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I am seriously considering an 1984 Olson 40 as my next boat. In the past I've sailed on smaller production boats and I owned Roger Swanson's Cloud Nine, a Bowman 57', for 3 years. I've done some significant offshore adventures on Cloud Nine and I sailed her single handed from San Diego to Monterey Bay. I discovered on Cloud Nine that I really love single handed sailing. I sold her due to not being able to convince my wife to sell the house and sail the world with me.

I am now looking for a boat for myself that is bluewater capable and that will be fast, single handable, and within in my budget of $40-$75k. There is an Olson 40 on the market that is well set up for single handing by the previous owner who is a very experienced offshore single handed racer here in San Diego. I understand these boats can be wet and are weight sensitive, particularly in the bow. The interior is somewhat spartan when compared with my former boat but I am ok with this. As I said, this boat is for me. 

I'm hoping the community can provide some input on the bluewater capabilities of the Olson 40 and its potential as a boat for a circumnavigation, including a trip around Cape Horn. 

Over the next couple of years I plan to use the boat for sailing the Channel Islands, a potential Guadalupe Island race, and a trip to the Hawaii potentially via a Transpac campaign or just for fun. 

Thanks in advance for any thoughtful responses to this post. 

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The trick is keeping her light as she becomes a cruiser. That boat will not sail well if you try to “live the life” by dragging along SUPs, dive gear, the dream dinghy, the world’s finest anchor gear, etc, etc.

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3 surfboards, two spearguns, one dive tank, 60' chain and 250' of rode, 22kg bruce. Need to add water maker, solar, 2 4D AGMs and 1 100amp AGM for start, 9' inflatable, 9hourse outboard, some clothes, food for 30 days, tools, a few other basics. Hopefully that won't be too much.

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9 minutes ago, robertwcass said:

Too much as in it would be unsafe, or it won't sail as fast as it could?

"Unsafe" is an opinion. However, what is the point of buying a light displacement flyer of a boat and then loading it down like a station wagon? Get a station wagon in the first place.

As to unsafe: as always, the best answer is "it depends." Boats are designed around expected loads. In one way, you might be fine with lots of stuff in the boat as it will raise the center of gravity and reduce rigging loads. OTOH having it plow instead of fly will tend to raise the loads on rig & hull, in some cases, dramatically. Not a simple fix unless you want to relaminate the hull and replace all the bulkheads etc etc.

The O40 is a cool boat, pretty and fun to sail. Might be worth making a few sacrifices for

FB- Doug

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The Olson 40 was designed to be raced with a full crew, maybe 7 or 8 people or 5 to Hawaii, plus food and water for the same number.  If you're talking one person and the gear you stated, probably similar weight to the full crew and provisions for a Hawaii race.  I think storage space could be a bigger concern than weight i.e. surfboard and spearguns aren't too heavy but they are bulky.

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Not unsafe...in my opinion...but that is too much stuff. You want a very much heavier displacement cruiser.

It is not necessarily the stuff you just listed.By itself it does not amount to much. It is the sum total of that stuff and all the normal necessary stuff. Steam Flyer's characterization as a plow is correct.

The O40 is indeed a great fun boat. But few people have the severe minimalist lifestyle to cruise her on her lines. Forget about those 4D batteries and whatever power hungry crap you dream of powering. Consider a tiny dinghy with 2.5hp. Aluminum anchor and 30 feet of chain. Almost no spares or tools. Etc... You get the idea.

I have experience in minimalism as I single- and double-hand my SC50 around the Pacific. She will be no fun overloaded.

I even traded my heavy chested american grinder for a 42kg filipina grinder that only needs fishheads and rice.

 

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O 40 is a good boat- when kept empty with 9 or so big bodies on the rail, at least if you wanna go in any winds forward of the beam.

loaded with a buncha stuff in the ocean it wouldn't be my choice.  Likely very uncorfortable and could be sketchy (ie safety) in rough going.

For the list of gear, something like a J44 or similar is probably better.

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6 total crew at 150lbs each equals 750lbs. I'll still may have have to lighten the load as daddle suggests. My boards maybe weigh 25lbs total and fit nicely into the bow. I could do without the dive tank although I've always had one on my boat if needed to unstick an anchor. Dingy and motor can definitely be smaller. I could go with 30' chain. I could increase solar and cut battery size. I'm thinking that positioning and balance of gear is going to be more important than total weight if the weight is not more than a crew of 6. 

