Review Date: Sun April 2, 2006
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: $88,000.00
| Rating: 8
lot of boat for the money
get one without teak decks
Since my CT 41 was ordered as a bare shell, the original owner (colin Hempsal of the west vancouver yacht club) did the fit out and avoided CT's famous shortcomings as listed by others below (leaking teak decks and black iron tanks). Also the wood trim at the trunk cabin deck interface was removed when new and glass-reinforced to avoid rot and separation. I am very happy Moon Island Never had treak decks.
Sailing a CT 41: Bill Garden got a lot of things right when he penned the CT 41, the hull is well-balanced and smooth and stable in all conditions. If you have ever sailed an Endurance 35 you will know what a boat with too much overhang feels like (rocking horse action). I've had my CT in 40 knot winds in a following sea and can only describe the experience as fun and filled with a sense of solidness. At no time was there the slightest indication of her coming unglued.
Being a ketch the variety of sail plan options is helpful in big seas. One can drop the main and balance well under just mizzen and genoa. Reefing the main is an option as well.
CT 41s are cutter rigged ketches from the factory and I would recommend removing the inner forestay and staysail and using a big (140%) Genoa; roller furling is nice too. My boat is fitted out with self-tailing winches and a Profurl unit. This setup allowed the original owner of Moon Island to sail from Vancouver to Tahiti and back solo.
Docking this full-keeled girl can be tricky particularly maneuvering in reverse. I intend to add six inches to the rudder to give a little more paddle and increase the bite of the rudder in reverse. The fiberglass work is first rate and to Lloyds spec. The surveyor of my boat had surveyed many CTs over the years and said that he had never found a CT with hull problems or delamination. Deck rot is CT's weakest link.
I have replaced both mast steps because the stringers holding them up were made of plywood ( thank Taiwan not mr Hempsal) and rotted. It was a very strait forward job.
Other things I like: 6 foot 4 or more of headroom, lots of storage and fuel capacity, great motor access, huge cockpit, clipper bow and romantic counter stern (I pull into an anchorage and get looks no plastic fantastic Hunter could get). Classic looks without the wooden boat maintenance!!
Wooden masts?? Well, more maintenance but look great and I've not had to revarnish them since I've had the boat. No cracks or structural problem; if replacement becomes necessary I would consider aluminium but wouldn't rule out wood. Mine are 28 years old and no problems yet so wood is not so bad.
Other CT 41 postings I have found on the net
I just bought a CT 41, built by Ta Chiao, which was the boat yard right next to Formosa. They shared a lot of resources and often built almost identical designs (the Formosa Yankee Clipper is the same basic design as the CT41). I did a lot of research into these boats and give you a bit of insight that might help you out.
The hulls of these boats are generally overbuilt, and well laid up. The keels are usually encapsulated iron and cement, but do not seem to be a problem area (I haven't heard of any keel problems, at least). I do not believe that the sailing qualities are as poor as they are often described, but these are heavy, full keel boats, designed for comfort, not speed, and you just have to accept that. These boats are designed and built for blue water, but they do have problem areas that you need to look at carefully.
The biggest problem area is the deck and cabin trunk. The older boats were made with plywood cored decks and cabins. The teak decks and hardware were often screwed directly into the deck right into the plywood, without proper sealant and there is often rot, often serious. Later models boats were built with balsa cored decks instead of plywood (this is one of the first things you should check). If there is major deck rot, you need to seriously question whether the boat is worth it. If there is rot in the cabin trunk, you may be able to repair it, but if it is major, the whole cabin may have to be rebuilt.
Other potential problem areas:
Chainplates - sometimes poorly forged, check carefully.
Fuel tanks - usually made of "mild-steel", sometimes incorrectly called Black Iron. These are limited life tanks and should be check very carefully. Best to check them empty, use swabs to take samples from the interior of the tanks. Have a professional do this. Also, make sure that the tanks can be easily removed, without having to tear up the interior.
Wiring - often substandard, but not always.
Teak decking - if it is time to replace it, or if there is any possibility of deck delamination and rot, suggest removing it and putting in non-skid.
Wood masts and mast steps - The wood masts should be surveyed unstepped. In particular you should check the base of the mast and mast step for rot, as well as entry and exits for wiring.
Regardless of the titles sometimes given them ("leaky teaky", "Taiwan turkey", these can be great world cruisers. However, if the problem areas have not been addressed, or the boat has not been taken care of, they can be more trouble than they are worth.
From Todd J on Cruising World message board:
[Re: Island Trader 41:]
I own the CT 41 equivalent.
I looked a number of Formosa, Island Trader and CT 41s before buying the one I chose. They tended to be in either beautiful shape or crappy condition. This design was one of the most popular built in the 70s (a number were built in the early eighties), and they come up for sale quite often. You should not need to compromise. If this is the design you are looking for, you should wait until you find one in really good condition.
