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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-08-2015 02:29 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

I also looked at a Magellan 36. It's bigger than you think.
04-08-2015 02:13 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

Hi Instech.

First of all I sold my home close to Galveston last fall with plans to acquire and live on a boat but then in October we found out my mom had cancer. She passed away January 12th. She left me her home. I decided to keep and moving into it and now I'm only 7 minutes from the rest of my family. All is good. My life and plans have made a 180. If I ever get a sailboat again then that would be great but at least I found out a lot about them.

As far as what I found to "live on", a Vag 42 was at the top of my list until I realized it doesn't have that I was looking for and I just couldn't live without;

1. ROOM. It doesn't have enough room in the salon and I felt that it was to "stuffy" for what I was looking for. It is fine for just 2 people but I wanted to be able to entertain several guest at one time for dinners, movie night with my kids or whatever. Which leads to the second reason I decided against it.

2. Only 1 real double birth. The only true double birth is the main aft and even that one is sorta small for me and I'm 6'-1". And the curved birth that is the settee in the main salon isn't a true double. And the birth forward isn't either.

Sooooo ,,I decided to go with what I really wanted at the very beginning of my journey to make a final decision. I always kept going back to it. A Vag 47. It had everything I wanted. Anybody that owns one will tell you they are the most wonderful boat for both live-aboard and sailing. It's one of the safest and comfortable sailboats under 50 feet you'll find.

Obviously you have a love and interest in these "nostalgic" looking vessels. Me too and so do a lot of folks. But like every boat out there it's a compromise somewhere. The only reasons I was holding out on the Vag 47 was that, even though I wanted more room inside, it's pretty large outside as well and that brings about some issues;

1. It's a bit tricky to get in and out of the birth.

2. A bit pricey to maintain. Slip fees and insurance are higher most of the time too.

But I finally realized, why let those 2 things keep you from getting the boat you'll spend most of your time doing the things you love anyway. In other words, I'm not going to be spending a lot of time getting in and out of the slip. That's minimal. Also the cost but I figured I'll just have to spend more to get exactly what I wanted.

If your looking for non-live-aboard use, the Vag 42 is a fantastic boat unless you have a lot of guest come aboard. If you're willing to compromise and get away from the "pirate look" and go a bit smaller, believe it or not a Gulfstar 37 or 39 is a great decision. I lived on a Gulfstar 37 for 3 years. It also only has 1 true double birth, which is the V-birth on the bow, but there are settee's and pilot births both port and starboard. For kids this is great. I had my kids and a couple of their friends sleep aboard for a total of 5 kids sometimes. For adults it's "do-able". The 39 is about the same and I spent a bit of time not only looking at the 39 online but talked to a fellow in Seattle that has owned one for many years. Both of these boats are modified fin so they'll get you moving along and also a rush when the toe-boards are in the water, which is easy to do and I made an attempt to do regularly. You can pick up a nice 37 for under $50K and a 39 for under $80K.

But if that's not what your looking for and want a non-live-aboard, a Cabo is a fine boat. So is a "41'er" These 41's are basically under the names; Island Trader, Hardin, Formosa, Seawolf, Seawolf, Sea Tiger and CT. These 41'ers as I call them, are all pretty much the same layout. But you have to look at these boats real close EVERYWHERE before you buy one as they are not only old but have had varying degrees of maintenance through their lifetime. I found these boats to be wonderful but a bit small as live-aboards. And the "pulman" birth is not a true double. People will tell you it's a double but it's very narrow. The galley is almost non-existent but I wasn't going to let that bother me. It was the salon that was also the problem for me. Just to small, again. I spent a lot of time deciding on aft or center cockpit. I really love these boats but always saw the real scenario in my head of having to helm the boat in a rough blow. Seems scary knowing a big wave could knock you around pretty bad and pretty easy.

There are many things to consider when deciding on the right boat. It took me about 3 months of looking at tons of sizes and styles on the internet. I went aboard several also. I had lived on that Gulfstar 37 for 3 years but that was from 1997 to 2000 and I didn't buy the boat to do any serious sailing. I only bought it because it wasn't real expensive to buy or maintain or slip and,, I was single so I didn't need a lot of room.

