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Old 28-05-2011, 13:27   #1
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Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

I want to look at a Prout 37.... I remember something about Prouts being built to a lesser standard in some years than before. I can't find the info anymore. Am I confusing it with another manuf?

I like the Prouts that I've been on, and this one seems reasonably priced.
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Old 28-05-2011, 16:18   #2
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

To the best of my knowledge Prouts made in the UK are all to the same high standard.
My bro was starting to make Prouts under licence in Durban at that time and did a few visits back to UK to visit family and the Prout management.
This is almost certainly one of the original designs. If you have any doubts the price in good condition should be over 100k, maybe 150k sterling. Prouts do not have Osmosis problems, occasionally show some signs of strain at the rear bulkhead (mast mount bulkhead) where cracking appears in the ply at floor level. The single Yanmar 27hp engine is not really adequate for modern day cruising but don't put one engine in each hull, it destroys the interior.
It's the safest ocean cruiser of that era, but not the fastest. It will do 150 miles most days and 200 every now and then. Accomodation is superb for the price and depreciation is particularly low. If it's a 37ft'er it's probably better known as the Snowgoose model. A wonderful boat, wish I could afford one.
Probably needs SIS radar for busier waters. Add the seven or eight solar panels that fit on the roof and you'll never need to run the engine to keep the fridge running. A quiet honda genny will do AC if your too posh to sweat and there's plenty of storage on the foredeck for petrol that can be safely vented above and below the foredeck. (No netting). Remote electric anchor winch allows single handed cruising. It should come with adequate AutoHELM 4000. It sleeps 3 couples on a short passage and seats ten for lunch. Wonderful boat.
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Old 28-05-2011, 16:48   #3
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

The one I was looking at was CONSIDERABLY LESS..... Under $100K
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Old 28-05-2011, 17:49   #4
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Prout owners' forum

<http://www.michaelbriant.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=d18927aa85bf8c46a8d88e3ee267 da7d>

Personal experience - good and bad - from a Prout 37 owner. He has some other interesting info about batteries posted here. Worth a look-see


<www.vonwentzel.net/>

I have an older vintage Prout 34, and I'm in the midst of a complete refit of the boat ... but that is another story. For many years, I made myself a pest to every Prout boat I saw. I never encountered an unhappy owner; they loved their boats. A fair number completed trans-Atlantics. Nevertheless, there were some common complaints among them.

My understanding is that the boats were sometimes sold in various stages of completion and final fitout was accomplished by owners. I visited the factory at Canvey Island in the early 80s and learned that many of the craftsmen there also worked for hire in completing the boats for owners.

Some easy things to look for based on my own experience and that of others: wiring might be inadequately sized with untinned wire and 20+years in a saltwater environment will warrant a good looksee. Carefully inspect the steering system and rudder hardware. I've seen some well-corroded metal in some ot the Prout steering systems. The early models sported safety glass in aluminum frames for the windows, which were notorious for leaking; later models changed to plexiglass mounted on the hull. Because the English climate didn't beg for lots of hatches, some boats were not fitted out with good ventilation for tropical climates. Finally, although there is considerable space aboard these boats, weight presses the boat into the water and the advantage of speed in a light boat is lost. Nevertheless, plenty of cruisers give up the speed advantage (and in some cases, take on some safety disadvantage) and happily include everything that can be stuffed aboard .

The 27hp engine will move the boat at hull speed with low fuel consumption. The sillette-sonic outdrive <www.sillette.co.uk/> has gone through changes through the years, but reports remain good on the gear; Gemini catamarans use the outdrive partnered with Westerbeke diesels. Sillette parts are readily available and some owners have suggested a variety of spares to keep on board. (Earlier boats were equipped with a Volvo engine and outdrive that were nearly indestructable.) I don't have that list handy and I have little firsthand experience with the Yanmar/Silltte setup.

Generally, the gelcoat and fiberglass remain in remarkably good condition on these boats, but I do have firsthand experience that blisters have been a problem for some of them. The bulkheads, stringers and "crashboxes" in the bows and sterns have been well done in the boats I have had the opportunity to see. The hulls are stiff and solid (as much as they can be for cats; they do flex and properly tuning the standing rigging is important).

