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post #6 of Old 02-15-2009
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My family also owned one, which we raced some in Cruising Canvas, and also took to the BVI via Bermuda.

These are pretty boats, well maintained with good varnish and paint they are drop dead gorgeous. Ours was frequently mistaken for a Hinckley or an expensive custom, but you need to be aware of a few things.

As stated above, substandard deck hardware. We ended up changing nearly all of it. I pulled a turning block out of the toerail going upwind in not much over 20 knots with working jib.

Watch out for leaks around the toerail, and at any deck penetration. After a couple of years of extended sailing, we had taken down the headliner and rebedded properly every piece of deck hardware. CL would drill a hole and drop a bolt with bedding compound, so if the fitting leaked the core was exposed.

My main problem was keeping rigging tight. The boat has a deck stepped mast with a compression post thru the saloon. The price of that open layout is there is limited structural bulkheading in way of the chainplates. No matter how we adjusted the standing rigging, going upwind the leeward shrouds would go slack. CL also installed closed barrel turnbuckles, which IMO have no place on an offshore boat as you cannot visually inspect the threads. We changed those, too.

Going upwind in any kind of blow we could go below and see gaps working between the furniture and the cabin sole, as most things were simply not bonded to the hull.

A lot of this won't be a problem if you don't push the boat. The hulls are thick and strong. Our problem was we decided to race a boat which had not been built up for the rigors of racing. There has been a family in one of the magazines recently, cruising one of these around the Carribean. You get a lot of boat for the money.

I don't mean to sound negative about the boat, because I have magical memories of her. Until my family got that boat, I was strictly a racer, and because of that boat I have a great love of cruising, and they really do sail well. I have several trophies in my home that we won with her. But partly because of that boat, when I went to buy another boat for cruising a few years ago, I looked much more closely at some of the fundamentals of hull structure, and insisted on a keel stepped mast.

Good Luck!
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