Registered: June 2000
Location: Coastal Puget Sound
Review Date: Sun March 1, 2009
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: $35,000.00
| Rating: 8
Points high even w/working jib, brilliant heavy-weather handling
Teak decks seem to have been installed by chimpanzees
Originally purchased used from San Juan Yachts in Bellingham, WA in 1999.
First overhaul Summer 2001: hauled & pressure washed, removed & repainted bottom w/Micron CSC ablative paint, recaulked teak deck planking, stripped spar to wood & completely coated w/West System epoxy, stripped all brightwork to wood & coated w/eight coats Cetol Marine finish, replaced broken stanchion base, removed, checked, replaced & resealed chainplates.
Sailed her for the next seven years in the San Juans.
Finally moved down to Edmonds in 2006, and in 2008, did second overhaul: stripped, re-caulked, replaced decking screws, sealed decking, stripped off badly-applied epoxy, re-gelcoated hull & doghouse & all visible glass (coachroof, etc.), replaced packing gland & installed dripless shaft seal, replaced failing depth sounder sensor, removed & resealed all ports, portlights & hatches.
Here's my take:
Including experience gained as a child sailing my parents' boats, this makes the seventh boat I've either owned or crewed in over 40 years of sailing. In all that time, I've developed a pretty good feel for how a boat will perform after a short time of sailing her.
I can tell you right off that this is a typical Bob Perry design. She looks nice, performs well in light air and can be relied upon to get you safely to harbor in heavy weather & seas. She is very sea-kindly and is a great boat for family cruising (or for learning, if you have some novice sailors in your crew).
The only tack wherein she exhibits any sort of uncertainty is a dead-run - I am not sure if this is due to wheel steering or perhaps my rig isn't as balanced as it could be - at any rate, she requires constant minor corrections when running wing-and-wing or running with the cruising chute.
Other than that, she is a joy to sail and a very capable boat.
As for cruising accomodations - her layout is pretty comfortable - she is a little beamy, so that translates to lots of space inside. We can sleep 5 adults (or up to six if three of them are children). The head is well situated and has enough room to shower in, and the galley is spacious and well thought-out. It is possible to cook underway (we've done it a few times), and the fold down table in the main saloon area is convenient for serving up to 5 people at a time.
Her construction is fairly typical of boats made in China and Taiwan in the 70's and 80's - hull is heavy and sound, lead ballast is molded into the keel, glass is cleanly laid-up and only a couple small blisters have appeared in her 28 years.
The odd things about her are mostly fittings. Cheoy Lee was one of those companies that tried to save money by doing everything in-house and hiring cheap labor to do it. As a result, the winches, stainless fittings, traveller, etc. are all Cheoy Lee made and branded. This makes for some interesting times trying to replace things that wear out or break - often, one must replace entire assemblies when only a minor part fails; this can lead to frustration at times.
And then, there's the teak deck planking. When we finally decided to pull some planks to dry out a leaky area, prior to recaulking & re sealing this last year, we discovered something that explained a lot about the poor behaviour of this decking - the screws with which the planks were held in place were not actually wood screws, but machine bolts (without the expected nuts to hold them in place). This ridiculous idea was repeated all over the deck. We went through a marathon session where we pulled and replaced every bolt with a wood screw of the appropriate size, re-plugged and recaulked the entire deck. This took a long time and was backbreaking work, but after a month it was done and our leak problem finally solved.
So, my final assesment:
This is an excellent boat for cruising and for daysailing, she is very forgiving of new sailors and is very safe and capable in heavy weather.
But if you're looking at one of these, make sure to have the chainplates and packing gland inspected, and make sure to have your inspector take a moisture meter to the decking to check for leaks - I have a suspicion that ours is not the only boat out there with chimp-installed teak planking.
For these reasons, I'd rate this vessel an 8 or 9 out of ten.
A fool can throw a stone into the lake that seven wise men cannot recover.
-- Hebrew proverb