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  #11  
Old 09-12-2001
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Ketch rig

I own a Coronado 35 as well, so I tend to disagree – nobody wants to admit to have bought what you describe the Coronado to be (well, at least not me). From what I read, heard and see, the boat may be ugly – beauty lays in the eye of the beholder – but, the hull seems to be extremely strongly built, the hull is identical to the Columbia 34, supposed to sail very well.

I’m aware of some disadvantages, e.g. tankage not sufficient, plywood cored deck may rot, and the fact, that the mast is deck stepped. I do not feel, that these are reasons good enough to consider the boat unfit for long distance cruising (except, of course, if the wood in the deck is really rotten).

I would really like to learn more about the boat and where you see the problems with the Coronado 35 – judging from your postings you seem to know what you are talking about. Thanks in advance.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2002
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Ketch rig

There seems to be two opinions on the C-35 - It''s a coastal cruiser and it''s a live-aboard ocean cruiser. Maybe both are correct. Maybe the 3''8" shoal draft is the coastal and the 5''6" deep draft is the ocean?

Anyway, we have and live aboard and cruise a deep draft ketch. We''ve made three Gulf of Mexico crossings in everything from 2-ft seas to 20-ft + seas and 60-kt + winds. Sure was glad when that died down! Oh yes, on each we never touched the wheel - the autopilot took care of things from close-hauled to following. On one, we outperformed and were less uncomfortable than friends aboard an Endeavour 43! They had to hand steer.

It''s one tough vessel. The cast iron keel and the way it''s attached have gone though running hard aground on limestone with the only damage to the limestone. Don''t know if it''s true or not, but I read that the factory dropped one from 5'' as a test and there was no damage.

Once while sailing with 20-kt winds, under 110% jib and mizzen, we had a first hand view of a microburst. She laid down and the jib "shattered" with an ear splitting bang!

I don''t know how the deck-stepped mast is attched, but it must be attached very well. I''ve used a halyard winch on the anchor to drag us off a tree (yes! a tree!), both of us cranking as hard as we could.

As far as the plywood cored decks; to me that''s a lot better than balsa cored. Either will rot if water gets in there.

Our only gripe is the lack of stowage space and tankage space, but we''ll trade that for all the room below and deck space for deck-boxes and fuel. AND for the knowledge that she''ll take about anything and keep us from spending a lot of time in the liferaft!

Rick Morel
S/V Final Step
http://www.morelr.com/coronado/
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  #13  
Old 04-17-2002
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Ketch rig

I''ve ownwed a Coronado 35 Ketch for over 14 years (in fact, we sold her last week), This unit was built in 1972 by spanish builder Playvisa, and since then she has sailed thousands of miles in the Med and the Atlantic. Over all this years we have made lots of changes to make her easy singlehanded and to improve her sailing abilyties, first we added a bowsprit to carry a 44sqm genoa, then we rigged a taller and lighter main mast and finally the mizzen was changed to a higher and lighter spar. Of course she is not a racer (even if her waterlines come from a IOR 3/4 Ton), but when you sail between 55 and 130º she can handle what you want and with easy speeds of 7,5+. I choosed the ketch rig for the simplicity when you are alone under way, but it is thrue that going upwind or downwind this sail is useless but on the rest of sailing points it works great. The mizzed staysail is a nice toy and in light winds from the beam or the aft cuarter it is a real goal giving you an unexpected amount of power.
We never han blister or rott problems and after 30 year of hard sailig she is sound, stiff and strong... no one of the mass production boats of today will be in this condition after 3 decades.

Marco Ribera Wilhelm
SY "Syntana"
Barcelona (Spain)
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  #14  
Old 04-17-2002
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Ketch rig

When you say, "not one of the mass production boats of today will be in this condition after 3 decades", what do you base that statement on?

Today we have better resins,reinforcing fabrics, and adhesives, a better understanding of hull engineering and how to handle the materials during the construction process, even a better understanding of how to design hulls to minimize localized stresses. We have better gelcoats amd finishes. Even the design of modern engines and rigging systems seem to be more reliable and durable that those used in the early 1970''s. So, I don''t understand how you can say that you think that thirty years from now, a boat constructed today won''t be in as good condition as a 30 year boat from the 1970''s is today. Please elaborate.

Jeff
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Old 04-17-2002
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Ketch rig

It''s nice that we have all of this high tech(so to speak) stuff to build boats out of. It all sounds good, but I don''t think it really amounts to much. I guess you have to have all that stuff to be competitive when racing, but does the average weekender or cruiser really care? Speak out... lets find out.
I dont hear of any problems with older engines because the designs are old. My ''77'' Endeavour 32 has an old Yanmar 3 QM 20 and it''s in beautiful shape and in eight years, has never failed me. Tranny either. And the hull and deck? They are perfect.
And as far as rigs are concerned, the only ones I see failing, are the ones on new racing machines.
I think boats from these early years are very special.
Most boats now days are built as quickly and as sparcely as possibly just to make as much profit as possible. Nobody can argue much with that . I work on yachts... I see it all the time. And I go to boat shows.
As far as thirty years from now? Well, our boats have already made it, and just might be here thirtry years from now. The new '''' high tech " built boats? Who knows, thats thirty years from now.

