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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
But with all due respect to the owners and lovers of Pacific Seacraft, they do not make a very good platform upon which to learn to sail skillfully

The cost of buying and owning something like that will be tiny compared to the cost of broker's commission, depreciation and repairs if you buy the wrong dedicated offshore cruising boat, bang it up learning to sail, and the dump the poor thing in frustration, as way too often is the case with folks trying to buy their 'forever boat' for their first boat.
You are probably correct, in my case I spent 4 years saving $ and thinking about what boat I wanted, and was on this list way back before it moved to SailNet. I've read almost every nautical book published before I bought my boat. As a result I knew what I wanted and have never regretted it.
Tom
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2010
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Jeff,

Thanks very much for the reply. No worries ever about offering your view in my direction, you clearly have the backround that deserves respect.

A tiller is fine for me, was just curious if it was the kind of thing that could be easily changed, or if it was more a buy it the way you want it thing.

I am first to admit that I am more or less all over the map at the moment, which was the main gist of the thread. The Pacific Seacrafts are lovely boats, in form and function, and as such I figured alternate boats of consideration to those that like them might appeal to me also. I'd love to hear some of your suggestions as well, meeting the criteria you have layed out.

Our needs presently are rather difficult to quantify because my family's situation is in flux. Our home is for sale, and we are looking to relocate to FL (for better sailing grounds!!). Probably Gulf coast, and hopefully with a slip. Nothing is definite though. I am admittedly in the very early stages of research, and learning exactly what kind of boat best meets our needs.

Thus far, this is what I have determined.

LOA is the first consideration. 28-31' is probably optimal, since it is large enough for offshore cruising, but hopefully small enough to be affordable, both in initial purchase and maintenance, slippage, storage, insurance, and TAXES.. I confess to looking at 34's a little too much, and probably naively think I could bend it to my will, but recognize it is likely too big a step as a first cruiser. I do have a couple of teenagers though.

Older boats (randomly...before 1994 or so) worry me a little only because thru reading and such, they seem to need new just about everything. There are always exceptions of course of folks who keep their boats just so, but on balance, many many of the older boats just do not look well cared for. I do like nice things, and take good care of everything.

As far as learning to sail well, I truly don't know what to think. That is the one part I probably feel the most confident in (again, probably naively!). While clearly not big boat experience, the time as young person spent on the Laser doing everything imaginable to purposely screw up (we were kinda wild) makes me feel the actual sailing is my strongest suit. Now bigger sails make bigger problems, as does a jib getting hung up up there, but the mechanics of sailing itself don't change too much do they? Feel free to disagree!

The type of keel and draft might be next, as well as overall displacement. While as kid the wild speed and excitement was the attraction, a somewhat slower less active hull would be my preference now (I think..).

The rig itself I suppose I really don't know. But Sloop or Cutter for sure. I dig the cutters, the addition of the staysail seems very appealing from a fun perspective. And if it is more than one cares to jostle with, can't one simply run a larger genoa and have it act like a sloop anyway? Forgive me if that is massively naive.., as I really don't have a clue. I like the idea of using the staysail as a storm jib, and having a somewhat shorter main to deal with in strong air, or even just generally. It bears mentioning, I have never been on a cutter...but I'd gladly go if someone is offering! (I'll bring the beer!)

and much more..
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Old 08-10-2010
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My ten cents on this subject you might not limit your cruising thoughts to boats that are somewhat slow...you cna get a feel for the performance of a PSC 31 as it rates PHRF 204, which is pretty slow.

As an alternative, the young Aussie recently did the world single-handed in an S&S 34, a handsome, more accommodating boat that is probably thrirty seconds a mile faster. For this kind of money, you can get into the likes of a CS 36T which would should be good for an additional 30 miles a day.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2010
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The staysail is great for offshore work, the forces are lower and closer to center than a furled genoa and hence a much more balance boat and less hobby horsing when the wind picks up.
Tom
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  #25  
Old 08-10-2010
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Nice thread.

I am interested in what boats Jeff considers to meet his definition of an ideal boat to learn in.
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  #26  
Old 08-10-2010
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The staysail is great for offshore work, the forces are lower and closer to center than a furled genoa and hence a much more balanced boat and less hobby horsing when the wind picks up.


That was articulated perfectly!

Last edited by Loos1; 08-10-2010 at 07:43 PM.
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  #27  
Old 08-11-2010
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Hi Loos,

The PSC34 is a solid boat, and the cutter rig is a good choice in terms of sail theory, but I have to agree with some of the other posts: I think if you have some time before you set off on the grand adventure, the way to go might be to get a smaller, lighter sloop rigged daysailer to bridge the gap between your laser experience and the moderate displ. cruisers that will take you over the horizon in a few years.

