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First off I like them esthetically, but I don't think they are for me. I keep seeing 30-36 footers listed for around $60,000 to $80,000 while other boats in that same size and quality have dropped way down. While many of these look to be well maintained, many don't look like they have had much in the way of updates. That makes sense given there KISS kind of style. Just an example:

1985 Nonsuch 30 with Ultra Layout | eBay

Is this person just dreaming or do they really sell at that price? Heck that one has no new electronics, original worn upholstery, granted it does look good on the outside.

They seem to be well made boats, but not that much better than other quality brands. I understand they have a unique rig and layout, but that has as many downsides as it does up sides. Heck it they really were the rig/layout to beat all there would be other companies making them. Why are they seeming to get about twice the money other equally well built boats? Heck they are listed at twice the price of many CS yachts. I just don't get it. Heck most of them have the propane water heaters that are not even installed in accordance with ABYC.

And I am not griping because they are out of my price range (though they are), just they don't seem to really be able to justify there price. It is not like they are a Hinkley or some hand made exotic boat.
 

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First off I like them esthetically, but I don't think they are for me. I keep seeing 30-36 footers listed for around $60,000 to $80,000 while other boats in that same size and quality have dropped way down. While many of these look to be well maintained, many don't look like they have had much in the way of updates. That makes sense given there KISS kind of style. Just an example:

1985 Nonsuch 30 with Ultra Layout | eBay

Is this person just dreaming or do they really sell at that price? Heck that one has no new electronics, original worn upholstery, granted it does look good on the outside.

They seem to be well made boats, but not that much better than other quality brands. I understand they have a unique rig and layout, but that has as many downsides as it does up sides. Heck it they really were the rig/layout to beat all there would be other companies making them. Why are they seeming to get about twice the money other equally well built boats? Heck they are listed at twice the price of many CS yachts. I just don't get it. Heck most of them have the propane water heaters that are not even installed in accordance with ABYC.

And I am not griping because they are out of my price range (though they are), just they don't seem to really be able to justify there price. It is not like they are a Hinkley or some hand made exotic boat.
I'm with you all the way.. it's a mystery and I can only put it down to a near-cult following and strong owners' group. Perhaps being a very unique, North American/Canadian build helps too, but CS would fall into that category to some degree.

While they seem very "roomy" - esp for their length - I think that impression suffers somewhat when you realize there's nothing ahead of that main bulkhead.

But I get the simplicity of the concept, I don't think they're underpowered in any way and probably are hard to catch reaching. I sailed a short beat last weekend 'against' one last weekend.. surprised how high they could go, but they definitely weren't as fast through the water.

Interesting question..
 

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Go to Sailboatdata.com and compare the drawings for a Nonsuch 30 to those for a Catalina 30 (just as an example). The Nonsuch has over a foot more beam, it has quite a bit more "blunt" bow (what's the official term for this?), and it carries that beam WAAYYY aft. The overall result is that the Nonsuch has a LOT more interior volume. And, that extra beam undoubtedly gives the Nonsuch more initial stability, so I would expect that she sails a bit flatter in most conditions. Hinterhoeller also has quite a bit better reputation for quality than many (most?) other builders. They aren't particularly fast boats. But that also means that a 20 or 30 y.o. Nonsuch is far less likely to have experienced the sort of use and abuse that comes with racing.

Put it all together and I don't think it too much of a surprise that Nonsuch boats command such a premium price.
 
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Well I may be biased since I own a 1986 30U. :) I got interested in looking at a Nonsuch when I wanted to step up from my Bristol 24. I had a good discussion with the Captain of the boat we had chartered on for a winter vacation back in the early 1990's. He had delivered a number of Nonsuches for a dealer and was schooled as a marine architect. He liked them for their simplicity of design, no stays to worry about and all lines come back to the cockpit including reefing lines.. Not a lot can go wrong with them. No mucking about on the foredeck until it's time to pick the mooring or anchor. He also said they were very well built. As others have said lot's of room below and good headroom (I'm 6'2). Lived aboard mine while working in New York City for about five years from April to December and loved it. Tough little boats. A book called WITHOUT RIVAL chronicles a Nonsuch 30 that was abandoned on the return leg of a Trans Atlantic crossing near the Azores and drifted over to Central America. Owner retreved it and is still sailing today.I finally bought mine in 1995 and have not felt the need to look at another boat since then. Love it even more now that I have converted it to electric propulsion. Would never think of selling it until I can no longer sail it.
 

