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  #11  
Old 11-05-2010
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There is a Pearson Vanguard on my pier. A guy singlehands it all the time and is always out in the snottiest weather and just loves it. I have a Pearson 28 (1976) and have a better interior lay out, longer water lline, shorter LOA, same beam, 6 inches more draft. I can go faster and closer to the wind and have better manuverability with a more responsive rudder. So, what I'm saying is that the old full keel/barndoor rudder boats that are long and skinny with big overhangs (beautiful as they are) do not sail as well as newer designs with modern underbodies. Also my shorter LOA means I can go into a 30 foot slip, instead of a 36/40 foot slip and pay less $$$ every month. Same pier. Not only that, but for much less that $20,000 I have a solid hull with new sails, roller furler, standing rigging, running rigging, fuel system, sewage system, berth cushions, tiller pilot, and stove. No diesel, but then I don't think I want the smell and noise of a diesel just to power out of the slip, up the sails and shut it down before it even warms up. Look around really hard with no preconcieved notions and you can find a really good boat for the type of sailing you want for the money your are quoting. I reserved half of my budget to repair and replace old equipment which I've done over the last few years. Good luck,
John
ps. Regarding wheel steering. Have you noticed that the wheel puts you at the very back of the boat where movement and exposure is greatest? With a tiller you sit or stand more forward in the cockpit taking shelter from the weather and be in closer proximity to crew for conversation/communication?
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2010
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As much as I loved our Vanguard when we owned her, frankly it drives me crazy to see the reality of these boats so distorted by time. To correct some of your assumptions about the Vanguard from someone who actually owned and actually sailed Vanguards pretty extensively:

It is a mistake to say that Vanguards were built like a tank. The glass work on these boats was very sloppy and was just not all that heavy even when compared to newer designs and there was almost no internal framing. While these were moderately heavy boats overall for their waterline length, they were not especially heavy for a 32'6" boat. The excess weight was not in the laminate and the engineering was so poor that the weight did not produce a particularly strong boat.

Our Vanguard clipped a rock and we could never get it repaired correctly because the lay-up was so poor. We would ground out a spot looking for solid laminate and the hole would grow and grow and grow, still no solid lay-up. Our Vanguard evetually sank and now sits on the bottom of the East River but that is another story altogether.

Our Vanguard did have balsa cored decks (at least in the foredeck where we added a bigger chainpipe and vent), with plywood only at the reinforced areas for cleats and winches. That was already standard construction.

These boats were not full keels by any stretch of the imagination. The forefoot was cut away and the rudder post raked to the point that the keel was shorter on the bottom and had less area than the fin keel on a Cal 34 of that era. (In those days we referred to it as a fin keel with an attached rudder but that seems unpopular today) But what it meant is that these boat did not track worth a darn and were a real bear in heavy going.

Angle of vanishing stability is a product of many things, but except for the high freeboard and cabin on the Vanguard, there is little which should make you expect that they had had a large angle of vanishing stability. In terms of factors negatively affecting vanishing stability, Vanguards had a pretty wide beam for a boat of that era (and some of the immediately following eras) with the beam carried way out towards the very ends of the boat, were built with 500 lbs less ballast than the design or literature called for (confirmed by Phil Rhodes himself when we had ours), and shoal draft.

There is very little that is leisurely about sailing a Vanguard except their speed through the water. They were designed with minimal stability so that they are sailed on their ear in order to stretch thier water-line lengths. They were sailed at huge heel angles which with thier offset companionways could mean a lot of water down below in a knockdown and a lot of weather helm.

In any event, I am not sure why you think that the Tartan 30 is too small. The T-30 has a larger interior and cockpit, and a longer water line. It only has a slightly smaller lazarette and a little less deck space aft. I would take a decently maintained Tartan 30 offshore any day of the week over a Vanguard in terms of ease of handling, safety, build quality and comfort. But that is just based on my experience sailing and working on both these boats.

Jeff
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2010
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Just outta curiosity Jeff, how old were you when your family had that Vanguard?
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We bought her when I was a teenager and she sank when I was 20. I had use of and maintained a second Vanguard when I was in my late 20's and early 30's and I rejected a third one on survey in my mid-thirties. I have sailed on various Vanguards and helped folks deal with Vanguard maintenance issues pretty much throughout my entire adult life.

For me, Vanguards are like that old dog that you have raised since a puppy....The dog is old and blind and tries to snap at you every time you pet her, and yet you have had her since she was a puppy so you keep trying to pet her. In reality, I try to sail on these boats from time to time for nostalgia sake. Its fun to relive the past, but they are not a boat that I would ever want to own today.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 11-08-2010 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Syntax errors
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  #15  
Old 11-06-2010
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Thank you jeff !
now I can throw away the first love I had in boats the Pearson Vanguard & start using my brain better ... really thanks .
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  #16  
Old 11-07-2010
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At under $20K, almost any 30-35 footer is going to need some work. That said, there are lots of boats from the 70s and into the early 80s that will fit your criiteria. For cruising LIS to Block and the Vineyard, a 30 footer is fine. My wife and i did it for 10 years in a Pearson 26.

Since winds on LIS are light during the summer, a somewhat newer racer/cruiser will allow more time sailing and less time motoring. A boat that has had the engine replaced in the last 10 years plus newer sails and no major structural issues is what you should be looking for. Read SD's sticky on boat inspection tips on this forum before you out looking.
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Old 11-07-2010
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I can certainly understand your attraction to the Vanguard; to me, the Vanguard epitomizes the CCA-inspired look of a coastal cruiser of that era. To me, it is what a boat should look like. As my wife says, "It looks like Popeye's boat". Although she doesn't mean it as a compliment, I really "feel" the Vanguards/Tritons/Seabreezes, and their ilk. Just seeing a picture of one makes me want to sail away to Block or Martha's Vinyard or downeast.

