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Old 15-08-2012, 14:28   #1336
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

All very interesting Stories Mark
Thanks for sharing them and also putting in writting your knowledge especially with the Searunner. I have a book of Mark Hassel called "Love to Sail" another interesting read.
Found this on the net... who interesting how our lives weave a way.
Building a 63' Jim Brown trimaran "THAT" [Archive] - Multihulls4us Forums
Searunners seem best for the tropics. I have a a deisel heater in mine with hot air going to the bow and stern. Gets too hot inside so i have to open up and then it gets too cold.... I saw a pic of John Marples I think of his searunner down in the deep south of Argentina by the looks next to glazier. Must have been very cold.
I wonder how many Searunners are left in the world today... at a guess i reckon around 100.
I heard Jim Brown sold 2500 plan's for the Searunner....... I quess there where many more Piver Tri's built, maybe because at that time there where so many people in a position to built in the back yard ... 2012 how different it is. These new Sea Clippers probably wont have the same hold on the boating world.. its sad but its now all about Photo's from Mars through the ipad and keeping up with the latest smart phone usage. We Searunner kid's still dream the dream and thats why this thread is pounding on. Talking about paints and applications and deck fittings.... We gotta be mad.... or maybe just over enthused.
Lastly .... wonder how many Searunner circumnavigated the globe. Maybe John Marples would know the answer to that question..... I reckon he reads this thread....
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Old 15-08-2012, 15:22   #1337
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Is that still a navigable waterway with the locks in NC. I have done most the great loop including Cairo to the gulf via the Miss and ten-Tom.

I will be putting the first hull back inside later this fall and the boat will emerge next year in March or so capable of being launched if needed and towed to a yard. I think everything will go ok and might actually bring her back home in the summer or 2014 to finish outfitting. the launch ramp is just 3/4 of a mile depending on how the first trip goes! Plenty of other nuevo-riche types to worry about then just the Jones. will have keep the Obama sign out of the yard

As far as the design, it wil be a great boat ley's hope. still no crossbeam details, cabin top plans, etc. I have been promised crossbeam drawing by thanksgiving when I plan to have the second hull done by.

Jeff
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Old 15-08-2012, 19:55   #1338
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Mark's book is "LOVE FOR SAIL", not "to". Oh well, we, who read it, come from an earlier generation and got the pun.
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Old 15-08-2012, 21:25   #1339
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Mark's book is "LOVE FOR SAIL", not "to". Oh well, we, who read it, come from an earlier generation and got the pun.
Darn censors.....
I'm thinking there are a lot more than 100 Searunners left in the world by the amount left in the NW.
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Old 16-08-2012, 05:31   #1340
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

There are only about 6 Searunners in NZ so Ross's sample size is a bit small!
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Old 16-08-2012, 07:24   #1341
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Rossad,

Yep, most of us read Love For Sail back in the day... I still have my copy, along with Jim's books, (including "The Catalog", a rare one). I even have Multihulls Magazine, back to Vol. #1. At least until a few years ago, when I gave up my subscription, cause I just couldn't relate any more. A few of my articles were in the early ones, with the first article written on a paper bag... Talk about a poor hippie!

Mark's niche was not as a boat builder, it was as a "character". He didn't "use" people when he went around the world. He mingled, became one with them, and entertained them. Talk about a wild man? Read in Jim Browns memoir, the story of following, Mark into a VERY small passage to a cave, while up the Rio Dulce, and they got trapped! He was one of a kind... He also, btw, accompanied Thor Jansen, in a SC 28 (like my old boat), from New York, to Bermuda, to Jamacia, to Central America, (tangling with a hurricane along their route). He said it was the scaredest he'd ever been!

When we visited Guatemala, he was still alive, I believe. We visited lake Atitlan (sp?) FAR inland... where he currently lived with his current wife. Never ran into them, but would have loved to. He new how to pick a beautiful spot to settle down!

