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Old 22-10-2007, 10:37   #1
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Opinions Welcome!

First day here and so glad to find you all. As I mentioned in my intro post, we will be looking at a lot of boats Fri-Tues in Florida. We don't know about some of these and your opinions will be so welcome!

We plan to sail often with friends until retirement in 6 years, then head for wherever we want to go. (We will sail out of the Savannah, GA area (expensive docking!) or back to Panama City) I want to make sure that these can be handled easily by 1 if necessary!

Our Preferred List
38' Samba (can't find much info on this one)
39' C&C Landfall
40' Valiant
41' Cheoy Lee
41' Tartan ketch
41' Tartan cc
42' Tartan Cutter (is he crazy?)


Please don't be afraid to post, I plan to be on this forum for a long time to come!

Thanks,
Janny
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Old 22-10-2007, 10:53   #2
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I like Cheoy Lee; the rudder / keel design on the Valiant I'm not impressed with. Groundings happen a lot, and I have no idea how people with rudders dangling off like that can not soil their pants when they smack into something.

That's a good price range though; we picked up our 1975 Hans Christian for $59K. The previous owner(s) matter as much as the builder when you're talking about boats that old.
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Old 22-10-2007, 13:57   #3
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Aloha Janny,
I always post that 32-36 is the ideal size, fiberglass, aft cockpit, cutter rig, diesel engine are my preferences. I don't see any of them in your listing so will express that I like Tartans. I've heard that Samba is a good boat but that's just a rumor. I've sailed on Cheoy Lees and like Rebel said, if the previous owners have replaced a lot of the old cheaply made things with good quality hardware they are usually great boats too.
If it is just you and BF I certainly wouldn't be looking at anything larger than 36. Just me though.
JohnL
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Old 22-10-2007, 14:29   #4
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I have zero experience with any of the boats on your list. However, if you are sailing out of Savannah or even Panama City, you want to sail the Bahamas - some of the most spectacular cruising waters in the world. I would not recommend a 6' draft (Cheoy Lee) for those waters. Also, the '78 Valiant 40 is from a model run notorious for blisters:

Sailor's Sourcebook; Cruising World Boat Review: Valiant 40

And, I don't like center boards (Samba) on big boats - one more thing to break/maintain - often requiring a haul out.
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Old 22-10-2007, 15:09   #5
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You will, no doubt, get as many opinions as posters! Different people will like different types of boat. Me; I like deep fin keel, single masted boats fibreglass. The next guy might like long keel, 2 masted steel boats. Ain't none of us particularly right nor wrong. It is important to find a style of boat that works for you.

There is always a temptation to buy as large a boat as you can afford, but realistically, unless you are particularly wealthy, it is better to buy as small a boat as you can live on in comfort. For me, I chose 40-foot, but with hindsight, I might have been better with 38. The cost of running and maintaining a boat seems to be proportional to the length squared (i.e. a 50' boat costs 4 times as much as a 25'). Also, if there is only going to be 2 of you, handling a large boat in and out of marinas can be a real handful, especially if you are (a) not particularly experienced, and (b) don't have bow thrusters. You also don't want a boat whose sails are so big and heavy that you struggle to hoist them and handle them. Remember also, that insurance, slipping fees, berthing fees etc will probably all increase with the size of the boat. Phone a sailmaker and ask for a quote for a new mainsail for a 30' boat and for a 40' boat... you might get a surprise at the difference.

You are going to lean more from your surveyor than you are from us. Ask around, and try and get recommendations for a good/repsected surveyor (don't, as a rule, use a surveyor recommended by the seller - there may be a conflict of interest). Listen carefully to your surveyor. Make sure that, when you get serious about a particular boat, you arrange to get it hauled out of the water, so the hull can be inspected, particularly since the boats you are looking at are in the 25+ years old bracket. If the basic systems (hull, keel, deck, engine, mast & standing rigging) are in good condition, you can always fix the small things. If there is a problem with any of the major systems, you are probably looking at major expense to fix.

If you live aboard, you are going to spend a lot more time at anchor / on a buoy / in a marina berth than you are actually sailing... comfort may be a more important factor than sailing performance.

