Archive for 1999

Mainsail Handling Systems

We are recent owners of a ’67 boat and sometimes find the hoisting/handling of the main to be cumbersome if not downright difficult. What modifications/solutions can you recommend? What of main furling system? Thank you. Best regards, Phil

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (1)

Chafe-Backstay

Steve, I kept your 2 big books (Cruising Encyclopedia and Weather book) on the shelf, frankly afraid of them: they are so big, they intimidated meÉ So I kept reading smaller, easier to finish books for the past 3 years. Finally I gathered the courage to open your cruising encyclopedia and now I canÕt put it down: I donÕt even play spades on the computer anymore.

The fact is that I closed today on my first "big boat", is a 1989 Hylas 44, called Delta Tango, soon to be named "Alegria". I stopped working (or maybe my companyÕs business decided to slow down to the point that it stopped me) and plan to prepare to sail with her (my wife and Alegria) for the rest. Will shake down to Bermuda and BVI, afterwards going anywhere but including Alaska, Hawaii, Palmyra, Tonga, Tahiti, Western Europe, etc. I am 54, have some time to cruise, hopefully. Your book provides me with a lot of info that I intend to use to equip, improve and secure her. Your first advice in the book (donÕt start buying things and changing them around until you sailed for a while) is great advice. But hard to follow by someone like me who is always trying to improve things (and people, just ask my wife and kids!).

I called Hood and they prepared an estimate on a Vektron Main, reacher, stay sail and storm main. Initially I thought on getting the main (full batten, 5 of them), to go over the back stay, then I chicken out, now I am back on the first idea, making it elliptical, overlapping the back stay by some 8 inches. If it chafes, I guess I can cut it down to regular size. This is not a particulary fast boat, so I need all the sail I can get. I talked to the riggers at Nance & Ubderwood to build the baby stay and runners. Thank you for any advice you can give me. Regards, Pablo

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deck Stepped Spars

Steve, I’m looking at a Hardin 45 Ketch. It has two deck stepped masts. Would you consider that a trait that would be suitable for an offshore vessel? Know anything about these vessels? Les

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Battslide Slider Length/Source

Hi Steve, In the FAQ section under Rigs and Rigging you mention you use 3 to 3 1/4″ sliders in your mainsail system. Do you have these sliders in this length specially manufactured for you, and if so, who does it and what material is used? Or are they ‘off the shelf’? And lastly, do they have any metal inserts within the plastic for reinforcement? (I’ve searched extensively but apparently not well enough!) Thanks Rich

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Replacing Running Rigging

Hi, our insurance requires us to replace all running rigging after 5 years (which is at the end of this year) whether it needs it or not. Probably not a bad idea. along the same lines, someone suggested all thru hulls be replaced after 5 years. Do you agree with the latter? Regards, Peter

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Mast Leak Through Electronic Cable

Dear Steve, I have written before and always have received a kind and enlightening response. I recently had our mast unstepped, repainted, and rewired (spreader lights, vhf, wind NMEA, anchor lights, etc.) . The electronics guy installed a new pvc tube for a wire chase.

Our mast is stepped on deck (metal boat). The wiring feeds out of the mast about 6" above the deck. The cable splits into two bundles (taped) and the two bundles are fed through metal stand pipes throughwelded through the deck (port and starboard). The teak j box in the salon leaks whenever it rains.

I don’t know whether the electronics guy left a Ptrap with the wire before he fed it out of the mast. I also am wondering if the fit at the mast step could be so tight as to not allow water to drain out the step, but rather sit and collect until it gets deep enough to follow the wiring chase and ultimately end up in the cabin.

I don’t want to unstep the mast again to look. And I don’t want to unnecessarily bore a hole in the mast to allow drainage if no need exists. Any advice? Thanks, Wayne

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Repair of Broken Mast

Hi Steve, I recently broke my mast on my 41 foot sloop and I am in a quandary in what to do. A new mast is pretty expensive and I am trying to avoid getting a new mast.

Some people have suggested that I sleeve and rivet the mast together (splice). I am not convinced if this method would have long-term advantages.

My mast broke right around the 1st spreaders with a relatively clean cut. It was a fractional rig. The aluminum mast is about 54 feet long. Do you think that a repair would be wise if done properly or would it be prudent to get a new mast if the budget permits? Thanks, Joey

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deck Organizers

I am continuing to work on re-fitting my Columbia 45 with Mike Conner’s continued assistance.

We are beginning to engineer running halyards and lines back to my cockpit. I have main, jib and spinnaker halyards as well as the spinnaker topping lift halyard. My current main has one set of reef points and I intend to have two sets when I build my next main, so I am planning for two reefing lines. We would like to know whether I should plan to run these six lines back to the cockpit or if there are additional ones that should go back as well. If we run more than six, we are aware of deck organizers that stack the lines so four can run back with two on top of two.

Do you recommend for or against stacking lines with deck organizers?

