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DirtManly 02-27-2004 03:41 AM

Cape Dory 30
Hello All,
We have gotten very serious about buying a Cape Dory 30 ketch. Of course if we buy it we will have it surveyed. I would like to get some input from the knowledgeable folks on this list.
Heres what I''m thinking, First I need a boat I will be able to resell quickly in about 3-4 years without loosing to much of it''s resale value. Second, I want a boat that is stable as this is going to be our family boat (if the boat has an uncomfortable motion my wife will not come along). I have taken my wife out on the boats that I race on and she has no desire to do that again.
Are there any inherent problems with this particular boat? They certainly seem to have a very good reputation and they sure are nice to look at.

Jeff_H 02-27-2004 04:25 AM

Cape Dory 30
Other than subjective items like excruciatingly poor performance across the board, and a tendancy to pitch, both aggrevated by the ketch rig (which makes absolutely no sense on a boat this small), and the cramped, dark interior, these are Okay boats.

I don''t find these boats do have a comfortable motion. While their motion is fairly slow, these boats have a tendancy to pitch and roll through wider angles than I find comfortable.

I would think that a ketch rigged version of a Cape Dory would be very difficult to resell. Boats like the Cape Dory 30 have a limited market due to a fair amount of market resistance because of their poor performance. I would think that a ketch version would be appealing to such a small subset (people who really have no concern for sailing ability or accomodations but want a shippy looking small boat) of that already tiny market share that a Cape Dory 30 would it on the market for a very long time looking for that one particular buyer unless dumped at a fire sale price.

And, yes,I know that I am going to get stoned for heresy by the Cape Dory and Ketch Rig fan clubs.



Silmaril 02-27-2004 11:04 AM

Cape Dory 30
The Cape Dory is a pretty boat to look at. Very "Nautical", sort of a poster child for "This Old Boat". But I have to agree with Jeff, while a dandy at the dock, it would be a nightmare to do any serious sailing on one.

You would be better served with a much more modern interpretation of the "Pocket Cruiser". If you can go with a tiller, take a look at the J-30. While you instantly think "Racer" with any J-boat, these are really nice all round boats. With their fractional rig, smaller head sails, they are easy to handle short handed. They have a nice interior and can be had in the mid-$20k range. And they would sail circles around the Cape Dory, maybe even backwards, in every type of condition.

You should also take a look at the S2 9.1, the G&S design. Also a nicely turned out boat that is lightyears ahead of the Cape Dory design.

And also take a look at the Tartan 3000 (not the 30) a nice modern design that is well suited to what you are looking to do.

Any of those boats would also have a better "market" when it comes time to sell.

If you are looking for a pretty boat, something to polish and varnish and have cocktails on at the dock, the Cape Dory would make a nice conversation piece. But if you want a boat that will sail nicely on all points of sail, get you there and back with little fuss or bother, take a look at the three I mentioned.

I have pretty thick skin, so I can endure the slings and arrows of the "traditional" set also.

Good luck in your search!

Silmaril 02-27-2004 12:18 PM

Cape Dory 30
BTW, just so you don''t think that I''m not familiar with the "Type" of boat the Cape Dory is, before he passed away, my father had an International 500 sloop. You would almost think the Cape Dory folks used one as the "plug" for the Cape Dory 30.

It was one of the few made of fiberglass in ''63. He sold his C&C 35 when he decided that he no longer wanted to cruise anywhere, and just wanted a boat to "Get out on the water" with.

Slow to maneuver, with a deep, slow pitching motion, "Encore" went through the waves, not over them. She was a wet boat in anything over 10 - 15 kts. Power reaching in calm seas and 15 - 18 kts she could barely manage 5.5 kts. Her Atomic 4 beat the water and shoved her along at maybe 5 kts, wide open. I think she tipped the scales at something like 12,000lbs.

But ohhhhh she was pretty, with even longer overhangs than the Cape Dory. Wonderful warm mahogony interior, lots of brass to polish and teak to varnish. A boat that just oooozed "Nautical". A lovely Eagles head carved into her tiller. Slept four, but the two in the Vee had no headroom to speak of.

She was perfect for the man who didn''t want to go anywhere, but just get out. My father wasn''t a speed deamon later in life, heck he drove a Mercedes 240D for cryin out load.

For daysails with family and freinds, the occasional overnight at the Thimbles (about 10 miles from Branford) coupled with just the right amount of "stuff" to keep him occupied at the dock, "Encore" was the perfect boat for my dad.

But I keep my boat at the same marina, and I can make it to Block Island in one day. Where it would have taken him 2 or even 3 days, if he ever ventured that far. Different horses for different courses, as they say.

DirtManly 02-29-2004 03:42 AM

Cape Dory 30
Gentlemen, I appreciate your sharing the wisdom of your experience with me and I certainly hope no one stones you for heresy. I knew when I started looking that the Cape Dory''s weren''t very fast boats. This one is already below fire sale pricing and the boat in pretty good shape. It has a newer Yanmar diesel that has less than 100 hours on it and it also has very resent sails, standing rigging, and running rigging. I can pick this boat up for less than half of low book value. I''m thinking that I should be able to own this boat for four or five years with it only costing the typical yearly maintainence costs. So I think I could come out ok on the financial aspect of it. The only thing that concerns me at this point is the accessive pitch and roll you mentioned. I thought that Cape Dory''s had an easy motion. I have interviewed several CD owners (two of which were 30 K owners)and got that same response from all. We sail an inland lake were the winds are usually around 5-12 with occasional days at 25-30. I think that while the boat is going to closely resmeble a slugs pace with 5-12, it motion shouldn''t be that bad in lighter air. When it''s blowing 25-30 it will only be myself and my boy''s anyway. The thing that''s so hard to walk away from is this boat looks good. It seems very hard to find a boat that looks this good, has good build quality, resonably good resale value and sails well. I think i have found the first three and the compromise comes from the latter.
Thanks again
BTW Silmaril, I still have very fond memories of my 240D. We drove it to a little over 300k and still hate that i got rid of it.

