I currently own a Cav 32 NZ built in 1973. I don’t know anything about the Phantom 32. The design was by Bob Salthouse in 1969 as an affordable racer/cruiser. 99 boats were built in NZ. At some point, the moulds were sold
to an Ozzie company and Cav 32’s were built there (Under a different name I recall). The NZ Cav 32 has a balsa cored hull
, which makes them strong, light and rigid; not sure about the Ozzie ones. They are great sailing boats, very close winded and well behaved in all conditions. They have a reputation for being bullet-proof and have done lots of ocean miles. I haven’t heard of osmosis
problems. Mine had a complete bottom peel and expoxy treatment in 2001. The owner was a real meticulous guy and put over $30K into the boat before taking her offshore
with wife and 2 small boys.
The NZ built ones have all-lead keels with 50% ballast ratio. They are very stiff; I don’t need to throw in a reef until its gusting 20kts. The rig is very 1970‘s: big jibs and small main, so you do need to carry at least 3 jibs. Mine has a roller furler
headstay with #1 and #2 genoa
, a Solent stay with a hank-on #3 ”blade”, a storm jib
, and storm trysail, also an asymmetric spinnaker
set off the bow roller. With a good set of sails
and clean bottom mine can sit on 6.5kts hard on the wind
all day. I’ve clocked 7.5-8kts broad reaching with the kite up.
Most of the NZ Cav’s were supplied with a Bukh
DV20 and a “V” drive. Several have had the Bukh
replaced with a lighter Yanmar
. A few have had the original shaft drive setup replaced with a saildrive
and I’ve even seen one with a hydraulic drive!
Yes, they are a small volume boat compared to more modern designs, but for single handed or 2 handed cruising this is not a problem, and believe me they sail better than those narrow-bow big-ass modern designs of the same length. For extended cruising
, the only downside is less room to carry toys and supplies.
I haven’t had mine out in open-ocean conditions, but have sailed her on Tasman Bay in 45+kts and 3m short chop seas with no problems.
The OZ Cav32’s were the same hull
, but with changes to the rig, cockpit
layout. Many had wheel steering
(IMHO not a good thing); they have a 0.8m taller mast
(a good thing for light air performance). That’s all I know about the Ozzie Cav 32’s.
$30K sounds a bit on the cheap
side for a Cav 32 fitted out for ocean cruising, my guess is for that price
you need to budget
another $10K-$15K to get it ready for an extended cruise
. I’ve had 3 cruising boats in 50 years, spent 17 years full-time cruising, and I kinda know what I’m talking about, but hey good luck.