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  #21  
Old 11-01-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotyara View Post
...
HyLyte, could you provide some more details on the Cal vs Islander comparison? Was the Cal faster, steadier, easier to handle? These boats are pretty similar on paper, so anything you could add would help get the picture.

...
Alex---

Keep in mind that my "experience" was over 30 years ago so specific details are a bit out of reach. The Cal we sailed was out of Sausalito, near where we had our own boat at the (then) Marina Shipyard in down town Sausalito. The Islander was owned by my one-and-only's uncle and was berthed at the Berkeley Marina on the east side of the Bay. On both boats we sailed relatively similar tracks albeit with different starting points. Around Angel Island, out to the Bridge, back to SFYC, back over the Berkeley Circle and then home. For what it's worth, sailing across the Bay from the southwest end of Raccoon Straight to the south end of the Bridge near the Coast Guard station and than back along the shore to the City Front puts one in some fairly heavy winds, water. (Learning to sail in SF really does prepare one for relatively rough going).

N'any case, I just recall that the Islander seemed to labor quite a bit more in the conditions then did the Cal which just flew, especially so once we turned off the wind (Lapworth's hull/keel/rudder design). The Cal also seemed to handle better, in general, and was somewhat more forgiving of "sloppy" helming than was the Islander. Of course, once moored up at Ayala Cove, the Islander was more "shippy" than the Cal, particularly with basket weave cabinet fronts and polished brass oil lamps in the "salon" while we sipped Irish Coffee (verses Dos XX's and Taco Chips).

FWIW...
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  #22  
Old 11-01-2012
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Re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotyara View Post
H
What are your thoughts? How do they compare purely on sailing characteristics? Which one would be the fastest, the most stable? How significant is outboard vs. inboard? Any potential problems to look out for, weak areas?
Alex.
Thoughts: They are 3 comparable boats, all suitable for your purposes, although few people actively campaign these boats racing in PHRF. If you are really interested in racing in S.F. Bay area, I would try to find a planing keel boat, such as an Olson 30, Hobie 33, Santa Cruz 27, Moore 24, J/27, J/29, etc., for double or triple the cost.

How do they compare on sailing characteristics? Which one would be the fastest, the most stable?

Research the PHRF ratings in your area for relative speed. There is not a whole lot of difference between the boats - I see the P28-1 at 198 and the I28 at 201 in Northern Calif., the Cal 27-2 rates 207 in N.E. PHRF, where the P28-1 rates 195.

How significant is inboard?


On boats this size and displacement, very significant. An outboard propeller will struggle to stay in the water in any kind of waves on a moderate displacement 28 foot boat. You should look for a diesel, if possible. Don't buy a boat without a working engine.

Any potential problems?

You need to research each boat to discover the common problem areas and pay particular attention on your own pre-contract inspection to those problem areas.

I enjoy my Pearson 28-1 and would encourage you to view my 20 videos on youtube at jameswilson29 channel to see its sailing characteristics for yourself:

Last edited by jameswilson29; 11-02-2012 at 08:39 AM.
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  #23  
Old 11-02-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

LOL, wrote this yesterday, but forgot to hit the send button

Hylyte, thanks for the info. I'm pretty much set on the Cal at this point, but it's still nice to know it'll be the steadier of the two. Looking forward to the summer winds on the bay

James, I'm not really expecting to win any races, especially singlehanded, I just find that a healthy amount of competition keeps my interest level up and provides a useful checkpoint on how I'm progressing. The point is to improve, not necessarily win (although that would be the icing on the cake of course

There's the Singlehanded Sailing Society on the SF Bay that runs several races each year and I intend to take part in some of the shorter ones next year. All sorts of boats compete there, from Olsons to Tritons, including 3 other Cal 2-27s, so I should be in good company.

Thanks for the vote for the Pearson (nice video!). I've been oscillating between it and the Cal, but conditioning and hardware, and the fact that Pearson is longer and heavier for the same PHRF rating (NCPHRF has both at 198, it's on YRA site, can't post links yet), made the difference.

I hear you on the inboard. In fact I've heard many similar opinions. To that end, I've decided to go for the electric conversion, so the outboard is just an interim measure. I'm a techie, so I'm reasonably sure I'll be able to do a good job of it.