However, I have to echo something Jeff H said. Although my experience on a Vanguard is nothing compared to his, I did go sailing on one once. The breeze was stiff but not overly so at about 15 knots. Seas were very flat for the conditions, and what with the full keel and (I thought) heavy displacement), I was expecting a stately ride. I was quite surprised when the boat went over on her ear almost immediately. She stiffened up once over, but man, that was weird for me. This boat that I thought monster heavy and full keeled was heeling more than my Catalina 22 (my boat at the time) would be! And talk about weather helm... yikes. I had the owner let out the traveller to the end of its run so I could hang on for more than a few minutes without cramping up. It was a fun, exciting sail, but I not something I would want to have to go thru on a multi-day cruise.

If you really like the look of the Vanguard, but want to avoid some of the pitfalls of the full keel/barndoor rudder, check out the Pearson Renegade. She's smaller (27'), but has a split underbody with a spade rudder and separated fin keel. Above the waterline, she has the overhangs and springy sheer of the Vanguard-style boats. You can get one for about half of your budget, and spend the rest paying someone else to upgrade her for you. Best of luck!
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Old 11-08-2010
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I used to singlehand my Vanguard all the time, in weather where I was the only one out. The Vanguard has a very seakindly motion in weather, which gives you a real feeling of confidence. The "motion comfort" ratio for a Vanguard is 34.57, while it is 24.06 for a Tarten 30 (a higher number is more comfortable). The capsize ratio for the Vanguard is 1.67, while it is 1.94 for the Tartan 30. The rule of thumb is the capsize ratio should be below 2.0 for offshore work. Plus the Vanguard has very pretty lines. I think you can track the decline of western civilization by the changes in sailboat hull shapes over the last 50 years.
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Old 11-08-2010
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Jetboy,

I know you like your Vanguard and are used to how she behaves. Any of us, if we own a boat for a while and sail her enough, become comfortable with their boat's iteosyncracies. Its just human nature. But based on my experience with both of these boats, the case of the Vanguard vs Tartan 30 comparason is a classic example of why these surrogate formulas ( Capsize Screen Formula and the Motion Comfort Index) are inadequate in providing useful information about the relative behavior of boats of very different designs.

In this case, the Tartan 30 has a longer waterline, (especially important when considered relative to length) which is important for pitching motion comfort and tracking ( also helpful with roll motion but less so than pitch). The Tartan has a higher ballast ratio carried lower in a deeper keel, and offers better hull modeling from a roll comfort, stability, and dampening standpoint, and yet the formulas would seem to suggest that the Vanguard would be more stable and comfortable. Sailing both, I can assure you that the formulas are wrong on this. If you spend time comparing the Vanguard you must admit that the Vanguard rolls through wider angles than most boats of that era, (and later eras as well) and that the same hull shape that causes the Vanguard to stiffen up at 15-20 degrees of heel also results in a bit of a jaring motion at the edges of the roll.

But to explain why generically I say that the Capsize Screen Formula and the Motion Comfort Index are useless....

First of all both of these formulas were developed at a time when boats were a lot more similar to each other than they are today. These formulas had limited utility in comparing boats other than those which are very similar in weight and buoyancy distribution to each other. Neither formula contains almost any of the real factors that control motion comfort, the likelihood of capsize, or seaworthiness. Neither formula contains such factors as the vertical center of gravity or buoyancy, neither contains weight or buoyancy distribution (of the hull both below and above the waterline), the extent to which the beam of the boat is carried fore and aft, and neither contains any data on dampening, all of which are the major factors that actually control motion comfort or the likelihood of capsize.


I typically give this example to explain just how useless and dangerously misleading these formulas can be. If we had two boats that were virtually identical except that one had a 500 pound weight at the top of the mast. (Yes, I know that no one would install a 500 lb weight at the top of the mast.) The boat with the weight up its mast would appear to be less prone to capsize under the capsize screen formula, and would appear to be more comfortable under the Motion Comfort ratio. Nothing would be further than the truth.


And while this example would clearly appear to be so extreme as to be worthy of dismissal, in reality, if you had two boats, one with a very heavy interior, shoal draft, its beam carried towards the ends of the boat near the deck line, a heavy deck and cabin, a very heavy rig, heavy deck hardware,and the resultant comparatively small ballast ratio made up of low density ballast. And if we compare that to a boat that is lighter overall, but it has a deep draft keel, with a higher ballast ratio, the bulk of the ballast carried in a bulb, its maximum beam carried to a short length of the deck so that there was less deck area near the maximum beam, a lighter weight hull, deck and interior as well as a lighter, but taller rig, it would be easy to see that the second boat would potentially have less of a likelihood of being capsized, and it is likely that the second boat would roll and pitch through a smaller angle, and would probably have better dampening and so roll and pitch at a similar rate to the heavier boat, in other words offer a better motion comfort....And yet, under the Capsize Screen Formula and the Motion Comfort Index it would appear that the first boat would be less prone to capsize and have a better motion when obviously this would not be the case.
Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2010
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"One buys a Stone horse for its charm and for a ''return with us now to yesteryear'' experience."

Maybe that's why they buy Vanguards too.
Maybe that's why they restore Kettenburg K-40's.

Last edited by seabreeze_97; 11-09-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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