SailNet Community banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for information on these boats, particularly any known quirks and warnings. There are a couple of them for sale on yachtworld, and the "look" of them has really sparked my interest. Late 70, early 80 models. Lots of teak (yeah, I already know that this equals work),and the beautiful interiors really speak to me as well.

I have read the inspecting tips, here on SailNet, and understand the need for professional survey, but I don't find much specific to the Cheoy Lee here.
The boat I eventually buy will be used primarily for liveaboard and (Eastern US) coastal sailing, with the possibility of some longer passages in the future.

Any thoughts before I decide to take off and have a look at one of these?
Are they "Old Shoes"?....and if so, is that a REALLY bad thing?:D

I haven't been totally bewitched by them yet....no, really....not yet.
Thanks
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
I have some personal and 3rd party information about the Ray Richard's designed Cheoy Lee Offshore 41.

First, I own a 42-foot Cheoy Lee sloop...for the past 20 years. Second, I chartered an Offshore 41 in Tortola many years ago and sailed her throughout the U.S. and British Virgin Islands with my family for about a month. Enough to get a real feel for her. I also have some friends who several years ago bought one in Tortola, proceeded to do major structural improvements (like strengthening bulkheads), and sailed her to the South Pacific and back to Alaska and California. Finally, I have visited Cheoy Lee's yard several times and have seen these boats building.

The Offshore 41 is an interesting design. It sails very well. It's about as fast as a Valiant 40 (I once raced a Valiant 5 miles in breezy conditions from Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke to Sopers Hole on Tortola....a draw).

The hull is very well built, like most Cheoy Lee's. Very strong. The exterior teak and spruce mast, if fitted, can be a bear to keep up. Interior joinerwork is typical of Cheoy Lee: beautiful on the surface, and functional. My kids particularly liked the round "playpen" at the forward end of the main cabin.

Like many Cheoy Lee's, though, she will have some substandard metal you'll want to get rid of over time, if previous owners haven't already done so, and some leaks. "Cheoy Leaky", and all that.

That she's an older vessel may not be a show stopper, depending on how she's been cared for over the years, and depending on your skills and pocketbook to keep her spiffy. Liveaboards and "round the buoys" sailing in the Bay can get away with letting some things go awhile. But, before you take her offshore, you'd want to be certain her standing rigging, including chainplates, have been inspected and passed by a competent rigger, and that her other mechanical and electrical systems are in good repair.

You might check out the Cheoy Lee Owners Association for some contacts and more info.

Hope this helps a bit.

Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the insight, Bill. It's very much appreciated.
I was not aware of the metal problem. That's something to ask about, and have evaluated. I'd think that any substandard material would have failed by now(and been replaced) but you never know.

That she's an older vessel is not a major issue to me, as you said "depending on how she's been cared for". That she's a well-built,sturdy vessel that sails well is good to hear.

Is there some inherent weakness regarding the bulkheads that I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
I have a CT48 of similar vintage.
During my refit I removed the chain plates and found that a third of the bolts where broken and had been broken for some time.
This was not obvious from their appearance interior or exterior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
My family owned one of these for 28 years, so I have some personal experience, I guess. My father sold it last year and it was sad to see it go.

A couple of thoughts:

1. Perhaps not roomy by today's standards for a 41 foot boat, but still plenty of room. We were a family of 6 and would cruise for a week at a time no problem. If it has the round dinette (can't remember if all of the Ray Richards' ones do) that is a nice feature.

2. They draw 6'6", so draft may be an issue depending on where you want to go. Generally was not a problem for us.

3. They are pretty heavy boats, so not exactly sleds. Pointing ability is not great. Best point of sail is probably a broad reach in 20-30 knots of breeze. They can break 10 knots in those kind of conditions.

4. Definitely off-shore capable. We took her down to Bermuda in the storm that sank the Pride of Baltimore. Seas averaged 15 feet with sets of about 25 feet rolling through. She came through in generally fine shape. We actually cracked the top three feet of the mast, but that was due to a rigging error by the yard that stepped the mast, not a design issue (this was the first sail of the season after launching from an unfamiliar yard and they screwed up the shrouds -- we didn't realize until we were off-shore). We also had her offshore to Nova Scotia and back, including some very rough weather on the way back in mid-October.

