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Old 06-01-2022, 12:55   #1
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Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Greetings sailors.

So... I have been in the market to upgrade my little 19' daysailor for quite a while now. I have been looking for something about 32-ish feet, small enough to comfortably single hand in and out of a the marina every weekend, but spacious and seakindly enough for the wife and I to do a 2-3 week / 400NM trip a few times a year.
Unfortunately, pickings are a quite slim for a well taken care of, older cruising sailboat down in Africa.

But, I recently came accross a beautiful Choy Lee Robb 35 sloop on my back door, for not very much more than my original budget. Its the GRP hull version with an in-line galley. It seems to be have well cared for over its lifetime, with the plywood decks having been replaced with teak on grp some years ago.
With the current owner having become older and less capable, it does need a bit of attention on the external varnish work, but this is all cosmetic and relatively easily broughy up to scratch. In all practical ways the boat is in no worse condition than any "more modern" boat I would have considered.

Now, my question to my fellow cruising enthusiasts...
Please tell me why its a bad idea to get a beautiful and capable, long overhang classic sailboat for on/off cruising.
Is there some fatal flaw these kind of boats have for the kind of things we want to do with them?

Any experience, input, or brainstorming would be greatly appreciated.

Ill add a photo of a similar boat for you guys to drool over

G
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Old 06-01-2022, 13:44   #2
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Beautiful! People cruised these boats when they were new, no reason you can't do it now. The reason many gravitate to more modern designs is mostly that you get more interior space and waterline length (speed) per foot on deck, which is often how you get charged at the marina.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:01   #3
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

You will have to deal with people coming up and telling you how pretty your boat is all of the time. It can be a real hassle.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:06   #4
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junglebike View Post
Beautiful! People cruised these boats when they were new, no reason you can't do it now. The reason many gravitate to more modern designs is mostly that you get more interior space and waterline length (speed) per foot on deck, which is often how you get charged at the marina.
Yes, the speed is probably the only thing that has made me slightly hesitant. I think mostly because I dont really know what to expect.
Are these kinds boats really that much slower than something 10 years younger?The sailboat.guide website gives a more than 2knot difference between the robb and something like a miura 31 which has a 27' waterline length vs the robbs 24'.
(and would sell for a similar price here).

Id imagine that a 19 hour difference in passage time on a 400NM trip is something worth thinking about when you have a week or two for it.

Or am I over analysing it?
Are these numbers a true representation of a real world passage?

https://sailboat.guide/cheoy-lee/robb-35

https://sailboat.guide/nebe/miura-31
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:27   #5
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Even though I'm a fin keel kind of guy, I like the Robb35 much better than the Miura 31. The Robb, being narrower, will be a sweet sailor with an easy motion. It's a bit heavier (Disp/Len) and shorter on sail area, but it should do fine in Africa where the wind often blows.

If you and you spouse can fit within it's smaller interior, you'll be fine, and you'll be sailing a classic.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:37   #6
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSouth View Post
Yes, the speed is probably the only thing that has made me slightly hesitant. I think mostly because I dont really know what to expect.
Are these kinds boats really that much slower than something 10 years younger?The sailboat.guide website gives a more than 2knot difference between the robb and something like a miura 31 which has a 27' waterline length vs the robbs 24'.
(and would sell for a similar price here).

Id imagine that a 19 hour difference in passage time on a 400NM trip is something worth thinking about when you have a week or two for it.

Or am I over analysing it?
Are these numbers a true representation of a real world passage?

https://sailboat.guide/cheoy-lee/robb-35

https://sailboat.guide/nebe/miura-31
400nm in 1 week on either of those boats is pretty ambitious. Hell, that's ambitious for my 41' trawler. I'm not sure about those hull speed calculations - usually you motor under hull speed, maybe 1.0 x sqrt(WLL) where WaterLine Length is in feet. And with a strict schedule you're very likely going to be motoring. Probably at around 5kts. So that's 80 hours of motoring - two work weeks!

Motoring for days on end in a small sailboat is not much fun. Maybe you have reliable winds? I dunno... we did ~400nm in 6 weeks this past summer and it was great, but we motor at 8.5kts. I wouldn't want to go that far in 2 weeks.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:44   #7
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

If you were in a hurry, you'd take a plane.


