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  #1  
Old 03-08-2011
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Cheoy lee 32, what do you experts have to say?

Hello all, I am new to the forum, I am 21 years old and got bit by the bug bad about a year ago while helping my friend take his allied mistress from PA to FL. Any who, I am looking at getting a Cheoy lee 32 ketch, and want to know what all you seasoned salts have to say about this particular boat. I want a very seaworthy, heavy displacement vessel, speed is not a huge concern to me for its the journey not the destination right! I really wanted a full keel, but I think this boat with 4200lbs in the keel will be just fine. So to anyone who owns or has been on one of these boats please let this youngster know what you think!! Thanks guys and galls!
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Old 03-08-2011
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beautiful boats when they are maintained and well cared for. "leaky teaky" is more the reality from what most discussions about them seem to be.
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Old 03-09-2011
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The original teak decks either need to have been replaced or better still removed completely and the deck glassed. CHECK FOR WATER DAMAGE AND ROT DUE TO DECK LEAKS. They are not known as 'leaky teakies' for nothing!

Look for the original 'black iron' tanks to have been replaced.

I would want one that had been updated with ali masts to replace the original 35 + year old wood jobbies.

Beware of cheaper project boats on offer with some or all of the above needing atttention. Mind you they are a salty looking little cruiser and I have a soft spot for ketches.

Not a ketch but a similar boat that matches your parameters is a Westsail 32.

Last edited by TQA; 03-09-2011 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 03-09-2011
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There were several Cheoy Lee's that were 32 feet in length and several of these came in yawl versions but I think there was only one ketch, the Offshore 32, which was a stretched version of the Bermuda 30, which in turn was a stretched and bloated version of the H-28. I know these boats pretty well.

In its original form, H-28’s were the quintessential small cruiser of the 1950’s. These were great little boats for their day. The represented a healthy departure from the CCA Rule beaters of the era. They had easily driven hulls and reasonably large rigs. In their original wooden form, they were reasonably light. They were actually a surprisingly good sailing boat, examples of which have done some pretty impressive passages. As designed they were intended to have simple interiors and equipment. The intent was to have them home or small boatyard built fairly cheaply cheaply. Compared to the better modern designs, they were cramped, slow and wet, but by the standard of the day, they were really wholesome designs that still hold a very warm spot in my heart.

There is a great article on the H-28 in L. Francis Herreshoff’s book, ‘Sensible Cruising Designs’. In his comments on building the H-28, L. Francis Herreshoff strongly cautions against modifying the design in a number of ways. In Herreshoff's colorful words, if modified as he describes "birds will no longer carol over her, nor will the odors arising from the cabin make poetry, nor will your soul be fortified against warloads, politicians and fakers". But unfortunately when Cheoy Lee produced the Bermuda 30, and later Offshore 32, they violated almost ever single caution that Herreshoff had made.

Unfortunately, what began as a simple design intended to be a simple and modest go any where design became an overweight, underballasted, under canvassed characture of what Herreshoff had in mind. And when the hull was further stretched to become the Cheoy Lee Offshore 32, the design was further cheapened.

In converting from wood to glass, and adding larger cabin structure and the heavy teak decks, the boat came out much heavier than the original H-28 in ways that did the boat no real good. To offset the weight gain, Cheoy Lee reduced the amount of ballast. They also went with incapsulated iron/cement ballast. The combination of less ballast and lower density ballast means that the Cheoy Lees had a lot less stability and a less comfortable motion than the H-28. because of the reduced stability, the Cheoy Lees also had less sail area. This produced a boat that did not have enough sail area to sail in light air, and did not have enough stability to sail well in a strong breeze. That combination alone makes them a lousy choice as an offshore cruiser and a worse choice for coastal cruising.

But there were a number of other features which hurt these boats for offshore use. Some of these can be modified like the large fixed portlights in the doghouse and the tiny cockpit drains. Others, like the impact of their initial overweight construction that reduces carrying capacity would be be harder to work around.

But beyond all of that are the build quality issues. While these boats did have glass hulls, the cabin, cockpit and deck structure were all constructed the same way that you would build a wooden boat, only not as well as a quality wooden boat. It is the cabin, decks and cockpits which were the most vulnerable parts of a wooden boat. Certain details, while providing lower initial maintenance condemns these boats to major rebuilds as they get up in years, and if memory serves me, these boats went out of production over 40 years ago.

