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  #1  
Old 02-11-2009
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Duncanson 34?

G'day all,
I'm looking to buy a Duncanson 34/35 and I would like a little feedback on my choice. Much of the intended cruising will be in the Coral Sea and Asia South Pacific region, winds about 15 to 35 knots if all goes according to plan... I'm not much of a fan of latitudes greater than about 40!
Short handed (1guy 1girl) sailing will be the primary sailing style though capacity for another couple in relative comfort is desireable.
Most of my work is with power vessels (I'm a skipper and engineer for vessels up to 25 metres) and am currently working on a 20m vessel doing week trips 110nm into the coral sea and also inner Great Barrier Reef. I have only 2400nm of delivery sailing so an easy sailing vessel is required for further learning.
Budget? Within 80,000 aussie pesos, I mean dollars, for the boat and a haul out for a look and poke around with a surveyor.I've looked in the review section here and come up empty, though other reviews have been favourable and the owners I've spoken with like their Duncansons A LOT.
Any thoughts??
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Old 02-11-2009
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Ok then lets start at the beginning and see where we end up.

Have you ever been onboard one ?

I am a great fan of Duncansons. The 35 has been in my favourite boat category for years. Four years back when I started looking for a new boat after some years without one I came across a Duncanson 37 aft cockpit for sale. From the advert I asolutely fell in love with the thing.

Then we went and had a look at her. Strange interior layout. The head is open to the forward cabin and is very small indeed if you are thinking of having a shower, while one of the berths actually required crawling across the galley bench top to get into it. I thought both issues might have been fixable but the other half was having none of it. While I have never seen another Dunc with the odd berth arrangement those I have seen (34's, 35's and 37AC's) have all had that bad head arrangement. I have been told that not all of the 35's had this arrangement but I cannot be sure about this.

Under 40', most cruisers would probably go for the 35 or possibly the 37. The 34 was more of a cruiser racer than the others. There is also btw a 34' 1/4 tonner that is much more racer than cruiser.

The 35 is a lovely looking boat no doubt. Some had a weird offset propshaft that makes manoeuvering under power interesting to say the least but plenty of them were a more standard arrangement. I've heard reports of leaks that were very difficult to fix where chainplates pass through the decks. A lot of the 34's were saildrive which is no bad thing really. For cruising you could maybe do with a bit more tankage though this is moreso with the race inclined models.

Build quality is supposedly excellent. Some hulls experienced bubbling but I'd reckon they'd have all been fixed years ago now. Interior joinery was generally OK, through hulls etc were of an exceptable quality, engines mainly Volvo I believe, rigs were good and strong. Plenty of Duncs have done the Syd-Hob which tends to speak for itself.

Draft is acceptable for cruising. From memory the 34 drew just under two metres, the 35 about the same. Basic configuration was not dissimilar to the S & S 34. Moderate fin, skeg hung rudder. For their day they were good boats uphill but unless you are going to employ a huge number one or an assy they offer only moderate performance off the wind when compared with more modern designs.

In short for a young couple they are a fine boat. You could also look at S&S 34. We ended up with a Van de Stadt 34 which is also a nice boat. East Coast 31 is anothe likely candidate.

Good Luck in your search.











Quote:
Originally Posted by wet247 View Post
G'day all,
I'm looking to buy a Duncanson 34/35 and I would like a little feedback on my choice. Much of the intended cruising will be in the Coral Sea and Asia South Pacific region, winds about 15 to 35 knots if all goes according to plan... I'm not much of a fan of latitudes greater than about 40!
Short handed (1guy 1girl) sailing will be the primary sailing style though capacity for another couple in relative comfort is desireable.
Most of my work is with power vessels (I'm a skipper and engineer for vessels up to 25 metres) and am currently working on a 20m vessel doing week trips 110nm into the coral sea and also inner Great Barrier Reef. I have only 2400nm of delivery sailing so an easy sailing vessel is required for further learning.
Budget? Within 80,000 aussie pesos, I mean dollars, for the boat and a haul out for a look and poke around with a surveyor.I've looked in the review section here and come up empty, though other reviews have been favourable and the owners I've spoken with like their Duncansons A LOT.
Any thoughts??
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Last edited by tdw; 05-20-2009 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 02-12-2009
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Thanks for the great reply TDW,
I've been aboard one though only for a rum and a sticky beak rather than seeing how she performed. I had similar thoughts about the head arrangement to yourself as I am 6'2"- perhaps dismissing them as me being spoiled by having most of my sea time on stink boats with good appointments. I'll have a bit of a look at your other suggestions, thanks. Being up in the tropics, I don't always get to see a lot of yachts "in the flesh"
Thanks again.
Troy
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Old 05-20-2009
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Hi Troy
We own a Duncanson 35 and like her a lot. We sail on Moreton Bay and fix her in Manly. She is extremely well balanced and very safe and predictable and considering her age and conservative hull shape... well, she is not slow.

