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Old 06-06-2012
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Is a 44' too much?

I have a friend who owns a 1970's sailboat. It's a Cape Cod Shipbuilding Mercer 44'. The inboard diesel gave out last fall so he has had it dry in his yard awaiting a new engine. So anyways, on Memorial Day some drunk thought his yard was a road and hit the supports holding the boat up. It fell over and the mast got bent, a hole in the hull the size of a dinner plate as well as the sails getting trashed. Nothing else got damaged but his insurance company offered him $200,000. They let him keep it for $15,000. That's where I come in.

Does this seem like a headache? I have a 70's Catalina 27' and it's a dream. I am thinking of taking the summer off from work and getting sailing lessons, getting her fixed, and sailing her to Europe. I sailed the Cat to the Azores last summer single handed. Not sure if that's possible on this. My friend always had it perfectly maintained by the company that built it so it is just a matter of fixing it.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

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Originally Posted by JustinB View Post
I have a friend who owns a 1970's sailboat. It's a Cape Cod Shipbuilding Mercer 44'. The inboard diesel gave out last fall so he has had it dry in his yard awaiting a new engine. So anyways, on Memorial Day some drunk thought his yard was a road and hit the supports holding the boat up. It fell over and the mast got bent, a hole in the hull the size of a dinner plate as well as the sails getting trashed. Nothing else got damaged but his insurance company offered him $200,000. They let him keep it for $15,000. That's where I come in.

Does this seem like a headache? I have a 70's Catalina 27' and it's a dream. I am thinking of taking the summer off from work and getting sailing lessons, getting her fixed, and sailing her to Europe. I sailed the Cat to the Azores last summer single handed. Not sure if that's possible on this. My friend always had it perfectly maintained by the company that built it so it is just a matter of fixing it.

Any thoughts?
Big project. A new rig & sails could easily eat $30K or more. The hull repair & paint job - easily $10K or more. New engine, $$$. Can the old engine be rebuilt? I suspect it's a Perkins so....

The upside is those Mercer 44's are a bit of a cult boat so the value is potentially there.

Properly rigged it's not a problem to single hand. Since it needs a new rig anyway, just get one set up for single handing.

If you sailed a Catalina 27 to the Azores solo, why would you need sailing lessons>
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

The Mercer 44 is a beautiful boat. Between replacing the engine, replacing the mast and fixing the hole I think you are looking at at least 30K and a lot of hours. A Mercer in nice shape should be worth in excess of 100K. Sounds like a major project but assuming you know what your doing it could work out well. Just remember things always take longer than you think they will. Good luck.
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

Hmm 30k plus? That's quite a bit. I bought the new to me sails for my Cat for $500.

I did sail solo to the Azores but there were 2 other boats in the group so if I messed up it would not be a disaster. I am not very knowledgeable about sailing, I just kind of winged it. I would want some proper training before I get a bigger boat. Though my lil sailboat seems the better option since $$ is relatively important.
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Old 06-06-2012
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

Wait... did I read that right?

You sailed a Catalina 27 to the Azores?
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

Yes, to the Azores and back. The NWS said no hurricanes so we went for it. It was easy. There were no waves, just a nice breeze. I left from MA by the way.
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Old 06-07-2012
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

How long did it take to sail from MA to the Azores in the Catalina?
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

It took about 2 1/2 weeks. Never doing that again without a faster boat.
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

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Hmm 30k plus? That's quite a bit. I bought the new to me sails for my Cat for $500.

I did sail solo to the Azores but there were 2 other boats in the group so if I messed up it would not be a disaster. I am not very knowledgeable about sailing, I just kind of winged it. I would want some proper training before I get a bigger boat. Though my lil sailboat seems the better option since $$ is relatively important.

A Mercer is about 4X the size of a Cat 27 (27K Lbs. vs 7K). The cost of boat bits goes up pretty well exponentially with size. The Mercer has 885' of sail vs 346' on the Cat and those sails are much heavier material, reinforcing etc.

I think your sailing experience is adequate - I daresay most of us here haven't crossed the Atlantic under sail, certainly not in a toy boat like a Cat 27.

I'd be more focused on the cost and work to fix that big Mercer. I'm currently doing a Columbia 43 - very similar size boat from the same designer. It's not my first restoration and it's a BIG job. I didn't have to replace the engine or patch the hull either. I did have to completely rebuild the rig though.

If you found used gear, rebuilt engine etc. and did much of the work yourself, you MIGHT do it for $30K but I personally doubt it could be done that cheap. If you intend to basically write cheques to have the work done, it will go over $50K easily.

One big item would be the rig - can you just replace the tube and reuse all the other bits? Or does it need a complete new rig? BIG difference in cost between those two possibilities. Just a boom for that boat would be 4 figure$.
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Re: Is a 44' too much?

5000+ miles in 2.5 weeks?
In a Catalina 27?
Singlehanded?
bubb2, jerryrlitton, hpeer and 4 others like this.
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