Hey, Capt Lar -
I've not been active here for a while, but I'm surprised that no other CSY 44 owners piped up. That said, I can offer you some perspective from a very satisfied owner's point of view. (Hope I'm not too late and that you've not already made your purchase
Our baby, La Nostra, was purchased by us in '01. She's the 3rd sailboat I've owned - and is by far the largest. Our intent was to get some experience sailing her in he Caribbean
, then take off to wherever we wanted to go. However, we bought her a few years prematurely (got just too good a deal to pass up) and to make ends meet we have run her as a crewed charter
boat for three seasons (winters) while continuing to work at land jobs the rest of the year. We keep her on the island of Carriacou, the first inhabited island north of Grenada
She is a '79 Walkover with the short rig (there are both "tall" and "short" rig CSYs) and the deep draft
(6.5 feet). When we got her she had been repowered two years earlier with a Perkins
4-236, rated at 82 HP (up from the original 62) coupled to a new Hurth transmission
and driving a three-bladed fixed prop. All standing rigging
was two years old, main was like new, paint
was three years old, refrigeration
was brand new, the Icom VHF
was three years old and she was generally in very good condition.
We have added upgraded charging
system, new batteries, a KISS wind generator
, two large solar panels
, a Lofrans
, a 60 pound CQR
on 200 feet of 3/8 chain, W-H autopilot
, Dutchman mainsail
handling system, derrick for heavy gear
and hoisting the outboard
, new Pro-Furl on the headsail, 15 hp Yamaha on the 10.5 ft RIB
, Andersen 52 primaries, and a bunch of other "little" stuff.
Still to go are new chainplates, upgraded stanchions, more new winches, roller furling
on the staysail, new davits
to replace the old steel
ones and some more electronics
We bought her for well under 100K, so had room for the upgrades.
We usually sail her with just the two of us, and we do not find her to be too much at all. In fact, while we were doing our "hunt", we chartered several other boats which were smaller and we find her to be easier for us to handle because of her extremely comfortable and dry ride. Docking
is also not a problem as I can easily handle aft lines from the cockpit
while Bella takes the foredeck.
I had sworn I'd never own a center cockpit
boat, but we really have found that we like it very much. The CSY W/O configuration is such that it doesn't look like the usually high and rather (to my eye) ungainly center cockpit
designs. The size of the cockpit is great for having charter
guests on board, but we also absolutely love the room when its just the two of us. Being nearly able to live inside the cockpit lockers is also a big plus! We also love the aft deck
area: great for sunning, cleaning fish
, showering after a swim and just lounging. The side decks are wide, uncluttered and have high bulwarks - all with excellent drainage. We find plenty of working room on the foredeck and at the mast
Down below the ventillation is supurb - which is really important when at anchor
- especially in the tropics. We have no need for AC because there are 7 opening hatches (including two HUGE ones over the main salon) and 17 opening ports
. I am replacing the three fixed ports
on the transom with nice new stainless opening ports as well. Of course, there is also the advantage of having that forward-facing companionway
to the aft cabin
- which acts like a giant air scoop.
We love that aft cabin, by the way. The standard berth layout allows us to sleep as on two large singles, or we can sleep athwartships and have what amounts to a queen. The aft head has plenty of room and has its own shower
. What with the drawers and storage
cubbies under the berths, the hanging locker and more space under the chart table there is more clothing
room than we actually need. I must admit that I don't care for the aft-located chart table, however. Many owners have modified this to their own liking - and I'll eventually do this as well. It does make a handy place for electronics
, however, as it is right next to the helm
For foreward cabin is spacious, light and airy - with plenty of clothing
space as well as room under the V-berth for whatever. We usually sleep here when guests are on board and we find it quite comfortable.
The main head is HUGE! And we can't say enough about the separate stall shower
. That light prism overhead make us keep feeling we should turn out the light - its that bright! Great to be able to shower without wetting down the rest of the head!
The main salon
is also - well - huge. WE sit 6 around the table in comfort, and for just lounging it will easily handle even more. True, the athwartships galley
is not ideal for working in a rolling seaway - but really - how often does one prepare gourmet meals
when under way if the going is rough enough to really need the security
of a smallish U-shaped galley
anyways? The galley storage
is great, and the three-compartmented fridge system gives us more usable space than we have at home! It is also laid out so that two people can work together without getting in each other's way. With a hatch
overhead and a huge, aft-facing opening port, ventillation is excellent.