TROPICAL BOATS...
I have German friends with a self built, highly insulated, unpainted aluminum monohull. That is what I'd want in a cold climate! They visited our creek in cold weather, and were toasty inside, while anchored out. Multihulls don't lend themselves to it, especially those like our Searunners, with stringers galore. IF it were a purpose built CC design of John's, and lightly glassed "inside", I would risk covering things up with insulation, but not on a SR.

How many Searunners are still out there? Who knows? More than 100! There are about 117 or so listed on the defunct trimariner.com web site "owner's list". (We could never get on it for some reason). My guess is several hundred, if you also count the ones in bad shape.

Same with Circumnavigations. Who knows? The first SR37 built, that I re-furbished & cruised on in the 70s, had been around. In Conversations with Jim Brown, I think that John said there had been more of them in the 31 than any other size! My guess is that it is because there were more of them built, the owner/builders weren't dead yet, OR they still had money left after the project! Small can be a good thing, EXCEPT the amount of motion.

I don't imagine that John knows either. The Searunner Grapevine has mostly shriveled up, except here. He actually has a life! He builds all manner of things, including experimental planes, flys them around for fun, and I gather that the "home boat builder" is now < 1% of his business.

Due to computers & gadgets... Kids & young adults these days, have almost totally lost the skills to fix or build things, (anything). The new really simple, SMALL tris that Jim & John have been drawing lately, just may be the answer for them. They are really basic, really fast to build, and within the skill range of the "bird house veteran". They look like a hoot too! If I ever sell Delphys, I want to build a Marples 10! Check it out... Talk about fun!

Yep, we're all obsessed all right, but in a good way. Keeps us off the streets, right?
M.

P.S. IF you want to read/hear the BEST "balls to the walls" FAST Searunner passage story ever...
John's CD on "outrig media", has a bonus in it, where he recounts his winning the transpac in Bacchanal. (We're talking about guys going up the mast, in GIANT waves and high winds, (to untangle things), WHILE TOOLING ALONG AT 20 KNOTS!
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Old 16-08-2012, 09:07   #1342
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Jeff,
Different route... Our "funkey country boatyard" was next to the ol family homestead, in central SC, a little town called "Blythewood". This is 15 miles N of Columbia. I built all 3 boats here, in 3 separate temporary structures, on "my little corner" of my parents 27 acre, defunct horse property. (My dad had died when I was 23, so when not out cruising, I maintained the place).

Having left home at 15 years old, I traveled around backpacking, kayaking, & by bicycle, then lived for 15 years in a mouse infested, 1 room tack building "shack", that I'd built on this property as a kid. It was my country place/boatyard, and living in this shack for the first 2 projects, were with no heat or AC. I needed a change for the 3rd project. It was almost free living, but the time had just come to move up...

Being 35 years old, and just married, we built a house first, (mostly, all by ourselves, but with occasional help from a friend). Next we built a carport/wood shed, and workshop, then got the boatyard ready once again. All of the above, in just over 1 year. It isn't that I'm that slow a builder, (especially 22 years ago), its that a boat project is about = to 10 house projects! Later, selling this house would finance our cruising.

My first 2 boats were de-mountable, so no problem... Our route to the sea with Delphys, however, was. We removed all manner of fences, signs & stuff, (anarchy method), and took a back way to Camden and points south, then trailer launched at Low Falls Landing. From here... I IMMEDIATELY took these "VERY shallow" lakes Moultrie & Marrion, with Haulover Canal connecting the two... A different canal, the oldest canal in the "New World", (the submerged one that is), is on the bottom of the lakes, but since they damed it up, (still FULL of stumps, trees and piles of logs, due to the sudden onset of WWII), the cana'ls location was all guess work. It was mostly a 2-3' deep swamp, from horizon to horizon! The local bassboat fishing guys, however, knew it like the back of their hands.

In the first hour, I hit a log on the bottom, at 7 knots, and it threw me forward, lifted the boat WAY up, then came crashing down, and WHAM! It was March, and still cold water, but I dove over to "feel" for damage. I felt none, and pulled chunks of soft rotten log off of the skeg. I thought I got off with "0" damage... It was 10 years and 10,000 + miles later, that I found all of the cracks in the transom frames & upper skeg from this collision. Luckily, with the boat designed like a tank, it was still strong enough, and sistering up with extensive carbon, repaired it all. The log, having been so soft, and my skeg being glassed 3/8" thick on its leading edge, meant there was no damage there.

