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Jack Aubrey 04-11-2013 10:27 PM

Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
I've been thinking about making the permanent transition from house to liveaboard-sailboat for several years and I have decided to pull the trigger. I'm considering four different boats in my very modest price-range. I'll be living and sailing alone (most of the time). I am a very experienced sailor and It is very important that I have a boat that sails very well. I would like to own a boat that points and goes to windward very well. I'm also looking for a fairly fast boat that is sturdy enough to be safe in the types of seas and winds you encounter offshore when you get caught in a gale as I hope to work up the guts to attempt a circumnavigation some day.
The five boats that I'm considering are these. They appear to be in comparable condition and similarly equipped.

1977 Pearson 39 $29,000

1966 Luders 44 $29,000

1968 Chris-Chraft Comanche 41 $35,000

1978 Bristol 40 $40,000

1965 Cal 40 $55,000

Any opinions would be helpful. I know very little about these boats other than the Pearson. I owned a 75 Pearson 30 and I liked it very much.

Lake Superior Sailor 04-11-2013 10:47 PM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
I like the Cal 40.... I want one ...which model is it...Dale

Letrappes 04-12-2013 08:12 AM

I have lived aboard a Beneteau First 42 for almost a year and a half. It beats most of the local boats even with all my stuff in it. The only thing I really miss about living back on shore is having a real shower. It's hard to find on a more race oriented boat.

paulk 04-12-2013 11:11 PM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
If you are looking for performance, the Cal40 is the best of the bunch you mentioned. They are big and tough enough to handle ocean sailing, though one as old as you suggest may need some reinforcement here & there. Bristol 40's were built pretty solidly. They are also pretty heavy, and not great performance-wise. We sail through them to leeward on our J/36, much to their consternation. The Comanche has a reputation as a decently performing boat, but Cal 40's won things like the Transpac and other races. Chris Craft's construction quality might also not be up to a circumnavigation, though they may have put more effort into their sailboats than their runabouts. That said, Cal/Bangor-Punta had some ownership changes that affected build quality as well, so you need to check out each boat individually to see how it was put together, rather than assuming anything. The Luders are beautiful boats, but I believe they're hot-moulded wood. (essentially plywood veneers glued together with the whole boat put into an oversized oven to set the glue). Repairs to this might be interesting if you hit anything, or if anything hits you. Rot and delamination can also be an issue, as it can be with any boat with coring. The Pearson offers a lot of living space that many of the others may lack. It is not known for its racing results. It probably has an outward-turning flange for the hull-deck joint. This is not as strong a technique as an inward-turning flange, and can also expose the vessel to more extensive damage if you hit something: the flange, hitting something, can lever itself open over a longer space than the actual contact point.
So... have fun with your Cal 40, after you've checked it out thoroughly.

hellosailor 04-12-2013 11:28 PM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
I'm told that the Cal40 was sometimes sold as a "kit boat" and if that's true, what you find in each one may vary. I was on one with a deck stepped mast, which many folks would consider unacceptable, and told the factory stepped them on the keel. I don't know if any part fo that is true, but the Cal40s do have a reputation for being a fast stable boat.

When you look at any racer-anything with thoughts of moving onboard, bear in mind the hull is usually designed for a fairly light racing payload and that if you pile up a home onboard, you may push the waterline up. So consider how many pounds of crew she was intended to carry, and compare that to what you'll be bringing onboard too.

Lake Superior Sailor 04-13-2013 01:25 AM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
The one to have was the Cal 40 flush deck, I've only seen pictures! Any Cal 40 is going to be fast. My Cal 28 is a flush deck or flat top, neat idea ..lots of open deck & lots of room below! best of both worlds. I would love to have a 40 though, real ahead of it's time,and historic! Cal / Jensen Clasic..........Dale

Jack Aubrey 04-13-2013 05:05 PM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
Lake Superior Sailor. I like the Cal best as well, it's just that it twice the price of the Pearson and their PHRF rating is only a 10-point difference.

Paulk, I thought the Commanche might be a good compromise, since I really wanted the Cal. But the entry price into the Commanche and the Pearsonare half as much, so I could afford to put more money into the refit/outfitting of either boat. I like the interior space of the Pearson (and the price) also, I like the idea of adjustable-draft for getting into shallow channels, but I am suspicious about the ability of a keel/centerboard hybrid's ability to go upwind like a Cal or a Rhodes 41 (another one I like).

Letrappes, I am a little wary of giving up my shower, and I have been thinking about a compromise. My I dea was to convert the cockpit to a shower by having a full biminy-dodger built and installing a heated, pressurised water-source. It would be big and easy to clean! What do you think?

SloopJonB 04-13-2013 05:51 PM

Re: Liveaboard racer-cruiser?
 
The Chris is an S&S design from their glory days - IMHO it's by far the most beautiful of the boats you listed. Those Chris sailboats were very well built as well - like their motor yachts, not their runabouts.


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