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  #11  
Old 04-10-2002
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buying first boat

Ahoy Jerry,

My first sailboat is a 35 footer, and she is quite a handful as a learning platform. Much higher loads and inertia compared to something 8 or 10 feet shorter. If I was to do it again, I''d be in the 25-30'' range. Especially if I was singlehanding, with only myself to accomodate.

Art
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2002
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Jeff has given a nice list that tends to be on the performance side, as he has said that was what he was looking for. His comments on displacement and modern hull forms are very helpful, though keep in mind that in the price range you are looking you are likely not going to get a boat with a true modern hull form. btw, the displacement of the Hood 38 is 22,000 with a D/L in the mid 300''s and it still PHRF''s at 129. Very comfortable and solid in a seaway.

Jeff''s list is somewhat diverse with boats from the 70''s, some slower boats like the Hughe''s, cored hull designs like the C&C and J''s and more. Also, while this is a very nice list, it is not particularly cruiser oriented or oriented towards traditional boats (Jeff is a very advanced sailor). Probably to more important point is that many of the boats on the list will be hard to find or out of your price range.

I would suggest the following resources to wade through all these boat suggestions and info.

First, I would get the two vol set, "Practical Boat Buying". You can find it on Amazon. It is a comprehensive guide to a wide variety of boats from 20-60ft. I found it very valuable for info on boat construction: hull build, hull-to-deck joint etc. Good compendium on boats specs too.

You can find a large listing of boats on: yachtworld.com. Use this to sort through your various search criteria of age, price and region.

Sailnet has a "Boat Check" section that is somewhat helpful with owners comments on various boats. It is owner biased though.

If you really want to see some "back and forth" about specific boats, try searching on Google.com in the discussion groups section. You will be AMAZED at the discussion threads captured. I found it interesting but remember you really don''t know how expert any of those opinions are, though from the discussion much is obvious. I have found it a good resource for looking at both sides of a particular arguement such as cored vs non-cored and info on teak decks and the like.

One piece of advice, don''t travel far to look at a boat. You will unfortunately find that most are in terrible shape no matter how they look online or what the broker says.

Also, as far as size goes... I am not sure how much of an issue it is. Depends on what experience you have. I am assuming you have sailed but just have not owned a boat before. A 38 ft could be daunting to some, while 60 ft is a piece of cake to others. I think that if you have captained a 30ft boat before and are reasonably confident, 38 will not be much of a problem. It WILL seem daunting at first, perhaps even for a couple months... but boat owners tend to learn FAST and you could very well be completely comfortable in one season.

Another issue is that if your goal to move to the islands is set in stone, then buying a smaller boat now (25-30) with the idea of selling it later for the ''real'' boat, you will be set way back in terms and time and finances.

Its really up to you.

Hope this helps.

John
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2002
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buying first boat

There has been some recent discussion of the Hood 38, and a reference in another thread that the Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor 38 are sisterships of the Hood 38. Does anyone know much about the Little Harbor 38? There are a few of these for sale right now, and they appear to be priced slightly below the Bristols. Any input on quality and performance comparisons between these boats. Does the Bristol and Little Harbor have similar PHRF ratings to the Hood? Do all 3 boats perform about the same in light air?
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Let me admit my bias towards the (my) Wauquiez and lack of experience with the LH up front.

The Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor 38 (Ted Hood''s own company) both have PHRF''s of 126 whereas the Wauquiez Hood 38 is 129 (NE PHRF). Don''t know much about the Little Harbor but the Bristol is a bit lighter has a few more inches of beam. All the info I have read on the three boats has stated that they are essentially the same below the water line.

The Hood 38''s all have a reputation for being good in light air. I have found that to be true of my boat (a Wauquiez Hood 38). I understand this was a specific Ted Hood goal in designing the boat. I could not be more pleased with mine. I personally do not see any reason why the Bristol goes for more money. I think it is just paying for the Bristol name and cost of an American build. The Wauquiez boats are slightly better priced because when they first were sold the dollar was very strong against the Franc. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a Mark II ver of the Wauquiez w/o the teak deck.

