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Old 07-21-2009
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Bombay clipper vs cascade 29

I have a Cascade 29 cutter that I love but the interior room is on the verge of cramped when the whole family is on the boat. I like the fact that the boat has a reputation as a rock solid blue water worthy cruiser but I want a little more head/elbow room. The bombay clipper is a boat that has always interested me though. I am aware the performace isn't that of the Cascade but it would certainly be more comfortable. There is a BC 31in my area for sale but I'm just not sure I can give up my beloved Cascade yet. Sure would make the family trips more enjoyable though.

This is going to be a tough decision for me and sure could use some opinions from others on the board.
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Old 07-22-2009
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The BC31 is very roomy for a 31' foot vessel. As you may know it is the hull mold that the first Island Packet was designed from. Regarding the performance I am slowly changing my opinion. It has taken me a lot of time to learn how most efficiently to sail my boat. I have been trying to trim, tack and manuever the boat like the vessels I race on and it just does not work. The few times I've raced my boat it has been very competetive, not just in handicap but surprisingly in boat on boat races. This past weekend I entered a small local 2 day race and managed to finish in second place (boat for boat) at the end of the first day (upwind for about 3 hours into 4-7' seas with winds in the high teens) finishing 7 minutes behind a Catalina 42, 30+ minutes ahead of a Gulfstar 41, a Pearson 26 and at least an hour ahead of a Bayfield 32. There were a few other larger boats that I do not now the make of as well that finished over an hour behind us. On the second day of the race (downwind surfing in 6-8' seas with 20kts of wind) we were able to finish 3rd, less than 10 minutes behind two 40+ boats after 2 hours of racing. Upwind we were able to point as high as most other boats and match speeds of boats that had 10+ more feet of waterline. Granted, against the Jboats I race on, things would be different, as they should be. But comparing fat heavy cruisers with much lower PHRF ratings over this past weekend we were able to sail past them, or in many cases, keep them behind us. Last year in the same race we were able to fiinsh 2nd overall (after handicaps were calculated) with first place taken by a C&C37R crewed by the normal race crew.

I do not know anything about the Cascade but have spent 1000s of hours on my Bombay in a wide variety of wind/sea condtions and have been very pleased with the way the vessel has handled it. Other more experienced sailors who've come aboard are usually surprised by the feel of the boat beating into the sea with the typical comment being "the motion feels like a much longer heavier boat". My two biggest gripes are the terrible performance in anything less than 10 knots, the vessel just will not move. If you live in an area with typically light winds, I would suggest looking for something else. The other gripe is the lack of motoring performance. My boat has Yanmar QM15 and even with a perfectly clean bottom and prop it is woefully underpowered when motoring upwind into rough weather. Another 5 more HP would really help, 10 more would be better!!!!

I would be glad to answer specific questions if you have any.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 07-24-2009
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Thanks for the input. The BBC I am considering purchasing has the 2QM15G motor. Sounds like a repower might be in order. I plan to sail the boat primarily on the Columbia river and will be taking trips up the Washington coast to the San Juans and possibly the inside passage. The extreme tidal currents in some of the areas I'll be sailing seem like they might be a bit much for the 15hp. Do you think a different prop might help here? I don't think I'll be able to afford to repower right away since an autopilot, chartplotter and radar will be first on the list.

Was also curious to know if there is space somewhere on the boat for an extra fuel tank as I could see motoring a bit more in this boat than the cascade not to mention there is a diesel heater onboard and winter sailing in the NW (for my family at least) requires a toasty cabin.

Thanks agin for the help.
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Old 07-24-2009
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In reading my previous post I should add some comments about how my QM15 performs. In flat condtions it will push the boat at 6.5kts near the upper end of the RPM range. It is much happier moving us along at 5-5.5kts. I don't know whether a 3 blade prop, or a newer folder would help much or not. There is still only 15hp, at best, to begin with. My boat weighed 15k pounds on the slings when hauled last November.

With the tradewinds we don't spend enough time motoring in the course of a year to justify the financial investment of trying to motor faster. Over the past 3 years of sailing we are burning about 15 gallons of diesel annually and most of that is motoring into and out of the marina. I rarely just motor but rather motor sail when we are in a hurry to help with speed and to provide a much smoother ride. In my experience it seems that the lack of speed when motoring into heavy seas is more a result of the very wide beam that begins quite far forward on such a short vessel. I would further assume that in a tidal current situation one would not be pounding into 5'+ seas. With the limitation of hull speed of a BC31 others may be able to better postulate on how much could be gained with a better prop or more power. It would be nice to be able to motor at closer to hull speed without making the lil' Yanmar run at the upper end of it's RPM range though. Another variable that may or may not have an effect is that my boat has the deeper keel, 5' draft. I see many BC31s have the shoal, 3.5' keel.

There are many places to add a fuel tank. The cockpit lockers, especially the one on the port side could easily hold a large fuel tank. In my unscientific experience the burn rate of the QM15 on my boat is somewhere around .3-.5 gal/hr making for a reasonable amount of motoring with what I believe to be a 30 gallon tank. How far are you planning to go? Unless my math is off, one should be able to motor for nearly 60 hours on a full tank.

Last edited by FarCry; 07-24-2009 at 10:47 AM.
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