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avalauncher 07-29-2007 10:18 PM

PSC 37 Purchase related questions
I am in the process of purchasing a PS 37 and have a couple questions. First off, can someone give me the pros and cons of the scheel keel (a bit redundant, eh)? I've read the marketing hype and basically understand the design intent, but, really, how does it compare to the deep water keel? Assuming that the boat will not be purchased primarily for gunkholing around Florida, but will do a considerable amount of blue water sailing, including ocean crossing, is the scheel up to it?

I have also read a fair amount concerning the fact that the interior is a one piece "pan". The cons to this type of design, again that I've read, are inaccessibility to hull areas from the interior. Okay, that's what I've read. Any comments on the pros and cons of this setup would be appreciated.

I did a fair amount of research looking for a boat in my price range that was at the high end when it came to construction and design, was safe, capable of crossing oceans without having to perform major upgrades, and capable of being single handed (again, without major upgrades).

I looked at all the obvious candidates, Cabo Rico, Gozzard, Shannon, Morris, etc., even the Hans Christians (my second choice, actually), but settled on the Pacific Seacraft.

Anyways, any help with my questions would be greatly appreciated, as would any other information that would be helpful - thanks.

camaraderie 07-29-2007 10:29 PM

Wait a're gonna put 10's of thousands of dollars down on a boat from a company in bankruptcy?

richnren 07-30-2007 12:17 AM

Scheel Keel
I have a 34 with the Scheel keel. They put about 400 lbs more lead in, so that the righting moment would be the same as the deep keel. She is stiff and stands up well to her canvas. However, she makes a fair amount of leeway.

I have no trouble getting upwind, but I have to take an extra tack or two.

Another thing I like about the Scheel keel is its substantial thickness. I hit a wreck last summer, just a few inches above the bottom of the keel. The impact stopped the boat cold from about 4 knots. There was NO damage. The keel didn't dent or bend. The seal between the keel and the hull didn't break. The keelbolts didn't loosen or bend. The only sign of the impact was scraped off bottom paint.

avalauncher 07-30-2007 12:31 PM

Scheel Keel
The leeway issue does concern me, likely more than it should. Clearly there is the same amount of ballast on both keels, but the ability to sail that much closer to the wind would be an advantage. On the other hand, finding a used PC 37 without the scheel is fairly difficult since about 70-80% of the boats that go out have it, from what I've read.

richnren 07-30-2007 01:28 PM

I think the difference is between 1 and 3 degrees. This is just a guess, however.

It does mean something, but not much unless you're racing.

I've been close-hauled in winds gusting over 30 knots. I furled the genny, hanked the staysail onto the inner forestay, and put a reef in the main. She sailed at about 4.5 knots and around 10 degrees of heel. It was a walk in the park. She also pointed higher than with the genny, due to the better sheeting angle.

I don't think there's one right answer on the keel. I like my shallow draft - even though it can't protect me against all my stupidities, it does mitigate some of them. It would make sailing the intercoastal or around FLA a lot easier if I was down there. If I owned the deep keel, I'd probably tell you that it's only a little deeper and makes less leeway, so ...

avalauncher 08-01-2007 07:17 PM

PSC 37 Purchase
Just so we are clear what we're discussing. This is our first boat purchase.

It is a 2004 model, engine has fewer than 600 hours on it. We will be having a survey done (I am also looking for surveyor recommendations in Annapolis area). Boat has been very lightly used. Let's face it, being just over 2 years old, a boat of this quality is for all intents and purposes new.

As best as I can tell, that number of hours on a diesel should be considered negligible - correct? Should I still have a diesel surveyor evaluate the engine, in addition to the surveyor who is checking out the rest of the boat?

With fairly moderate to light use, what would be the expected life of a set of sails?

As for the rest of the systems, I'll let the surveyor evaluate. But is there anything else I should be looking at on a 37 of this vintage?

richnren 08-02-2007 08:07 PM

Diesel hours
"Very lightly used" and 600 hours on a 2 year old diesel are NOT compatible statements. That adds up to almost 6 hours a week of engine use, 52 weeks a year. Since most of us sail more than we motor, and given that the boat must not look heavily used, I'd say that the correct phrase would be "used a whole lot - but lovingly."

According to my mechanic, here in Maine most boats don't accumulate 100 hours per year in our 5 month sailing season. My boat's previous owners used her lightly - and accumulated 560 hours over 19 years.

Is this a reason not to buy this boat? NO!