5. The teak decks have been known to leak and create significant core damage. You should subject this to a very careful inspection, as the fix could involve ripping off the deck -- not a small job, as it will likely involve significant disassembly of the interior. My dad's boat had this in its future. You could have lived with it a little longer, but the deck was soft in spots.

6. The engine is located in the bilge. Good for sailing capabilities but not easy for service.

Hope this is helpful. They are beautiful boats (always got lots of compliments by passers by) and ours certainly generated some of my favorite childhood memories.

Best,

MD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
My family also owned one, which we raced some in Cruising Canvas, and also took to the BVI via Bermuda.

These are pretty boats, well maintained with good varnish and paint they are drop dead gorgeous. Ours was frequently mistaken for a Hinckley or an expensive custom, but you need to be aware of a few things.

As stated above, substandard deck hardware. We ended up changing nearly all of it. I pulled a turning block out of the toerail going upwind in not much over 20 knots with working jib.

Watch out for leaks around the toerail, and at any deck penetration. After a couple of years of extended sailing, we had taken down the headliner and rebedded properly every piece of deck hardware. CL would drill a hole and drop a bolt with bedding compound, so if the fitting leaked the core was exposed.

My main problem was keeping rigging tight. The boat has a deck stepped mast with a compression post thru the saloon. The price of that open layout is there is limited structural bulkheading in way of the chainplates. No matter how we adjusted the standing rigging, going upwind the leeward shrouds would go slack. CL also installed closed barrel turnbuckles, which IMO have no place on an offshore boat as you cannot visually inspect the threads. We changed those, too.

Going upwind in any kind of blow we could go below and see gaps working between the furniture and the cabin sole, as most things were simply not bonded to the hull.

A lot of this won't be a problem if you don't push the boat. The hulls are thick and strong. Our problem was we decided to race a boat which had not been built up for the rigors of racing. There has been a family in one of the magazines recently, cruising one of these around the Carribean. You get a lot of boat for the money.

I don't mean to sound negative about the boat, because I have magical memories of her. Until my family got that boat, I was strictly a racer, and because of that boat I have a great love of cruising, and they really do sail well. I have several trophies in my home that we won with her. But partly because of that boat, when I went to buy another boat for cruising a few years ago, I looked much more closely at some of the fundamentals of hull structure, and insisted on a keel stepped mast.

Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
One thing I forgot to mention, which I view as an enormous positive for the boat, was the great number of opening ports and Dorade vents, making the interior very well ventilated relative to many if not most other boats her size.

Ours had some fairly cumbersome teak framed bug screens for the opening ports. They worked well, but were a pain to stow and were bulky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you Mdidriksen and Sahara... excellent information and perspectives.
What can you tell me about original tankage and keel/ballast. Are there any special concerns here?
 

·
Aquaholic
Joined
·
1,139 Posts
Weren't they originally built with cast iron tankage? That's an upgrade I would anticipate making if it hasn't been done.

