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Old 02-12-2018, 20:04   #1
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Question Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

I am new here and am looking for information.
I sailed and raced 35 years on Okanagan lake on a US 25. A great boat for the lake as she was safe and competitive in the racer/cruiser class. Have many trophies. Love to single hand and have even beaten fully crewed boats on the race course. Sold her last year and am looking for a boat to cruise the west coast of BC.
Am interested in a Rafiki 37 which is on the market and am looking for info as to her suitability in single handing also what areas should I be taking special attention to.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2018, 20:29   #2
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Good boat. Check bluewaterboats.org for basic info including known issues. One or two owners here I’m sure will pipe up as well.
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Old 02-12-2018, 20:57   #3
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Thanks.
How do you like your Tayana. Can you single hand her?
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Old 02-12-2018, 21:27   #4
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Yes and yes. I liked the rafiki’s but prefer a wheel to a tiller. Both are good solid classsics.
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:27   #5
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Hi Doug, I’ve owned our Rafiki for about eight years now. Love her as a good, purpose-built blue water boat designed for long duration cruising with small crew. I sail as a couple, which means often end up sailing her myself. I have little trouble managing things out at sea. I find close maneuvering to be the greatest challenge as she’s a FULL keel boat.

Happy to tell you what I can about these boats. They were well designed and well built, but they are all about 40 years old now, so age related issues are real. Balsa cored deck issues, including screwed in teak decks, should be considered. My boat has what I assume are original diesel tanks, which are mild steel (black iron). But mostly it’s just age related issues common to all old boats.

Not a lot has been written about these boats. Here’s an online article by well known sailor John Kretschmer

When I was looking to buy this boat I looked at many Tayana 37s as well. I would have bought one if I’d found a good version. But then I stumbled on my Rafiki-37 and haven’t looked back (yet). The tiller initially concerned me; it seems like such a large boat for a tiller. But I very quickly became a convert. I now absolutely love the tiller, and would not want to go back to a wheel.

Anyway, ask away. Happy to try and help.
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Old 03-12-2018, 17:38   #6
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Thanks Mike.
Have found a 1975, not sure her hull number. But is rigged out for cruising with wind vane, radar, autohelm, radios, dink and motor. She looks relatively in good shape with teak decks in good shape so they say. The owners were going to go offshore but found a bigger boat so the salesman says.
She is currently in Mexico so thinking of going down but need some more info.
They are a cored hull. Is there an issue? What is chainpate history on these boats like as they are through deck. Can one inspect from inside?
I love the double ender design for some reason. Just think they are sexy and I have always liked Perry designs but could not afford one in good shape.
I heard that you may have a digital copy of the design. Could I get a copy if possible?
I am still in research mode but need to move quickly if I want to make the plunge.
Any ideas on what she may go for realistically as she is 43 years old?
Any points I need to be vigilant of for when I do go down to inspeck.
What do you like best about her sailing characteristics?

Thanks in advance
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Old 03-12-2018, 18:39   #7
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

If yours is the one listed in Mx on Yachtworld, she does indeed look like a good find. But only a detailed look will show for sure. And she seems underpriced, which is probably due to the location. I think they typically sell in the mid to upper $50k (USD).

I inherited a letter from the designer, Stan Huntingford, where he talks about the concept for the boat. It was purpose designed and built to be a long distance quality cruiser for a small crew; typically a couple. As such, the systems are simple yet stout, as is the whole boat. She really is heavily built in all the places that matter.

I do have the blueprints for these boats. I’d PM you so we can exchange emails. I don’t want to post them publicly here, b/c I assume they are still the intellectual protected property.

They are cored hulls down to a foot or so above the keel housing. It is an airex core, and I’ve never heard of any problems. I had to replaced and rebuild transducer housing a few years ago, so got to examine the core in that area. It was in perfect shape.

Chainplates… I actually can’t tell you much about the originals b/c mine have been modified and moved outboard by a previous owner. The original ones did penetrate through the deck, which I suspect may have been a source of problem on my boat.

As for issues, mostly these would be similar to any good ol’ boat. Decks are balsa cored, and most of these boats came with screwed in teak decking, so you can bet there is likely some water intrusion. This is not necessarily a show-stopper, especially given how over-built the decks are (indeed, everything on these boats is heavily built). But it is something to look closely at.

Other than that, look at the tanks. I think they all came with mild steel (black iron) diesel tanks that are deep recessed into the bilge. They have been known to rust out. My boat has two tanks. The forward (small) tank failed a pressure test so is sealed off. My main tank tested fine, but may become an issue in the future.

Sailing … contrary to the stereotypical view, Rafiki’s actually sail quite well. She’s a cutter rig, which makes for great versatility and safety out on the big briny. Put wind on the beam or aft and she moves really well. She’s no up-wind champ, but even here she performs quite well. She actually carries a lot of sail, which probably explains why people rank Rafiki’s a better sailers compared to similar boats like the Tayana-37.

Anyway, hopefully you can get my PM so we can exchange email. I’ll send you the link to the blueprints. They show how well designed and built these boats are.
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Old 03-12-2018, 20:00   #8
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Quote:
She actually carries a lot of sail, which probably explains why people rank Rafiki’s a better sailers compared to similar boats like the Tayana-37
Mike, I’m not trying to start anything, but I think you should expand and explain this statement a little further. ‘Forgiving’ yes, ‘better’ meh...
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Old 03-12-2018, 23:34   #9
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

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Originally Posted by rbk View Post
Mike, I’m not trying to start anything, but I think you should expand and explain this statement a little further. ‘Forgiving’ yes, ‘better’ meh...
No slight intended. I love the Tayana-37. As I said, had I found one in good enough shape, I would have bought it.

From the Kretschmer article:

Quote:
The Rafiki, which means friendship in Swahili, looks a lot like a Tayana 37, one of the most popular blue-water boats ever built. Designed by Stan Huntingford, and later morphed into the Slocum 37, the Rafiki's lines are finer and the boat is a better performer than the Tayana.
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Old 04-12-2018, 00:04   #10
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
No slight intended. I love the Tayana-37. As I said, had I found one in good enough shape, I would have bought it.

From the Kretschmer article:
I think the numbers alone tell a different story.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:01   #11
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Sounds like a friendly race for pink slips is upcoming. So, will the west coaster whip over to the East coast or vice versa?

Jim
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:34   #12
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Sounds like a friendly race for pink slips is upcoming. So, will the west coaster whip over to the East coast or vice versa?

Jim
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:55   #13
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Sounds like a friendly race for pink slips is upcoming. So, will the west coaster whip over to the East coast or vice versa?
It’s all good. I love Tayana’s as well. Why wouldn’t I — they’re almost as good as Rafiki’s .
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:00   #14
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

Let’s meet in the middle. I think it’s actually been colder out east than it is up north but either way warmer waters are preferred.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:11   #15
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Re: Planning on upsizing to go cruising.

My advice is buy a boat with low upkeep exterior , especially here in the PNW. NO teak decks and little teak exterior. I've put 3 coats of varnish on handrails in the fall only to have the rain wear through those coats before late spring. Also, make sure the one you select has good HP as (you probably know) the currents can run strong.
If you are staying in the PNW, you dont need a super heavy cruiser necessarily. Buy waterline, speed and newer with your $ if you want to sail vs being a repairman!
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