I think having a smaller boat (maybe even on a trailer) with only two sails is good for many reasons. There is much more of a sense of freedom to singlehand on short notice. You can develop sail handling, boat handling, and seamanship skills on something with a bit more weight than a laser, but not enough that you can't handle it and experiment by yourself. You can still do overnight trips and get a sense of cruising to make sure you and your crew enjoy the adventure. You can do some of the smaller scale maintenance projects that you will see again in the future on a larger scale aboard your cruiser. I just think its a great return on investment to spend a bit of time in the 20-28' range.

I learned to sail on a dinghy, then stepped up to a trailer-sailer and learned maintenance and more sail theory and the importance of balance, then owned a project "cruiser" boat that let me put my hands on all the various systems, then worked on a tall ship (I'm in the Coast Guard which I know is an unfair advantage, sorry), and now liveaboard a PSC34 and feel very comfortable with her in everything I've been in so far.

I've read a lot of posts on the web asking questions about how to implement fundamental seamanship skills like anchoring or heaving-to aboard 40+ foot boats, and can only suppose that if these folks had started smaller they might be enjoying their boats much more now. I have thoroughly enjoyed my learning process and wish you luck with your search!
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2010
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Offshore Reality

Voyaging is not a form of sailing. I love the Laser; that is sailor's boat for sure. Offshore sailing is a form of extreme adventure travel, and it is hard work as well as expensive. Some people do enjoy the passages, often down hill maniacs in catamarans. So far my experience has shown that actual days of nice sailing like you are used to might number one in fifty. Most of the time you are just trying to get there before a weather system clobbers you, anchor where you can sleep and get ashore to do the traveling part.

You really ought to try to get aboard for an offshore passage with an experienced owner on a good boat. Those of us who go back for the mental and physical battering time and time again have selective or poor memories. I've been in very solid 34-36 foot boats in real storms over 70 knots. If you are not scarred for your life, you must have missed something at birth. The Pacific is bloody big and although you might be able to get across in a small boat, there is a lot of gear and supplies you will need to make it safe and comfortable. I just don't think there is room on a smaller boat to stow it safely in a violently moving yacht. Life rafts on deck are a liability when the big green water comes crashing aboard, as it does. Will you head off without a sea anchor, without extra fuel, extra water?

As a New Zealander, I'll be looking at PS 34s this US winter (anywhere in easy range of LAX anyway). I feel they are suitable to cross the Pacific, where there is some real serious crcuising, but the minimum size for the job. A number have made it to New Zealand and Australia, but always the skippers were glad to have avoided true storms. The tiller thing is a no brainer. You American's (My wife is one too, so I do love you!) seem to love a wheel on little boats. I'd take a tiller any day for a boat of this size, even 40 or 45ft. If the boat is well balanced, and it better be if you want to self steer easily, the tiller has only advantages except for reversing under power. It is a shame that so few PS34s have been sold with tillers. Good luck finding one. As I understand it, the cost of converting back to a tiller is too much for most folk.

Question for you all: One of the things I'm worried about with the PSC34 is access to the steering cables and quadrant while at sea. Possible? Emergency litters can be a pain. Anyone used one?

If you really want to take the circimnavigation plunge, why not buy a boat in NZ or Australia. They are cheaper and there are plenty of high quality yards and supplies to get you away. Lots of boats make it this far and people give up. Locally, the Cavalier 32 is a rugged little voyaging machine and cheap to boot. I have no interest in sailing from about Thailand to the Med. end of the Red Sea, so buying a boat in the Med. is also attractive. Puket is another place with great deals on yachts since people who get this far have even fewer options.

Andrew McGeorge
Banks Peninsula, NZ
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  #29  
Old 08-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANKA View Post
Question for you all: One of the things I'm worried about with the PSC34 is access to the steering cables and quadrant while at sea. Possible? Emergency litters can be a pain. Anyone used one?
PSCs are pretty good about access, on the 31 you remove 4 screws to remove a panel to get access. Also, newer PSCs don't use cables, its all solid rods/gears.
I've only used the emergency tiller once to try it out, not a lot of leverage, if I need to use one at sea, I would hook up my Monitor to it.
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Last edited by teejayevans; 08-11-2010 at 06:04 AM. Reason: spekkcheck
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  #30  
Old 08-11-2010
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On my 34 (1988), access to the steering cable is not possible without removing the cockpit floor, which you could not do in the most likely situation you would have steering failure.

However, the foot of the quarterberth is right at the quadrant, so cutting a hatch into the fiberglass at that point would provide good access.
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