Can you give a recommendation on which lines/halyards you most strongly recommend running back to the cockpit? Thank you for your input. – Eric

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Removing the Mizzen

I am restoring a 1980 Cheoy Lee 44 Ketch. She currently has wood spars. I have been considering having a taller main aluminum mast made with a longer boom and removing the mizzen all together, running her as a sloop. Is this possible? P.S. Love your books!! Best Regards, Larry

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Ketch to Sloop

Hi Steve, Along with other boats, I’ve been looking at a 47-foot ketch that has 454 sq.ft. in the foretriangle, 416 in the main (only one set of spreaders) and 182 in the mizzen. As the mizzen represents only 17% of sail area, by your recommendations on pg.645 of the Encyclopedia, this sail is more decorative than useful and the boat would probably be better rigged as a sloop with a removable inner forestay. If the mizzen were removed and a second set of spreaders added to the main mast to support the inner forestay, could this boat be expected to sail just as before? Or, is it more likely that the main mast would have to be moved aft and both the main and headsail be replaced? Thx for your comments, DM

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Sloop to Ketch

I’ve enjoyed reading the Q&A on rigs on your site…and have a question…I wonder if this is the way to communicate it?

I have a 60′ aluminum centerboard boat–very French looking. I love the boat but the rig is a handful. The mast came out of Fortuna Light–a Whitbread boat from the 80s. It’s very beefy, but also very tall–about 80′ off the water. I put a Harken track on the main so it’s not too bad to handle, although it takes a while to get it up. The headsails are a lot of work though. The boat has a fairly healthy weather helm (I’ve experienced worse, for sure) but the main is old, a bit baggy and has been cut and recut quite a few times. All in all, the sail area is generous, and I could probably get by with a little less.

What I’d like to do is re-rig the boat as a ketch, with nearly equal masts. Do you think I can get the mast height down to around 60-65′? There would be two natural places for masts, about 10-12′ fore and aft of the current mast. Can I use those spots and then design the sails to provide a balanced center of effort? Is this worthwhile or would I be better off buying electric halyard and Genoa winches? All the best, Willy R

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Rope to Winch Angle

Dear Mr. Dashew: A few years ago, I bought your book Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia and found it most informative. For the past 3 years I have been building a Baltek Superlite balsa/epoxy 50′ Simonis-designed catamaran here in Johannesburg, South Africa. We have never sailed or owned a boat before, and every day we find new challenges and unique problems that we have to overcome. We are building this boat 600 kilometers from the nearest port with no experienced folk anywhere in sight. Despite these handicaps, so far I think we have managed pretty good, and day by day we are getting closer to our dream. We are now close to finishing the hull, deck and bulkheads. After this we will then commence with the deck hardware and internal fitting.

The purpose of my email: I cannot find any readily available information either in your book or elsewhere on the Internet providing details regarding the rope to winch (Lewmar – self tailing) angle. I am referring to the genoa rope – at what angle to the winch drum should this rope connect? I would imagine that the rope should meet the drum at about 90 degrees – but I am not sure.

You must be extremely busy but your advice will be greatly appreciated. Regards, Wiets W

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Stoboom Parts

We have a Stoboom on our Bristol sloop and I would like to keep and maintain it for some time to come. When we bought the boat several years ago, the sage wisdom from the people we spoke with was to ditch the Stoboom and go back to a conventional boom/sail rig.

We have got used to using the Stoboom and really would like to keep it in good shape. Any idea where we might find a source of parts for it? We have been unable to find anything on the Internet or by contacting Hood. Also concerned about eventual deterioration of the sail track over time. Thanks. – Roger

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Controlling the Furling Line

Can a ratchet block be used in order to control the release of a furling line?

The 44′ boat I recently purchased uses a small diameter spectra line for furling, and if and when it takes off in a breeze, it can do great damage to the hands! If you let it go, it usually kinks in the aft furling block. Thanks, Ted

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Swept Back Spreaders and Baby Stays

Dear Steve, We have been following your commentary for years now and have a question that we hope you can help with.

Do you feel that a baby stay on the ketch rigged Sundeer 64’s would aid in preventing a mast inversion due to operator error? What conditions would create a circumstance where you could lose the spar?

I am referring to page 662 of Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, regarding your discussion of swept back spreaders. Is this setup less forgiving than a conventional spreader configuration with forward shrouds?

Any comment would be appreciated. Thanks, Wayne

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Halyard Brake for Use with a Furling Boom

I am installing a small electric anchor winch to hoist and reef my boom furling main, which has a large roach. I would like to have a halyard brake or other device to maintain light, constant tension on the halyard as I haul the sail down to reef or stow completely. If tension varies, the roll loosens and risks jamming against the front of the boom. Who makes such devices, or can one find a rope clutch that has a variable setting that could be used? I don’t care what it is called, only that it does the job I require…Thanks….Lowell

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (1)

Using a Roller Furling Headsail Upwind

Hello, In your rigs and rigging section, you mention using the Profurl 4000 free flying furler. Can that furler be set tight enough to work for use up wind sail?

Don Street, in his valuable book The Ocean Sailing Yacht, mentions his using a similar unit some years ago for both jib and staysail and using them upwind, downwind, whatever. High luff tension is vital, of course. I don’t see why these couldn’t be used for all headsails, providing the safety of being able to get the sail down and also being able to easily change sails. Leaving the headstay would provide the backup system for a hanked-on sail. The century-old Wykeham-Martin design still works well for gaff riggers. Can the new flying furlers fill the role for Bermudan rigs?

Thanks, Donal

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Fractional Rigs for Cruising

Dear Steve, Thank you for taking the time to read our email. We are selling our home to buy a yacht to cruise the oceans to enjoy our time together. I’m a marine mechanic specializing in power boat refits. I have limited sailing experience and Karen has even less.

We are currently shopping for a yacht with the intentions of learning on the boat we will be cruising on. We have your books and recently purchased a video you appear in (Heavy Weather Sailing), we found it all very exciting and informative. We are planning on spending the next year or three learning and doing all the necessary courses to become competent offshore sailors.
The yachts we are looking at are mainly masthead rigs but we have come across a fractional (Farr 1104) which shows a lot of potential as a cruiser/live-on.

