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Old 10-04-2012, 16:35   #1
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Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

I am considering getting a Stiletto 27 for what I will call short mostly coastal cruises. The longest passage I would consider is something like Miami to Bimini or Key West to the Dry Tortugas for a week or two.

What I like about this boat is that I can put it on a trailer and go to lots of places. I also would like to take it to places like Lake Powell in Glen Canyon and maybe the Sea of Cortez.

My experience has been that sailing to the Bahamas and Ft. Jefferson can easily be done in a boat like this if (and a big if) you watch the weather closely and pick your spots. But this has been in my Dad's monohulls which I have singlehanded to both destinations.

Now that I have retired I am looking for a boat of my own to take where I want for short cruises.

Any comments welcome.
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Old 10-04-2012, 17:11   #2
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

The Stiletto will do what you want. So will the F-boat trimarans (Farrier, Corsair). The trimarans will be somewhat more comfy, if more expensive to purchase. The Farrier-design trimarans will also be easier to trailer.

Can't go wrong either way. There was a Stiletto group at wildjibe.com
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Old 15-04-2012, 12:21   #3
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

I've owned/restored/modified several 27's. They are great lightweight boats, and they sail very well, I'm afraid that breaking it down onto the trailer more than once a season is going to get old very fast. For me, I loved them for coastal day cruising. Good luck!!
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Old 02-10-2012, 20:57   #4
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

Would like to pickup the thread here since I am interested too. How does it handle rough weather (max wind force, max wave height).

And does anyone have detailed plans ? Not trying to copy but to get an idea how small/big the storage space is.
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Old 02-10-2012, 21:43   #5
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

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Originally Posted by Zonker View Post
Would like to pickup the thread here since I am interested too. How does it handle rough weather (max wind force, max wave height).

And does anyone have detailed plans ? Not trying to copy but to get an idea how small/big the storage space is.
There were two different Stiletto 27 models, the SE and the GT. Here are links to the specs for both. I am not sure any detailed plans were ever released.

Stiletto 27 SE

Stiletto 27 GT Catamaran Specs

Since the boats have not been made in quite a while most have been modified or at least refitted to some extent.

I always thought the sail plan was more aimed at light air and they were a little over canvased. For heavy weather you would need to reef them. I would be very careful about the weather window when going off shore.

There are lots of threads about crossing the Gulf Stream from Florida to the Bahamas with the wind out of the N or NE. This creates nasty short period steep waves and a confused sea is not uncommon. Few boats perform well in these conditions and a Stiletto would be very wet, very uncomfortable and I would not try a crossing under these conditions. I have also gone from Key West across the Florida Straights to Dry Tortugas in long rolling waves probably fifteen feet, maybe more, with 15-20 knots. I would feel comfortable (well maybe just short of comfortable) in a 27 in these conditions.

In say 10-15 knots out of the South and 3ft seas crossing from Florida to the Bahamas would be a nice comfortable ride on a Stiletto 27. You could rig a boom tent and sleep on deck. It can get hot sleeping in the hulls in the summer.

There is not much storage room and as with all boats and especially multihulls overloading them can cause real problems with both speed and safety.

Fboats are a more modern design and build. Stilettos have not been build in some time so any ones you find will most likely need to be overhauled or already have been.

I always thought Stilettos were a great beach cat you could camp cruise on. They probably draw a little less than an Fboat. depending on what you are going to do with one it could be a nice boat. Certainly less expensive than an Fboat.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:47   #6
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

Thanks tomfl. So far I've seen these boats selling at 20k-25k. I expect that kind of price must imply the condition must be 1A ... considering the age of these boats !

I am planning to do a 18 month coastal trip "around" Europe - I was wondering if this can be done since a) it has limited protection and b) since waters can get pretty rough there and the boat looks very lightly built.
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:18   #7
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

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Thanks tomfl. So far I've seen these boats selling at 20k-25k. I expect that kind of price must imply the condition must be 1A ... considering the age of these boats !

I am planning to do a 18 month coastal trip "around" Europe - I was wondering if this can be done since a) it has limited protection and b) since waters can get pretty rough there and the boat looks very lightly built.
I am not sure about prices in Europe, they seem a little less in the US.

My biggest concern about an 18 month trip would be dealing with conditions in the winter. In a place like Florida where these boats were built it never gets very cold.

As has been posted many times most boats are far sturdier than those who sail them. With bare poles a light boat like a Stiletto can take a lot as long as the waves and wind are not confused. Of course the idea is to not go out if bad weather is expected.

Lots of folks cruise in small boats crossing the Gulf Stream in a good weather window and picking their times to jump from island to island in the Bahamas. By the same token much larger boats get in trouble crossing the Gulf Stream in bad weather.

