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Old 15-12-2008, 20:49   #46
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Assuming your swing keel is irrecoverable (which I doubt) I think someone who has a CM26 with a bad hull that has been used on freshwater instead of seawater may be interested by your hull, because corrosion on swing keel is far greater in salt water. You may also find another swing keel from someone who is about to destroy a bad hull.
Martin, Qc, Canada
owner of a 1974 CM26
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Old 15-12-2008, 21:28   #47
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I've read lots of conflicting comments about Clipper Marine on this thread. Let's make it simple: I'm 6'1", I need enough headroom to walk in and to sleep on the boat on a week-end. I've checked lots of affordable 26 feet. I found a CM26 in good condition with the original trailer, a 25HP outboard, all hardware and safety equipment including sonar for the price of a new trailer and outboard only. I appreciate the fact I need less than two feet of water with the outboard and that I can switch to sail at full speed as soon as I'm off shallow waters. I think CM26 has a lot to offer as a beginner's sailboat, if you don't mind about the basic look and overall quality. I've seen several newer sailboats covered up with cracks on the deck, suffering from osmosis, delamination and else. There is nothing but minor cosmetic damage on mine. The swing keel pivot has been upgraded years ago, that's all.

I can store it in my backyard and carry it to the marina using my simple V6 Oldsmobile. I would need to rent a truck or pay for a year round storage fee with any other fixed keel 26 feet, which are usually 2000 pounds heavier. I've got just as much fun for half the price or less of any other 26 feet sailboat that is often unable to navigate below 4 feet of water. This humble sailboat is a blessing for my budget and the navigation conditions in my area. I've got a lot to learn before I'm ready or even willing to consider open sea navigation and rough weather anyway. I've always got my good old 25HP Evinrude always on standby to get back to the marina whenever I've got enough fun for a day.
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Old 29-01-2009, 07:58   #48
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My first "cruisable" boat was a 1971 Clipper 21. When I bought the boat for $500 it had been sitting neglected for about 2 years. It took me 5 weekends to put her to rights.

First off, there were no soft spots in the deck, anywhere. The deck was joined to the hull with rivets (lots of them). The chain plates passed thru the deck and were attached directly to the hull.

Was it high quality? Absolutely not. Was it comfortable to sail? Yup. It sailed very close to the wind, and had decent speed. You needed to adjust the centerboard (swing keel) to balance the boat otherwise it tended to have a heavy weather-helm. This is an issue with any swing keel boat however.

Believe it or not, for a 21-footer the cabin was fairly roomy for overnighting. I owned a Venture 21 in later years as a knockaround boat, and I wouldn't have dreamt of spending a night aboard it. I spent many weekends aboard the Clipper.

One disturbing trait that is common for all Clipper 21's: the thundering centerboard. When board is up or down it is kind of loose in the trunk. I fixed this on my boat by installing shims in the bottom of the trunk which I made by slicing apart an acrylic kitchen cutting board.

I kept her on a mooring in salt water for 6 months out of the year and sailed the hell out of the boat. I finally sold her in 1990 (I bought a San Juan 24) to a friend who (A) still owns the boat, (B) won't sell her back, and (C) is still a friend.

Bear in mind, the ad for these boats when they were marketed was "SAILAWAY PRICE $2,995."

Hope this helps.
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Old 29-01-2009, 18:15   #49
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Rivets and leaks

I own a CM26 1974, and I can thell you there is no visible rivets holding the deck. Sure, the deck flexes (I'm 240 pounds!!!), but it is just as nice and healthy as the day it was made. No structural cracks, no osmosis damage, no leaks whatsoever. When I look around in the marina, I see very few sailboat from the 80's that are in comparable shape.

Sure, the swing keel requires maintenance that any swing keel boat does, but the CM26 is the only 26 feet sailboat I know that still cost so little to buy and to maintain, especially because it remains trailerable at 3400lb including trailer and 25HP outboard. I only have to pay for marina on summer, and I bring it back without any crane charges in my backyard for winter, where I can easily maintain it myself at minimal cost.

Despite the fact it is kept light and simple, it delivers all we expect from a versatile sailboat. It is quite funny to see that very few people who did own a Clipper Marine ever complaint about rivets and all... I think they enjoy the exceptionnal design talent and common sense of Bill Crealock.

