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· Freedom 39
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The BC31 is very roomy for a 31' foot vessel. As you may know it is the hull mold that the first Island Packet was designed from. Regarding the performance I am slowly changing my opinion. It has taken me a lot of time to learn how most efficiently to sail my boat. I have been trying to trim, tack and manuever the boat like the vessels I race on and it just does not work. The few times I've raced my boat it has been very competetive, not just in handicap but surprisingly in boat on boat races. This past weekend I entered a small local 2 day race and managed to finish in second place (boat for boat) at the end of the first day (upwind for about 3 hours into 4-7' seas with winds in the high teens) finishing 7 minutes behind a Catalina 42, 30+ minutes ahead of a Gulfstar 41, a Pearson 26 and at least an hour ahead of a Bayfield 32. There were a few other larger boats that I do not now the make of as well that finished over an hour behind us. On the second day of the race (downwind surfing in 6-8' seas with 20kts of wind) we were able to finish 3rd, less than 10 minutes behind two 40+ boats after 2 hours of racing. Upwind we were able to point as high as most other boats and match speeds of boats that had 10+ more feet of waterline. Granted, against the Jboats I race on, things would be different, as they should be. But comparing fat heavy cruisers with much lower PHRF ratings over this past weekend we were able to sail past them, or in many cases, keep them behind us. Last year in the same race we were able to fiinsh 2nd overall (after handicaps were calculated) with first place taken by a C&C37R crewed by the normal race crew.

I do not know anything about the Cascade but have spent 1000s of hours on my Bombay in a wide variety of wind/sea condtions and have been very pleased with the way the vessel has handled it. Other more experienced sailors who've come aboard are usually surprised by the feel of the boat beating into the sea with the typical comment being "the motion feels like a much longer heavier boat". My two biggest gripes are the terrible performance in anything less than 10 knots, the vessel just will not move. If you live in an area with typically light winds, I would suggest looking for something else. The other gripe is the lack of motoring performance. My boat has Yanmar QM15 and even with a perfectly clean bottom and prop it is woefully underpowered when motoring upwind into rough weather. Another 5 more HP would really help, 10 more would be better!!!!

I would be glad to answer specific questions if you have any.

Good luck on your decision.
 

· Freedom 39
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In reading my previous post I should add some comments about how my QM15 performs. In flat condtions it will push the boat at 6.5kts near the upper end of the RPM range. It is much happier moving us along at 5-5.5kts. I don't know whether a 3 blade prop, or a newer folder would help much or not. There is still only 15hp, at best, to begin with. My boat weighed 15k pounds on the slings when hauled last November.

With the tradewinds we don't spend enough time motoring in the course of a year to justify the financial investment of trying to motor faster. Over the past 3 years of sailing we are burning about 15 gallons of diesel annually and most of that is motoring into and out of the marina. I rarely just motor but rather motor sail when we are in a hurry to help with speed and to provide a much smoother ride. In my experience it seems that the lack of speed when motoring into heavy seas is more a result of the very wide beam that begins quite far forward on such a short vessel. I would further assume that in a tidal current situation one would not be pounding into 5'+ seas. With the limitation of hull speed of a BC31 others may be able to better postulate on how much could be gained with a better prop or more power. It would be nice to be able to motor at closer to hull speed without making the lil' Yanmar run at the upper end of it's RPM range though. Another variable that may or may not have an effect is that my boat has the deeper keel, 5' draft. I see many BC31s have the shoal, 3.5' keel.

There are many places to add a fuel tank. The cockpit lockers, especially the one on the port side could easily hold a large fuel tank. In my unscientific experience the burn rate of the QM15 on my boat is somewhere around .3-.5 gal/hr making for a reasonable amount of motoring with what I believe to be a 30 gallon tank. How far are you planning to go? Unless my math is off, one should be able to motor for nearly 60 hours on a full tank.
 
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