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  Topic Review (Newest First)
10-26-2005 07:12 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

Just a short spin on my experience with a Little Harbor 38 I have owned for eight years. If you can get past the fact that the boat is very high maintenance and you either have the ambition to do it yourself or the $$$ to pay someone (mine''s mostly sweat equity) the boat is just so great to sail. Performs very well and moves through the water with Rolls Royce sureness. Watch out for osmotic blistering and know what your getting with the teak decks. Cruising World did an article several years ago on key features of blue water cruising sail boats using a fuzzy logic program. In the 38'' class this boat was number one or tied for first. There are Little Harbor 38''s on the market for less than $ 150K and they do have a lot of nice features like incomparable wood work, Navtec rod rigging, etc. Good luck.
09-20-2005 03:30 AM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

Ckorody Written objectively discussing the + -`s.Well Done. quote "We called her the Buick Roadmaster" I have a 55 in the garage.You know the one with the straight 8 thats 6 feet long.
09-19-2005 04:44 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

I had a Mason 44 and spent many years and more dollars cherrying her out. She was a classic CCA design with oodles of S&S influence - very Hinckleyesque - just the sort of thing you are descibing sans the canoe stern. She was truly Bristol and the belle of every anchorage.

Long story short - since this is about you - we got tired of the maintenance and sold her. And we got a J32 - which is a great little cruising boat for what you want and frankly a lot more fun to sail on a sunny afternoon. But way definitely not the same thing...

As an engineer I am sure you can appreciate how much technology has advanced in the last 25 years - everything from design to materials...

Here is what it comes down to. There is no real replacement for the sheer joy a beautiful boat brings. If it is a burden to keep her, then its a bad deal. Otherwise have at it.

As far as performance. The Mason was an awesome boat once the wind got going over 10-12kts. Sucked in light air. We called her the Buick Roadmaster - strictly a cadillac ride. We had all the strings on her and found her to be very responsive to subtle changes in trim. I suspect the boats on your shortlist fall in this category.

Point being that once it starts to blow, (and 15 knots really isn''t even blowing) there is nothing like a bluewater boat. As the ads say, the sea hasn''t changed... A long narrow hull with a lot of lead is easily driven. A boat with overhangs is often tender - something Robert Perry equates to seakindly. Forget the hobby horse crap - with the kind of mass you have on these boats, the normal head sea is not going to stop your forward motion as it would on a lighter more modern boat.

But the Mason was a small big boat - and that is the problem you will have when it comes time to sell. The Benecaca''s are popular because of the extraordinary amount of interior volume, reasonable systems and equipment levels and very low levels of exterior maintenance. But make your heartbeat - i don''t think so...

The Mason and her sisters are ingeniously and expensively built to provide access to every inch of the hull so you have maximum storage.

Do be clear - especially if you opt for a Taiwanese boat from the 70s or 80s that you will replace every piece of stainless that has contact with saltwater. Do be aware that the black iron tanks are waiting to perforate. Do be aware that the teak presents its bill every season.

Personally, if you don''t mind the brightwork I don''t think you can do any better then a Shannon or Pacific Seacraft. Delight to sail - well maybe not so much but great seaboats, great boats to be on in an anchorage, great boats to spend a week on - yes by all means.

BTW there is an excellent book called The Voyagers Handbook by Beth Leonard - details what she learned going around the world on a Shannon 38.

Finally since you mentioned Perry, in the genre is the Passport 40 which has a phenomenal layout and great lines. Also a Taiwan boat
08-05-2005 06:10 AM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

rkirby, just came across your inquiry. I am in the same process although I have been sailing J boats for the last 20+ years. First, a J40, now a J28,and looking to move back to a J40 as my coastal cruiser. Type "J 40" + "owners" into Google, and you''ll find out why. I have the same struggle with "bloodlines", looks, and performance you do. Every time I''ve bought a boat, I''ve struggled between a beautiful Bristol with the long overhangs vs. performance without the clorox bottle look. Each time I''ve opted for a J--you might consider the J34c, J37c, or the J40. All can be found within your budget, all sail well, and can do coastal stuff. My alternative at the other end is a Bristol 35.5 or 38.8 [or sister ship, Little Harbor 38]. These are classic cruising boats with beautiful woodwork above and below decks. If you''re good with older boats, no problem. This "newer" generation of Bristols is a step above the older but prettier boats you are talking about and perform better--but are a long way from the kind of performance you would get from a J. A middle ground: read about the Sabre 362. It''s stiff, very roomy for a couple with a huge head, and sails well. It has a small transom platform for dealing with the dinghy and motor--something all cruisers struggle with.
08-04-2005 12:48 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

