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  #1  
Old 02-12-2014
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Choices...

Ahoy,
I'm considering both the 34 and the 37 as my next vessel. I am a single-hander sailing the San Francisco Bay on my Dana and want to expand my sailing horizons when I retire in a couple of years.
My question is about the plusses and minuses of the 34 and of the 37.
If you had a choice between the two, what would it be and why?
Of course there is a price difference between similar years and condition, but, given that it's not a huge difference, I'm more interested in the day to day differences in sailing, ownership, maintenance and satisfaction of ownership. I might add that I enjoy the 'working on' aspect as much as the sailing aspect.
I'd be particularly interested in opinions of sailors who have had experience with both boats, but not to the exclusion of sailors with experience of one.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Re: Choices...

I've done a number of daysails on a 34, a 2 week trip in the Sea of Cortez and a month long trip from La Paz to Isla Soccoro to Zihuatenejo.

I have owned Crazy Fish a Crealock 37 since she was dropped in the water in late 1989.

They are very similiar boats.

The 37 has more storage room and I think the layout is better, particularly the aft end of boat and cockpit.

One thing I wish the 37 had that the 34 has is the shallow cockpit locker over
the quarter berth. I would modify it to make a section of it a bit deeper to custom fit a liferaft into it.

To me the 34 feels like a cramped 37. '
Friends (2 boats, 2 couples) who had purchased 34s would have purchased 37s if they had a redo.

Personally for the same amount of money I would go for an older 37 over a newer 34. My main concern about an older boat would be hours on the diesel. I would assume that in the course of my ownership I would replace the sails, electronics and probably the rigging.

On Crazy Fish I replaced the Datamarine Electronics with B&G network system in 1999 and last year I installed a B&G Triton System. Need to replace dead Raytheion Radar (probably a 4g radar),a dead Kenwood TS-450 ham radio and Pactor 2 modem with an Icom M802 SSB/Ham radio and Pactor 4 modem. VHF Radios need to be replaced with DSC radios and need to add a AIS transponder.

A few sails purchased over the years but last 2 years ago I replace the jib and will probably replace the main this year. Will also be looking a Code 0, Code 1 sail this year after adding a spinnaker last year. Cruising spinnaker has been on board for a few years.

I have had 2 dodgers built for the boat but was not happy with either one and I am quite happy sailling out of San Diego without one currently.

Rigging was replace 2 years ago with Dyneema Dux.

You are probably going to look at all of these replacements when acquiring a 34 or a 37 as its been a while since they have been produced in any sort of volume.

But value has held up as the boats are still in production - Pacific Seacraft will build one for you and are still a viable company/brand despite the bankruptcy of the Fullerton based corporation. The new company is a great resource. Thumper at Pacific Seacraft has been a great help for a number of upgrades (i.e.. replacing wheel with tiller).

They are great boats

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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Old 02-13-2014
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Re: Choices...

Funny. I am looking to retire in 5 years and often wonder if my Crealock 37 might be too much to handle singlehanded as I get older and should instead downsize to a Dana.
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Re: Choices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokesailor View Post
Funny. I am looking to retire in 5 years and often wonder if my Crealock 37 might be too much to handle singlehanded as I get older and should instead downsize to a Dana.
At times I have thought the Dana may be a good way to go but for me its more about the ability to move the Dana around using a trailer and the Interstate system.

Two things stand out.
A beautiful Pacific Seacraft 25 that I saw at a Pacific Seacraft rendevous at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island in the mid 90s. When not in the water it apparently lived in its owners barn in rural Washington State. Everything was polished and immaculate. A few years later I came across the boat in the Sea of Cortez looking a little less polished. The owner had put the boat in the water in San Carlos and had been cruising the Sea of Cortez for awhile.

A Dana owner had been cruising Mexico for season and when asked what he planned on doing as the summer hurricane season approached his answer was to head back up to San Carlos, put the boat on the trailer, launch it in Washington State and spend the summer season exploring Puget Sound and British Columbia.

Smaller boat, cheaper to maintain, ability to store it on trailer and ability to transport it easily are the Dana's advantages.

I think the 37 is pretty easy to singlehand as long as its set up properly.
Some things to look at.
Removing friction in the system, clean and lubricated mainsail track and perhaps updated blocks.

