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  #11  
Old 01-07-2010
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Auto Pilot?

We are proud owners of s and j 45 center cockpit im looking for some info on an auto pilot any suggestions??? sizes? wheel or below deck?
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Old 01-08-2010
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david,
We have an older Raymarine hydraulic autopilot. It's basically a contol panel a fluxgate compass and a hydraulic pump. The unit is at least 15 years old and works flawlessly. The pump seems to be very robustly put together and there is no evidence of any leak problems. Our unit was made before there were interfaces to GPS units -- in fact it was made before GPS became a common feature on pleasure boats so all it does is hold a pre-set course. This it does very well under both power and sail (though we rarely use it while sailing.
If I were replacing this unit I would probably check for recent reviews online and in Practical Sailor but you've probably already done that. After that -- assuming the all cost about the same -- I'd go with one that was easiest to interface with my plotters and other instruments.
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2010
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I would like to touch on a couple points raised in the original post and correct one minor point which I will do first. The Morgan 45 was designed under the CCA rule, not the IOR rule. By the time the boat actually hit production the CCA was about to die. Even under the CCA rule the boats were not successful, but they became totally useless as race boats under the original IOR rule which initially was written with the intention of curbing the excesses of the CCA rule that limited the seaworthiness of boats like these. Given that the Morgan version was not seen as being particularly useful as a cruising design, after sitting around taking up space for a few years the tooling was sold cheaply to S-J rather than being trashed out right.

While good sailor could probably justify one of the Morgan built boats for use offshore, the Starratt Jenks versions of these boats would never make ideal or even decent offshore cruisers. In its original form, these boats were well built, deep draft, and had cast lead ballast. When Starratt Jenks took over building these boats, they cheapened the boat greatly and in the process of trying to change a grand prix rule beating race boat to some kind of cruising boat, made some very big changes (shallower draft, less ballast, in most later boats lead or steel in concrete which was a lower density ballast, cruder/heavier glass work, heavier cruising oriented interior and so on), all of which reduced the seaworthiness and motion comfort of the design, a design, which was known for having pitch and roll issues as compared to the better designs that followed it.

Most of the S-J boats were owner finished and the workmanship and corner cutting that I have seen were dismal and which would require a whole lot of time and money to rectify. At least in the case of the S-J boats, you are dealing with an outdated design, poorly constructed, typically poorly equipped in terms of deck hardware and sail handling gear. You may be able to make one into a mediocre island hopper, but with its long ends, deep canoe body, round bilges, low ballast ratio, low density ballasting, crammed accomodations. it would never be a particularly good offshore cruiser.

It is on that basis that I completely disagree with the statement above that claims that the The Starratt Jenks 45 is the most undervalued blue water ocean cruiser on the market. A knowledgable blue water cruiser would never classify the Starratt Jenks version of these boats as blue water cruisers by any stetch of the imagination, and given the really great blue water cruising designs out there that can be bought at similar prices to a those of an S-J, I would never classify the S-J as a bargain.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-08-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidg64866 View Post
We are proud owners of s and j 45 center cockpit im looking for some info on an auto pilot any suggestions??? sizes? wheel or below deck?
I removed the old wheel pilot. I am installing a Raymarine Type 2 Long Linear below deck mechanical ram rated up to 44,000lb vessel along with the X-30 corepack tied all to the new Raymarine intruments, GPS, E80 chartplotter, HD radar etc.
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post


At least in the case of the S-J boats, you are dealing with an outdated design, poorly constructed, typically poorly equipped in terms of deck hardware and sail handling gear. You may be able to make one into a mediocre island hopper, but with its long ends, deep canoe body, round bilges, low ballast ratio, low density ballasting, crammed accomodations. it would never be a particularly good offshore cruiser.

It is on that basis that I completely disagree with the statement above that claims that the The Starratt Jenks 45 is the most undervalued blue water ocean cruiser on the market. A knowledgable blue water cruiser would never classify the Starratt Jenks version of these boats as blue water cruisers by any stetch of the imagination, and given the really great blue water cruising designs out there that can be bought at similar prices to a those of an S-J, I would never classify the S-J as a bargain.

Jeff
Jeff, I've read your other articles on S-J boats when I was considering buying an older classic designed boat. My budget is to have a fresh up to date zero time restored boat for between 75-100k. I figured 50-60k for the restoration/refit process in parts alone, plus my labor. I looked at many boats 40-50 feet, classic lines, full keel, narrow beam, masthead sloop rig. Every boat I looked at as a "bargain" priced 40-50 footer was really junk when compared to this S-J boat. I did not want ferro cement, wood or fin keel or a 80's thin glassed modern cruiser with a fat beam. There are no other 45 footers with similar prices to S-J boats. But I did not buy this S-J based on pricing. I feel this hull is very well built, almost overkill with its double hull design below the waterline. This boat had/has the best deck equipment at the time. Its fully rigged with Lewmar and Schaefer components. The standing rig is stout as well. These boats have a nearly 50% ballast to displacement ratio. 12,000lbs of lead to a 25,000lb displacement. That is among the highest ratio that I've seen when comparing this type of boat. Sure its not as roomy by todays standards, but there is still enough. As I redo this boat, I am keeping in mind weight and balance as priority. I build race cars and thoroughly understand these dynamics and affects on performance/handling. I don't care about what this hull use to be, and about its white elephant history. But when compare to similarly sized boats, this S-J I have is really a bargain, well at least it will be when I'm done. Where could you get basically a new 45 boat for less than 100K? This boat I bought has a nice quality interior fit and finish. This boat was built for the '79 Annapolis boat show as their model boat. The people that have these step children seem to like them. Why do you emphatically hate this boat? Have you sailed one or two or three S-J's? They get a bad rap, but I think they are an undervalued bluewater boat. Does the hull fall apart out at sea? Does the open ocean twist S-J's into pieces?
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Old 01-08-2010
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The quick answers are:

