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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dear folks,

Jay here on Kenlanu down in the Bahamas after a 2,101 mile trip from Maine. As most of you know I love this boat, trust her with my life (literally and figuratively), and recommend her near and far. Kenlanu is a shoal draft 37'.

Recently a friend who will be heading from FL to the South Pacific in a couple of years agreed to trade in her present boat for something more suitable. BUT she steadfastly believes that the PSC 34 and 37 are slow boats.

I am afraid that I have to agree with her somewhat (and remember I love this boat!). After sailing a Pearson Vanguard with which we often passed considerably bigger boats I was shocked on getting Kenlanu to be passed -- often by smaller boats. Grrrrr.

SO

My question for all you PSC 34 and 37 owners, how do you rate the speed of your lovely boat, especially compared to other boats you have owned? Who passes you and whom do you pass?


Many thanks
Jay
Kenlanu PSC 37 # 171 snuggled in in the Bahamas
 

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Mondofromredondo
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My Cal 34 was faster.
Accelerated faster and cruised faster in light wind.
Had to reef sooner though and it would round up in as little as 17 knots of wind.
 

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A lot depends on what you compare it to. Other boats of the same LOD? Same LWL? For sure the PSC water line is shorter than most boats of the same LOD. The will limit top speed. It also depends if you are talking about cruising or racing.

For racing I think the best you can do to compare is look at PHRF, for example PHRF New England - Handicapping - Base Handicaps.

For cruising I think this article is gives the best answer you are likely to get: http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/200mile.pdf. It basically contends real-world cruising speed is purely a function of two variables: LWL and SA/D. So again, the short LWL makes the PSC slower than boats with a longer LWL.
 

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I heard Crealok speaking about this issue.
He said that on a long trip you will get somewhere near the head of the group.
And the reason is that the comfort of the sailing will eliminate the fatigue that the others will suffer from, and thus they will have to hove- to and rest few times along the way.
I think that our boats are build heavier and they are stronger than average.
Most of the Crealocks I saw in my area were being sailed by friends that sail their boat at leisure and they are happy “as long as the boat moves”.
We are not racers.
Now I can go back to my Dark and Stormy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Geez! Not this again.
Dear David (and others),

If this has been covered in a thousand posts which I somehow missed I am sorry to flog a well beaten horse. Please direct me to any relevant threads of which you know. My search here and of the archives did not turn up much but perhaps it is my aging brain.

Thanks, Jay
PSC 37 Kenlanu
 

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Most of the Crealocks I saw in my area were being sailed by friends that sail their boat at leisure and they are happy “as long as the boat moves”.
We are not racers.
+1.

If you are not willing to give up 5% speed for comfort, quality, and strength, PSC is probably not the boat for you. I certainly recognize many people would much prefer the extra 5% speed.

Here is the most recent thread on this topic I am aware of: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacific-seacraft/102379-considering-psc-family-4-a.html
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, everyone for some great information and insights. The Beth and Evans formula using LWL and sail area/dispacement to calculate real-world speed is a gem which will help my friend compare different boats and what can be expected in terms of daily runs chasing coconuts.

Thanks again,
Jay
PSC 37 Kenlanu
 

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Hi Jay,

The boil down as I see it is this: ocean cruising is not about how fast we get there, it's about getting there in one piece, safe, rested and maybe even in a little style. And when we do get there, we'd rather go snorkeling or enjoy the sights and not have to repair a bunch of stuff that broke along the way because the boat is not quality built and outfitted. Personally, I love being at sea and one more day on a 20 day passage is not a negative. Ocean cruising is about leaving all that get-there-fast stuff behind anyway. All of us who have cruised in a Pacific Seacraft understand these things. What is tiresome is having to justify our boats on the basis of speed alone. As far as I'm concerned, people who would leave a PSC out of consideration because they believe them to be slow, at the expense of more important factors like seaworthiness, comfort and quality, just don't get it, and I refuse to go down that road with them (fast or slow) and attempt to persuade them based on their flawed paradigm.

Dave Mancini
PSC34 #305 Swan
 

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Dr Paris spent a fortune on a light, fast boat, built by a reputable yard. In Maine language he " stove the hell out of it in two weeks" in nothing but normal Atlantic gales. Does any one think their bone stock PSC would have made it to South Africa needing a complete refit? Just sayin'
 

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The first boat I crewed off-shore races on was a 37:



She was a very solid boat that did well in her class (several pickle dishes), then took off on a circ the following year. She's in Trinidad right now - about to head back.

