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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-23-2004 06:59 PM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

We are selling our Cal 43. Summer Wind is set up for a couple to do offshore/distance cruising see at:
11-18-2004 07:59 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

I''m also in the market for a boat this size, maybe willing to spend a little more money.

No one has discussed the newer production boats; i.e Catalina and Beneteau. These boats, in the 38-42 ft size, are very beamy, relativley light with a lot of space.
any observations on how they sail, especially in bad weather.
11-11-2004 03:48 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations


We recently purchased a Brewer 12.8 (42''). I have only been able to sail her twice, 3 hr sea trial and 10 hrs moving her to a yard to be pulled, she sails beautifully. 14 knots apparant and she was at 8.4 knots under main and gen. We now have her on the hard and I am 6 weeks into a total refit, I can tell you that they are extremely well built.

The more time I spend on her, the more I feel that we made the right choice. You should be able to find one in the low 100s and if you do the work yourself, 20k-30k can get alot done.

Our Brewer draws 4-6" with the board up, carries 135 diesel and 200 gal water, has a VERY comfortable cockpit and a huge aft cabin.

11-09-2004 06:10 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations


i sail an island packet 38 and have for 5 years. cruising primarily east coast florida, georgia, and up thru charleston and have experienced no rudder problems whatsoever including the occassional grounding. she is a heavy displacement, tracks well and is well built. i can sail just fine in 8 knots- so all in all she has served me just fine. if i''ve got less wind and my point of sail permits i fly an asymmetrical spin.

11-09-2004 04:29 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

Nice discussion.

I think there are pro''s and con''s to every type of design, larger 42ft CC vs 38ft aft cockpit for example. I looked at boats in the 38-43ft range some time ago before settling on a Wauquiez Hood 38, aft cockpit sloop. She is an excellent, all venue sailor of excellent build quality. Her bluewater reputation is unquestioned.

Having cruised her for about 3 years now and cruised on quite a few other boats recently and over the years, I have some observations on the compromises you make.

I think larger 42ft CC''s are very nice for living aboard. There is greater separation between the staterooms and the CC makes a nice patio at anchor unconfined by a pushpit and lifelines. But not all 42-43ft CC''s are. The Morgan 43, example, has a huge aft cabin that is great as well as a nice galley. This comes at the cost of pushing the main salon forward and thus it is smaller than most 36''s. The vee berth is an afterthought. The Whitby 42 has a very nice cabin layout but the aft cabin berth is not the nice centerline many people are looking for (in port) and the main salon again is the size of any 38 footer. Many Whitby 42''s don''t even have an opposing settee, just a space for a couple chairs.

My boat has a private Qtr cabin with a nice double berth in the hip. This makes a perfect sea berth underway and is perfectly fine for visiting couples. Yes, a larger cabin and more separation would be nice...but the reality is that I have guests perhaps only twice a year and we spend very little time down below. My owners stateroom is the forward cabin. It has a HUGE vee berth and an oversized hatch overhead. I just like sleeping there and like the ventilation. On hot summer nights, it is the best place to be. The aft Qtr cabin seems a waste sometimes...having that space just completely open would make the boat feel more spacious, but I feel you just have to have the availability of a second private stateroom and it functions as the ''garage'' much of the time.

In port, I might prefer a CC, it is true that it makes a nicer ''patio'' and is more open with perhaps even a better view (at anchor) than an AC. When sailing, however, I like my aft cockpit. I have better visibility of the sails and the way ahead is not obstructed by the jib. I also like the security of being locked in back there with the lifelines and pushpit when we are heeled over and going for it (my preferred point of sail :O). I kick back and ''dinghy'' sail this thing, sitting back on a side bench, legs outstretched. It is great to feel the bow rise and fall as we lope over the waves, to me this is a nicer motion. Most cruisers spend most of their time in port, so a CC gets used and appreciated A LOT. But...eventually you are going to SAIL that boat...and for many an AC is simply a ''must have'' when sailing. Look at most new boat designs. Boats that are designed for sailing are all AC''s (under 44ft).

Once you make the decision for one or the other configuration, I think there are then two other decisions that trump all others: Displacement and age.

Displacement drives the size of the sail plan and deck hardware, including ground tackle. The greater the displacement the heavier EVERYTHING is. The heavier everything is...the more WORK it all is. My boat is 22,000lbs and while I love the steadier motion this gives (on my boat) and its load carrying capacity for cruising, it takes me more work to sail this boat than it would a lighter boat. I don''t have any problem but I do get winded at times and have had light weight crew that found sheeting in the jib, raising the main and raising the anchor challenging. I think I am personally done at 24,000lbs. I just don''t see wanting the work load involved with a boat of a displacement greater than that.

