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  • 1 Post By islandman2
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Old 06-10-2006
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Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

Any opinions on the Bill Luder's designed Cheoy Lee Offshore 28? I'm going to look at one in my area and have been searching the web for info on the design and the construction quality. I haven't found much, other than specs on the owner's association website and the email addresses of some owners. One former owner responded to my inquiry stating that this boat is quite tender and heels extremely even in a light breeze. (But so do other good seaboats in this size range, such as the Bristol 27) He didn't feel that it was ideal for offshore sailing or that it was a particularly good sailing vessel, but that it was pretty and nicely appointed.

This particular Cheoy Lee design is a keel-centerboard design drawing 3'6" with the board up. 9'2" beam, 22' LWL, displacement right at 8,000 lbs, powered by a 25hp Volvo diesel. It has the teak decks, which I would promptly remove if purchased.

Does anyone know much about the build quality of these boats? Is this one of the encapsulated keels I've heard about with concrete and bits of scrap iron? I've heard this kind of keel can cause excessive heeling and lack of ability to stand up to a breeze because of higher center of gravity.

Any help much appreciated, as I seek a replacement for the boat I lost last year to Hurricane Katrina.
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Old 06-11-2006
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You're gonna pull the teak decks? I love the way the Cheoy Lee's look with all that beautiful wood. Ah well, your choice (if ya buy) and I probably would get tired of caring for a teak deck too.

Anyhow, IMHO a centerboard boat is not the best choice, unless you have depth issues that require it. In addition to having the weight high on the keel, the mechanism will require maintenance and is a possible point of failure.

On the weight issue, lower positioned weight will offer a better counter to wind forces.

But the larger concern for me would be the centerboard itself. I had a swing keel for many years and they can be a pain sometimes. First off, it's tough to get bottom paint on the whole thing. A lift would make it better than a trailer, like I used, but there will still be places in the centerboard well that you just can't get to. The cable will fail, I replaced mine 3 times. The pivot point needs to be checked and it can be a major job to pull the keel/centerboard to replace this pin. Seaweed gets caught up in the cable, critters (zebra mussells up here) inhabit the well. Sometimes the board get's jammed in one position or another.

No offense to anyone with a centerboard boat. They're great in the proper environment. But I would rather have a fixed keel if I were sailing in the Gulf, which I assume is your home waters since you mentioned losing the last boat to Katrina.
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Those grand fresh-water seas of ours - Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan, - possess an ocean-like expansiveness...They contain round archipelagoes of romantic isles...they have heard the fleet thunderings of naval victories...they know what shipwrecks are, for out of sight of land, however inland, they have drowned full many a midnight ship with all its shrieking crew. --from Moby Dick

Last edited by Hawkwind; 06-11-2006 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-11-2006
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I love the way the teak decks look too, but regretably, the decks on this boat are worn down beyond the point of saving (according to the owner). I'll see it today. I'm a professional marine carpenter, and have installed lots of new teak decks, mainly on larger motoryachts where the owner wanted a teak overlay in the cockpit, sometimes on the foredeck as well. So I could replace the decks, but probably wouldn't, because of the weight up that high and the material cost and labor involved. (We put them down without fasteners these days, so they last much longer and you can sand them many more times because there are no screw heads to hit as they wear down). I do like all the other teak trim on the Cheoy Lee boats though, and would plan to keep that all finished bright.

Thanks for the input on the keel-centerboard configuration. Draft is a concern in the Gulf, as it's shallow everywhere near shore, but so is good sea-keeping ability offshore. I've read good things about some keel-centerboard boats though, like the Tartan 27, which I think Jeff on this forum holds in high regard. This Cheoy Lee may not be in the same catagory, I don't know, but it is of similar size and displacement. Just not sure about the original build quality.

I realize the centerboard would be a disadvantage in regard to the additional maintenance and hassel it requires. The current owner of this boat says that lowering it has little noticeable effect so he usually sails with it up... Maybe he doesn't sail to weather, I don't know. Will see the boat this morning.
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Old 06-11-2006
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I didn't realize you had depth issues down there. The only sailing I've done in that area was when I rented a wind surfer in Pensacola.

Sounds like you were looking for more specific info on that make of boat. Sorry I can't help ya.
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Old 06-14-2006
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Depth is definately an issue just about everywhere along the Gulf coast. Especially with all these hurricanes we've had lately. A shallow-draft boat has a lot more choices for creeks, bayous and other protected anchorages farther from open water when a storm bears down.

I looked at this particular boat, and liked the overall layout, but unfortunately the problems with the decks is not limited to the teak overlay. The foredeck area is already spongy, indicating water intrusion there, and probably in other areas as well. It would take a lot of work to repair all this, but the boat could be brought back if it was worth it. I just wish I could get an opinion of this from someone who knows whether or not this particular model sails well enough to justify all that hard work.
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Old 01-14-2013
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

I see this thread is pretty dated, and this comment will be of no help to the person who started this topic, asking for comments. However, I thought some comments about the Cheoy Lee Offshore 28 might be helpful to others. AND, I am curious what eventually happened with that "OS28."

We have owned our Offshore 28 since 2001 and have sailed her in light and heavy weather up and down the coast of Maine.

She is beamy (and roomy below) and therefore is not as fast as others, but she will move in light air and likes a breeze. She is a solid sailor. With a nice breeze she will settle into a groove and I can literally take my hand off the wheel and watch her sail herself; heading up a bit with a gust, then falling back into her groove.

We have done quite a bit of maintenance.

The large saloon (cabin) windows have leaked and been a challenge, but I think I have them fixed. They are, by the way, worth the hassle. We can sit at the table, rain or shine, and look directly out these windows, to watch everything happening around us.

I replaced all the closed ports with bronze ports and replaced teak veneer where damaged. When we first bought her, we discovered that the previous owner had run aground enough to expose the join between the keel and centerboard box. Six to eight layers of West System and glass later she was fine. The hull is solid glass.

Several years ago we removed the dull and crazing topside gelcoat, added a layer of glass and faired it with West then Interlux and finished with Perfection. We also did the cabin top. She now looks quite good.

The teak deck is "iffy," and I keep reglueing bungs that come loose. There may be a day when I have to... This year I am going to redrill some holes deeper and try that.

She is powered by a Yanmar 3GM30F and we can motor very comfortably and economically when we must.

Compass Rose turns heads and the varnished sitka mast, teak deck and trim, as they say, "looks good from the dock." She is a comfortable keel/c'board boat.

I would recommend her to anyone willing to varnish and keep up the maintenance.
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Old 04-20-2014
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Re: Cheoy Lee Offshore 28

to dwblueblue:
purchased my Choey Lee last Sept. but have yet to get it in the water. Received a box of parts that is my main hatch and although I can see a general shape to assemble it into I can't get the specifics. hoping you have a picture of yours that you could send me.
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