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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-12-2005 06:12 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Hi Tim,

That all makes sense. I am not sure that this will ever make a good offshore boat. They were designed for big crews and lots of sail changes but I suppose you will sort some of that out over time. I live and sail out of Annapolis and would enjoy seeing your boat when you get her up here and would be glad to make suggestions if you would like. You can email me directly.

Good luck
07-12-2005 05:13 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Jeff, my plan is to keep the boat at my father-in-law''s dock in Annapolis for the next year, and then sail it up to New England next summer, after which I will have it trucked inland to my home in New Hampshire for it''s overhaul and refit. Hopefully I will get in enough sailing time between now and then to have a better feel for what modifications make sense.

But this boat seems to offer most of what I was looking for: windward ability, light air performance (at least relative to heavy cruisers), a good sea-going interior, offshore cability, etc... so I may well end up keeping it for quite a while.

Consistent with your comments, the boat came with a very large inventory of sails. Most of them appear to be in reasonably good condition (at least for cruising), and some -- like the Blooper -- I''m never likely to use. I think figuring out the most efficient way to effectively "change gears" with a short-handed crew (or single-handed), will be the key to successful cruising with the boat. That and avoiding fast sailing dead downwind in heavy air and seas....

I am aware of the limited market value, since that is one of the reasons I was able to get this boat as inexpensively as I did. The seller was also ready to part with his boat and apparently preferred playing golf over putting a lot of effort into making the boat more marketable (although he clearly did care for it over the many years that he owned it -- at least for those things that made it a fast racing machine). And I made a firm low offer, with the survey being a make-it or break-it thing rather than a point for further price negotiation. So I think I''ve got some value to work with here.


07-12-2005 01:43 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Congratulations. The Peterson 34 is a reasonably nice boat for the Chesapeake although they can be a real bear downwind and require a very large variety in the headsail inventory. They are not very tollerant of the wrong jib being a little tender and yet needing huge headsails to sail in winds at the lighter end of things.

I heavy winds you somewhat steer these boats with the mainsheet (they want to wipe out pretty easily)and so you might want to keep the traveller adjustment within reach of the helmsman for cruising purposes.

Unless you planned to keep the boat for a long time I would suggest that you make very few expensive changes. These boats have a very limited market value and so it would be hard to get much of an additional investment back out of them.

All of that said, I basically like these boats and think they are usually represent a good boat for the dollar.


07-12-2005 04:10 AM
low-budget performance passage-maker

I know when I started this thread I said I was still about three years away from buying a boat, but.... you got to open the door when opportunity knocks, right?

I''ve just bought a 1980 Peterson 34 offshore racing sloop -- While the boat does need a lot of work it also offers a lot of potential. We feel we got a great value, and my curmudgeon of a surveyor basically agreed.

I like the hullform -- it''s not extreme IOR. She sailed beautifully on our delivery up the Chesapeake to Annapolis this past Saturday. FWIW, this boat is the "customized" racing version of the Peterson 34, lightened in the ends (no v-berth, shortened cabin house, etc...) and with a large deck-level racing cockpit, with mid-cockpit traveller.

I am open to any suggestions on modifications to facilitate single- and short-handed sailing of this old IOR race-horse. I am contemplating extending the cabin house a foot or so aft to give a bit more headroom in the galley and nav station (more like the regular racer/cruiser version of the Peterson 34), re-designing the cockpit to add some coamings and seats, and moving the traveller forward a foot or two (to a new bridge deck) while moving the huge primary winches aft a couple feet (essentially swapping the winch and traveller positions), so that you can control all the sheets from the helm position (tiller steering). Then there''s the question of roller furler (or maybe hanks) vs. the foil that''s on the headstay now, and the possibility of slugs and lazy jacks for the main...

I will also be re-working most, if not all, of the interior systems, as well.

As an intersting side note, this boat''s mast was replaced about 10 years ago -- with a mast taken from a J35! (see the post that started this thread to understand why that is interesting.) With the exception of the boom length (shorter on the Peterson 34), the sailplan dimensions are within inches of each other between the two boats. The Peterson 34 is a deeper hull, though, so a short section was spliced onto the butt of the mast to make it fit.


03-29-2005 08:09 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Thanks guys. I''ve been lurking here for a few years, and I now have the boat money (not the boat yet), and am close to a viable kitty/work arrangement, but now, of course, other things have come up to keep me on land. Anyway, while I''ll keep saving and keep planning and dreaming, when I do buy I''ll probably plan on staying basically coastal. I''ve just moved to SoCal (I knew you''ve lived here, Jack, and would know a bit about I36''s)...hmmm, there''s an I36 for sale that comes with a slip in Marina del Rey! I could do worse, I figure, than spending a couple years sailing around the Channel Islands...If I really need to cross an ocean again, I might just do it on other people''s boats (as I did my only other time)...
03-27-2005 06:24 AM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Dave, I reach a different conclusion about the I36 than Paul does. First, both the Tahiti run and a crossing from Bermuda to the Med are relatively easy in-season passages, presuming you have some ability to gather on-board real-time weather f''cast products and understand how to use them. It''s a different story if you take a more northerly route across the Atlantic, but you would know that going in.

I36 boats sail well and were relatively simple in systems and layout by today''s standards. Your issues would be the rudder and all the ''consumables'' with finite life spans (engine, tanks, rig, steering, ports, etc.). Paul''s point that you can spend tons of money on upgrading is true...but not mandated. When I''ve had access to West Coast periodicals, it seemed to me there were always a few I36''s that had been partially refurb''d, had been used in the light SoCal airs, and would be worth looking at more closely. That being said, there are a LOT of ways a 30 year old boat can cost you money, and a basic thumbrule would be to shop caefully & keep the boat simple.