Though I could be mis-remembering from another manufacturer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Restless,
My family, then I owned a 1976 41 for about 15 years. I sailed the boat alot all over the place and spent alot of time in getting her "right" - to my standards I guess.
I loved the boat and at times, am sad that I no longer have her. They are very pretty as stated, apparently Cheoy Lee got tired of paying Rhodes royalties on the 40' Reliant and had their in house guy Richards create the 41 from the Reliant. The boats can vary alot, even though the boats were offered as stock with either ketch,sloop or yawl rigs-what I mean by vary is mostly in quality but also lots of strange things happened in those old Cheoy Lee yards. Some of the boats (I have known a few others) were well built, some had real problems-typical of those days in those yards-quality and detailing wildly different. For instance, I always felt my boat had a small rudder and that she required alot of helming at times-sure enough, I measured the rudder on another 41 in a yard and mine was short. Sounds crazy as there ought to be a simple mold for a rudder, but who knows what they were doing-I ended up adding to my rudder about 12" and it improved tracking and pointing immensely.
But, without writing a novel about my beloved Cheoy Lee-what to look for when buying? First off, and especially as the boats are now about 30 years old-you have to see how much of the "chinese" has been replaced-by that I mean the wiring (my original 12 v ground was all the ground wires behind the panel bundled up and soldered together...!), the plumbing-rotted old copper pipe etc, the deck hardware-Cheoy Lee "stainless" is legendary, the leaky teak decks, old wooden masts etc etc. When I sold her after all those years and a few trips to the West Indies and back etc, the teak decks had been removed, toerails removed (talk about chinese SS-nearly every bolt was wasted to near nothing), glassed the decks and hull to deck to cove stripe, toerails replaced (should have done it differently-another story), all stanchion bases and stanchions replaced, new (and fewer) jib tracks, blocks winches etc (no Cheoy Lee stuff at all), Aluminum rigs with new standing rigging, new sails (of course), proper windlass, removed and rebedded (but used the massive cheoy lee bronze portlights) all portlights and hatches (used wooden hatches too after rebuilding), painted out alot of the exessive varnish, black imron topsides, bigger rudder, feathering prop, nearly completely rewired, replumbed , repowered - the engine in the bilge is a problem-nice for weight and room below but even a little water in the bilge and you can soak the starter on a perkins-went thru several starters. My boat balways had a mysterious leak or leaks too... The interior is quite unique and roomy-great aft cabin, decent head, decent galley, the huge round table. Some boats had a nicely finished forepeak, some simple like mine. I removed the hanging locker by the port quarterberths and built a decent nav station in its place.
I know of one boat personally that had some pretty big problems with the deck lifting in breeze and the boat moving like crazy-they ended up rebonding alot of the boat and I think it worked well. I had a big problem with oilcanning in the forward sections and ended up adding 1/2"" balsa and biaxial glass over in those large unsupported areas-it worked well. everyone always talks about "how strong" the older solid glass boats are, but that can vary as well-layup schedules and stuff were pretty loose I think (understatement)-more like a bunch of laborers with rolls of fabric and buckets of resin-some of the glasswork on the the boats is overbuilt and bulletproof and some is astonishingly thin-again alot of differences in quality from boat to boat.
The boats sail pretty well all in all-I did alot with my boat to get her going better upwind-rigs, sails, rudder, deck layout etc, and still she was no upwind machine of course, but was much better-we could tack through 100 degrees and maybe less at times. Beam reaching is pretty sweet, the tumblehome goes down and she can really go-had very close to a 200 mile day once and many good fast 150+ miles days offshore when the boat was very happy. Mine was a ketch and I used a mizzen staysail and cruising spinnaker with good success. 135% furling genoa or 95% jib in tradewinds.
I suppose I have written enough already-happy to answer any specific questions you have-I wonder what boat you are looking at? All in all they can be pretty great cruising boats or they can be a repair and maintenance nightmare-depends on the boat and where you enter into her "chinese equipment removal" cycle. Several of the boats have done alot of sailing-mine a bit, another I knew circumnavigated over 5 years and they loved their boat, etc so they can do the job in the right hands - Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Great overview, cdragon.
Two of the boats are listed on yachtworld;

YW# 3144-1775070 Located In Portsmouth, RI. 1977,sloop rigged, diesel repower in '06 w/49hp Phasor. older 1988 Hood mast. rigging is that old, too.

YW# 1704-2015978 in Long Beach, Ca. a 1979 ketch

The other one(the first to catch my eye) is a 1978 41' by the name of Spice Lady offered on the Cheoy Lee assn. website. This one has had the Teak decks replaced. Pics of the project in progress appear as though it was well-done. not sure about chainplates and deck hardware replacement.

Still thinking and looking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I know this is an old thread but I am hoping to contact someone who goes by "btrayfors" who posted on this thread early on some years ago. He said

"I also have some friends who several years ago bought one in Tortola, proceeded to do major structural improvements (like strengthening bulkheads), and sailed her to the South Pacific and back to Alaska and California."

in reference to a Cheoy Lee Offshore 41'. I am hoping he might remember a bit more about that boat or another CL O41 that was in Roadtown in the '90's. I am looking for information about a particular boat and her whereabouts over the last 20 years. It is purely for fun. Might someday be a writing project. If anyone here thinks they might know anything I would be happy to hear from you. Thanks.
 

·
USCG Captain
Joined
·
16 Posts
Hi Don,

I owned a Richards 32 in the late 70's and loved that boat. Yes, there was a lot of maintenance, but it was a labor of love. I would not hesitate to buy a Cheoy Lee again.

However, in addition to the issues you've already heard about, be ware of the teak decks and wooden window frames.

Many of these boats, since they are now older, have leaky decks. The deck is a layer of fiberglass, then balsa core, then a layer of fiberglass. Over this is 5/8" teak planking. It's beautiful and, I think, one of the Cheoy Lee's finest traits.