Why do I want this boat for cruising? I still think it is going to be faster than most moderate displacement boats of the similar waterline as long as I keep the gear down to less than what 6 crew would weigh. Plus she is beautiful to look at.

But I hear you that I may need to go with a different boat. I'd love to get a gear list or estimate of weight of gear with crew from someone who has sailed the Olson 40 on a transpac or other long distance jaunt. 

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I don’t want to bringing this topic to other direction but I insist to ask.

mine is light displacement 33 racer but I am accommodating to mine to singlehanded and, here is the question.

like Olson, mine is wet, too. And I am thinking about the raise the entry of the companion way to higher.  Do you think this kind of modification is possible? 

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Weight of crew is not the same as weight of stores, supplies or equipment,  unless that is you trained your dinghy, outboard and storm anchor to hike out on the rail.

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13 minutes ago, 2savage said:

Weight of crew is not the same as weight of stores, supplies or equipment,  unless that is you trained your dinghy, outboard and storm anchor to hike out on the rail.

And to self tack.

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An anchor and chain can be 250 kg.

  Dont underestimate how much weight...cruising stuff...goes into a boat .  Piles of fenders, warps, rigging , spare parts, fluids, batteries, inverters, dinghy , outboard.....to make it even worse this weight and bulk  can never be stored in the correct position 

medium displacement , medium volume boats work best . 

Boats on the bigger side should be considered 

its always possible to go super minimalistic ...but why .

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OK, I like this boat, a lot.

But Cape Horn?

 

Give me that Swan 57
 

Any boat can be singlehanded when you think it through. (ok, docking might be a bother)

 

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2 hours ago, cpt_757 said:

I don’t want to bringing this topic to other direction but I insist to ask.

mine is light displacement 33 racer but I am accommodating to mine to singlehanded and, here is the question.

like Olson, mine is wet, too. And I am thinking about the raise the entry of the companion way to higher.  Do you think this kind of modification is possible? 

anything is possible....

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Thanks for all the replies, good points all. I'll need to do some serious thinking for sure. 

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Just now, robertwcass said:

Thanks for all the replies, good points all. I'll need to do some serious thinking for sure. 

Olson 40 is a great boat. That one in San Diego is on right near the top of my list - but I have a very different intended use.

 

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1 hour ago, slug zitski said:

An anchor and chain can be 250 kg.

  Dont underestimate how much weight...cruising stuff...goes into a boat .  Piles of fenders, warps, rigging , spare parts, fluids, batteries, inverters, dinghy , outboard.....to make it even worse this weight and bulk  can never be stored in the correct position 

medium displacement , medium volume boats work best . 

Boats on the bigger side should be considered 

its always possible to go super minimalistic ...but why .

True. I do not know "why" I go super minimalistic. Some good reason I am sure. Sailing pleasure is part of it.

Here is an inventory list. Prior to this refit, after sailing to California from the Philippines, I unloaded every single item from the boat. Everything except the hull, basic plumbing, winches, rig. Everything that would shake out if the boat were up-ended. Each item was weighed. List is a little incomplete. A few of the instruments and stuff were not unmounted. But you can get an idea. This is quite minimalistic. I found a few heavy things that I did not know were onboard, heh.

It totals 5000 pounds. Of which I might be able to delete 1600 as shown in the rightmost column. She on her lines...with this load...but barely.

SC50-InventoryWeight.pdf

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6 minutes ago, robertwcass said:

Thanks for all the replies, good points all. I'll need to do some serious thinking for sure. 

You must also decide what function you want the boat to perform.

if you are an offshore sailor its all about  reaching and long legs.

inshore is  upwind, short legs 

these are different boats.

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Daddle, great list. Even with your paired down list it is still a lot of stuff to put on an O40. Maybe I'll go back to the drawing board as far as boat selection goes. Either that or change my goals. 

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I'd rather have a J37 or J40 for what you are describing.  Better upwind performance and better able to handle the extra gear, but not so much different in overall speed.  Maybe no difference with all the gear onboard.  

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Sailing an O-40 upwind, short-handed, in anything over like 8 knots true will be uncomfortable, slow, wet, and tippy. Even with 8 linebackers on the rail, it will be uncomfortable and wet.

Horses for course, Robert.

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Good inventory, thanks. I suspect we had 3500-4000 lbs of gear aboard for offshore sailing. 

However you can subtract at least a main and a jib  - they would be part of the basic displacement of the vessel. Same as 1/2 the fuel + water, and 2 crew.

Shocked at how little clothing you had. Also a spare winch???

