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Discussion Starter #1
New member to the group....

Am heading down to Washington, NC to tour the factory (again). Steve Brodie has a couple of boats down there I want to check out. I'm debating between the 34 and 37. Anyway, just checking in here to see if anyone has any easy questions they would like me to throw his way.

Have enjoyed reading all the back posts, and hope to be able to contribute as a Pacific Seacraft owner soon.

Alan White
Charlotte, NC
 

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Hi Alan,
Welcome to the group and I have to say that I envy you, Don't Y'all call it "little washington"? My wife and I are planning to head down to Oriental sometime before spring to visit for a week or so. A trip to the new factory is on the list of things to do. I know some questions were raised as to the reasons why the new PSC changed spar manufacturers.
Sounds like you are a man on a mission, where do you plan to keep the new boat?
 

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Alan:

Welcome to the family. The 37 is a great sailboat. That would be one of my next choices also, but I am still enjoying my Pacific Seacraft Orion 27. Take a look at the PSE 40 while you are there also. I like the layout of that as well. They have the one from the Anappolis show for sale at a discount.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Little Washington...

Thanks for the welcome!

Yes, I did see the 40 footer a couple of weeks ago. I was even intimidated by the 37 footer, but that extra three feet or so makes things even more intimidating on the 40 footer. Like icebergs, boats look a lot bigger out of water. We'll see if the 40 footer is discounted 'a lot' I might look closer at it, but seems to me the 37 footer is more my style. I wish they had a 34 footer made already. They're making one for someone right now as a matter of fact. Maybe that's the route I ought to take.

The 37 footer is standard draft. At 5'10' things can get a little close in Pamlico Sound, but, hopefully that's just a warm up for places like The Bahamas. I'll definitely look to sail it between Morehead City, Wilmington and Charleston, SC. Since I live in Charlotte (about 200 miles inland) I have a couple of options of where to keep it. Additionally, I have my 'peeps' in all three places, including a sister who lives in Charleston.

Does anyone here sail a 37 footer with the standard draft in and around Eastern N.C.?

Thanks again for the welcome. Sailnet is a great forum. I keep up a little forum for my local windsurfing club, and between monitoring for spam and contributing, they can take a lot of time. Generally, sailors are the most courteous of people. I guess our concern for each other on the water carries over to land.

Alan
 

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Do not get standard draft

I have been sailing Pamlico Sound for over 10 years now and I'd like to think I know it well.There are places you simply cannot go with draft close to 6 feet. That really does not apply while you are sailing, only to entrances to anchorages or services. The shallow depth in many places is compounded by wind driven "tides" that significantly lower the water level when the wind is strong from the prevailing SW. I have a shoal draft 31 and I know where my keel has had minimal clearance. There is one boatyard that you cannot even think about getting into with 6 feet at certain times of the year. It just depends on how much exploring you want to do around the Sound.
It may not be fair to say this, but I have to believe that PSC will negotiate for the 40. The boats they have were built from the materials they acquired in CA, mostly. Almost anything is going to be profit, as opposed to a boat that they would build from scratch in the future. If I could afford a 40, I wouldn't bother with the 37. The creature comforts are much better and the 40 design is the only one with a bit of owner input.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been sailing Pamlico Sound for over 10 years now and I'd like to think I know it well.There are places you simply cannot go with draft close to 6 feet. That really does not apply while you are sailing, only to entrances to anchorages or services. The shallow depth in many places is compounded by wind driven "tides" that significantly lower the water level when the wind is strong from the prevailing SW. I have a shoal draft 31 and I know where my keel has had minimal clearance. There is one boatyard that you cannot even think about getting into with 6 feet at certain times of the year. It just depends on how much exploring you want to do around the Sound.
It may not be fair to say this, but I have to believe that PSC will negotiate for the 40. The boats they have were built from the materials they acquired in CA, mostly. Almost anything is going to be profit, as opposed to a boat that they would build from scratch in the future. If I could afford a 40, I wouldn't bother with the 37. The creature comforts are much better and the 40 design is the only one with a bit of owner input.
Thanks for the comments!

They also have a shoal draft 31 available that they built for the trade show. I haven't seen it yet, but for offshore, don't you think a shoal draft 31 would be a little on the light side? I plan to sail offshore some, but, certainly Pamlico Sound will be a biggie. Don't you think I could reach Ocracoke, Manteo, Cedar Island and perhaps New Bern? I also expect I could sail up to Elizabeth City, but you're probably correct about Oriental and a few others. In other words, it would be nice to gunkhole Pamlico, but I'll settle for those destinations.

