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Old 05-09-2017, 11:02   #1
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Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Used to own a small sailboat - and now when retirement is 10 years away (or less) I have a dream of crusing a little bit (before and after retirement )

I am in love with the "Fisher" type of boats - but want to keep it manageable not too big (under 10 meters). My dream is to cruise the mediteranean - perhaps go as far as Madeira and the Canaries, or even the Azores - but no cross atlantic "work".

The boat will only be part time liveaboard - we would probably rent a place when we arrive.... but during passages and at anchor we would ofc stay aboard.

We live in Scandinavia and would take the canals to the med - and cruise from there.

My question is - will a Fisher 30' do the job in terms of seaworthiness - or are there other similar type boats better suited for the task. My priorities are Safety first - then comfort... ideally both. We will only be 2 onboard so sailing singelhandedly must be easy. My biggest fear is to be surprised by unexpected weather and be aboard a vessel that cannot handle it.

A small boat will allow me to afford top class equipment and maintenance. But is it safe enough?
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:28   #2
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfodk View Post
Used to own a small sailboat - and now when retirement is 10 years away (or less) I have a dream of crusing a little bit (before and after retirement )

I am in love with the "Fisher" type of boats - but want to keep it manageable not too big (under 10 meters). My dream is to cruise the mediteranean - perhaps go as far as Madeira and the Canaries, or even the Azores - but no cross atlantic "work".

The boat will only be part time liveaboard - we would probably rent a place when we arrive.... but during passages and at anchor we would ofc stay aboard.

We live in Scandinavia and would take the canals to the med - and cruise from there.

My question is - will a Fisher 30' do the job in terms of seaworthiness - or are there other similar type boats better suited for the task. My priorities are Safety first - then comfort... ideally both. We will only be 2 onboard so sailing singelhandedly must be easy. My biggest fear is to be surprised by unexpected weather and be aboard a vessel that cannot handle it.

A small boat will allow me to afford top class equipment and maintenance. But is it safe enough?
Howdy and Welcome Aboard CF!

I don't claim to be an expert on the Fisher boats, and have not owned one, but I have studied them because I like them. I am also not a Med sailor (yet), but I study it. So, take my comments below with a splash of saltwater.

First, I like pilot house boats, and have spent many hours studying them, of all brands, but especially the Nauticat and Fisher boats (there are others too, such a the Colvic Watson line and many Dutch built boats).

In my opinion, the Fisher 30 (or other Fisher boats) would be fine in the Mediterranean as far as being able to take it, and for coastal cruising too. This assumes the boat is well maintained, the captain knows to avoid very bad weather, and the captain is prudent in navigating.

So, here is why I say this:

1. There are many Fisher (and Nauticats) boats for sale, and often they wind up in the Med. Some people live aboard and cruise there for years. When I have looked over the years at Fisher boats, I saw many were in the Med. The people who were shown in the photos, seemed to be enjoying their boats. All of the reports I have read from owners spoke favorably about their boats (Fisher and Nauticat both).

2. The Fisher was one of the boats that has a good "capsize number" called STIX (Stability Index) and a good "Angle of Vanishing Stability" (AVS) number that is VERY GOOD (180 degrees, meaning upside down!), because it has so much buoyancy (enclosed space) in the Pilot House, that it helps to right the boat (or keep it from going all the way over). You can search for those numbers if you want, by looking on the British Royal Yacht Squadron website, buried in some spreadsheets related to the index numbers for many boats. Of course one does not want to find out about capsizing by doing it. But, the numbers seem to indicate that it would be better at recovery than many other boats.

What is AVS?
The limit of positive stability (LPS) or angle of vanishing stability (AVS) is the angle from the vertical at which a boat will no longer stay upright but will capsize, becoming inverted, or turtled.

Put another way, the Fisher will resist staying turtled because it has so much bouyancy in that pilot house, assuming you keep the windows and doors and hatches shut during a capsize.

Here is more about AVS if you want to go deeper:
"There is another component to the AVS number. The higher the number, the quicker, in theory, the boat will right herself if capsized. With an AVS of 120, if the boat capsizes she should right itself within two minutes. Traditionally, 120 has been taken as the lower limit for cruising boats."

Regarding STIX?
"STIX (short for ‘stability index’) defines four categories of boats. Of interest to us are the ‘A’ (for offshore) and ‘B’ (for coastal) categories. To be classified in the ‘A’ category, boats have to score 32 or higher on the STIX scale. To be classified in the ‘B’ category, the STIX score has to be 23 or higher.
Read more at http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/yacht-reviews/understand-boat-statistics-30154#2KDpBkst0rmigqUC.99"

_____________

To save you time in searching for those numbers, here is what I have in my notes:

FISHER 34 STIX 33 AVS 180

FISHER 37 STIX 43 AVS 180
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However, there is another aspect of the design to consider.

From your post, I get the impression you want to spend time in the warm/hot Mediterranean, enjoying the water.