600 hours on a diesel is nothing, assuming that the oil was changed every 100 hours and before storage. However, if the engine has been run at a low load to charge batteries, especially when new, the cylinder walls may be "glazed".

I've never seen this condition personally, so I can't advise you on it, but I've been lectured on and warned about this by several mechanics over the years. I can't advise as to an engine survey, as I just asked the man who'd been servicing my engine for a decade or so - he said it was fine and I trusted him.


You should have a sailmaker examine the sails and tell you how much life they have left. The cost would be trivial, and given the number of hours on the engine, I'd suspect the sails may have seen considerable use for their age. However, I doubt they're worn out after 2 years.

Lightly used, here in Maine with a 5 month sailing season, my 10 year old jib is about 1/2 done, according to the sailmaker who replaced the sunbrella (which was sun-rotted). My main is also 10 years old, and is essentially new, as it was rarely used.

In the tropics, if sailed regularly all year round, you might need sails every 2 or 3 years. The shape would be going after one.

The "best practice" is to deliver your sails to a local sailmaker each fall for cleaning, checking and storage. He or she will tell you when your sails are ready for replacement.


Others may know of issues, but I know of no model-wide or manufacturer-wide issues with these boats.

This spring, I compared notes with the owner of a recent (2002?) 40 footer, and he had no issues with his boat other than normal wear and tear.

Good Old Boat did an article on the PSC 25, and commented that these boats have generally been free of structural defects (except for early aluminum fuel tanks - which sat in bilgewater and needed replacement every few years).

My boat has been essentially free of structural defects since new (I have the yard records). I had a small delamination of the glass covering on the stringer aft of the fuel tank. The surveyer called it cosmetic. The yard called it trivial and fixed it with ease. The stringer was completely sound. That's it.

After 20 years, and excluding electronics, the only major maintenance items were replacing the fuel tank (because it was 19 years old and I don't trust old aluminum tanks - it wasn't leaking), replacing the glass in the ports due to age-related delmaination of the safety glass, rebedding the dorades and mast pulpits, and replacing the cutlass bearing (which was a big job - the rudder had to be removed first). That's all I had to do.

Obviously, the systems installed in these boats are subject to age and wear, but all the original systems in my boat were top notch, installed properly, and are either still working or gave a normal service life.

Sapperwhite 08-02-2007 08:20 PM


Originally Posted by avalauncher (Post 174181)
Should I still have a diesel surveyor evaluate the engine, in addition to the surveyor who is checking out the rest of the boat?

For the investment you are about to make, it would be silly not to have an engine survey done. It would cost less to have an engine surveyed, than to buy it outright later to find that the engine has issues, then pay a mech. to track down and fix the problems. If the survey is clean it will be a big "what if" that you don't have to worry about.

avalauncher 08-02-2007 11:46 PM

Diesel hours
Really??? 580 hours on a 2004, which in reality averages out to about 190 hours a year, or less than 4 hours a week, is not considered light use?

Mind you, this boat has not been in Maine with the 5 month sailing season. But assuming it is in a 6 month sailing season area, 8 hours a week, or just over an hour a day is not considered light use? Granted, I'm no expert on marine diesels though I've owned automobiles with diesels for the past 10 years, and considering their perspective life expectancies, I'm surprised that that sort of usage is not considered light. My bad. Let me correct myself, it has an extensively used diesel and, yes, Sapperwhite, you are correct. For the investment, I guess it makes sense to cover myself and have the engine surveyed.

Are you saying a marine surveyor would not be capable of determining the condition of the sails? So, in fact, I should have a marine surveyor go over the boat with a fine tooth comb, have an engine surveyor check out the diesel and a sailmaker look at the sails. Are there any other "specialists" I should bring in? I assume I tell the marine surveyor to ignore the engine and the sails - right?

I certainly was off base, presuming boats of this quality, after 2-3 years, would be considered, for all intents and purposes, basically new. Granted, if the boat had been owned by someone who has spent the last 3 years circumnavigating I guess I'd have had more concerns than I did. Clearly I was way off base.

Sapperwhite 08-03-2007 06:04 AM

It would be a big suprise to find any serious issues with the boat after only a few years. If the engines been run "more than usual?", that might not be a bad thing either. Diesel engines like to be run. Keeps the "juices flowing".
Ask the broker what kind of cruising the previous owners did. If they took her up and down the ICW that might explain alot of those engine hours.

Is the boat Maleva?

Excellent boat by the way.

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