These boats are designed to be blue water cruisers, and have very comfortable accomodations. They have overbuilt hulls and heavy, full keels. They make great liveaboards, and are a popular circumnavigator. They are not fast (though not as slow as some make them out to be). Being a full-keel design, they don't sail into the wind nearly as well as a fin-keel (and can be a bit difficult to tack in really light air), but with the ketch rig, they can really do well off the wind. If you are looking for a performance cruiser, this is not the right boat. However, if you are looking for comfort at sea, something that can take rough conditions with grace, this is a great boat. Few boats get the kind of looks that these beauties do, and the interior woodwork is exquisite. There is lot of teak to take care of, so prepare yourself for that. I am learning the joys of Cetol right now.
Supposedly the CTs were known for a bit better construction quaility than the others, but I'm not really sure what that means in terms of exactly how they compare. There was a lot of variance in the quality of the work done on these boats, depending on when they were built and how well the owner supervised the construction.
Problem areas to look for:
First and foremost, the decks and cabin house. During most of the seventies, the decks and cabin house were made cored with plywood. For CT, in 1977 they began building with balsa cored decks, but still used plywood (covered with fiberglass) for the cabin trunk. Somewhere around 1980 they switched to a one-piece molded deck/cabin trunk for some of the boats. I don't know what the schedule was like for Formosa / Island Trader. The reason this is all important, is because these boats are notorious for deck problems. Often the deck hardware or the teak overlay was poorly installed, leading to leaks into the deck coring, and subsequently rot (they don't call them Leaky Teakies for nothing). This is the single most important thing you need to have looked at. Make sure the deck is in really good shape. If it isn't, walk away, you'll find another.
The teak overlay itself can be a real headache. Personally, I intend to remove most of the teak deck on my CT41.
The quality of the stainless steel on these boats was often not very good. If it has the original chainplates, they should probably be replaced.
These boats were built with wooden masts. Sometimes the masts are in great shape, often they are not. Look for rot at the base of both masts, and also where cables feed in and out of the mast for the anchor and steaming lights. IMPORTANT: Look for rot in the mast step itself! This is a common problem area, though fairly easy to fix. If you find a boat that has had its masts replaced with aluminum, mark that as a BIG plus.
The fuel tanks: Usually made of mild steel (sometimes incorrectly called "black iron", there are often problems. These tanks corrode more quickly than others, and have a decidedly limited lifespan. What is important here is that you look at the tank layout and determine how easy it will be to replace them. You don't want to have to rip up that beutiful teak interior to do it. On my CT41, the tanks lift straight out, without any cabinet removal. However, the fuel tanks on my boat are in good shape, but the water tank needs to be replaced.
Steering hardware: On the center cockpit boats, it is hydraulic, on the aft cockpit boats it is usually mechanical. The hardware used varied. Sometimes it was genuine Edson, sometimes a pretty good knockoff, sometimes a really crappy knockoff. Have it checked carefully.
On the aft cockpit boats, the lazarette construction was poor, and will probably need to be re-built (if it has not already been done). This is NOT a major project.
The electrical wiring was sometimes (but not always), sub-standard. Usually there is no GFI on the AC power.
From Stinger: The deck of the CT 47 "Stinger" is fiberglass balsa core. The teak is attached on top but the screws do not penetrate the core. No leaks. I have never done anything but clean them well with detergent and clorox. Works fine for a light tan natural look. Less maintenance for the strong Carib. sun.
From Todd J on Cruising World message board:
I own a CT 41.
Pros: Generally well-made, seaworthy design. Good fiberglass work. Gorgeous interior woodwork. A lot of boat for the money. They look great. Nice liveaboard interior. Lots of tankage. Very seakindly, and tracks well. Not as slow as some critics claim. Same basic design as the Formosa 41, but the Ta Chiao yard generally had better workmanship and QC than Formosa.
Cons: This is NOT a fast boat by any means. With their stock sails they are undercanvassed (really needs a big genoa). This is a full keel ketch, and its performance to weather does suffer (though not as bad as often claimed). There is a lot of exterior woodwork to take care of, make sure you are prepared for that.
There are often deck core problems because of leakage. This needs to be checked out very carefully (and should be a deal breaker). "Black Iron" used for the fuel tanks has a limited lifespan (have a pro check the tanks). If the tanks need to be replaced, make sure they can be removed without ripping up the interior (this varies depending on interior layout). Wooden masts and mast step need to be checked VERY carefully for rot. When doing the survey, have the masts unstepped and examined. Carefully check the condition of the chainplates (and the deck core around the chainplates, as they often leak), and all fittings, particularly at the bowsprit and the masthead. The Taiwanese steel quality was very inconsistent (ranged from decent to crap).
From Bryan Genez on WorldCruising mailing list:
I've never owned a CT 41, but know others who do.
Plus - You get a lot of boat for minimum cost.
1. Tanks are made of iron and are often under the cabin sole. They will corrode in the bilge, but are impossible to remove or replace without major surgery to the boat interior.
2. Metalwork generally is lower quality. Look at chainplates and stemhead fittings closely.
3. Interior access to chain plates is often poor.
4. Leaks may be serious. Your surveyor will be able to tell you.
5. Osmotic blistering is common.
Another plus ... The first owner may have already corrected a lot of the minuses, in which case you'll get a pretty nice boat for the money.
As far as speed goes, they're OK. Certainly suitable, IMO, for a cruising/liveaboard boat.