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post #4 of Old 04-01-2004
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A circumnavigation?

I''ve sailed a bit on a Cape Dory 36. While the boat is thought of by many as a traditional world cruiser type, I think I would have to agree with Jack''s comments above. She does have a lot of wetted surface and a heavy displacement on a short waterline, so expect to do a lot of motor sailing if you want to get anywhere in light air.

Although she rates high on Ted Brewer''s Motion Comfort Index, that doesn''t mean she doesn''t have any motion. I think Jeff woud say that although she might move slowly, she probably moves through wide angles. For what it is worth, Ted Brewer in a recent issue of Good Old Boat magazine explained that initially he thought up the Motion Comfort Index as a spoof.

The boat, at least the one I''ve been on, is not set up well for single-handing -- all the sheets are out of reach from behind the wheel. On a cruise this past year, during my night watch we were sailing under reefed main and staysail when the wind abated but the seas were still up. I needed more power to keep the boat moving well, but whenever I came out from behind the wheel to pull in the sheet and unroll the Yankee, the weather helm that developed would throw the boat onto the opposite tack. I really needed dynamic control of the wheel - I needed to be in two places at once. (It never occurred to me to try the Autohelm, in part because it uses a fair bit of electrical power and there''s not a lot of space on the boat -- at least this one -- for big banks of batteries, so we tended to avoid using electrical appliances unless the motor was running.) Once the next watch came on deck, the two of us were able to get the boat moving right along (and back on the right course).

It''s not a bad boat, but I don''t think a Cape Dory 36 or similar hull form is the boat for me. The fact that my dad has a Cape Dory 36 and that I want to set my own course with my own boat has nothing to do with it ;-)


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