WHOOSH 03-01-2004 12:12 AM

Cape Dory 30

I think you''ve ended up arriving at your own answer. You seem clear that a CD 30 Ketch is narrow, slow, tender and hobbyhorses...and altho'' you haven''t said it explicitly, the rig is unsuitable for the setting (ketch vs. lake). OTOH you''ve ID''d some good reasons why - for you, for now - it''s a choice that makes sense. The most convincing of your reasons, I think, is "this boat looks good. It seems very hard to find a boat that looks this good...."

Altho'' your description of the financial end of things sounds good, the one thing I don''t hear you acknowledging is the fact that, some day, you will end up needing to sell the boat near/on the same lake. My impression is that the ''lake'' is in fact a smaller, perhaps man-made one (vs. e.g. Lake Michigan)...and so you too will be looking to sell a boat to a buyer population for which it will seem an odd purchase. That will affect your resale price just as it is apparently influencing your purchase cost.

Good luck and don''t get too wound up in how some of us describe a given boat''s sailing characteristics. They may be one critical criterion but hardly the only one. Just take to heart the descriptions you''ve been given here, which I think are pretty accurate and which you seem to have accepted, as well.


DirtManly 03-10-2004 03:54 AM

Cape Dory 30
I appreciate your input Jack. I in fact bought the Cape Dory. I just had it surveyed. It is in as good a shape as i thought it was. I am not terribly concerned about sailing characteriastics, while it will take a little getting used to the ketch rig, I''ve been racing long enough to figure out how to get the most out of her, no matter what that may be.
When it''s time to sell it I will trailer it to Atlanta and try to peddle it down there, if that doesn''t work then I will trailer it to Charleston. I had already considered the fact that it will be almost useless to try selling it here.
Thanks Again To All

WHOOSH 03-10-2004 07:07 AM

Cape Dory 30
Dirt, congratulations and we all hope you have a good spell of sailing and puttering about with your new boat.

If the boat didn''t come with one, you might consider adding a mizzen staysail if you really would like to get all the sailing performance out of her possible. This is only suitable if you have a split backstay on the main mast, but it takes only a block at the mizzen masthead, a halyard and a sail for your size boat. The sail can be 1.5 oz spin cloth and is usually not much money when buying new, even less when used (e.g. from Bacon''s). No need to rush on the suggestion now but, in time, I think you''ll wish you had more ''horsepower'' when sailing with the wind other than off the bow...and this is a fun way to add horsepower.


DirtManly 03-20-2004 03:28 PM

Cape Dory 30
I actually got the survey a couple days ago and it appears that I was mistaken about the outcome of the survey. I apparently took his like for the model as his approval of the boat. This is not the case. It took me several days to digest what the surveyor was saying.
This boat has a structual crack in the keel on starboard side that is around six feet long and is allowing the ballast to bleed through (i still don''t understand how lead bleeds). This area also has an extremely high moisture content and the boat has been out of the water since fall. It also has high to very high moisture content on a significant part of the decks and dog house. From the info I have been able to gather talking to various yards, it appears that these repairs will run something along the order of $ 10-12k to repair.
Here''s the rub, my broker is trying to tell me that the surveyor is just being brutal and that the boat isn''t really in that bad a shape. Furthermore he wants to approach the owner to get a price reduction and finalize the deal. At this point I don''t know if I want the boat. I have been reading the thread about the guy that wants palm a salvage boat off, and what I''ve gleened from this is that this boat will now have a significant price reduction because it has a history of keel and deck problems (I would have to make the next owner fully aware of the problem).
At this point is it reasonable to ask for my deposit back and bail out? I feel like the broker does not want to let me out. Being as how the contract read that it was pending survey, doesn''t that allow me to legally bow out at this point?
I would be most grateful for quick feedback on this.

Silmaril 03-20-2004 04:14 PM

Cape Dory 30
Making the "Big Decision" to buy a boat always comes with second thoughts and introspection. Have you been able to speak with the owner, or only through his agent? If you get a chance to speak with him, (Or her) what do they say about the issues uncovered by the surveyor?

As mentioned earlier, you may have a tough time selling the boat in the future as it is. Any future buyer will uncover these things also, unless expertly repaired, which would cost a bundle, as you have said.

The broker is interested in his 10% comission and will always say you should buy. I have NEVER found a salesperson whose best interest is anywhere but their own pocket. I even have done the unthinkable, as far as selling a lovely 30'' C&C to a family with little to no experience. (I at least gave them three all day lessons "gratis")

You can of course back out of the deal based on your surveyors feedback. I doubt the current owner will accept almost a 50% reduction in selling price, based on the repairs cited. DO NOT let any broker pressure you into ANYTHING. You have no obligation to them what-so-ever!!!!

From what you had stated in previous posts in this thread, you are looking for something that you can enjoy on your lake, and then sell in a couple of years. You should not be in a hurry. Do not succumb to the outside influences of those who do not have YOUR best interest at heart. Your surveyor was hired by you to give you a fair and honest representation of a vessel. He has done that. You are now feeling uncomfortable in the deal, and have the right to reject the vessel based on his findings.

Move on and find a boat that passes survey so you can sleep at night and enjoy your sailing during the day!

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