Still on the first day... I had forgotten my clear glasses, so when it got dusk, couldn't see. Then, with NO lights on board... I dropped the hook, crawled completely under a sheet to avoid skeets (like the Everglades), and waited till morning.

By that afternoon, I had picked up Mariam on shore, and we made it through the 78' lock down, into an absolute maze of tributaries, that make up the headwaters of the Cooper River.(Moccasins and Alligators EVERYWHERE!) This was not considered a "navigable waterway" except by canoe or kayak. IT WAS A TRIP!

With your launching ramp being just down the road, you should have no problem. Most folks can tolerate anything for an hour!

What a brave soul. You don't have the complete plans yet? Let's hope that Woods stays healthy, sane, and willing, so the crossbeam details come through.

Good luck with it,
M.
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Old 17-08-2012, 03:33   #1343
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

That is very interesting Mark all of what you say. Thanks for sharing it here.
What is the Catalog "a rare one" ? is it a book from Jim Brown.
I had to read your thread a couple of times well done mark you covered that thread of mine so well. It is a sad day to hear that the Searunner Grapevine has shriveled away and exist only here on this forum. I think these Searunners are so special but now i would say they may disappear altogether in the future because the do it yourself kind of person are becoming less and less.
There has been a quite a few different people that have written on this thread Trimarans and Especially Searunners. Most would have a passion for searunners i would say. Its been going for a few years too, with you coming on board Mark its given more life to the thread... Cheers.
PS those must have been some adventure years for you Mark how interesting.
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Old 17-08-2012, 08:50   #1344
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Rossad,
The Jim Brown book I referred to is VERY old, and I think, rare. I've never met or communicated with anyone else who had one, in fact. It is about 1/2" thick, and looks similar to the Construction Manual. Its titled: "Searunner Trimarans", and Jim said they just called it "The Catalog". The inside front and back cover photos are GREAT! The book is full of even more great Jo Hudson cartoons, (a cartoon genius in his on right), and Jim explains the boats, concept, and evolution, in his usual eloquent and entertaining style. If it weren't for the backward finances of such a venture, this book should be re-printed too. Perhaps enough request could talk him into it?

Is is really sad that the US especially, has lost its manufacturing base, along with a couple of generations of self sufficient "handy" people. It used to be that doing as I have, and building most everything you wanted, was normal. It was how the NOT rich & famous got to live really nice, ADVENTUROUS lives anyway. It was the only way to get a trimaran, for sure!

Searunners don't just have a passionate cult following because the're "cool", or because they appeal to the nostalgic crowd, for vague reasons, like an old Ford Mustang did. Searunners addressed almost EVERYTHING that was wrong with the multihulls that preceded them, from hull shapes, to rig, to layout, to a place for everything. This was maxed out when Jim & John co-designed the SR34.

Based on the feedback from hundreds of clients, who had sailed hundreds of thousands of collective sea miles, over more than a decade... The hull shape was tweeked, (narrower and deeper), and the wing voids sealed. The wings were raised, made smaller, and "vented". The mini keel was made smaller, skeg larger, and layout even better, etc, etc. When we added a total cockpit enclosure to ours, it even became a good marina boat, for those years spent in employment mode, (at least when we lived in a temperate climate).

Problem was/is, all of these facets, angles, "parts", storage spaces AND the huge surface area, cry out for the best possible building technique and modern epoxy/LP paint technology, IF one doesn't want to end up with a maintenance nightmare. This is why I have tried to pass on some "how toos" in this area. That's not to say you can't keep up with it if your SR is the older technology, you can! It just helps to be young, energetic, and dedicated.

Years later... when they came up with the CC system, and John drew the CC series, MAN what a potential leap forward at achieving less lifetime maintenance. With the lack of stringers, trapping condensation puddles became far less of an issue, true 100% encapsulation with epoxy became more possible, and build time went down. This was especially true if one partnered with someone else building the same boat, or could buy a completed CC mold for it.