However we did have 2 sewing machines, 4 autopilots and 4 electric sanders so who am I to talk. :)

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So I guess I can determine that the responders consensus is that the Olson 40 will not make a good fast cruising bluewater vessel. Probably should have kept my Bowman 57.

I do like the Saga 43 and 40, but they are just a little beyond my budget for now.

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23 hours ago, Zonker said:

Good inventory, thanks. I suspect we had 3500-4000 lbs of gear aboard for offshore sailing. 

However you can subtract at least a main and a jib  - they would be part of the basic displacement of the vessel. Same as 1/2 the fuel + water, and 2 crew.

Shocked at how little clothing you had. Also a spare winch???

However we did have 2 sewing machines, 4 autopilots and 4 electric sanders so who am I to talk. :)

The list is a bit off because a few things were left aboard, not dragged home for weighing, for the delivery to the yard: foulies, coffee gear, flashlight, a fender...

I was in the tropics. Three shorts, three tees, flipflops.

Yeah, a spare winch. Just a freight logistics snafu.

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Happy to show you around my First 405 here in SD; heavier, a bit cruis-ier but still satisfyingly fast with the deep keel and tall rig. Mine’s currently set up as a day sailor but I think a boat like this could be fit for singlehanded blue water work.  My crew of small children and caretakers is pretty useless so I end up singlehanding anyway :)

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Thanks Socalrider! you can ping me on robertwcass gmail, that would be great. 

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2 hours ago, robertwcass said:

So I guess I can determine that the responders consensus is that the Olson 40 will not make a good fast cruising bluewater vessel. Probably should have kept my Bowman 57.

I do like the Saga 43 and 40, but they are just a little beyond my budget for now.

You also  need to erase this  term Fast from you vocabulary

a better term is abilty

an offshore boat needs the abilty to sail down wind in light air....plenty of sail area

It needs to  rapidly get up to hull speed..or cruising speed...then track well

it doesn't need to blast down waves at 15 knots...that stuff if for Youtube 

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Its true...folks that buy speedsters keep them for a few cruises then move on 

you see it in the resale value or in things like very low  engine hours...they  bought the boat,  but they never used the boat

 

 

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On ‎1‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 9:33 PM, robertwcass said:

So I guess I can determine that the responders consensus is that the Olson 40 will not make a good fast cruising bluewater vessel. Probably should have kept my Bowman 57.

I do like the Saga 43 and 40, but they are just a little beyond my budget for now.

 

I think you'll be fine in the Olson - you'll just be sailing with a #3 or #4 most of the time (and still going faster than any cruiser). Couples have cruised them up and down to Mexico and off to Hawaii (not sure about around the horn, but better an Olson than some slapped together cruiser).

But, there are a couple of downsides for long term cruising.  The galley is forward, so there's no headroom. And, there isn't an anchor locker, so moving chain around is a pain by your self (you won't need that much chain).  You could consider the SC40 instead, but that only fixes the headroom issue.

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My wife bought me an Olson 40 last year as a 60th birthday present. The intent is to cruise, not race, the boat. We are doing a complete refit at Finco Fabrication in Santa Ana. Drop by and see the progress.

I think of the boat as a 30 foot cruiser that sails much, much quicker and is actually fun to sail, unlike medium and heavy displacement boats. Long term with two, four or six for a weekend or week.

Having gone off cruising “forever” several times, I think its quite easy to take 200 lbs of personal gear, and very little more than is already aboard for legal racing on a Wednesday night.

I strongly reject the notion that tons of equipment is needed, nor even required, to be safe, have fun, and cross oceans. This is based on actually doing so, multiple times, for my entire life.

Plenty of people do very long voyages and/or liveaboard 30 footers quite happily. In fact, people sailing smaller, cheaper, and simpler boats probably have more fun than those with air conditioning and a 17 foot whaler on davits. In my own experience, which includes tens of thousands of miles cruising on everything from camping style vessels to true gold platers, the smaller, simpler, lighter, faster boats were much more enjoyable than those with multiple showers, home entertainment systems, and ski boats on deck.

The refit is coming along well. The strip (remove all equipment on deck and below, including the engine, tanks, wiring, plumbing, everything) and initial phase (grind, sand, patch, fill, recore the few places needed, gelcoat, varnish, and polish — all beautifully done) went quickly, taking a few months. Its a really well built boat with an astonishingly dry balsa core hull: even where a depth sounder transducer was installed without any filler, the core was like oatmeal about a half inch around the transducer, then totally dry again.