The storage space on board is unbelieveable. The original configuration included a slide-out berth on the starboard side above the settee - which also was designed to expand into a double. We have eliminated the upper berth, and the settee no longer expands. Instead we now have a HUGE storage area behind the settee (which I am in the process of setting up into a series of large compartments with individual doors). Above the settee is another series of storage cubbies which hold a very large amount of "stuff". The area below this settee is in a series of large drawers. To port there is another very large storage area behind the settee, more storage under it, and a series of lockers with sliding doors above. All this and we haven't even addressed the gobs of space under the floorboards!
100 gal of fuel
tankage means we can go nearly a full season on one tankful, and 400 gal of water
allows even the most wasteful group of guests to indulge themselves without running us dry. With just two on board it lasts for weeks!
Under that huge cockpit is an equally huge engine
room with access either from the main salon
or through two very large hatches on the cockpit sole. Again, ventillation is great - a real advantage if you have a time-consuming project
in a warm climate - and access is quite good all the way around the engine.
All that said, she is heavy. She won't go around the bouys in club races like a lighter boat, but she will carry cruising "stuff" which probably weighs more than some of those lighter boats! That weight, coupled with a seakindly hull
form, makes for a very comfortable ride. She'll keep her feet and keep on going when lesser boats are either on their ears or at anchor
. (We know - because being in the charter business we often must be somewhere at a specified time to meet guests so we frequently must sail in conditions which others would avoid.) She'll foot along with the best of them in moderate to heavy air, yet she's no slouch in light air if sailed properly. We have not yet invested in special light air sails
(there is almost always good wind
in the southern windward islands) - but we will do so before setting off on an extended voyage. When things pipe up we first roll up the headsail, then take a reef in the main, then another reef if needed. So far we've not found the need to go beyond a double-reefed main and staysail - and we've encountered 35-40 kt breezes with 10-12 foot waves.
With her long keel
with cut away forefoot and large, skeg-hung rudder
she tracks like she's on rails - both up and down wind. When properly adjusted I can go for extended periods without touching the wheel
. That semi-clipper bow with pronounced flair keeps her dry in all but the nastiest, confused seas (which we often get between islands). Our davits
are low, with the dink just at aft deck level, and rarely does the shaft of the outboard
hit the top of a following wave. (Of course, if we know things are going to be testy we take the outboard off and hang it on the rail.)
So far as the "inconvenience" of having to go up a few steps, cross through the cockpit, then down a few steps to get from one cabin to the other - we'd much rather do that than live with what we view as the shortcomings of the walk-through design ... but that is just one couple's opinion, and the walk-through owners we've chatted with like their designs just as much as we like ours (we did consider both before we bought). We feel the advantages of that HUGE cockpit, a more workable galley, a more airy engine room and nicer (to our eyes) lines outweigh being able to go from one end to the other without going "outside". I can see some advantages to the walkthrough, however, in a cold climate.
One cannot put too little importance in how one "sees" their boat, by the way. To me, when I am ashore looking out over an anchorage filled with Clorox-bottle look-alikes, the lines of our CSY seem all the sweeter. It is also a really nice feeling to have people put-put by in their dinks and make a circle or two around our boat - then shout "Nice lookin' boat, Captain
- what is she?"
So, to sum up (good grief I can get long-winded, can't I??) - is she perfect? Certainly not - I don't think any boat is. But if you are seeking a solidly built boat (they've been called sailing icebreakers!) which will carry you AND all the "stuff" which you will find indispensable for cruising any place you want to go with a good turn of speed and making ice cream in the galley while others are holding on for dear life - in safety
- while looking good ... all at a very reasonable price, I don't see how you can go wrong with a CSY 44 Walk Over.
But then, yeah .... I'm prejudiced!
By the way - and this is NOT to be construed as a solicitation for business, but rather as a friendly offer - if you've still not made up your mind by this winter I'd be happy to have you sail with us so you can experience what I'm talking about first hand.
Happy Hunting -