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Old 04-12-2013, 05:45   #1
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Hampton/Formosa 56

Hi!
I'm contemplating a 1998 Hampton/Formosa 56. On the face of it it has everything I dream of in my next sailboat; ketch, pilothouse, teak deck, cozy interior, spacious and salty. I'm a little concerned though about it's size and the mixed reputation some Formosa's have. But everything is a trade off so I want to investigate further.

Do any of you have experience with this particullar type of boat?

What does the name Hampton mean/imply here? Different interior and equipment but same yard?

The boat is from 1998. Does that mean it should not be burdened with the "leaky-teaky" nick name and maybe improved quality?

It has a fin keel and skeg hung rudder. Does that mean it will be a decent performer. Even ok upwind? I'm not looking for a racer obviously, but I like to sail.

I would very much appreciate some input from more seasoned sailors!
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:15   #2
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

formosa is a better marque than most snotties wil accept. it is not a production boat inany sense of word as allare different each and every one.
fin /skeg will be a bit more work than a fullkeel with enclosed space for prop. is a performance set up, yes. but can work fine in deep water on long passages with the proper autopilot.
there is nothing wrong with design of formosas. they are designed for trade wind sailing and racers do not appreciate a heavier boat. nothing sails into wind except airplanes.
i absolutely love my formosa. mine is a garden design and slower than constipated turds, but is a safe and sound well found shiplet. well constructed and fully awesome under sail in a big wind
the leaky part of teaky is fixable
when ye love a formosa there are no deal breakers,btw. it is repairable.
happy sails.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:12   #3
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jovi.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:12   #4
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jovi View Post
Hi!
I'm contemplating a 1998 Hampton/Formosa 56. On the face of it it has everything I dream of in my next sailboat; ketch, pilothouse, teak deck, cozy interior, spacious and salty. I'm a little concerned though about it's size and the mixed reputation some Formosa's have. But everything is a trade off so I want to investigate further.

Do any of you have experience with this particullar type of boat?

What does the name Hampton mean/imply here? Different interior and equipment but same yard?

The boat is from 1998. Does that mean it should not be burdened with the "leaky-teaky" nick name and maybe improved quality?

It has a fin keel and skeg hung rudder. Does that mean it will be a decent performer. Even ok upwind? I'm not looking for a racer obviously, but I like to sail.

I would very much appreciate some input from more seasoned sailors!

You need to ask some questions here, as the Formosa 56 stopped production long before the stated date. Sometimes with a major refit/rebuild, the brokers like to tack on the name of the yard or designer which did the work. I'd guess that's what you're seeing. This is probably an early eighties boat which was refit in 98. I've sailed one, almost bought one. Totally different animal from other Formosa's.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:45   #5
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Thank you all for your input!

Zeehag: I Believe you. In my view Formosa has made wonderful boats with a lot of charisma and heart. I see them the same way I look at older English sportscars which I have owned in the past. I enjoyed it very much, fun, sporty enough, value and easy to fix. They do need to be fixed though! Even so, they are not for everyone which can be good when you are looking to buy.

GordMay: Thank you! I have been lurking for a year, now time to act!

Minaret: Thank you for your input. I have been following your thread about fixing your Nauticat 52, great thread! I came very close to buy one this summer but missed it. I actually thought we had an agreement but alas, only I thought so.. Nauticat 52 is on my short list but not many for sale now unfortunately. How would you comparee them performance-wise?
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:28   #6
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jovi View Post
Thank you all for your input!

Zeehag: I Believe you. In my view Formosa has made wonderful boats with a lot of charisma and heart. I see them the same way I look at older English sportscars which I have owned in the past. I enjoyed it very much, fun, sporty enough, value and easy to fix. They do need to be fixed though! Even so, they are not for everyone which can be good when you are looking to buy.

GordMay: Thank you! I have been lurking for a year, now time to act!

Minaret: Thank you for your input. I have been following your thread about fixing your Nauticat 52, great thread! I came very close to buy one this summer but missed it. I actually thought we had an agreement but alas, only I thought so.. Nauticat 52 is on my short list but not many for sale now unfortunately. How would you comparee them performance-wise?