But. . . as time goes by, you can get leaks around the screws holding the decking down. The water gets into the balsa and causes dry rot. It can be fixed, but add it into your budget. If you find this on your boat, lower your bid to accomodate the repair.

The windows are also notoriously leaky. If you see water stains on the teak around the windows on the interior watch out. You will at very least need to reseal the windows. At worse you could have to rip the layer of veneer off and replace it.

Otherwise, I love these boats. I missed out on a chance to buy one a couple of years ago and am still kicking myself.

Captain Penn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,889 Posts
Lorilei,

I resemble that remark :)

I actually chartered an Offshore 41 in Nanny Cay, Tortola in the 80's. Don't remember which year, but we had her for 3 weeks. Boat was named, "Serentil", I believe, and had an unlikely homeport on the stern, like "Boulder CO", or some such.

Nice boat, good performance.

There's been a liveaboard OS41 at my marina in Washington DC for the past 20 years or so. In fact, she just left a few weeks ago to go into a yard down the river for maintenance and ???

Only other OS42 I've run across over the years is the one I mentioned earlier. She was at Nanny Cay for quite awhile, and was bought by Tom ?? and his wife. He did a lot of work on her and, subsequently, sailed her to the South Pacific and on back to California.

Bill





I know this is an old thread but I am hoping to contact someone who goes by "btrayfors" who posted on this thread early on some years ago. He said

"I also have some friends who several years ago bought one in Tortola, proceeded to do major structural improvements (like strengthening bulkheads), and sailed her to the South Pacific and back to Alaska and California."

in reference to a Cheoy Lee Offshore 41'. I am hoping he might remember a bit more about that boat or another CL O41 that was in Roadtown in the '90's. I am looking for information about a particular boat and her whereabouts over the last 20 years. It is purely for fun. Might someday be a writing project. If anyone here thinks they might know anything I would be happy to hear from you. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Thanks for the quick reply... Bill, I think it was? I was wondering if you could recall the name of the boat your friends bought and refitted? If you cannot recall the name perhaps you might recall the hull color? The boat I am trying to track was fairly distinctive. The timing is about right and she was at Nanny Cay in the late 80's into the 90's so there is a chance she might be the same one. She would not be the one you chartered. I know how she got there and I know where she is now. I am trying to fill in the blanks. Partly just out of curiosity and partly because, as I said, it might be fun to write about at some future date. If it happens to be the same boat it would be very interesting. I am a bit fascinated about the travels of some of these blue water boats from owner to owner and have been looking into the current whereabouts of several I remember from childhood. One was a 12 meter which was rescued from South Africa a few years back, restored and is back in Newport, RI. Another is a wooden schooner which is currently being restored very slowly up in Maine. One was scuttled at her owner's request after he died. One has disappeared without a trace other than a dinghy with her name on the transom. All very interesting stories. This is the "newest" boat on my list. Thanks for the help. L.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I can't for the life of me find the mast/rig dimension for a C.Lee RR 41 sloop. If any of you owners can help I need a the measurements so I can find a mast. I would greatly appreciate it!!!!!
 

·
Administrator
Farr 11.6 (Farr 38)
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
A couple quick thoughts here.
First of all, the Ray Richards design has no relationship to the earlier Rhodes Reliant (41). When Cheoy Lee decided to stop paying royalties to Rhodes they produced the Offshore 40 which was the rebadged Reliant. The Ray Richards Offshore 41 was a totally different design and a very superior design to the Reliant or Offshore 40.

Ray Richards was one of those unsung designers who should have been better known and appreciated. His hull and rig designs were some of the best cruising designs of that era, even if his interior layouts were a bit more 'creative' than they should have been.

Cheoy Lee's build quality was all over the place so that it is very hard to classify them a well built or poorly built. Their problems are pretty well understood and can be reversed, albeit at costs that approach the overall value of the boat.

In terms of rig dimensions, Cheoy Lee would modify these boats on the fly. When I worked with Charlie Wittholz, he had designed a 53 footer for them. A buyer asked for a tall rig and so they extended the mast by something like 6 feet taller. Later they casually mentioned that to Charlie saying that 6 feet was too much but that they were now building the stardard model with an approximately 4' longer mast and moved the mast a little forward of where Charlie drew it then they made it taller so they could extend the boom.

There is a sailplan on Sailboat Data but I caution that it may not match your boat.

Jeff
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top