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Old 28-09-2009, 09:23   #1
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Thoughts on Westerly Centaur or Sabre 27

Well, having just had my liveaboard dreams dashed by swmbo, (we viewed a Privilege 37 and no way was that big enough to live on ), my plans have changed to purchase a small bilge keeler.

To be used for coastal cruising and the odd trip across the channel for a month or two at a time.

The two boats uppermost in my thoughts are the Westerly Centaur or the Sabre 27.

Any pros/cons on either to help me make my decision?

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 28-09-2009, 09:56   #2
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I used to have a Centaur and it's a solidly built boat. I regularly crossed from Dartmouth to the Channel Islands and never had a problem.

In terms of sailing performance, it's steady rather than spectacular - I used to average about 5 knots. As with most bilge keelers, performance to windward can be slow.

As a word of caution, I would recommend a survey - they often suffer from osmosis (including mine!)
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Old 28-09-2009, 10:44   #3
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It felt quite safe sailing in a Centaur, and was certainly quite roomy, but as Ed says, you wouldn't want to be in a hurry to go anywhere.

I never really like the motion of the boat in a sea though, a bit jerky and uncomfortable, but then it's the only bilge keeler I've sailed much in, so have nothing really to compare it with.

You could find much worse boats to sail I'm sure.
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Old 28-09-2009, 10:54   #4
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My speedy days are over, (I used to race a Tornado cat and Merlin Rocket).

As we are both retired I'm quite happy about taking time, rather have a nice safe boat that has room and a few creature comforts...

Really looking for something that is robust in construction as it's going to have to be an older boat due to finances.

Steve
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Old 28-09-2009, 10:58   #5
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I owned a Centaur for about 8 years and had cruises to about 3 months in the Great Lakes and Bahamas. I feel it's a basic, but well built, solid boat. Like many heavier displacement boats it does not point very well. A bit cramped, but a lot of volume for a 26-footer, which is one of the reasons I choose it.

There were three versions over time as I recall. I had the earlier one which had 2 quarter births. I'd prefer a later version with only one quarter birth since having two quarter births comes at the cost of almost no lazarette space in the cockpit. I'd rather store fenders, etc, in a locker than in a bunk.

The earlier version also had the inner side stays attached to the cabin top just above the windows. This stress often broke the window bedding seals and created leaky windows. Shallow bilges and possible leaking keel bolts are other common issues.

Overall, however, I was very pleased with mine. It represented the best value in any of the 4 cruising boats I've owned.

I've just started working on a new webpage for the American Westerly Owner's: We hope to have copies of past Westerly Owner's Newsletters online soon.

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The English Westerly Owner's Association Webpage is at:

http://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/

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Old 28-09-2009, 14:32   #6
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Steve are twin keels essential?

Moody 30 Boat For Sale - Rightboat.com - new & used boats for sale from the UK and Europe

This was on e bay recently at 14k and I don't think it sold. However they were asking for offers, that would be 10 - 11k in my books.

Good time to buy with winter coming up and the nights drawing in, good luck

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Old 29-09-2009, 01:49   #7
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Hi Pete,

That looks very, very nice. Just thought bilge keels would let us explore the estuaries a bit more and be cheaper to have a mooring that dries out etc.

But that Moody is nice.....

Steve
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Old 29-09-2009, 04:53   #8
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We bought an M31 with twin keels for that very reason as we can dry out on the yacht club scrubbing grid easily, although there are two posts for keel boats.

However that Moody will be quite a bit bigger inside compared to a Centaur if you plan to cruise for a month or two for similar money. We find the Moody 31 (yes I am biased) a perfect size for two of us for channel cruising.

We can easily manage it around marinas by hand, enough space for us plus two teenage kids if they want to come (infrequently) and the dog. We have never had a problem getting a berth were ever we go even in France during August, but see the look on harbour masters faces when 40 feet of yacht turns up and he is wondering were to put them

I think really clean, second hand modern yachts are selling on the southcoast to foreign buyers, however that Moody has probably dropped out of that market due to age, price and location. So that leaves UK buyers like yourself of which there are very few due to the difficult financial times. At 11k it would be a bargin even if it needed money spending on it over a period of time, but so would a Centaur of that age and as does our 1989 Moody 31. Nothing major, just bits and pieces like new water pump for the reshwater system. New toilet pump and pipes, replace stern gland etc, so we do as much as we can ourselves one at a time.