Thing is... They require a longer WL to be =. We would have had to build a CC 42 or so, to equal the livability and space of our SR34. CCs don't have as many of those SR good/bad things, like huge wings, as many extra hatches in them, or a "place for EVERYTHING". This makes them, "less complex structures" to build and maintain. The rigs have fewer parts, hulls are easier to wipe down & paint, the rudder hardware less of a hassle, it just goes on and on...

With half of our last 17 years being tied up in marinas, (while trying to make a living), and boatyard haulouts/lay days being by the foot, as well as cruising entry fees in some places... The SR 34 was a perfect choice for us. STILL IS! The CC42 would've been less maintenance, but more expensive...

A lot of "boat preference" is a personality thing. An analogy in airplanes, is that you could fly a boring, but low maintenance, Piper Cub, or a fabric covered, radial engine, Wacco bi-plane. The latter can do loops and rolls, is higher performance, more fun, and really "cool". If you own one, however, you need to know how to maintain it! Lotsa luck pulling into an airport and saying: "I hit a bird. Any of your mechanics know how to dope a fabric wing"?

Same with Searunners. There are fewer and fewer energetic young men out there, (like I was 40 years ago), that know what they're doing, willing to suffer the pain, and work relatively cheep. In fact, they're almost extinct!

Imo... Owners of all older wood/epoxy, one off multihulls, especially the ones with stringers and "stuff" from stem to stern, need to learn the basic skills, and STAY ON TOP OF THE MAINTENANCE. It is not that hard to do, unless one accumulates a list of "things to do" that is all, "important things", and they number in the hundreds. May be too late then...

I just hope that my tips have done some good in this respect. Searunners are such cool boats, and their safety record is soo good, that they should be in the top 10, on a list of "best cruising boats EVER designed"!

Biased? Me? You're damned straight!

M.
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Old 17-08-2012, 15:08   #1345
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thanks Mark i think your right or some would say "bang on" in New Zealand.
Its all about what people can afford what time they have and how much energy they have and at what time of life they are at...... Maybe Mark Hassel did it right with a get go attitude to be on the water with his dream and the trimaran. Though i do enjoy when i get some time to work on my Searunner it does give much satisfaction.
Posting photos on this thread is a good idea and gives more interest for all of us.
I think this thread could.. and with the power of the internet help keep the Searunner series live a little longer. Because if you type in Searunner in google this thread comes up more than most. The likes of Roy and not that many others are doing the big refit which takes one guy just so long and in this world that length of time is not exceptable.... "i want it and i want it now"
Plywood is a great material strength to weight. I have found that good ply doesnt rot out very quick even exposed to the weather though maybe different places in the world has different kind of moisture and heat these factors might determine the life of ply. Sea water with salt and thrown over the decks are like a preservative. Not surprisingly also liveaboards live longer lives i think because they breath the salt into their lungs ... sounds crazy but our respiratory is so important. Any way yea i didnt make it to Fiji like i planned cause deciding to be with family and illness
PS those first days of Searunner seamanship in mid seventies must have been a great time.... along side with sex drugs and rock n roll.
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Old 17-08-2012, 17:54   #1346
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

