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Discussion Starter #1
Any advice / opinions on these for a ocean passage trip around the world:

Norseman 447,
Swan 47 C/B,
Wauquiez Centurion 47,
Cardinal 46

Thanks
 

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Not sure on the others, but I would have to caution those sailing the Swan 47. It has a real propensity to broach, in even seemingly harmless wind and sea conditions. The one I sailed extensivly on eventually had a 25% larger rudder installed in an attempt to correct this. It helped, but was kind of a band-aid approach to the boats design flaw.

This S&S design was in the mid 70''s, 1975 I think. It was their attempt to maximize on the IOR rules. Lovely lines, but it was rule driven. And the C/B version was more tender still! I would say you would be better off with the older Swan 48, which is actually a little shorter than the 47! It was more of a derivative design, drawing on the more sea-kindly CCA rules. The 47 was a direct IOR design. As the owner of one of the mid-70''s pure IOR designed boats, I can attest that they can be a real handfull!

Don''t get me wrong, I love Swans, they are some of the best built boats in the world. But stick with the S&S ones designed prior to 73'' and then the later Frers designs. The mid 70''s S&S designs were scary!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. The Swan was dropped from consideration for that and other reasons. THe winches are allover the deck. I''s designed more for a full crew. No good way to install a dodger that would protect the cockpit. And they''re expensive. I really like those boat,e specially the dual companionway. But, .. may be next boat.

The Cardinal was dropped by my broker. Balsa-core... need I say more.

So I am left with the Centurion 47 and the Norseman 447. The Centurion also has a dodger problem because the companion way is forward from the cockpit area and the main sheet are just aft of the companionway.
 

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Perhaps you do need to say more. With fatique being a more prevalent problem in older non-cored fiberglass hulls than hull delamination of balsa core in fiberglass cored hulls, please explain more about why your broker suggested that the Cardinal be dropped. Balsa cored hulls are generally not a problem. Balsa cored hulls gets a bit of a bum rap because of problems that can occur in balsa cored decks. In a recent Naval Academy study of impact resistance, the cored hulls did much better than uncored hulls.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Cardinal deck is balsa-cored. I beleive my broker discounted that boat because he felt that this was not as strong as the the alternative.

Since he is so much more experienced than me, I have to trust his opinion (at least to a greater degree than if I knew more.)

In any case the cardinal has a few + and misu in the layout. And I was not too sorry to see it removed from the list. The major minus was the fact that it had the nav=station in the owner''s cabin. And that was the companionway accessible from the cockpit.

A plus was that it did have 2 companionways.

I am still stuck and can not decide between the Norsman 447 and Centurion 47. The centurion is so much beamier and confortable inside. But there may be a dodger issue since the companionway is forward of the cockpit. It has real big comfy heads with pullman owner cabin.

Any comments that could sway me one way or another?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi, everybody!

We are a family of four; mom, dad and two little kids (6 & 2 yrs). We are planning to liveaboard as soon as we find our boat... Right now we are located in the caribbean. Which boat would be nice, fast, roomy, comfortable to liveaboard with little kids and good to go everywhere in the world?? We have a budget about $80,000.00 to buy a used one around 40 ft. or bigger. Thanks, Rocil.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a Wauquiez Hood 38 and would say go with the Centurion 47. I am very pleased with the design, build and quality of the finish of my Wauquiez, as well as the components used. She is a wonderful performance sailing machine and wonderfully comfortable down below. Perfectly dry inside, no leaks at all (17 yrs old).

Our users group has made note of good support on this older, now out of production model from Wauquiez.

As for solid glass vs balsa cored boats, I take a somewhat different view than others. My personal, and unprofessional, opinion is that given two boats 15-20 yrs old, I would favor the solid glass one. My reasoning would be that not knowing how a boat was treated for the previous 15-20 yrs makes an older balsa cored hull a riskier investment. True, the USNA study done demonstrated that a balsa cored hull can take a greater impact....but I am not planning on running this boat up on the rocks anytime soon. I am much much more concerned with the issue not addressed by their research: what happens to a balsa cored hull over 15-20 yrs of slight impacts against pilings or some other abuse. Over time, a balsa cored hull can suffer delamination in a minor impact area (and again, I am talking about a time period of 15-20 yrs...as those are the boats many people are buying now). Often, this damage can be overlooked or missed at survey. Repairing this is a significant cost. There really is no such similar issue with solid glass boats. Just go through any boat yard and look at 60''s & 70''s era boats to see how they do hold up.

At any rate, just my personal take on it.

If you get the Centurion and are not happy with it....I will trade you ;o)

Hope this helps

John
s/v Invictus
 

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For whatever it''s worth, most any deck on any fiberglas boat is cored, and almost 100% with balsa wood. Some real early models had plywood core, some builders mix plywood in high-stress areas with balsa, but if you buy a fiberglas boat, you can be almost certain you will have balsa-cored deck.
 