I started with "Sailing for Dummies", I just went trough "Fix it and sail" from Brian Gilbert and most of Don Casey's books, such as "This old boat". One conclusion is obvious: I've been offered real wrecks for sale, but I found out CM26 is simply made for SAIL.

Best regards,

Martin
Qc Canada
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Old 30-01-2009, 06:53   #50
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pirate Clipper 21 etc

Martin wrote:

"I own a CM26 1974, and I can thell you there is no visible rivets holding the deck."

Hi Martin,

I only discovered the "riveted" joining work when I was crawling around below decks cleaning the trim. For whatever it's worth, I never had any leak issues at all. The rubrail hides this joint, as it does on many fiberglass boats.

I actually spoke to Bill Crealock (RIP) about the boat. He said that he was given a mandate by the Clipper peopple to design a low-cost but quality boat that would better the MacGregor designs. He could only recall one boat that had a problem with the joint, but this was agravated by "other factors" (i.e. being offshore in 30kts with 7 foot seas.)

One thing that may interest you: my friend Bob Spratlin circumnavigated the Delmarva Penninsula (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) in his 1974 CM26 "L' Tango" via the C&D Canal, Chesapeake Bay, and then north on the Atlantic coast and back into Delaware Bay. He did this in 1989. We threw a big party for him when he sailed the salt-encrusted L' Tango back into Curtin Marina, in Burlington, NJ.

Fair winds.

Bill
Tuckerton, NJ
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Old 30-01-2009, 16:39   #51
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Bill Crealock design

Thanks for your accurate and reliable source of information !!!
This only confirms in my mind that I've got something much better to learn on than a lot of similar size sailboats.

I only expect to use my CM26 in lakes for now, but lakes up here are pretty big and connected to the St-Laurence river... I have a lot to learn before I can even think of such tough challenge (St Laurence River), which is often more dangerous than navigating offshore. Heavy commercial traffic, currents, winds, fog, shallow waters, reefs, we have it all !

I don't think CM26 with a swing keel is the ideal sailboat for open seas, but it is certainly underestimated by a lot of people who don't know about Bill Crealock smart design.

best regards !

Martin

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(...)
I actually spoke to Bill Crealock (RIP) about the boat. He said that he was given a mandate by the Clipper peopple to design a low-cost but quality boat that would better the MacGregor designs. He could only recall one boat that had a problem with the joint, but this was agravated by "other factors" (i.e. being offshore in 30kts with 7 foot seas.)

Fair winds.

Bill
Tuckerton, NJ
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Old 30-01-2009, 19:59   #52
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Clipper Marine quality and design.

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(...) you probably want to look at something better constructed and a better sailing boat especially if you are not going to be sailing on a small lake. I think that is a fair and factual statement.
Clipper Marine were indeed intended to be affodable, light and trailerable sailboats. Bill Crealock, designed them primarily for this purpose, but not exclusively. Any sailboat is a compromise in one way or another. Compared to similar size swing keel sailboat, Clipper Marine has many outstanding qualities, but not all. Saying it is only good for small lakes is ... underestimating Bill Crealock.

Open seas are indeed calling for much bigger, heavier and rugged structure with a fixed keel as opposed to a CM26 like mine. It would be just as unsafe to sail a 40 feet sailboat on a small lake as it would be to try to get around the world on a Clipper Marine 26.

It is just common sense, not rocket science !

Martin
Deux-Montagnes, Qc, Canada
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Old 30-01-2009, 20:17   #53
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AFAIK, being able to press in on the side of a boat and have it move is a function of delamination.
The least expensive way to lay up a fiberglass hull is by using a chop gun, where the chopped-up glass is basically sprayed into the mold. Boats built this way are notorious for the fact that you can cause the hull to flex simply by leaning up against it.

Bottom line: if you can flex the hull, don't buy the boat, because the hull will oil-can once you get it into rough seas.
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Old 08-02-2009, 18:03   #54
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i just baught a cm-32 not aft cabin it needs alot of cleaning up but other than astetics it sails very nicely and if anyone has good pics of the interior please send them to me at wshoc753@msn.com
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Old 08-02-2009, 18:47   #55
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The least expensive way to lay up a fiberglass hull is by using a chop gun, where the chopped-up glass is basically sprayed into the mold. Boats built this way are notorious for the fact that you can cause the hull to flex simply by leaning up against it.

