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Old 05-06-2008, 19:13   #1
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Formosa 51

Hello,
I am new to this forum, but seems there's been a lot of great discussions, so I thought I'd jump right in with a post.

My husband and I are looking for 'the perfect boat'. We want something that will handle blue water and be comfortable. We are currently looking at a 1974 Formosa 51, and would like to hear some feedback from folks who have owned and or sailed on these boats. We are particularly interested in known maintenance issues, easy of crewing with only 2, insurability, etc.

The prices online seem to be all over the map...everything from $115,000 to over $400,000. Is it possible that a refit (or lack of) could justify a $300,00 price variance?

Thanks in advance for any/all advice and opinions.

almost_there
s/v TBD
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Old 05-06-2008, 21:30   #2
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That is typical of some boats - including Formosas. Condition is everything with these boats. Just like a lot of things in life, there are some things that when given to you, aren't worth it...
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Old 06-06-2008, 00:22   #3
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If you are new to boating...Perhaps try a smaller Captain/charter boat first and see how small you can live with. Chances are a Captain Ron boat is high maintenance, horindous re-fit cost and a bear to tack.
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:52   #4
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There are a couple of carribean charter guys who operate formosas. I love them. They are beautiful but big boats. They're not fast, but are supposed to be easy to sail.

Like mentioned above though they varied in quality from boat to boat coming from the yards in Taiwan. Some were perfect and still are, some were terrible to begin with.

They do have a lot of wood, and particularly their decks and masts are prone to termites. So, find out if the boat has ever been stationed on the Gulf Coast because if it has there is probably at least some Formosan Termite damage.

The prices for these really are all over the place. From what I've seen, shoot for the lower mid-range on the prices. Find one with the pilothouse ketch setup, and get a VERY thorough survey done.

Then once you do find your dreamboat we can all drool over it in port
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:47   #5
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Quote:
The prices online seem to be all over the map...everything from $115,000 to over $400,000. Is it possible that a refit (or lack of) could justify a $300,00 price variance?
You'll find that it is true with all boats to some extent but the older and bigger they get the wider the gap is. A beat up old 51 Formosa could cost $300,000 to refit and take years to do it. One already done will cost more because it's already done yet still has maintenance and other issues too. Anything older than 20 year without any refitting is probably a project to some extent if you intend to then sail it hard and long.

Some primary considerations:

1. Never arrive any place in the ugliest boat. Second ugly is perfectly fine.

2. Never sail a boat you don't like. They don't get better even if you get used to them.

3. Don't fall in love until after the purchase survey results are in. Broken hearts and a broken bank accounts make for a very poor time of it. Most people know the right boat as soon as they see it but only after they go through the process does it last.

4. Try to find the smallest boat that works for you. As they get bigger they need more care and attention. An extra 3 feet is a lot more than it seems. Trying some out is a good way to find out what works and is something you like.
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Old 06-06-2008, 23:14   #6
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Here's the link to the Formosa owners web site.

http://www.force50.org/forum/index.php

Maybe it willl help.
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Old 06-06-2008, 23:53   #7
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I would add one more to Pblais's very good list

5. There is no " The Perfect Boat"
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Old 09-06-2008, 20:08   #8
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Thanks everyone for the quick and helpful feedback. We are going for sea trials next week...kinda like a second date. If that goes well, I guess we'll introduce her to our surveyor. I will keep you all posted....
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Old 12-08-2009, 05:31   #9
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Changing from the ol Ford Leighman engine to a 135hp turbocharhed John Deere with custom exaut system.
$30,000 ? New aluminum masts with new solid boom kicker a rigging $18,000. New Deck and coach roof with new ports $15,000. New fuel and water tanks along with all new pllumbing and manifolds $8,000. And so on. It adds up. Thatswhy a partial refit averages $80,000.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:43   #10
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Originally Posted by Jack Tar View Post
Changing from the ol Ford Leighman engine to a 135hp turbocharhed John Deere with custom exaut system.
$30,000 ? New aluminum masts with new solid boom kicker a rigging $18,000. New Deck and coach roof with new ports $15,000. New fuel and water tanks along with all new pllumbing and manifolds $8,000. And so on. It adds up. Thatswhy a partial refit averages $80,000.
Jack Tar should know, he's done it all to Angelique, and it is one of the finest Formosa 51's I have ever seen. I've been on it and am very discerening myself. If you can't do mechanical, electrical and woodwork yourself you should either buy one already done, like Angelique, or expect to pay heavily for tradesmen where ever you go - or leave these type of boats alone completely.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:17   #11
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Thank you for those kind words Roger. I will be sending you some pictures shortly. At the Lats & Atts party I saw a boat in a nearby marina. It was rigged like the design you hope to do some day. Looked very salty.
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Old 18-10-2009, 02:52   #12
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Wow, this is so great. I've owned my 51' Formosa, which I love, for 9 yrs and am about to set out from LA and see the world. I'm just learning here that there's actually a Formosa site. Going there now. But I have to know, where is Jack Tar and the beautiful Angelique?
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Old 18-10-2009, 03:09   #13
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All I know about angelique is that she just changed hands this fall
I believe. She was on the market in seattle and she's no longer there. There's a youtube video about her that's absolutely beautiful.
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Old 18-10-2009, 03:21   #14
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Thanks C-Kow. I sent a private msg to "Jack Tar." Perhaps he'll contact me. In the meantime I'm going on youtube and look for that video. It's just rare to hear anyone praise a 51' Formosa. I constantly hear that I have one of the nicest, so I'd love to see another that someone has taken care of.
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Old 21-10-2009, 08:03   #15
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Hey Im here. Need any info on Angelique just ask. Im just re learning this site. Angelique hauls for survey on Monday. Marine View West at Shilshole marina 9AM. Ill be in Tacoma on Friday hauling a Hudson Force 50 Venice for my purchase survey. Another project boat. Moon Flight.
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