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First, you have to consider that an ASKING price is not necessarily the SELLING price. I doubt the owner will get anywhere near the asking price for the boat on Ebay.

But, you're right...Nonsuches are not cheap. A 30 foot Nonsuch has a displacement of 11,500 pounds so you need to compare it to a >34 foot sloop. Even so, it will often be more expensive.

There is a lot of interior room on a Nonsuch and none of it needs to be devoted to sail storage because there only is one sail.

All boats are a compromise and the Nonsuch is no exception. It all depends on what you want out of a boat. They are fairly fast for cruisers and have more tankage than some modern boats of similar size (86 gallons water, 30 gallons fuel, 25 gallon holding tank). They have (at least the Ultra's do) a separate shower and standing headroom. All of the mechanics who have been on my boat have commented on how well built she is.

I think that the price for Nonsuches is because there is very little competition. If you want want what the Nonsuch offers, you have few options...maybe some of the Freedoms.

What you gain is a nice coastal cruiser, that is easy to single hand, and that avoids the maintenance costs associated with multiple sails, standing rigging, etc.

Is if for everyone? Of course not. I think you either love Nonsuches or you wonder why anyone would be crazy enough to want one. For me, it is a great boat for the Chesapeake and my shoal draft model (draws just under 4 feet), is perfect for getting into quieter coves.

Bottom line: if you want a sailboat, you can buy a great boat of another builder for far less. If you want a Nonsuch, you pony up the cash.
 

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There's a Nonsuch on my dock - they are WAAAY bigger than their LOA would lead you to believe. The 30 is as big or bigger than the 35's around it. The 26 is bigger than most 30's, even today when boats have generally gotten bigger for a given LOA.

Add to that the fact that they are well built, generally better maintained than average and unique - if you want a boat like them they're pretty much the only game in town.

I've never been a big fan but I can see why they retain value.
 
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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I think in simplest terms it is just the market system at work. Demand is high in relationship to supply. For most models the supply is not that limited and the prices are high so it indicates very high demand. The most interesting Nonsuch in terms of price is the 22. They did not make many of them and there is nothing remotely like them so the prices are very high.

Gordon Fisher, the man who commissioned the first Nonsuch 30 later commissioned at 20' open catboat called a Naiad. His was cold-moulded and gorgeous. i sailed it once and it was great fun for a large, open, day sailor. A few were built in f/g. I imagine these would also be very expensive compared to boats of similar size and type.
 
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Hinterhoeller was quite simply a very fine builder. My surveyor raved over my 1968 HR28 during the entire survey.

I read reviews and the very worst one ever sees is that build quality was "average". So what builders are/were above or below average?
 

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You can buy a new Nonsuch if you want. Andy *******, was of Toronto has the moulds, at least for the 30 and 33 I think. He is a very good builder. They are now built with a carbon mast rather than aluminum. Paying new boat price of course but you can get it done your way.
 