The Fisher boats are designed for the colder "northern" waters (UK , North Sea, etc.) and consequently they don't have much in the way of a cockpit. The cockpit can be tiny. They have inside steering, and that could be hot during the summer months (e.g. Greece in summer). They are also higher freeboard, and could be more difficult to board if you want to anchor and go swimming, etc.

For those reasons, I think it would be smart to consider a boat that is optimized for casual "cockpit lounging" in the summer months, with a large cockpit for "al fresco dining" and with a swim step or lower entrance to the water. That is what I would want in the Med or Caribbean, because I would want to do frequent snorkeling or swimming or kayaking etc.
____________

I hope these comments (opinions) help.

Surely other CF Members will offer their comments based on their experience with the boats.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:38   #3
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Saw a fisher 30 just the other day. High gunwales, LARGE scuppers. It looked very seaworthy. I think it would do well, near about anywhere.
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Old 05-09-2017, 16:31   #4
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

If you can get hold of littlechay on this forum he had a small fisher in the falkland islands.

I'd be pretty happy in one most places except for the possibility of the pilothouse windows blowing out or the big companionway door. Manage these weaknesses and the biat should be fine. They also seem pretty engine reliant, as in they don't sail well to windward in a blow so make sure the mechanical systems are in good order.
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Old 05-09-2017, 22:40   #5
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Lots of Fishers in the med. It's too bad you weren't shopping a year ago - you could have had this dreamy little bit for nothing: Fisher 30 0 Motorsailer For Sale in Lefkas - £19,900

I watch the Fisher market closely. Be patient. Truly great deals come up, but only once or twice a year.

Don't look only at yachtworld. A lot of Fishers are only available through the clubs or through local listings. Retirees and people not in any particular hurry don't bother with yachtworld's terms. Just use google every now and again.

For example, a nice Fisher 31 can be found here: aanbod Fishers – FisherClub Nederland. I'm not vouching for this one - although I happen to like the 31s - just saying you have go to the market for these, as it won't necessarily come to you by way of major brokerages.
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Old 05-09-2017, 23:09   #6
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Hi, I have a 32 here in Sydney, roomy and quite seaworthy although she can be a little tender at times, they are described as motor-sailors, easily driven at moderate throttle and mine at least regularly achieves 6 knots in 12-14 knots of wind while sailing. I have had it in some quite steep seas and she always handles them with aplomb.
Should you get one they are IMHO a good all round boat.
Cheers.
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Old 05-09-2017, 23:13   #7
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Nice looking boats , especially the larger ketch rigged ones , lots of them up here around Scotland and we have some testing sea conditions .
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Old 06-09-2017, 00:37   #8
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
If you can get hold of littlechay on this forum he had a small fisher in the falkland islands. .......

Probably this one seen in Sparrow Cove in 2011. A Fisher Potter 25.

Not sure how she got to the Falklands......

I think LittleChay has left the building..........

There are 3 or 4 of the larger Fishers (46?) in Pto Montt
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:52   #9
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Thank you - you have all been very helpful. The Fisher boats up to 10m are definately on the top of the list. I did look at the Nauticat 33 - but just too much teak and "woodwork" outside that I dont care for (and prefer not to pay for as well )


One (big) question if you dont mind... Any known issues/weaknesses I should be aware of - or ask the surveyor to take an extra good look at???


Carsten


PS - the boats I am looking at are all from 70s to start 80s
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:40   #10
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
Probably this one seen in Sparrow Cove in 2011. A Fisher Potter 25.

Not sure how she got to the Falklands......

I think LittleChay has left the building..........

There are 3 or 4 of the larger Fishers (46?) in Pto Montt
Thanks for sharing that.
It is the smallest model I have seen, and it looks interesting.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:50   #11
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

You may find this link helpful / Len

https://www.facebook.com/groups/motorsailers/
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:01   #12
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

The Fisher will be better than many.
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Old 08-09-2017, 13:26   #13
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

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Originally Posted by cfodk View Post
Thank you - you have all been very helpful. The Fisher boats up to 10m are definately on the top of the list. I did look at the Nauticat 33 - but just too much teak and "woodwork" outside that I dont care for (and prefer not to pay for as well )


One (big) question if you dont mind... Any known issues/weaknesses I should be aware of - or ask the surveyor to take an extra good look at???


Carsten


PS - the boats I am looking at are all from 70s to start 80s

I'm not an expert - at all - but few things I've seen come up repeatedly are:
- waterlogged rudders
- leaky hull/cabin ports
- mold behind the vinyl lining

I also learned a few things from this:
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Old 08-09-2017, 13:33   #14
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

Along those lines....You could look at the Gulf 32 also. http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1265

"'m not an expert - at all - but few things I've seen come up repeatedly are:
- waterlogged rudders
- leaky hull/cabin ports
- mold behind the vinyl lining"


That's pretty much all boats.
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Old 08-09-2017, 14:06   #15
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Re: Fisher 30' seaworthiness

I'm sure you've seen Lackey's site about his rebuild of a sunken 30' Fisher. I'm sure he can tell you their weak points.


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