At least you can sail the I36 back from the Med or even N Europe via Biscay, Iberia, etc. In the Pacific, I think it''s time to call Dockwise...or better yet, see what boat shoppers in Oz or NZ think of her.

03-26-2005 02:25 AM
low-budget performance passage-maker

A thoughtfully prepared Islander 36 would have had to have so much gear rebuilt and replaced that it might be difficult to consider it to actually be an Islander 36. It would likely be cheaper to buy a Morris 36, new, which would also give you some assurance that the thinking involved in preparing it (the Morris) was correct. Once in Europe, an Islander 36 would be fine, but based on what I''ve seen of them, the best way to get one transatlantic might be on the deck of a freighter. The North Atlantic can have big, smooth rolling swells and steady winds, like the Pacific. It can also change in less than a day to other, quite nasty conditions, with breaking 20'' waves and winds over 40 knots, and cold, besides. (Do you have a heater?) People have made it across in lots of different craft (the Brendan Voyage comes to mind) but the amount of adventure one generally wants to have is not always up to that level, especially if the traveler insists on being alive at the other end. JeffH summed it up nicely in another post on this forum about transatlantic voyages. He suggested that a transatlantic circle was probably the equivalent of about 10 years of HARD USE (my stress) to a boat. Perhaps yours would be up to it after you had thoughtfully prepared it, but it seems like a long row to hoe.
03-24-2005 06:21 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

OK, though I''m reluctant to expose how little I''ve learned from reading JeffH. and Jack''s comments over the years...For various reasons I''ve always harbored a secret hope that a thoughtfully prepared Islander 36 could make this kind of trip (because eventually, I''d like to take one from SoCal to Tahiti [I know... how will I make it BACK?!]). What do you all think? Could this do the Atlantic trip?

03-24-2005 04:55 PM
low-budget performance passage-maker

We went transatlantic on an Ohlson 38. Not exactly a full-keel design, but not a finkeel/spade canoe by any stretch of the imagination. It took us 22 days from Connecticut to Cork, Ireland. We had a few days of little/no wind, and 3 storms with winds up to & over 40 knots and waves to about 20feet. To increase water tankage we put flexible bladder-tanks into out of the way spaces (under berths, settees, etc.) that wouldn''t have been good for much else. Extra Diesel fuel was carried in plastic jerrycans lashed into the cockpit. These helped reduce the volume & weight of water in the cockpit when waves came aboard. (Especially after they were empty, since we topped off the tanks from them as quickly as we could.) They were also handy for transporting fuel in locations where there was no diesel fuel available dockside.
Another design to consider might be a Pearson 37. They''re reasonably fast, and I''ve been on one in over 50 knots of wind and on some rough spinnaker runs on the Chi-Mac race. It seems like they can be pretty well put together. A J/36 could offer the performance of the J/35 in a more easily handled fractional rig, and at a somewhat lesser price, if you can find a nice, dry-cored one. (You can''t have ours, though.) The C&C 35 mark I is a boat that I''ve always thought sailed well. Its lines make it look good, even if the boat may be quite old and tired from use. The price will be right, if again, you can find a dry one. (Watch for crackling in the deck, which indicates delamination.) Structurally, I like the idea that most all the surfaces in a C&C 35 are curved, like an eggshell, so provide the maximum strength possible for their weight. Inside, you can gut the plastic without feeling much remorse, or rebuild the wooden parts to suit without too much effort either. There are lots of options out there. You may even come across a Swan or Hinckley that for some acceptable reason falls within your budget. Good luck!
03-24-2005 11:29 AM
low-budget performance passage-maker

Jack, you caught me. I probably am thinking about the voyaging more and not so much the time spent at the destination. So that''s a good point. On the other hand, my initial interest in a smart sailing boat that can get to a destination in light air as well as heavy was exactly because I had those "windless days and schedule" in mind...

Thanks, though, for keeping me on my toes. For example, from where does one deploy a stern anchor for a med moor in a boat like the J35 that doesn''t have any cockpit lockers or lazarette? It does make for something to puzzle over.

So on the general issue of modifications, almost any boat (certainly any that I can afford) is going to need some significant work in preparation for the planned voyage. My planning does (at least I''m trying to) take into account both the time and the money involved in the refitting, beyond the intitial purchase price of the boat. I know for example, that if I spend say $30K on a ~30 year old boat, I may well end up spending another $30K re-fitting it (but those expenditures would be somewhat spread out over time). But if I postpone my purchase a bit so I can save up to spend $60K on a ~20 year old boat is that boat not also going to still need signifiicant re-fitting (for the sake of argument, say $15K)?

As to what is modifiable and what isn''t, I see the hull form and sail plan as pretty difficult to change, so you have to get that right in choosing the boat. The deck layout or house structure, on the other hand, while not exactly easy, is still possible to change if needed (e.g. Dave Martin''s wholesale rebuild of his Cal pop-top, or the Roth''s cabin extension to their WHISPER). Interior arrangements, depending on the construction method (e.g. pan vs. built-up), and systems, are relatively easier still to change as necessary (assuming you''re willing to start cutting...the first step is often the hardest). Deck hardware can, of course, be moved and upgraded (assuming you''re willing to drill holes...).

Obviously the closer you can get to your ideal, the less modification will be necessary. But boats are compromises, and sometimes you have to make trade-offs to get something you really want (say, perhaps, the sailing performance of a J35) knowing that you''ll have to make significant changes to other aspects of the boat to make it more workable for your purpose.

Got to go teach a class...



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