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Old 21-01-2007, 18:55   #1
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Formosa vs. CT vs. Mariner

Just curious on the relative merits of these three designs, which appear - at least on the surface - to be very similar.

Any thoughts?
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Old 22-01-2007, 04:07   #2
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I own a mariner 40, I love the design, very traditional full keeled, heavy, clippered bow ketch. Not overly fast, but rides the seas well. Im not sure about the CT, but I believe the Mariner 40 and the Formosa may have been designed by the same person. But I am not totally sure about that. I have never been aboard a Formosa or CT, but like the looks of both. I have never heard anything really negative about any of the them other than their reluctance to sail to weather well.
Also they do have a propensity to have deck rot, if you can get one without that issue, you can get a very seaworthworthy and beautiful boat.
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Old 22-01-2007, 07:36   #3
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I too own a Mariner 40. See

Beautiful Turn Key Cruiser/ Live-aboard

Any of the vessel you post are notorious for problems if they are not properly maintained over the years. But that can be said about many boats. If the previous owners did a good job of keeping up on them, any one can be a great liveaboard and cruising boat. Indeed there are many of these out sailing around the watery part of the planet. A very thorough survey by a knowledgeable, eexperienced surveyor is a must. We have cruised and lived aboard for 15 years on this one.
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Old 22-01-2007, 11:44   #4
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Aloha Sneuman,
I just wrote a long message about the Mariner, CT and Formosa but forgot to hit the post button and it was lost. Sorry
I had a Mariner 35, and spent some time aboard a CT and a Formosa that friends had. They all perform the same. Very shippy, lots of wood interior and good sea boats. Piratey. I really loved the look of them.
Problem areas were wherever there was glass over ply. Check for rot everywhere including the transom. If well cared for there will be none.
Bill Garden was the designer of the Mariner and I think he did the other two as well but I could be wrong.
If you talk with Pacific Voyager on this forum about their Fuji 45 you can get more ideas about performance and maintenance. It is nearly the same as the boats you are speaking of only has a center cockpit. Do a search for Pacific Voyager.
I'll try to hit the right button this time.
Good luck in your search.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 22-01-2007, 12:37   #5
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John, The belief that Garden designed the Mariner is a common misconception. Clair Oberly was actually the builder and designer.
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Old 22-01-2007, 14:00   #6
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Well!!
A dispute. I'll concede but isn't it so odd that the drawings from both designers are nearly precisely the same?
I always told folks mine was designed by Garden but yours might be designed by Oberly. LOL
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Old 22-01-2007, 14:30   #7
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Bill Kranidis is probably one of the best experts alive on Far East Mariner Yatchts information. This is a quote taken from his Far East Mariner Website, "We can thank Bill Hardin for the infusion of Garden designs in the Far East Boatbuilding (look at Yankee clippers, Formosas, CT41s etc. etc.)" "Do they resemble Garden designs? Absolutley. Did Garden have anything to do with them? Nope." Based on what I have read about Mariners and as Chuck has already mentioned, Clair Oberly was the man.
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Old 22-01-2007, 16:06   #8
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Thanks Mike, was just going to suggest the Mariner web site at

Mariner Yachts - Home of the Mariner Owners Association
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Old 01-02-2007, 17:14   #9
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Jeff_H has said the Formosa yard had a poor reputation even in Taiwan. He favours the US Mariners - his mother having been involved. I understand that with all the wood and iron or iron and cement ballast they have a high centre of gravity and hence roll more.
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Old 01-02-2007, 17:37   #10
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The sales brochures on the above-listed Mariner website clearly state that the Mariner 35 and the Tayana M36 were designed by William Garden. Brochures for other models suggest that Clair Oberly was the designer/builder.

This was the era in which fiberglass boats were just making their appearance on the market, and those built in the Far East were also making their debut. Given the tremendous savings to be had by building in the Far East, there was a rush to produce beautiful boats for the U.S. and European markets.

I had a long love affair with the Cheoy Lee Rhodes Reliant 41 design, and visited the Cheoy Lee yard in Hong Kong several times over a number of years.

Unfortunately, it was also the era when some folks played fast and furious with designs and royalties. Cheoy Lee, after building a number of beautiful RR 41's, came out with their own "Offshore 40" design, selling at 2/3 of the price of a RR41. It was the identical boat, with a mirror-image tri-cabin design, iron rather than lead ballast, and minor other changes. They neglected to pay Phil Rhodes for ripping off his design (I visited with him in New York shortly before his death....he was furious about this).

By the way, the lovely RR41 then sold for $29,000 new and the O/S40 was $20,000 new.

I have no personal knowledge of what Clair Oberly may or may not have done vis-a-vis the Garden Mariner designs, but as has been noted the "Oberly Mariners" look a heck of a lot like the Garden-designed ones :-)

Bill
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Old 01-02-2007, 18:47   #11
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Aloha Bill,
Thank you Bill. My Mariner 35 was a Bill Garden design. The Mariner 31 that I visited looked exactly the same. It was constructed exactly the same except it had a glass hull. It had a mirror image cabin. Therefore, I always think of Mariners as Bill Garden boats no matter who tries to put their name on them.
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:40   #12
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”Splashing”
The Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, Title 17, Chapter 13 off the United States Code, was signed into law on October 28, 1998, providing for protection for original designs of vessel hulls.
U.S. Copyright Office - Registration of Vessel Hull Designs
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:18   #13
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Thanks Gord. That probably would not have applied to our 60s and 70s boats but I hope it helps with any new designers out there. The Mariners and Fujis, the RRs and Offshores are just a couple of examples of designs being changed just a little bit and then someone claiming the design as their own.
I wonder how close you can get without enfringing?
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:50   #14
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Chuck,

I noticed your question to Bill on the website, his reply is interesting and basically right on to what we have already stated.
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:53   #15
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The “law” may not have applied; but the principle has always held true. Theft is theft, and "splashing" is theft.
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