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Old 09-10-2017, 19:49   #1
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Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

Hi All,

I've been browsing the forums for about a year now finally decided to create an account and post. I've caught the sailing bug and am in a position to pick out a first lake boat. As a kid I've sailed dinghies and have windsurfed for many years, and I'm thinking a modest sailboat could be the cottage I've never had on Lake Ontario.

The Nonsuch line of catboats have caught my eye and I'm thinking a 26' version would make a great boat for weekend trips with friends, learning to single hand and eventually cruising the east coast.

Can anyone tell me their thoughts on owning the Ultra or Classic layouts. The ultras obviously cost more and the double forward berth makes for a great one bedroom apartment style layout. The Classic quarter berths would be more useful at sea but that's a small niche perk. The classics do seem to come up for sale more often.

Anyone have a preference one way or the other and is the Ultra worth the extra bucks? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-10-2017, 21:21   #2
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

Unfortunately I don't know the layout differences between the two, but I can tell you that having a good sea berth or two is a necessity on any boat with a cabin. Particularly bunks that are at least somewhat removed from the traffic flow, plus the drafts & rain from the companionway.

Non-sailors & those new to sailing get tired on boats quite quickly, & it's the norm to have 20-40% of them to want a nap within an hour or three of leaving the dock. Even more so if they start to feel a little seasick. So having a place where they can rest without someone accidentally landing on them when the boat lurches is more than just a comfort thing.
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Old 09-10-2017, 22:37   #3
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

I haven't sailed a Nonsuch yet but when they first came out many years back I really lusted after them. They were way out of my price range though, and not really available on the west coast. I think your choice of layouts depends on how you will primarily use the boat. It sounds to me like you will be doing mostly lake and coastal cruising. Also, will you have a guest aboard often? If you are not going to have guests and you are mostly coastal/lake, especially if you are anchoring every night or every other night, and it's just you or you and a significant other, I would think the Ultra is better. For offshore, multi night cruises, especially with such a flat bottom boat, I know that I would rather sleep in a quarter berth: Classic. The Classic would also be better if it is mom, dad and child. BTW I have only seen them with wheel but I always thought they'd be more fun with a tiller. Good luck and welcome aboard here!
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Old 10-10-2017, 04:52   #4
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, GeoSails.

Quote:
... The Classic quarter berths would be more useful at sea but that's a small niche perk ...
Especially on Lk. Ontario.
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Old 10-10-2017, 08:52   #5
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

I have a Nonsuch 30 Ultra, and single-hand it.
The forward "double" berth is not very wide, and I challenge the inside person to exit past the centerline person at night for a head visit without waking them up. That berth is really a generous single berth. For a proper double berth, one must use the convertible dining table berth in the main cabin.

You may wish to join the Nonsuch owners group, INA Nonsuch Discussion Group, in Google Groups. It is a very active discussion group on many Nonsuch topics. You will also find boats and gear for sale. (Naturally)
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:07   #6
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

the non Ultra I would think

always thought the larger versions of these boats would make a handy cat schooner with passage making potential, but perhaps I digress a bit far ...
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:16   #7
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

A Nonsuch 26 Ultra is a perfect boat for cruising the Great Lakes, especially for a couple, who have occasional guests. We specifically chose this option after several years of cruising south on a Nonsuch 30. I contacted all Ultra owners on in eastern North America to find ours, an 1986, as there were none advertised nearby. We found her located on the Chesapeake, and brought her to Canada. She has certainly been worth the extra cost. The layout has a bed in the forward cabin, which used during the day for the inevitable stuff that accumulates or need to be sowed for a passge. The bed has lots of storage underneath. The main cabin is a nice sitting and entertaining area, with a settee and table on one side with the sink and gimbelled stovetop and oven on the other. The table folds down and the back cushion adds to the settee and an additional sleeping space. The icebox top can be a nav station but we do no use it as our charts are now on the phone. The lazarette has lots of storage space compared to a classic. A perfect boat to convert to electric, we got rid of the diesel engine (for sale) and all propane. We now have a double induction plate for cooking. Our battery bank will soon have an inverter for lots of power at anchor.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:44   #8
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Unfortunately I don't know the layout differences between the two, but I can tell you that having a good sea berth or two is a necessity on any boat with a cabin. Particularly bunks that are at least somewhat removed from the traffic flow, plus the drafts & rain from the companionway.

