Cruiser/Lats and Atts TV
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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TG - I too had been searching for the perfect Pacific NW pilothouse sailboat (I live on San Juan Island). Though I was leaning more towards more traditional sailing boats with pilothouses, the Nauticats have always interested me. Even though I just purchased two months ago a North Sea 33 pilothouse cutter (built by Ta Chiao in 1978), the mid-80s Nauticat 33s are still a boat I would like to have. My budget, however, was about 15% of what yours is, and I am very pleased with our new boat.
Anyway, throughout my search I had narrowed the list of potential boats to the following:
Cooper 416. Though it is an aft cockpit, this 41 footer has an aft stateroom (basically a large enclosed quarter berth area). The boat was designed by Stan Huntingford and built in Canada. I came across a couple in Tonga that had sailed their 416 from Berkely, CA. They loved it. The 416 has inside steering, but it is not a "motorsailer". They are sailboats with large fin keels that just happen to have pilothouses with an inside helm.
The Corbin 39s were also at the top of my wish list. Do a little research on these boats and you will find they were designed and built to sail the oceans safely and comfortably. It is a performance oriented, canoe stern cruising sailboat with a low profile pilothouse. Many were owner finished interiors, so consequently there are some that do not have an inside helm.
Spindrift 43s were designed by Ron Amy and from what I gather were based on a Wm. Garden design. Also an aft cockpit canoe stern, these are heavier cruising boats with a nice layout. A very similar boat and layout, built by a different yard, was the Landfall 39. My understanding is the Spindrift version is better in build quality, and that seems to be reflected in typical asking prices. Probably less performance oreiented than the previous boats, I'd say the Spindrift 43 would provide the most "liveaboard" comfort and would be on a par with the Nauticat 38 in that regard, though the sailing performance is going to be slightly better. The Nauticats will have the edge in motoring capabilities, though, and as you know up in this neck of the woods, we do that more than we would like in the summer months.
Sceptre 41/43s - if I'm not mistaken - are still being built? Anyway, they will be at the high end of your budget. I was on one at the Seattle Boats Afloat show a few years ago and was quite impressed. Has everything you are looking for, with luxurious accommodations in a performance package. I don't know a lot about them, but I think they are built in Canada. Good looking boat, too.
Anyway, good luck in your search. Keep us posted on what you learn/discover.
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"Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it."
1978 North Sea 33 Pilothouse Cutter (Ta Chiao)