I added Fboats to my possible list and took Stilettos off for several reasons knowing that an Fboat will almost for sure cost more. But you might get an older F24 for not a whole lot more than $US25,000. That would be my advice.
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Old 03-10-2012, 19:58   #8
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

Hmm ... I think I will stick with a cat - it offers much more usable space/area. Something like a Stiletto or one of these Wood open bridge deck designs such as Merlin or so.
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Old 03-10-2012, 20:45   #9
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

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Hmm ... I think I will stick with a cat - it offers much more usable space/area. Something like a Stiletto or one of these Wood open bridge deck designs such as Merlin or so.
There is a trade off between the open space between the hulls of a cat and the much greater interior space of a tri. For warm weather sailing with minimal chance of heavy rain, like the Bahamas in the winter, a cat would be nice. Your comment that you would be sailing for 18 months made me think you would be sailing/cruising for at least one full winter. Depending where you would be in Europe it could get chilly and/or wet.

Other considerations for me were that an Fboat is much easier to trailer, put together, put in the water, and get back on a trailer. On the other hand a Stiletto would draw less and be able to get in shallow places and get on and off a beach easier.

All boats are compromises. There is no right or wrong answer to things like more interior room or more uncluttered open deck space. The same goes for things like hi tec hulls like a Stiletto has verses wood hulls the Woods boats have. Cost, expected life, and many other considerations determine which boat best fits you.

One thing lots of folks do is make up a list of must have things, need to have things, and nice to have things. Then see how different boats match up to each other when you check them off on the list.
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Old 03-10-2012, 21:01   #10
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

I owned a 27 for 6 years. Took it to the bahamas over 6 times. once for 5 months. when I got tired of anchoring i would sun it up ont he beach and tie it to a tree. had a 22 pound anchor on it with 50 feet of chain and 100 feet of rode. sat through 50 knots of wind for 3 days in the year 2000 and did not move an inch.

I put 2 golf cart batteries, 20 amp charger, honda 1000 generator, engle refer/freezer on it. 18 gallons fuel, 30 gallons water and food for 1 month. had no problem in 25 knots of wind crossing in 10 foot seas from bimini to miami.
there is a place in sarasota florida that rebuilds them. Ron and Andy make there living on the stiletto catamarans..

when it got cold a 2 burner stove heated up one hull very quickly and stayed hot. mine had carpeting, 130 percent roller furling jib, hatches, port a potti, 2 gps. people thought I was nuts to cross the gulf but would do it again in a minute. just teathered myself in tot he mast. also called the USCG each way for safety and security and told them my eta and destination.

I meet Ron in new york one day. he had his stiletto doing 34 knots on one hull if I remember

Stiletto Catamarans

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Old 04-10-2012, 09:22   #11
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

tomfl, captainKJ ... thanks a lot for the input !
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:31   #12
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

the stiletto is a good boat, it only took 20 minutes to put it on the trailer, we did use a crane on the mast, only 100 dollars so it was worth it. I would take a stiletto to bermuda from fort lauderdale without a second thought.

If you do your research you can find one with the NEW plexiglass cockpit cover, you can sit on it. talk to andy and ron. you might pay a little more for a part from them but to me it is worth it,,, for when you need an answer they give it to you at no charge. I paid 20 dollars more for a certain block from them. it was more than well worth it when I needed advice on how to mount it. I tried to always buy from them.

If you did not know they do have a tent that goes on the stiletto. I had one and it was the balls

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Old 04-10-2012, 09:57   #13
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

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If you did not know they do have a tent that goes on the stiletto. I had one and it was the balls
Cool ... guess need to drop an email @ Ron & Andy ...
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:04   #14
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

I owned a Stiletto SE for 12 years, up here on the St. John River system in New Brunswick, Canada. Short season, but we were on it as much as possible. It is a lot like camping, and only for the young. Definitely, you need a furling jib and an easily reefable main with many reef points, as these things are just giant, light beach cats. I never flipped it, but gosh, did we ever come close often.

Constructionwise, an amazing product, with pre-preg epoxy glass thermally cured under vacuum to Nomex honeycombing. We had a van hit the side of the boat while on the trailer. The van got dented, and lost a mirror, and the boat and trailer was pushed a couple of feet sideways. After using rubbing compound, the boat, with its epoxy gelcoat, was like new.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:45   #15
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Re: Does Anyone Have Stiletto 27 Experience

Oke ... has moved up to the top five on the wishlist. The only thing that worries me is the centerboard dagger - would love to have them rather on each hull. But then, I guess, you will lose precious space.

Re camping - it's ok. I would mount a "tunnel-like tent" on the deck - but of course it will not be helpful if it gets cold.
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