I am the original poster on this thread so though its been a couple of years I thought I would briefly round it out for other searchers.
First, thanks to all the people who replied to my questions. Life got very hectic after this, but has settled down since then. The folks who took the time to answer my questions in this and other threads continue to be an amazing resource.
I ended up buying
the Wauquiez Hood Mk I. As suggested here, the owners' group is exceptional.
After 30 months of sailing and re-fitting, and now mostly living aboard
the past six months I would parrot all of the build quality compliments.
on mine had all of the teak
removed long ago, but the deck
itself is solid fiberglass
everywhere I work
on it. The back of the anchor locker
lids have plywood
backing and will eventually need work
, but otherwise solid. I replaced all thru hulls last winter
(one had a very minor leak) and glassed some in. The yard doing the work joked about how insanely thick the hull
is by today's standards. More than an inch was the norm with the bow being closer to 1 3/4". We literally had to figure out how to make one fitting longer or plumb the edges to seat it. I just had the same yard take a look at the hull and gel coat and they commented on how good the gel coat looks and recommended just a good buffing (in addition to some gel coat repair
I had inflicted). Most people assume the hull has been painted - the stripe has been, but the hull gel coat is original.
There is some cracking of gel coat in stress areas topside, but so far it is only cosmetic. I will assume other people know what they are talking about when they say this is a result of too thick gelcoat
The interior wood
work is exceptional, but some of that was aftermarket. The head
are both weak points as noted, but I just replaced the counters with laminate covered ply. So much of my interior
has been modified that i can't say much beyond that the general layout works for me.
A P.O. had upgraded mast
and all rigging
including rod rigging
. The original chain plates show no sign of leaking or damage.
very well. She does like to heel about 12 - 15 degrees, but once there she is pretty much on rails as others have noted. On an upwind run I literally took my hands off the helm
for about a minute and just watched her go into 18 - 20 kt apparent wind
at hull speed
of 7.4 knots. On another occassion I managed to run out of fuel
with practically no wind
and only my high cut 100% jib
on the furler
. With 3 - 5 knot
variable winds I still managed to coax 1.5 to 3 knts until the wind completely died after an hour or so. John Drake mentions on another thread the advantage of a centerboard
and I really confirmed it that night. The ability to lift
the board downwind makes a much bigger difference than I would have guessed. Similarly the ability to make the boat
slide sans CB is nice. I use that combined with the clockwise prop walk to spin my boat into the slip stern-to. I am not so much pushing that as an oft used feature but just to demonstrate that it gives you some nice options - in addition to allowing anchoring
in close to cliff wind breaks in shallows where normally only power boats dare to go.
I do wish she had a longer waterline, but I remind myself she is only a 38' boat and speed is very relative. She manages to move in light air (5 knots wind) in pretty much every direction. I am in the process of setting up better light air sailing options for my particular boat based on the logic that every half knot
I can add up to hull speed
is more valuable than a half knot actual terminal hull speed. It may be fuzzy logic, but its all I've got barring someone invents a clever way off adding waterline length cheaper than the cost of a good whisker pole and cruising Code Zero
The oft-discussed Mk I layout is certainly different, but having spent time with a traditional layout (not on a Wauquiez) and the MK I I would opt for the MK I. I am 6'2" tall and 210 lbs. When I had the vee berth torn apart I really appreciated having a separate cabin
and full length and a bit wider aft berth. I sleep like the dead in it. When I am not sleeping in it and it naturally collects clutter it is at least out of sight. And when I invite friends to stay or go cruise
, having a separate area for people to have their own space is very nice. It will fit two adults if they like each other. Externally, my instruments
are all located on the bulkhead where the companionway
would normally make that impossible. I can read all of them from the helm
, but ALSO from under the cover of the dodger
. That is hugely nice in the PNW
. I single
handed out in the San Juan Islands
last month (January). It was 35 degrees and thankfully no rain. With radar
and all my instruments
right in front of me it was totally comfortable just keeping watch while the autopilot
kept course. Can this be simulated on some standard companionways? Of course. But the MK I leaves me real estate for my traveller lines, mainsheet and winch
Ram mic, binoculars, gloves, chart, AND cup of hot chocolate. I DO have it set up so I can go through the port hole in a pinch or zip out the center dodger
window to crawl straight to the Swan hatch
if all hell is breaking loose. If it IS that bad then I guess I may ultimately appreciate that the Swan-style hatch
basically turns my MK I into a clorox bottle if she rolls.
