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Old 09-08-2008, 09:12   #1
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I fell in love with a Cheoy Lee

Recently while wandering around a boat yard in England with my dog I stumbled on a beautiful boat tucked away between some newer boats on the hard. Her mast was down, the wood looked a little weathered and you can tell she had seen better days. But man, she must have been a looker and I fell for her.

I come from a racing background and have never done extended cruising since we lived on an island. It is something that I want to get into (would one day like to circumnavigate amongst other things). I also like old things - old houses, old cars etc. I think it is nice to have a love affair and be able to look back 20 years and say, 'remember when'. So I am inclined to get a classic boat (but no wood hulls, my first boat ever was wood - too much work).

I don't know much about the girl, the boatyard was not too useful. I was told it was a Chow Lee to start with - knew that was a bit askew! In any event, it looks like she is a Rhodes Reliant or an Offshore (Empire 40). They said she was from the 80s, but I don't think so as I found a Rhodes fan page and they said the boat was made in the 60s up to 73 was it? So, can anyone confirm she is a Cheoy Lee Rhodes Reliant? A very good bluewater boat if my research serves me correctly? She supposedly has a new Perkins 50horse diesel in her and new masts (or one new mast, must ask). They said 'the deck needs work'. I would like to keep the teak - can I do it in stages or does the whole thing need to be done at once. I will get a survey done, just initial thoughts if you like please?

So any advice/thoughts. She was listed at 30k GBP and is not marked at down considerably - a little less than 20 now. Sound like good money? It sounds like the deck will be around 30K US, so that alone is a killer, perhaps I can knock em down a bit.

In any event, thoughts much appreciated.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:56   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Middletown, NJ.
Boat: Bruce Roberts Offshore '38 - "God Willing"
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Ben Stavos from Temple University has a superb web page devoted to Philip L. Rhodes. Here is the page for the Rhodes Reliant/Offshore 40 (Design Number 753).

Rhodes Reliant Offshore 40 Sailboat Home Page

There are thousands of links on his page. Good Luck with your purchase. If she's in need of long term repairs, expect to have her in the yards for at least a year. Offer slightly more than half the asking price. Boats are getting cheaper, but yards are charging more for repairs. Realistically then your seller needs to accept your low offer.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:07   #3
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Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
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That looks like a Rhodes Reliant.

We sailed a Reliant in the mid- to late 70's when we lived in San Francisco and it is a terrific yacht tho' slow up-wind by today's standards. While 41' LOA, the boat only has a 28' waterline which limits her speed. Never-the-less, on a beam reach with all-sail flying, including a mizzen staysail, she would move right along and she was very comfortable in a seaway.

The downside is the maintenance of the woodwork and the integrity of the deck under the teak. Ours had thousands of screw-holes and I spent hundreds of hours trying to find and plug leaks. We finally said the heck with it and got a Cal built by Jensen Marine. No leaks, but not as pretty either.

Good Luck!

s/v HyLyte
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:39   #4
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Location: Middletown, NJ.
Boat: Bruce Roberts Offshore '38 - "God Willing"
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Hi there again. Ben wrote this about the above boat.

"This boat is almost certainly an Offshore 40, which is the same as an
Empire 40. (Only if the photo is inverted and there is a companionway on
the starboard side, she is a Reliant.)

If the person looking at the boat can get aboard and find the builder's
plaque, there will be a Cheoy Lee yard number as well as date
production. If the yard number is available, I can give more details (not
too important) when I get home from cruising. My web site had a great deal
of info on dealing with decks, etc. especially on the lengthy HANDBOOK OF
MAINTENANCE AND UPGRADES which is linked to the web site.

Best wishes."
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