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Old 09-13-2007
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The SC31 has 4, 1/4 inch,19 strand shrouds on either side, a split backstay, the headstay and the inner stay for the staysail. Of all of the deck stepped masts i have seen it has by far the most support. The mast itself is not very tall (~45 ft off the water) and it is very rugged. If i loose a wire for some reason it might stand a chance if i can get the sails down. If for some reason it goes overboard I have 2 hacksaws and a wirecutter onboard to cut it away.
I feel the same way as Jeff, the last thing i would want was a 200 lb 20ft peice of aluminum swinging around poking holes in my boat. If it's going over all is better than nothing!
On the other hand, I think the bottom of my compression post is soft. It is glassed to the keel so it is hard to see but there is definate compression going the bathroom door won't shut in heavy wind! I think I am going to take the mast back off this winter and jack up the cabin top, then cut out the lower section of the compression post and replace it with either metal stock or a fixed jack. Any ideas? All's good though, it isn't getting much worse so i think i can sail out the season. I was out yesterday with a reef in the main and the staysail in 20-25knts! I brought a powerboater friend who had NEVER sailed. He was hooked after the first upwind tack
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Old 09-14-2007
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sc 31- if water gets into the airex core, what happens?
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Old 09-14-2007
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Nothing, unlike less expensive foams normally used on power boats and airex is a cross-linked closed cell foam so the water stays pretty much within that localized area where it got access. There is a slight exception to that in areas with a large number of freeze thaw cycles, where the melting and refreezing water can cause a delamination between the foam and the skin. Unlike Balsa this is a pretty easy repair accomplished by drilling holes, draining the area, drying it out and injecting with resin.

The nice thing about airex is that it has a little bit of memory which greatly increases impact resistance over a non-cored hull.

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Old 09-15-2007
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Are J Boats (the 34C or 35C) airex core or balsa?

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Old 09-15-2007
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There was water intrusion around one of my thru-hull bolts. The airex was a little soft for about 1/8 inch, then looked fine. There was no evidence of water migration beyond that first 1/8th inch. It is a very hard material. Not what you would think of as foam really. It was nearly impossible to remove...i snapped several allen bits with my drill trying to scrape out a 1" area around the thu-hull holes! There also seems to be a lot less condensation inside the boat and it really mutes outside noises. Compared to the hull on my Pearson 26, it seems like a bank vault When you come crashing over waves beating into the wind, it doesn't pound at all!!!!
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Old 09-24-2007
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I have owned a factory-finished 1980 Southern Cross 31 for 11 years, doing the usual coastal New England sailing things. Sundry thoughts: Like every boat, she is a collection of compromises, but fairly effective ones in my view. She is almost ridiculously over-engineered - you may not get there fast, but you are going to get there. The rig, in particular, is comically massive. Though I love the boat, there's no doubt she is a pig in close quarters. Backing down, you are just along for the ride and have little directional control. On the other hand, the boat sails delightfully in heavy weather, and, with a little tweaking, will beat hands-off better than I can sail her. She pops over following seas like a cork. New sails, particularly a nice full-batten main with generous roach, have made light-air performance reasonable. Stowage is quite limited. Some have reported cracking of the welds in the pintle/gudgeon assemblies; I've inspected mine in detail and noticed no problem. Compression post is fine, and I have not heard of problems with it. I had to overhaul the engine and thought at first that pulling the engine from the tight compartment was going to be impossible, but suspending the engine from a horizontal pipe levered with a chain fall worked fine. But getting to the stuffing box requires gymnastics - if I gain one more ounce I will not fit in the engine compartment. Water stowage is limited (45 gallons). The largest holding tank I could figure out how to install was 6 gallons; just a toy, really. I'm seriously considering installing an Airhead to prevent being forced out of anchorages to dump sewage (I just refuse to violate those laws). Since these are old boats, the majority currently on the market are probably neglected wrecks, but a good one is a wonderful boat, in my view.
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