You need a wet, cold and dark October or November day to visit North Wales and stick a low offer in, then walk away and see what happens. Will they capitulate and decide to sell cutting there losses and the winter storage costs? probably

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Old 29-09-2009, 05:40   #9
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I agree the Moody 30 is an excellant boat but would also look for older examples of the Moody 27 and 29 all well built and with a reasonable survey shouldn't be an arm and a leg. Biased yes I owned Moody's between 1986 and 2009. Now down sized to a Jeanneau 35 SO.
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Old 29-09-2009, 08:02   #10
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My Centaur

I did alot of research before I bought my first boat and found a centaur on ebay dirt cheap and bought it sight unseen. The sails and rigging were in good shape but I am still working on the osmosis. I am having to remove ALL the gelcoat below the water line. Big messy DIY job.

I still beleave it will be well worth it. I am very new to sailing and wanted a strong stiff (stands up in stong wind) boat to cut my teeth on. It has lots of storage and head room. I just love this boat.

Do not buy an older one with a skugg rudder ( Snags fishing nets) and mast stays mounts above the window. (Window leaks) Check for keel mounts. Some may need reinforcing.

I do not have an inboard and I am going to fiberglass over the prop area and put a yamaha 9.9 outboard on it. I heard you get the same thrust as a 25 hp desel.

There are a few that say the speed and pointing ability it not as bad as others make out. Light airs is slow but in high winds you will be doing great when others having a hard time. Passagers feel safe in a centaur. The boxy and tall cabin should be stronger in a knock down and the deck is fiberglassed to the hull. This ship was designed with the north sea in mind and many have gone around the globe. The owners manual states that if the weather gets too bad, Just go inside and ride it out. The boat will take what ever is thrown at it! It really says that! I did read where a guy had his window knock out by a wave!
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Old 29-09-2009, 08:09   #11
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Thanks for all your replies and advice, I think a re-look at finances may be in order, and to wait a while.

Those Moodys really do look nice...... going to check out the 27 and 29 right now....

Steve
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Old 29-09-2009, 08:28   #12
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As an aside, is there a resource on the web somewhere where some of the extras are discussed and rated as to what is required/nice to have for a coastal cruiser? Things like GPS, Chart Plotters, Depth Sounders etc?

This will be my first cruising yacht having only sailed Tornado cats and Merlin Rockets before, apart from crewing for two years on an Eygthene 24 back in the 70's, (it was a brand new boat back then!).

Looking at the adverts it's a minefield as far as equipment is concerned, well to me it is anyway.

Steve
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Old 29-09-2009, 11:59   #13
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You're on the East Coast - you at least need a depth sounder

You can spend as much or as little as you want on electronic gear and toys but you should make getting a good solid, sound boat your main objective because the electronics are mostly extras you can either do without initially or add on later. They also become obsolete very quickly - if you want to find out about it the best way is to trawl the net, read the magazines and catalogs and talk to people, especially on forums where there are so many opinions to choose from

Basic instruments are depth, speed/log and it's nice to have a wind gauge but it's not essential. Hand held GPS is fine for local sailing (I had a friend who went liveaboard for 4 years around the UK and Europe with just a hand held GPS) but you should first do it properly with compass, charts etc so you have good back-up skills if you have limited experience. VHF radio is not mandatory on a small boat but I am more comfortable with one than not especially with family on board (plus you may need to help someone else out). Handhelds are good and reliable these days and not only waterproof but now float too. Or put a fixed one in with antenna on the mast for greater range.

You'll spend at least as much on safety gear, lifejackets, harnesses, flares, possibly a liferaft although this is a contentious point on some forums...

Any cruiser you buy is likely to have at least this amount of kit on board anyway unless it was owned by a back-to-nature minimalist it's up to you how new sexy and modern you want it to be but make sure it works at least even if you want to replace it later.

I have a friend who has a very rare Moody 28 which is a lovely boat but like hens teeth on the secondhand market. We bought a Leisure23SL (6-8k) as our first cruiser after dinghy sailing and the Leisure27 (14-17k) is good too we know many people with them. There's a lot of other good secondhand boats in the 23-28ft (6k-28k) range on the East Coast (Sadlers, Pegasus, BenJenBav etc) also worth looking at if you can't stretch to the Moody.

The Owners Associations are great sources of information on secondhand boats: Leisure, Westerley and Moody associations are all first rate and very helpful. You'll also find secondhand boats marketed on their websites (sometimes their owners sell through these channels only). If you have narrowed down to a particular model you really must have you can always place a wanted add there too.

So set your budget and try not to go more than, say, 30% over it in your enthusiasm
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Old 29-09-2009, 13:07   #14
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I had a bilge Moody 28 that I think went to the East Coast. We commisioned her new from Swanwick in 1986 and sold her in May 1990. A great boat but hold their prices well. The Moody Owners web site is a great source of information.
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Old 30-09-2009, 02:17   #15
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Can you remember the hull number?

I think only about 20 were built - would be funny if this was my friends boat
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