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  #1  
Old 09-14-2004
dnr dnr is offline
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anyone familiar with these boats?

Like a lot of members who post here, I am nearing the point in life where I will be able to spend more time on the water. I live in the Midwest, crew on Lake Erie for a friend, have taken all the ASA classes in order to Charter, and Charter a week or two a year taking inexperienced family and/or friends as crew. I feel comfortable with my sailing skills and am at the point where the only way to get better is to spend more time on a boat. All of my crewing has been done on boats set up primarily for racing, with very Spartan interiors. Certainly not suitable for comfortable living. All of my bareboating has been on 44 and 45 foot boats with 5-7 crew. Mostly Beneteaus and one Morgan. I found the boats wide and heavy, not very good in light air, and too much boat for my wife and I to enjoy handling ourselves.
Weíll never move from our current home. I intend to use the boat as a condo Ė one to three weeks at a time, 3 or 4 times a year. Would like to keep the boat initially in Florida because thatís where Iíve chartered the most. Would like to hit Bahamas occasionally and possibly work my way up US east coast or further south into the islands. Flying home for a few weeks and returning to venture further. Iím not interested in crossing oceans. Probably half of the time it will just be my wife and I, other times weíll be joined by another couple or our grown kids. I hope to also single-hand on daysails when I canít find crew. I can see us spending most of our nights in marinas or moorings.
My wife enjoys sailing, but will not be willing to live for two weeks on a boat that feels cheap or is too small down below. She will want nice amenities. Need a good head, suitable galley and comfortable living space. Not Ritz Carlton, but much closer to Ritz than Motel 6. My preferences are speed (especially light wind), accommodations, shallow draft and shorthanded sailing suitability. I tend to have inexperienced crew, and like to involve them as much as possible but also need to be able to do it all when the crew gets confused or just wants to be chauffeured.
Iím currently contemplating two boats, both late Ď80ís - The Wauguiez Centurion 38 and J 37c. There are no Centurions anywhere near me that I can find. All of my knowledge of them comes from looking at ads and reading reviews. I stepped aboard a Wauquiez at Annapolis boat show once and was impressed with what I saw. The interior looks first class, but I wonder about the sailing performance. I donít prefer the cabin-top traveller, but wonít rule out a boat because of it. I have raced against J Boats and certainly respect their speed, but all of them have been set up for racing so the interiors would be totally unacceptable to me. The 37c appears to be designed for someone like me, but Iíve never seen one and have found very little information about them. I donít think many of either model were built, so maybe they have shortcomings that Iím not aware of.
I would like to stay below $125k and around 36-38 foot. I know there are a lot of other boats in this size and price range. Sabre 38 MKII and Tartan 37 centerboard were both on my list. Iíll have to fly to step aboard either the J Boat or Centurion, so Iím trying to do as much research the inefficient but cheap way Ė online. I have tried to sign up for the JBoat and Wauquiez email lists but have had technical difficulties. I welcome any comments regarding these boats.

Doug
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

Dnr,

I chartered a Wauquiez 38 Centurion a few years ago.One word matches it''s sailing performance,and accomodations....SWEET!!! The 38 Centurion is my favorite boat. Unfortunatly for me, they are out of my price range. I know you mentioned the size boat you''re looking for is around 36-38, but one other boat I think you might want to take a look at is the Pretorien 35, built by Wauquiez.I''ve never sailed one, but have only heard good things about them. Good luck hunting!
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

Stede,
Just curious, where did you find a charter company that had a Centurion in it''s fleet? Everywhere I look to charter it seems to be all Beneteau''s and Jeanneau''s.

Doug
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

Hi Guys

Its nice to be back in this forum, I have been away for a while. Work, and thankfully a ton of sailing. Nice to see old friends.

I think my good virtual friend JeffH will likely submit some really great advice, but I happen to sail one of the boats you are interested in and so will comment on it. The Wauquiez Hood 38 (Ted Hood design, not the Centurion). I certainly like the Centurion design, but it is geared a little more towards racing, has a deeper keep and is more expensive and harder to find (cabin is the same). I think you will have an easier time finding a Hood 38, as well as a tremendous amount of information on it as well as great respect for her.

First and foremost, the Hood 38 (and her sisterships the Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor 38) are very different boats from the J/37c. I have raced aboard several J''s and know that are wonderful boats, with many virtues...not the least of which is excellent construction. I think the same is true of the Wauquiez''s in general and the Hood 38 specifically. But the similarity ends there.

The Hood 38 has a LWL of 31, displaces 22,000 lbs with 11,000 lbs of ballast. That is a heck of a 38 footer. I don''t want to speak for JeffH but I think he would correctly point out that the penalty you pay for that is larger sails, both main and (large) genoa jib. But...having said that, I must say that at 48 yrs old (this monday...please send cards and letters :O), I have no trouble single handing this boat. I will admit that smaller crew might. I do know a couple in their young 70''s who sail one extensively. The upside of that great a displacement is more comodious accomodations down below and a greater mass with which to negotiate the sea.

I differ with some posters here on the value of displacement. As a scientist and former naval officer, I have a firm belief that force=mass*acceleration. Thus when meeting a wave (remember that a 4 ft wave could be have a mass of 10,000lbs)...I want to have mass and acceleration to get through it (or it just slaps me around). And yes, hull form is also a factor...but do keep in mind that for a price of under 100k, we are looking at 80''s boats and not highly modern hullforms.I hasten to add that I agree with posters who state that dragging around a lot of mass in the form of an inefficient hull form and full keel is simply a waste and does nothing for a boats sailing ability.

