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post #1 of 4 Old 07-14-2005 Thread Starter
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Durbeck Ketch

I''m going to look at a 50'' Durbeck Ketch that''s on Yachtworld. I never heard of Durbeck but from the little info I can gather it seems they are a boat company out of Bradenton, FL. Does anyone have any knowledge of the quality of their boats? Cheers, JC
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-15-2005
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Durbeck Ketch

I am somewhat familiar with Durbecks. I lived in sarasota during the early years of the company and visited the plant and have spoken to a number of owners.
Durbecks came into being at the height of the 1970''s era ''character boat'' fad. They had a very shippy, swashbuckling sort of appearance and a lot of room down below, but were miserable sailers in all conditions. They were absurdly heavy and somewhat underblassted relative to their drag. They were brutes to sail (paritally because if the seemingly undersized hardware that they came with) and partially because of the sheer size of the sail plan required to move a boat with this much drag.

Having seen them under way in the Gulf, my impression is that they were miserable rollers and pitchers.

The owner that I knew started out thinking that Durbecks were extremely well constructed but his view changed over time so that by the last time that I saw him he had little good to say about the boat. In my mind many of the things that he complained about (other than blister problems) were comparatively minor in nature. My sense at the time that I visited the factory was that these were people who genuinely wanted to build high quality offshore cruisers, but I also felt that they were highly opininated (as am I at times) and some of their opinions were greatly odds with what I considered good practice.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-02-2007
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We have bought a Durbeck schooner D 46 in 2004. She was built in 1980 in Bradenton. We are now sailing in the Adriatic sea, Mediterranean.
Its true she is a heavily built ocean going cruising yacht. Everything is heavily dimensioned, but simple in handling.
She is easy to sail for small crew (me and my wife). For a yacht with long keel, she is normally handled in marinas under engine, though we have no bowthruster.
The schooner rigg seems old fashioned, but is easy to handle for reefing at all courses !! The mechanic is simple for the 4 furlers and is outside the masts. With 140 squaremeters she makes her 7 kn at 4 beaufort (genua, fock, staysail, main. Additinal you use fisherman, genakker and gollywobbler.
At strong winds- like bora winds of 40-50 kn-we take away mainsail and genua and go easy sailing with a good standing fock and staysail. The deck stays nearly dry and we allways have a safe feeling.
She is nearly selfsteering, only with balanced sails. This is very impressive and was one of the very reason to buy her. Dont know if a ketch is similar.
The Durbeck is a traditional looking yacht and an eye catcher at sea and in the harbour. There is a lot of space on deck and under deck. Deck and interior is costum built, ánd in good quality of teak, mahagony, bronze and brass, you will not find today for a fair price.
The cockpit is not to large for 4 persons, but you can serve all sails from it.
The electric equipment in deed was poor compared to european safety standard, and was nearly completely changed.

Thats my experience with our Durbeck AQUARIES.

will follow soon


Last edited by guenter; 03-19-2007 at 03:37 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-17-2009
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We own a 1978 Durbeck 46 ketch. We have had her for 12 years. We have totally rewired and replaced her plumbing. I also totally refinished the interior and exterior. She will roll in a quartering sea as will all heavy displacement full keel boats. She has a large groove and I have had her self steering for 45 minutes at a time, many times. As was mentioned above, she has a large sail area and you reef when the wind builds. She needs a breeze. That's what sailing is about. Below 2 kts. of boat speed and she will wonder to her own wishes. In 15 to 20 kts. she is getting in her grove. While the fin keelers are reefing down and getting wet, you can sit dry and snug in her cockpit. Above 20 knots, pull in the genny and maybe a little main and still run hull speed. She only has a 35 foot waterline. Even healed it will not grow much. 8 kts. about is it. I do not think she will surf. If she can, I rather not be there. She will pitch in a chop, especially if motoring into it. 4 foot chop will slow her down to a crawl. Just fall off and add a little sail.

Compare how the bulkheads are taped into the hull to the light displacement boats. Look at her chainplates. She is a big cruiser made to take you were you want to go in some comfort. If you are looking for a cruiser, she is hard to beat. If you want to go fast, skip the fin keelers and get a go fast catarmaran like a Gunboat.
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