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post #4 of Old 10-31-2009 Thread Starter
Freedom 39
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Thanks for your kind comments regarding her appearance.

Speedy review.
Initially I thought it sailed to wind like a slug probably because I'd spent so much time on more racing oriented boats. My impression has evolved over the years nearly full cirlce after racing her a dozen times and doing quite well even in boat on boat racing against everything from a P-26 to a Catalina 42. Once the handicap is added she is very hard to beat on a windward leeward course. The boat is not what I would call fast or nimble at all though. What I would say is that a feeling of rigidity and stability provides a very confident feel in rougher seas. The boat is easily trimmed and balances very well holding a course without any steering input for long periods of time (5-30 minutes). Being so wide for a 31' boat the shroulds are quite far outboard preventing one from sheeting in a genoa with a small enough angle to be able to sail tight to the wind. With a genny furled or a smaller sail the jib sheets can be re-fed through the rigging much further inboard helping the windward sailing angle substantially. I think everyone wishes their boat sailed faster and pointed higher but it is what it is, short, fat and heavily built.

One important point to keep in boat is the deeper keel version which is about 5'. The majority of the BC31s I've seen advertised are the shoal keel. I have been told the shoal keel sails very poorly to weather. I do not have first hand experience though.

My boat has a Yanmar 2QM15 which will push me along near hull speed in flat conditions but really struggles when motoring into bigger seas. Most of that falls back into a boat that gets very fat right away past the bow and does not "slice" through the water but plows instead. I find myself motorsailing much more often then motoring which gains 1kt at least and makes for a much more comfortable ride when I have to hurry to an upwind location. A few more horses would be a good idea.

The interior is huge for a 31' vessel and makes for great usable volume on longer trips. The head and cockpit are large as well. Not having 1/4 berths creates very large storage spaces in the lazerettes. The boat really only sleeps 4 adults though because of the layout.

I would not choose a BC31 for frequent offshore work but there are others here with more experience who may be willing to chime in. A short, fat boat with a proportionally large cockpit and a smallish fuel tank are typically not the criteria people wish for when going out to the big water. Also remember you are looking at a boat that is nearly 30yrs old and most everything should have been updated or replaced a couple of times. Would I hestitate to take mine offshore for one crossing or trip? Probably not from a seaworthiness standpoint but I would need to do a multitude of alterations before I was comfortable with everything. There are much better boats for offshore passages, I think. The few times I have been in rougher conditions (10'-16' seas and 30+kts of wind) the boat seemed to have no issues or bad habits at all. It is built like a tank and feels like such when pounding into big waves. There is no shuddering or shaking like that I have grown accustomed to on the J-boats, Hunters, Jeanneaus and Benneteaus that I find myself on much of the time but rather just a very solid thud when hitting large waves.

If you have any other specific quesitons I'd be glad to give my impressions.

Originally Posted by Ralphsr View Post
Really enjoyed the pics of your Clipper it is beautiful. We are in the process of
purchasing one now. We are going to look at it this coming week.
Must admit we do not know much about this particular boat as this week will be the 1st time we have ever seen one.
If possible could you give us a review of its weak and strong points and what you think about your Clipper?

I have read mixed reviews some favorable and some that say she is not good off shore and is slow. We have already put a deposit down sight unseen except for some pics and as I mentioned are going to see it and if we like it sail it home. This trip will take us from New Jersey into the ocean down to the Chesapeake Bay a trip of around 400 miles. Any suggestions you might give would be appreciated.

Take care and thanks for the great pics

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