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The Brinlae Rose Lives
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Discussion Starter #1
So, it looks to me from what tons of folks have said, that the Buccaneer18 is about the worst first sailboat I could have aquired...ever. Can anyone assuage my concern that the second I put the thing in the water, she'll run away:hothead , laughing histerically:laugher as we hold on for dear life, and heeling with glee as she dumps us into the thankfully warm, briny Lake Waco. :eek: ? Is there anything I can do to make her more stable? I don't mind a squirrly boat, but goodness gracious, it sounds like only the saltiest of sea dogs even have a ghost of a chance!:confused:
I've also heard that she can be kind and gentle to those who can woo her. Those who love her say that she's a perfect lady. Others say she's overpowered, unstable, and anthing but family friendly. There doesn't seem to be any agreement that I can find.
So far, I've thought of strapping extra ballast to the centerboard in the form of glassed over lead or steel plates, adding a reef point to the main (one does not exist so far) and installing positive floatation tanks under the seats. Thing is, I have no clue as to whether or not any of this will work (beside the reef point, that seems to be tried and true). The Brinlae Rose is rigged as simple as it comes, I made sure of that 'cause thats all I know how to use. I think She's about as close to stock 1978 rigging as I can make her based on the period brochure photos that I've been able to find, but she's got extra cleats, clams, and clamps studded all over her foredeck, and I have no idea what they are doing there. I think I can handle her with a buddy, we are both good size boys (250+) and I've heard that she calms down a bit with a load just like a skittish filly (young female horse, for those of you who don't speak Texan). I've sailed plenty of sunfish and I've never been over, but it sounds as if the Bucc should be saved for the experts.

Please help:(

The Rose Lives
 

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Nothing like getting out there and giving it a try!

Sail her and see what YOU think of the boat before worrying about how to modify it.
 

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The Brinlae Rose Lives
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17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, She's just about ready. I still need to carve a new rudder (don't want to spend 200 on a new one when I can make one) and install a new motor mount. Can anyone recommend a good motor for a Bucc18? After that its just a matter of getting a plug for the transom drain and she'll be good to go.
 

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Hmm...the Buc 18 was the first sailboat I owned...it's got alot of fans in the sailing world I would venture to guess. She can do it all depending on what you want out of her. I never raced with her but I know they are popular with racers and have many class associations around the country. I loved the Buc 18 but I explore/camp when I sail as much as anything and they are short on stowage room for these types of pursuits..she's really a racer at heart with a self-bailing cockpit afterall...give her a few laps around the track and see what you think...I bet she'd make a great lake sailer...Have fun!
 

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Francophobe
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168 Posts
I was really tempted to buy a Bucc when I was looking. If you are going sailing with a buddy and you both know how to swim, I don't see any problems. I backed off due to having two young kids.

What I picked up in my research:
They have low primary stability but fairly high secondary stability - it will heel but doesn't go all the way over too easily
If you do dump it, don't waste any time getting it upright, they do have a nasty habit of turning turtle.

There is a yahoo group where you can pick up lots of advice, the sailors on there are pretty friendly, I spent a fair amount of time there picking up tidbits while I was shopping.

For me, if I didn't have young kids I would put it at the top of my list. Good boat for two active adults to sail.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Well, you are in for an education! (long)

Oookay. I can field this one. First, there's a good Yahoo Group dedicated to the boat. That is to say, there's a good bunch of people on Yahoo's crappy message boards, and they are dedicated to the boat up to and including excusing most of its faults, which are many, but which are broadly balanced by it's virtues. Follow that?:D

Bucc18 : Buccaneer 18 Discussion

First, the virtues. The boat is quick -- as fast as or faster than the Lightning, 470, Or Highlander. In its class (vintage big dinghies) only the 5o5, Thistle, and Flying Dutchman can beat it around the buoys, and it'll match the Thistle in stronger winds. In light air, the Bucc moves really well: it has a tall mast and a powerhead main. It will plane up to a close reach in 12-15 knots true. On reaches and runs, it'll plane on even less; like the FD, it carries its beam all the way aft, and it can MOVE if you hold it flat. Spinny is modest but main is large (114 sqft), so it has plenty of power downwind.

