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  #1  
Old 04-07-2009
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Racing hull without mast

I need some advice, please. I would be able to purchase as very, very cheap 56" ex racing hull. There are few problems. It needs a new mast and a new interior set up. My crazy idea is to turn the hull into a fast cruising boat. My concerns are of the following nature:

- Without having detailed plans about the hull design, how difficult is it to balance the boat right when creating a new interior fit out?

- How does one calculate the height of the mast?

- Is it a stupid idea to turn a racing hull into a cruising boat?

Thanks for any help
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Old 04-07-2009
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Generally the hull is the cheapest part of any boat... all the fittings, interior, rig etc add up to many times that value. As such, you're not starting with a huge advantage (even assuming the hull/design is sound and usable)

There should be original drawings of the rig, though as a cruiser you may want to downsize that a bit... consulting a professional is the way to go here.

But don't for a minute think you're likely to complete such a project "cheaply" - you'll be paying full price for all your fittings, materials and accessories. On a 56 foot boat this is going to a) chew up a lot of cash, and b) take a lot of time.

Whether or not the boat itself will make a good cruiser depends on the specifics, and ultimately how the end result handles. Race boats of this size usually have considerable draft too, which can be a huge limitation depending on your cruising style and area..

Not to say it can't be done, but don't be under any illusions when you start! Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2009
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Another option to save some money if one or two can be found, is to find Hurricane hulks if you will, where you get a dead hull, but interior workings, and possibly deck gear too. If you're carefull with the choosing of said dead hulls, you may find a lot of the gear for cheap. Also look at local and FAR 2nd hand stores for some items too.

The if you can find the actual brand of the boat, you can figure out what rig it had, maybe shorten the mast a bit to make it more cruiser friendly as far as usage goes.

But as faster says, it may not be cheap to do this. And it may take a long time. You could be better off buying a lower priced 50'ish foot boat that sails, but needs some extensive remodeling of the interior, but most of the parts are there. IE new cushions, varnish etc done to it.

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Old 04-07-2009
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Considering that the mast, boom, standing rigging and running rigging is generally a major portion of the price of any boat, I think doing what you'e planning on doing is going to be very, very expensive, and you won't be happy with the results. The motion and seakindliness of a racing hull is very different from that of a cruising boat, and the boat will need to have some serious compromises made to it to work as a cruising boat.

For just the cost of the materials you'd need to buy to rig the boat and finish the interior, you could probably buy a decent cruising boat that is almost ready to go.
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Old 04-07-2009
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It all depends on the racing hull in question. As others have noted, the hull of the boat is only 20% to 40% of the cost of the boat. Everything else is everything else.

When you talk about an out of date racing boat, that hull can have negative value, because the costs to replace the rig and add an interior can far outstrip its overall value once carefully restored.

Now then, if you are talking about a solidly built, perhaps 8- 10 year old IMS derived design, you may actually be able to turn into a good boat worth more than you have into it, but you will have to be extremely careful about adding weight.

Jeff
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Thanks so much for all your advice, guys. I absolutely appreciate it. It more or less confirms my fears so the project is probably dead before it started. As others said, there are better options to start with and the draft and motion of a racing hull may seriously spoil the party even further. I shall consider all this carefully.

Many, many thanks again to all who replied!
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Old 04-13-2009
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Actually, depending on the era, a racing boat may actually have a very superior motion to a cruising boat of the same displacement, and have a lot more stability as well.

Jeff
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