We created an anchor locker just aft of the foredeck hatch, just forward of the head, to get the weight of rode back closer to the keel. It is sealed off from the bilge so smelly anchor water stays in the well, where it must be pumped out.

The spars are being completely refurbished too, with all new sheaves and axels from Ballenger. I have all the original rod that appears in excellent condition, but I intend to replace it all with dyneema.

We have been in the slow phase of the refit for several months now, as we create an entirely new system. I am enjoying doing the electrical, with quite a ways to go. Steve has done an excellent job on the plumbing, almost done. We just got the upholstery and mattresses (pillow top) done. The head is approaching completion, with the new fresh water flushing Raritan Elegance with smart flushing control, and overboard pump for the holding tank ready to go. The fittings we are using are artwork.

I have no schedule for completion. Probably a few more months before launch.

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Carcrash, I like your ideas.

Your adaptation is thoughtful. I like the stand-alone anchor locker. Easy access to an easy-to-deploy and easy-to-weigh anchor is a must-have for fun and casual cruising. 

Cruising a ULDB is for the experienced or the very young. Most people trying to cruise a ULDB don't have that much insight as to what is required or wanted.

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Hi Carcrash. Thanks for your post. I have every post the pertains to Olson 40s and had come across your post about your wife getting the boat for your birthday. I guess somebody already asked if she has a sister :)  I'm getting closer to pulling the trigger on the 040 that's available. I'm probably going to be sailing by myself with my wife joining me a a few months out of the year in different ports. I love to surf and spearfish so I have to bring that gear with me. But I don't have big needs. I'm fine with a lap top for entertainment. I do think I'll need a windlass, albeit a small one. 

If I get the boat I'm going to sail on it for six months or so before I add anything that isn't immediately safety related/necessary. 

Do you have a website where your pictures and stories are posted? I'm off on Mondays and Tuesdays and would love to come up to Santa Ana to see your progress.

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Go for it!  Great boat, just have to learn how to sail it shorthanded w/out weight on the rail.  Less is More!

ps.  I currently have a Bendytoy with all the comforts and am getting ready to flog her so I can go back to Fast and Simple is Fun!

 

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5 hours ago, carcrash said:

My wife bought me an Olson 40 last year as a 60th birthday present. The intent is to cruise, not race, the boat. We are doing a complete refit at Finco Fabrication in Santa Ana. Drop by and see the progress.

I think of the boat as a 30 foot cruiser that sails much, much quicker and is actually fun to sail, unlike medium and heavy displacement boats. Long term with two, four or six for a weekend or week.

Having gone off cruising “forever” several times, I think its quite easy to take 200 lbs of personal gear, and very little more than is already aboard for legal racing on a Wednesday night.

I strongly reject the notion that tons of equipment is needed, nor even required, to be safe, have fun, and cross oceans. This is based on actually doing so, multiple times, for my entire life.

Plenty of people do very long voyages and/or liveaboard 30 footers quite happily. In fact, people sailing smaller, cheaper, and simpler boats probably have more fun than those with air conditioning and a 17 foot whaler on davits. In my own experience, which includes tens of thousands of miles cruising on everything from camping style vessels to true gold platers, the smaller, simpler, lighter, faster boats were much more enjoyable than those with multiple showers, home entertainment systems, and ski boats on deck.

The refit is coming along well. The strip (remove all equipment on deck and below, including the engine, tanks, wiring, plumbing, everything) and initial phase (grind, sand, patch, fill, recore the few places needed, gelcoat, varnish, and polish — all beautifully done) went quickly, taking a few months. Its a really well built boat with an astonishingly dry balsa core hull: even where a depth sounder transducer was installed without any filler, the core was like oatmeal about a half inch around the transducer, then totally dry again.

We created an anchor locker just aft of the foredeck hatch, just forward of the head, to get the weight of rode back closer to the keel. It is sealed off from the bilge so smelly anchor water stays in the well, where it must be pumped out.

The spars are being completely refurbished too, with all new sheaves and axels from Ballenger. I have all the original rod that appears in excellent condition, but I intend to replace it all with dyneema.

We have been in the slow phase of the refit for several months now, as we create an entirely new system. I am enjoying doing the electrical, with quite a ways to go. Steve has done an excellent job on the plumbing, almost done. We just got the upholstery and mattresses (pillow top) done. The head is approaching completion, with the new fresh water flushing Raritan Elegance with smart flushing control, and overboard pump for the holding tank ready to go. The fittings we are using are artwork.

I have no schedule for completion. Probably a few more months before launch.

