1979 Bombay Clipper 31 experience
We bought our Bombay Clipper "Dream Catcher" from a local owner in the San Francisco Bay Area last April. We're at the "experienced Beginner" (or "early Intermediate") level and are finding this boat perfect for us.
At the time we bought her, the market price in these parts was around $16K. Our seller was in a hurry and cut that price in half, we got the "best deal on the Bay" that week.
The boat is ideal for cruising in protected waters. SF Bay gets pretty rough; our currents can be very strong and we have to dodge wakes of ferries, huge freighters and lots of power boats. Dream Catcher handles all these well.
Although the full keel definitely costs you something in performance, that 3'6" draft means we get a wider choice of marinas. Our home, the island city of Alameda, has ONE marina on the Bay side whose entrance can be as shallow at six feet. No problem for us, so no hour motoring up the Oakland/Alameda Estuary to reach the Bay.
We just had the boat surveyed, and he was very impressed. He used a wood mallet on every inch of the deck, and found only one small area that it rang a little hollow.
Added new Raymarine instruments
Replaced 3 thru-hull valves
Stepped the mast; replaced pretty much everything on top. Put the wiring in conduit--HIGHLY RECOMMENDED since original wiring was just wrapped and hanging in there.
Added a couple of Zarcor SternPerch transom corner seats from clrmarine.com; a very desirable addition.
Only negatives so far:
1) Ours has a 12HP 2-cylinder Yanmar. A bigger engine would be nice, but this one does move us against the currents, so it's fine. We don't know whether the engine is original.
2) The boat has AWFUL port prop walk in reverse! Be prepared for learning whatever tricks you can, especially if you back out of your slip to starboard. A smaller prop can reduce this, but at an equal loss of power (that we don't have to spare).
3) The forward cabin bunk has an open area where you enter. That makes the person sleeping on that side constantly nervous about rolling over and off the bed! We solved that by adding a plywood platform and foam triangle, basically filling in the space and expanding the bed. Works great.
We have yet to take her out of the Golden Gate to the ocean; we think she's ready but we aren't. Note that the molds for this boat became one of the first Island Packet Yachts, and you know what their reputation is.
I'd be happy to join a correspondence with any Bombay owners! Let's share stories. Pictures of ours are at virtualameda.com/bombay .