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Old 28-12-2009, 17:45   #1
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Comparison: CD28 to Cheoy Lee Offshore 31

We sold our 82 CD30 in September and are sitting on around 15K left from that sale to buy into a new boat. At this point it's pretty much narrowed down to two and, for those controlling the money (not me >.>) its a fairly tough choice. Basically, we're looking at a yard owned 84 CD28 (1984 Cape Dory sloop Sail Boat For Sale - customized with a hard dodger and self tacking genoa which may or may not have spongy deck problems (hard to tell in the Maine winter, but yard is suspicious) for 12.5K or a 72 Cheoy Lee offshore 31 ketch (1972 Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 Ketch Sail Boat For Sale - which is extensively upgraded, but 40 years old and from Taiwan for 13.5K.
Classic lines are critical for my father who currently commands the boat money and both fit the bill as Alberg and Herreshoff(ish) designs respectively. Taiwanese boats are reputed to have many issues, of course, and Cheoy Lee is no exception but it appears incredibly well cared for and has many upgrades that would make one think it should be priced higher. The Cape Dory may have issues, but it's very similar to what we just sold (same cabin, modified sailplan) and certain elements would like to stay on the CD brand. The use of the boat will be mainly coastal Maine cruising but offshore is a possibility as well as overnight jaunts down south to Nantucket and the Vineyard. I'm also pushing heavy for Bermuda sometime.
Basically, considering the issues and how they compare to each other, which would people opine to be the better buy and for what specific reasons. It's very important that we have a second Andronikos to put in the water come July*cough* no I mean sailing season.
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Old 29-12-2009, 04:07   #2
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First off, I think your first priority would be to firm up a physical assessment of both boats, as the boats' conditions - and therefore, the work and expense left for you to tackle - are going to determine your satisfaction with the choice far more than the specifics of the design.

Second - and I offer this as someone who's owned two ketches - I can't imagine preferring a ketch rig on a (smallish) 31 footer.

I recommend you look through the following website as Fred Bickum did a very nice job of illustrating and discussing all the weak points of the CD28 that he modified in his driveway for a year, before he left to do a circumnavigation in her. Fred's got a lot of boat building experience and his observations might prove quite helpful to you.

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Old 29-12-2009, 04:59   #3
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Agree with Jack...ketch rig on a 31-footer doesn't make much sense. Except, perhaps, that it would fit in well with the fleet of old schooners and character boats in Maine :-)

By the way, Cheoy Lee boats were built in Hong Kong, not Taiwan. I have one (a 42-footer), and have visited the Cheoy Lee yard several times.

Maintenance on the Cape Dory is likely to be much easier.

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Old 30-12-2009, 08:31   #4
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Yes, Hong Kong is right, for some reason I was thinking of the Formosa yard when I wrote that. And I think you'll find when you spend time in Maine the vast majority of boats up here are 34-45 foot modern cruising sloops like the J/42 and various Sabres.
My chief attraction to the Cheoy Lee is its Herreshoff design - I've always wanted one. I have plenty of Cape Dory experience and likely the 28 would be easier, but there is no effective way to test the extent of the potentially nonexistent core damage. We already engaged in a lengthy core repair on a typhoon and know what that entails, so its not something we'd like to repeat. Also, based on what the boats are equipped with, the Cheoy Lee seems to have more in the way of updates, etc. for the money and is also sail-away ready only a couple hours away from our mooring. The 28 is closer, but its been in the yard long enough for them to claim ownership and list it so it hasn't seen the water for a while-no telling what we'd find there. This weekend we're intending to go back with a friend who is a broker and is experienced enough in sizing up boats for selling, so that should help give us a clearer picture of what the 28 is really going to need.
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Old 30-12-2009, 09:41   #5
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A very close friend with whom I sail often has a Cheoy Lee Herreshoff. It has gorgeous lines and sails beautifully. It is also dry for a 31 footer, and handles weather very well under jib and jigger.

The mizzen is actually useful as a "coat rack" in the cockpit. And for entertaining, my friend built a custom table that wraps around the mizzen and stows when not in use.

The downside is that the cabin is small and there is limited stowage. The headroom is not great (the yachtworld ad says 6'2" headroom, but that's only the rear portion of the main cabin. Under the settees and in the v-berth it is considerably less). I suppose it could sleep four, but they would have to know each other really well. Also, these boats tend to have wooden spars (the Yachworld boat appears to have wood spars that were painted), which means more varnishing or painting. My friend has recently rebuilt the engine and has had his share of maintenance issues.

Having said that, the Cape Dorys are small too. I'm not familiar with the 28, but the CD 30 has roughly the same interior space and headroom as the Herreshoff.

Herreshoff knew how to design small boats with two masts, such as his Rozinante yawl, and IMHO the 31 ft ketch is also very good and alot less expensive.
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Old 09-03-2010, 18:35   #6
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As an update, though this obviously did not garner much interest, the 28 is under contract, but we have found a new 28 in much better condition for approximately the same price due to the owner's job circumstance with some bowsprit damage. The ketch is still available. We are also beginning to diversify our pool of boats to include more modern, less offshore boats such as the Catalina 30, Newport 30/33, Pearson 31/33, Sabre 28/30 as more economical choices at this time.
We do seem to be leaning towards the Cape Dory somewhat, as we have more experience with those boats, but it is the smallest of the bunch and does have some damage with repairs estimated to be approximately $1,000 after the price of the boat plus whatever upgrades are necessary.
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