I have searched and read as many comments about the shoal draft versus standard as I could find and I am truly torn. There are several articles in this forum regarding the pluses and minuses of both. While the standard draft does seem too way too deep for the sound, I think I want to have something really stable for the ocean, particularly if I head to the Bahamas and elsewhere.

BTW, looks like the 40 footer with the bulb keel draws less than the standard keel of the 37 footer.

Alan
 

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I have been offshore in my 31, shoal keel, and it is not too light. It is very sea-kindly, excellent design. Of course, the bigger the better for offshore comfort. The biggest I have ever sailed is 60 feet and that was really nice. You can get to all of the destinations you list with 6 ft draft, but why? I am convinced that the performance of the shoal draft PSC's is very close to the full draft. I have sailed both and couldn't really tell the difference. The Scheel keel on mine is a great design that really helps upwind. I can think of many instances, particularly on the ICW, where I would not have wanted any more draft. If you can get the same boat , basically, with a shoal draft, it opens up more possibilities for gunkholing. If you lived in Hawaii it wouldn't matter, but here(and the Bahamas) it does. Let me be clear, you can sail with either draft, it is just gunkholing moving around under power that have some draft limitaions around here.
Larry
ASYLUM
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been offshore in my 31, shoal keel, and it is not too light. It is very sea-kindly, excellent design. Of course, the bigger the better for offshore comfort. The biggest I have ever sailed is 60 feet and that was really nice. You can get to all of the destinations you list with 6 ft draft, but why? I am convinced that the performance of the shoal draft PSC's is very close to the full draft. I have sailed both and couldn't really tell the difference. The Scheel keel on mine is a great design that really helps upwind. I can think of many instances, particularly on the ICW, where I would not have wanted any more draft. If you can get the same boat , basically, with a shoal draft, it opens up more possibilities for gunkholing. If you lived in Hawaii it wouldn't matter, but here(and the Bahamas) it does. Let me be clear, you can sail with either draft, it is just gunkholing moving around under power that have some draft limitaions around here.
Larry
ASYLUM
Larry,

Thanks again. I tried to send you an email directly, but I've not reached my 10 posting minimum yet.

I'm so torn. I know what you mean about the ICW, not to mention other cool places like The Dismal Swamp Canal. Those are places I'd really miss not being able to show my fiance. I also remember trying to take my dad's Morgan 32 with a 4' something keel out in some mixed up seas and thinking at the time how much better it would be to have a deep draft boat.

It's such a trade off. I know they say don't become fixated on the keel, but it's hard not to after sailing Pamlico. It's interesting to hear you included The Bahamas in your comment. My other issue is that the particular boat is discounted since it was at the Annapolis Trade Show. I realize that Larry Pardey says NOT to buy a show boat, but this one's in pretty good shape.

My personal email is alannc44(at)ix.netcom.com if you have more to say and I would certainly enjoy hearing anyone else's advice and comments about my quandry.

Alan
 

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Alan,

Let me echo Larry's comments that the 31 is plenty substantial for off-shore sailing, regardless of the keel choice. The Bahamas would be a piece of cake with either draft.

As for shoal vs. standard draft, opinions can get pretty subjective. It also depends which model boat you're looking at. For instance, a standard draft 31 has less draft then a shoal draft 40.

The drafts begin to overlap more as you compare standard and shoal versions of the 37 with the 34/31 (for all practical purposes, the 31 and 34 carry the same draft.) Also, one point I've heard mentioned repeatedly, is that the draft of the 37 is somewhat understated.

Here on the Chesapeake, we have not been hindered in any way by our standard draft 31 (4'10"). But we need minimum 5' of water. The Chesapeake is a relatively shallow cruising area, although Pamlico and Albemarle may be a bit tighter.

We get a much deeper "keel span" with the standard fin keel vs. the Scheel keel. Another thing to consider is that the Scheel keel on the 31, for instance, uses an additional 700 lbs of ballast, which is a fair bit of additional weight. And the fuel tank on the shoal draft 31 is 18 gallons vs. 23 (originally 27) on the standard draft.

Lots of variables...
 

