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BillAU 05-12-2009 06:28

Which Tri Would Be Best as a Liveaboard Cruiser?
G'day mates,

From the following two Tri's, which, in your opinion, would be best as a live-aboard cruiser, sailing mostly the East Coast of Australia, the Whitsunday's and the top-end of Australia, with perhaps, the occasional trip to some of the, closer to the East Coast of Australia, South Pacific Islands.
First their is a 40ft Piver Loadstar, I don't know what year it was built but it looks to be in good nick but...It dose not have a shower as far as I know and it has one mast to many for my liking.

Then we have a Tri that I really like, it's a much different Tri and it's much more expensive but I keep going back to it. It's a 37' 9" Mashford, pro' built in GRP/Foam core composite in 1981 has a shower :) Anyway, here it is:

While I'm asking for your views, can anyone with experience with GRP/Foam core composite tell me how difficult it is to maintain, repair and work with, compared to Fibre over Ply like the Pivers were built. I have done quite a bit of work with timber but have never worked with Foam core.

Thanking you in advance for your views.

Bill AU

mikereed100 05-12-2009 07:49

Easy one. The Mashford. The Pivers are "1st generation" tri's which, while good for their time (the 60's) are now pretty dated. They don't mention how old the Lodestar is but I would be very cautious. The ply could be getting tired and there may be rot. Foam composite is a well established building method and no harder to work with or repair than ply. In the long run the Mashford may be no more expensive than the Piver, it is certainly better equipped, it will be faster and may even have better load-carrying ability due to rounded hulls. Plus it will get you chicks.

Happy hunting,

Ram 05-12-2009 08:20

nice looking boat!!

multihullsailor6 05-12-2009 10:34


I see from an earlier reply of mine that your still looking! Well at least now only at two tris!

Go for the Mashoford, provided a survey checks out!

I had the "pleasant" experience of a NZ broker mentioning "all that is required is some TLC ..." when the survey I had done estimated repair costs as high again as the asking price!

BillAU 05-12-2009 16:01

Thanks Mates
G'day Mike, Ram and Dave I think it is, in Cape town, :)

Thanks for responding, I went off checking on motor yachts but quickly decided against them and returned to Tri's.

By the way Dave, I have actually had a look over a few more than two Tri's, most of which, although advertised as "suitable for live aboard" were in no stretch of the imagination suitable to live aboard on a full time basis...Perhaps a weekend trip but that's about it. Anyway, I'm still looking and waiting for the right Tri for me.

As I said at the start of this post, I keep going back to have a look at the Mashford as I really like it and...Another Tri :) ...No, not the Piver...The other Tri is a nice looking 38' Crowther Impala, about the same age as the Mashford. You can see the Crowther here: Boats for Sale - Yachts for Sale - Used & New Boats @ Yacht Hub Australia & New Zealand

I was hoping the 40' Piver was a good buy at the asking price. I believed I could get it at a decent offer but I too thought it might be to old to be a sensible buy. That's why I ask you mates for your views before going any further with any of the vessels. Finding a good surveyor in the various areas, experienced in the various built vessels, can work-out to be expensive if I wanted an inspection/survey on several Tri's so, I'm trying to work down to one or two Tri's, spending a week, more like two weeks with the distance apart they are up-north, then going over them myself before forking out for a surveyor to inspect the chosen vessel.

About six weeks back I talked with a broker and he told me I didn't need to worry about a surveyor...They would get it surveyed on my behalf! I said thanks but no thanks, I would find my own surveyor, to which that broker replied...Good luck with that! Needless to say, I have given that broker and Tri a wide berth!
Anyway, enough small chat, I'm pretty set on the Mashford but what do you think of this other "airy" Crowther's Impala Tri? It's cheaper in the asking price and it's about the same age and size and it looks to be a nice Tri...With all the windows it's airy like a Cat. Boats for Sale - Yachts for Sale - Used & New Boats @ Yacht Hub Australia & New Zealand

Thanks again for your views, they're much appreciated mates.

Bill AU

Ram 05-12-2009 18:05

wow nice looking one also, the only negitive thing i can think of is that with a beam like that- its gonna cost an arm and a leg to keep in a marina and its going to be hard to get her in and out of the water- but very nice from the pictures

That is the down side to a cat also and have to pay in some place 1 1/2 to 2x the price at a marina

Jmolan 05-12-2009 18:35

2 Attachment(s)
Hey, hope you are enjoying the boat hunting. Two things caught my eye. Like you said both boats are similar in size and price.

The Mashford cockpit looks small (hard to tell in the photos, and the emaiun traveller looks like it is sticking out ready to catch anyone and anything. It just looks lke it was plopped on there.

The Crowther looks bright and sunny like you said, but it looks like inside going fwd. past the main bulkhead is no fun. Depending on what they have up there, that would be tough over time.

Either way, just caught my eye. I found it very interesting when I was boat shopping that things were not nearly as brightr and shinny as they looked in the pics. And those pesky things the brokers say like "just needs paint" or some "elbow grease".....:p

By the way, there are ways to beat the usual expensis and hassle with a Trimaran. See Pics below.... We moore out, and have our own trailer for haul outs. They strore the trailer with or without a boat for $100 month. A round trip to haul and splash is $15.....:D....let me tell you I feel lucky!