Carcrash,

Just wondering what your ground tackle is gonna be and maybe a couple of quick related questions.

 How much length of chain? Are you going all chain?  What weight of anchor? And finally, how are you running the chain/rode from the newly located anchor locker up onto the deck and to the roller.  Straight up and accross the deck or another route through the cabin and up through a pipe closer to the bow?

Sounds like a great refit!

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5 hours ago, carcrash said:

My wife bought me an Olson 40 last year as a 60th birthday present.

Don't let that woman out of your sight ........................

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Anchor system:

I should post some pictures...

There is an anchor roller, SS, that is bolted to a thick SS plate (3/8"?) that is under the tack fitting, so well bolted to the boat itself. The roller extends about 18" forward of the bow, so the anchor (either one of the Delta or Claw that I already have, or one of the non-roll-bar Rocnas, as the Rocna roll bar interferes with the sprit) easily clears the bow when launched or retrieved. This thick SS plate will also support the inboard end universal fitting for the carbon spinnaker pole that is now the sprit. The sprit and roller are adjacent, so the pole cannot be brought aft on starboard, but can swing to port to be put away. Like the sprit on a Mini 6.50 or early Class 40, for example.

A heavy canvas strip, with light lines to keep it properly aligned for the anchor rode, will protect the deck from the chain between roller and windlass alongside the foredeck hatch. I did this on a Maxi long ago, and it worked great.

The windlass has been removed from near the jib tack, and that hole filled. I expect to have one, but will first try without. The windlass (that I expect to eventually install) will go alongside the starboard aft corner of the foredeck hatch, so the anchor line will have a nice long fall, nearly 6 feet, from deck to bottom of the anchor locker. The anchor locker has doors so its very easy to ensure the line is coming in or out without fouling.

At first, the anchor will be raised and lowered using a normal halyard winch on deck near the mast. The anchor chain is therefore initially limited to about 16 feet -- the distance from the anchor shank to this deck mounted halyard winch. The rode will be initially 16 feet of chain, and then a couple hundred feet of dyneema, just like commercial fishing boats and bigger, up to oil platforms, commonly use today.

However, if this does not work well, then the all chain rode, or at least a hundred feet of chain, will be used instead.

I have had excellent experiences with all chain rode with electric windlasses. So I expect to go in this direction, and that is why it was so important to build the anchor locker so far aft -- so I won't be afraid of the weight, and so the windlass itself is far aft and will spend much less time under water.

But I am intrigued by the recent (last couple of decades) experiences with the commercial industry using dyneema instead of chain. So we will first try the modern approach, but keep in mind the ability to go back to the traditional approach that certainly works well.

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Oh: my Olson 40 has a bulb keel, designed by Alan Andrews. It has an IMX 38 rudder.

IMG_1783.jpg

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I need to take more pictures. The first is looking aft from the focs'l at the anchor locker. The vertical opening is covered by the nice door in the second picture. The horizontal opening is covered by a nice thick piece of teak that is a step to get out of the hatch easier, yet can be easily removed so the entire chain locker is easily accessible, ensuring no fouling of the rode.

The third picture shows the storage that replaces the nav table. Top shelf specifically sized for top shelf booze bottles. The last shows the bilge, where the old keel stub (which failed!) was cut away, a new bottom built up, with new and much stronger lateral beams to take keel loads. The silver pole simply goes up through the deck where the mast comes through, to hold up the awning that shades the boat.

We have new thick floor boards, but they won't go in until we launch. Those existing floor boards take quite a beating while we do the refit.

IMG_2352.jpg

IMG_2975.jpg

IMG_2986.jpg

IMG_2989.jpg

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Carcrash, I'm going to move my windlass and chain locker aft as well on the SC50. I'll be able to use the V-Berth better, too. I'll just have to get used to banging my head on the motor. The canvas channel is a good idea. I cruise Mexico and California with just 30 feet of chain...as much as I can lift...on an aluminum anchor. But more difficult bottom conditions makes that scary. I had 100 feet of chain. That was barely enough in the deeper tropical places. You want to keep the non-chain part of the kit away from the sharp abrasive stuff. Maybe that doesn't make geometric-catenary sense...but it seems to be the way it works out.

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Carcrash, any chance we can convince you to post larger photos? 800 x 640 pixels? Or at least  640 x 480?

 

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23 hours ago, carcrash said:

Anchor system:

I should post some pictures...