As for quality, I cannot imagine that the Bristol or Little Harbor 38''s could be of any significantly greater quality than the Wauquiez. If they are, they certainly must be at least roughly equivalent to each other. The Wauquiez Hood 38 has beautiful and very nicely finished joinery below and carries excellent hardware. Some of it IS French, if that is an issue. I personally prefer the layout of the Wauquiez. They layouts of the Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor Hood 38 that I have seen show straight settee''s in the saloon and a simple qtr berth aft - simply Yacht 101 design. The Wauquiez has a private aft qtr cabin with quite a lot of elbow room. The saloon has a C shaped dinette which, in my view, lends more livability to the boat. Don''t know about the Bristol or LH but the Vee berth on the Wauquiez is huge.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 04-11-2002
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buying first boat

All of the four of the 38 foot Hood/Empacter designs; Bristol 38.8, Gulfstar 38, Wauquiez 38 and Little Harbor 38 are nice boats. they all derive from one of Hood''s ''Robins'', which were his own personal race boats and I believe in the case of the four boats above an IOR one tonner.

There are number of subtle differences in these boats in terms of displacement, bow overhands, and sail area. There were also some big differences in build quality as well with the Little Harbors generally thought to have the nest build quality.

I would disagree a bit with John Drake on one point. None of these boats are considered good light air boats. While Hood was known for minimizing drag in a heavy displacement boat by the use of very rounded sections, these boats still have a lot of weight and a lot of wetted surface for their sail area. While they are boats that sail very well in a moderate breeze, light air is not thier strong suit.

While these are really nice boats in a lot of ways, I also do not think that they make ideal singlehanders. Their small mainsail, stiff spars, and heavy dependence on large overlapping jibs make them difficult boats to sail single-handed.

Jeff

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Old 04-11-2002
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buying first boat

Hey I think the Bristol 38.8, Little Harbor 38 & the Wauquiez Hood 38 are all very nice boats. But I think they are getting out of jerrycooper14 original budget of around 65,000 ?..... Unless I am wrong.....I think you would be hard pressed to find one under $85k (Unless of course it needed a little help....)

And I think everyone is getting away from his initial desire to find a boat to live aboard and coastal cruise in the Keys/USVI NOT around Cape Horn. And since this is his first boat I don''t think he needs one with a PHRF rated under 100. Also there is *nothing* inherently wrong with a simple rig that has a mainsail w/overlapping genny. And with the right boat I wouldn''t say that they are hard to singlehand (Unless they were overcanvassed). On the contrary a little heavier (D/L) boat with this setup can be easily singlehanded albiet with a less than exciting light air capability. A lighter boat that "sails on her ear" and very bendy spars might be the ultimate singlehander for a very experienced sailor . But how much experience do you have with "tweeking" your mast on the fly?... Do you have experience with running backstays? How about a backstay adjuster? Do you understand the dynamics of tuning these under sail in different conditions? Who knows, you might be doing more harm than good?

I think for most sailors, simple is better. Get a little heavier, simple, stable boat. You will sail more comfortably , maybe a little slower in light air. But after a few years if stellar performance is what you are looking for and you have the funds available, then you can move into one of the more "performance" orientated boats.
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While I agree in principle that what NJCiscoKid is another valid way to go, for the record, I do want to point out that there is nothing about a lighter weight boat that would suggest that it is less stable nor that a lighter boat necessarily sails on her ear. (Ask John Drake about the heavy boat he test sailed in Florida.)

While there is *nothing*inherently wrong with a simple rig that has a mainsail w/overlapping genny, they are much harder to single-hand in that you are dragging a much bigger sail across the boat on each tack and a big genoa is harder to depower. As conditions worsen it means dealing with a poorly shaped partially rolled up genoa or a sail change to smaller sail. With a mildly bendy fractional rig you can often get by with a smaller non-overlapping jib in a wider range of conditions, powering up and down quite easily. A mildly bendy rig, does not necessarily require running back stays (I don''t have runners) or a lot of tweeking. Fractional rigs are actually simplier to tune since you have two less stays to deal with. A backstay adjuster on a mildly bendy rig gets pretty intuitive, you pull it in until the helm goes neutral, then you stop. Want more feel or a little more speed, then you let it out.

