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Old 25-01-2012, 17:02   #1
JRM
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Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

Hi all.

Went and looked at a couple of boats today, including a Mason 44 that has to be the cleanest, newest looking boat I've ever seen ("new" ones included) even though she's over 20 years old. Amazing.

I've looked at all the numbers, and done as much reading as I can, but I'd like some feedback from those who've actually sailed one. What were the conditions and how did she behave? Any issues beyond what one would expect from a 27,000 lbs full keeled with 900 sq. ft. Of sail area?

Thanks,

JRM
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Old 25-01-2012, 17:48   #2
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Re: Sailing experiences on Mason 43/44

Never sailed on myself, but buddy boated with one through the South Pacific. A nice design and pretty boat. Not quite the performance of our Beneteau 456, but you can say that for most cruising boats. Of course, with a boat of that age, its all about how well its been maintained. We also had friends with a Mason 43, which seemed to be quite a bit less roomy than the 44.
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Old 26-01-2012, 00:50   #3
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Re: Sailing experiences on Mason 43/44

I delivered a Mason 43 from San Diego to San Francisco about 20 years ago, which is when I owned and regularly sailed a Peterson 44. I didnt think it sailed as well as the Peterson, but I remember it as a very well built boat. The quality and the beauty were top notch. The only thing I didnt like about the boat was having to step up to the deck level to go to the offset companionway. The aft cabin and the aft cockpit made for an awkward entrance (unsafe?) to the cabin. It was like the old Choey Lee Offshore 40s. Over all a very nice boat. ____Grant.
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Old 26-01-2012, 04:55   #4
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

My wife, dog and I live on our Mason 43 9 months a year and sail from New England to Florida and the Bahamas each year. It's not the fastest thing I have sailed and it's not the slowest but it may be the most seaworthy. It may be cramped down below but I consider it comfortably snug, an asset in offshore sailing. I regularly sail it single handed as my wife no longer likes the long offsore passages and I have run out of freinds and relatives and asdds for crew aren't always productive. Two and a half years ago we were cought in a gale about 150 miles offshore, we ran with it for a day and a half. I don't know how strong the winds got because the masthead unit was out at the time but we were pulling 8+ knots fully reefed with a storm jib. It seems to come alive when it looses sight of land. The only drawback is the 6'6" draft can make one nervous in the Bahamas.
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Old 26-01-2012, 08:25   #5
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

Hi JRM,
My family sailed a Mason 44 across the pacific for a couple years and enjoyed the boat. She is as seaworthy as they get for a boat that age, sailed her in some of the worst weather the 2008 Pacific season offered up and never once felt in danger. The Mason44 on deck and below is designed to go offshore, her designer came from the era where a blue water boat was well thought out. The longer you have her the more you see how the designer put a lot of thought into her. There is a big difference between the 43 and the 44. As on all cruising boats there are things you will not like, for us it was the 1988 Yanmar/turbo 55. We changed it to a new,2007 Yanmar 55HP which was about 1/3 smaller in size and a lot easier to work on engine. The Mason tankage is grand, fuel 180 gallons and water 200 gallons. Unlike a Hinkley or a Morris the Mason was designed to sail the pacific, 98 storage lockers on board and all most all are vented for damp tropical air. The companion way on the 44 is as good as you will find, nothing like the 43. On the 44 as you go below you have great strong rails and a narrow entrance so your shoulders are never far from a support wall, it would be very hard to get thrown off the ladder in ruff seas. Make sure you have a drifter, that boat really needs one.
PM me if you would like to know more.
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Old 26-01-2012, 16:23   #6
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

G'day, mate. Into year 14 now living aboard and cruising our Mason 53. You have come come across a solid boat designed for passagemaking. If you need more room, let me know, I know where there is a very well kept 53 ;-). Cheers
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Old 26-01-2012, 17:55   #7
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

Just in the process of finishing an around the Atlantic tour in the 2nd to the last Mason 44 built. Ran from Lake Superior to Halifax May/June of 2011, then Halifax to Ireland. Went up the west side of Ireland then to Scotland. Wintered the boat in Ardfern, Scotland.

This summer we sailed up the Orkney and Shetland Islands and then across to Norway. Hopped down through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England, Channel Islands, France, Spain, Portugal, and Gibraltar. We just finished passage in Dec from the Canary Islands to Antiqua.

What can I say....we receive many compliments on her beauty. Her classic lines are pleasing to the eye. She is solid, comfortable, and well insulated. She has some of the best teak cabinet work on the planet. Perfect down below for safety in rough weather.

And the best part, I am 64" and can stand straight everywhere in the cabin.

Very stout rig with oversized fittings. When sailing she starts to come alive in 20 knots and really sails in 30 knots. We hand steered both crossings. Probably used the autopilot for 5 hours total on each crossing. Brushed a 60 foot whale on the way to Antigua.

