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Old 02-14-2009
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I really love these boats. Always have.....The Rozinante's are one of my favorite L.F. Herreshoff designs. The sail remarkably well for their era and wetted surface.

Unfortunately, the Choey Lee fiberglass versions were not the best renditions of these boats. The secret to the sailing ability and seaworthiness of the wooden Rozinante's was that they were remarkably light in weight and fairly heavily ballasted. Their light weight came from their light weight planking (typically cedar on white oak) and minimalist interiors.

The fiberglass hulls and decks on the Choey Lee versions were much heavier than the wooden versions and so were their interiors much heavier. Therefore the Cheoy Lee's used much lighter ballasting so that the boats would float on thier lines but where also a lot more tender. Some of the later Cheoy Lee Roz's even had concrete and steel ballasting aggrevating the problem with this low density ballasting. Even with the reduced weight ballasting the glass boats sat pretty deep in the water compared to the wooden ones.

My point is that whatever you do on this boat, keep it as light as you know how. Adding a wooden overhead, cabin sides, and the like, while very attractive may be a poor solution. Try to use woods like port orford or western red cedar for the interior since these are light weight species. Avoid using large quanties of epoxy putty as the weight adds up quickly. Try to keep the weight low as the Cheoy Lee boats have a very high vertical center of gravity compared to the wooden ones.

In other words think carefully about where you put weight and how much weight you add back into the boat, and you will end up with a wonderful boat all around. Add weight carelessly and you may end up with a nice looking boat that sails miserably and is dangerous in heavy going.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay and part-time purveyor of marine supplies
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