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tcase10 12-13-2007 11:25 PM

Bombay Clipper 31
I am trying to find information about a Bombay Clipper 31. Does anyone have any resources? They are said to be capable coastal cruisers and some have crossed the Gulf of Mexico, but I can't seem to find any information regarding construction, set up, capabilities or customization. Thanks.

tcase10 12-15-2007 03:42 PM

What about Walter Scott? Does anybody know where to find information on him? I googled him, but could not find much other than he was the Bombay Cliper and Watkins designer.

FarCry 12-15-2007 06:53 PM

You could look at and see the people listed under "sailboat class associations and sailing groups" There are a couple of people listed there with phone numbers and email addresses. I own a Bombay Clipper 31 and may be able to answer some of your questions. Basically it is a fat boat that is built like a tank and needs a bit of breeze to get it moving. Below decks there is a lot of room for a 31' boat.

billangiep 12-15-2007 07:03 PM

If I'm not mistaken the molds were purchased by Island Packet in Clearwater Fl.?

tcase10 12-15-2007 07:45 PM

FarCry, Thanks, I emailed both contacts on the GOB site, but both were returned as undeliverable. I did not try the numbers, but I will. I like the built like a tank part and understand that it takes a breeze to get moving, but overall how is the performance? I live north of New Orleans and sail in Lake Pontchartrain were winds can be light, but can pipe up in a hurry and when the do the lake becomes very choppy. There is a BC 31 nearby for sale and it may be a candidate. I was really looking in the 27 ft range, but came across this one. Do you know if there are any problems with blisters other than the usual late 70's problems. Also, is hardware, i.e. portlights and hatches, hard to find? Thanks

tcase10 12-15-2007 07:48 PM

Billangiep, I am confused about that. I have read and heard the same about the molds used to build the island packet, but in an interview with Bob Johnson, the IP designer, he said he used the molds from a Bombay Clipper Express, which was a 26 ft sloop. I am not sure if the BC 31 molds came from the same place.

billangiep 12-15-2007 08:16 PM

tcase10, Thinking back it was the Express that had sparked my interest. I was told by an owner about the molds and Island Packet.

FarCry 12-19-2007 08:19 PM


My boat has a few blisters that I have not really paid much attention to. When I haul it next year I may look at them and decide if I want to work on them or not.

Performance is sort of a hard question to answer. Is the boat fast? NO!!! I believe the PHRF ratings put it in the 237 range. Need I say more? I can generally run down and pass most of the rental Cats in the BVI's, if they are sailing and not motorsailing.

Where I sail winds are frequenty in the mid to upper teens and for most points of sail I can stay in the 6 knot range while keeping the boat at a heel that is comfortable for my wife and I (20 degrees) The boat can be pushed a bit harder and gain 3/4 of a knot. It is much harder to maintain proper control of ones beverages however. I have been able to sustain 8 knots (by GPS) for a few miles on a reach with winds at 25+ and this seems to be as well as I can sail it, others may be able to do better.

For mostly light wind sailing I would want a lighter more easily pushed hull. The motor would be frequently necessary in any winds less than 10.

Is it easy to sail well? Yes. It is very forgiving and easy to sail.

Pluses--Easy to sail--Built sturdy like many boats of that time--Very roomy below for a 31 footer--Comfortable for weeklong trips

Minuses--Needs some decent wind to get moving--Even then, pretty slow.

tcase10 12-20-2007 11:03 PM

Thank you for the insight. I realize that races will not be won with this boat, but 6 knots in moderate winds will take me where I want to go in the time I want to be there. I have raced sailboats and enjoy that, but want a boat that will be safe and stable for my family. I also like the room below.

How often do you get to the Carribean?

FarCry 12-21-2007 10:44 AM

If stability is important to you then the Bombay should work well for you.

I get to the Caribbean every day:) . I live on St Thomas and try to get out once a week for at least a few hours. I also race, but on a smaller and much lighter boat.

One other point I neglected to mention was that my boat has the deeper draft, 5' if I recall correctly. I am aware that there are many shallow draft Bombays around and I could not comment as to their sailing attributes or stability of the shoal draft version. What is the draft of the boat you are looking at?

My boat has also been repowered with a 2 cylinder Yanmar and from searching Yachtworld it appears many Bombay 31's had a single cylinder engine. I do not know how much horsepower difference there may be but into a stiff breeze and 5' waves I would appreciate a bit more grunt at times. The power plant may be something for you to consider also.

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