Although you suggest water length to be main consideration, this is the largest within our price range. I am aware of the sailing differences between fractional and masthead after reading your books, but I have no experience sailing on fractional rigs and am not sure of the difference of rig strength.

The type of yachts we are looking at are:

Duncanson 35′ Masthead
Northshore 33′ Masthead
Farr 36′ Fractional

Just once again thank you for your time and valued advice. – Alen S

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Single Line Reefing

Dear Steve, We are building a 46ft cat for live-aboard offshore cruising and have been studying and contemplating your writings with relish…We are ready for rig quotes and have been considering single line reefing – mostly to reduce the number of lines in the cockpit. Our last cat had simple slab reefing with luff & leach lines returning to the cockpit, and it worked very well.

We are concerned about adding complications and are unsure how to do it so, & that if anything goes wrong inside the boom we can fix it easily. Most people we have asked have thought it was OK in smaller boats, but weren’t confident to recommend it for as powerful a rig as ours.

Our cat is ‘a mainsail boat’ with 75sqm main with big roach like Beowulf, and self-tacking jib.

I am wondering if you could tell us how you set up single-line reefing in Beowulf and whether you have any more information or impressions that would help us.

Best wishes with your new project. – Sandy S

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Slab Reefing

Hi, I’ve just purchased a 1975 Westerly Centaur (and yes, I don’t plan on getting anywhere quickly). The boat has its original rigging including a roller-reefing boom. I would like to employ some sort of basic slab reefing type approach, but there are no reef hooks and there doesn’t appear to be an blocks on the stern end of the boom for running lines to the clew of each reef. Can I just mount all of this on the present boom and run appropriate lines? If I can mount such hardware, would I rivet it onto the boom? Or do I need to think about a new boom (I really don’t want to buy a new boom). Thanks! – Arthur

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Roller Reefing #4?

Hi Steve, I’m ordering a #4 for my J120 which I intend to sail from the Caribbean back to the States this spring. The boat is set up for roller furling on the headstay.

My question: Does it make any sense to put reinforcement in the #4 so it can be rolled up to storm jib size? I do have a storm jib, but think it would be easier to set the trysail and the #4 when the wind gets over 25 knots, and progressively roll up the #4 as the wind builds. Easier — but impractical?

I’d be most interested in your comments. Love your books (I’ve got ’em all). Cheers, David

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Leaks via Mast

Hi Steve, Good articles on leaks…

I’ve never had mast collar leaks…but what I do have is rain water getting into the mast, I guess through the halyard exits etc., which accumulates in the bilge…any suggestions as to how to cure that kind of leak?? Cheers, Alan

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (4)

Rod Rigging Fatigue

Hello Steve, I have a decision to make now on my new rig.

I have a brand new carbon fibre spar. It is 56′ long, double spreaders with discontinuous rod standing rigging.

The shrouds terminate with stemballs in the spreader bars (i.e. no tangs in the spar except for the cap shrouds).

The shroud stemballs cannot be removed while the spreaders are in place, which means that if I had a shroud problem, it would be impossible to change while the mast is standing.

Navtec has a part which is a stemball with a marine eye on the other end. This means I could have forks on the ends of the shrouds, which are pinned to the stemball eyes, which are embedded in the spreader bars. This would allow me to change a broken shroud while under way.

My question is: Should I bother? With rod rigging, are there signs of fatigue, like with meat hooks etc. in wire? If I broke a shroud, say a D3 or V2 or D2, or something, would the spar already be broken and changing the shroud is now meaningless? Obviously if a V1 broke, the mast would snap instantly, so we don’t have to talk about that. More clearly stated: is there any circumstance that would prompt me to want to replace a rod shroud while away from a harbour and a mast crane?

The stemball eyes would likely add maybe 2 or three pounds to the rig, and add the complexity of a dozen extra bits and pieces.

I want to sail across an ocean (and back) some time in the next few years or so. – Ryan

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (2)

Furling Line Control

Can a ratchet block be used in order to control the release of a furling line? The 44′ boat I recently purchased uses a small diameter spectra line for furling, and if and when it takes off in a breeze, it can do great damage to the hands! If you let it go, it usually kinks in the aft furling block. Thanks, Ted

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Monohulls vs. Multihulls

We’ve been sailing Lake Erie for the past 15 years (raising kids and money), and will have our turn in 5.5 years. We are leaning towards a 40+’ catamaran for live-aboard in the Caribbean and hopefully South Pacific. I am about 1/3 through your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia and now I see your new book is out. Do you address multihull vs. monohull, have an opinion, and or experience? Any recommended reading on the topic? Sincerely, Bill and Lucinda

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Cal 48 for Family Cruising

I just received the new book and video. It will take some time to read the book, but I have some comments about the video.

BEOWULF is an incredible boat; however, I must admit that it is a bit discouraging knowing that in all likelihood I will never be able to afford a boat like that. I am impressed with the thought and engineering that went into the boat, and I want to know if Steve & Linda have designed a lower priced boat, or if they recommend any boats in the $100 to $300M price range. Perhaps a used boat. My family of 5 is hoping to begin a cruising life in the next 3 years.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Lancer 65

I would like to find and visit a Lancer 65 powersailor. They are rare and hard to find. Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!–Lew

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

First Boat

My husband and I have taken the first steps toward the cruising life–we just sold our home and are auctioning off our possessions one by one. It fills me with joy and relief each time our load is lightened! We have been reading your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia (fabulous book–great for the utter novice) and would like your advice if you have time.

