I am in the very early stages of looking for a boat. I am not familiar with Ables, but I sure like how she looks in the picture. Can anyone give me their thoughts or experiances with this brand? Much appreciated.
Able was a top notch semi custom Maine builder, in the same neighborhood as Hinckley and Morris. When they went belly-up, Morris bought their manufacturing facility and is building from at least one of their hull molds. I would easily speak of Able in the same breath as Morris.
These were very expensive boats when built. Most were Chuck Paine designs, very similar to Morris's. Like any boat, the value today is entirely dependent on maintenance history. Which size are l you looking at?
I think the little 32' was one of the nicest I've seen that size. The 42' is lovely. The bigger 51' and 58' are real ocean voyagers. I looked pretty close at a 42' some years ago, there are only a few builders who can match that level of joinerwork. Morris would be happy to service one if you make a deal.
The later ones were cored hulls and decks. A good survey can let you know if there are any problems.
Am selling an Able 32 Cat Ketch. Happy to answer questions on these boats as I had mine refit up at Able in the early 1990's. Able was founded by Cro Fox, sold to Henry Cooper, and now owned by Morris.
Able's boats were well made. Same craftsmen that work on Morris and Hinckley. For one of the 1980's vintage boats, remember to ask whether the hull has been peeled and treated with vinylester. Seems almost all boats of that vintage suffered osmosis... and this has seemed the only permanent solution.
Hull moves easily. Well sailed, you'll do nicely. Only disadvantage is there's a lot of wood to maintain below and on deck. Nice to catch the eye, but then again, you're gonna take care of it, too. And you have to or it looks awful.