Bottom line: if you can flex the hull, don't buy the boat, because the hull will oil-can once you get it into rough seas.
Obviously you have never owned a Clipper 21. The hull is hand layed up woven roving, period; it was not constructed using a "chopper" gun. In the time that theser boats were built, fiberglass was CHEAP. Gusset joints for interior marine plywood framing are "tabbed-in" with chopped fiberglass, as they are in many many boats. I am not throwing stones here, but please get your facts straight before holding forth about a subject.

Fair winds.
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:38   #56
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This thread came up when I was looking for info on the Clipper Marine 32' and thought I'd add my question to the mix...just wanting to know a little bit more about the quality of the boats. Looks like most people on the thread are talkinga bout their experiences with the smaller clippers. I would think the larger ones are a little higher quality but don't know.

This one is priced very affordably...like the aft-cabin idea...haven't been on the boat yet but just poking around for some info before I make a decently long drive. I would be using it just for the puget sound/san juan and potentially living aboard after some ugprades to it. Has an inboard diesel and what looks to be a cutter rig.

My budget is pretty tight and it's not possible for me to take out a boat loan due to recently starting a business...so I'm looking for a cheap boat with liveaboard potential, with the idea of possibly trading up in 2-3 years.
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Old 11-10-2009, 14:43   #57
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If you want it just as a liveaboard and never plan on taking it sailing then I think you would be fine. Be careful not to pay too much for it or spend much money on it thinking it will sell for a higher price.
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Old 11-10-2009, 15:48   #58
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Advice on Clipper Marine 32

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Originally Posted by jm21 View Post
This thread came up when I was looking for info on the Clipper Marine 32' and thought I'd add my question to the mix...just wanting to know a little bit more about the quality of the boats. Looks like most people on the thread are talkinga bout their experiences with the smaller clippers. I would think the larger ones are a little higher quality but don't know.

This one is priced very affordably...like the aft-cabin idea...haven't been on the boat yet but just poking around for some info before I make a decently long drive. I would be using it just for the puget sound/san juan and potentially living aboard after some ugprades to it. Has an inboard diesel and what looks to be a cutter rig.

My budget is pretty tight and it's not possible for me to take out a boat loan due to recently starting a business...so I'm looking for a cheap boat with liveaboard potential, with the idea of possibly trading up in 2-3 years.
This forum is more oriented on the far more expensive fixed keel heavy duty cruisers. I think CM32 is an intelligent first step gor someone with a budget like yours. With anything of that age, you have to expect some repairs (and you don't expect to recover much of that cost on resale), but I disagree with the idea that it is only good to live aboard without much sailing. It may not compare to the opulent recent sailboats, but the CM32 is safer than a lot of modern coastal cruisers. The very fast, wide and very stable coastal cruisers are often the least seaworthy. Once you are at sea, too much of a good thing is a problem.

Any sailboat is the result of some sort of compromise. CM32 was designed by Bill Crealock as a seaworthy, yet trailorable and affordable sailboat. Don't underestimate Bill Crealock smart and balanced design. There is not such thing like the ultimate sailboat, there are many options to consider and the very first is our budget.

I would suggest you have a look at the Clipper Marine section of the The Trailer Sailor - Home. This is the best place to get an opinion on Clipper Marine 32 from people who own them. I have a lot of respect for the passionate sailors that are contributing on the Cruisers forum, but I've not met many Clipper Marine enthousiasts here .

Martin Jalbert, owner of a Clipper Marine 26 - 1974
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:17   #59
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I didn't realize there was no passageway under the center cockpit. That hurts a bit here in the NW where we get a constant drizzle of rain. Going up a ladder, open a hatch, through the cockpit, open a hatch, down a ladder, every time you need to go between cabins doesn't sound like much fun in the rain/snow.
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Old 16-10-2009, 16:54   #60
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I bought a Clipper 26 back in 72 and happily sailed her for several years. My now EX husband fell asleep undersail and ran her aground somewhere around Newport Beach, CA. We later traded her in on a triplex in Newport. I live in Seattle now and have switched over to a 1978 Searay io cruiser. I can tell you I loved that boat! We would sail at every opportunity and it was perfect for Me. I paid $7000 for it new but that is when vws sold for less than that boat so.....It was a first for me and a love affair that will never die but remain solid in my memory forever. Good luck on your quest and I hope you enjoy whatever you get as much as I enjoyed "Witchy Woman"
Lyn Evans
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