There is an anchor roller, SS, that is bolted to a thick SS plate (3/8"?) that is under the tack fitting, so well bolted to the boat itself. The roller extends about 18" forward of the bow, so the anchor (either one of the Delta or Claw that I already have, or one of the non-roll-bar Rocnas, as the Rocna roll bar interferes with the sprit) easily clears the bow when launched or retrieved. This thick SS plate will also support the inboard end universal fitting for the carbon spinnaker pole that is now the sprit. The sprit and roller are adjacent, so the pole cannot be brought aft on starboard, but can swing to port to be put away. Like the sprit on a Mini 6.50 or early Class 40, for example.

A heavy canvas strip, with light lines to keep it properly aligned for the anchor rode, will protect the deck from the chain between roller and windlass alongside the foredeck hatch. I did this on a Maxi long ago, and it worked great.

The windlass has been removed from near the jib tack, and that hole filled. I expect to have one, but will first try without. The windlass (that I expect to eventually install) will go alongside the starboard aft corner of the foredeck hatch, so the anchor line will have a nice long fall, nearly 6 feet, from deck to bottom of the anchor locker. The anchor locker has doors so its very easy to ensure the line is coming in or out without fouling.

At first, the anchor will be raised and lowered using a normal halyard winch on deck near the mast. The anchor chain is therefore initially limited to about 16 feet -- the distance from the anchor shank to this deck mounted halyard winch. The rode will be initially 16 feet of chain, and then a couple hundred feet of dyneema, just like commercial fishing boats and bigger, up to oil platforms, commonly use today.

However, if this does not work well, then the all chain rode, or at least a hundred feet of chain, will be used instead.

I have had excellent experiences with all chain rode with electric windlasses. So I expect to go in this direction, and that is why it was so important to build the anchor locker so far aft -- so I won't be afraid of the weight, and so the windlass itself is far aft and will spend much less time under water.

But I am intrigued by the recent (last couple of decades) experiences with the commercial industry using dyneema instead of chain. So we will first try the modern approach, but keep in mind the ability to go back to the traditional approach that certainly works well.

 

21 hours ago, daddle said:

Carcrash, I'm going to move my windlass and chain locker aft as well on the SC50. I'll be able to use the V-Berth better, too. I'll just have to get used to banging my head on the motor. The canvas channel is a good idea. I cruise Mexico and California with just 30 feet of chain...as much as I can lift...on an aluminum anchor. But more difficult bottom conditions makes that scary. I had 100 feet of chain. That was barely enough in the deeper tropical places. You want to keep the non-chain part of the kit away from the sharp abrasive stuff. Maybe that doesn't make geometric-catenary sense...but it seems to be the way it works out.

Carcrash, 

Thanks for the detailed answer on ground tackle. It's something like I'd envisioned for your set up and it'll be interesting to see if you eventually move to more/all chain..or if the Dyneema line has its advantages. I like the idea of mostly line and limited chain for weight, but obviously their are disadvantages with regard to what Daddle called 'the sharp bits'.

I pose this question to you and Daddle, whose detailed weight list on his SC50 was very informative.

Is 300 ft of all chain too much weight within your ULDB cruising strategy? Or is it doable?

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15 minutes ago, fufkin said:

Is 300 ft of all chain too much weight within your ULDB cruising strategy? Or is it doable?

I dread this becoming an anchor thread... I had 100 feet of 5/16 inch HT with 200 feet of 5/8" 3-strand. It worked fine throughout Micronesia and SE Asia except for the constant attention required to keep the rode away from sharp things when in deep water. I would move the chain, rode and anchors back to the keel lockers when at sea. I am going to use 200 feet of chain and 200 feet of 3-strand next time out. Like CarCrash described, and I have seen on other ULDBs, is to move the windlass and chain aft.

The downside is the windlass motor being close to the living space...a bit. And it is always a bit drippy. Shortens the heavy battery cable, though.

My anchor roller is easily removed, too. Stown below. Looks better.

Cruisers don't realize how much nicer sailing is with light ends. No opportunity to experience the difference. Anchor gear forward and dinghy gear aft creates a pitching nightmare on any boat. They just do not realize it. They think dramatic pitching is real sailing.

 

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Daddle, I agree with your comment about keeping the ends light.

I sail because I find it very enjoyable, satisfying to my soul somehow. Its the experience of sailing I continually seek.

So I am taking this opportunity of doing a comprehensive refit to make the boat a better sailing boat by rejecting racing limitations and instead doing many things to make the boat faster and more responsive. Fast and responsive makes a voyage interesting and fun. A cruising boat has the real potential of being significantly faster and more fun than a racing boat. It is a mystery to me why people tend to instead make cruising boats much worse sailing boats. No one is forcing that decision. Why choose boredom?