Finally, don't get too worried about finding "the perfect boat"... it doesn't exist. Even if you had a budget of 10 million bucks, it still wouldn't exist, and with a limited budget, you just have to find something that is good enough and fix what you can and learn to love what you can't. In the end, it doesn't matter whether you buy a sloop, ketch or yawl, fibreglass, steel, aluminium or ferro, deep keel or shallow, etc. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. If one was inherently better, we would all be sailing identical boats. If you want to do it, you will, and will have fun despite / because of the individual strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies of your vessel of choice. Don't worry too much.
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Old 22-10-2007, 15:51   #6
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Weyalan nailed it in a number of ways. One is the observation that you are looking at relatively old boats - condition/maintenance for the boats on your list is a more significant issue than on 5-10 year old boats, and there are many newer boats that would be suitable for what I think is your intended use. You do not indicate a desire to cross oceans or circumnavigate. You can sail the east coast or island hop the Bahamas/Eastern Caribbean all the way to So. America and never be 24 hrs. at sea. You do not need some bomb proof bluewater boat to do this.

One of the most important factors is liveaboard comfort - and you will probably find that newer shorter boats are as roomy or roomier than older longer boats. Everyone is different. But, if you don't enjoy living on the boat, no amount of beautiful islands/beaches will keep you cruising. Most of your time will NOT be spent sailing. You will either be ashore, asleep at anchor, or hanging out at anchor. There are newer capable cruisers in your price range which would probably be a better choice.
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Old 23-10-2007, 14:36   #7
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate your input. Ed really loves the older boats and all the teak and is quite handy with almost all types of repairs. We do not know much about the different centerboard configs and are looking for comfort and performance. Since he has more vacation time than me, I want him to have a boat he can single handle.

We do plan to have guests onboard in the next 6 years, so a little privacy is important I want a door and hate the V berths! We figured a 38 would be the minimum, tho I'm partial to that C&C so far. He wants good lines, class, 4-5' draft, prefers a ketch and center cockpit! At least I can recite your thoughts. I've yet to see a new one in our price range.

And so we look for the perfect boat that doesn't exist, eh? We're leaving Thursday for our boat quest, so hollar if your have other suggestions or comments.
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Old 23-10-2007, 15:20   #8
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As a general rule, unless you have a veritable truckload of cash, comfort and performance are mutually exclusive... you choose one and sacrifice the other, or you settle for just a little of each. If you do want performance, you will get significantly better performance with a keel boat than a centreboard boat and the deeper the keel the better the performance (my 25 yr old boat has a very deep keel and she goes upwind better than a lot of much newer boats). The trade of, of course, is that you can't get into shallower (i.e. more sheltered) anchorages, so, as mentioned above, you sacrifice comfort for performance. Ketch rig is not the most performance orientated rig, but it does spread your sail area (i.e splits your sail area into more smaller sails rather than fewer large sails) making sail handling and boat balancing easier, so is a pretty good choice for short handed sailing.

Good luck with your search. Enjoy the process regardless of the result!
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Old 24-10-2007, 18:36   #9
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I have sailed a 40 Valiant and it's a great boat.They have made many circumnavigations. My friend has one and he has won the Chicago Mackinaw solo race with it.

There is a reason they call the Cheoy Lees Cheoy Leaky's ~ The decks leak.
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Old 24-10-2007, 18:47   #10
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Originally Posted by easterly View Post
There is a reason they call the Cheoy Lees Cheoy Leaky's ~ The decks leak.
Please stop perpetuating that.

The CL's their looking at don't leak. They are teak on fiberglass. The older CL's from pre-1970 had teak on stringer and they leaked.

Now,
The Richards design 38 and 41 are excellent boats. These were made from 1978 to 1981 ish. I prefer the 38 over the 41 for a couple. If your getting guests I'd look at the 41. Be careful, there are 2-3 versions of the Richards design. the others were in house copies at CL. I don't think they did as well a job.
CL's all suffer for questionable Asian stainless steel as much as the next Asian boat.
I miss my 38.
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