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post #11 of 23 Old 07-11-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

I would suggest re reading the post by Jeff H. Spot on. I primarily raced IOR boats decades ago and while you could reduce sail area to make it more cruiser friendly they were, in general, purposely designed to be squirrelly for a rating advantage. Particularly downwind it was very difficult in a sea to keep them sailing flat.
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Red face Re: Convert a Racer

Thanks all!

I didn't preference by background to the question so apologize for that. I am not an experienced sailor. I took sailing lessons on a 37 foot, steel hull, center cockpit back in the 90s and didn't do much after that. I think another question I would have had on another thread was is a boat like the Farr mentioned forgiving enough to let someone with lack my lack of experience to grow into to? Given that I do everything I can prior, retaking lessons on other boats...

As for the conversion, I could have been more specific. I was thinking it had a head, a berth, stove, and a sink. My conversion would have likely consisted of some extra batteries, a dodger and bimini, some sort of salon table and a flat-screen TV. That is about as far as I was going.

It was really nice to get this level of feedback so quick on my first day and the first question on sailnet.

Thanks again and I will keep taking input.
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-12-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Donovan View Post
I didn't preference by background to the question so apologize for that. I am not an experienced sailor. I took sailing lessons on a 37 foot, steel hull, center cockpit back in the 90s and didn't do much after that. I think another question I would have had on another thread was is a boat like the Farr mentioned forgiving enough to let someone with lack my lack of experience to grow into to? Given that I do everything I can prior, retaking lessons on other boats....
I did not realize that you are relatively new to sailing. That somewhat shines a different light on this. I will start with the specifics of the Farr 2 tonner. I would suggest that the best way to metaphorically think of the Farr 2-tonner is to think of a 1970's era grand prix Formula 1 race car. Although slower, harder to drive and more dangerous to drive at speed than a modern Formula 1 car, none the less, in the right hands, it is still capable of being driven at very high speeds with a lot more safety than your average daily driver. And no matter how capable the Formula 1 car is at speed, it would make a really poor Drivers Education vehicle.

The Farr 2-tonner is somewhat the same way. At one time, this particular boat was racing at the very pinnacle of world class racing and winning major international events. It has a lot of tools that allow it to sail fast and well in light weather or heavy conditions. That comes with a price. Boats like these requires a higher level of skill to safely sail in a broad range of conditions. The skills required would include an intimate knowledge of sail trim and boat handling. In reality looking at the spectrum of sailors who are out there, including many if not most very experienced sailors, it is pretty rare to find that understanding of sail handling outside of experienced racers.

The point being, these old grand prix racers are a very poor choice for a beginning sailor. But beyond the technical issues with an old grand prix race boat. Plus this is a big boat. I am a technical adviser to a couple who do Youtube Videos. At one point they introduced me a couple who just started sailing and bought their first boat. They proudly told me that the bought a new 52 foot serious cruiser and that they planned learn to sail to sail it over the summer and then sail it around the world and wanted to know what my thoughts were. I suggested they buy a cheap small boat to learn to sail on, and sail the living daylights out of that boat for a year, before doing anything major with the big boat. That they will learn much quicker sailing a small boat and much more safely. And then I went on to say that even if they had to donate it or even just give it away, they would save a lot of money and time vs using the big boat as a learning platform.

They replied that they thought that big boats are safer than small boats, and my response was, 'No matter what kind of boat you are on, things will go wrong while you are learning to sail. With a small boat you can often man-handle your way out of trouble but on a big boat, serious and expensive damage is more likely to occur. And way more important than that, the kinds of minor errors that are likely to simply beat someone up on a small boat, is way more likely to maim or kill you on big boat. "

Now then, you are not proposing something that is as irrational as those folks, and it sounds like you have more reasonable expectations for the learning cycle and long term sailing agenda. As sailors there is no one right level of knowledge that everyone ascribes to. Minimally, I suggest that to safely operate a boat, a skipper needs to understand very basic sail trim and boat handling, very basic engine trouble shooting, the rules of the road, basic piloting and navigation, basic first aid, and maybe how to use a vhf radio. There are sailors who have crossed oceans with little more than that.

But for others of us, there is a desire to truly understand all of these areas, and a lot more topics, at a very high level of proficiency. They spend years building skills so that they become natural to who they are.

Most sailors are arrayed on a spectrum between those two extremes, and there is nothing inherently wrong with aspiring to any level of knowledge with that range as long as you understand the limits of what you know and do not purposely put yourself and your crew in harms way by doing things that are way of above your skill level. These comments are in no way meant to put you or any new sailor down. Everyone of us had to start somewhere at the beginning.