I must say that the motion of this boat as spoiled me. I have sailed since I was a kid and just love the ride on this boat. This is due in part to Ted Hood being a terrific designer and part is due IMHO to mass (I know there will be disagreement here).

The Hood 38 has a PHRF of 129, so this is no slow boat from China. She is fast and powerful and sails extremely well. She is a keel/cb design and without even using the CB will point to 30* apparent and tack through 80*. That said, she will not perform like a J37 or a Farr 38. But...let''s be fair, the Hood 38 has a draft of 4.5ft, it can go into places in FLA and the islands that the Farr will look at from a distance :O)...and the Hood 38 has two private staterooms down below, wonderful teak joinery....she is designed and built to be a long distance cruiser/liveaboard....and offshore racer. That is a tough bill to fill. She does it nicely.

I personally find her appointments to be elegant and useful. The cockpit has 7+ft long benches that are wide enough to sleep on. Her Swan like decks are great for working around in a seaway and her rig is as beefy as it gets. At the end of the day, you can slip into a vee berth that is 6''6" long and 7ft (!!!) wide at the base, almost 2ft wide at the forepeak! Biggest vee berth I have seen on this vintage boat.

I am sorry if I am doing a sell job, I really do not mean too. No boat is perfect and every boat is a compromise. The Hood 38 could have a larger galley and a separate nav sta. But then I find this galley perfectly fine for living aboard and having the nav sta integrated in the port settee makes a great end table in port (where we all spend most of our time).

There are many other boats in your price range you could consider. I do think you should keep the Hood 38 on your short list. After 3 seasons and a ton of sailing (day trips and longer overnights), I am quite happy. And yes, I have thought about having a much larger yacht, I could handle it, perhaps even afford it (maybe)...but then a larger yacht in the same price range would have to be of lower quality and greater age. Probably not sail as well and probably cost a great deal more to keep. So, you will see me out there about a Wauquiez Hood 38. Happy and unchained to a bank. :O)

Yes, they are rare, but they are dear.

Good luck

Hope this helps.

My best to all.

John
s/v Invictus
Hood 38
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

dnr,

The Centurion I chartered was with SunYacht out of Oyster Pond, St.Maarten.I believe SunYacht sold out to Sunsail years ago. The boat had just been delivered from Guadaloupe and we were the first to charter her.

After reading John Drake''s remarks on his boat, It occured to me that I''ve mistaken his boat for a Centurion.The "Hood 38" never registered with me ....DUH!!! Anyway, the boat I chartered was a Centurion with a fin keel.I have a Centurion t-shirt that I traded SunYacht a few cans of left-over provisions for after the charter ended. If you can''t find the boat, I''m willing to sell you the t-shirt at a fair price ;^)
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Old 09-14-2004
dnr dnr is offline
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Stede,
Thanks for the info. I''ll pass on the shirt for now. I hate to settle this early for "Stede went sailing and all I got was this lousy shirt"

Doug
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Old 09-14-2004
dnr dnr is offline
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John,
I''m glad you posted a reply. I had searched the archives for references to either of my choices, and saw some of your earlier posts regarding your Hood. Your passion for your boat comes through loud and clear, and I congratulate you for finding a boat that suits you so well. I hope I can fare as well.
Both the Hood and Centurion are difficult to find. I''m not interested in buying something overseas. It is also very difficult to find information on the older models on the internet - there doesn''t appear to be any owner groups.
Most of my experience is on much lighter boats than the Hood, except for the Charter boats. I did like their motion crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini. My initial preference for the Centurion over the hood was partially based upon their relative displacements - the Centurion is more comparable to the J37 in that regard.
Landlocked as I am, I have already accepted the fact that I''m going to incur some airfare in the next phase. If you would be willing, I would love to visit you for a day to see your Hood first hand. I can post my email address if you want it.

Thanks again for your input.
Doug
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

Hi Doug

I am glad anything I wrote could be helpful. And please don''t get me wrong, the Centurion is a VERY nice boat and an excellent sailor. I would definately take one...though I wanted shallow draft and have always admired Ted Hood''s work.

You are welcome to see the boat anytime. I will be sailing her until DEC. I am happy to show her off now that I have gotten everything done I wanted to (over three seasons....all the rigging, blocks, new jib cars, all the teak, new dinette of my own design and finally all new canvas in Sunbrella oyster (not BLUE)). Whew! Not to mention having gone over all systems and replaced anything old or aging.

She has been a pleasant boat to work on. Very easy access to everything.

At any rate, please feel free to email me when you plan on being in the area. Navigate40 at yahoo dot com.

And as I said above, there are a lot of good boats, great boats even, in your price range. I hope others will contribute their opinions.

My best to all

John
ps - Stede - great post on second thoughts on the perfect cruising boat - not sure you ever got an answer....I too have the same questions...I keep reading that the ''average'' cruising boat out there is a 45ft CC, but...never SEE any ...out there. See many 30 something aft cockpit sloops.
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Old 09-14-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

dnr,

touche''...good one! LOL!!!! Good luck in you quest.
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Old 10-03-2004
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anyone familiar with these boats?

I chartered a Wauquiez Centurian 41 a few years back and was truly impresssed with the build quality and sea kindliness of the boat. Overall I think a Wauquiez is a better built but slower, heavier boat than a comparable size J-boat. If the Wauquiez you were on was one of the newer Beneteau Wauquiez you might want to take a look at an older pre-Beneteau model. I don''t see any similarities between the two. The new ones definitely seem more like Beneteaus whereas the older ones seemed more comparable to Sabres.
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