The boat is easy to set up -- 15 minutes to launch. One person can step the mast. It floats in 8 inches of water and at 500 lbs, it can be thrown around by one person. It will take a very small outboard or troller, but the thing paddles like a bloody canoe, so I can't imagine bothering with a motor. (Plus, with its low freeboard, you WILL drag any motor left on the bracket -- trust me on this.) The Bucc is cheap to buy, cheap to own, and very simple to fix. The class is large, growing, and extremely active: people lug their Buccs 3000 miles to race in Nationals or NOODs. They are a friendly group, willing to help with tips, parts, repairs, and crewing. You will not find a better gang to help you learn the boat and, if you want, to start racing with. Nickels is making new Buccs, so parts are available. Restrictive class rules hold annual costs down.

Within its window, the Bucc18 is simply a riot to sail. It accelerates out of the hole like a dragster, it turns fairly quick for 17' of waterline, and when it has the bit between its teeth, it's like clinging to the back of a thoroughbred. Mucho fun for not much money, and a hell of a training platform. I love sailing it ... when it's behaving itself.

Now the faults. The older boats could be hit or miss on quality, and they were not always well-appointed. Some have been updated with magic box jib tensioners and mast tabernacles; others have not. Some have had chainplates reinforced, some have really noodly spars, some will have soggy floatation foam. The older boats are a real mixed bag.

The hull form has the softest bilge you ever will see -- perfectly round chines -- so it will go from flat to 30 degrees heel (and back down) in an eyeblink; for all its claims to be a 'sit in rather than a sit-on boat,' you will need to hike and hike hard to keep the boat upright and moving. It's tenderness makes it hard to get comfortable and impossible to find a groove in puffy conditions. You will be up and down every 10 seconds. New sailors may have trouble depowering the boat fast enuf to prevent capsize, and sailing at up to 45 degrees of heel can be disconcerting until you get used to it. The boat does firm up there, but by that point the weather helm has become ridiculous. The original marketing claimed the boat will hold six people;:laugher Nickles has sensibly reduced that number to four, but even then you need very calm winds. You cannot have anyone on the low side in a breeze, and the cockpit (while large) is cluttered with vang, centerboard trunk, mainsheet, and tiller; with a low boom, it takes precise choreography to get even three people across when tacking.

The boats vices become insuperable as the wind edges over 15 knots; you will need at least 375 lbs of crew weight to hold down the boat and keep it footing. Singlehanding becomes very difficult above 12 kts. The mainsail is twice the area of the jib and quite roachy; combined with the boat's radical heeling, it will round up very easily in a gust, and you will find yourself fighting the helm. Kicking up the CB halfway helps, but then the chineless boat develops shocking leeway. Class rules forbid reefing; I do it anyway, because I like to live. You can roller furl the jib to reduce sail, but then the boat has even more weather helm. It actually sails really well on jib only, but that's not so practical. Maybe a topping lift would help.;)

The boat could really benefit from a traveler, but it's not allowed. So the boom is prone to lifting on downwind headings. You will need to use the vang to prevent accidental jibes, esp. since the swept-back shrouds keep the boom from paying all the way out. Lack of traveler & backstay also means you have to depower the main by cracking the sheet, which again lifts the boom and makes the main breifly deeper. Can be quite alarming. Many people sail Buccs with a soft mainsail luff in higher winds, but it is kind of a half-assed way to control the boat. Reefing is better.

When you capsize -- you WILL capsize -- the boat is fairly easy to stand back up, even from a full turtle. Blow the sheets, maybe even loosen the main halyard. Standing on the CB will get it up real fast, but some CBs and hinge pins are pretty creaky -- be ready if it snaps off! I can right ours by myself, and I weigh 140 lbs. It will be harder in chop, however. The secret is patience: lean back and wait... wait ... wait... while the sails shed their water. Then it will come up all at once. Some people add pool noodles below decks and in the mast; not sure it's that big a deal.

I dumped our Bucc last Saturday, singlehanding in really puffy winds that eventually topped out at 30knots. Stuck the mast in the lake bottom, too.:D I got it back up in five minutes, bailed it out enough to get moving -- the cockpit bailers need 5 kts boat speed to work -- and kept it together the rest of the day. In the boat's defense, it was the first time it tossed me in two years, despite some of the gnarliest, weirdest winds in America. But it took a lot of work to keep it that way & I've been playing this game since 1975.