The fin keel coupled with a skeg rudder makes safely beaching the boat easy enough.

I believe the older Prout boats are good ones. Nevertheless, a nearly 30-year-old boat warrants a very careful survey, preferably by someone with Prout experience, and careful consideration of the older on-board gear and systems.

I hope my little bit of experience from some 30 years of catamaran time is helpful. Roger
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:10   #5
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Good stuff Roger. Nothing there that I'd disagree with. My Bro bought his as bare hulls and had the interior fitted to his own preferences in the Red Sea. Another very happy owner.
I have seen one at 80k sterling which looked a good price.
If the one in question needs tidying then it's a good bet that you won't loose money on it even if some elbow grease is required.
Original wiring is suspect. It's not hard to sort out but do put in cable tubes and draw strings for all the main runs. Some bendable plastic water pipe is great for running between compartments. Most of these boats come from long term owners who have aged faster then the boat has, or simply have to give up cruising. They make great liveaboards, great diving boats, and great long range cruisers. Keeping the weight down will certainly help to keep speeds up. The Engine at 27hp is adequate but into strong winds and associated seas it does get to feel a little underpowered. Mine was a 30ft'er with 43hp. Hull speed was a comfortable cruise revs, but don't fix what ain't broke.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:14   #6
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
The one I was looking at was CONSIDERABLY LESS..... Under $100K
That may be because prices in the US are very low right now.
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Old 31-05-2011, 03:44   #7
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Prices in the UK are not so high now. Some ask silly money but mine was for sale at£70K when i bought it. It have removed the windgen and replaced with solar pannels fitted LEDs everyhere and replaced the batteries spent less than 5K sofar i want to replace the through hulls next.
she was on this website Prout Snowgoose Elite for sale (sold to me it is not now for sale unless you have +£100K)for sale when we found her. unsold after two years.
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Old 31-05-2011, 04:36   #8
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
I went to look at a Prout 37.... I remember something about Prouts being built to a lesser standard in some years than before. I can't find the info anymore. Am I confusing it with another manuf?

I like the Prouts that I've been on, and this one seems reasonably priced.
Generally speaking genuine Prouts built in Canvey Island UK were well built - some say over built. The 37 is regarded as slow, but you will find them all over the world.
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Old 31-05-2011, 05:26   #9
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

In multihulls... IF you want a weatherly, safe, "blue water boat", It's width would be determined by maximum stability and wave interaction, rather than fitting into a slip.

It would have a relatively low, small, cabin for less windage and low COG.

It would also have ample wing clearance... >2' is a minimum!

It would have easy walkways to the bow, and more open netting than solid deck there.

It would have a balanced, easily handled & reefed sail plan, and STILL allow full visibility forward, WITH the jib up.

It would have ample sized boards or keels for windward ability.

It would also have a lot of storage down low to keep the COG low where it belongs.

There are more important attributes... but the point is, that you can't have it all. At least not in a smaller, less expensive boat. For long range cruising, I'd go with what makes a good boat first, and what resembles an apartment last. Once you get to the bigger boats, they "can" have these seaworthy characteristics and have palatial accommodations too, but NOT cheaply!

My advice... Choose carefully for seaworthiness, or sail prudently in very controlled circumstances.

BTW... The older Prouts that I have gone over "thoroughly" in boatyards were not only WAY too little a wing clearance, but very poorly built. The hulls were thin and I could push in and out on them anywhere with just my palm. The hardware was leaky and too small as well. After months of hard work in Trinidad, the enthusiastic owner headed out of the Boca in typical blustery conditions, only to be driven back to repair MORE structural damage.

I have spoken to an experienced professional delivery captain delivering a new 50' Prout, and they had just been scared shitless in a moderate blow, due to the pounding when going to windward!

I'm not commenting on a brand as much as a type...

The rules of what makes a good boat are not a matter of opinion, it's sound engineering!

M.
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Old 31-05-2011, 06:05   #10
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Mark's comments about thin hulls are in contrast to all I have seen and heard. They have a reputation as being over built. They are solid fiber glass and from the waterline down are thick.