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The Nonsuch is one of the finest boats ever designed and built. It is not a Hinckley or a Swan and does not cost what those boats do. It is however far superior to most other boats built. It is a One-Design that has no direct competition and is a breeze to single hand. The fiberglass is of excellent quality. The teak and mahogany are solid, not laminated. The hardware is simply amazing. The wiring looks more like that from a house than from a boat. The battery charger, Seafrost and Espar items are the best in the world. George Hinterhoeller spared no-expense and placed the finest equipment available aboard these boats. I do not mean to be condescending but someone mentioned why would a 30 foot Nonsuch cost so much more than a 30 foot Catalina, Why does a Porsche Carrera cost so much more than a FIAT. Sorry but it’s a fair comparison. One you can take around the world, the other one you can take to your mooring. The fact that 30 years later many of these boats look only a few years old versus other boats their age need complete rebuilds is yet another testament to this incredible boat. Next, the Nonsuch 30 is not a 30 foot boat at all. When you work up both the interior and exterior dimensions, it’s more like a 35 foot boat than a 30. Its LOA and LWL vary by only by 1.5 feet. Few if any other boats can make that claim!!!!!!! If you do not know why the Nonsuch is worth so much, than you just do not know anything about them. It is not because of CULT status as one person mentioned, it’s about QUALITY and the ability to stand the test of time. Finally, most people that purchased these boats spent well over $100,000 especially post 1984 with the ULTRA setup and Westerbeke engine. Boats like the Catalina were a dime a dozen and cost in the High 20’s to low 30’s. With this type of financial commitment on the water, these owners really took care of their boats so many of them today are still in excellent condition and that is the main reason that they sell for so much. They also make for an incredible “Live-Aboard” boat with excellent sailing characteristics and amazing stability both under sail and under power. I hope this helps to answer why the NONSUCH is worth so much more than other boats of its size. I have owned many boats including Tartans, Cape Dory’s, San Juans, Sabres, Persons, and a Pacific Seacraft which is the only boat that I would say is on par if not slightly better than the Nonsuch. Final statement: A mint, well equipped 1985 – 1987 Nonsuch 30 should sell in the mid to high $70,000 range. Many sell for less because of the poor economy and the fact that many people just do not know enough about the boat and lob it in with the price of other 30’s. If you can get your hands onto a mint 30 for under 70K, Grab it and run like you stole it because these boats were never high volume and while you can have a new one built, it will cost you over $225,000 and I do not think they will ever be built to the same standards as the originals.
 

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?... I do not mean to be condescending but someone mentioned why would a 30 foot Nonsuch cost so much more than a 30 foot Catalina, Why does a Porsche Carrera cost so much more than a FIAT. Sorry but it’s a fair comparison. One you can take around the world, the other one you can take to your mooring.....
I love the Nonsuch. Gazing a marina, they are often the first boat I notice, as they are so unique for a cat rig of their size.

However, are you saying you could take one around the world? I don't think there is enough sail plan options to deal with offshore variables, particularly a survival storm.
 

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Yes, you absolutely can sail them anywhere!!!!! The only concern is the main cockpit which is extremely large and if caught in say a hurricane and 30 plus foot seas might be a drainage concern but can be controlled by leaving the cockpit slats in place and some people even modify the cockpit if they do that kind of cruising but the boat is absolutely up to the challenge. Other than that they are amazing. The extensive freeboard keeps you dry. In a following sea, the wide stern rises above the water nicely and the large beamy bow does not plow water like so many other boats do. The boat has incredible buoyancy and if all hell breaks loose, the wishbone technically will tear out the mainsheet and do a 180 degree spin protecting the rest of the rigging. Most other yachts would suffer mast failure after the boom slammed into the shrouds. Not a pretty site. A number of years ago an ocean going gent was on-board a Nonsuch 30 and was caught in such a storm. Not being an expert on the boat he panicked and was airlifted by the coast guard. Weeks later the boat was found floating with the rig damaged but the boat was in otherwise perfect condition and that was without the cockpit hatches in place. Again, amazing boats!!!!!!
 

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I think below was your original post:

Just wanted to let you know that the boat that was listed on EBAY was in concourse condition. The upholstery in the pics looked exactly like that the day the boat left the factory. The interior wood looked like the boat was just built and the hull shine is amazing. The instruments are original, I'll give you that but according to the posting, a new GPS came with the boat. I was amazed that the head and shower look like no-one even used them. This was the downside of some of these boats. They cost a lot of money and some people just did not take them out all that often. Even the engine had next to no time on it. The asking price was a bargain and whoever wound up with it or who winds up with it is going to get one hell of a boat. That one I would say is probably worth in the mid $70,000's. Will be interesting to see what it sold for or if it is still for sale................

First off I like them esthetically, but I don't think they are for me. I keep seeing 30-36 footers listed for around $60,000 to $80,000 while other boats in that same size and quality have dropped way down. While many of these look to be well maintained, many don't look like they have had much in the way of updates. That makes sense given there KISS kind of style. Just an example:

1985 Nonsuch 30 with Ultra Layout | eBay

Is this person just dreaming or do they really sell at that price? Heck that one has no new electronics, original worn upholstery, granted it does look good on the outside.

