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C&L Explorer 45
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1 7255 Wed August 15, 2001
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
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Description: C&L Explorer 45
Keywords: C&L Explorer 45


Registered: August 2001
Review Date: Wed August 15, 2001 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 


- modified full keel w/ full rudder
- worm-gear steering (you can't stand aft of the wheel...)
- 39hp 3-cylinder Volvo diesel
- cutter rigged
- keel-stepped mast
- 45' LOA, 38' at the waterline
- 250gal SS water tank
- {mumble} gal iron diesel tank, rotted out and replaced in every Explorer I've ever seen. I now use a flexible main tank bedded in the shell of the old tank, and a 27-gallon day tank mounted below the cockpit sole. Tanks sit midships below the cabin sole and really can't be replaced without major cutting in the cabin.
- typical Taiwanese (i.e. gorgeous) woodwork below decks.
- aft and forward cabins with private heads
- main saloon has chart table and settee to stbd; galley and saloon table to port. Unfortunate mast location puts it right at the end of the table, breaking up the "social" space pretty badly.

The Explorer is a heavy cruiser which I've found to be very sea-kindly. The doghouse is low, making the deck open and easy to work, but that means only about 6' of headroom in the main cabin (I'm 5'10"; not a problem!) Space below-decks is plentiful, but not particularly accessible compared to modern designs. Cabin joinery is beautiful. Galley is very servicable, but access to the refrigerator is difficult (low overhead). Excellent storage in the galley overall, however.

Hull construction is extremely solid: typically 3/4" mahogany or marine plywood between 1/4" of fiberglass (yes, it's 1-1/4" thick most places), and yes, the core is solid mahogany in some places. In addition, the deck has teak decking. Bulwarks are maple; other trim is teak and some other wood I have not identified. The caprail is cylindrical; a feature I've not seen elsewhere.

The heavy construction makes the boat very forgiving of mistreatment. My boat had been neglected for years, and a lot of poorly- or un-bedded hardware added by the previous owner. The core remains solid everywhere I have looked, in spite of this mistreatment.

Interior hull paneling is done with horizontal bevelled 1.5" teak boards with 1/8" gaps to allow air to reach the inside of the hull (the bevels hide the white 'glass). This is gorgeous, but it makes access to the backs of deck hardware difficult. You have to remove screw plugs, remove the screws holding the top board or two to the furring strips, and remove the board to gain access to the outboard 4" or so (where the lifeline stantions are bolted). Chainplates are bolted to the outside of the hull; access to the chainplate bolts is excellent. All Explorers I have seen appear to have had external chainplates backfitted in order to move the shrouds out by several inches.

Owners' biggest problems for cruising seem to be how to protect the cockpit from the elements given the mainsheet placement, and how to replace the large diesel fuel tank when it dies.

I have found the boat easy to sail, and relatively fast. It takes some getting used to to have the wheel behind you; for the first year I found myself turning the wrong way regularly. On the other hand, steering is responsive if sails are trimmed for good fore-and-aft balance. I put in the first reef at about 15kts and still achieve hull speed on all points of sailing. At 22kts, double reefed with one headsail she will still do a half-knot or so above hull speed with minimal heeling. I've sailed her in very over-powered situations, buried the leeward rail and occasionally part of the doghouse in the water, and still found her reasonably stable and responsive (I have broken some glassware those days, though). Tall bulwarks keep the cockpit pretty dry excepting spray (and rain).

I've lived aboard this boat for 2.5 years and found it a very comfortable, flexible, forgiving boat. A party of 4 is her comfortable maximum; main cabin layout divides a larger group, making it hard to talk.
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