The Prout as lower than most current day cats, so less windage when docking while maintaining reasonable head room in interior. They don't have a lot of bridge deck clearance, the flip side of being low COG. They had a central nacelle that was supposed to reduce wave slap, but when sailing to weather in boisterous conditions, you will get some jolts. These boats have been out there a long time and apparently take it it well. To quote an old commercial, they take a licking and keep on ticking.

I am pretty sure all the 37's were built in England. All the South African Prouts were 38 or 39'. FWIW, we have a SA Prout and know several of our sister ships. All still sailing the world. They only built about 30 there. The boat you are looking at is not one of them.

If the survey finds the hull to be sound, you can't go far wrong buying a Prout.

George
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Old 31-05-2011, 06:48   #11
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

I was a bit concerned about the bridge deck clearance.... BUT I'm a fair weather sailor... If it's crappy, I wait it out.

Mark....My slip is 22' wide, so the beam is not a criteria to buy a Prout. What beam would you say would be ok for a 37' boat? I've sailed monos my whole life, and my cat experience is limited to a Hobie cat! I'm looking for a cat as a primary residence first and sailing ability second. When I do sail it is 95% island hopping with 150 NM max leg.
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Old 31-05-2011, 07:06   #12
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspot Baby View Post
Mark's comments about thin hulls are in contrast to all I have seen and heard. They have a reputation as being over built. They are solid fiber glass and from the waterline down are thick.

The Prout as lower than most current day cats, so less windage when docking while maintaining reasonable head room in interior. They don't have a lot of bridge deck clearance, the flip side of being low COG. They had a central nacelle that was supposed to reduce wave slap, but when sailing to weather in boisterous conditions, you will get some jolts. These boats have been out there a long time and apparently take it it well. To quote an old commercial, they take a licking and keep on ticking.

I am pretty sure all the 37's were built in England. All the South African Prouts were 38 or 39'. FWIW, we have a SA Prout and know several of our sister ships. All still sailing the world. They only built about 30 there. The boat you are looking at is not one of them.

If the survey finds the hull to be sound, you can't go far wrong buying a Prout.

George
Regarding hull stiffness and such, I don't go by reputation, I've heard that stuff too. I was referring to my own boatyard observations. It could be that all of the ones I have surveyed were different?

As far as major voyages on Prouts... It can and is done, mostly off the wind.
If you try to drive one HARD to windward in 40 knots of wind and really crazy seas over 15', (as we have ours... "see photos"), you would see what a difference design makes. I would HATE to have to beat off of a lee shore in a gale, with any multihull that was not designed for it. I know of several that started coming apart in the attempt! MANY folks who po po this point have never sailed on a multihull that CAN go to windward with little pounding, so have no means of comparison. The seaworthiness aspect is worlds apart.

I'm not saying it is a "bad boat" for living in marinas and sailing "off the wind" OR in moderate conditions, just that we all have to look at our designs honestly for what they are and are not. Don't take it personally. I was only pointing out the shortcomings of a "type", not specifically Prouts. MOST (but not all) production boats were designed more to "sell" boats than BE good boats. Interior accommodations is what sells cruising boats, far more than ultimate seaworthiness or windward ability.

Our Searunner is a GREAT sea boat, but NOT a very good marina boat in cold climates. For this reason, after 12 years of living aboard & cruising, when we had to return to work, we rented a house and now cruise locally. We enjoy our boat for what it is, and accept what it is not. I consider this rational thinking...

This is what I was suggesting that we all do. My apologies if you felt that your toes were being stepped on. No offense intended.

Mark
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Old 31-05-2011, 07:17   #13
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
I was a bit concerned about the bridge deck clearance.... BUT I'm a fair weather sailor... If it's crappy, I wait it out.

Mark....My slip is 22' wide, so the beam is not a criteria to buy a Prout. What beam would you say would be ok for a 37' boat? I've sailed monos my whole life, and my cat experience is limited to a Hobie cat! I'm looking for a cat as a primary residence first and sailing ability second. When I do sail it is 95% island hopping with 150 NM max leg.
Beam to length ratio gets complicated. It depends on a lot of other things. I.E. Wharrams are very narrow for their length, but their sail area is low, as is their COG... So, they're not TOO narrow. Geminis on the other hand...