I enjoyed sailing the 56, much faster and more weatherly than the full keel Formosa's. That said, they are notoriously tender in the stock config. Lost Soul, probably the most notorious 56, had a large amount of ballast added to stiffen her. I believe it was 10k lbs, IIRC. Very nice boats, beautiful interiors, particularly if all the original carvings are intact. But performance is not on the order of the Nauticat. The 52 is an S&S design with full pedigree from the board of Olin Stephens himself. The 56 is a sort of bastard design of questionable progeny. Looks a lot like a stretched 51, but totally different underbody. Short rig to make up for tenderness too. I chose the Nauticat for lots of very good reasons. The pilothouse or "storm room" models of the 56 are really nice, much better than the ones without.
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Old 04-12-2013, 13:01   #7
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Minaret. I read about Lost Soul and the added keel weight but I think they first had added a new taller rig which made it very tender.

I live in Sweden so a pilothouse is something I really want, adds many months to the sailing season. It makes the shopping list rather short though. And like you I much prefer Nauticat 52 instead of the newer model 521. Saves a lot of Money too. Are you looking to sell?.. :-)

I will ask the broker about the production year, hope nothing is fischy.

Do you know what is hidden under the teak deck? Balsa?
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Old 04-12-2013, 20:25   #8
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

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Originally Posted by Jovi View Post
Minaret. I read about Lost Soul and the added keel weight but I think they first had added a new taller rig which made it very tender.

I live in Sweden so a pilothouse is something I really want, adds many months to the sailing season. It makes the shopping list rather short though. And like you I much prefer Nauticat 52 instead of the newer model 521. Saves a lot of Money too. Are you looking to sell?.. :-)

I will ask the broker about the production year, hope nothing is fischy.

Do you know what is hidden under the teak deck? Balsa?
Dunno for sure what's under the teak, but it's probably ply given that its a Formosa. Either of these models will likely require refit at vast expense in time and money, but I would stay away from refitting a Formosa unless you've got deep pockets, aren't in a hurry, and really love the design. Don't know if the one I sailed (Damascene) had a taller rig too, but it was pretty tender for a boat that size. Formosa used a lot of ply in decks and cabin houses too, it can be a nightmare. Nauticats are all solid glass, no core anywhere. A fine feature in an older boat. They are semi custom production boats too, though, and certainly aren't free of problems. No thirty year old boat will be. I've never seen a Formosa 56 built after '91, but I know some of the latest hull numbers were sold as a bare hull and finished elsewhere. The one you are looking at looks like it could be one of these. That could be a good thing.



Nauticat 52-


1981 Nauticat 52 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com



Lost Soul still on the market. Lots of price reductions-


Formosa 56



Nice 56 in Australia-



1987 Formosa 56 Pilothouse Ketch | Boats Yachts for sale
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Old 04-12-2013, 20:34   #9
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Note that the "pilothouse" on the Formosa is really just a glorified hard dodger/cockpit enclosure. The pilothouse model is exactly the same as the model without, just with the addition of the enclosure. This means the pilothouse is much higher up than the house on the Nauticat, putting the helmsman behind the sails. This is one of the Nauticats best features, it was designed ground up for the house. Everything is compromised for the best possible pilothouse configuration, including the relatively low bow. From the lower helm you can see right under the foot of the genoa. You'd have to lay on your belly on the foredeck of any other boat for the same viewpoint. If you really want a big pilothouse boat that sails well, they are the way to go. Too bad Raven recently sold!
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:00   #10
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

Nauticat 52 is a dream boat no doubt but few around these days that does not require a lot of work. I guess I just have to be patient.

Raven, was that the dark blue N52 in Seattle? Nice boat!
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Old 05-12-2013, 09:48   #11
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

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The Nauticat 52', "Fortuitous" has been on the market at least a year, I've seen the boat earlier (I just love the NC52), I think it was the cheapest on the market. Owner might be keen to sell but the boat possibly needs a lot work.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:30   #12
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Re: Hampton/Formosa 56

ErikFinn: It's a good opportunity but after transportation, VAT and needed work I feel it's better for us to get a boat that is already cruising ready.

I'm also thinking of Nauticat 43 to have while waiting for the perfect boat.. It's a little small for what we have planned but a great boat in itself.

Do any of you have experience with Cabo Rica? In particullar their pilot house models? They are so beautiful but I find the interior layout tricky, to few cabins.
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