Then there is the cost of fitting out and maintaining one of these. Cheoy Lee was one of the better Asian yards, but like most Asian yards, and many US yards of the era, these boats had a lot of yard built, knock off, hardware. Basic items like winches and blocks were one of a kind, making them nearly imposible to maintain without a machine shop and wildly expensive relative to the value of the boat to replace.

Some of the shortfalls of these boats may have been corrected by prior owners, but the electrical and plumbing systems were not up to the standards of the day, let alone modern standards.

In the end these are about the worst choice you could make to learn to sail and learn about boat ownership. Boats like these can easily have negative value and fixing one up and maintaining one can be an exercise in frustration. They would be useless as a sailboat in the light air on the Chesapeake Bay. If you have your heart set on a H-28 variant, you might try to find an Allied Seawind, mark 1, but youy would be way far ahead looking for something that sails a lot better than these particular boats.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 03-09-2011 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-09-2011
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I believe Jeff is confusing the "Offshore 31" that is the stretched out Herreshof design, with the Richards designed, "Offshore 32"

There was an Offshore 32 for sale recently in FL, if that is the boat you are talking about, it's good boat. A little rough, but a good boat for the price. I don't have any personal experience with them, but I do know its a much different design than the Herreshoff's. It will probably take a lot of work to get it into real good shape, but no reason you can't start sailing right away and end up with a very nice cruising boat. I don't recall if it had the teak decks or not, but I'd assume it had some deck issues that would need fixing. You'd have to see it in person and decide if its worth the money or not yourself.
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Old 03-09-2011
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If it is the Offshore 32 by Richards it is very different from the Herreshoff variants. Nice looking boat with less wetted surface and a good ballast ratio.
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Old 03-09-2011
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I appologize, you are both right that I was thinking of the Cheoy Lee Offshore 31 and not the later Ray Richard's designed Offshore 32. What threw me off was that the boat in question has a ketch rig.

The only Cheoy Lees around this size that were ketch rigged that I can think of is the Offshore 31, which I have seen listed as 32 LOA, and the Clipper 33 which was an AE Luders design, butr which would be even less suitable as a first boat or a boat for the Chesapeake.

I have always liked the Ray Richards designed Offshore 32 design, especially the version without the circular conversation pit. If I remember correctly the Offshore 32 came as a yawl or a sloop, but I have never actually seen a yawl version. There was a sloop version in the next slip to me for many years and that was a very nice boat all around. There is also one in the marina next to my home in Annapolis that I have seen underway. My biggest concern on these boats would be the wooden masts and booms which if not maintained are likely to be coming unglued and have some amount of rot.

Jeff
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Old 03-09-2011
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There are 3 Cheoy Lee 32's designed by Ray Richards on Yachtworld and all are ketch rig.
cheoy lee (Sail) Boats For Sale

Interesting trivia about Ray Richards in a story told by Bob Perry. When Bob was young he spent some time visiting Richards and watching him work. Ray worked from home and always wore a bow tie to work.
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Old 03-09-2011
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You are right again. I must be having a bad day. That will teach me to do things from memory. I can't say that I had ever seen a ketch version before but sure enough there they are. Looking at the pictures, it looks like the mizzen sure screws up an otherwise nice cockpit. The other strange thing is the mizzen mast support. The mizzen would be located right above the engine and shaft so that would suggest a deck stepped mast, but without a backstay that would be a pretty dodgy set up.

I would assume that the OP is looking at the one in Mayo. The decks look pretty dicey. I am not sure how the cabin sides were built on this model. Some of the Cheoy Lees that looked like this had molded fiberglass cabins while others were glass over wood. The interior shot shows water leaking around the port so if the cabin sides are wood then there is probably rot. If glass then I would not be as concerned about the cabin trunk but would still be concerned about water getting into the plywood deck cores. There is a detailed discussion of this on a thread about Rhodes reliants and Offshore 41's.

Jeff
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Old 03-09-2011
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A bit small for a Ketch in my opinion.
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