The downsides of the hatch location and CB (the CB winch
is to starboard of the hatch) are that it can be a headache to get in and out of the hatch to the starboard side. My answer to that is generally to always tie port side to. Hence why I practiced spinning the boat when needed. The centralized hatch DOES take up interior space that could be used in the galley
. The P.O. added a pop-up counter off the dining settee that I rarely use, but I can see the versatility of it. When I remodeled the galley I went to a smaller single-well sink that I can mostly cover with a cutting board. And the forward facing nav station is two steps away if I need more surface area. If I regularly cooked for for say, three or more, I would likely use the pop up counter more, but in six months mostly solo I have never found myself cursing for more space. Mostly, I think the MK I is one of those things that the first several times it is a hassle. After a week or two it is just how it is. I guess I would say that if one had a significant weight issue or bad knees it might be a hassle. But then, so would sailing.
The Perkins 4-108 was a question so here are my thoughts after near to three years. I overheated it due to pilot error once, but is still runs strong. The boat has a 3-blade Max Prop. I do now "overheat" if I run it full out more than a 45 minutes or so, but in fairness I think that may be that I added an overheat alarm
that goes off at 180 degrees after the first mishap. Before that I suspect she was "normally" running at closer to 190 degrees. Other threads dont seem to clearly say what "normal" temperature is for a 4-108. In any event, it doesnt now sky rocket to 210 or anything. It hits 180, the alarm
goes off, I throttle back a little and in five minutes it resets and every one is happy. Which ignores the real question and answer: so far (never in open ocean), the Perkins has been strong enough for me. When not fighting a current
it is good for continuos 6.5 knots without serious effort or alarms. Against a decent current
, 4.5 knots seems the norm for continuous use. I recently asked a good friend who rebuilds City bus diesel
engines for a living whether I should rebuild
or upgrade. His answer was blunt (we served in the Army together). The polite version was to stick with technology that has worked flawlessly for 30+ years and that I could fix pretty much anywhere in the world without needing electronics
or a PhD in mechanical engineering. And that being a Perkins, parts
would be available basically for as long as I was alive. He wasn't so much against modern diesels, but as others have said - it is an AUXILIARY engine intended to push a relatively small mass at a relativelly slow speed. His point was the designer
felt fine with that engine, it works, and it is simple. Why over-complicate it? Again, he wasn't putting down other engines, just saying to stick with what works. My Perkins works and even outside mechanics have said they could rebuild it for about $8,000. It starts right up even in cold weather
once I replaced the odd but effective Perkins pre-heat flame. The next project
for the engine will be pulling off the exhaust
to check for carbon build up. Otherwise I am happy with it.
Tankage is another area of concern for me. A PO converted one of my two 37 gallon water tanks
. That leaves me plenty of diesel, but light on water tankage. My solution was to add a watermaker
and to figure out a way to collect rain water. So far I haven't gone on any long cruises, but it has worked for me to this point. I carry an 8 gallon portable water tank in a storage
berth as an emergency
back up supply. If I were going to cross an ocean I would either carry Jerry cans or a bladder or both.
This part may be specific to my boat, but the 120 volt wiring
was a disaster. As in, "Holy crap you're lucky the boat didn't burn up," bad. It's also why I will never use that particular surveyor
again. The boat was originally wired for Europe
, so I can't say if this was original duplex wiring or not. The jacketing on mine was coming off like old paper. I have rewired an old farm house and neither me nor the professional marine
electrician had ever seen anything like it. First guess would be that it was exposed to some chemical, but as the issue was everywhere - even buried in walls - that seems unlikely unless the spool itself was somehow exposed. The second guess would be somehow carrying very high voltage or a lightening strike, but that would seem more likely to show as melting and this was literally more like the insulation
had become dried out paper. Anyway, whatever the cause I would track all of the 120 wire for several feet by hand from the panel and also pull all 120 volt outlets to check it before I bought another. It wouldn't keep me from buying
one, but it is a cost and a danger
I would want to know about. It took about 40 hours to remove and replace all of it, but that was after several months of actually owning the boat and it mostly sitting in a berth with a space heater
running connected to that wiring ...
I may well have been happy with the Tartan 42, but I find the Wauquiez continually surprises me in positive ways other than that wiring. I have no regrets in my choice.
If anyone wants to PM me for more information is fine. The Wauquiez Owner's group and Mike Locatel (Owners Group Host) are the best sources though.