At the time when my mom and Step father was considering buying and building one of these I spent a lot of time crawling around these boats, talking to Morgan and talking to folks who had and have them. At the time I sailed on the factory demo boat, which may have been your boat because we were told that it was one of the few S-J's being built with lead vs steel in its ballast. That boat was miserably wet, tender, and hobby horsed terribly in a chop.

To be clear, the original Morgan race boats had well less than a 50% ballast ratio. The advertized ballast ratios were down around 40 %. Starratt Jenks literature showed less than the Morgans and the S-J factory said few if any of the owner built boats came anywhere near thier published number.

Since then I have been aboard a lot of finished and semi-finished S-J's. and talked to a bunch of folks who owned them and who talked about them in very negative ways. I helped one couple sell thiers and move onto Kelly-Peterson 44 that they described as a revolation compared the miserable sailing capabilities of the Starratt Jenks. And yes their boat did fall apart at sea where a poorly glassed in a bulkhead came loose under wracking loads and fractured the hull to deck joint. Do a search and you should find their story here on Sailnet.

Beyond that, when you say that you did not want a boat with a fin keel, I can only say, then why the heck did you buy an S-J. Call it what you want, but the keel length is so short on the S-J that for all intents and purposes the S-J has a fin keel only its one that someone misguidely has its rudder hung on its aft edge. That arrangement is the worst of all worlds in terms of tracking, and vulnerability. (At least with a properly designed fin keel and Skeg hung rudder the rudder bottom is a foot or two above the bottom of the keel.)

If you actually " build race cars and thoroughly understand these dynamics and affects on performance/handling." you would understand the dynamics of a boat with the such an impossibly short waterline length relative to its overall length, with such excessively long overhangs, with such a deep canoe body and especially how these factors relate to performance and handling and would therefore also understand the reason that the boat's origins are so significant.

To clarify my point about "typically poorly equipped in terms of deck hardware and sail handling gear" Iam not talking about manufacturer but the placement, size, and type of equipment and the lack of key sail control hardware. The S-J's that I have been aboard had not enough mainsheet purchase for the size of the mainsail, have had either no travelers or have had short travelers without control lines and roller bearing cars. They have had crudely fashioned external chainplates with out proper internal knees or bulkheads. Control lines are not lead back to the cockpit. Winches were under sized for the loads in heavy going or missing altogether and were often two-speed rather than the three speed winches that you would expect for a genoa are as big as these boats typically fly.

And lastly, while these boats are 43 to 46 feet on deck (depending on version) and are moderately heavy for that length on deck, and so have all the costs to own of a 45 footer, in terms of seaworthiness, performance and accomodations they are much closer to be a 40 footer with tail fins and $100K is no bargain for a 40 foot rebuilt, kit boat with homely lines and poor sailing characteristics. That is especially true if you do not ignore the cost of your labor. As a general rule of thumb for restoring an older but sound boat, the cost of labor is generally estimated to equal at least the cost of materials, although it generally ends up being more.

I am glad that you like your boat, because that is what counts for you, I should note, that what ever I feel about these boats generically, it looks like you have done a beautiful job restoring your boat.
But my post is directed at someone with $100,000 to spend and a goal of doing some real offshore cruising, and for them, given all the great boats out there in that price range, the S-J makes a very poor choice indeed.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 01-08-2010 at 04:26 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-05-2010
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Smile Pitching and Rolling

Great photo of my S&J pitching and rolling out of control. Just kidding shes off shore in the golf between the Keys and Tampa on a rather calm sea when she was in her prime.

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  #18  
Old 02-08-2010
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Great photo of my S&J pitching and rolling out of control. Just kidding shes off shore in the golf between the Keys and Tampa on a rather calm sea when she was in her prime.

s/v Mysti
very nice !
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Old 02-26-2010
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we have had ours for 2 years now and according to him its a terrable boat ,oh well we like it and we didnt pay anywhere near 100 grand ,i have put alot of sweat into it though .

i have had several boats and didnt like things about all of them ,so upgrading and changing things to make it your own is what its all about .
i proabably wouldnt like his boat for that matter
1989 cc starratt
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Old 07-06-2010
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progress report...

Stripped the cabin top and cockpit, modified the helm seat, added secondary winch mounts added cheek block mounts. I fabricated these mods from aluminum then bolted them to the boat, followed with epoxy/glass mat/cloth layers...etc. Modified the cockpit for control lines. Getting ready for coating the cabin top/cockpit. waiting for a weather window. In the mean time I'm fairng the hull and fixing some gelcoat surface cracks. I replaced the old teak deck with new in summer of '08. Its dirty now but will final sand and clean up real nice.
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