We are going to be in the same situation as your daughter and her friend were in when they bought Hio. The main difference is that we completely lack any sailing experience, although my husband has been an avid commercial fisherman for years. We were wondering if you could recommend several production models or a good boat surveyor in the San Diego area so we’re not totally at the mercy of our ignorance.

We have about 45,000 to spend on a boat and we’re hoping to get a 40-50 foot boat. Our priorities are ease of sailing, safety & stability in rough weather, and efficiency. We plan on spending at least a year or two in the Baja area learning to sail and fixing up the boat before taking it offshore. We will have about 5,000 to spend on equipment and repairs so we don’t mind getting a “cosmetically challenged” boat.

Any suggestions or advice would be great! Thank you for the inspiration :)–Erin

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Offshore Cats and Mac 65’s

Hi, After reading your observations about cats for offshore cruising we have started to rethink the one-year Pacific cruise we have been planning for our family (three adults, two children 11-13 ) starting next July. Any views on a Macgregor 65 as an alternative to a 40ft cat? Being UK sailors we haven’t come across these boats over here. Are they as fast and as tough as their supporters claim? Any comments will be very much appreciated. Thanks for a great site. Hugh & Deb

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Ex-Whitbread Racer for Cruisings

I am considering the purchase of a 63′ vessel which is located in Rhode Island (I happen to live in Portland, Oregon). I am including a link to the broker’s listing for her and, if you have a moment, would appreciate your thoughts. The owner says he has been aboard BEOWULF, so you may have seen his boat, also.

Any thoughts or comments will be appreciated. What I’m looking for is a boat two people can sail. This one would take some work to get there, but it seems like it could be possible…

I have become somewhat obsessed with her, but am not sure it would be in my best interest to get involved. She seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…Built to a high standard, to withstand sailing in the Southern Ocean. Fast, lots of interior room to setup for live-aboard. The structural advantages of aluminum.

I’m looking for honest, direct thoughts.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

MacGregor 65’s

Hello Steve, I am sure you will know this design as it is not unlike yours. In your opinion is this a good boat to go cruising in? What do think are its good points and bad? I am concerned that it is very narrow and may not be a stiff boat. Also is the quality and strength of construction sufficient for blue water cruising. Thanks for any help you can give me. Regards, Andrew

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Chuck Burns 38

Dear Sir: On page 357 of Offshore Cruising is a picture of a 38′ Chuck Burns Design. I was wondering if you could tell me if this was a production boat or if it was a one-off. I love the Golden Gate 30/Farallon 29 and the Nor-West 33, but have found that both of these designs are too small. I have been hoping to find a larger Burns design and any help you could provide would be appreciated. Thank you, Jeff

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Classic Woody

Hello Steve: If I may quickly pick your experience. I’ve located a William Garden Ketch, Dolphin design 32LwL, 42LoA. Aesthetically, I am in love with that clipper overhang/bowsprit. Only seen a truncated picture so far. Have to travel to check it out, and my source is uncertain whether it is cutter-rigged or not but assume so with a bowsprit. Can’t tell from poor quality photo. It’s wooden hulled, mahog on oak. 11’6 beam 6’6 draft 22,000 displ with 8,000 Ballast Keel assumed to be full length. I have experience sailing dinghies, but that’s it. Intend to use it as a seasonal liveaboard, and to develop/polish skills singlehanding on a big boat. It is purported to be a bluewater boat. Sail package is minimal but includes a storm trysail. What would be your comments on this one, yea or nay for my intentions, assuming the survey is acceptable? I love the way it looks but have to look to an expert such as yourself as to how she may sail, if your familiar or could make an educated guess. You are doing a great service to the sailing community. Thanks, Raphael.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Beneteau Oceanus for Offshore Work

I have a Beneteau Oceanus 381, and would like to speak to anyone else who has a 381 or similar. As a production boat, I think she can do a circumnavigation. She meets D.T.I. standards for blue water cruising, but I would love to hear other people’s opinions as to the viability of such a venture. Thanks for any advice. Yours, Martin

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Santana 37

I am inquiring about any good places to go for Santana 37 info. I have talked with Schock and they have been very helpful. I have also talked with Peter Crane of Peter Crane Yachts. Not much on the Internet about this boat.

I have a chance to buy Destiny II, Hull Number 2 of the Santana series, and wonder if it is a great boat or just a 30-year-old boat. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Eric

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Lancer 30-5

I’m currently stationed out in Hawaii and own a Lancer 30-5. I was thinking of sailing her to my next duty station in San Diego. I was wondering if you had any insight on that particular boat.–Brent

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Choosing a Boat for Novices

Steve: I am a novice sailor hoping to buy my first boat this spring. I will be lake sailing for now; however, I am contemplating a relocation to the Gulf Coast of Florida. I have been considering a new Hunter 260, primarily for weekending, and because the size seems manageable. My questions are, what size do you think is appropriate to learn basic sailing skills; and whether you think that I would be better off with an older and longer boat to start out with. I read in some of the FAQs that you recommend mid to late ’60’s and early ’70’s CCA and IOR designs. What boats specifically do you recommend? I am sure that I could get much more waterline in an older boat, than I will for what the H260 costs brand new. Any ideas? Thank you. David

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Finding THE BOAT

Hi Steve & Linda, Well we have made the first step!….I have resigned from my job and my wife has secured a two year leave of absence from her job (starting in July). Thanks in large part to you guys who have inspired us over the years we shall take our two kids 9 & 11 on a two year adventure. I am using the next 6 months to prepare the house for rent, sell my current boat (33′ too small) and buy THE BOAT. I have your book…it is my bedside companion…and have followed your website and FAQs. I’m going for waterline if I can find one in my budget–approx. $150K…we have been looking at the Hylas 44 and 47…your comments on this boat would be appreciated. We intend to spend 6 mos. in the Bahamas (our backyard) then on to the Caribbean. Many thanks!