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Just an update: I have swung from the O40 to a Norseman 447 and back O40 again having not found the "middle ground" that I like yet (with the exception of the Saga 43 or 40). I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the O40 soon and I'll just have to experiment with how much weight I can put on it with overly compromising its sailing abilities. Like I said in my original post, I'll be using her for the next couple of years to sail locally from San Diego to the Channel Islands, Coronados, and Guadalupe Island as prep for a Transpac when I retire in 2021. After that and if I can figure away to pair down my cruising gear enough to cruise I will take off on the O40. If not, I'll have to get a different boat or change my goals. But at least for the next few years the O40 sounds like a shit load of fun. 

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carcrash, where will you be sailing/cruising your O40? Would you ever contemplate taking her around Cape Horn. Thanks!

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15 minutes ago, robertwcass said:

Just an update: I have swung from the O40 to a Norseman 447 and back O40 again having not found the "middle ground" that I like yet (with the exception of the Saga 43 or 40). I'm probably going to pull the trigger on the O40 soon and I'll just have to experiment with how much weight I can put on it with overly compromising its sailing abilities. Like I said in my original post, I'll be using her for the next couple of years to sail locally from San Diego to the Channel Islands, Coronados, and Guadalupe Island as prep for a Transpac when I retire in 2021. After that and if I can figure away to pair down my cruising gear enough to cruise I will take off on the O40. If not, I'll have to get a different boat or change my goals. But at least for the next few years the O40 sounds like a shit load of fun. 

I was also looking at that Olson in San Diego, but I think I found that middle boat. I've got an offer in on the Andrews 43 for sale in SoCal. It's a blank canvas, with a lot of horsepower. Maybe a tad too much draft for lots of places, but I can worry about that later.

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Ah! Kahoots, ex It's OK. Great boat. A little powerful for short-handed sailing but the boat is well cared for and plenty quick.

 

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17 minutes ago, Somebody Else said:

Ah! Kahoots, ex It's OK. Great boat. A little powerful for short-handed sailing but the boat is well cared for and plenty quick.

 

That’s the beasty...

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I checked out Kahoots. Really nice boat. But the O40 just nailed it for us.

RobertWCass, your plan is very similar to mine. I expect to shake down in SoCal for a bit before heading for warmer water.

I don’t think I’ll do Transpac, but my kids are getting annoying as the ask and ask and ask... I think I would rather sail from Cabo to Hawaii, choosing a good window, rather than a start time selected in complete ignorance of the weather. Its fun sailing to Hawaii if the weather is right, but it can suck if its not right. And in July, there are lots of bad weather windows — its a lot lighter air out there than you might think.

 

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12 hours ago, carcrash said:

And in July, there are lots of bad weather windows — its a lot lighter air out there than you might think.

In July, sailing out of Mexico towards Hawaii, light air is not the only issue. It is the intermittent twirly bits of very heavy air, too.

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2 hours ago, southerncross said:

Sort of a threadjack, but that 50 is beautiful. The 52 was always my dreamboat, but Another Girl really does it for me.

I have a 60th birthday coming up in April, but I'm pretty sure I won't be as lucky as carcrash.

OP should consider this one if you can stretch the budget. Santa Cruz built ULDBs for cruising don't get much nicer than this one.

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59 minutes ago, msvphoto said:

Sort of a threadjack, but that 50 is beautiful. The 52 was always my dreamboat, but Another Girl really does it for me.

I have a 60th birthday coming up in April, but I'm pretty sure I won't be as lucky as carcrash.

OP should consider this one if you can stretch the budget. Santa Cruz built ULDBs for cruising don't get much nicer than this one.

They've done a really nice job cleaning her up.

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On 1/23/2018 at 11:05 PM, zenmasterfred said:

Go for it!  Great boat, just have to learn how to sail it shorthanded w/out weight on the rail.  Less is More!

ps.  I currently have a Bendytoy with all the comforts and am getting ready to flog her so I can go back to Fast and Simple is Fun!

 

Any good ways to sail w/o weight on the rail without modifications, I am very interested in, 

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5 hours ago, southerncross said:

From that listing:

Her custom Ballenger rig has modern, swept back spreaders which eliminate the need for runners.

Yeah... So the chainplates are not where the designer and builder intended. I would want a serious talk with Bob Smith about that.