Dennis
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2002
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Ketch rig

I bought a Coronado 35 in December in Marbella, Spain. I guess it was a playvisa one too. We love the boat as we are with the three including a 1.5yr child and find the space plenty, the center cockpit reasuring with the little one and the motion far more stable than a lighter modern yacht.

I like the sound of the mods you made. Especialy the bowsprit. Did you reinforce the hull for the guys for the Bowsprit or just put through U bolts with a backing plate ?

We are also thinking of moving our C35 to Barcelona (we live in Holland and it is an hour less flight there than to Malaga plus closer to Airport) What is it like to get marina berths around Barcelona ? Are the waiting lists as bad as Costa del Sol ?

Finaly any idea where I find the hull number ? The surveyor, previous owner and I were unable to find any sign of it.

Regards,
Robin.
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2002
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Ketch rig

Jeff,

I’m a little disappointed. After your bold statements like “mediocre designs, poorly engineered, cheaply built” I was expecting some more sound explanation, as to why the boat is not suitable for world cruising. Again, I accept that there are better boats for that purpose, but why are her design, engineering and built factors against that use? Todays materials, kowledge and understanding are better than 30 years ago, but the Coronado 35 is very solid built. Today hulls are probably built much lighter, but not necessarily stronger With the amount of material used in the production of the hull I wonder how she could be called “cheaply built”. Sure, she is cheaply build in the sense that e.g. little wood has been used in construction, but this does not affect strength or seaworthiness. The hull design is identical to the Columbia 34, known for her good sailing abilities, something a Hallberg Rassy of today is not known for, although nobody would deny her capabilities for world cruising. So, are there things that I overlooked?
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SY Sayang, Jeff & the Group:

In reading this thread wherein Jeff questioned the choice of a Columbia 34/Coronado 35 for world cruising, I was reminded of the extensive, multiple-issue coverage Latitude 38 recently gave to a young fellow who completed an 11-year (as I recall) circumnavigation in a Columbia 34. While he faced some of the issues typical for this type of sailing and length of time (gear wore out and needed replacing), there were no significant events that led him to question his choice. In fact, one of the reasons L38 covered his travels is that he constantly cruised with one female member after the next, all of them non-sailors (they were all quite cute) and the boat had to suffer their handling as well as the owner’s. The owner has subsequently begun a 2nd circumnavigation…on the same boat.

In the course of these articles, including an interview, one of the prevailing themes was that older, simply constructed and simply equipped boats, it can be argued, represent a great choice for a cruising boat. The two principal reasons given were that a) the structures were less understood and, therefore on at least some boats, simple and overbuilt, and b) fewer systems visits less expense and less work on the crew, especially important when short-handed and/or on a limited budget.

Mind you, I think a ply-cored deck is a nightmare waiting to happen – they rot far more thoroughly than a balsa core IME given localized penetration of water into the deck – and the esthetics of these designs leave something to be desired, for me at least. But no one claimed the VW Bug was pretty or strongly built – it just did what it was designed to do at modest cost, and the original model is still capable of doing so today, assuming adequate maintenance and sound basic systems. IMO Jeff’s quite right in pointing out all the improvements in design, materials, and manufacturing techniques which have appeared in the last 4 decades since sailing blossomed commercially. But I see the results a bit differently – I’d say it’s most often allowed manufacturers (not necessarily ‘boat builders’ in the traditional sense) to mass market, mass produce and mass retail a wide range of relatively affordable boats of relatively limited capability (from a cruising perspective, anyway). Where using these materials and techniques is directed at building an offshore-capable sailboat, performance (perhaps ‘capability’ is a better term) has grown significantly but so has price, which has led to very few people actually being able to benefit by these improvements. Instead, most of us look for older, more affordable boats…and often invest in the sweat equity required to make them more capable of offshore sailing. And I guess that’s where the old Columbia/Coronado boats come in – which are out there cruising today and satisfying owners of limited means while they have a ball.

Seems to me that, if we’re hearing favorable reports from multiple current owners who are cruising and offshore sailing in these boats today, then that makes those boats acceptable cruising boats, no matter what my personal preferences might suggest.

Jack
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  #19  
Old 08-12-2002
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Ketch rig

Jack,

Extremely well said. It is obvious that you grasp the essence of what it takes to be able to go cruising. Albeit these boats are not going to be the fastest nor the fanciest. But it has been said over and over, year after year by cruisers that, given a choice, they would rather keep thing simple and sturdy rather than fancy and exotic.
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Ketch rig

T:

There''s a great deal of pleasure, IME at least, in owning a boat that''s properly built, nicely fitted out, comfy both on the hook and (relatively speaking) offshore, and relatively swift when passaging.

OTOH all these differences seem to dissipate, at least in substantial measure, when differing boats all converge in the same anchorage, share equally in the shoreside travel and local color, and shop at the same markets, buying goodies we all share at the same cookout.

Given that alongshore & offshore passagemaking occupies about 3-5% (or often less) of a typical cruising sailor''s time, you can see why folks prefer affordable, simple and steady to costly, complex and swift. Still, our boat has many ''advanced features'' (at least when compared to simple boats) and, were we to move down in size which is what we''re now considering, I doubt we''d exclude any of them from an even smaller boat. I guess it boils down to our preference for creature comforts even at the expense of add''l amps, repair kits, maintenance & repairs, and the most difficult of things to find...patience.

Jack
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