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Spencer 35

Mr. Dashew…I am trying to get a little insight into the vessel that I have purchased. I have no offshore experience at all at this time and have only owned my boat for two years. As I live in Sidney, BC I do a lot of weekend outings through the Gulf and San Juans, not at all comparable even to the St. of Georgia. My question is this. The boat I have chosen is a Spencer 35,a sister ship to “Whisper”, Hal Roth’s boat. (Hull 29) (Mine is 31) It still has the old roller boom. (That will change) Everybody tells me what a wonderful boat I have for serious, inexpensive offshore cruising. Being that the Spencer is a local production boat from the old days (Mfg. Richmond, BC 1966) I am wondering if the local folks are more prejudiced than accurate in their positive statements to me. In spite of Mr. Roths adventures, is my Spencer a good offshore vessel? I know it is not like your vessels but it is affordable for me and I find it very easy to handle in spite of no lines aft. (I have to go forward to change my mind as well as sails.) I realize this question sounds very weak, but I plan on South Pacific adventurers in the next 3 to 5 years and due to no present experience, I have no reference to measure from. Thank you Sir. Regards, Ron

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Used Boats

Dear Sir, Madam Thank you for sending me your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. Have read it with great enthusiasm. One nice touch is that rarely money matters have been mentioned in the book for equipment’s, costs, boats etc…one great detail. However perhaps you could let me have some idea of cost for actually purchasing a used boat and kitting it short handed circumnavigation. Indeed looking for properly designed and equipped offshore boats like yours if extremely difficult. So could you please let me have some idea. Or perhaps brokers phone numbers (anywhere in the world), I would like to get an aluminum fast cruiser, category zero, from 45 to 60ft, in good condition. Maybe it may not be enough but my present cash budget is GB£ 130000. Thank you for you assistance Once again, congratulation to Linda and Steve Dashew for their great work on the book. Best regards Laurent

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Ideal Boat Design

Dear Steve, My wife and I are looking for a new passagemaker. We’d love a BEOWULF but unfortunately the budget is a bit tight. We’ve been looking at Island Packets, Catalinas, Beneteaus, Valiants, and Pacific Seacraft. We also looked at the Saga 43 but feel it is a bit too small to be comfortable for very long. We recently came across the website for the Outbound 44 and are wondering if you have any thoughts on this new design. They say they designed the boat for solid passagemaking but with the performance of a PHRF style boat. We’ve been very concerned about getting a boat that is too slow to be safe. Thank you and keep up the good work. Your book is invaluable and has given us the confidence to follow our dream. -Mark and Sarah

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Used Boat Choices

Due in part to your wonderful books and timing, I will be looking for a yacht this summer in the US My short list looks something like this:

Palmer Johnson (Aluminum), Frers 45, 1981, PHRF30— Just the basics Palmer Johnson (Aluminum), Peterson 42, 1976, PHRF60— Moderate cruising comfort Davidson (Fiberglass), Laurie Davidson 44, 1981, PHRF54— Moderate to well equipped for cruising Jeremy Rogers (Fiberglass), Peterson 39, 1981, PHRF72— Well equipped for cruising Aquacraft 1979 (Aluminum), Custom 41, 1977, PHRF90?— Just the basics, but a good price C&C (Fiberglass), Many 39-41, 1977-82, PHRF 99— Various.

I will be using it to cruise the Atlantic and Mediterranean for the most part, but one of these days a circumnavigation would not be out of the question. My questions are…Am I on the right track with these choices for the intended purpose, or have I missed the mark completely? From your experience, are there any of these I should stay away from, or buy in a hurry before anyone else does? I know you are busy, but a quick comment or two would be greatly appreciated.–Regards, Tom

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Which Boat to Buy?

Hello–My wife and I just sold a 41′ Cheoy Lee and we are looking for another boat (bigger). Somewhere around 50′- my wife wants a large owner’s stateroom. We also plan lots of offshore passagemaking. But our max to spend is around $150,000 so we can’t afford a Sundeer or any of the other boats you have built. But do you have any suggestions on a good safe offshore boat for us? Bill

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Choosing a Production Boat

Thanks for offering the weather book. It’s an area I’ve struggled to understand well even after passing two FAA written and oral exams on the topic. Hopefully, your book will penetrate more deeply.

