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Old 03-24-2005
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low-budget performance passage-maker

We went transatlantic on an Ohlson 38. Not exactly a full-keel design, but not a finkeel/spade canoe by any stretch of the imagination. It took us 22 days from Connecticut to Cork, Ireland. We had a few days of little/no wind, and 3 storms with winds up to & over 40 knots and waves to about 20feet. To increase water tankage we put flexible bladder-tanks into out of the way spaces (under berths, settees, etc.) that wouldn''t have been good for much else. Extra Diesel fuel was carried in plastic jerrycans lashed into the cockpit. These helped reduce the volume & weight of water in the cockpit when waves came aboard. (Especially after they were empty, since we topped off the tanks from them as quickly as we could.) They were also handy for transporting fuel in locations where there was no diesel fuel available dockside.
Another design to consider might be a Pearson 37. They''re reasonably fast, and I''ve been on one in over 50 knots of wind and on some rough spinnaker runs on the Chi-Mac race. It seems like they can be pretty well put together. A J/36 could offer the performance of the J/35 in a more easily handled fractional rig, and at a somewhat lesser price, if you can find a nice, dry-cored one. (You can''t have ours, though.) The C&C 35 mark I is a boat that I''ve always thought sailed well. Its lines make it look good, even if the boat may be quite old and tired from use. The price will be right, if again, you can find a dry one. (Watch for crackling in the deck, which indicates delamination.) Structurally, I like the idea that most all the surfaces in a C&C 35 are curved, like an eggshell, so provide the maximum strength possible for their weight. Inside, you can gut the plastic without feeling much remorse, or rebuild the wooden parts to suit without too much effort either. There are lots of options out there. You may even come across a Swan or Hinckley that for some acceptable reason falls within your budget. Good luck!
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