulf of Mexico or in the Gulf Stream heading North.


Bottom-line here: I'd pass on this one.
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:17   #13
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

lovely boats for sure but as a first boat I am not sure. Not so much an issue of size but the upkeep on a boat like that will be significant and ongoing. My thought might be to learn all the systems on something a little more manageable. Then again if the current owner has deep pockets and gladly spends on his boat so she is bristol and in the price range I might be tempted...
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:21   #14
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

You might want to read the current thread Peeling a Hull. It concerns a CFer who is, as we speak, doing a major peel job on his CL. It isn't pretty...

Another weak spot in many CLs is the wiring. It was inadequate from the factory, and how the many previous owners have dealt with this is important... ranges from big improvements down to perpetuating disasters.

The fact that the owner is willing to let her go so cheaply is a mild red flag to me as well, so do be careful... these boats, pretty as they are, can be a bottomless money pit and break your heart and your back.

Jim
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:23   #15
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 33' Ketch

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Originally Posted by kellyp08 View Post
I owned a 1966 Cheoy Lee Offshore 36....
This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Thanks!

Quote:
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lovely boats for sure but as a first boat I am not sure. Not so much an issue of size but the upkeep on a boat like that will be significant and ongoing. My thought might be to learn all the systems on something a little more manageable. Then again if the current owner has deep pockets and gladly spends on his boat so she is bristol and in the price range I might be tempted...
You may be right. I have to see her first hand to really know, but it doesn't sound like the current owner has done much to her in the past few years. The price is definitely right, but not if I have to do a TON of repairs.
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