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  #1  
Old 03-30-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

I am considering purchasing a boat in the 32-34 feet range that is new or a few years old. I am looking for a racer/cruiser model for single or short-hand day and weekend sailing in the RI and MA waters.

Our priorities are build quality, sailing characteristics, and performance. However, we do want a boat with some accomodation for enternaining friends and weekend getaways.

I would appreciate a discussion on your opinions and reviews of various boats that you would recommend I consider.
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Old 03-30-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

Max:

I wonder if you wouldn''t get more useful information if you gave us a bit more to start with. E.g.
- price range? Or put differently, you may gain only marginally more performance from a more expensive boat than buying a off-the-shelf Beneteau First series; how much more are you willing to pay?
- build quality, altho'' we tend to talk about it in absolute terms, can be viewed as a relative thing, very much in the context of one''s intended use. Daysails in coastal and protected waters, with occasional racing, will tax a boat far less, and therefore your acceptable level of build quality can be quite a bit lower without compromising your plans or the boat. Or we can look at it from the opposite direction: A Frers-designed H-R 34, very unlike most of the rest of the H-R fleet, can be wickedly fast and I wouldn''t hesitate to cross an ocean in one (even being assured a workable galley and comfy seaberth along the way)...but that''s ''build quality'' different from what you''re apparently interested in .
- performance related to what/which benchmark? If e.g. there is an active C34 fleet in your area, would class racing interest you? If ''performance'' in your eyes is more absolute, what kind of racing do you anticipate, and at what level?
- prior experience? For newer sailors or those moving into cabin-class boats, an active owner''s assn. can be a big help and cut out a lot of ''inventing the wheel'' effort, and the C34 Owners'' Assn. is a good example of that...but it may offer you little if you bring lots of prior experience to your new boat. Just can''t tell...

Jack
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Old 03-31-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

experience sailing?? How much do you want to spend?? How great do you want the accomodations to be??

Off the top of my head -
J105 (sparse down below) but a GREAT sailer!! easily handled by 2 for daysailing.
J109 (very nice compared to the 105 in terms of accomdations)but $$$$$
C&C99 or C&C110 ( I''ve been in the 99 and I like the interior very much (compared to the J105 that I race on)

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Old 03-31-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

Than you for your response. The price range approximately is $130-$150k. I have moderate sailing experience in local waters and offshore to and from the Caribbean. Most of my sailing experience is recreational, with some experience racing a J30.

I did review the Beneteau First 36.7, but the boat just did not "click" with me. Other boats I have reviewed with positive notes are the C&C 99 and 110, the Dehler 34, and the Dufour 34. Also, the J105 has less accomodation than I am looking for, and the J109 is beyond my price range.

Does anyone have experience with any of these boats.
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

Check out these reviews on the new Dufour 34 Performance Series ... getting great reviews in Europe and Canada.

http://www.boatcan.com/index.php3?ts=1080776853&urbc=32&filename=boat-review/boatcan-review.php3&ID=17

http://sailingsource.com/dufour/readingroom/pacif_ycht_d34.php
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Old 04-25-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

Thank you for yout responses. I read the positive reviews on the Dufour 34 in your link and I will have to view one in person. I also am considering the C&C 99?

Has anyone sailed either of these boats?

Also does anyone have an opinion on the differences between a deck stepped and keel stepped mast? There was a thread on the board about this question with positive comments on a decked stepped mast if it was correctly engineered. The Dufouf 34 is decked stepped and I would appreciate any comments on the boat.

Thank you again for your responses.

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Old 04-26-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

I wanted to comment on the two boats which you are considering as they are worlds apart in almost all ways. The C&C 99 is an extremely high quality boat built using extremely high quality materials and methods. They are feature sophisticated engineered and so should be extremely durable boats. They also offer extremely high performance, top notch hardware and deck layouts and should be very good sea boats as well.

