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jerryrlitton 03-31-2004 02:44 PM

A circumnavigation?
Hello all, I am looking to purchase a boat for a circumnavigation. When I get back from the Mid-East I will do some serious looking. I was thinking of a Cape Dory 36. Since strength, ease of handling ar my most primary concerns I was wondering if I could get some input as to a decent boat and what kind of equipment I should add or look for. Thank y''all very much.

WHOOSH 03-31-2004 08:10 PM

A circumnavigation?
Jerry, we''ve cruised outside the U.S. for a while now (tho'' not in the Pacific – yet?) and here are a few of the criteria I would recommend to you for selecting a boat to do a Circle, almost independent of budget and boat ''size'' (as measured by displacement more so than length):

1. good load carrying capability, without seriously affecting the stability, speed or comfort, along with functional, capacious storage (both inside and in the cockpit)
2. decent light-wind sailing ability (in e.g. E Pacific, the Med, during your ITCZ crossings), but seaworthy in a real blow (e.g. when dipping low to visit NZ or perhaps around S Africa)
3. excellent cockpit ergonomics (you’ll be there a LOT) that provides good protection (from wind, wave and especially sun), either via canvas work (consider a hard-top type dodger due to U/V & Strata-Glas panels) altho’ boats with deep cockpits & hard dodgers are probably better
4. a layout easily navigated when the boat is heeled and moving actively, and which offers a good sea berth for each crew member, a functional galley, a head not located too far forward in the boat, and a sit-down/comfy nav station

Based on the above, I would not put a Cape Dory high on the list. She has a relatively short waterline, lots of wetted surface, and somewhat narrow ends, so her light wind ability will be limited. And while any boat can be loaded up deeply, I think she’d struggle with the consequences more than many others. I also think her traditional cockpit is less ergonomic than you’d prefer.

That still leaves a huge range of used boats available for consideration, just a few being a Sadler 34, Tashiba 36 (or smaller 31), Tayana 37, (Maine-built) Mariner 36, Caliber 35/38/40, Pearson 38, and a Fast Passage 39 to mention just a few – all of which are different from one another in many ways. Keep in mind that people have sailed long distances in deep water in almost anything…but that doesn’t recommend almost anything.

As for equipment, any good ocean cruising guidebook will give you the important basics: consider consulting Beth Leonard’s Voyager’s Handbook, as it covers the equipping of a boat relative to one’s budget (always an issue for cruisers, it seems) and is based on her own Circle experiences. A really stout, functional anchoring SYSTEM, a range of good sails needed for the diverse conditions, an upgraded DC electrical system if you put gear aboard that will require it, and - speaking of that - a water maker and deck water-collection system (for the Pacific Islands and other select areas like Greece) are all probably good ideas.

Good luck on the shopping…


jerryrlitton 04-01-2004 12:04 PM

A circumnavigation?
Thanks Jack for the insight. I was looking at one of your choices. The Tayana 37 is very intersting but did you mean look for a ME built Tayana or did you mean Mariner? I am oredering a copy of that book you mentioned as I write this. Thanks for all your help.

catamount 04-01-2004 04:43 PM

A circumnavigation?
I''ve sailed a bit on a Cape Dory 36. While the boat is thought of by many as a traditional world cruiser type, I think I would have to agree with Jack''s comments above. She does have a lot of wetted surface and a heavy displacement on a short waterline, so expect to do a lot of motor sailing if you want to get anywhere in light air.

Although she rates high on Ted Brewer''s Motion Comfort Index, that doesn''t mean she doesn''t have any motion. I think Jeff woud say that although she might move slowly, she probably moves through wide angles. For what it is worth, Ted Brewer in a recent issue of Good Old Boat magazine explained that initially he thought up the Motion Comfort Index as a spoof.

The boat, at least the one I''ve been on, is not set up well for single-handing -- all the sheets are out of reach from behind the wheel. On a cruise this past year, during my night watch we were sailing under reefed main and staysail when the wind abated but the seas were still up. I needed more power to keep the boat moving well, but whenever I came out from behind the wheel to pull in the sheet and unroll the Yankee, the weather helm that developed would throw the boat onto the opposite tack. I really needed dynamic control of the wheel - I needed to be in two places at once. (It never occurred to me to try the Autohelm, in part because it uses a fair bit of electrical power and there''s not a lot of space on the boat -- at least this one -- for big banks of batteries, so we tended to avoid using electrical appliances unless the motor was running.) Once the next watch came on deck, the two of us were able to get the boat moving right along (and back on the right course).

It''s not a bad boat, but I don''t think a Cape Dory 36 or similar hull form is the boat for me. The fact that my dad has a Cape Dory 36 and that I want to set my own course with my own boat has nothing to do with it ;-)



WHOOSH 04-01-2004 06:23 PM

A circumnavigation?
Jerry, you need to look carefully for that comma...but yes, I did mean the Maine-built Mariner 36 (vs. several iterations of a same-named boat from the Far East).

Most owners of Tayana 37 boats with whom I meet out cruising like their boats (altho'' you''ll find that virtually *everyone* likes their boat while owning/sailing it...) altho'' some of the negatives tend to be:
- tank construction
- all that wood (to maintain in some fashion)
- build quality (I''ve seen new T37''s miserably fail an initial survey, apparently due to less reliable build quality)
- despite a tall mast, less satisfying light wind sailing when loaded up

Something we could all discuss more thoroughly on this BB is the whole issue of ergonomics. For me, a T37 just doesn''t seem to work well - I don''t naturally ''fit'' in some of the work spaces on the boat (I''m 6'' and 175#). This is one of a hundred reasons why different folks view a given boat differently; be sure to ''try it on'' when you get to the shopping stage.


obiec 04-03-2004 08:07 AM

A circumnavigation?
I have a 38’ Ingrid. They seam to be very capable. I have met with several people that have, or are in the process of circumnavigating in Ingrid''s. They all are very happy. I have Sean them as cheep as $45,000. But those needed a lot of work. I have also Seen them for as much as $119,000. But I think that is over priced. I am considering getting more of a costal cruiser, So I have considered selling mine. And it is all set up. I would make you a deal

jerryrlitton 04-15-2004 02:18 PM

A circumnavigation?
I have heard good things about the CSY, what do you think?

PaulBl 04-19-2004 05:54 AM

A circumnavigation?
Here are some links:

The Owners discussion list is best at:

The Sailnet list is not very active.

I have a 33ft CSY. The 44 Walk Over is a popular boat for cruising and there are a few 44 walk throughs as well. They made a 37ft as awell as some 44 Pilot Houses. They are all late 70''s very early 80''s boats with exceptionally thick hulls. They are not light air boats but they do better than you might think. They are comfortable boats that can carry a lot of stuff and have good tankage.

You''ll find a lot of folks that have cruised these boats at the above discussion list. Folks who own them love them. They are all more than 20 years old and need a complete survey as with all older boats.

jerryrlitton 05-12-2004 01:57 AM

A circumnavigation?
Hello from Balad Iraq, just a year or so to go and I will be out of here. Hey do any of you all have an opinion on either the CSY 44 or the Mason 43 for a world cruiser? I am just looking for a safe boat with some room a couple can handle for a non hurried world cruise.

Jeff_H 05-12-2004 03:55 AM

A circumnavigation?
Both have reasonably good reputations as world cruisers if they are rebuilt to do so. I personally would prefer a Kelly- Peterson 44 or 46 in that size and price range.


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