A bit of an update. At one point someone asked that I explain our choice and I have not wanted to say too much while negotiations have been on-going. But now we have a signed acceptance letter, passed survey
, the check is in the proverbial mail. I feel I can share more of my thoughts.
All good natured joking about manipulating my wife aside, after fairly well knocking ourselves out looking, we came to the conclusion that there was no suitable aluminum
boats in our price
range. That left us with steel
boats because we wish the ability to sail in ice and, my megar experience says that if there are bergs, then there is undetectable ice big enough to hurt. And besides we like the solidness of metal vs FRP.
So we went back to our original list. The Colvin ketch
was a nice boat but more of a floating house than we wanted. We wanted a simpler boat. The wife feels claustrophobic on my 33'er so we wanted something a bit bigger. We went over the yachtworld list time and again and kept coming back to the Pape. There were several factors to this.
The first consideration was her comfort and my anticipation of her motion at sea. My wife, whose boat this is, tends to seasickness. She has made major gains over the years in dealing with it but it is still a factor. I believe that this boat with have a relatively more comfortable motion underway. Not only is the boat heavy but it sits relatively low, the salon
is about in the center of motion and that should make a quiet spot to be. It is likely that the Wife will enjoy a great many more days on the water
if she is more comfortable and that is paramount.
Next this particular interior
layout is a very good compromise. On the one hand it is quite open to the eye, important to fight the claustrophobia. But it is also quite controlling in the sense that there are many handholds and many places to brace yourself with your legs and hands. No dance floor here, lots of alleys below the waist.
Third was our perception of quality in the boats fundamental construction and design. Having spent so much time chasing dreams looking at other boats that were poorly designed, poorly executed or poorly maintained we had had enough. We needed closure. We wanted something solid, something were we felt secure in our decision. In that regard this boat spoke to us very strongly. In many ways she is similar to our 33 footer being a steel cutter
rig. So I have some better sense of how she will behave and how to sail her. The hull
had a recent ultrasound and was found to be in good shape. My personal inspections of the hull
found some rust, but no more than is to be expected and none that was critical.
Now being at that blissfully ignorant and brief period between buying
and taking possession I find myself pleased. I have spent some time on the boat and am pretty well conveinced that she is the real deal and is a solid purchase
, if not a sprightly performer.
I think a lot of the criticism/skepticism of the boat was due to the listed displacement
of 44,000 pounds. I found the original documents showing her as "17 tons." Even at long tons that is "only" 38,000 pounds, quite possibly dry. So the 44,000 pounds is likely a good honest cruising displacement. I took off some measurements and have approximated her sail area at 972 ft sq (without the staysail) which gives her a pretty reasonable SAD for a boat of her class. She will never be a filly but a good solid work horse, which meets our desires pretty well. Someone said "That's a point and go boat." I think that pretty well nailed it and we have often come back to that observation.
In looking over the inventory and finding out a bit more history
it seems the boat was given a pretty good overhaul
in 2006/2007. The equipment
was pretty much as stated, was properly sized and of quality. The hull construction is a bit different from other steel boats I have seen in that there are no "stringers" or "longitudinals" per se. Rather the each chine is welded top and bottom to an inside pipe running the entire length of the chine. This means that each joint has 4 full length welds (outside/inside/top of pipe/bottom of pipe) instead of two. The welds are made such that water
can not rest on them thus eliminating the most likely point of rusting. It probably added a good 50% to the welding time but it makes a quality job. Also the boat was insulated throughout, which was important to us.
There is quite a bit of cosmetic work to do and many/most of the systems need attention, but they are newer and the problems they have are generally within my grasp. In places the sole is a mess. The heads and plumbing
need attention and work. Much interior
wood work is in some state of aborted repair. Upholstery needs to be replaced. And I am sure there is much else that I have not figured out yet.
We will take possession of the boat in about two weeks, then the fun begins. First I will need to address all of the active rust. The rudder
is tight but workable. That is a good bit of worry. I want to put mast
climbers on. These are immediate "to do's."
Then we will take care of the most annoying issues ASAP and try to get out on the water AMAP (As Much As Possible.) We have several upgrades that we need to work out but we want some time on the boat to sort our our intentions. We want to use this summer so that we can effect the upgrades over next winter. These upgrades will include:
1 - heat... forced air and/or pot burner - maybe a Wallas stove?
2 - hard dodger/full enclosure or some combination - relocate winches
3 - arch for wind
4 - radar/AIS/weather fax solution
I think that will keep us going for a bit.