No, compared to other boats, she's not at all "fast" (174 PHRF to the 102 of my H40) - but she can be sailed well enough to win her class. And she's a solid ride.
 

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As a new PSC owner I can tell you that the quickness or lack there of was a consideration that was quickly addressed and dismissed. It all comes down to pros and cons and what value you put on your wants. If you want a race boat, you will not be happy on a PSC and for that matter you probably should consider buying a power boat. David put it the best and I will paraphrase. It's not the destination it's the journey. During my future journeys I placed an heavy emphasis on whether she was seaworthy, comfortable, and beautiful to look at. HOME RUN with the PSC. Now that I finally own a 34, my wife and I affectionately call Hush, I am the proudest and happiest sailor around...even if I don't sail as fast as the next guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dear Dave,

Thanks for "unpacking" your previous ,"not this again" reply with this wonderlly eloquent argument about why "fast or slow" is a flawed perspective. Thanks, that is so helpful not just to my friend but, I hope to others going through the same process.

Jay
SV Kenlanu
Enjoying the process as much as the arrival

Hi Jay,

The boil down as I see it is this: ocean cruising is not about how fast we get there, it's about getting there in one piece, safe, rested and maybe even in a little style. And when we do get there, we'd rather go snorkeling or enjoy the sights and not have to repair a bunch of stuff that broke along the way because the boat is not quality built and outfitted. Personally, I love being at sea and one more day on a 20 passage is not a negative. Ocean cruising is about leaving all that get-there-fast stuff behind anyway. All of us who have cruised in a Pacific Seacraft understand these things. What is tiresome is having to justify our boats on the basis of speed alone. As far as I'm concerned, people who would leave a PSC out of consideration because they believe them to be slow, at the expense of more important factors like seaworthiness, comfort and quality, just don't get it, and I refuse to go down that road with them (fast or slow) and attempt to persuade them based on their flawed paradigm.

Dave Mancini
PSC34 #305 Swan
 

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PSC's are by no means performance sleds, but that is not what the boats are about, as adressed well in the quote above.
Part of the problem is, that most cruisers boats are loaded down with more supplies than is needed for the cruise, 3 anchors with 250 ft chain each, a 100 # dinghy with an engine that needs a crane, four 5 gal cans on the rail, liferaft, diving equip, spares, full tanks, etc. etc.. Scrutinizing every pound onboard is even more important for sailors with heavy displacement vessels, if you want to keep it moving in the light stuff.
With good sails including an asym, strict weight management and a little skill a PSC should keep up with boats of similar LWL above 5 kn TWS.
We sail a PSC 31, and after putting her through a serious diet last year, the waterline dropped by 2" with the boat fully loaded for the winter cruise. And the low to moderate wind performance improved noticably.
A good set of binoculars will also help your perception of your speed as compared to the boat passing you. You will be able to see the steady stream of water from the transom, and immediately feel better. ;)
 

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Dear folks,
My question for all you PSC 34 and 37 owners, how do you rate the speed of your lovely boat, especially compared to other boats you have owned? Who passes you and whom do you pass?
Who cares? Yes, the waterline length of my PSC 34 is shorter than French boats. That makes it slower than other boats of similar overall lengths. Sorry. Have your friend read "Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Offshore Yachts" and decide if speed matters much. Even on our unadventurous trips down the southeast coast of the US, to the Bahamas, and return, we have had our moments of triumphs.

Beaten to hell in cross currents and winds at Staniel Cay anchored during a wicked cold front passage, our overhung bow kept our anchor chain from touching our bow as a nearby boat had its gel coat below his plumb bow ripped to shreds by his chain.

After a nasty trip from the Abacos to St Augustine, we sat silent in a restaurant listening to the crew of a French built boat at the next table whine. My wife and I each had comfortably slept in the starboard berth on the way across a boisterous Gulf Stream. Nothing broke. Neither of us had gotten sick. They had not been so lucky.

We have never (knock on wood) needed to be towed off after a grounding. The simple keel does not resemble a new generation anchor and the rudder is solidly attached. We just back off, or at worst, put out our stern anchor and pull. Our friends have not been so lucky. Those New Zealand wings... Yeah, they win races.

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
Irish Eyes to the Bahamas
(and now underway and headed south again)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, everyone for good information and clearly articulated reasons why the PSC is such a great boat for serious offshore work. I could not agree more and thank you for making the point so well for my friend.

Bill, Glad to hear you are headed back South. Hopefully our paths will cross.

Jay
PSC 37 Kenlanu
Long Island, the Bahamas
 
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