Cheers,
Alex.
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  #24  
Old 11-02-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotyara View Post
LOL, wrote this yesterday, but forgot to hit the send button

Hylyte, thanks for the info. I'm pretty much set on the Cal at this point, but it's still nice to know it'll be the steadier of the two. Looking forward to the summer winds on the bay

James, I'm not really expecting to win any races, especially singlehanded, I just find that a healthy amount of competition keeps my interest level up and provides a useful checkpoint on how I'm progressing. The point is to improve, not necessarily win (although that would be the icing on the cake of course

There's the Singlehanded Sailing Society on the SF Bay that runs several races each year and I intend to take part in some of the shorter ones next year. All sorts of boats compete there, from Olsons to Tritons, including 3 other Cal 2-27s, so I should be in good company.

Thanks for the vote for the Pearson (nice video!). I've been oscillating between it and the Cal, but conditioning and hardware, and the fact that Pearson is longer and heavier for the same PHRF rating (NCPHRF has both at 198, it's on YRA site, can't post links yet), made the difference.

I hear you on the inboard. In fact I've heard many similar opinions. To that end, I've decided to go for the electric conversion, so the outboard is just an interim measure. I'm a techie, so I'm reasonably sure I'll be able to do a good job of it.

Cheers,
Alex.
Alex--

Reserve judgment on the outboard verses inboard debate until you have sailed the yacht for awhile. The inboard has it's merits, but also adds complications, and costs, that one doesn't have with an outboard. One could, in theory, use an electric drive with a Cal, but I suspect you'll find it's really more of a project than the yacht merits/needs.

FWIW...
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Old 11-02-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

And to add to the conversation, don't jump into the "electric propulsion" idea right off the bat. Not to think for others, but I'd at least be willing to wager that after a year you'll find yourself browsing back through the "for sale" ads, as by then you'll start to know what it is you truly do "need" and "want". Today it's all just suposition. That electric propulsion is going to be a lot more costly than you're probably thinking, as it's been a real-life subject around here quite often. Search the forums and you'll get a feel for what I'm talking about. I can almost promise you it won't be cheaper to build the electric motor than it will be to repair the one installed, at least I'm relatively confident in that not knowing the true story on what's in there. You won't recoup the cost of electric propulsion as it's still an idea that hasn't gained a lot of traction. Batteries take up a lot more room and add a lot more weight than you think. Even though it's not always prudent to enter into a purchase thinking about resale, I do know that it's unwise to not consider it.

The word "dinghy" doesn't necessarily mean a 14' Snipe, btw. Lots of folks consider anything under 25' a dinghy and some even under 27-30'. I will say that the transition from a 22' keel boat to a 27' keel boat was a LOT bigger jump than I had anticipated. I went in assuming, "what's the difference, it's just 5 foot". Famous last words I'm sure said by many more folks than just me.

Having said all that, I will add the most important piece to this thread: pics or it did not happen. So, at this point, none of us have believed anything you've mentioned because we've not seen photographic evidence. Proof is in the pudding, you know. Good luck and keep us posted......I mean, if you ever decide to look at a boat (which means posting a picture of said boat). :-)
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  #26  
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Actually, I'm not going into the electric project completely unprepared. I've been reading all I can about it the past month or so, including the wealth of information on electricboat yahoo group. The reason is I've been looking at another motorless boat back then. There're a few boats very similar to the Cal that have been converted, so there's some data available. Anyhow, from all I've read, it should be possible to put together a system that would push the boat at 5 knots for an hour or two, or 4-5 hours at 4 knots, or 4 knots on a portable generator as long as the gas lasts. Total cost should be under $5K, which would make it half of a diesel repower. I realize I'll loose at least half of that investment if/when I sell the boat, but considering the screaming deal I'm getting on the boat, it might still be worth it. Besides, it's a fun project, much more so than trying to hunt down out-of-production parts for an old diesel at the end of his rope. I know there're drawbacks to it, I think I can live with them, given that I don't see any long cruses in the next few years at least, but only time will tell.

I don't know how you can consider a keel boat a dinghy, and I don't think that's what was being suggested earlier. FWIW, I did ASA101 on Merit 25 and Cal 24. Didn't like the Merit much, it just felt too twitchy, Cal felt a bit more solid. They both were easy to handle though, but not nearly as much feedback as a 14' real dinghy I tried a bit earlier. I'm hoping 27' won't be too far away from those two, but we'll see...

