Registered: January 2000
Review Date: Fri October 25, 1996
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: None indicated
| Rating: 0
Cutter rig, fin keel with skeg hung rudder, traditional appearance. Same underbody as the Pacific Seacraft 34 / 37 without the canoe stern. Yanmar 27hp diesel. Interior is an open configuration similar to the Dana 24. Excellent joiner work and overall construction. Very easy to handle with crew
of two. We have supprised several lighter more performance
oriented boats with our boat speed. We are very fortunate
to own this outstanding vessel.
Notes on Pacific Seacraft 31 -
Let me give you a little background. I started sailing in the mid 80s crewing on PHRF class boats. Then for several years, I raced dinghies - Snipes and Lasers. This was mostly in the San Diego area. Then we moved to the Chicago area.
This is the first 'big' boat we have owned, and the only cruising boat I have ever sailed. This summer will be our third season.
We have only done a few short cruises. However, we have sailed across Lake Michigan, which is about 80 miles. Unfortunately, due to lack of wind, it was 3/4 motoring.
Being originaly from San Diego, I can tell you that Great Lakes sailing is very strange: there is no regular weather pattern during the summer, and the wave shape is very square, more like chop in a broad shallow bay. There is very much light air sailing, most days are 10-15 knots. In an estimated 12-15 knots of true windspeed (not appearant) on a broad reach we would get 5 to 5.5 knots depending on the wave conditions.
Pointing has been very reasonable since we bought a new number one to replace a very bad 130 that was converted from roller furling to to hanks. We can tack through 100 degrees and still keep our speed up. By pinching, we can tack through 90, but speed drops considerably.
I talked to Ulman Sails (providers of OEM sails)and they did not recommend anything larger than a 140. However, the summertime winds here usually in the ten knot range most of the time, so I went with the recommendation of a local sail maker and bought a 150.
When we took the boat out of the water this year, I was struck by how modern the hull is for a cruising boat. The boat looks really traditional above the water line. I think that is where the speed over similar boats (Cape Dory,
Island Packet) originates. While the PHRF rating is 204, I don't think it is accurate, as this boat is probably not raced often.
The one thing I don't like much is the traveler arrangement. But this is a minor gripe. The location is unusual for a cruising boat, but it is really handy for short handing. It's the hardware that is poorly thought out. The Schaefer track is ok, but the way the traveler car is cleated makes it very difficult to use, plus you can bang into it with your lower leg. I was thinking about replacing it with
a more modern race type car that cleats on the car. But I think that I will leave it as is.
I can't believe that this is my biggest gripe...but the boat is very well thought out and constructed. My boat has the single handed package (halyards led to the end of the cockpit). That is a good option. Look for 4 winches on the coach roof, and 6 cleats (mine has 2 and 4 respectively). These are nice extras, but not absolutely necessary. It is handy to have the extra winches when the staysail is up.
My boat is 9 years old - no blisters, no leaks - but this is a lake boat - fresh water only with 5 to 6 month seasons.
For long range cruising, I only have some opinions - there isn't a sit down nav station (but I find the height at the nav station good for stand up work), something has
to be made up to house more electronics - short wave radio, weather fax, or radar. There are several options, but all have to be added in. The quarterberth is OK for one, but the inner portion does not have enough height to roll over comfortably, but probably ok for a child. This area quickly becomes storage, however important engine access (especially
the cooling water intake seacock) is through a hatch beneath the inner protion of the quarterberth. I don't have refrigeration, but it could probably be easily located in the hanging wet locker aft of the head. If done correctly, with a drip shield or cover, the locker would still be usefull. The head is small (sit down only). That seems to bother some people, but not me. The smallness is easy to use while underway(bracing, etc).
Everyone who has worked on the boat has remarked on the excellent engine access, and the well thought out systems.
The boat is a joy to sail - and my background is mostly
dinghy racing snipes and lasers. It handles well under power also (I have the two blade fixed prop). There is plenty of water (60 gallons) and while diesel tankage is only 23 gallons, the Yanmar has more hp than needed and seems to be quite miserly (< 1/2 gal per hour).
The interior is spatious without being cavernous with and has lots of overhead handholds. My wife and I have daysailed with another couple (with an infant), and cruised with my father-in-law. Anything more than a weekend with four on the
boat is pushing it, I think. The curtains give you a suprising amount of privacy in both the quarterberth and the the bow. My wife originally thought that she would not like the table arrangement (prefering a more traditional fold up), but now loves it. We pull it out a couple of inches while sitting on the settees facing aft for a drink rest -
very simple and handy.
The settees also make very good sea berths. They are in the middle of the boat and are wide enough at the head to
be comfortable but narrow enough not to allow a body to build uptoo much momentum (with a lee cloth).
The boat is built very well, and compares favorably to other boats her age up here.
Last month we were up at Larson Marine (where the boat is stored for the winter) and looked at a PS 37 in the showroom. After going back on our boat for a last check, we both looked at each other and smiled.
We think we bought the most Pacific Seacraft for the money, and we are going to keep her a while.