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Old 04-01-2016, 16:58   #16
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

In days gone by, a motor sailor was a boat that motored and used the sails to steady the vessel as well as give a boost to performance. But, the primary means of propulsion was the motor. Nothing to do with having or not having a pilothouse. You have a pilothouse sailor. You can still see a lot of the older fishing boats with full rigged ketch sails but have squared off sterns and lines of a motor boat(fat, wide, high)
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Old 04-01-2016, 17:38   #17
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

Boxer,
It's a beautiful boat and appears well-appointed. The pilothouse adds considerable windage and the cutter rig is an indication of a heavier displacement boat although not absolutely. It would be a good consideration for sailors looking for overall comfort rather than sailing ability. I don't believe a sailor that is looking for a quick, nimble boat would choose this design but to those looking for a little of both worlds(sailing/motoring), it would have the greatest appeal. I would call it a pilothouse. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 04-01-2016, 18:51   #18
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

Near as I can see from the pics, this is a Roberts Offshore 38 "A", meaning no aft cabin, which was the distinguishing feature of the "B".

Design Displacement was 15,500 lbs and sail area was 650 SqFt (close enuff). SA/D is therefore somewhat over 16 which should make her a decent sailer unless someone has "improved" her along the way in some dysfunctional manner. That she should sail well was clearly Roberts' intent since he specified an auxiliary of only 20 - 30 HP, i.e. adequate really only for maneuvering in harbour.

The dreaded denizens of the marketing profession are apt to misapply terminology given the slightest opportunity if they think the prospect of a sale will be enhanced thereby. Thus your garden variety cutter with a retrofitted "solid dodger" gets transmogrified into a "Pilot House Cutter". Doesn't alter the fundamental fact that she is a sailboat with an auxiliary engine.

The original Offshore 38 was fitted with wheel steering, so to add an inside steering station is no trick at all.

Roberts flourished when yacht construction was in flux, and there was a great rush of lubbers wanting to be sailors. Something of a pied piper he was (which is NOT to detract from his designs), and he did his work so the same design could be constructed either in steel, ally, ferro or frozen snot and he had a soft spot for, or saw a market for "study plans" among, "home builders" .

I think there was a steel Offshore for sale in Oz fairly recently.

Anyway, bei mir, she's a sailboat. On the other hand, TrentePieds with a SA/D of only just over 12 is a motorsailer even tho' she doesn't have an inside steering position in her "pilot house". Just as well. Why mess up a pleasant space with more clobber than can be reasonably and conveniently fitted?

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Old 04-01-2016, 19:01   #19
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

FWIW, Aussie friends circumnavigated in a steel roberts 38, sans deckhouse. Her engine was more like 35 HP, and I know they would have been quite offended if you had called their vessel a motorsailor. It's a meaningless name, anyway, IMO.

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Old 04-01-2016, 19:11   #20
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

I think that if it has a SA/D of much less than 16, I would consider it a motorsailor.


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Old 04-01-2016, 19:12   #21
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW, Aussie friends circumnavigated in a steel roberts 38, sans deckhouse. Her engine was more like 35 HP, and I know they would have been quite offended if you had called their vessel a motorsailor. It's a meaningless name, anyway, IMO.

Jim
Yep I agree! If owner,or,more importantly,the admiral is happy....

These motorsailer semantics are no different than "cruiser/racer","bluewater/coastal" & on & on.

Sail what ya got-the boat will stand more than the crew!

Cheers/ Len
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Old 04-01-2016, 19:34   #22
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

The primary advantage of a true motor sailor is that you are more likely to get a good continious duty transmission. Sailboats have sailing auxillaries which are designed to get you in and out of the marina, not to motor hundreds of miles. My observation has been that few sailing auxillary transmissions hold up to a cruising life style.
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Old 04-01-2016, 20:39   #23
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

Beautiful boat, if what looks like a staysail or two, I would call it a clipper. What are the punji sticks doing on the stern?
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:47   #24
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

As an owner of a pilothouse sailboat (which many try to call a motorsailor) I would disagree (respectfully, of course )... our Gulf 32 has a pathetic sounding SA/D of 11.5 which if we were to believe the numbers alone would mean she never sails... in fact she sails quite well and we're very pleased with her performance, as we deliberately bought a sailboat

Does she go dead upwind in 5 knots of breeze like a racer? Heck no, but few full keel cruising boats do. And acceleration is not, shall we say, neck snapping. But get her pointed in the right direction and trimmed right and she purrs right along... based on what I find quickly searching "Roberts 38" (not in SailboatData.com for some reason) I would expect this to perform similarly.

For us, when we were looking at "pilothouse" (which is what I consider this, as others have already said) or raised salon or deck salon etc etc sailboats we were looking mostly at the hull shape to determine what the designer was thinking... many true motor sailors will look similar to a sailboat above the water line, but the engine is much larger, tankage is higher, and the clincher for us was you'd see a hull shape that was much more "motorboat" like... true motorsailors (again, IMO) tend to be flatter bottom boats with less ballast and shoal keels (if true keel at all) much more designed to be a motorboat that occasionally sails off the wind... a pilothouse sailboat (can) just mean you have an indoor and outdoor steering station on a regular sailboat. Gulf 29's and 27's were just Newport hulls with a pilothouse, can't call that a motorsailor, it's just a pilothouse.

