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Old 07-10-2001
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Formosa 34 1979 Center Cockpit

Goodmorning everyone - In my seemingly neverending quest to find the right boat to buy at the right price, I am going to look at a 79 Formosa this weekend. Does anyone have any opinions, knowledge or feedback on this boat?

I plan on sailing (which ever boat I eventually buy) in eastern Florida, Bahama and the Caribbean. All opinions will be appreciated.

Thanks and good sailing!
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Old 07-10-2001
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Formosa 34 1979 Center Cockpit

Generally these are considered poorly built, high maintenance and slow sailing. They offer a lot of room for the length on deck but in most cases the cost of trying to keep one intact is a killer. Most that I have seen have teak decks over plywood which means core rot by now. They were very probe to blisters. Their electrical systems were notorious.

Doing a center cockpit in a 34 footer requires serious design compromises. (I genuinely believe that center cockpits really do not make sense in boats under about 40 feet.) In this case the cockpit sole is mounted at the deck level meaning a lot more severe motion in the cockpit, and a higher center of gravity and center of effort, both increasing heel angles over a more conventional design. This is significant because at 5000 lbs ballast in an 18000 lb boat these boats are severely under-ballasted.

Beyond that at 18000 lb these boats are rediculously heavy for a short waterline 34 footer. As I have said before, weight in and of itself does absolutely nothing positive for a boat. It does not make it strong, or comfortable, or seaworthy. It does not permit you to carry stores or gear. It does not add to stability. It just adds weight and weight slows a boat down, it increases stresses in the boat, it increases loads on control lines and puts the sailors on board at greater risk of bodily harm when something does go wrong.

And with all of that, they are not even all that cheap to buy. While you see some comparatively inexpensive ones on the market these are usually boats with serious problems of the kind that can easily add to more than the boat is worth. I really think that there are much better constructed and sailing boats in that price range.

Sorry to be the voice of doom and gloom.

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Old 07-12-2001
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Formosa 34 1979 Center Cockpit

Hey Jeff - no problem. That is why I asked. You just saved me a three hour drive! Have a good one.
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