BillAU 06-12-2009 03:06

G'day mates and thanks for your views,

After going over the pictures again, I think with the Crowther “Impala, when they rebuilt the main cabin they put everything they could in the main cabin.
It says there's a double V berth up forward but I bet it's seldom used if ever, like you I think going forward for any reason would be no fun for anyone and at my age it would soon become a pain in the ass!

It looks to me like the Mashford is better laid-out below deck and as their's only one of me, with perhaps a couple of guests from time to time, the Mashford may be the best bet. I could be wrong but I don't think the traveller on the Mashford would be a problem...Unless someone was running around the saloon roof :) All the other Tri's I looked at and liked are all just under $100,000, or quite a bit more.

It's a good job I don't need the vessel tomorrow morning so I have time to keep searching but I do like that Mashford :)

Cheers mates and thanks again for your views.

Bill AU

senormechanico 06-12-2009 12:49


I wish I was back there in SC right now!

We had snow last night, and I have had to drain our dock water lines.

Next thing is to take off the sails for the winter...


multihullsailor6 06-12-2009 13:25


Could you please assist in my perpetual quest of finding nice places - which port is that in you left picture? How is the sailing there?

Regards from sunny and hot Cape Town

Jmolan 06-12-2009 14:58

Would love to see Cape Town Myself....The Photo is of San Carlos Sonora Mexico. It is not on many maps. Just above Guaymas. Is a center for cruisers in the Sea of Cortez. We went to San Carlos to look at a boat and liked the place somuch we bought a house.....then the boat....:-)

BillAU 06-12-2009 18:47


Originally Posted by multihullsailor6 (Post 370004)

Could you please assist in my perpetual quest of finding nice places - which port is that in you left picture? How is the sailing there?

Regards from sunny and hot Cape Town

G'day Roger,

Sorry for getting your name wrong in the earlier post, thought you were Dave :whistling:.
If you've had enough of Cape Town, why not head-up to Durban, the crabings good in the yacht inner harbor of Durban and they have a great yacht club right on the harbor :thumb:, after a rest in Durban, you could head on up to Walvis Bay, nothing much there when I was there but it may have changed over the years. (Notice how you would be getting closer to the West Coast of Aus :whistling:) From Walvis Bay you could head out for Perth here in Australia, then from Perth, head north, up and around the Top-end of Aus to Darwin, then onward East. past Cape York and down into the Whitsundays...There's great sailing all along the Whitsundays, with lots of un-inhabited Islands to explore.

At the time you left Walvis Bay, Jmolan could head west out of the Sea of Cortez for Tahiti, then Island hop right across the Paciffic to Australia and meet up with you in the Whitsundays...Now, is that a good idea or what? That way you have summer all year round and...wintering in the Whitsundays ain't bad either :thumb:

Somehing for you two to think about :)

Bill AU

BillAU 06-12-2009 18:57

Sailing close to the wind...or not :)
G'day again mates,

As you know, I've been looking at Tri's and asking your opinions, one question I forgot to ask of you Tri sailing mates...How close to the wind will a Tri sail...Or, when the wind is close to head-on, do you just drop your sails and motor...Or what?

Bill AU

senormechanico 06-12-2009 19:14


Not sure if you're asking a general question.
My DF1000 will tack through 90 degrees in reasonable weather, from near nothing wind to at least 15 knots as long as the sea state doesn't get over a few feet.
We're always first to sail and last to motor.

A few years ago we were sailing close hauled in about 5 knots of wind when we noticed a Prout catamaran was motoring and following us. After a few miles, we realized he was trying to catch us. We rolled up the jib and he came along side.
He asked us if we were motorsailing and we said no. Long story short, he wanted to buy our boat.

Jmolan 06-12-2009 19:17


Originally Posted by BillAU (Post 370119)
G'day again mates,

As you know, I've been looking at Tri's and asking your opinions, one question I forgot to ask of you Tri sailing mates...How close to the wind will a Tri sail...Or, when the wind is close to head-on, do you just drop your sails and motor...Or what?

Bill AU

Whoa! I like the sounds of a get together half way around the globe, would be a great something to set a goal on. I am going to think that one over....:-)

As far as close winded. My boat draws over 2 meters with the big center board down. COmbined with narrow hulls, and kept light enough that it will not be pounding the under wings, or jumping around with poor motion (Lighter rig and weight centered)
I think boat motion is under rated in determining how good a boat is. HOw a boat "fits" in the water, where the bouyancy and lift is. How the weight is distributed in the hull.....I swear, you have to experience center cockpit, ceteral weight sailing to appreciate it.
Motion is a huge factor for all involved in sailing and living aboard. I have noticed we are as close winded as most any regular day sailing boat. Closer than most 40' heavy cruisers. When we really shine is using the cutter rig in big wind. We reef by dropping the head sail and running with a staysail and full main....then reef the main, usually a double reef (it saves work)...if the wind keeps coming up, I will drop the main and sail under staysail only. I have reef points in it also but have yet to use them. I know I can make good to windward in "reinforced trades" where I was the only boat sailing, by then all the cruisers had the engine on. I was dry (slowed down) and laughing cause the motion and lack of spray.
Anyhow, yea. Get something deep down like a board, a tight rig, narrow hulls and high armpits and she will go higher and faster than you may want.

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