It was, and Yep, done them all! By the time I got married at 35 years old, I was READY to settle down.
M.
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Old 17-08-2012, 18:29   #1347
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Great posting, and may I say Hear,Hear!. Sorry, but I didn't know the "catalog" was a rarity. I have one and spent many long hours drooling over the sketches and planning how it was gonna be, and all of that. As you say, great pictures and sketches and great cartoons.
I'm only a very short time from launching my CC44 trimaran, and I'd like to add my 2 cents worth. My wife and I had an old, funky and badly dry rotted Searunner 31. It was great, but we found out how bad it was when the forestay tang pulled out of the deck and nearly beaned my wife with a 20# chunk of the stemhead timber. Awfully glad she had such fast refleses! We decided that as much as we liked the 31, it was too far gone for what we wanted to do with it. That's when we decided to build the 44. It has been a ten year labor of love, literally in the back yard.
The Searunner layout is, in my opinion, one of the very best. Lots of room for people and stuff, good privacy and a great sail layout. We never did any blue water sailing in our SR31 ( Pacific northwest- san Juan islands) but we plan to with our CC44. Unfortunately, wooden tri's and composite boats have gotten a very bad rap. Just about everyone near here is building out of foam/resin infusion/and just about every high tech material you can think of. Trouble is, it also comes with a high tech price tag. I decided to build the 44 because we simply couldn't afford the kind of boat we wanted, and if we wanted the 44, there just aren't all that many of them out there. I've always been a guy who wasn't afraid of idioticly big projects. Seems that we are becoming a dying breed. And that seems a shame. In any case, not to pat ourselves on the back, but we wanted the CC44, bought the plans, spent years building it, and now are just a few months from launching it. My wife has decided to launch twin boys first, so we will launch the boat after that. Still plenty of room for everyone!
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Old 17-08-2012, 22:35   #1348
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Sounds like good timing to me. I've looked through the catalog too, also the Seaclipper and CC ones. For load carrying the CC 35 is equivalent to the Searunner 34..... For defined boating adventures, say with a 5-20 year window standard construction has a place. I think it is good Jim has made the manual available for those who wan to take that route. Traditionally a wooden boat or ship was expected to have a 10 - 20 year life then be replaced. Nowadays to be responsible it should last long enough to grow the replacement trees but Jim Brown showed that with maintenance that is possible. For myself I like the epoxy route but if I had a choice between a 5 year low budget adventure or no sailing I'd go with the economy approach. And that is why some of the old boats had the long term problems they did, not using marine ply etc.....There is nothing wrong with stringer frame construction, it can last as long as anything but the materials,build techniques and maintenance have to be ther too.
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Old 18-08-2012, 02:00   #1349
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

How exciting Phantom Boatwork.
There was a CC44 here in NZ and knowing of the builder it was just amazing. I wanted it but as usual couldnt afford it. So now happy to stay with my SR37. Its got a good fitout ideal for cruising i cannot complain.
10 years sounds about right for building such a machine. they are so much more exciting to sail especially in 30 knots. A powerful rig and incredible sea worthy. Life is too short to muck around too long with these boats sometimes... in the open ocean going for a few days we got plenty of deck to take a run around and keep sane.... so thats what we gotta do ... sail for a few days someplace....
The world is a changing place and this forum is full of pirates and dangerous spots venture and with now weather bombs more frequent... gosh ....
Dreams come real when you dont have them anymore.....
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Old 18-08-2012, 09:45   #1350
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Phantom Boatwork, AKA "Capt Ron",
CONGRATULATIONS! That is quite an accomplishment. You deserve to pat yourself on the back...

Having the project in your yard during that 10 years, is indeed the best way. During our house project, we lived 30' away in a VERY small camper trailer, and later, the boat project was only 500' away. We never set a schedule, and when asked, just said: "It doesn't matter... she'll be done when she's done". Life was good, the project kept it interesting, and "the point", was simply to enjoy life, not rush to finish.

The reality is, that the thought that "life will be great" once the boat is finished, is an illusion. If life isn't good now, it won't be good then either. Cruising is more "different" than "better". It is a VERY hard life, full of extremes in fun, excitement, social interaction, adventure, hard work, sickness, fear, and loneliness. I love it still, but it is not all great! I tried to learn from my past two forays into building a boat and sailing away. This is why I applied this experience into making my last attempt, "a good trip", as Jim put it. Mostly, it has been. The previous 2 tries, were 50/50 at best.

You made a good choice to move on. Once a boat is well into the rotten stage, building a new one from scratch, makes more sense. It can actually be less work in the end. I know this from experience!