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Jeff,
Aside from the theory about flexing solid fg panels, what is the reality of this fatigue problem you reference with all glass hulls? I''ve seen any number of major repairs being done to cored hulls due to water intrusion, but I''ve never seen or heard of a solid hull being repaired for fatigue...
 

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I have a mid-70''s limited production solid glass hulled boat. The most visible thing you can see is, if you sight down the topsides, you will see an outline of every single bulkhead or stringer, represented as a "wave" in the topsides. This is due to the fact that the solid glass flexes, but not at the area tabbed to the bulkhead or stringer. If the bulkhead or stringer was tabbed directly to the hull, you will develop stress in the glass, and over time possible delam issues. In an attempt to mitigate this, manufacturers would place a hard "sponge" of some sort of foam between the edge of the structural member and the glass of the hull. I can attest that while it may help in the areas of reducing stress fatigue, you will still see the outline of the structural member on the outside of the hull. The greater stiffness of the cored hulls eliminates this "waffle-ing".

As in anything, when looking at an older boat, a real determining factor in the health of the hull is how it has been cared for. Did the previous owner(s) take proper action to prevent osmosis, were through hulls regularly re-bedded, was the boat left with standing water in the bilge? Were any hull repairs completed in a proper, structural manner, or just cosmetically "touched-up"?

With no currently reliable method for checking core moisture, "Caveat Emptor" is the guiding principal. Do your due diligence, and if anything seems "off" steer clear and look for another vessel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have seen that effect on some older 70''s vintage production boats like Columbia''s maybe, but not on good quality solid glass 80''s vintage boats. It might reflect the glasswork then vs later. I would not state that is the case with all solid glass hulls.

Respectfully

John
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Regarding the Centurion 47, will it is on the list of considered boat, I think it has 3 big disadvantages: No-skeg rudder, no good see bearth, traveller between companionway & cockpit --> not good way to install a protective dodger while underway.
Also, the owners cabin is forward - not the most comfortable place on the boat.

Any comments on how important each of these consideration is? Are these sufficient to disqualify the Centurion? I''ve seen smaller Waquiex that are beautiful and strong. It just that the Centurion designed to be more a cruiser racer not a ocean passage boat.

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Not sure what vintage Centurion you are looking at. The ones I can see on YW, 80''s vintage, all seem to have a nice quarter cabin in the hip...that makes a fine berth underway (with a few extra pillows). True the traveler is in the cockpit, I don''t like that either, but I would not consider it a deal breaker. As for the rudder, the draft of the keel is 6 ft and should protect it. While desireable, I am not convinced that a skeg will totally protect the rudder in any FIN keel boat.

If given just your short list (I assume you spent a good deal of time looking and considered all others), I think the Wauquiez is #1 or #2 based on its sailing ability, strength and quality build alone.

If you like Wauquiez''s in general, you might also consider the Centurion 42. 47 is a BIG boat, you must have A LOT of friends.

Hope this helps

John
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It does help. ALthough I do not undestand why you think that the dodger problem is not an issue. Getting cold spray on a cruise can ruin the whole experience if you have to be down below all the time.

That is why I think that having a protected cockpit is a must.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry I did not reply about the dodger, I really am not sure of what kind of sailing you will be doing or where. Certainly, sailing in cooler climes demands a fully protected cockpit.

That said, a couple of points. First, you are talking about a 47 ft aft cockpit boat, any spray has a long way to go before it gets to you. I have a 38 ft aft cockpit Wauquiez, not the same design, but I cannot remember ever being sprayed with water back there. I believe these are dry boats. But, your point is well taken. I am not sure but it looks like the boat you are talking about has a Baltic/Swan "submarine" style companionway hatch. This has just a spray hood. The Wauquiez Hood 38 MK I''s were designed this way. What some owners have done is to fit a proper dodger for the cockpit in addition to the spray hood. Some dodgers you have to walk around to get below and some have a zippered walk through. It can be done.

Again, I have limited my comments to your short list and the Centurion. There are quite a few choices out there in your price and size range. If talking about the Centurion, I can only say that I am quite pleased with the build of mine.

Hope this helps

John
 

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I''ve charterd two 38''Centurians.One out of a St.Martin,and one out of Guadaloupe. To sum up my impressions of the boat -- they are a very comfortable, well built, kick-ass boat! I don''t remember getting wet on either of them, but at the time,I had their rails in the water and wouldn''t have cared anyway ;^)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree that some options (not necessary as comfortable as a plain good dodger) exist for the Centurion 49. (Indeed it has the swan type companionway.)

I also agree that the these boats are solid and fun to sail. I am planning on circum-nav. So my concern was that I might have long cold and wet legs. If I need to compromise a bit, I''d rather have a dry boat and a bit slower, than a kickass boat but freeze my buns off.

What other recommendations for boats to look at do you have. The list I posted is where I ended up. I am open to other options?

Sam
 
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