Get the sailboat you like.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:45   #8
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

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Originally Posted by Junglebike View Post
400nm in 1 week on either of those boats is pretty ambitious. Hell, that's ambitious for my 41' trawler. I'm not sure about those hull speed calculations - usually you motor under hull speed, maybe 1.0 x sqrt(WLL) where WaterLine Length is in feet. And with a strict schedule you're very likely going to be motoring. Probably at around 5kts. So that's 80 hours of motoring - two work weeks!

Motoring for days on end in a small sailboat is not much fun. Maybe you have reliable winds? I dunno... we did ~400nm in 6 weeks this past summer and it was great, but we motor at 8.5kts. I wouldn't want to go that far in 2 weeks.

Its a trip I have done before on a 43 footer.
Im probably wrong saying its 400NM, its probably closer or 330 if im honest
Its usually done as a 3-day passage going downwind with a front in steady 20-30kn winds (gusting 30-40).
Our fronts down here are pretty strong and pretty reliable.

The Miura is a pretty hardy and proven boat in our waters with a very strong track record. But Ive never been a fan of anything with a bolt on keel, which is unfortunately pretty much everything that has been built down here since the 80s.
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Old 06-01-2022, 14:54   #9
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Doesn't scare me. As a kid I cruised on a 26' sailboat with two parents, four kids, and two dogs. No HVAC, no refrigerator, manual pump water. And I loved it.

The Robb35 might not be the most comfortable, but you'll cruise in style.
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Old 06-01-2022, 16:11   #10
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

Isn't the Robb going to heel a bit and increase its LWL the moment the sails go up? the Miura's short overhangs won't be adding much waterline length when she heels over. Being heavier the Robb is more likely to have a comfortable motion at sea. Because of the long overhangs it likely has about the same usable space as the Miura. How do the interiors compare in fit/finish and workable layouts? Do they both have deck-stepped masts? The interiors of the Robbs shown online look nice, and it's certainly the better looking boat.
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Old 06-01-2022, 16:37   #11
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You should manage 400nm in 7 days with no troubles.. hell that's less than 60nm/day.. she should be capable of 100nm/day in a steady F4-5... that's only just over 4kts.
Do wonder sometimes at some comments..
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Old 06-01-2022, 17:05   #12
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

^^^^^

Phil, I was thinking the same thing! 400 miles per week is pretty easy to achieve in such boats as the Robb. Perhaps those posters didn't realize that one can sail 24 hours a day!

But re an earlier comment about the long overhangs adding interior space: Not in my experience. Those volumes tend to b e pretty inaccessible in most boats, especially in the bow, and not all that useful.

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Old 06-01-2022, 17:19   #13
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

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You should manage 400nm in 7 days with no troubles.. hell that's less than 60nm/day.. she should be capable of 100nm/day in a steady F4-5... that's only just over 4kts.
Do wonder sometimes at some comments..
I certainly understand that 400nm is possible in 7 days. The OP has only 2 weeks for the entire cruise, not just to get to the destination. Just wanted to make sure they know what they're getting into - it's pretty exhausting sailing that much with two people & not much time after recovery to get to actually enjoy the places you've gotten to. Fine if you're going for months, but that's farther than I personally would want to go in such a short amount of time unless the real goal is to be actively sailing.
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Old 06-01-2022, 17:26   #14
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

I'm a sucker for the classics. My wife and I spent many a day sailing our classic Cheoy Lee Clipper Ketch in the Gulf of Mexico many years ago. True, a lot of times she wasn't the fastest boat to port. But she was stout, comfortable, seakindly and safe. And often the prettiest boat in an anchorage and marina.

I agree with letsgetsailing3. There's a lot more to sailing than just getting from point A to point B first. If speed is your first priority, get a cigarette boat. If pride of ownership is high on your list -- that Cheoy Lee will turn heads wherever you sail.

Congrats, Bob
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Old 06-01-2022, 17:35   #15
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Re: Cruising on a classic sailboat (Choy Lee Robb 35)

There is a guy on YouTube that just sailed his old Cape Dory 28 (22.2 ft LWL) from the US to Ireland.
https://www.youtube.com/c/samholmessailing/videos
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