There is a website that has the logs of a guy who is living aboard and cruising a mid 70''s vintage Gulfstar 44. It is a good case study. The boat is not built very well, it is old, it does not sail very well and it is big. Reading Bill D''s daily logs is almost painful. He has to put down two anchor''s much of the time and it can be an ordeal raising them. Every single day he has to fix something on the boat. Every sail turns into a motoring run because the boat cannot get up to even 4 knots.

And this past weekend I saw an Irwin 42 try to dock. The owner was having a tough time in CALM conditions. He came in too steep into a FIFTY foot slip and ended up smashing his bowsprit into the taffrail of the ajoining boat. Well....that ended up splitting the taffrail and taking it away. Unreal.

A 38ft aft cockpit will have a smaller anchor, less windage and be easy to singlehand. One that sails well will spend more of its time...sailing in wonderful quietude and less time motoring along stinking, rolling uncomfortably in the swell.

Sorry if this is long. This is a great subject and the above is just my point of view for whatever it is worth.

My best to all

s/v Invictus
Hood 38
11-08-2004 02:14 PM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

Have you looked into the Cal 39? What a well built performance cruiser.

There are a few out there now that I would highly advise checking out.

Also, make it a point get information from or talk to a Cal owner. This is a very special boat.
11-08-2004 11:48 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

We cruised a contessa 26'' (great boat) and now sail an Allied Mistress 39''. Allieds are fine sailors and very well built boats.

Like you, we were at first nervous about taking on so much more boat. For the most part we did not find adding 50 percent more length and 4 times the displacement to make things more difficult. The Mistress''s spaciousness on deck made handling sails and ground tackle easier even though they are larger.

We''ve become huge fans of the center cockpit layout with aft cabin. When passagemaking, this separation allows the off watch to retire to a low motion, comfortable haven. The on watch has the saloon, galley and cockpit all to themselves without disturbing anyone. At anchor if there are guests, kids or just the two of us aboard, the seperation makes the boat much more liveable.

Allieds are scarce, but current production boats such as Caliber and Hallberg Rassy do this sort of thing very well. Other great "classic plastics" include Peterson, Whitby and Norseman.

We draw 4.5 feet and have come to value shoal draft. Last season we only paid for dockage once, in Atlantic City, and that was to get easy access to the nightlife. We cruised the Chesapeake, NY, RI, Cape Cod and Cape Ann and relished the ability to always find a secure private spot in crowded anchorages. We were able to take routes through the Cape May Canal and Kent Narrows that a deeper draft would have precluded.

In short our ideal boat is a solid, 35-48 foot, center cockpit with shoal to moderate draft, protected rudder, and a keel that won''t snag lines and won''t mind the occasional grounding.

You''ve chosen the right size so don''t let anyone accuse you of, "big boatitis." The Allied Mistress 39'' at least, is easily single handed.
08-16-2004 12:58 PM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

Well not planning too single hand anytime soon other then on my 22'' and hope to have a friend who owns a larger 50 footer assist / teach docking, etc. Looking at the 38 Parsons too and have looked at a 424, On the 424, the V drive reliability worries me (No reason, but the engineer in me likes to keep things simple and easy to maintain). We are planning on living aboard for at least 6 months per year. So larger aft berth is a consideration. The Pearson 38’s look promising too, and yes would rather not have big boat-itus.

08-16-2004 03:43 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

Tardis, a couple of add''l thoughts for you:

To single-hand a 40+ boat with your experience level is going to be a handful, at least initially. Also, you don''t describe a need that would require a boat that large.

A more moderate choice that meets your requirements would be a Pearson 38 designed by Bill Shaw and built by the original Pearson company. If you must have the bigger boat, consider a 424 or 422 (uglier, in my view...but then I''m biased). These boats are not new or close to it...but then, many of them are or have gone thru refurbishing as a result.

08-14-2004 08:21 AM
38-42 cruiser recomendations

I was wondering what your thoughts are concerning the Island Packet having a post hung spade rudder that is as deep a the keel. Most designers of quality boats try to keep the rudders significantly shallower than the keel to protect them from damage. This is especially true of a post hung spade rudders such as used on the Island Packets. Local repair yard managers have mentioned the frequest damage to the IP rudders and rudder struts locally. To my way of thinking a boat with a shallow draft that can''t tolerate an occasional grounding is not really a shoal draft boat.

By the way, it is not just the slow sailing that is a problem with IP''s. More significantly is total lack of light to moderate sailing ability and the poor sailing characteristics at the high end of the wind range. The lighter air performance means a lot more motoring in areas like the US east coast where the predominant winds are pretty light.

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