The heads are small, but on the upside the forepeak has decent length. The quarter berths are tight, the cockpit is small, there are no cockpit lockers and working on the engine requires flexibility. But, she is a classic sail boat with magnificent lines and the most beautiful movement. She is not a high volume yacht and a bit more modest in room below deck than modern vessels.

If you are seriously considering buying a 35 I would be happy to give you some pointers, what to look out for, based on what we learnt after we bought ours. It might help you negotiate a better price.
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Old 09-15-2009
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Duncanson 37

Hi, this is an old thread, I know but I am considering the purchase of a Duncanson 37 and want to get some opinions from Duncanson owners. Primary usage would be live aboard for 3 to 4 months of the year and coastal cruising east coast Australia for the moment. Any good points, bad points I should look for. I dont seem to be able to google up much info on these yachts , so any input would be appreciated.
Regards, Cy.
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Old 09-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyacht View Post
Hi, this is an old thread, I know but I am considering the purchase of a Duncanson 37 and want to get some opinions from Duncanson owners. Primary usage would be live aboard for 3 to 4 months of the year and coastal cruising east coast Australia for the moment. Any good points, bad points I should look for. I dont seem to be able to google up much info on these yachts , so any input would be appreciated.
Regards, Cy.
Ok so I'm not an owner but from looking at them the centre cockpit is probably more suitable than the aft. I say that even though I am no great fan of centre cockpits.

There aren't many aft cockpits around so I'm guessing you are looking at a centre.

The older Duncs were pretty good boats, as I said in previous post the 35s and 37s the pick of the litter for cruising.
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Old 10-26-2009
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Duncanson 37

Hi Cy
I can only tell you of my one experience with our 35 footer, but I imagine it will translate to the Duncanson 37. I have also been frustrated with the lack of information on the Duncanson as there are a few of them out there. It is my understanding that some of the Duncansons were finished off in various yards. Therefore there is some variation between the coachhouses and how some of the technical issues weres solved. This includes whether the mast was stepped on keel or deck and whether the prop drive was centred in front of the rudder or actually exited next to and behind the rudder.

Our boat, supposedly built in 1973 had a teak deck overlay that was worn away and small screws through the teak penetrated the fibreglass deck and were leaking. Further, all the mastic around/under every fitting was gone. The only way to fix this properly is to remove everything on deck including the toe rail which is fixed onto the teak decking and is a structural member of the hull- deck joint. This is a fairly serious bit of work.

So have a good look at the deck and if it has been fibreglassed over already, how was it done. Was the toe rail removed or was the teak cut off flush with the rail?

From slow gradual leaking through the deck, we had extensive delamination to the plywood bulkheads and have re-glassed them all. The damage was restricted to the areas directly under the deck. The lower half of the boat was strong and solid, typical of the time.

The chain plates are glassed onto the inside of the hull and they are glassed so that the fibreglass droops down and allows any water to run through. This can look a bit strange when first encountered but makes perfectly good sense.

The hulls of the duncansons are extremely well finished, that is the outside only. On the inside the coarse glass roving were just left unfinished without any surfacing tissue. However, the effort the builders saved on the inside they put on the outside (where it counts). The hull is perfectly shaped with not even the slightest bump or abnormality. To the eye, the hull looks perfectly true.

Obviously I think they are great boats and I rather fix a beautiful classic like a Duncanson then something with less integrity.
qflez
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