Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

I'm looking at some boats and have been focused on Cape Dory's. I've been in touch with the Cape Dory Owners group but would like to hear the opinion of people on this board.

I've been looking at a couple of 1980's era Cape Dorys that fit my price range.

Two choices I've been considering are a Cape Dory 33/330 and a Cape Dory 36. Both are of similar condition, very good, ready to sail with only some TLC needed and upgrades that are optional and can be done over time and money and time allow.

Both would meet my sailing and family needs. We could be comfortable in either size. My biggest consideration is how they would vary to sail.

Pros and cons as I see it are:

Cape Dory 36:
PROS:
Longer LWL a little faster hull speed.
A little more room
More stable length
More room for times when my grown kids are aboard (rare).

CONS:
Larger heavier and less maneuverable
Slightly more cost for haul out and hull paint
Larger engine with fuel and maintenance costs
Slightly harder to single hand in docking.
More than enough room for two of us (most of the time)



Cape Dory 33/330

PROS:
Probably a better size for two
More maneuverable - manageable size
Easier sailing and docking single handed
Simpler engine - less fuel - cheaper maintenance.
Cheaper at haul out and hull refinishing

CONS:
slightly less stable.
More cramped when the kids are aboard (rarely)
Slightly slower hull speed



Are there other Pros and Cons that I am missing?
Are there likely to be any significant differences in sailing characteristics between the two lengths?

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

Buy them both... I'll take whichever one you decide isn't right for you

Oh to have those kinds of choices.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

These are both Alberg designs and are very similar. I don't think you will find that the 33 is any more maneuverable - they are both typical Alberg cutaway full keelers.

I would think it would really come down to how much space you need, and how much expense you want down the road. Smaller is always less expensive (slip fees, haulout, bottom paint, rigging, etc.)

36 is a cutter rig typically, if that makes a difference to you. For offshore, I would prefer the cutter.
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post #4 of 10 Old 07-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

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....I would think it would really come down to how much space you need, and how much expense you want down the road. Smaller is always less expensive (slip fees, haulout, bottom paint, rigging, etc.)

36 is a cutter rig typically, if that makes a difference to you. For offshore, I would prefer the cutter.

And the 33 was made in both a cutter and a sloop. Some of both are available.
Cost is a factor for me, both up front and long term. So thanks for the comments. The 33/330 would be big enough most of the time. It would probably be the rare occasion when I wished it were bigger. It's sort of like the mini-van I still have, now that my kids are grown. Most days I drive it all by myself and it's more vehicle than I need. Now and then I take the seats out and haul bags of soil and fertilizer home or help a friend move boxes. It'll be my last mini-van but there will be about 10 days a year when I'll wish I had one again.

I'm also looking at Sabre 34s a different boat, but one that would also meet my needs. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Sabre 34 has an offset prop. Does anybody know if that causes more pronounced prop-walk?

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

I learned to sail on a Cape Dory 28. Great boats. I don't think you'll find a huge amount of variation between how one full keel boat sails compared to another. They generally share the same strengths and weaknesses, ie excellent tracking and seakeeping, few if any keel and ballast issues, durability, well supported rudders, comfortable motion, etc. Of course you already know that they are less maneuverable, more difficult to reverse, don't point as high, etc. Basically they are all boats that are great at sea, not so great in port.

As for the offset prop on the Sabre...pretty sure a big part of the idea is to try to reduce prop wash over the rudder. Prop walk can actually be useful for maneuvering.

"Freedom is the increased knowledge of what you can do without." —Thoreau
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-22-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

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I'm also looking at Sabre 34s a different boat, but one that would also meet my needs. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Buy a Catalina 34 and save a lot of $$$ laugh
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Buy a Catalina 34 and save a lot of $$$ laugh
Oh yeah, and have the keel fall off halfway to Nassau. ;-)
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post #8 of 10 Old 07-23-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

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Oh yeah, and have the keel fall off halfway to Nassau. ;-)
Now that is a little harsh... it probably won't fall off, it will just SMILE all the way there.....

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post #9 of 10 Old 07-23-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

Have had 3 CDs 4 if you include a Harpoon. Never had a 33 but can say the 36' is a brick outhouse of a boat. Can say it has a secure non pukeogenic ride and although very narrow by current standards a liveable interior. Think 2'itis is very contagious and increase in volume is not linear. Therefore if you can at all swing it would go with th 36'. Perhaps Carl's best boat.

s/v Hippocampus
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-23-2016
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Re: Boat Comparison - Cape Dorys

Friend of ours is somewhere in the south pacific on a CD36 right now. No problems.
Good quality boat in general.
I wonder why someone felt a need to attempt to slander the Cat 34? While a few older Cat 30 keels had an attachment problem, I've not heard of a problem with the 34. That smile is quite repairable, on any make of boat... labor time and expertise... and of course some $$.
(We shopped a Catalina 34, among other brands, before finding our present boat -- full disclosure.)

Offset shaft angles have been used by C&C and others. Makes reversing "interesting". This was said to somewhat reduce torque steer going forward, but that could be just dock talk. Our boat's shaft is in line and this helps reversing and low speed maneuvering in general.

Anyhooooo... Those classic Cape Dory's are lovely boats, with high build quality.

Happy shopping,
Loren

ps: sorry to even comment on the post from the person about keels. Checking his (her?) bio, it's empty -- perhaps not a boat owner. Maybe just tossing out provocative comments to rile up the other inmates. Oh well.

Last edited by olson34; 07-23-2016 at 12:12 PM.
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