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Old 02-03-2021, 00:35   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Sydney
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Hi all,

Iím currently looking at my 1st yacht/boat and need some general advise.

Iím planning on sailing from Sydney up to FNQ and then onto Indonesia, Philippines, Palau then back down thru PNG and back to SydneyÖ

I have been looking around now for the last 3-4 months and have come across the Cavalier 32 & or Phantom 32 boatÖ

I will most likely be doing a bit of solo single handed sailing around 50% of the time and just wanted your general thoughts on both boats.

1. Has anyone got a cav32 or phantom 32 and if so have you sailed it overseasÖ How was it?
2. I have a friend who had one years back and said she can be a little slow esp during light winds but is a sturdy build. (Is this the case)
3. Osmosis issue? I have read a few forums and nothing has come up regarding this.
4. I donít know much about the Phantom 32, but she does look quite similar in size to a cavalierÖ Ideas?

Iím not looking for a cruiser or a racer and donít mind doing the average 4kt at times but I also donít want to be drifting out to sea with low winds. I know no boat is perfect so probably all of my queries are stupid but I would love if people could give me a bit of info just so I can have a general feel for thingsÖ

Ive got a budget of 30-40k and would prefer to buy one around the 30k mark if a few upgrades need to take place ofcourse.

Thanks for your response. Cheers!

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Old 02-03-2021, 01:20   #2
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Plenty of the NZ Cav 32's been up thru the islands, pretty well regarded. Laurie Davidson design maybe or Salthouse?
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Old 02-03-2021, 01:34   #3
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I know one that circumnavigated New Zealand's South island. They have a good reputation, maybe a little small inside compared to a modern 32 footer.
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Old 08-03-2021, 15:45   #4
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I have a Cav32. Love it!
Bob Salthouse design.
Cool story of a single hand circum from NZ that I read about.
Mine was supposed to be a first keel boat then upsize...but itís been 8 years now and Iíve built her around myself.
I do come last in our twilights...but thatís all about waterline length.
Older, smaller boats have a wonderful community of people about them.
Canít go wrong with a cheap, well built, well designed yacht.
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Old 10-03-2021, 01:43   #5
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Location: Nelson NZ
Boat: Current yacht:Alden 46, previous yachts:Cavalier 32, Joshua steel ketch -12m, Traveller 32,Rawson 30
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Hi there,
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 and deck, 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 and interior 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.
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