You came to a message board where the local "experts" are of the race boat mentality. You have more experience than most of them. I wouldn''t let anything posted here sway you too much from buying a traditional boat...or a race boat if you like them.
08-02-2005 04:57 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

i''ve got a Hinckley B40 for sale.
My email is
08-02-2005 04:28 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

I didn''t realize that the ship was sinking so quickly. Thanks for the heads up, I''ll do as you suggest.

Roland, Robert, Rupert, Whatever...
08-02-2005 04:11 PM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

Richard, Robert, Roland, or _____________,

This is a great post, and sure to draw much thoughtful comment, esp. since you have already started doing your homework.

However, Sailnet is currently in backruptcy, and this board is in danger of imminent collapse (if you''re been reading around, I''m sure you''ve noticed the speculative postings).

I''d encourage you to take your question to one of the other very good BBs:

<a href="">Cruiser''s Forum</a>

<a href="">Take Her Sailing''s Virtual Anchorage</a>

<a href="">Cr uising World''s General Forum</a>

<a href="">The Seven Seas Cruising Association Forum</a>
08-02-2005 11:57 AM
34'''' - 38'''' Coastal Cruiser - My wants vs. my needs.

I just came across this forum a few days ago and I just cant stop reading the intelligent and insightful responses to often vague and confused questions. So far, Ive read back to 2001 postings and theres still more to go. Id now like to post my own vague and conflicted question.

Ive been sailing for 25 years first on Sunfish, Lasers, Snipes, that I owned and then on Hunter 23 30 boats of friends. Then I discovered Hobie Cats. I sailed/raced Hobie 16s for 10 years before getting married and giving up the sport. In the last 5 years, Ive gotten the wife interested in sailing and weve chartered Beneteaus 34 40 for a couple of weeks in the BVIs every winter for the last 4 years. Now, were think were ready for our own boat. Well be sailing mainly in the coastal waters of Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, with the possible trip to the Chesapeake or even the ICW to Florida. No offshore passages in our plans at present. We think that we want a 36 40 boat that is comfortable inside for 2-4 adults and has a roomy cockpit for enjoying the outdoors (no picnic table). More importantly, we need a boat that has a seakindly motion (were both prone to mal di mare), but that sails relatively fast to windward. Coming from the cat world, I think bobbing along at 4-5 knots would make me jump overboard. Id also like a boat that I could single-hand if necessary. The new little Morris 36 with headsail winches within easy reach of the wheel is the ultimate. The budget is up to $150k, but I think we can find a suitable boat for less. Id consider a boat up to 20 years old. Im an Engineer with years of experience repairing engines, pumps and other misc. mechanical gizmos, so I can fix whatevers broken, but Id much rather spend my time sailing.

The biggest problem that Im having in making a decision is balancing my idea of a beautiful boat against the best boat for my needs. My favorite boats to look at are Hinckleys and Aldens, due to their long overhangs and Hans Christians and almost anything Bob Perry designed with a nice round canoe stern. But after reading the posts here, the collective wisdom says that long overhangs equal hobby-horsing and those nice canoe sterns just limit cockpit and interior space. So where does that leave me? I truly do not like the sugar-scoop stern of most modern boats. While they are extremely practical in terms of dinghy access, I just dont like the look.

One final wish. (if you are easily offended, skip this part) Id like a boat that isnt one of the mass-produced varieties. Im mainly talking about the benecata-whatevers and my bias is based primarily on my perception of resale values. My searches on YachtWorld confirm that the supply of these boats is much greater than the demand. Based on this observation and just wanting to have a semi-unique boat, Id prefer something less mainstream.

Until I started reading here, my short list included:

Pacific Seacraft 37
Shannon 38
Ta Shing Tashiba 38
Hinckley Bermuda 40

These are all blue water boats, you say. There lies my problem. What I like esthetically doesnt really fit my needs. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Even if they make me cringe a little initially.



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