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As usual, John makes some good points. The one point that I forgot about is fuel capacity. For longer cruising, I have always carried a couple of jerry jugs of diesel, which puts me up at the capacity of the std keel. I consider that a small trade-off for the peace of mind of less draft. But, either way, if you were going to cross oceans in a 31, you would need jerry jugs.
In the end, you have to be realistic about what kind of sailing you are really going to do. I think I made the right choice because when I bought Asylum, I had no idea I would end up living on Pamlico Sound. I have seen people sell their boats after they moved here because the draft they had on Long Island Sound, just wouldn't work here.
Larry
ASYLUM
 

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As usual, John makes some good points. The one point that I forgot about is fuel capacity. For longer cruising, I have always carried a couple of jerry jugs of diesel, which puts me up at the capacity of the std keel. I consider that a small trade-off for the peace of mind of less draft. But, either way, if you were going to cross oceans in a 31, you would need jerry jugs.
In the end, you have to be realistic about what kind of sailing you are really going to do. I think I made the right choice because when I bought Asylum, I had no idea I would end up living on Pamlico Sound. I have seen people sell their boats after they moved here because the draft they had on Long Island Sound, just wouldn't work here.
Larry
ASYLUM
That's a good point, Larry. As I understand it, the original owner of our boat was from Long Island -- which I suppose accounts for his decision to go with the standard draft.

When we purchased our boat, we had a choice between two used models, one shoal, one standard draft. It was a real quandary at the time -- but now having sailed the boat for six seasons on the Bay, I have no regrets.

As for tankage, the reality is that for how we have used the boat, we would not have been limited in any way by the smaller fuel tank (although we could sure use a larger holding tank!:D ). And for island hopping in the Bahamas, I feel the smaller tank supplemented by jugs would be more than adequate. But I think for serious voyaging the larger tank would be preferable.
 

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I certainly agree about the holding tank. I spent a few years doing stag sails with 3 guys on my boat. It is amazing how fast three guys eating and drinking a lot can fill up that holding tank. We learned to plan some trips across the limit so that we could legally pump over or find marinas with working pumpouts, not always a sure thing. However, for two it has been adequate since we tend to like marinas for overnight anymore. I'm not sure that any holding tank is really big enough, frankly.
Larry
ASYLUM
 

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Alan:

I was told via email from Pacific Seacraft that they have the molds for the currently out of production Orion 27. If you are open to "ordering" a sailboat, ask them if they would make you one of those if you think the 37 footer is still a little big for you. Draft of my 27' Orion is 4 feet. There is a guy in Dana Point California who sailed his for 2 years up and down the coast of South America, so even that size is ocean capable. Same concerns about fuel and holding capacity are a concern, but you can possibly expand both to some extent. Might be interesting to see what they say about bringing back that model.
 

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That's a good point, Larry. As I understand it, the original owner of our boat was from Long Island -- which I suppose accounts for his decision to go with the standard draft.
Reading about sailing on Pamlico sound is really getting me anxious as this is where we intend to retire in the next 2-5 years. We were on the fence about the shoal vs standard keel when we recently purchased our Crealock 31. With the outboard chainplates and toerail mounted genoa tracks we did not want to give up any more pointing ability. Although the 4' draft was very tempting, after much deliberation decided that the 4'11 draft would work, knowing that when the wind blows SW for a few days that we would be cleaning the bottom of the keel getting out of Pierce Creek and into the Neuse.
It will be a whole new world, I get nervous when sailing around Boston and the depth meter gets under 10ft.:( I can hardly wait to be sailing in 5ft of water with a 4'11" draft:puke :puke
 

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I agree with John. I went from lake sailing with shallow water to Long Island Sound homeport to Pamlico Sound. Never worrying about depth on Long Island Sound was nice, but you adapt quickly and learn where the shallow water is located. Oh, you also get to trade crab pots for lobster pots. Crab pots are no better. After getting one many years ago, I put a cutter on my shaft. I never have figured out the State seasonal regulations on where the crabbers can put their pots. For a good portion of the year the pots are only in water 6 feet or less. The rest of the time it just requires vigilance. You'd think our skeg arrangement would protect you, but not when you are under power!

Larry
ASYLUM
 

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The bottom condition where you're sailing is also a factor. If its soft muck in the shallow areas (e.g., near the boat's slip), the PSC's have engines with enough HP relative to the size/weight of the boat to power through an occasional minor encounter, assuming you have a little forward speed. I have the 4'11" draft and I've had no problems at our Marina with only 5' of water at the end of the season. The muck gets cleared away a bit from spots that tend to be well travelled.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, hull #335 (37 footer) is now officially off the market.

So, this is the "first happiest day" of this boat owner's life !

Alan in N.C.
 
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