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post #3 of Old 03-21-2004
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Cheoy Lee ballast/displacement ratio

Gary, I echo each of Jeff''s comments. CL built low-tech boats that put a lot of weight up high, sought low cost methods without much understanding of sailing or seagoing (one of CL''s principals told me he''d never sailed out of Hong Kong Harbor), and tried as best they could to impersonate ''real'' marine hardware with their own castings. Most of the hardware has probably been changed out on a CL33 by now except perhaps the winches and masthead sheaves. (I wonder about those chain plates...).

Where CL did put their emphasis was in the appearance of their boats. Lots of varnished teak and spars, of course (more weight...) and hardware that looked identical to e.g. Barient products, a big name at the time. I suspect Bill Luders really did author the design, as both Robert Perry and Ray Richards were contracted in the normal fashion for later designs.

Good friends cruised a CL Clipper 33 up/down the East Coast and always comment on how its cute appearance attracted all kinds of attention...but in which there was little room for anything - and this was when they were young, poor and didn''t have much! IMO it is a poor offshore choice...and yet we crossed portions of the Atlantic with an Offshore 33 model that was being singlehanded by a new sailor, and aside from the lack of space for things, he had no major complaints about the boat. I would put this into the context that a) it was his first boat and he didn''t appreciate how different life can be, and b) we had good weather for most of the crossing. When I would step aboard to visit Peter, the amount of heel I would experience on this 33'' loaded down boat was, for me, alarming. I remember, the first time this happened, soon asking him what his draft was...and found the answer to give me add''l cause for concern. Of course, his CL now sits in the Med and he has no horror stories to tell (yet) so here''s yet another example of an unsuitable boat that, coincidentally, has proven acceptable on a major passage.

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