Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
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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.