The Buccaneer 18 is not the ideal boat for a beginner, for a singlehander, or for people for whom hiking or agility is problematic. But hey. If you can sail it, you can sail darn near anything.:) I'd strongly advise finding someone with small boat experience who can show you the tricks. You should practice dumping and recovering it with someone who knows how. Even with your Sunfish experience, you might spend a few hours on jib only until you get the feel for her. Pointing and tacking will suffer, tho not as much as you'd think. And PFDs mandatory for everyone, all the time. I will not go out on that boat without one.

Finally, a few gear issues. The original Chrysler rudderhead was a cast aluminum truss & prone to breaking; the stainless pintle retaining clip didn't work; both led to lost rudder assemblies. So probably yours is an aftermarket: flat drilled aluminum plates. Use a clevis pin or RingDing to keep it attached if you capsize. The original chainplates often needed beefing up. The boom may have a permanent downward bend. The jibhead swivel is a constant irritation, tending to 'birdcage' the wire halyard. I want to replace the halyard with Spectra cord. The CB box is prone to weakness, cracking, and rotting; I am completely rebuilding ours as I type this.:D There's a soft area in the hull just in front of the CB box; a trailer roller may punch right thru there. Decks & seats are not cored, but older boats can make scary crunching noises when you walk on them. The round bailers tend to leak; a little Vaseline can help, but many people replace them with new rectangular ones, which is not a trivial job. The round ones really get the water out fast, tho. Never yet sailed the Bucc without taking water over the rail.

Best of luck, enjoy your boat, and please post here or PM me if you have more questions. It's a fun boat if you can get past its fiery temper. More zing for the dollar you will not find in the boating world. Cheers!
 

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Have to agree about the outboard idea...the buc 18 only weighs 500 lbs and IMHO the transom is very low and wide...not one that you can easily imagine an outboard hanging off of...I'd think about rowlocks though...
 

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The Brinlae Rose Lives
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Discussion Starter #10
thanks all, Bob you're a peach. That pep talk was just what I needed. If there's anyone here from Waco who would like to help with this boat, could you let me know? I'm looking forward to getting in the water, I guess I'll just plug up the old motor mount holes and invest in some oars!
 

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baDumbumbum
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Real quick, how well does she do with weight...Texas weight.
The more Texas weight you got, the better she'll sail in strong Texas winds.:) Top racing crews often consist of a wiry skipper and a big, strapping crew.



500 lbs is good: holding the beast down is essential. In light winds, however, you may need a little induced heel (<10 degrees) to reduce wetted surface and keep the sails full: one person on each bench. Fore and aft placement is crucial: One forward, one back in light air; both forward in heavy stuff; both slightly aft and centered downwind. I have my GF straddle the CB trunk when running. That's a good spot to play the chute from, too.:)

Class Association.

Hey -- finally getting a few Bucc18 videos online! Here's the BNAC: very light winds, but even so you see the power & hull efficiency.
 

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Coastal Traveler
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It's a small sailboat, get in it and sail. Make sure that it's solid enough to take it out, and worry about fixing and upgrading later. If you don't like it, sell it and buy something else. And don't forget to have fun!

Dave
 

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The Buc18 was my first "real" sailboat. Its the one I learned on. After my first season, we named it "Adrenalin" 'cause thats the way she sailed. Bob summed it up perfectly.

Have fun, wear a PFD.
 

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The more Texas weight you got, the better she'll sail in strong Texas winds.:) Top racing crews often consist of a wiry skipper and a big, strapping crew.
Hey Bob if you make it to the great salt lake I would invite you out on the GSLYC boat to show me how to sail it.

Just one questions how often is the skipper a wiry guy looking for strapping crew? I have been the big stapping crew all my life and could never find someone looking for a 200 lb person to crew on their dingy. Thus the closest I have gotten to dingy racing is a J22.

I joined the local YC because they have a Bucaneer for club use and it is also the most reasonable YC i have ever considered joining beyond the consideration stage. Pretty much cheaper than 2 months storage of a B18 if I owned one. So far have only took out the boat once. Wind was under 10 knots and the boat was easy enough for my newbie to sailing wife to handle. There was only a tired main and jib but the boat was fun to sail. I can not wait till the wind picks up and try it after hearing your descrciption.
 

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baDumbumbum
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Hey Bob if you make it to the great salt lake I would invite you out on the GSLYC boat to show me how to sail it.