Maybe I'll try a proof of concept one off design, the pilothouse J24...

-- Bass

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I think that if it has a SA/D of much less than 16, I would consider it a motorsailor.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:49   #25
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

While the Gulf 32 may be a pathetic boat, it is a sailboat first, and a very sturdy one. Unfortunately it looks like a giant frog rather than what it is. Its one of those remarkably well designed interiors and all around constructed sailboats that looks like a boat that can not make up its mind between being a sailboat or a motor boat.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:51   #26
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

Ouch... "pathetic" and "giant frog" all in one post... to each their own I guess.

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While the Gulf 32 may be a pathetic boat, it is a sailboat first, and a very sturdy one. Unfortunately it looks like a giant frog rather than what it is. Its one of those remarkably well designed interiors and all around constructed sailboats that looks like a boat that can not make up its mind between being a sailboat or a motor boat.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:00   #27
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

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Originally Posted by Boxertwinjeff View Post
There is another Steering wheel, controls,compass etc in the wheelhouse
as well as the Steering wheel in the cockpit.
I like the layout below! My brother built a steel Bruce Roberts 53'. Sailed around the World, great boats, very seaworthy.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:11   #28
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

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. . .
For us, when we were looking at "pilothouse" (which is what I consider this, as others have already said) or raised salon or deck salon etc etc sailboats we were looking mostly at the hull shape to determine what the designer was thinking... many true motor sailors will look similar to a sailboat above the water line, but the engine is much larger, tankage is higher, and the clincher for us was you'd see a hull shape that was much more "motorboat" like... true motorsailors (again, IMO) tend to be flatter bottom boats with less ballast and shoal keels (if true keel at all) much more designed to be a motorboat that occasionally sails off the wind... a pilothouse sailboat (can) just mean you have an indoor and outdoor steering station on a regular sailboat. Gulf 29's and 27's were just Newport hulls with a pilothouse, can't call that a motorsailor, it's just a pilothouse. . . .

For whatever it's worth, that's also how I look at it. And it really is THIS quality, more than anything else, which will determine whether the boat acts like a sailboat or not.

In my opinion, a large engine and (to a point) modest SA/D do not necessarily make a motor-sailer, in the sense I use the term. SA/D of 12 or 13, combined with a decent hull shape, can sail excellently in appropriate conditions (winds over 15 knots). You lose the light wind ability (not necessarily UPwind ability!) and compensate with a larger motor, but you get much better ability in stronger conditions in return, which in my view is not a bad deal. That's something which makes a great deal of sense for higher latitudes. In fact, that's pretty much how I plan to spec my own boat (if I ever have the money to commission a completely custom boat) -- SA/D of about 15, large plant (about 7 horsepower per loaded metric ton displacement), Hundested prop, but lightweight machinery (turbo intercooled Yanmar 6, probably), and a good sailing hull with deep bulb keel and spade rudder.


People seem to be defensive about the term "motor sailer" -- I don't know why. All of our boats (other than the Pardeys' as probably the unique exception) are "motor sailers" in the sense that they are made to motor not just into and out of harbors; the motor is not just auxiliary but alternative main propulsion, and the great majority of sailors make at least 40% or 50% of their miles under power. So what? But what it means is that cruising sailboats should be designed to be good motor boats as well as good sailboats.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:56   #29
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
While the Gulf 32 may be a pathetic boat, it is a sailboat first, and a very sturdy one. Unfortunately it looks like a giant frog rather than what it is. Its one of those remarkably well designed interiors and all around constructed sailboats that looks like a boat that can not make up its mind between being a sailboat or a motor boat.

This is certainly a mean-spirited statement("pathetic boat") concerning another CF members boat. What's the point? I notice Reed does not even mention if he owns a boat and if so, what he sails. . . undoubtedly a Morris or a Hinckley.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:59   #30
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Re: Motor Sailor or Sailboat?

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This is certainly a mean-spirited statement("pathetic boat") concerning another CF members boat. What's the point? I notice Reed does not even mention if he owns a boat and if so, what he sails. . . undoubtedly a Morris or a Hinckley.
The poster said his boat was pathetic, no me. Just agreeing with him. And it does look like a frog. In any event, the Gulf 32 and its smaller version is a remarkable boat. One of the best layouts ever, even better than the Pacific Seacrafts. But come on, no one but a frog will ever fall in love with its lines.

So what, its a tough, rugged little ship that is so well designed, almost anyone can sail her plus its one comfy ride. A fisherman friend had one that he sailed single handed each year up the Maine coast and over to Greenland just to get out on the water.

Kind of like that song "Get An Ugly Woman to Marry You." Its basic, like a frying pan, and ultimately will serve you well. Plus will be the envy of all the frogs around you.
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