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Old 12-15-2006
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Question Palmer Johnson Cruiser Racer for limited crew

I am considering buying and renovating a cruiser racer, Palmer Johnson 51 (design German Frers) for an North Atlantic crossing. We will usually be only two crew operating the sails at the same time.

Do you consider that handling the sails of this type of boat by two persons is realistic in a cruising mode (not for racing of course). I would install an electric or hydraulic winches to ease the handling.
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Old 12-15-2006
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Alphamach....As part of the transformation from racer to shorthanded cruiser, you need to make the sail handling as easy as possibe. This means roller furling up front and an easily handled mainsail system that also allows you to reef easily from the cockpit. You don't want to be making sail changes on desk in rough weather. The mainsail system should probably be something like the Doyle Stack Pack with full battens and a car systemto reduce friction.'ll need a power winch for the chore of raising and lowering AND it need to be big enough to accomplish the task manually should your electric fail. You could go with a Liesure Furl type boomfurler system but that and a new sail and a power winch will set yo back somewhere around 35K installed! Power winches for the Genny on this size boat will set you back around $10k each installed. If you can afford the necessary upgrades, and are an experienced sailor, there is no reason why 2 can't handle this boat as we do on our 52'.
I took a look on YW and see one in Canada at a VERY attractive price. Frers has designed some wonderful boats but a nearly 30 year old boat made from aluminum with a 75' mast and 7'+ keel is a hard sell I guess.
Have you had the boat surveyed?? If she is in good shape, and you can handle the cruising upgrades, you could have a very good deal.
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