Cape Dory 31 or 33? - SailNet Community

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  • 1 Post By blowinstink
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  #1  
Old 09-27-2012
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Cape Dory 31 or 33?

I am interested in purchasing a sailboat for the purpose of offshore passage-making and live-aboard cruising and have been doing research. I am an avid sailor (though not yet sufficiently experienced) and sail a Yankee Dolphin 24. The boats I am interested in (and would appreciate any wisdom on choosing between) would be a Cape Dory 33 or a Cape Dory 31. I intend to cruise part time in the Great Lakes and along the northeastern coast for several years until sufficiently experienced and having gained sufficient knowledge of the boat, in the meantime fitting it out. For the future possibility of living aboard, there would be two aboard and would intend to cruise trans-Atlantic, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

I'm surprised no one has responded to you yet. Though I am not so well qualified to talk about off shore passage making I am willing to share my impressions of Cape Dory yachts. First of all, they are classic beauties. Their lines and the way they are executed with lots of bronze hardware just say "sailing yacht". Also, classic full keel boats are said to be all around good, comfortable cruisers and passage makers.
Their relatively short waterlines and narrow beams do not produce much volume to support long term cruising. But spartan people like spartan boats.
Their shorter waterline also means reduced speed or longer passages, which can become problematic when trying to find a weather window to make a hazardous passage such as crossing the gulf stream.
Manuevering in close quarters like a marina can also be very difficult with a full keel, attached rudder boat.
The 33 would appear to be the better choice as it has a really nice nav station, and a good quarter berth for off shore passages. Yet the 31 has a newer interior layout with an aft head and very efficient looking galley. (But no sea berth).
A couple sailing a CD 36 ketch/cutter were in our marina a couple of years ago and I had a nice long conversation with him about how he liked his CD. Bottom line, he was very pleased with his boat, liked that he could work on all his systems without having to take it apart and could set quite a variety of sails, depending on wind and sea conditions.
Hope this helps.
ps. Read this Full or fin keel? thread for insight on fin vs full keels.
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Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

The 33 is a great boat (I sail the later version of the 33 -- the 330). You definitely want to check out CapeDory.org and the forums there for further info. All in all CD's offer great value, they are capable boats in a relatively conservative design that sails far better than many expect. They probably suffer more from comparative lack of interior space than anything else. Keep posting as our search narrows and you'll find more useful info.

Best,
M
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

Blowinstink,
How do you handle sleeping arrangements when passage making, say two or three days?

I used to dream of owning a CD 30 something, but had to let that dream go.
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

We use the settee's - each has a lee cloth. If we are 2-up, we usually hot bunk on the leeward side. We have not done an offshore passage with more than 2 (I've done a couple solo). All in all, I would like to have a q-berth for that extra sea berth, but we make do (in luxury by some standards). My first choice was for the standard CD33 (which has a q-berth) but this was the best boat on the market so we went with it. No regrets (the 330 has both advantages and disadvantages compared to the 33).

Keep an eye on the CD board -- sometime there are some real bargains.

Luck
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Old 10-11-2012
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Thumbs up Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

i basically grew up on a CD 33'. great boats, extremely sea worthy.
i'm actually looking for one myself now for the same purposes, namely long distance cruising, live-aboard, possible circumnavigation.
best of luck to you.
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Old 10-13-2012
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Re: Cape Dory 31 or 33?

We have a Cape Dory 31 (no. 1, in fact) and love her for long cruising vacations on the Chesapeake. The aft head is wonderful. But there is no nav station and no quarter birth, which are considerations for overnight and offshore work.
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