Join Date: May 2002
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Re: We have fallen for the Cheoy Lee 40 Offshore
Ain't it a beautiful thing when you find a boat that makes your heart go "zing!"?
But don't let practicality go completely out the window. The yawl model has double the rigging and all that entails, including maintenance costs, sail costs, etc., with very little benefit. Back in the day, yawls were popular for a couple of reasons. First, they split up the sail area, making it easier to handle for small crews. However, since the advent of modern reefing systems like slab and roller reefing (not to mention power winches), this advantage has really diminished. Second, yawls were popular for awhile in the 60's with designers because they "beat the rule", allowing for additional sail area to be added without penalizing the boat. That rule is long gone and whatever artificial advantage it bestowed is also dead. And IMHO, the rig doesn't sail as well. If you are beating to weather, there is no point to hoisting the mizzen; same for running downwind. The sail does nothing. In fact, because the main is smaller on a yawl/ketch, you actually sacrifice drive over the sloop rig. The only time the mizzen helps is when you are broad or beam reaching. And even then, I don't think it's worth having to deal with the extra rigging. To my mind, yawls and ketches just don't make much practical sense except in very special circumstances.
You are right when you speculate that a full keel boat is slower than a modern fin keel design. That's not to say that full keel boats don't have advantages. They track straight like they are on rails. And boats like the Cheoy Lee are very seakindly; their motion in a seaway tends to be more gentle and forgiving than a canoe-shaped modern design. The cons: full keel designs are not as manuverable. If you are used to being able to turn your boat around within a couple of boat lengths, get ready for a change. The same things that keep it tracking straight on course make it more difficult to turn. Just something to get used to. And backing up under power? They don't do it very well. At all. Backing a full keel boat takes a lot of practice, a lot of patience, and a lot of prayer. If you think you will be manuvering a lot in crowded marinas, I suggest that you try out a full keel boat before you buy. I did, and as much as I love the look and feel of the full keel designs, I would never buy one. I boat where the marina space is tight, and I just didn't want to go through that every time I docked. But hey, that's me. There are lots of people who do it on a daily basis and have no problems. Like I said, practice is the name of the game.
And I assume that you are the kind of guy that likes to work on his boat. You can't have a wood doghouse on a boat and not like to do maintenance.
So if this is your dream boat, enjoy! No boat is perfect, but it's the boat that we love that we make work.