A Mason 44 is what many people consider to be a proper yacht.
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Old 27-01-2012, 15:30   #8
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
.....
A Mason 44 is what many people consider to be a proper yacht.
Have to agree with that. Brought one over to the caribbean from Europe a couple of months' ago. Jolly nice sail and always felt confident with her.

Wouldn't like to suffer a knock-down to Starboard though and got a tiny bit peeved with the height of the dodger but otherwise, great boat.
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Old 27-01-2012, 16:04   #9
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

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Originally Posted by bvimatelot View Post
Have to agree with that. Brought one over to the caribbean from Europe a couple of months' ago. Jolly nice sail and always felt confident with her.

Wouldn't like to suffer a knock-down to Starboard though and got a tiny bit peeved with the height of the dodger but otherwise, great boat.
I wouldn't like to suffer a knock down in any boat. The Mason 44 should not be a problem. In weather to cause a knock down one should have boards in and hatch closed and secured. On the 44 the dodger should be no different than most dodgers on any good cruising boat. It's the mason 43 that has problems with dodgers.

One note on the Mason, the port lights are constructed poorly, screwed in from inside and a knock down would easily blow them inward. I can't believe one could build such a seaworthy boat and then allow that weakness. I built storm shutters for long difficult passages as I could not figure out how to correct the problem.
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Old 27-01-2012, 17:48   #10
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

There is a Mason 50 (53?) here. She is a beauty. Owners sailed her from the other side (at least, maybe more). The owners seem very happy and friendly people. Hence Mason must be a good brand.

BTW This one is a cutter but I believe the original rig was (?) ketch/yawl. There must be a reason why they converted.

b.
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Old 27-01-2012, 19:07   #11
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

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Originally Posted by stevewrye View Post
I wouldn't like to suffer a knock down in any boat. The Mason 44 should not be a problem. In weather to cause a knock down one should have boards in and hatch closed and secured. On the 44 the dodger should be no different than most dodgers on any good cruising boat. It's the mason 43 that has problems with dodgers.

One note on the Mason, the port lights are constructed poorly, screwed in from inside and a knock down would easily blow them inward. I can't believe one could build such a seaworthy boat and then allow that weakness. I built storm shutters for long difficult passages as I could not figure out how to correct the problem.
Merely that the companionway offset to starboard whether boarded or not, would be considerably closer to the water than if it had been centre-line.

I don't know about the M43 but climbing up and over the cockpit seat to go down the companionway, I found the dodger a bit low - though it did have a a good hand-hold. T
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Old 28-01-2012, 04:56   #12
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

Hi JRM,

The Mason 44 is a fabulous boat, and is on a short list of boats to have, but her sailing performance is just ok. I have helped deliver a Mason 44 between the bay area and Channel Islands a couple of times, and enjoyed the SB Channel on her. A more modern hull will point to weather better and light air breezes are 2 main differences. Under a blow, I would rather be on the Mason, so it really depends on the type of sailing you will do. I sail out of Oxnard, on a Tartan 4400, and she gives me that same feeling of old world build quality, but with a more modern underbody and lighter epoxy hull. If you are not concerned with a couple of extra days on a long voyage, and are planning on casting off the dock lines for good, then the Mason is a great choice for the money. If you are like most (myself included) who own boats that can voyage, but mostly cruise the local area waters and can budget a bit higher for a nice boat, then contact me regarding my Tartan 4400 for sale in Oxnard. My info is in the classified section of Latitude 38.
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Old 18-02-2012, 19:14   #13
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

My wife and I have been sailing our 1990 Mason 44 for the past 20+ years. We've day sailed her, sailed along the NE coast from LI to Canada, sailed offshore to the Eastern Caribbean and back. We've been in light weather, in heavy squalls and conditions we'd like to avoid. The boat handles well and I always have confidence in her.

The 43 and 44 are the same hull with some differences, but same design. Deck houses and interiors are a bit different. Basically a full keel, heavy displacement cruising sailboat that likes a good breeze. Under 10 knots, she doesn't get up and go so well. But they are sea kindly and get where they are going...and with the tankage of fuel and water, they are good live aboard boats. We actually had to motor most of the way from St. Maarten to Bermuda because there was no wind...perfect calm for 4 days. We passed many other boats just sitting and waiting for the wind to come up. Got in way before the others. Every boat is a compromise...my advice is find someone with a Mason and get them to take you out for a sail. After 20+ years of ownership, we're looking forward to the next 20. Well built, comfortable cruising boats. Definitely a proper yacht.
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Old 17-03-2012, 07:30   #14
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Can you buy 3 cabin versions if the Mason 44 - never seen one but thought I would check first?
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Old 19-03-2012, 13:03   #15
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Re: Sailing Experiences on Mason 43/44

G'day, Riskyone. I don't believe PAE did a 3 cabin version of the 43 & 44. Can I interest you in a nice 3 cabin version of a 53? Cheers,
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