Non-sailors & those new to sailing get tired on boats quite quickly, & it's the norm to have 20-40% of them to want a nap within an hour or three of leaving the dock. Even more so if they start to feel a little seasick. So having a place where they can rest without someone accidentally landing on them when the boat lurches is more than just a comfort thing.
If they are feeling a little sea sick, send a bucket with them to the berth.
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:56   #9
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Non-sailors & those new to sailing get tired on boats quite quickly, & it's the norm to have 20-40% of them to want a nap within an hour or three of leaving the dock. Even more so if they start to feel a little seasick. So having a place where they can rest without someone accidentally landing on them when the boat lurches is more than just a comfort thing.
I have found that nothing makes people seasick more quickly than going below decks in a seaway. I think it has something to do with the contradiction in messages received by the brain. Stability as seen by the eyes is in contrast to the motion felt by the inner ear.

Keep queasy people on deck so that their eyes send the same motion messages as their inner ears, and seasickness is reduced or eliminated.

Anyway, that's my experience.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:33   #10
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

I very much agree with Yellow Ducky. In any case, the Nonsuch 26 is small and does not get "traffic below" during passages as big boats may and the midships settee is a also a good place to lie down if needed and is closer to the cockpit than the settees that are at the bow of the Classics.
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:43   #11
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

OK but only for 2+ 1 child.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:42   #12
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

The nice thing about a nonsuch is that its a much bigger boat inside, than outside...kinda like the tardis.

Also excellent sailing characteristics, especially in high winds.

High quality of build has kept them in demand, and of course they command a premium price.

My preference is the classic. I find quarter berths to be extremely functional, both for sleeping and for storage.
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Old 10-10-2017, 14:01   #13
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

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My preference is the classic. I find quarter berths to be extremely functional, both for sleeping and for storage.
And for the PRICE?
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Old 10-10-2017, 18:21   #14
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

I have had my 26 classic for 5 years and enjoy cruising solo or with another person. They are easy and comfortable to sail solo. I can raise, lower and reef the sail from the cockpit.

The forward port berth expands in width both ways. Doing so means leaving the wing down on the table. I had a foam cut to fit the full size and leave it set up. It's still cozy for two but very comfortable for one. The port quarter berth is narrower than the starboard berth so I use it for storage. It will hold my double inflatable kayak, two folding bikes (all in bags) and bags for clothes. There is lots of storage accessible from the cockpit but large items (bikes) will not fit through the hatches.

My first mate, who sometimes gets sea sick, frequently sleeps in the bow in a variety of conditions.

There are u-tube videos about a live aboard on a 26 classic. The website, previously mentioned, is also very informative.
They are unique sailboats. Last weekend another boater laughingly referred to owners as a cult.
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Old 10-10-2017, 18:33   #15
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Re: Nonsuch Ultra vs Classic

I owned a Nonsuch30 ultra years ago. I think the ultra configuration is worth the extra money, and you'll recoup some of it when you sell it anyway. They are great boats. You'd be hard pressed to find more interior volume and head room in any other like-sized monohull. The wishbone rig is simplicity itself, with a sheet and a "choker." They won't point great, but adequately for cruising; they shine with the wind aft or abeam, and I used to routinely beat out like-sized sloops in informal races. They take rough seas pretty well too, the cat rig having been proven as a short-handed working boat in places like Buzzards Bay. IMHO, for a coastal cruiser, it's an outstanding choice, and its unorthodox appearance always draws attention. Fair winds.
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