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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #1
We are seriously considering purchasing a Rafiki 37 (similar to a Tayana 37). I've searched the forums and the Web in general and only found passing references here and there to the boat. There used to be a owners group, but it now appears to be dead.

Any current or past owners here? Any knowledgeable comments would be greatly appreciated. I'm particularly interested in:

- Her general sailing characteristics. Will she move in light airs? How high does she point? How easy does she balance?

- Any thoughts on iron tanks. They currently look good, but...

- Storage capacity. There appears to be plenty of tankage volume and lots of easy storage, but what about bulk storage for those long isolated journeys? Extra sails? Inflatable kayaks? 200 cans of peas?

Finally, I've seen reference to cored hulls, particularly with the Rafiki 35. Does anyone know if the 37 is a cored hull? I'd be surprised given its age (mid-late 70s) and its displacement (13+tons).

Thanks
 

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Rafiki 37

I am the Owner of Rafiki 37 Hull #1

We have circumnavagated with this boat.There were 55 made and most are on the west coast. They have more storage than 90% of 37 foot boats and have features that are comparable to most 40 footers. They are cored. They do not sail to windward very well, same as most gentlemen. However, they are a very strong and capable cruising boat. The age of these boats means that most have had at least one or two majoor re-fits. The boat you are looking at shoild have newer engine, new wiring, new stainless tanks, new wiring and all new mast, sails and rigging. If not expect to replace soon. They sail best with a monitor windvane. They have weather helm, and to reduce this you must shorten the main boom, increase mast height 5 feet, and add a bow spirit. They will average 100 miles per day in the trades, our daily best was 155 miles.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks

Thanks for the reply Roundelay. We are now in the final stages of purchasing the boat. The one we are looking at is called Pachina Mia, with HIN: GME370140177, which I interpret at hull# 14. There is an newer engine, and standing rigging, and some wiring (although original panel). I believe the mast and boom are original, but not sure, and there is no bowsprit. There is a stainless water tank, but the diesel are still iron. They have been recently examined and found to be in good shape (whatever that means). It does have an Aries windvane.

I'd love to connect with you and other Rafiki owners. Is there a users group or any sort of online community?
 

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Hi I am the owner of hull #16. I have owned her now for 17 years and have sailed her once and a half around the world. We are currently in New Zealand do a refit. Stripping off my beloved teak deaks now. It is very depressing. But I can answer some of your questions. Hull #1 was very accurate. I just haulout our and we wieghed roughly 14.5 tons 70%loaded. I averaged 138miles per day on a 38 day passage from NZ to Chile. She is a great boat, comfortable, and runs down wind very well. we use a monitor.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #5
That's funny AliciaLavigne... I just saw your posting on the teak deck repair and immediately sent you a personal message. Very excited to find another Rafiki-37 owner. Thanks for the message.

We did buy Pachina Mia, and are very happy with her. She's a wonderful sea boat; very comfortable and perfect for the two of us. And I agree, she loves a down-wind sail.

Sounds like you're living the life we're working to get to. Are you living on board year round? Love to hear more about your travels, and any other Rafiki tips.
 

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Just bought a 1977 Rafiki 37. Hull number 20. It was love at first sail. Perfect boat for our water in Hawaii. I would certainly love to hear from other Rafiki owners. Any other owners in Hawaii?
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #7
Just bought a 1977 Rafiki 37. Hull number 20. It was love at first sail. Perfect boat for our water in Hawaii. I would certainly love to hear from other Rafiki owners. Any other owners in Hawaii?
Congrats Davenus, as you already know, Rafiki-37s are wonderful boats. Unfortunately I'm no where near you, but there does seem to be more owners in the Pacific basin.
 

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Hi, My name is Rick and my wife and I just recently purchased a Rafiki 37 I believe is hull # 31 and would like to chat or meet some fellow Rafiki owners.
 

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Hi Mike, thanks for the reply. We sail out of Point Richmond in the SF Bay area.I guess I should sail we will be sailing out of the bay area. The boat we purchased is a fixer. The hull is sound but the rest of the boat has been badly neglected so we have some work to do before it leaves the dock. How do you like the way your boat sails and have you done any major refits or changes. We currently sail a ericson 35 but are real excited about getting in front of the tiller on the Rafiki. Hopefully by early next year.
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #11
That's good that you've rescued your boat. My understanding is that only about 50 of the Rafiki-37s were ever built, so each one is treasure. As you know, they were very well made, so I'm sure it will all be worth the time and effort to bring yours back up.

Pachina Mia was in pretty good shape when we bought her, so we haven't had to do anything major yet. The two biggest challenges we will eventually face are issues around the teak deck, and dealing with the black iron diesel tanks.