Since you began your cruising in a Columbia 50, a SoCal production boat I believe, I’m wondering if you have published anything that *specifically* addresses choosing a production boat for offshore sailing. I realize your Encyclopedia could, in one sense, be considered a treatise on that since it addresses ‘all things cruising and boats’, but I’m looking for something targeted more directly at this topic. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Tayana Boat Designs

A quick review of your recommended cruising boats was interesting, but I was surprised to see the absence of the Tayana 42, 48, 52, and 55. I mention this as many brokers have said they are desirable, well-built cruising boats with reasonable pricing. While the designers encompass Harris(42) , Perry(48&52) and unknown(55), your comments are appreciated. I’m sure you have come across these boats. I omitted the Perry designed 37 Tayana as it has a bowsprit. Thank you, David

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Buying a Used Deerfoot

I have for two years been cruising my Hylas 46, and have realized it is not the boat I need to continue cruising. I believe one of your Deerfoot series, ideally a 61 would serve me better. Do sellers go solely to brokers or do they sometimes ask if you know of a prospective purchaser? Do they often come on the market? I realize the last question is probably often asked and a generalization is difficult. If you have the time to reply I would appreciate it.–Mike Parker

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Freedom Cat Ketch

Dear Steve and Linda, I’ve been in the process of looking for a used boat to spend the next number of years sailing…everything from long offshore passages to time in the Caribbean. For many years, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I built very traditional wooden boats, sailed mostly traditional boats.

While looking at a 31′ Camper Nicholson the other day, I spied an older Freedom 33′ Cat ketch. She was really beautiful, and I remembered how fascinated I was the boats when they were first introduced. I know that you and Linda have pushed the edges of innovation in designing and sailing offshore boats. What’s your opinion of the boat as an ocean passagemaker? Thanks for your opinion and a great web site. Sincerely, Michael

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Sundeer Production

Hi Steve: I have been admiring your crafts for some time now, and probably like everyone else, I am a big fan of your brilliant designs…speaking of brilliant designs have you stopped production on the Sundeer 64 and if not what are the price tags on one of those? I found a charter service online that uses one of these great cruisers and hope to charter it soon if I can get the chance. I would love to get a feel for it! thanks Michael L

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Survey for Used Cal 40

Hi Dashews–After many months of research and viewing, we have found our first boat! We are buying a 1964 Cal 40 in mostly lovely condition for about 50K. I would like your opinion on a couple of concerns I had about the boat.

1. We had an engine survey done and the V-drive needs replacing–what other mechanical systems would V-drive failure affect? Stuffing box? Prop? etc?

2. I have been trying to find out specifics on the hull construction (I was told it was made of 5 hand-laid layers of fiberglass & would be thrilled to find out if that’s true!) but am not having much luck. Are there any non-destructive tests that can be done on hulls to check the condition & thickness of the fiberglass?

3. I have done enough research to know that the tabbing on the Cal 40s is weak and that there are some concerns with the deck-hull joint. Will a surveyor specifically check the bulkheads and the d-h joint for signs of weakness as a matter of course or do I need to instruct him as to what exactly I want inspected?

4. There is some minor decay on the bridge beam–what’s the best way to stop it? Any info at all would be appreciated–we set sail for the first time ever in June!! Thanks, Erin

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deerfoot 58–Sundeer 60 Displacement/Racing Issues

Hi Steve, Thanks for the input on the SD 60. Ever set one up as a ketch? Also, somewhere in my readings of your work, I believe you stated that you calculated displacement differently than most boats so that an allowance for the typical load of stuff that offshore cruisers carry is in the total displacement figure for the boat. Does this mean that the figure usually given for most boats, say on a PHRF certificate, is not the same as the number for displacement for your designs? Also, what kind of ratings would your SD 60 or DF 58 get under the various handicap systems, not to be used to judge the boat but to see how I might fare in a race. Thanks for your help, Crawford

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Formosa Ketch for Circumnavigating

Hi Steve, [What are your] opinions on the Formosa design and is it a capable bluewater vessel i.e. circumnavigator. Regards, Scott

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Morgan 41, Halberg Rassey 41, Soverel 48, Cal 48, & Cal 2-46

Hi Steve, I have been researching the used boat market for monhulls in Florida and am looking for a 40-45 foot monohull. I have a budget of 70,000 for a used boat and then know that it may take another 30000-40000 to complete the process to have all that I would want to be safe and comfortable to take off for 5 years.

I wanted to get your advice on some hulls that I have found. First is the cost effective Morgan 41-415 and 416 years 1976 and 1978. A lot of boat for the money. But I know it is slow and the quality may not be desirable. Second is a 1977 Halberg Rassey 41. A blue water boat, a center cockpit. I feel it is solid and quality built. Has all the room we need. Third is a 1974 Soverel 48. A long water line fast boat with a hull and keel design similar to your yachts.

All the boats I look at that are aft cockpit in this size have small master cabins. The center cockpits have big master cabins. A big cabin is important to us. I know you don't like center cockpits. If I could get some advise on the above boats or if you could recommend some yachts I should be hunting for with aft cockpits that you would buy if you had my budget and size requirement. This would be most helpful to start my process right. I am trying to follow all your advise but must start with an older used yacht. Thank you so much. Good luck. Corey

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deerfoot/Sundeer/BEOWULF Prices,

Hi–I’m planning to buy a boat for cruising round the world in the next year and have just ordered your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia. I’m interested in prices for your range of yachts–probably looking at 60–65 ft but BEOWULF does look interesting. I would be grateful if you can send me at least budgetary figures for the base boat with basic fit-out (no instruments) and working sails. Many thanks Mark

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Upgrading an Old Beneteau 440

Sir, I am considering the purchase of a 1992 Beneteau Oceanis 440. My ideal boat would be around 38-40 ft., but since the 440 appears to be offered at a substantial discount, both the longer waterline and the extra budget room for refit attract me.