So back in July of last year I started looking pretty hard for what I really wanted and like I said, it took me three months to decide and I kept going back to a Vagabond 47 and that's where I wound up at the end of my search journey. It may take you that long also, or longer, so be prepared for it.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions but I have to tell you, this will be the longest reply you'll get from me as I have a lot going on right now to prepare for another journey soon. Going cross country for a month or so on my new Indian Chief motorcycle.

Let me know what you decide as I'm curious.

04-08-2015 12:13 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

A fried of mine bought a Formosa 41 in the 70's , he was in his early 20's and he lived on it. He loved it , the boat had wood masts with varnish like glass on them . He said the only problem he had was the cabin top got soft in some areas , he said it was a easy fix .
Instech , have you looked at these ? WESTSAIL 42 sailboat specifications and details on

They are both the same hull , the 42 is the center cockpit and the 43 is the aft . I forget if it was the 42 or 43 , but one owner ordered one with a Schooner rig .
04-08-2015 10:32 AM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions


I am looking at the Vagabond 42's myself. I just joined the forum so I cant PM. have you found one yet? I saw that you like the Formosa 41. just curious what else might be on your radar? Cabo Rico or CT maybe? im in love with the Vagabond 42 but im trying to select my top 5.(since there isn't exactly a ton of V42s on the market)
10-31-2014 08:57 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
More evidence of the wisdom of having isolating valves on tanks when going offshore
Very true. And a lot can be said about checking EVERYTHING out on one of these older boats, especially before beginning a journey away from calm waters close by and especially given the wealth of warnings and info about what to expect and look out for with these boats from the 70's and 80's.

Same thing with anything "old". I wouldn't travel over a great distance in a car from the 70's or 80's without going over it pretty good,,, but certainly a boat. Your taking your life in your hands to a whole other level then.

Unless your a fish.
10-31-2014 08:26 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

More evidence of the wisdom of having isolating valves on tanks when going offshore
10-31-2014 03:02 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

Yeah, I read this same post that you had somewhere else.

My thought when reading about that was that I wouldn't discount the "boat" for the plumbing problem. Just the plumber.
10-30-2014 01:23 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

i helped bring a Vagabond 42 from Spain to Antigua in 1990. we ran out of fresh water because the fill was on the port side & the fill hoses for the two tanks were connected close to the port tank. when we were heeling to port the water from the starboard tank flowed into the port tank. we were drawing water from the port tank & didn't realize that the stbd tank was almost empty. we had extra water in jerry jugs so we made it to Antigua ok. the boat handled 20 ft. seas ok.
10-29-2014 11:27 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

Yep. I agree. I think posting years later updates the importance/relevance status of topics. That's probably what happened when I saw this topic listed, even at the bottom, with the 4 or 5 others on the list. It was "there" and recent post probably helped it get on the list.

Vagabond 42's. I have recently decided to go with a Vag 42. That's how I came about this topic. For over a month or so I had thought a Formosa 41 was for me but I switched to the Vagabond 42. I will be a live-aboard again so the layout of the Vag 42 is going to better suit me than the Formosa style 41's. I really wanted a rear cockpit though.

Thanks for your post Don Hallmon. Your comments about the sailing performance were exactly what I wanted to know about. I hope others will comment on the 42. Fine boat.
06-29-2012 02:30 PM
Re: Vagabond 42 opinions

Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Don...welcome. That post was from the year 2000...check dates before you waste your time!
I know that your post was even long ago, but I see that quite often, telling posters to basically not post a reply to older posts.

I respectfully have to disagree strongly, especially when people have asked for help and questions on certain boats, even if it was originally asked a decade ago, wouldn't this thread, for example, be just as pertinent today as it was years ago, given that the same boats exists with the same questions being asked over and over?

Every bit of additional info, no matter how off schedule is a wealth of further info that we all search for.

I find that the more replies and participation, the more wealth of information is gathered and makes this website even more valuable, rather then shutting helpful people down all the time for offering even more valuable info.

I wish, as likely most wish that this thread and others like it would continue to be shared and talked about, rather then making posters hesitate in that additional participation for fear of being constantly reminded, That post was from the year 2000...check dates before you waste your time!

Maybe I don't get it, but I dont see where anyone's time could possibly be wasted in sharing info on issues that are "timeless"
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