Wooden boats do get a bad rap, but undeservedly so, especially regarding the WEST System, CC ones (without stringers). If built in the WEST system, with LP paints, they can be as low a maintenance as FRP, or exotic composite boats are. In fact, the Gougeons have done experiments to prove, that between carbon/kevlar/epoxy composites, Wood/glass/ epoxy composites like yours, and conventional FRP hulls... The wood/epoxy hull can stand the most "cycles" of flex, with least loss of strength. Only metal hulls do better in wave cycles, and that assumes "0" flex or corrosion over the years.

In 2,000, we buddy boated to Central America with dear friends who had built an astoundingly beautiful CC Chris White Juniper II, "Carissa". At 54' long, she really took your breath away, as I'm sure your 44 will! In staying aboard during a winter visit, we noted how much less of a problem that pesky winter condensation was. It was still there, but the ceiling and walls could be wiped down in a couple of minutes, VS hours, to wipe down a boat with stringers. In fact, a boat with stringers, @ 54' long, would take all day to do the same. There would be puddles on the lower end of every stringer, along with some failing paint, between every frame. (On non WEST boats, these are little rot spots, waiting to happen). The CC boats are also easier to build, "foot for foot", do the interior furniture, plumb, wire, and maintain, in every way. This is because with the strength coming from a thicker hull, requiring an absolute minimum of framing, and having no stringers, the interior is 100% less busy. There is less "stuff" in the way. Regarding John's CC boats, the clunky metal rudder hardware was even done away with, reducing bottom maintenance a LOT!

Capt Ron... I know you're aware of all this, just passing it on to those who want a fair comparison.

To compare to a SR...
We made several visits to a Marples CC 35 project/hull, before getting into our SR 34 project. We LOVED the design. It is beautiful to my eye, has all of those CC advantages, and John had simplified the rig, storage, accommodations, drive train, steering, rudder/skeg, etc. It was a great cruiser, with "potentially" FAR less maintenance over the years. It was designed to be this way... The CC35 was also WAY smaller than a SR34, in every respect except outside dimensions, rig, payload, and WL.

On the CC35, the head area, vanity area, bunks, counters, shelves, sterncastle table, number and size of cubbies, number and size of wing lockers, amount of deck to walk on, size of cockpit, etc, etc, WERE ALL 20 to 40% smaller than on the SR 34. It is not a "full time liveaboard", imo.

Since we WOULD be full time liveaboards, tied to marinas, and still trying to make a living at times, the CC35 was not right for us, but the SR 34 would be fine, but just barely.

So, one should think of the CC series as greatly simplified Searunners, on a longer WL. The CC44 may have the overall storage and living space of the SR 37 or thereabouts, but with a longer WL., more powerful rig, better speed, more righting moment, and far less motion. The only downside, is that being bigger, "outside", makes it more expensive to own over the years, (considering, sails, rigging, dockage, haulouts, etc)...

We love our SR 34, mind you, but, during our years cruising, and the 10 years spent in the Fl Keys, condensation was no problem, however, in NC, it is! The way we deal with the winter condensation issue, is that after 2 winters we moved off of the boat, for one thing. Super drying the air was causing health issues. Now, around Dec, we pickle the whole boat! We have a SS boat dehumidifier sitting on the head, and draining into a jug. We also have, (distributed logically), 2 "turbo blower" dehumidifier fans, 2 "golden rods", 2 standard fans, and about 30 descant cups. This totally eliminates the daily chore of sopping the water off of over a dozen stringer created water traps. Of coarse, all of this crap spread about, rules out sailing for a few months!

Searunners are NOT good cold weather boats, nor are most other multihulls with stringers. On John's SC series, (like my 28), at least the stringers were more square in profile, and had HORIZONTAL tops, so they did not trap moisture!

For folks that have cold winters, or plan world cruising that will entail condensation problems, the advantage of CC boats can not be overstated.

I feel fortunate indeed to have the boat we have, and love her like a child, but regarding a lot of cruising's aspects, in particular maintenance, a CC 40 would've been a slightly larger, and much better boat. At my age, I would even make it a hard top/soft sided pilot house version.

On our budget, however, we have the perfect boat, for us!

Send us some photos of launch day. Bet she's a beauty!
M.
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