I am keen on performance, and the 440's hull is the same of its First 45S5 sister, both designed by Farr. I don't like the high centre of gravity of the boat, and consider changing the keel (currently 1.7 m) to a deeper, lead-bulbed one, as the draft on a similar size performance boat would easily reach 2.2-2.5 m. Later on, I will upgrade the rig. I understand the boat is capable of handling the extra loads.

My question is: Would you recommend such an operation? In other words, is it worth the trouble? I reckon the keel upgrade can be achieved with a budget of circa Usd 5000, because a preventive anti-osmosis treatment already is getting me close to the keel base, thus I am only counting the cost of the new keel and installation. However, especially for lighter wings I presume only a larger sail area will make a substantial performance change over present, and on a boat of this size I assume I will get pretty close to Usd 13000-15000 for a new bigger rig.

With best regards, Murat

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Selling Your Shark 50

Hello from Andrew and Sue on MYSTIC. Just in case you cannot recall the boat, it is a 52ft aluminum "Shark 50" with a 7.3ft draft & relatively light displacement. It has been awhile since we last saw you in Bequia–at the time you said if we ever needed any help to get in touch, so here goes. Sue has decided she would rather be fixing up an old house than sailing so we are planning on putting MYSTIC up for sale. We were already planning to spend the winter in Annapolis and so are planning at least initially to put her up for sale there. Our basic questions come out of the fact that MYSTIC is fairly unique, we are not sure what she is worth, where is the best place to sell her, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Andrew and Sue on MYSTIC

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deerfoot 67

Can you provide any special/unique info on DEERDANCER, a 1993 deerfoot 67′? Thanks.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Early IOR/Late CCA “Bang for the Buck” Boats

Folks, Love your site, I have it bookmarked for future reading and have the Encyclopedia and Surviving the Storm on my Christmas list. My question also has something to do with a Christmas list, as I certainly have a Sundeer on it, but don’t expect Santa to deliver it any time soon, nor a BEOWULF, as the case may be.

So, what examples are there for Early IOR/Late CCA boats that you mention in regard to “Bang for the Buck”? I don’t need specific recommendations, just some models that exemplify your point. I’ll do the research on what I can afford and what’s available, but I do need more than “early IOR/Late CCA”, as all I’m coming up with is an awful lot of editorials, criticisms, opinions, etc…about the rating systems and not about the boats themselves. Also, I haven’t seen any mention, so, have you thought about licensing the manufacture of a smaller design to a top quality builder? Thanks, Kip

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Deerfoot 72

There is a 1985 Deerfoot 72 on the market, apparently built by Dencho Marine. This design is not listed in your “Milestones.” Is this one of your boats? Any info on quality or issues? Even though it is newer, it is priced considerably less than Wakaroa (it is clear from the pictures that the interior finishes are not nearly of the same quality). Thanks for any info you can provide. Mark

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Columbia 50

I believe your first cruising boat (Intermezzo) was a Columbia 50? Knowing this boat a little, what were the traits about it that you really liked, and really disliked? Thanks for your reply,

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Cruising Sailboats

I agree with the waterline length as being very important…both to speed and comfort. On a limited budget does either a Hunter 54 or a Columbia 50 make sense as a safe and reliable cruising sailboat? Their main sailing areas will be the Caribbean and, hopefully, the Mediterranean. Other options are a Lubbe Voss 42 and a Valiant 40. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ian

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Which Boat?

I HAVE NARROWED MY SEARCH…CAL 2-46, CAROFF GALAPAGOS 50 STEEL KETCH, GARDEN PORPOISE 50 OR WELLINGTON 47. I AM GOING TO CRUISE THE SOUTH PACIFIC FOR 2-3 YEARS. ALL CAN BE OUTFITTED TO GO FOR ABOUT THE SAME DOLLAR AMOUNT. I LIKE THE LOOKS OF THE WELLINGTON,BUT HAVEN’T A CLUE AS I HAVE NEVER SEEN ONE. I WILL INSTALL MAXSEA-YACHT. PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT WELLINGTON YACHTS AS I CAN’T FIND THEM ON THE INTERNET. ALSO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW YOUR CHOICE OF THE FOUR BOATS GIVEN THAT THEY ARE EQUAL IN ELECTRONICS, SAILS ETC. THANK YOU GARY

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

CSY 44

Hi Steve. Recently, we talked about a Cal46-2 as a cruising boat for a retired couple. What do you think about the CSY-44? It looks like there are more of those out there and they are priced in my price range. Sidney

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Info of 1985 Deerfoot

I am looking at a 63′ 1985 aluminum hull Deerfoot. Could you tell me more about her? Thank you Bruce

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Hylas 44

I got a Hylas 44 surveyed as part of my purchase of that boat. I want the boat (1989) to take it to the South Pacific with my wife. Do you know that design? Do you think is a good boat for that trip? Thanks!

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

CSY Offshore 44

I am struggling to form a view on the suitability of the CSY 44 (1980 vessel with longish keel, but cut away at front I believe) for offshore cruising with a 4’11" shoal draft. A Cruising World article of 1997 said that the shoal draft (deep is 6’6″) has a significantly reduced righting moment and recommended the deep keel for offshore. I am interested in: 1. Stability/righting moment (this is important to me) and 2. Sailing ability for world cruising–i.e. how much harder is the shoal keel, the impression I am getting is that it is not good for that sort of cruising–to the point of not being suitable at all? Many thanks

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Aerodyne47

Steve, I wonder if you have had a look at the Aerodyne 47 with regard to use for bluewater cruising. I also wonder if the hull can take the bumps and knocks from extended cruise. Thanks, Howard.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Gulfstars for Cruising

Another question to add to “The Right Boat” category, if you have a moment. I would certainly appreciate a comment or two regarding Gulfstars as a sailing boat, specifically the cutter-rigged Gulfstar 44. Anticipated use would be primarily coastal cruising and island-hopping in the Caribbean.