Pics, yes, I need to snap a few. My wife's been waiting for them as well (she's far away and can't go visit the boat with me). I've been to see the boat twice now but got so excited both times that completely forgot about the camera. I'm waiting for the seller to straighten out all the paperwork, after that a survey needs to be arranged. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple of weeks. I'll try not to forget to snap a few next time I'm there.
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  #27  
Old 11-03-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kotyara View Post
Actually, I'm not going into the electric project completely unprepared. I've been reading all I can about it the past month or so, including the wealth of information on electricboat yahoo group. The reason is I've been looking at another motorless boat back then. There're a few boats very similar to the Cal that have been converted, so there's some data available. Anyhow, from all I've read, it should be possible to put together a system that would push the boat at 5 knots for an hour or two, or 4-5 hours at 4 knots, or 4 knots on a portable generator as long as the gas lasts. Total cost should be under $5K, which would make it half of a diesel repower. I realize I'll loose at least half of that investment if/when I sell the boat, but considering the screaming deal I'm getting on the boat, it might still be worth it. Besides, it's a fun project, much more so than trying to hunt down out-of-production parts for an old diesel at the end of his rope. I know there're drawbacks to it, I think I can live with them, given that I don't see any long cruses in the next few years at least, but only time will tell.

I don't know how you can consider a keel boat a dinghy, and I don't think that's what was being suggested earlier. FWIW, I did ASA101 on Merit 25 and Cal 24. Didn't like the Merit much, it just felt too twitchy, Cal felt a bit more solid. They both were easy to handle though, but not nearly as much feedback as a 14' real dinghy I tried a bit earlier. I'm hoping 27' won't be too far away from those two, but we'll see...

Pics, yes, I need to snap a few. My wife's been waiting for them as well (she's far away and can't go visit the boat with me). I've been to see the boat twice now but got so excited both times that completely forgot about the camera. I'm waiting for the seller to straighten out all the paperwork, after that a survey needs to be arranged. Hopefully it won't take more than a couple of weeks. I'll try not to forget to snap a few next time I'm there.
Alex--

Two thoughts. Firstly, do not make your decision without your wife's agreement unless you plan to do your sailing alone more often than not. An unhappy wife makes for an unenthusiastic crew/partner and that is not what you need. Like it or not, unless you want to do this as "your own" entertainment/hobby the wife needs to feel safe, secure and comfortable aboard the boat. The Bay can get fairly nasty at times and a frightened, nervous, wife doesn't/can't help the situation.

Secondly, the electric drive may have some merits but it isn't likely to be viewed as a positive attribute by many when it comes time to sell the boat, so you may/will be limiting the market for your boat. I realize that there are relatively more "environmentally sensitive" folks in the Bay area than in other areas but they are a relatively small percentage of the population never-the-less and an awful lot of them have a rapid change of heart when confronted with the practical limitations/trade-off's. (That said, I have often thought that a diesel-electric drive would make more sense for a boat then not given that such an arrangement allows one to place the diesel in a more opportune location from a weight and balance perspective with the drive where it needs to be.) N'any case, to test your theory about electric drive you might opt for an electric outboard to begin with which you can do relatively inexpensively. You'll need a fairly sizable battery bank for much running but that's not such a big deal given your objectives and the system will allow you to test your patience/tolerance for such a system. If you like it, an electric outboard can easily be resold and an internal drive substituted. Or not.

FWIW...
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  #28  
Old 11-03-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Alex--

Two thoughts. Firstly, do not make your decision without your wife's agreement unless you plan to do your sailing alone more often than not. An unhappy wife makes for an unenthusiastic crew/partner and that is not what you need. Like it or not, unless you want to do this as "your own" entertainment/hobby the wife needs to feel safe, secure and comfortable aboard the boat. The Bay can get fairly nasty at times and a frightened, nervous, wife doesn't/can't help the situation.
Oh, trust me, I'm well aware of that. Unfortunately, I can't get her in-person approval (long story), but fortunately she likes the idea and is adventurous enough to give it a good try.


Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Secondly, the electric drive may have some merits but it isn't likely to be viewed as a positive attribute by many when it comes time to sell the boat, so you may/will be limiting the market for your boat. I realize that there are relatively more "environmentally sensitive" folks in the Bay area than in other areas but they are a relatively small percentage of the population never-the-less and an awful lot of them have a rapid change of heart when confronted with the practical limitations/trade-off's. (That said, I have often thought that a diesel-electric drive would make more sense for a boat then not given that such an arrangement allows one to place the diesel in a more opportune location from a weight and balance perspective with the drive where it needs to be.) N'any case, to test your theory about electric drive you might opt for an electric outboard to begin with which you can do relatively inexpensively. You'll need a fairly sizable battery bank for much running but that's not such a big deal given your objectives and the system will allow you to test your patience/tolerance for such a system. If you like it, an electric outboard can easily be resold and an internal drive substituted. Or not.

