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Old 28-04-2011, 05:25   #16
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

Short answer = no idea

Long Answer..........

......I can see why she is a tempter I would be thinking of spending the budget mainly on the rig to make her a bit more single / shorthanded freindly.

and living with the interior layout pretty much as is (apart from a coat of paint etc), rather than try and convert her into something else (like, a beneteau style charterboat) - at least not from the getgo. Whether that would work very much depends on you / your needs.

The engine? As said, if she is slow then look first at the prop. Otherwise 18hp (and a good sailing boat) is something that can be easily lived with.....even if the price is more sailing on passage - again, whether that would work very much depends on you / your needs.

The cockpit? Yeah, not exactly the most inviting of places at 3am in a cold wet blow But I would noy be surprised if the use of Stainless steel tube could not create options to enclose / semi-enclose the cockpit (US Bimini style) - and maybe a radar arch and also some different seating options?......would probably need to fit into a few rig changes.

Of course what you would have created will be neither fish nor foul, an uncompetitive racer that is not fully up to (mainstream) cruising spec......and that will bite on the bum when it comes to resale. But if you buy well, can always then sell well .......and if the main other option is no boat / no travels.........

Of course none of the above is meant as a recomendation
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Old 28-04-2011, 06:11   #17
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Hmm, there is one other consideration here. If you bought that boat, and were happy with a spartan lifestyle, you could go sailing tomorrow (engine aside).

Assuming you're not wanting to sail around the planet short handed and only considering gunkholing to QLD and back, you could leave immediately and put up with the boats shortfalls, space rig etc. Over time you could add berths, cupboards, doghouse etc. But you would actually be out there enjoying the wate albeit livng a spartan lifestyle.
Decent hammocks are good...
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Old 28-04-2011, 06:49   #18
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

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Of course none of the above is meant as a recomendation
Well ducked, DOJ.
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Old 28-04-2011, 08:17   #19
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

That cockpit would be the deal killer for me. Imagine spending the night in it while crossing shipping lanes.
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Old 28-04-2011, 11:15   #20
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

If Australians race as hard as Kiwis do, then I would never buy a racing boat there to convert it. A racing boat is asked to do things that you will never ask your cruiser to witness. In a word, after they retire, they can be pretty beaten up.

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Old 28-04-2011, 12:09   #21
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

G'Day Zac

First, Ann and I cruised for 17 years in an old IOR one-tonner, so you can hopefully consider me unprejudiced in this issue! So, lets look at your prospective conversion...

First, the cold molded hull is a plus in my eyes. Such modern timber construction (including strip-plank composite as well) is an excellent means of building a one-off vessel.

But, both the rig and the cockpit are severe detriments to practical cruising, and are both difficult to modify successfully.

A tall, skinny fractional mast with inline spreaders does depend on proper usage of the runners at all times. Failure to get a runner on in time has cost many a mast... with a big crew to expedite the maneuver. For a short handed cruising situation, it is a serious challenge. OUr current boat has a fractional rig with runners, but with swept-back spreaders which do support the mast to some degree without the runners. Thus, instant action is not so critical whilst tacking or gybing... and it is still a big pain. I would not deliberately use even this rig again, let alone one with inline spreaders.

The cockpit is where one spends a lot of one's time whilst cruising, both under way and at rest. Ideally, it offers comfort while seated, protection from boarding seas and spray, sun shade and easy deck access. This boat appears to score well on the latter... maybe too well... and poorly on all the other factors. Not easy things to correct after the fact.

Another drawback is the keel design. I'm certainly not a "full keel or else" adherent, but this appears to be a fin with a rather small hull footprint. As a rule, such designs are not well suited to bear the weight of the boat or to withstand impacts from grounding, things associated with the cruising life. A closer look at how the keel loads are distributed into the hull might be illuminating.

There are some other factors that would need attention, including the obvious tankage issues, electrical system inadequacies, and of course, interior fitout. While important, none of these are as hard to accomplish as the more serious issues. They would all be money grubbers, though.

The sail inventory seems to be high tech laminates... wonderful sails, but with a short service life. They may well be past their use-by date already, and certainly would not survive very long in a cruising environment. The "delivery" sails might be ok, though. At any rate, a new suit of cruising sails ain't cheap.

So, for me this good ole race boat seems not to be a good candidate for conversion to cruising.

Cheers and good luck in your search.

Jim
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Old 28-04-2011, 14:33   #22
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

For what its worth, the idea of using a racer for crusing has crossed my mind. There's a J-34 for sale in Toronto right now for $19,500 which has scads of sails with her, seems to be well laid out interiorwise even if it is spartan. The only reason I'm not going to go look at her is the comment
' needs minor fiberglass work around the chain plates, and toe rail. The photos don't show much but it might be why she is so cheap.

http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehi...AdIdZ237245469

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Old 28-04-2011, 15:05   #23
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Guys... its not the boat its the person... if your up for it and prepared to live basic and sail hard its a peice of piss... if your a fat old git looking for the easy life forget it....
Buy a well set up Cape Dory or something else.... its like comparing a FLH1200 to a Suzuki Katana.... ones for old guys with heart problems... the others for adrenalin rushes....
If your up to it go for it mate... no rehearsals...
PS... would not touch a J boat with a barge pole... a Ron Holland however is another matter
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Old 28-04-2011, 15:41   #24
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

You might find an ex race boat a tad twitchy to handle especially down wind due to the rudder and keel configuration. You may find yourself worn out after an hour or two at the helm in breezy conditions.
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Old 28-04-2011, 15:57   #25
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You might find an ex race boat a tad twitchy to handle especially down wind due to the rudder and keel configuration. You may find yourself worn out after an hour or two at the helm in breezy conditions.
Thats why they invented tiller pilots...
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Old 28-04-2011, 17:43   #26
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Boat 6 months, interior 4 years...