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Newporters

I am now interested in a 40 foot Newporter that seems to be in great shape. I’m the guy from Alaska and wanted a motorsailer. Do you know anything about these boats? There was 122 made, an older model but appears to have nice lines to her. The only thing I might wonder about is the freeboard. She is nice and heavy at 30,000# 5600 in the keel. I happened to love wooden boats. This is a cold mold with fiber glass. I anxiously wait your response. Cheers, Spike

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Toucan, Sundeer 60

Steve: Are there two versions of the Sundeer 60, a shorter 56 and a longer 60? With a 60ft is this perhaps why the owner of TOUCAN moved the rudder further aft? Would it make sense to do it, i.e. would it improve control, say, downwind; are there any drawbacks? Have other 60’s done the same? I’d be interested in your thoughts; haven’t been able to speak with the owner. In advance, thanks…Peter

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (3)

Columbia 43

Hi Steve, I’m reading Offshore Cruising Enc. at the moment, which is excellent. We are a couple in the mid 30’s and plan to set sail along the Tradewinds on a Columbia 43 (MK I – 1970) we have seen and plan to buy. As you started in a Columbia 50, we would appreciate your feelings about Columbia 43’s for Tradewind sailing (and maybe more in future). We are not too happy with the deep draft and the unprotected rudder, however, she seems safe, comfortable, with lots of room and most importantly, she would be in line with our budget for that size of waterline! Any thoughts? Thanks a lot !!! Stephan

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Newporter 41 vs. Freeport 41 for Caribbean Cruising

Hi, I am deciding between a Newporter 41 & an Islander Freeport 41. My boyfriend & I plan to cruise around the Caribbean for a fairly extended period & both of us have heard mixed reviews about the sailing capabilities of each (spanning…sails pretty good, handles like a dog, porpoises through the water, handles well for a cruising boat). We’re not interested in a high performance racing boat, but we will want to be able to head up into the wind in rough weather. I’ve found basically no info on the Newporter 41, & not too much on the other. Can you help? – Barb

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (2)

Which “Production” Boat?

Hi there, I am currently going through the selection process of a boat for a three-year circumnavigation by way of the canals. Given a limited budget of £60,000 for a boat capable of sleeping four friends (as opposed to two couples!) I keep coming back to ex-charter Beneteaus, Jeanneaus and Bavarias. I have read your comments about the high centre of gravity etc. But if you had to select from one of these makes which model would you consider most suitable for cruising? Many thanks in advance for your reply. – Will

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

How Good Is My C&C 34Offshore?

Steve: I bought a 22-year-old C&C 34 a little over a year ago. Had her surveyed and she was sound. Since then I have refitted her from stem to stern and from top to bottom. New rigging (standing and running), all new ground tackle, full electrical upgrades (wiring, batteries, etc), and the list goes on and on. I have brought aboard safety equipment that I feel is absolutely necessary (e.g. Winslow life raft, GAPER, several GPSs–two are chart plotters–etc, etc.).

With all of this I still have the nagging feeling about my boats survivability under adverse conditions. I feel confident in my skills, but still the feeling exists about my boat. If you are not familiar with the C&C 34, she is 33’6" in length, 11′ at the beam, medium height single spreader rig (again, with all new rod rigging), a 20 hp Yanmar diesel that works every time. But still, I have this feeling about her, even though I’ve had her out in 20-30 knot winds and she’s brought me back every time.

I use her for coastal cruising and plan some small coastal trips to Mexico. If you know, what’s your opinion of C&C’s, and especially my C&C 34? I would be most grateful to hear your response. Martin

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Hunter 25 for Cruising

Dear Steve and Linda, At the end of summer 2004 I plan to leave on an extended cruise/possible circumnavigation on a 25-foot Hunter. It’s an older version, around 1984 or so, with the solid keel at four feet draft and not the plastic trailerable type hunters of today. God willing, I will sail from Lake Erie to the Atlantic, through the Erie Canal and Hudson River, through the Intra-coastal down to the Keys, and eventually through the Panama Canal into the South Pacific. My question is one of concern for the seaworthiness of the boat. She handles lake conditions well but I fear her light displacement might cause some due risk if ever caught in severe open ocean weather. I am 28 and hold a Captain’s License for unlimited tonnage and have long since looked at righting moments and different load plans for the trip. I was hoping you could provide some experienced insight and opinion on whether or not this particular boat may be considered a safe passage maker. Thank you very much for your time. – Gunar

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Spray 40′ (Joshua Slocum)

Dear Steve: A question if I may, in regards the suitability of the "Bruce Roberts designed Spray 40" (Joshua Slocum) for coastal and world cruising? Since I know more about lock & key’s I cannot cross-reference the design style to other brands your Q & A page refers to. I have just received your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia as an ideal Christmas gift, which is how I come to visit your site. We have already taken our 12-year plan and crunched it into an "ASAP" plan as a result of a sad loss, and I have elected to take some advice given out on your site by joining a local race club, which leads myself to second question if I can push my luck. Can a person who knows more about lock & key’s, and has no sailing experience at the age of 45, safely pursue a circumnavigation dream with a family? With Thanks, David

Read the rest »


Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)