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Old 04-08-2006, 13:38   #1
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Perhaps we Should Start a Sceptre Gang

Of thirteen people on board this site there are two actual owners of Sceptre 41's and another who has one in contract (that's me) All are planning extensive voyages in the the next few years. What does that say for the boat? Pretty tough to match. Not starting a fight just don't want to go back to work on Quickbooks.

What do you like best about your Sceptre?

I really like the well thought out design. The boat sails well. Is stoutly built. And having done a couple of Baja Bashes I love the pilothouse that doesn't look like a pilothouse.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 04-08-2006, 16:48   #2
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Would be nice if there was a owners group somewhere. There might be but I don't know of it although there is a rendezvous every year in the PNW.

John
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Old 04-08-2006, 19:54   #3
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There's an owners group sponsored by the builder, but there is not much activity except a rendevous every year in Puget Sound. Google "Sceptre 41" to find the builder's site.

We've had ours for 2.5 years now and have been living aboard most of that time. We've been upgrading all the gear, so we haven't been sailing her much. But, before we moved aboard, we sailed in Southern California to the islands a bit and loved it. Equally, the delivery north was terrific. The boat is amazingly quick under power.
This is our 8th boat now and probably the heaviest we've ever had...at 23,000 lbs. I'm still waiting to see how that works out fron a comfort standpoint in big seas. We're leaving for Mexico at the end of the month, so we will have a better evaluation soon.
I sold a boat of my own design to get this one just because I wanted to get in out of the cold and wet. The only pilothouse I designed was 54 feet and well out of my price range. I went to all the "deck salon" models at the boat show and the Sceptre definitely has the best sight lines forward.
The only negative that I have is that the boat is poorly arranged for entertaining (the balance being that it's great for a couple to work in). We are musicians and are accustomed to having big musical parties with at least two guitars going. This boat makes that a bit of a challenge. Two opposing settees allows you to pile in lots of people. A small dinette does not. But mostly, we live here and it works fine for that. I guess when we are out cruising, our musical friends will be elsewhere, so what difference?

regards,
Richard Black
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:52   #4
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The first Sceptre that we looked at had a raised salon but the one we are buying has the oppoasing settes. Because of the age of the engine we have decided to change it out. We will be putting in a Yanmar 55hp 4JH4E to replace the 44hp 4JHE that is original equipment. There goes my budget for other toys. I sent an email to the group that is organizing the Rendevous to see if I could find out who has windvanes and how they feel about them, how they work. Have not had a response back yet. Jeff at Sceptre said that the Cape Horn worked well. Jemsea has one but hasn't used it except as a handhold on the swim platform.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 11-08-2006, 17:08   #5
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I had a friend who owned one and tried to live aboard in BC in the winter.It had absolutely no insulation and was soaking wet inside all winter long. It rained harder inside than outside.He asked the builder where he could get replacements for his cockpit hinges and the builder refused to tell him. He had nothing good to say about his Scepter 41 or it's builder.
He was an ex boat broker.
Brent
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Old 11-08-2006, 20:30   #6
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It sounds like your "friend" has little experience in living aboard. Most fiberglass sailboats are not insulated. People who live in wet climates quickly learn to use dehumidifiers as a standard practice. Since your friend didn't, he had a predictable experience. He would have had the same experience in 99% of the other solid fiberglass (not cored) sailboats. If you are going to badmouth a boat, do it about the deficiencies of the boat, not its owner.
Jeff and Heather at Sceptre have bent over backwards to help us whenever we had a problem during our recent refit. Perhaps your friend was dealing with the previous owner (who was also the designer). Or perhaps your friend had a manner that made folks not want to help him.
None of what you have said aligns with my experience with Sceptre or the boat.
Perhaps it would have been better to have heard directly from the "friend" since first-hand accounts offer at least the chance for a dialogue.

Richard Black
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Old 11-08-2006, 21:33   #7
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Brent, I am a little taken aback by your post. While your exstensive experience with steel boats is an established fact, and one that is respected on this forum, I am surprised you would post such negative second hand comments in a thread aimed at Sceptre owners. I have to agree with Quijote's response here, there are certain characteristics that are common to virtually all fiberglass boats. It is the trade off you make for the boat you want. I am not personally familiar with the sailing or construction characteristics of the Sceptres, but I am familiar with Charlie's particular taste in boats, and his extensive research into buying this boat. My guess is, the boat will live up to his expectations.
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Old 12-08-2006, 21:34   #8
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Second hand dirty laundry stinks.

Jeff and Heather have bent over backwards to help me in the purchase of a used Sceptre 41. They have taken money from their own pocket to make the deal work. They have answered every question and given me an enormous amount of insite into the boats. To my mind they seem to treat the boats that they built more like grandchildren than boats. They want to see them in the hands of good owners and doing what they were designed for bluewater cruising. I can not imagine that Jeff would not let someone know where to purchase a hinge. I can not see it in his character. on the other hand I didn't hear the conversation between your friend and Sceptre so I can not say it did not happen. I can just say that I doubt it. Very Seriously.

Sceptre is a Mom and Pop outfit that produce very nice boats and work hand in hand with their buyers both on new boats and used. I think that this can be best shown by the number of people who a) have never sold their sceptre's and b) the number of Sceptre owners who take their boats back to the original builder for refits.

