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Old 09-09-2010, 17:44   #1
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Oliver 43 Ketch - Any Thoughts ?

Hi All,

I have been looking at purchasing a cruising Yacht here in Australia and this one has caught my attention. It's an Oliver design 43ft Ketch, fibre glass over wooden frame, 3/4 keel with skeg rudder. It has lots of good features including 1200L S/S water tanks (2x600L) and 1600L S/S Fuel tanks (2x800L) and a really good pilot house + huge rear cabin. It has been used mainly for costal cruising which it what we would be doing at first but would hope to do some more adventurous stuff later on.

I am having difficulty finding any information about the designer other than finding out that it is a NZ boat, built in 79. It would appear that they mainly built motor boats and a few motor sailors. I would say this boat falls into the motor sailor category as it has a 120HP engine which the owner says will cruise at 8Knts and he says it's good under sail too. He is selling it as a "large volume ketch" One of my concerns is that it won't be much good under sail but I will need to test it for that.

Any information you may have on the builder would be of great help, also any advice on what to look out for on a 31 year old fibre glass yacht - we will be getting a survey if we decide to go ahead but how reliable are they in terms of hull condition? Can you tell much from banging on the hull and looking for blisters?

Cheers.
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Old 09-09-2010, 23:29   #2
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Know nothing about the design or builder but might be able to offer a couple of useful comments.

1. 120 HP is certainly a large engine for that boat. I have a 42' fairly heavy sailboat with a 58HP diesel which will easily do 7 kts.

2. Glass over wood frames is not that common, in fact I've never seen one. Was the boat built over the frames like wood boat construction and not inside a female mold? If the frames are structural I would check them very carefully for rot, bonding to the hull, etc.

3. Sail performance could be roughly estimated by sail area. Do you know this? If not, how tall is the mast, mizzen, size of jib, etc.?
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Old 10-09-2010, 00:21   #3
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Thanks skipmac,

I haven't had the chance to see the boat in the flesh yet as it is very far away. I have been trying to get as much info as I can from the owners but they don't seem to know great deal about the specs - will have to measure myself. I have pictures of the sails up and it has a large foresail - in fact I'd say the fore sail is larger than the main. I might try and get some mast heights at least out of them - you'd think they would know that as a matter of caution! She looks a little high on the sides but not ridiculously high. I don't know a great deal about hull designs but I will get it surveyed if I'm serious.

I was concerned about the fuel consumption of the engine but I would love the extra power when needed. It's a 6 cylinder Ford Lees and I am a Motor mechanic by trade so servicing expenses aren't going to be high. The owner doesn't know (or won't say) what the fuel consumption is. Might explain the 1600L fuel tank.

She's a good looking boat (IMO) and certainly looks spacious inside which is important as my partner and I are both Tall, and none too small!
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenity01 View Post
I have been trying to get as much info as I can from the owners but they don't seem to know great deal about the specs - will have to measure myself. I have pictures of the sails up and it has a large foresail - in fact I'd say the fore sail is larger than the main. I might try and get some mast heights at least out of them - you'd think they would know that as a matter of caution!
Was reading an old sailing mag this morning and came across a review of 4 sail/motor sailboat of 48-49'. Sail areas ran from 922-1378 sq ft. Engines from 75-120 HP. The 922 was acknowledged to be a bit small.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenity01 View Post
I was concerned about the fuel consumption of the engine but I would love the extra power when needed. It's a 6 cylinder Ford Lees and I am a Motor mechanic by trade so servicing expenses aren't going to be high. The owner doesn't know (or won't say) what the fuel consumption is. Might explain the 1600L fuel tank.
Seems like your 120 HP is a little on the large size for the boat but the extra power never hurts. If you keep the rpms down just a bit I would think you could get about 1.5 gallons/hour cruising. If you're a mechanic you probably know the Ford engines. Seem to have a good rep and if cared for could give 6,000-10,000 hours service.


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She's a good looking boat (IMO) and certainly looks spacious inside which is important as my partner and I are both Tall, and none too small!
At the end of the day if you like the looks then that's the most important opinion and it never hurts to have enough headroom.

A few things I would check closely on an older boat, especially one that I didn't know much about the builder or history.

1. As mentioned in your case the wood frames.

2. Core material in hull or deck. If either is cored and there are leaks, high moisture or delaminationthat could be an area that costs more to repair than the value of the boat. Decks commonly cored with plywood or balsa mat. Hulls could be cored with balsa mat or foam, seldom plywood. Check the decks around any fittings like the stanchions, anchor windlass, etc.

3. Hull to deck joint.

4. Bulkhead attachment to the hull and deck.

5. Rigging and chainplates. These are usually easy to repair but costly. I have quotes for new rigging for DIY install of USD$3000.00 and up. I have a cutter, ketch would be more.

6. Engine. If it needs repower this cost could be factored into the price negotiations but some engines are built into the boat and a huge pain to get out.

7. Usual structural issues, blisters, etc that you already seem to be aware of.

Good luck

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Old 10-09-2010, 09:12   #5
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Saw the photos

Looked on the internet and found photos of an Oliver 43 in Australia so am guessing this is the one. If the photos are anywhere close to scale the main mast looks pretty small. Just estimating from the picture it looks shorter than the length of the boat. If that is the case then I would not expect to win any races unless the rules allow use of that 120 HP diesel.
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Old 10-09-2010, 18:25   #6
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Yeah, that would be it, I haven't seen any others on the net. Winning races is obviously not what we intend but she would have to sail pretty well as we can't afford to motor around with that engine too much. I have a friend that is going to look at her next weekend while she's on the hard. I will ask him to measure a few things and try to work out what the sail area is like. Any tips would be greatly appriciated.

As for the "wood Frames" - going back on past emails I think they were refering to the bulkheads rather thatn a frame which would tend to make more sense.
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Old 11-09-2010, 22:26   #7
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Well my boat has a single mast and a moderate size sail plan and the mast is just over 50' from the water. If the owner doesn't have specs for the total sail area you could get a rough guess from the mast height which he almost certainly would know.

Since this is a ketch you could get the same total sail area from a shorter main mast but if it is much shorter than 45' I would think the boat would not carry enough sail to do much, especially in light air.

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Old 12-09-2010, 01:32   #8
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That boat is obviously a motorsailer, which is a compromise between a sailboat and motorboat. The motor is to supplement the sails, particularly in light-wind and windward passages. If you expect to move predominately under sail only, this boat isn't the one for you. Actually, motorsailers can be seen as ideal long-range cruisers, but not if you just want to sail.
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Old 29-09-2010, 21:39   #9
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Hey Serenity I sent you a personal message regarding this topic, just in case you didn't notice it sitting in your inbox.
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Old 16-11-2011, 19:19   #10
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Re: Oliver 43 Ketch - Any Thoughts ?

I see this is an old post, but I think this is likely my old boat Eleanor. Would love to find out where she is these days.
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Old 17-11-2011, 02:04   #11
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Re: Oliver 43 Ketch - Any Thoughts ?

Thats the one, Elanor. We were looking at her seriously but decided she was more of a "motor sailor" then we wanted. She was located in Townsville QLD. Not sure if she was sold in the end. I just had a quick look through my emails but couldn't find the ones about her - sorry.

We ended up buying a John Pugh Windsong 38ft sloop which we are currently sailing around kangaroo Island in SA. Anyway, have a poke around on the net, you may find her.
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