Just one questions how often is the skipper a wiry guy looking for strapping crew? I have been the big stapping crew all my life and could never find someone looking for a 200 lb person to crew on their dingy. Thus the closest I have gotten to dingy racing is a J22.

I joined the local YC because they have a Bucaneer for club use and it is also the most reasonable YC i have ever considered joining beyond the consideration stage. Pretty much cheaper than 2 months storage of a B18 if I owned one. So far have only took out the boat once. Wind was under 10 knots and the boat was easy enough for my newbie to sailing wife to handle. There was only a tired main and jib but the boat was fun to sail. I can not wait till the wind picks up and try it after hearing your descrciption.
Minimizing weight is key on lots of dinghies, like 5o5s or 470s -- but they have trapezes! You really need a big person amidships to hold the Bucc down over 15 kts, esp since it has so few means of controlling mainsail shape. It's a big hull with plenty of volume, so it doesn't mind some beef even in light winds. You and the OP will thrive on the Bucc. And you can skip the whole pre-race bulemia routine. Have another burger: heavy is fast!;)

Fall's near -- the winds will start screaming across the Big Briny any day now. You should take the Bucc out some day with breeze upper teens & steady. It's an entirely different personality from the 10 knot Bucc. Fun, but a proper handful.:D

BTW our Bucc is named Grainnia after a famous red-headed minx from Irish mythology, the namesake of pirate queen Grace O'Malley and Anna Livia Plurabella ("Her Grace O'Malice"). Sweet one moment, winding your intestines out on a stick the next.:eek:
 

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Ruler of Wind and Wave
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Just Go Sailing

You can learn any boat with a little practice. Once you learn the BUC 18, you'll have a blast. I had my first BUC when I was 36 and my kids were 14 and 12. They loved it. I got my second BUC at 60 and enjoyed it immensely both single and double hand. I just sold it to the next family to sail with their kids, but only because I finally acquired my retirement boat.
 

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The Brinlae Rose Lives
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Discussion Starter #19
I'm taking the 'Rose' out for the first time on Saturday. Thank you so much for all of your info and help. Bob, like I said before, you're a peach. I am thinking that we might need to name her something a little more aggressive. We named her the Brinlae Rose because that was a good mix of some of the names of my and my friend's future daughters. I hope I can sail her without hurting myself and wrecking my boat like some of the first timers I've heard of, but I'm confident that we'll do good.

Steven
 

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baDumbumbum
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Glad to help! Enjoy the boat -- it's a heckuva ride. I'll try to get some rigging photos and post them here, if the wind dies down a little. It's good if you have jib tracks all over -- one of the supreme issues with this boat is jib sheet position and control. Chrysler put the jib lead tracks up and outboard on the rail: but close-hauled, that flattens out the jib too much and chokes the slot up high. Some people moved them to the vertical seat back, but that makes the seat unusable and cleating the jib from the high side impossible. Some people put them at the edge of the seat itself -- I believe Nickels Boat Works is insetting them there -- to bring the clew in tighter but let the top of the jib twist off. A home-made mod:



The challenge then is getting the jib to fill on deep reaches; you may need your crew to hand-fly it. Or, use Barber haulers (more accurately, inhauls) with the outboard tracks. These are allowed by class rules and are simply small blocks on a string that loops thru a point on the centerboard box. The jib sheets run thru them on the way to your tracks:



By pulling them in or letting them out, these Barberhaulers let you simulate different track placements. Not something you need for getting started, but one to think about in the future. BTW, the jib sheets on this boat go inside the shrouds, and that little chrome hook w/ a rubber noogie by the shroud is a Spinnaker Twing, used ONLY on the upwind (pole) side of the spinny. Don't get your jib leads caught in those!:eek:

A vang is a useful item on this boat, but don't let the lack of one keep you off the water. Doesn't do much upwind, since the mid-boom 4:1 sheeting imparts all the leech tension & boom flex you're going to get. But it does help hold the boom down off the wind. The trouble is, there's no good place to attach the vang to the boat that doesn't interfere w/ the centerboard when up; ours is on a bridle, but you have to remember to ease the vang/lower the board when jibing, or things get really ugly really quick: the vang bridle hangs up on the centerboard and the boom doesn't pay out. Sploosh! You'll do that once or twice.:D

I really like Brinlae Rose, BTW. It's a classy name. Roses got thorns, right?;)
 
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