I posted my process not to say that it was exactly the right answer for JerryCooper14''s boat but to talk about one form that a search process for a similar boat had taken. Much of what I was looking for in a boat I would equate to having more tools at my disposal.
Its a bit like deciding on a pocket knife. For years I carried a simple three blade Boy Scout Whittler. Then someone got me a Swiss Army knife. I liked having some of the tools on the knife at my disposal but many of the gizmo''s I never use. Then one day I found a leatherman lying in the street. It is a tremendously handy tool but frankly it is not a very good knife in some ways, I found that I never used most of the tools on it, and it proved too bulky to carry so I went back to the Swiss Army knife.

In the same way, more modern designed boats and hardware offer a lot of tools. For some these extra tools are handy but for others its just a lot of extra stuff that they can''t or don''t want to use. There no one universally right answer here, just differing points of view.

But I do agree, that depending on your goals, (i.e. if part of your goals does not include learning sail trim and boat handling) then for many people and perhaps even most people you can get by with a simplier heavier boat.
Respectfully,
Jeff

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  #18  
Old 04-12-2002
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We are certainly getting away from Jerry''s question but suffice it to say there is no single right answer or boat and perhaps that is instructive for Jerry.

My criteria for selection of my boat were very complex and lengthy. I wanted a boat that would do a wide variety of things from long distance bluewater cruising to being a potential home for me. I do think Jerry is thinking along these lines. Also, I have a basic predjudice for heavy boats, this comes from my experience not just in sailing but in sea time on ships and small craft.

Jeff has an educated and technical point of view that is supported by data. I think he also realizes that many things are a personal choice. Without discussing differing points of view, how would any of us be able to decide on what is best for us. So I think this is a good discussion.

Would I have gotten a fractional rig if all things being equal? Not sure. I am not at all convinced that I want to wrestle with a larger main either when heading out or when it comes to handling it in a blow. With the roller furling jib (assuming of course it works) and my nice oversized Lewmars, I can trim the jib from the cockpit. Yes, the roller furling can fail (I have ProFurl though) and yes, as soon as you trim in you lose a certain amount of efficiency of the sail. But... as I weigh those factors against going up on deck for the main... I might chose the rig I have now... and getting the most out of my rig is not my goal in sailing (I hope that does not make me less of a sailor).

As for the Hood and light air...Jeff is certainly correct. I probably should have qualified that statement (although, honestly, I am impressed with her light air performance). The Hood 38 has good light air performance for a boat her size and considerable displacement (22,000 lbs)... and Ted Hood is known for designing boats (Bristol 35.5) that have this quality.

As for tenderness, remember, the boat in FLA was highly modified in a BAD way by the owner, including a monsterous and heavy contraption on the stern extending high off the deck to change her cg and righting moment (I suspect).

I actually think this has been a very good discussion for Jerry. He can see that there are different schools of thought, there is no perfect boat (they are all compromises) and everything is relative. And when looking at boats, look closely for things the owner did that seriously detract from the boats seaworthiness (trust me, the list is long).

Incidentally, this very debate is why I suggested Jerry go through a process of deciding on his personal needs and criteria first.

My best to all.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 04-12-2002
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I agree with John. But I would like to add one more thing to say to Jerry "buy the boat that makes YOU happy". Not what every ones else says you should do. Obviously listen to all their input. But its your boat and you are the one thats going to be sitting on it, not them.

You will know its the right boat for you when everytime you go down to see "her", a smile will subconciously come to your face. I know becuase that''s what happens to me everytime I see my boat. It just makes me smile.

Good luck in your search and please keep us informed to your progress in looking at boats.
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Everyone has given me a lot to think about!!I have set my criteria and know that there is no perfect boat but rather many great boats if one can compramise. What I am looking for is a boat that has the reputation of quality, being safe, and of a solid build. I dont need the fastest boat and I dont want alot of "gagets" to fix. I am now focusing on boats around 35 to 36 foot range.
I have just come across a 35'' 1985 Scanmar. She meets almost everything Im looking for including an aft cabin, 6''6 head room, displacement of 10,582, balast of 4,188, all working lines led to the cockpit w/ a cockpit reefing system, solid glass hull and a few others that are not on my list, but nice to have. The one thing it does have on the down size is a 5''10 draft. However, this is only a problem if I stay in the keys. Or is it?
Does anyone know the reputation of this boat and have any thoughts?
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