Strong mainsail track system - almost frictionless.

Lighter main made out of something other Dacron

Upgrade the halyard winch(es) from single speed 16 to 2 speed 30.

Roller furling for the jib - use of a smaller jib or yankee

One of the newer code 0 type furlers for the staysail so that staysail can be roller furled but also remain detachable if you are in a sitution where you need to tack a lot.

Use of furled code 0 type sail(s) to replace a large genoa and possibly replace a spinnaker or cruising spinnaker.

Good autopilot.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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Old 02-13-2014
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Re: Choices...

Galley is far better on the 37. I think the forward berth is better on the 34. For Salon it is a toss up. I think either way is pretty good, but I would prefer a 37 too if I could find one. Around here 34s outnumber 37s by 3-to-1 it seems. Not sure why that is but when I was shopping I looked at 5-6 34s on the Market in Texas, but had to drive to Mississippi to see a 37 for sale.
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Re: Choices...

Marc,
Thank you for the comprehensive and well thought out replies. As you have mentioned, I fully expect a major refit with any boat I end up with. And that is part of the appeal to me. I have done the same to my Dana. I'm fortunate enough to have, not only most of the skills, but the desire, to do extensive refit work.
Your comments about others indicating a redo would point toward the 37 are particularly telling. That is exactly the type of comment I was looking for. Not so much a leaning toward one or the other, more what would they do if the could do it over.
As far as why… I'm just too big ( 6', 200 lbs. ) to be comfortable spending long periods aboard my Dana. Daysailng or short overnighters are fine, but I am looking, not only for the advantages that come with a longer waterline, but more physical comfort. Plus, I like the idea of another project.

Raindog,
I appreciate the observation regarding the galley. And I do like the layout of the 37 marginally more. I also have to agree with your comment regarding availability on the marketplace. Nothing much on the West Coast, so east I must go.
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Old 02-13-2014
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Re: Choices...

I cannot speak to the 37 but I've been in some challenging seas with my 34. At age 55 I felt like I had plenty of boat there to manage. Something larger may have felt a little more difficult to manage on my own.

Also I find the 34 to be very comfortable for 2 people. On the occassional trip when we take my girlfriend's son along the boat feels crowded. I'm sure the 37 would probably feel less crowded. I don't think I'd want to do more than 3-4 days with more than 2 on the boat. Just my humble opinion.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: Choices...

To us the, 34 is the perfect size. We just purchased in December of 2013 so there isn't a long track record but I can tell you why we chose the 34. The number one reason, was handling. In a blow you will be glad to be controlling a smaller (but very strong) sailing platform. Seems many of us forget that as our boats age so do we. We wanted a boat that we could keep until we die. The second reason was cost of purchase and cost of ownership. Very simply you can expect to spend about 25 percent more on parts and maintenance of a 37 vs a 34. Don't believe me, check the difference in price for standing rigging and sails. Last major consideration was layout. To put is bluntly, more storage space equals more stuff onboard the you may never use. To us, sailing is living a more simplified life carrying less of the crap that keeps us weighed down in our on shore lives.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: Choices...

We looked hard at a 37 and really liked the extra space. However, for us it came down to cost of acquisition, subsequent upgrades and slip fees. We opted for newer and smaller over bigger and older. Hush is correct that everything is more expensive - bigger sails, rigging, anchor, etc, etc.

Also, being in the military I knew that relocation was a real possibility (they did 2 years after our purchase) and 35' slips and larger are harder to come by (at least on the west coast). As it turned out we were able to get a base slip for our 34 when we moved, but 4 years later a larger slip for a 37 has never opened up.

37 folks may disagree, but I don't think there is a vast difference between the 34 and 37 - not like the difference between either of those and a 40.

In the end it comes down to personal preference and money. For a couple, you really can't go wrong with either boat. We love our boat and smile every time we walk or row up to it.
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Old 02-18-2014
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Re: Choices...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mondofromredondo View Post

......

Also I find the 34 to be very comfortable for 2 people. On the occassional trip when we take my girlfriend's son along the boat feels crowded. I'm sure the 37 would probably feel less crowded. I don't think I'd want to do more than 3-4 days with more than 2 on the boat. Just my humble opinion.
Non-boaters always seem to ask how many will the boat sleep.

Standard answer is two.

Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
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