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Old 07-12-2011, 16:27   #16
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

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Oh? Do tell...?!
Ah...Big steel boat, first trip out, didn't turn out so good. Well I wasn't there and didn't actually witness anything untoward. I only heard about it on the internet so....

Oh wait, maybe I saw it on a film so perhaps I am getting Hollywood mixed up with the internet. Still I remember some dive outfit suggesting they found the same boat so maybe some truth in the story after all.

Sorry I can't be more positive about an unsinkable boat, I must stop taking those cynical pills .
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Old 07-12-2011, 16:37   #17
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

Unsinkable is a word often missused with respect to multyhulls and mullty/monohull debate is a world of pain.

Better No hull bad any hull good.
don't now enough about etap to help
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Old 07-12-2011, 16:44   #18
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

Some people just can't understand how simple it is for a boat to be unsinkable. If, when completely flooded, it displaces an amount of water which weighs more than the boat weighs - it can't sink. Simple physics.

ETAP have done this basically by adding a lot of foam to the hull thickness. It does cost some interior space - it has to. But it IS possible for it to be made unsinkable.

(Even easier if you don't have several tonnes of lead to compensate for.)

Cue the usual "Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable" comments.....
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Old 07-12-2011, 20:43   #19
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

Thank you so much, Alain and Pete for your great feedback.

Alain, in your opinion do you think the lifting keel could be handled by a woman (ie: me)? My upper body strength is pretty good. My concern with using an electric winch would be if the power was down. I'd like to have a manual back up.

Pete, yah I heard about trials like that. I need to investigate what kind of distances can be sailed when she is filled with water, before it can be bailed.

Thanks heaps!
S
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Old 07-12-2011, 21:13   #20
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

The standard of unsinkability which Etap adheres to is that you must be able to sail the boat when the hull is full of water. Practical Boat Owner participated in one such test a few years ago. They were surprised at how well the boat managed in such a condition. I'm sure a copy of that article is available on the Etap website.

As to unsinkability, I think Cruising Cat hit the nail on the head: It's simple physics, and short of fire or complete demolition by a very large ship it's completely practical. There are a lot of armchair experts who dismiss any and all ideas energetically whilst being too lazy to actually press a couple of keys on the computer and read up on what they're talking about. Talking authoritatively in complete ignorance is endemic in the yachting fraternity. They tell whoppers which would put a fisherman to shame.

I visited the Etap stand at the Southampton Boat Show a few years back, and their boats are nicely put together. They've won a number of Boat of the Year awards (for whatever that's worth). The foam used to make them unsinkable isn't noticeable inside the boat, other than having a little less storage space. And the benefits of having an 'insulated' hull are a positive.
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Old 07-12-2011, 21:21   #21
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

Hi Serena:

I chartered an Etap 32 with my family in Florida and thought the boats sailed well and had a comfortable cockpit but the foam on the inside took up quite a bit of the interior. As long as you are reasonably athletic I think that you could easily handle a boat larger then a 22'. I don't hink it would be very comfortable for cruising.
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Old 07-12-2011, 23:52   #22
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

Thanx limejuicer, 44'cruisingcat, Wot, muskoka and Charlie for your wonderful & informative feedback

I just went to the ETAP site & the opening line on it is "how to survive 2012" LOL Doh me! I had to laugh tho.

Truth be told, I prefer an ETAP in case I get injured & have to sail it with one arm tied behind my back. See, I'm half-blind so I can't always see everything that's coming. I'm super alert & always prepared for the unexpected but I'm also visuo-spatially challenged & visually dyslexic which makes sailing an awesome and fun activity for the whole family ... eh hem. Let's just say colour coded sheets are very handy on anything I sail on!

Space isn't a prob as it'll be just me most of the time. Storage migth be a bit of a pinch tho so I've d/loaded specs for the 22 & 26.

I'm moderately athletic - but is single handing a 26 a do-able thing for most of you would yo usay?

Thanx again
S
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Old 07-12-2011, 23:56   #23
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

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As long as you are reasonably athletic I think that you could easily handle a boat larger then a 22'. I don't hink it would be very comfortable for cruising.
Hey Charlie

Do you think the 22 would be too small, even if it was just one person, for say 2mo offshore?

Also are you in Nevada City nr Grass Valley?? I have friends in GV & I lived in Sacramento for 4 yrs. I used to visit NV often, esp the little playhouse theatre there. Gorgeous area. Is your 41' at Tahoe? I can't imagine it at Folsom!
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Old 08-12-2011, 14:58   #24
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Re: Questions About Buying an ETAP

Are you going to buy in Aus? I don't think they are real thick on the ground here.
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Old 08-12-2011, 18:34   #25
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Re: Questions About Buying an ETAP

Nothing wrong with etap - good medium quality boats. They sail well but will never be confused as either a j boat or a cape dory. You do give up interior volume for the foam core but that!s just geometry. Is the unsinkable thing real or a gimmick - well if it makes you feel better go for it. Forget about it as an ofshrore safety feature.

If you like the boat and feel better in it then enjoy. You could do far worse.

John
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Old 08-12-2011, 21:20   #26
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Re: Questions About Buying an ETAP

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Are you going to buy in Aus? I don't think they are real thick on the ground here.
Ideally, yes - but you're right. They're very hard to find.
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Old 08-12-2011, 21:24   #27
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Re: Questions About Buying an ETAP

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Is the unsinkable thing real or a gimmick - well if it makes you feel better go for it. Forget about it as an ofshrore safety feature.
John
Hi John - thanx for your feedback. Why do you suggest forgetting about it as an offshore safety feature?
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Old 08-12-2011, 22:13   #28
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Serena,

No worries with Etap, they really are unsinkable, even though many don't believe that. You do have to be careful to not overload it to keep it unsinkable. I imagine they come with specifications for maximum load etc.

I have sailed Etap's in the early '80s and they are great. The consensus then was that they were more expensive than similar designs without the foam.

On size, I really think you will be safer on a bigger boat and I am 100% sure you can handle that. A sloop rigged boat up to 33-36 foot you can easily handle until old age. Only when you approach 40' you can get into trouble with weights of sails etc. where you might want help from electric winch etc. I wouldn't shy away from that either by the way. Know this: a bigger boat is easier to sail and manouver.

My advise is to charter a 32' boat and see how you can single hand that.

ciao!
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Old 08-12-2011, 22:40   #29
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Re: Questions about buying an ETAP

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Hey Charlie

Do you think the 22 would be too small, even if it was just one person, for say 2mo offshore?
To put it in perspective, I single hand on a 42 foot boat. She's a big one with a 14 foot beam and lots of weight down below. The 150 genoa can be a grunt getting it up the last bit but the jib is a cakewalk. With furling on the headsail I don't have to raise or lower it too often. I'm spoiled and have a furling main as well but when I have raised and lowered the main I haven't found it to be difficult. You might be surprised at what you can manage.

Whether you want to or not is a different question. I lived aboard when I first bought and wanted the space. Keeping up with the work when I'm not living on it and a smaller boat appeals but I spend a couple of months of the year on her at least and sometimes my son joins me and the space is nice then so no regrets.

If you're planning on sailing out into the Tasman Sea I'd want something a little more substantial but that's just me.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:19   #30
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I think I'd look at a minimum of a 26 just for storage. I have managed both a 24 and a 36 and it's doable with practice. I can't speak on the centerboard question but maybe if it's too much a winchrite type gizmo for backup? SC
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