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post #11 of Old 03-14-2014
Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Re: Nauticat 38 for offshore sailing. Thoughts?

I certainly don't know these boats well but a couple of general observations.

I think we saw a few (not necessarily 38's but in that range) of these in the Caribbean and maybe one between Panama and South Africa, can remember where though.

Don't assume that your route means you are safe from nastiness. We were knocked down in 50+ knots in French Polynesia. You need to know whether the windows are designed to take that sort of abuse. I talked to a guy who builds Oysters and he said the tempered glass windows they have now are stronger than the hull. Was this true in the 70s/80s? I have no idea but would want to know.

About the doors, try to picture a good part of the local ocean landing on the deck - most often forward, but could be from anywhere, After the bath you have six inches of water running down the leeward decks. Where does it go? How long does it take to drain? and Is there is an issue with the doors? I don't know these boats well enough to even suggest an answer.

Is the one you are looking at a ketch or cutter? In general ketches are not as good going downwind as single-masters and when you add the very low SA/D ratio it becomes very problematic. Think about various downwind rigs (two poles for example, but even then the sail area with a ketch is small), or some form of spinnaker.

Heating from the sun could be an issue, but I assume you could almost always have one door open. It can be very hot in places (northern Oz being one and we were there mid-winter) and I don't think you want to rely on the a/c too much. At the very least it will mean carrying lots of jerry cans of fuel from the nearest gas station since most places do not fuel docks. I looked at one of these boats on YW and it had 90 gal of fuel which does not seem to be much for a boat that may have to motor quite a bit and may use the genset quite often.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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