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post #1 of 9 Old 01-11-2005 Thread Starter
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CT 41

Does anyone one know much about the CT 41, also called the seawolf 41 and formosa 41. They were a William Garden design. I would like to learn more about them but have found little on the net about them. If anyone has any info on them or know where i may come across some i would greatly appreciate it.
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-12-2005
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CT 41

There has been a lot of discussion on these boats. I would suggest that you do a search for CT and Formosa. Here is a prior response of mine on these boats.:

To me these are boats that are more about ''show'' rather than about go. They are designed to look like serious traditional offshore cruisers but with an optimistic published 32% ballast to displacement ratio, low density ballast, on a short waterline and the high center of gravity of a teak decked, high freeboard, wooden sparred boat, this is not an offshore boat by my definition. The kind of numbers associated with these boats suggest a rolly boat with relatively poor overall stability, which becomes especially critical given their high drag. The great mass of these boats sends a false message of security about their real performance in a blow which reportedly is not good.

By the same token these are not a very good coastal cruiser either; lacking the kind of sailing ability that one needs to respond to the quickly changeable conditions generally experienced alongshore.

Formosa/CT''s are very much a cult sort of boat. Over the years I have run into owners that love them and swear by them and owners that really hate them and swear at them. Most of these began life as very poorly built boats intended to be sold very cheaply. In the late 1970''s and 1980''s, when my mother was building and importing boats from Taiwan, TA CHIAO was not considered to be a ''quality yard''. Amoungst the close fraternity of Taiwanese boat builders, these boats were seen as the poster children for why yachts built in the Orient had such a bad reputation. These boats were notorious for poor electrical systems, and plumbing, poor metalurgy used to produce knock off deck and interior hardware, including such key components as thru-hulls and seacocks. The often attractive but poorly built hardware used on these boats can be a serious problem over time and in heavy going, when good winches and deck hardware becomes so critical.

Glass work on these boats was generally quite heavy but poorly done, using large amounts of accellerators and non-directional glass, as well as poorly controlled resin to glass ratios. Internal hull framing was next to non-existant.

The rig, deck and cabin structures employed essentially abbreviated forms of wooden boat construction techniques. This is really bad news given that these boats were notorious leakers. The teak decks were often laid over non-marine grade plywood and the propensity to leak often resulted in large areas of deck core rot, something that is not always easy to spot in a survey, but which makes these boats vulnerable to deck failure in heavy conditions.

These boats are getting long in the tooth so there will be large variations in individual examples depending on the long term and corrective maintenance performed by prior owners. Quite a few of these boats have undergone major restorations that corrected many of the factory''s built-in shortcomings.

There are general issues to pay attention to as well. For example, I would never buy one with a painted wooden mast, which seems to be more common than the varnished masts. As someone who has owned and restored old wooden boats with wooden spars, I personally would never buy any boat with painted wooden spars unless I planned to replace them anyway. I have lost a mast over the side that had rotted out from the inside while having few visible signs on the outside making it clear just how important it is to keep the mast in a condition where it can be inspected. This is especially true on Formosa/CT''s which are notorious for having problems with delamination and rot in their masts, rot that can easily be masked by a paint job until its too late.

I won''t even go into the performance aspects of these boats, because you would not be looking at a boat like this if you cared at all about performance. Needless to say, they are rediculously slow on all points of sail and in all conditions, they do not point worth a darn and are at their worst in the light and heavy end of the wind ranges.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-29-2005
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CT 41

I have had a Seawolf 41 for a year now, and I still love it, but there are a number of caveats. I purchased mine as a liveaboard, and there is something about the interior of the CT/Seawolf/Formosa that I find much more "homey" than most sailboats this size. But then I am not a cook, so I don''t mind the very small galley. I also love the look of the boat, and got a lot of comments on her looks (right now she is in need of a decktop paint job).

Having said that, there is a lot to what Jeff says. Although most of the problems on mine had long been rectified (new thru hulls and fittings, new aluminum mast, etc etc), I spent several weeks this summer repairing dry rot in the cabin top (my decks are fiberglass). In addition, I rewired the whole boat as soon as I got her, but then I have had to rewire numerous boats of all makes, wiring standards even ten years ago left a lot to be desired.

I have no where to go fast, so I don''t mind that she is dreadfully slow. I have a friend with a Beneteau 36, that has the same waterline as the Seawolf 41, and the only way I can keep up with him is on a downwind run where I can put up a LOT more sail (he doesn''t have a spinnaker)

Given the ketch configuration, the sails can easily be handled by one person, and I often sail solo. But it takes me as much time to set one sail as it takes to set both the main and foresail on a modern boat with roller furling. Again, I am in no hurry so I don''t mind, and it''s lots of good exercise

The boat tracks as straight as an arrow, I can easily balance the boats sail and let her steer herself. Maneuverability in the marina leaves a lot to be desired, especially in reverse. Some owners advocate making the rudder larger to give it more bite in reverse.

I haven''t had her in what I would call heavy weather yet (30 knots max so far), so I don''t know if Jeff''s comments on the heavy weather sailing aspect are correct. I have seen comments from others in the ct mailing list that the CT does well in heavy weather.

If you are looking for more information, check out the mailing list at https://list.sailnet.net/read/?forum=ct or send an email to ct@list.sailnet.net.
You can also check out the pictures on my website www.cafe-solo.us.

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Evan Smith
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-29-2005
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CT 41

By the way, I don''t find the boat "rolly" at all, in fact when the weather gets a little rougher, my friend''s wife transfers from their Beneteau 36 (granted NOT an offshore boat at all) to my Seawolf as it does not make her as sick.
I have sailed offshore on modern lighter displacement boats, which is half the reason I bought an older heavy displacement boat. I am tired of being pounded around. However, if you read the Dashew books, you will note that they have a very different opinion on what constitutes a good comfortable offshore boat - now if I only had the money for a 65 foot Deerfoot .

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post #5 of 9 Old 01-31-2005
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CT 41

I would think that going to aluminum spars would go a long way towards reducing roll.

Jeff
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-29-2009
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Other considerations

My wife and I look out the window at passing boats as we work in our office at home. (Floating home - a house on a float; very nice, but permanently moored.) After three years of trying to interest her in something more mobile, she perks up and says "there's a pretty boat!" It turns out to be one of these Formosa/Ct/??? Wm Garden designs. You can complain all you want about them, but there's a reason to buy one! :-)

So I understand that there were many "brands" of boat made from those plans. From what I gather, the Formosa boats exhibited considerable variability in quality, probably depending on the requirements of the buyer and how closely they were watched. But what about the others? Is there a boat made to this design to a high quality standard?

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post #7 of 9 Old 07-29-2009
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" Is there a boat made to this design to a high quality standard?"

No. There were individual boats built under close supervision that was retained by the owners, but even those had a variety of poor design and construction issues that were part of the way the factories build these boats back then. At best you might find one that was lovingly rebuilt, but even then you had to get around the flaws inherent in the design.

Jeff


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post #8 of 9 Old 07-29-2009
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Jeff,
For those that like the traditional look, would you suggest a Gozzard as a more appropriate boat for the situation? What are your options on Gozzards? (just for my own curiosity)

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post #9 of 9 Old 07-29-2009
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Fatbear..
You might want to inverstigate these boats as well...
Traditional looks, modern build. Jeff will give you more detail than I can, but I would think it might fit your bill. But than again, they are certainly not cheap.

Courtney is My Hero

If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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