I love the way she sails. She cuts through any small slop, and has a nice gentle motion when things pipe up. The tiller is great, and it forces you to remain well balanced (which is a good thing). We're still learning how to use the stay sail effectively, and that big main makes broad reaching tricky sometimes. Overall though, she's a great sea boat. And with wind anywhere on the beam or aft and she moves pretty fast. Beating ... not so much.

I hope the refit goes well for you. Keep an eye out for other Rafiki's. Those that I've heard of have all be over on the Pacific coast (or off circumnavigating).
 

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Just bought a Rafiki 37 in Alameda. Saw the posting and thought I'd join in. I had to sell my Atlanta 28 to help pay for the new Rafiki, but I am so excited about this boat. I'd welcome a chance to chat with any other Rafiki owners, especially those in the Bay Area. - Tony
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #13
Just bought a Rafiki 37 in Alameda. Saw the posting and thought I'd join in. I had to sell my Atlanta 28 to help pay for the new Rafiki, but I am so excited about this boat. I'd welcome a chance to chat with any other Rafiki owners, especially those in the Bay Area. - Tony
Congrats on the new (old) boat Tony. I'm sure you're going to love her. As you know, only about 50 Rafiki-37s were built, so our group is rather small. I've only managed to find a couple of other owners since acquiring our Rafiki a few years ago. It would be great to have others join in here.

In any case, I'm happy to chat about the boats, and share what little I know and have learned.
 

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Thanks, Mike. Just finished fixing a through hull and some plumbing issues and we're putting her back in the water Thursday. Found the old owner on a posting and he was nice enough to come out to the boat and show me some of the upgrades he did. What an awesome boat. Been looking at these for some time and never thought I'd actually own one.

I do have to do some electrical, but the engine that was reported as ruined is fine and dandy. Was worrying about teak and deck but found out the deck is five years old and the teak new. Unfortunately, it's never been sanded, so still needs that.

Planning a trip from SF Bay to Hawaii in a year, so time to get her ready.

Best,

Tony
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #15
Glad to hear you've found such a gem Tony. They are amazing boats.

We're based in the Great Lakes for the next year and a half, and then heading out the St. Lawrence and south to the Caribbean; after that, who knows. But I'm already envious of you -- our water is very hard right now. We won't get back in the water until end of May at the earliest. One more year sailing Lake Superior, and then south!
 

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I've just bought hull number 27 in Alameda.

Was wondering if anyone knows the the capacity for the tanks?. I don't think they're original iron, but look to be in the same places. I have a fuel tank forward midship, two water port and starboard, side by side just aft of the fuel, and then two more fuel tanks just aft of the water tanks.

Any other Rafiki owners in the bay area? We're planning to do some cruising this summer and are looking for destinations and possible boats to meet up with.

Thanks,

Tony
 

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Old soul
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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Tony, hopefully other owners will emerge b/c I'd love to hear what others have as well.

Our boat (hull #37) is set up with two diesel tanks, one water tank. The tanks may be original -- at least I bet the diesel tanks are since they're black iron. I've yet to measure the exact size of our tanks, but the blueprints specs that we received with our boat (copies of the originals, direct from Stan Huntingford) show the forward diesel tank to be 35 gallons, and the aft to be 89 gallons. The single water tank (made of SS) is 198 gallons.

Interestingly, we're beginning to suspect our aft diesel tank is only about 65 gallons. Our forward tank is decommissioned due to a leak.
 

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Hey, Tony my name is Rick,I'm a Rafiki 37 owner in the bay area. We keep our boat in Point Richmond. We try to sail her a couple times a month mostly local. Were planning a few trips to Drakes Bay and the Santa Cruz and Monterey area this Fall. Where do you keep your boat? I like to take a look at it some time and compare notes. Let me know.
 

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Hey Rick,
We're in Alameda. We're hoping to hit Drakes Bay soon ourselves. We're hoping to head to Half Moon Bay this Saturday and head back Monday, though it is possible we'll end up anchored at Richardson Bay instead. My wife likes Sausalito (as do I). We'd welcome a chance to see your boat and compare notes as well. I'm without any auto tiller or steering until June, so it's some work traveling, but I've found she'll point well into the wind and stay on her mark with nothing more than a bungee attached.

Good to hear from you. Maybe we could meet up some time some where.

Best, Tony
 

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Hello, I have a 37' foot Rafiki cutter. I believe I purchased this boat off Davenus (hull 20) this past year, and I am now living on her in Hawaii. Also Met MikeOriley on another sailing forum.

Any tips/tricks about our boat are welcome. We have been sanding and staining the gun rails, and doing various repairs that come with an older vessel. Anyone currently making large voyages on their cutter?
 
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