FWIW...
The problem with reselling electric boats is that people tend to do the conversion with turn-key kits and expensive batteries that end up costing more than a diesel repower. They expect to recoup a large portion of that cost when selling the boat, but predictably get much less than a comparable diesel boat. No surprise there, if I had a choice between diesel and electric, all else equal, I'd go for diesel every time. Now, if you compare electric to Atomic 4, it's a different story So, I'd expect an electric conversion to sell for a little more than an Atomic 4 boat, but well short of diesel price.

It doesn't make financial sense to repower that boat with a diesel, it's a big upfront cost and little chance of getting it back on resale ($4K boat + $10K conversion - $8K resale tops = $6K loss). All I'm looking for is a reasonable inboard option that won't break the bank ($4K boat + $5K conversion - $6K resale = $3K loss). I suppose I could probably put an old Atomic 4 in for about $2K, but that's just plain wrong...

Electric outboard is an interesting idea, but it kind of defeats the purpose. If an outboard will be enough for me, I'll just stay with the Honda. Besides, I can probably resell inboard electric components for around 2/3 of their purchase price if it doesn't work out (assuming I don't short them out of course

All that said, I'm fully prepared to leave it with the outboard Honda if it turns out to be sufficient for my needs. The real attraction of this deal is that I'll have options and won't need to do anything about it right from the start.

Now, if only the seller would get off his *ahem* and get the paperwork straightened out...
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  #29  
Old 11-04-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

I think it is great that you are being something of an inovator with the electric power plans, but would urge some caution moving forward. You will be using the boat in an area known for challenging sailing conditions and big tides. I think most new sailors end up using their motors more than they think they will, it was certainly true for me. As it turns out sailing in fog, against tides, or into a big headwind and seas takes a lot experience. Unless you have a small boat on a lake (not the Great Lakes), having a reliable motor means more than just getting in and out of the marina.

I have no personal experience with electric propulsion, but do note that most estimates of run time on batteries are under ideal conditions. Your sailing venue is kind of the oposite of that. I also sail in an area with tides and have experienced huge variability of transit times based on conditions. This summer we were heading home on a course that under ideal conditions would have taken 30-40 mins. The weather, forcast to be wet but calm, went bad, with wind and chop right on the nose, we got slowed down and ended up hitting the ebb tide just wrong, and were making zero headway under sail. The resulting motor home took about 2 hours and burned a lot of desiel, using about 50% more throttle to go 1/2 the speed compared to good conditions. Knowing that my tank still contained many hours of extra energy to get home was a big help.

Others will point out that many sailors have traveled the world with no motor at all. This works if you have great boat skills, or no time constraints. In the situation above we could have turned tail and anchored in the lee of the weather and been safe. By the time the tide turned and the weather settled down it would have been after dark.

All said and done I will follow your expereince with interest, please keep posting. In the end my prediction is that you will end up keeping the ourboard, if it works ok, even if the electric drive works out too, kind of like the Chevy Volt. Having 2 auxillary systems is ok, but might be a bit crowded on a 27 foot boat.
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Old 11-04-2012
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re: First boat: Cal 2-27, Pearson 28 or Islander 28?

That's a point very well taken. Despite deciding to go ahead with the electric, I still have some reservations about it, range and power being the biggest ones. From what I gathered, it seems most people have a small portable gas generator (Honda 2000 seems to be the usual choice), which alone is capable of providing around 4 knots of speed under calm conditions. It can also be run in addition to the batteries to get hull speed for a couple of hours. However, I'm not very clear on how it is deployed on the boat, particularly in bad weather, as it cannot be run in the cabin and I'm not sure it's designed to be doused in salt water all that much. I guess I'll start with it, and if turns out to be insufficient, there's always the possibility of mounting a proper diesel genset, although that would be expensive.

Another thing I'm worried about is the safety of that much electrical current running in the boat. Most installations I've seen pictures of look completely open and vulnerable to cabin flooding. I think I'd rather build a watertight enclosure for the whole system, but again, not sure how workable that would be.

So, all in all, I think these issues are workable, but the outboard will stay on the boat for a long time, until I'm absolutely sure the electric will do the job in all possible situations. 100lbs of dead weight is a small price to pay for added security.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the progress, but it's probably going to be at least another week till I get the boat surveyed and there's any new information...
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