On aspect that has not been discussed is just how long (and how expensive) it is to do the interior of a cruising boat.

Racing boats might get used for a few hours every month. Cruising boats get used continuously for years on end.

A few comments: Tankage- cruising boats need large water, fuel and holding tanks. These are expensive, time consuming and tricky to install. I figure I spent 10 big boat bucks and 3 x 3 = 9 months on the work.
Wiring- Cruising boats have wires running everywhere. Just to get the nav lights properly wired up is a few boat bucks.
Sun, wind, rain and spray protection- again expensive, tricky and time consuming. Figure on 10 big boat bucks and at least 3 months for this one.
Engine, sail handling, bunks, galley, head, safety (toerails, harness attachments) ...

All this is heavy and is going into a hull/deck that may not have been over strong to start with.

I could go on forever, but that can come later. If you want a cruising boat look for one that some poor sucker has put all the hard work and money into already.
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Old 29-04-2011, 20:55   #27
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

People tend to beat up on ex racing boats, whether cruise or performace racer. IMHO, ex racers are often a better option ( between two identical boats) . Keen racing skippers keep the maintainance to a higher standard on average. The boat is used and aired more often as a result (less damp inside). Systems tend to be a better quality and are replaced more often in the hope the boat gain that extra boat length at the line. Rigs are tuned and checked more often. Large crews mean plenty of small jobs can actually get done.

Often the boats towards the front end of the fleet tend to have professional marine people of all ilks on board that over see the running of the boat. (its not unusual for a boat to have a sailmaker and a sailing instructor for instance - or perhaps a shipwright and a retired navy guy whatever).

I know I am opening a can of worms with these comments and traditional cruisers will want to argue the opposite. But hey, that has been my experience of the last 30 years of racing and cruising.
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Old 29-04-2011, 21:02   #28
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Possible delivery of a Ron Holland 1/2 tonner from UK to Portugal in May....
will let you know how she sailed across the Biscay....
And.... Shock... Horror..... she's wood....
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Old 30-04-2011, 06:44   #29
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

I will mildly disagree. I think the top notch racing boats are never on the market as a good deal anyway - they start up pricey and they remain so until the day they disintegrate, racing.

The 'good deals' are boats of either poor design/built, or ones heavily raced and seriously under-maintained. Otherwise, why would anybody sell them below actual value? Conversely, if the value is so low, why is it?

Then again one has to remember a racing boat is designed for racing, a cruising boat for cruising. Basically, there will be less space for stores, less tankage, less engine power, less furniture, less meat in the structure (think: light) ... a list too long to go on. Some racers will make fantastic cruisers, but the conversion process will be more of the aficionado hobby thing than for economical reasons.

I have two friends cruising in ex-racers. They are great boats sure thing, but the conversion process took plenty of time and money. It may be a better option to spend the time and money, cruising.

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:35   #30
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Re: Ex-Racer to Long Term Cruiser

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I will mildly disagree. I think the top notch racing boats are never on the market as a good deal anyway - they start up pricey and they remain so until the day they disintegrate, racing.

The 'good deals' are boats of either poor design/built, or ones heavily raced and seriously under-maintained. Otherwise, why would anybody sell them below actual value? Conversely, if the value is so low, why is it?

Then again one has to remember a racing boat is designed for racing, a cruising boat for cruising. Basically, there will be less space for stores, less tankage, less engine power, less furniture, less meat in the structure (think: light) ... a list too long to go on. Some racers will make fantastic cruisers, but the conversion process will be more of the aficionado hobby thing than for economical reasons.

I have two friends cruising in ex-racers. They are great boats sure thing, but the conversion process took plenty of time and money. It may be a better option to spend the time and money, cruising.

b.
I agree with you about space etc. We all know that. But I am yet to see a an ex racer disintegrate at a faster pace than an identical cruiser.

This specific boat that the op is looking at is far from a cruiser. And will provide plenty of discomfort in the short term. But as stated, boats that are raced regularly are usually maintained regularly. Something many cruising owners are somewhat more casual about, given that they dont mind being a few boat lengths slower.

Most ex racers sell cheap (like this one) because they are no longer competative against more modern hull designs and materials. As they are not in particular demand for cruising, thier value deminishes quickly.

Compare that to say a 40ft beneteau or similar production boat, I will take the ten year old regularly raced boat over the ten year old cruised boat everytime.
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