A snug-fitting teak grating adds safety and a touch of class to the cockpit of any boat. Spray or rain runs under the grating to the cockpit drains, leaving a reasonably dry footing for hopping about the cockpit as you haul in sheets to tack or trim sails. Unfortunately, you can't buy a grating off the shelf to fit your boat, and having a grating custom-built can be a costly and nerve-wracking experience. The solution to both of these problems: build your own grating. Its a fun job that can keep you busy for a few winter evenings, and you can build it for less than one-third the cost of a custom-built job.
We spoke with several owners of Cheoy Lee 42s and 36s for this article, and among the most seasoned was Kieron OConnell, a two-time owner of Cheoy Lee boats-first an Offshore 31, now a Cheoy Lee Clipper 42. OConnell sailed the 42 from California to Australia. He had this to say about the Cheoy Lee Clipper 42.
A New Zealander greatly influenced by the traditional craft of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, famed multihull designer Ian Farrier understood that an enduring design goes through several evolutions. Proas, the small sailing craft of Micronesia that inspired his visionary folding trimaran design, presented a perfect example of this.
Alan Johnstone’s first design for J Boats is a roomy performance cruiser that suffers only from a lack of organized stowage.
This recent update of this extraordinarily popular 18-year-old Catalina 36 MK II design is a good all-around boat. Owners’ main complaint is with interior woodwork.
The early 1970s was the heyday of the Tartan 30' racer/cruiser. In all, no less than two dozen boats of a similar size and type were introduced in just three years, many of them to become highly successful among sailors eager for the performance and amenities of big boats at a modest price. Among the most noteworthy and enduring of the 30-footers from this era has been the Tartan 30.
The Hanse 400 is a cruising boat for those who love to sail, and a club racer for those who enjoy a summer cruise. Its construction quality and price point qualify it as a cost-effective alternative in the 40-footer marketplace. In comparison to mainstream production cruising boats, the Hanse 400 is an absolute performance standout, not only in its ability under sail, but in its ease of operation. (Photos by Ralph Naranjo)
With a clear understanding of coastal weather conditions, inshore estuaries, and the cruiser-club racer mindset of potential buyers, Bill Shaw designed boats that met the needs of local sailors. The Pearson 32 was no exception: The 32-footer’s shoal draft stats also come with an efficient foil shape and external lead ballast, providing enough lift and lateral plane to enhance sailing ability both on and off the wind. Add to the mix a respectable sail area-displacement ratio, and it’s clear that this Pearson is more than an oversized pocket cruiser. Envisioned originally as both a club racer and a family cruiser, the boat lives up to expectations.
In 1978, Tartan brought out the Tartan Ten, a 33', fairly light, fractionally-rigged "offshore one design." The boat was a huge success: fast, easy to sail, and unencumbered by the design limitations of a rating rule. But the Tartan Ten had one big problem: limited accommodations with stooping headroom, an interior most kindly described as spartan. A hardy crew could take the Tartan Ten on a multi-day race such as the Mackinac, and you might even coax your family aboard for a weekend of camping out. But cruising or extended racing in comfort? Forget it!
About a year ago, I read an article that warned of “the coming crash in sailboat prices.” I didn’t believe it then, and nothing has happened in the last year to make me change my mind. In fact, while no one is ready to declare that the “soft” market for new sailboats is over, there are numerous indications that sales are up, and that used boat prices are beginning an upward spiral.