The Dufour is pretty much the equivilent of the Beneteau number series boats, built for a price and to optimize accomodations. While some Kevlar is employed in high stress areas of the Dufour and they are being built with an infusion/vaccuum system, these are not the same quality level of high tech, carefully engineered construction found in the C&C 99. The C&C features much higher ballast ratios and a little better L/D. The deck hardware on the Dufour is not really suitable for racing without some upgrading of the cockpit winches which will be very difficult given the hinging position of the sail locker. The Dufour is also a little undercanvassed for the predominant summer lighter winds of the U.S. Atlantic East Coast

There are some nice things about the Dufour such as the use of foam coring rather than balsa coring.

I would suggest that the C&C is a more serious all around boat in terms of sailing ability. The Dufour is a better compromise as a family performance cruiser. If the Dufour appeals to you I would also suggest that you also consider a Beneteau First 36.7, which offers equivelient construction quality, a little better performance and hardware and a bit more room for a similar price.

Respectfully,
Jeff

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Old 04-26-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

I''ve been out (once) on a C&C99 and came away very impressed.

From a sailing point of view the boat was very responsive, and had great sail handling controls.

The fit and finish was top notch. One of the areas I always look at is the hull/deck joint. While not a true "Through Bolted" type, it uses the modern equivilent, there is a glassed in metal plate in the hull lip, which is then drilled and tapped, and attached with machine screws, not self tapping screws. There are also an abundance of hull stiffening stringers and bulkheads, properly tabbed into the hull.

The mast is keel stepped, but is carbon composite and the owner said that very little water gets in the bilge from rain. It was a sunny fall day so there was no way to confirm this.

If you are looking to do more cruising, take a look at the C&C110. You can find a couple of nice used ones in the $120 - $140 price range. New they are hitting $175 - $200. I have not sailed the 110, but really like it''s layout. And the ones I''ve seen have the same excellent fit and finish and engineering that the 99 has.

I would concider the 99 and 110 to be amoungst the "Serious Sailboat" category of boats, not pandering to the dockside coctail set and more to the folks interested in putting the miles in at sea.

If I was in the market for a new(er) boat, the 110 would be on the top of my very short list.
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Old 04-26-2004
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

Do such cabon-fiber-masted boats give up anything in the way of seaworthyness due to their reduction in rotational inertia vis a vis breaking seas? I have heard that dismasted boats (an even greater reduction in rotational inertia) at once become much more susceptible to being rolled.
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New Boat 32-34 Feet

I''ve only been dismasted (luckly, I guess) on smaller one designs, my Lightning, for one.

I am not a N.A. but with the reduced weight aloft that the Carbon rig represents, in general you would have less mass acting on the "Lever" and therfore have a boat whose pitching might be faster (read more violent), yet less severe (read shorter arc). I would find that a less "unsettling" motion than the longer, slower roll that results in more mass at the ends, or extremes of the "Lever". This would actually be more of a noticable effect on the "pitching" motion as the "roll" is generally dampened by the sails you have up. That is assuming your sails are up!

I think the reference to a boat being more suseptable to rolling over after a dismasting would be more related to your rig in the water, still attached by the remains of your standing and running rigging. That is why it is essential to cut away the rig as soon as possible after the catastophe. Assuming you are in a storm at the time.

Remember the scene in "Master and Commander" when they lost part of the rig in a storm and it threatened to sink the ship? It was because with the rig in the water, still attached to the ship, the ship was not able to handle the waves in anything resembling a normal seakeeping motion, turning her beam-to and preventing her from riding with the waves. Once the rig was cut lose, the boat was able to return to her "feet" as it were.

During my "Boat Familiarization" walk through before a cruise or race with new crewmwmbers, when I am going over the emergency equipment, the tool that I get questioned the most over are the enormous pair of bolt cutters I keep near the nav station. When asked what they are for, I always reply: "Why, to strip the rig off the boat quickly in a dismasting, of course!"

I also make sure I have the mast base pinned to the step on my keel mounted mast. This prevents the mast base from whipping around inside the boat, potentially damaging the hull, bulkeads, and any crew below.

I know that here are some who would like to try and keep as much of the wrecked rig as possible in order to facilitate a jury rig of sorts for a return to port. You risk potentially increased damage to the hull, not to mention life and limb if you try to salvage the rig at sea. I feel that at the point of a dismasting, it is time to call it quits, light up the epirb, and start the may-day broadcasts on the radio!
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