So considering where you say you are, you would be well served to read everything that you can get your hands on, watch YouTube explanations of the various aspects of learning to sail, come to places like this with questions that help you better understand those things which may seem counter-intuitive, and get and sail the living daylights out of a small enough boat that you can quickly develop the skills to safely manage a bigger boat. While you may be able to learn the very most basics of sailing on a 37 foot steel hulled center cockpit cruising boat, it would take a lifetime to learn to sail well on a platform like that. You would be way ahead starting with a 23 to 27 foot, well used, light to moderate weight, fin keel, spade rudder, sloop rigged production boat. Around here you can get serviceable boats fitting that description for free or almost free. You will need to put some sweat equity into them and store them, but its a great way to start if your goal is to learn quickly.

If your goal is to live aboard, then I suggest that you start with two boats, one to live on and one to learn on. In the long run that will turn out to be the least expensive way to go.

Those are my thoughts for the morning, but for nowI need to get back to work,

Jeff


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post #14 of 23 Old 07-12-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

We bought a psc34 for the sole goal of teaching my wife to sail and the basic skills needed to cruise. Only held to on it while the Outbound was spec’d and built. Best decision ever. She still misses that boat. Jeff as usual gives good advice. I put in a fair amount of sweat equity and some boat units to redo electronics. Still came out nearly even. So don’t fret the money. In the long run it is worthwhile and not expensive.

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post #15 of 23 Old 07-12-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

I have no experience with this, but these folks are living on a racing tri: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvB...n5FEfrli2SmX7w
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-13-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremiahblatz3 View Post
I have no experience with this, but these folks are living on a racing tri: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvB...n5FEfrli2SmX7w
I suggest in this case it is not so much about whether the original poster can live on a race boat, but whether he can learn to sail on a large and sophisticated racer.

The choice to buy an old race boat to live on or go cruising isn't all that unusual since you can often buy an obsolete race boat very cheaply. They often come with a lot of sails and really good electronics and hardware. But they also come with Spartan interiors, small engines, minimal ground tackle and ground tackle handling gear. They may offer very sophisticated engineering but may be a little fragile compared to a dedicated cruising boat.

Depending on the period when they were built, race boats can either be harder or easier to handle short handed, but as a broad generality, they require more skill to sail.
Respectfully

Jeff
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-13-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

When folks ask what boat they should buy for a liveaboard, in my opinion, it should be the most comfortable home they can find. Most of us sail perhaps 10% of the time, so the rest of one's needs would be subordinate to that.
Though the idea of redesigning and rebuilding an interior, as many have already posted, is very attractive, it would be a terribly expensive project even if one was doing it themselves.
As a racer, my first big boat was a Phil Rhodes TransPac racer and though a fast and efficient sailboat, it was ludicrous as a cruising boat with 22 bags of sails and a reasonably spartan interior.
After our trip to Hawaii from SF in 1970, we literally traded it straight across to another young couple for a very comfortable, though slower, true 'gold plater' gaff ketch launched in 1909, which we cruised through the SoPac for 5.5 years. We never regretted it.
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-13-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

Comfort to a cruising boat is soooooooooooooooo important... underway, in bad weather, at anchor and that includes ventilation as well as motion and being dry when sailing. This means a comfortable head, and good working galley as well as a salon to hang out down below, eat, and a comfortable cockpit where several can stretch out and lie down. You want good visibility in / from the cockpit as well as protection from wind, sun, rain and spray. Berths need to be comfy for sleeping as well as getting in, out as well as putting on the bed clothes. All lines should be reachable without having to climb around the cockpit because most cruisers are essentially single handing. AP is mission critical for a cruising boat.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-13-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

No idea what "AP" means.

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelly, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to acknowledge that an L.Z. was too hot, moments before being killed by a single shot, July 1st, 1964.

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post #20 of 23 Old 07-13-2019
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Re: Convert a Racer

It's much easier to learn on a smaller boat. The smaller the boat, the faster it responds to change, and the faster the feedback loop. Pull a line, something changes. Learning happens.

On another topic, I've heard that boats like Dragons and now Farrs have controls and options that mere non-racers don't understand, and that advanced knowledge is necessary to sail them well or even sail them safely.

Those types of statements interests me.

What controls? What options? What does a Dragon or a Farr do that a cruiser doesn't? How can they kill you without warning?

"When I have your wounded." -- Major Charles L. Kelly, callsign "Dustoff", refusing to acknowledge that an L.Z. was too hot, moments before being killed by a single shot, July 1st, 1964.

Black Lives Matter. All confederate symbols and monuments need to go.

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