Cruiser/Lats and Atts TV
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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AJ - If I could I would do the same thing. Liveaboard a Cooper 416 here. I'm a big fan of the boat, not necessarily of it's exterior looks, though. Of this particular Huntingford design, I have seen three different "makes" - the Cooper 416, the Discovery 42, and the US Yacht 42.
From what I understand, the Cooper yard had a fire in '82 or so which effectively put them out of business. Bayliner's parent corporation, which was making sailboats under the US Yacht moniker, obtained the molds to the 416 and began producing them around '83/'84. I'm not sure where the Discovery comes into play. Maybe the Discovery IS the US Yacht model's name. I don't know. I have heard that the Cooper's have better overall quality. But that's a very general statement, and I know of no specifics in that regard.
The first time I was in Tonga ('05) we ran into a couple from Berkely, CA who had sailed their Cooper 41 there. They had taken a leisurely 2 year trip to get to Tonga. I asked about the age-old issue of sailing a pilothouse across oceans. Never had a single issue or problem. But then he said that they always waited for good weather to make any crossings.
If you do end up looking at both the Cooper and Discovery, I would be interested in your observations. Especially as the Discovery/US Yacht models generally have lower asking prices. Or, more likely, people just ask more for the Coopers...
PS - A few of my other "favorite" pilothouse boats to potentially liveaboard around here (in the same general price range) are the Spindrift 43/Young Sun 43, Endurance 35/37, Pan Oceanic 43, Corbin 39, even the Tayana 37 PH. I even like the Nauticat PH boats, too (more for liveaboard than anything else) - the 33 and 38 models from the early-mid 80's, but the listing prices for those have gone way up over the last few years.
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"Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it."
1978 North Sea 33 Pilothouse Cutter (Ta Chiao)