metal boats

  • CRUISING SAILBOAT EVOLUTION: Multihulls and Other Alternatives

    Jim Wharram

    Our most recent ruminations on this topic focused on some of the popular dedicated cruising-sailboat designs that dominated mass-production boatbuilding as the industry started growing and maturing through the 1970s. It is important to remember, however, that even as fiberglass production techniques were thrusting sailboats into the heart of the 20th-century consumer economy, some cruising enthusiasts, as always, were determined to stay outside the mainstream. Many of these modern alternative cruisers favored unusual offbeat boats. One of these was James Wharram (see photo up top), who in 1954 designed and built for himself an extremely crude 24-foot plywood catamaran he called Tangaroa.

  • PURCHASE SURVEY: Everything Right Is Wrong Again

    Hauled out

    I have not mentioned this, as I didn’t want to jinx anything, but Lunacy has been under contract to be sold for some time now. The putative buyers, Nico and Amy, mentioned earlier, enjoyed two test-sails back in August before making an offer and this past week arranged to have the boat surveyed. First a short sea trial so Surveyor One, Gene Barnes, could scope out the engine, then a haul-out at Maine Yacht Center (see image up top) so Surveyor Two, Mike Whitten, could probe the hull with an audio gauge while Gene poked around some more.

    My anti-jinx precautions, alas, had little effect, and the sea trial proved embarrassing. First the primary autopilot (the old Autohelm 2000 tillerpilot, which drives the head of the Aries windvane) failed to work properly. Then the PSS shaft-seal (which was replaced just last year) decided to stop sealing and spontaneously filled the bilge with seawater. Fortunately, these problems are resolvable.

    The third thing that went wrong was that Mike, the audio-gauge guy, simply forgot to show up. So we had to schedule a Survey Day Two, which made this the longest survey I have ever attended.

  • USED BOREAL 44 FOR SALE: RC Louise Is Up For Grabs!

    RC afloat

    The primary reason I ordered a new Boreal rather than just buying a used one is that used ones very rarely come on the market. In fact, I’ve never seen one listed, until now. I met Steve and Tracy, owners of RC Louise, a Boreal 44, through a series of coincidences last summer and managed to lure them to my home in Portsmouth by shooting them an e-mail as they were sailing down the coast from Maine. We had a fine visit and I learned many useful things from them. Later I coincidentally ran into them again after sailing old Lunacy down to Annapolis to be sold. They have recently announced they are reluctantly selling RC Louise, which is now available for viewing, also in Annapolis. If you are interested in these boats you should definitely check her out. You are very unlikely to see another available in the U.S., or anywhere, anytime soon.

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