I started this thread b/c I was bored at work. My hasn't it got lively.
s
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 13-08-2006, 20:35   #9
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Hi folks,
We are in the boatyard today, just finishing buffing and bottom paint. For those who don't know what a Sceptre looks like, here is one that is all prettied up - except for the traditional dirty footprints on deck.

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Old 14-08-2006, 15:51   #10
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Thanks for positng that Richard. I'll post a pix of mine once I get it in my name. Some of the points that I really like about the boat are 1) It is a pilot house (even though it doesn't look like one) 2) Low aspect ratio fin keel with plenty of room to attach keel boats and 3) skeg hung rudder. For me this is the best compromise between speed and safety.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 25-08-2006, 16:25   #11
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Scepter

It was the designer they had trouble with.
dehumidifiers wouldnt do much to stop condensation unless it were as dry as the Sahara desert.
That new ceramic isulating paint developed by the space industry may be the answer for uninsulated fibreglass boats. Friends have had great success with it .
Brent
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Old 25-08-2006, 18:26   #12
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Hi again,
Not meaning to appear contentious, but we got our first dehumidifier in the 14th of our 15th year aboard. It made such a difference that my wife will not travel without it - she is going to lay it down in the bottom of her clothes locker when we leave. Now that is a pretty strong recommendation. She says that it makes a difference throughout the boat, back in the backs of lockers against the hull where any normal fiberglass boat will turn cardboard to mush in the space of a single winter. Incidentally, we live in Santa Cruz, CA where it rained pretty much continuously this year from November to May. Our dehumidifier is about the size of a rectangular carry-on suitcase (maximum size allowable) and is a pretty serious piece of equipment.
Before the dehumidifier, I used to get up every morning and chamois the condensation off the inside of the hatches before it dripped all over everything. Now, we never even think of it. Our dehumidifier lives in the head normally and we can take a shower without even steaming up the mirrors.
So I must disagree. Hopefully without being disagreeable.
Regards,
Richard
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:49   #13
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Hello again folks,
We have retired and finally cut the docklines. I'm writing to give a little more of a "road test" on the Sceptre now that we are actually going somewhere. We left Santa Cruz, CA and have been dayhopping down the Calif. coast. As many of you know, that coast has some long legs between harbors and some challenging weather. You wake up to fog and then go to 20 knots of wind in short order. We just arrived in Santa Barbara after rounding Point Conception. So we have a few hundred gnarlly miles behind us. What have we learned?

We love inside steering!!! By the end of the trip, I was hanging out down below most of the time. I've never done that in other boats. On example, between Pt Arguello and Point Conception, the wind was in the 30's with at least one gust to 40K. We were sailing with just the #1 genoa, no main. We were running dead down and doing 8-9K GPS with a surf to 11.9K. This is the heaviest boat we've even owned so didn't expect much in the surfing department. We needed to hold a course as deep as possible so that we didn't have to jibe, so I gave the autopilot some time off. It just couldn't anticipate the waves as well as I can. If we could have come up 10 degrees, the AP would have done fine. Anyway, I decided to hand steer from down below. I found that the small wheel in the salon allowed me to react and turn much quicker than the large wheel in the cockpit. Even though it took a bit more strength, I didn't have to move as much rim to get the turn I wanted. We moved the helm seat out of the way so that I could stand and steer and we had an hour of some of the most fun sailing I've ever had. The boat was a kitten to control, even in those waves and so I never considered reducing sail (well alright, I considered it, but voted it down). Everything seemed so mellow and quiet that it took a while for my wife to wake up from a nap. She sat on the settee and watched all hell breaking loose outside. When she went out on the "back porch", it was wild - the wind howling, the roar of the wake - but inside, we were chatting casually. I'll admit that I got some exercise keeping her dead down in those conditions, but as soon as we turned the corner at Conception, back to the autopilot and how about a beer? With the charts on the computer at the chart table, I got very comfortable down below. The visibility was excellent. Every little while, I went on deck to look around 360 degrees, but it was just because I think that it is a good practice. In reality, we had a fine view from below.
I kinda loved this boat before - now I'm totally smitten!!! My wife doesn't mind because she shares the sentiment. BTW, when we got to Santa Barbara and plugged in, the first thing she got out was the dehumidifier. It's running now.
Best regards,
Richard
S/V Saeta
Sceptre 41
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Old 04-09-2006, 22:04   #14
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Thanks for the update Richard:

That sounds like a very nice way to round Conception. (Do you have a heater?) Having done the Baja Bash twice I thought that the Sceptre's Pilot house would be great for the Bash didn't think of it for the downwind run. I'm glad to hear that the boat performed so well. Using a poled out #1 (is that right?)and getting 8 or 9 knots is a pretty nice speed.If you could keep that up for 24 hours you'd be able to do 190 to 200 mile days.

I'm jealous. But we have closed on our boat finally. I'm having Sceptre do some work on the boat and plan on exporting "Ohana" from Canada to the USA about September 20th then bring her back in to Canada to stay with some friends who have a dock in Sydney BC. We'll go up in October and sail her for a week or so.

Good luck with the trip please keep us informed as you work your way south.
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Fair Winds,

Charlie

Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
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Old 28-10-2006, 01:22   #15
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Quixote.
glad for your success with the dehumidifier. cardboard has no place on a boat. It will certainly clog a bilge pump when you need it most.
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