For your type of sailing, a "good" older Prout might serve you well, if lower initial cost is the incentive. Otherwise, you would find that higher wing clearance is MUCH more aesthetic, (if not to the point of being more seaworthy). Even at anchor, in a 2' nasty chop, that pounding can be annoying. IMO...

M.
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Old 31-05-2011, 09:10   #14
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Mark, I have no doubt that your Searunner is a great boat - although that is not the point of this thread. Prout built over 1000 cruising cats and many have done significant bluewater sailing. The scantlings below the waterline on the Prout are much different than topsides and even there, one does not tend to see the stress cracks that appear on some boats such as the Gemini. In that connection, many other well-built cats such as the PDQ 36 and 32 seem 'light' above the waterline when one hammers them with a fist/rubber mallet, but that does not mean that they are structurally insufficient.

BOA to LOA ratios do indeed 'get complicated', as you say. The Prout rig, of course, keeps the Ce of the sailplan very low and the low bridgedeck keeps the Cg very low as well. Rather than being designed to fit a slip, as you suggested earlier (although readiliy available slips and travelifts are advantageous), they were designed with a balance that makes them stable athwartships as well as fore and aft. Their enviable record as regards capsize provides ample evidence in that regard.

Bridgedeck clearance is, of course, a concern with the Prout. Having said that, the narrower beam permits a lower bridgedeck clearance. As I recall, Gregor Tarjan suggests that in cats that are not too beamy (say 50% BOA/LOA), 1 inch for every foot of beam is appropriate (about 17 inches for the Prout); with a wider boat, he suggests that it must be increased to about 1.3 inches per foot, or higher. Nigel Irens (who has significant experience in designing tris), suggests 10% of beam. So yes, even when considering those ratios the clearance on the Prout is low, but then it can also be much lower than on a 37 foot cat with a 22 foot beam.

Clawing off a lee shore? If what you say is true, one would have expected the seas to be littered with the wreckage of Prouts that were forced onto a lee shore. While they are not demons to windward, the ability to fly a dedicated staysail/storm jib from a proper location (further inboard) and with proper sheeting angles; and, the very low freeboard/windage make them quite capable of sailing off a lee shore. Will there be pounding? Of course. But the relatively narrow tunnel between the hulls means that the impact of the seas is substantially reduced.

Think of it this way: If the tunnel in a boat is approximately 12 feet wide (as in a Lagoon 380, or FP Mahe36 for example), it will allow the entry of 50 percent more water than the Prout with its tunnel width of only 8 feet (again approximately). And that is only with respect to the additonal volume by width - the reduced height further reduces the ultimate volume of water that can enter the tunnel.

For boats of comparable displacement, the impact will be proportional to the volume of water that contacts the bridgedeck. Yes, the lower bridgedeck will allow contact in circumstances where there may be none on a higher boat; in survival conditions, however, there is going to be significant contact on virtually any cat except ones with incredible bridgedeck clearance- much higher than 2 feet!

What is more, since you are not sailing with the wind/waves directly forward, the reduced tunnel width allows the windward bow to blanket a larger porportion of the tunnel than in a boat with a wider tunnel.

While the Prout would not be everyones's boat of choice, IMO safety should not be a reason to look in another direction. Certainly not for Capngeo, the admittedly fairweather sailor who does not long for significant offshore passages.

Brad
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Old 31-05-2011, 14:06   #15
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Re: Opinions on a 1983 Prout 37

Mark, I certainly took no offense. Just voiced contrary observations.

We have been in some heavy s**t with our Prout and while we were uncomfortable, we were IMHO never unsafe. She is a 1997 which we have owned since 2001. We have cruised her since 2004. She crossed the Atlantic three times before we bought her.

Our experience and that of dozens of Prout owners we know is that they are serious blue water cruisers. For a long time, Prouts had done more circumnavigations than any other cat.

There are a lot of good cats out there. We each have our personal preferences but I have never been sorry to be driving a Prout.

Since we both live in New Bern, why don't we get together, spill a couple of rums and swap sea story ro two.

George
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