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· Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are in the market for a pilothouse, which shouldn't be a suprize to any PNW sailors ;). There are several makes/models that we are attracted to and one that seems non-traditional to me but certainly common enough is the Nauticat. We're looking at 1970-80s vintage natuicat 38s mainly which are the sparman/stephen's design that draft 6ft.

Any thoughts on these boats? Any known issues I should be aware of or look for? Thoughts on their sailing performance or offshore seaworthyness?

I'm not scared of big windows for our proposed route (milk run followed by circumnavigation of Australia) but I am looking at the wooden sliding doors with a little suspicion.

MedSailor
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the thoughts so far. Keep 'em coming!

The tropics issue is one we're really batting around quite a bit. We are going to be here in the PNW for the next several years with little ones that will likely get cold, so the pilot house is good. Once in the tropics, it could be a liability for sure, but orginally we weren't planning on spending more than about 8-9 months in the south pacific. We are more interested in the Aussie part. But then again, the Kimberlies (NW australia) appeal greatly, as does that big reefy thing in the NW, and it's hot up there too. The cockpit is also not a great big place for entertaining which is something I assume people do in warmer places. ;)

I've experienced the swelter of the greenhouse effect of pilothouse (power) boats before, but I wonder if the huge skylight and the side doors would mitigate that?

We looked at a 43 and it looks like a whale to me. Only drafts 5 foot as well. I can't imagine it would sail at all. The 38 has a modified-fin /cruising keel with a skeg hung rudder and I think the one we're looking at is the tall rig. I wonder if that would sail any better? Any thoughts on the SA/displacement ratio on this one? I don't really know how to read those numbers and I don't know if they are adequately canvassed.

I am always told my Formosa won't sail, but we've sailed upwind into anchor twice (engine failures) in winds of 2-3 knots and she goes like a scalded cat when the wind picks up. She doesn't point for beans, but the rest is good. I wonder how the Nauti-38 would compare to my current boat's sailing ability....

Good thoughts on the motion. You are really up there in the pilot house, and REALLY up there in the cockpit...
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Fuzzy! Great insight. I guess another part of the equation is that the one we're looking at has air-con and a genset. Neither of which I would pay a dollar to add, and I don't really like air-con but then again, when I was in The Isa I did use it to cool down my flat before going to sleep. Sleeping in the hot is not my favorite. If it does take running the genset all day to mitigate the window issue, that would not please me but since the boat has it, I'm sure I'd fire it up from time to time.

I suppose I should have looked at the data before asking too many questions. Nice coincidence that the SA/D ratios are the same. Don't hardly need to know what the numbers mean now because they're the same for both boats.

I think I could be happy with most of the Nauticat issues and quirks, and while I'm not afraid of windows offshore, the big doors do still give me pause.... but then again, aren't nauticats common boats to be seen circumnavigating the downwind routes?

MedSailor
 

· Closet Powerboater
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A shower that drains into the bilge is easily fixed with a blivet on the end of the drain hose, or installing a shower pan and sump.

Heat coming in big glass windows, also fixed easily by applying 3M Crystalline or similar window film, which can cut something like 98% of all IR radiation through the glass, with or without any extra visible tint. Great stuff.

But a Nauticat is what it is, no matter what you do to it. Gobs of room, up and down, for the length. Which will mean gobs of windage and motion, as it will on any boat. My impression is that they're really built as comfortable harbor boats which also can conveniently transport themselves under engine or sail, but they're designed for the destination and not the journey.

Of course a single-level more conventional design is going to mean either less accommodation space, or a steeper marina bill for the extra length. But I think if I were crossing the Pacific and the Equator, and then circumnavigating Oz, I'd want a more conventional cruising boat aimed at the best experience (comfort, safety, speed) at sea, rather than one built for comfort in harbor.

The Nauticat 38 - information for cruising sailors Says capsize ratio 1.51, fwiw.
Thank you for your thoughts. I never bothered to school myself on the numbers of boat comparison. I always wondered about their utility. So, I assume 1.51 for a capsize ratio is bad?? I would think that all the boyancy of that huge pilothouse up top would help keep you from going over, but only if the doors held, and that's a pretty big if....

As nice as the floating house we're looking at may be, the broker just emailed me the recent survey and it appears that it has lots of blisters. For a boat that is at the upper upper upper end of my price range, I would want turn-key and then some, not a project....

MedSailor
 
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