They seem to be well made boats, but not that much better than other quality brands. I understand they have a unique rig and layout, but that has as many downsides as it does up sides. Heck it they really were the rig/layout to beat all there would be other companies making them. Why are they seeming to get about twice the money other equally well built boats? Heck they are listed at twice the price of many CS yachts. I just don't get it. Heck most of them have the propane water heaters that are not even installed in accordance with ABYC.

And I am not griping because they are out of my price range (though they are), just they don't seem to really be able to justify there price. It is not like they are a Hinkley or some hand made exotic boat.
 

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As a former Nonsuch owner and circumnavigator (not on the Nonsuch) take my word for it that a Nonsuch of any size would not be a good choice to 'take anywhere'. As was stated you have few sail choice options and once you got above 30 knots sustained it would get dicey. For most circumnavigations you are going downwind and the Nonsuch rig does not readily allow for effectively tying the main in position, the fast is just too far forward for any sort of preventer to work. There are few things to fail with a Nonsuch, but almost anything that does fail causes a major problem, e.g. you have only one sail, if something goes - halyard, clew fitting you have no fallback.

For the kind of sailing most people do, there are few, if any, boats better. This does not mean that they are passage makers, nor were they intended to be.
 
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Yes, you absolutely can sail them anywhere!!!!! .....
I can sense your enthusiasm, which is infectious, but it may have the best of you. Anywhere? Southern Ocean? Have you crossed an ocean in one yet?

An anecdotal example of a voyage in a Nonsuch won't be terribly compelling anyway, I'm sure someone has done it. Henry Manry crossed in a 13ft boat, but I would never say it was a well suited vessel for the purpose.

Cat rigs have a tendency to want to dip the boom, when running downwind in heavy air. Add a serious storm sea and I just don't see it. You can't even heave-to.

Many boats are found floating, after the crew has been extracted. That's not the test of a suitable ocean vessel.

Still, the Nonsuch is a great coastal boat, IMO.
 

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I never got them. Don't like the looks. Don't go upwind as well as a sloop. And raising and handling that one huge sail is a huge PITA.
 

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I never got them. Don't like the looks. Don't go upwind as well as a sloop. And raising and handling that one huge sail is a huge PITA.
I've never owned one, only sloops. The aesthetics are personal, for sure. I've always loved small day sailing cat rigs. I think the Nonsuch appeal is the interior volume for her size and the absolute simplicity of sailing one. A gaff provides more flexibility with a cat rig sail and, of course, adds a touch of complexity. However, a single, self-tacking sail is a pretty low workload.

If not well suited for world travel, IMO, it sure gives one the feeling like they could single hand it anywhere.
 
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I never got them. Don't like the looks. Don't go upwind as well as a sloop. And raising and handling that one huge sail is a huge PITA.
There are very few 30yr old cruisers that could make upwind VMG better than a properly sailed Nonsuch, and none easier single or doublehanded. They can outpoint any full keel cruising sloop, but I rarely hear anyone say "don't buy a Westsail, they don't sail to windward". If a Nonsuch has one fault for a sailor, it's that they are relatively boring to sail. The old joke is that a racing crew has three people; helmsman, trimmer, & wine steward! Nonsuches have collected enough pickle dishes in whitesail & shorthanded races to prove their sailing abilities. Their rig just sails & trims differently.

They're not a boat for rounding the Horn or exploring the NW Passage, but anywhere you'd take a cruising catamaran you could sail a Nonsuch, and for a couple do it far more cheaply with almost as much interior living space.
 

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Rules,
So, it kinda sounds like you like your Nonsuch? :laugh

I love mine too! I'm not sailing it across the pond any time soon, but for my purposes she's just about perfect.

Nonsuches are easy sail at one level, but I'm still learning how to get the best out of her. Adjusting sail shape with various combinations of main sheet, halyard, choker, and topping lift. And gybing with a mainsheet that is over 120 feet long is, well, interesting. (I try not to make it exciting.)

Bottom line: I think that everyone should be as passionate about the boats they own, no matter what they sail, as you are about yours.

Fair winds,
Jim
 
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