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Just now, cpt_757 said:

Any good ways to sail w/o weight on the rail without modifications, I am very interested in, 

Talk to sleddog about bicycles and food and stuff, slung over the weather rail in a hammock.

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That is a nice looking SC50.

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2 hours ago, cpt_757 said:

Any good ways to sail w/o weight on the rail without modifications, I am very interested in, 

Water ballast ;)

pye-bags.jpg

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4 hours ago, cpt_757 said:

Any good ways to sail w/o weight on the rail without modifications, I am very interested in, 

#4 headsail. First main reef at 10 true. Goes just fine on any little breeze. Assuming she is cruising light. Great in the light tropical stuff when everyone else is motoring.

Downwind any big spinnaker like thingy. Goes plenty fast. Take it down if you can feel the apparent wind. Seriously.

 

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10 hours ago, southerncross said:

Nice. Interesting Forward cabin and second head. Have not seen that. Gravity is a bit iffy that far forward...in a head. And the lost the great huge storage area. But no matter.

Several SC50 are swept spreader now. Appears to work.

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7 hours ago, eastern motors said:

A Class 40 with water balast would be a lot better.

My problem with Class 40 and similar models is that they tend to be sticky in light wind.

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For cruising -- just sailing around for fun -- most of the Santa Cruz built ULDBs had narrow waterlines and low wetted surface. This also means there is a smaller water plane, which makes motion nicer. I'm speaking of Merlin, SC50, SC52, SC33, SC27, O40, O30, Express 37 and 27, as well as the Hobie 33.

The modern flat bottom boats, such as Class 40, certainly sail VERY much faster when the breeze is up. But especially with the wide flat ass end, make for a more rapid and uncomfortable motion: worse pounding upwind, and the wide ass end gets moved around violently downwind -- ya wanna sleep in the bow. Not really the thing to do. At least in my experience. And the motion is related to shape not weight, so this is true even of the much heavier boats that dominate the modern new boat marketplace. A Swan 60 is worse at sea than a decades older Swan 65, for example.

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8 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

Express 37 would be on my short list, for sure. Well built and speedy enough.

Very sweet sailing boats.  Had one for a few years, mistake was to sell it when we had babies. Just make sure it’s got Carl’s version 2 rudder or budget for it. 

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On 1/24/2018 at 11:43 AM, carcrash said:

Oh: my Olson 40 has a bulb keel, designed by Alan Andrews. It has an IMX 38 rudder.

IMG_1783.jpg

Is this you?  CBYC?!

77D727B6-4E9B-42B4-95B3-725B568C3C78.jpeg

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A very nice boat but certainly not the first that would come to mind for crossing oceans.  We all want to go fast but when you are in the middle of an ocean, you also want a bullet-proof hull, extremely sturdy rigging and general peace of mind.  For example, as the former owner of an S&S Swan, you could carry has much gear as you want with little effect on her sailing characteristics.  I would be more inclined toward something like that.  Just saw a 44 that went for around 70k.  Yes they are old but extremely well-built.  Or just go full Blue water with a proven design such as a Valiant, which can probably be found on the top end of your range.  Personally, I wouldn't cross an ocean with a light racer/cruiser.

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21 hours ago, Mulligan said:

Is this you?  CBYC?!

77D727B6-4E9B-42B4-95B3-725B568C3C78.jpeg

Yes, that was me yesterday afternoon right after putting the boom and vang on. Just walking forward to remove the bubble wrap after taking the green stretch film off.

 

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18 hours ago, Beer Can said:

A very nice boat but certainly not the first that would come to mind for crossing oceans.  We all want to go fast but when you are in the middle of an ocean, you also want a bullet-proof hull, extremely sturdy rigging and general peace of mind.  For example, as the former owner of an S&S Swan, you could carry has much gear as you want with little effect on her sailing characteristics.  I would be more inclined toward something like that.  Just saw a 44 that went for around 70k.  Yes they are old but extremely well-built.  Or just go full Blue water with a proven design such as a Valiant, which can probably be found on the top end of your range.  Personally, I wouldn't cross an ocean with a light racer/cruiser.

I am a BIG fan of Swans. I agree with the advantages you mentioned: very tolerant of excess weight, comfortable motion, strong, beautiful, and lots and lots more.

The reason I went with an Olson 40 instead of a Swan (looked at many in the 36 to 48 foot range) is the practicality of actually using the boat as I get older. Light loads are much safer than heavy loads. Things I could easily do in my youth (climbing to the top of the mast of maxi yachts at sea hand over hand without a harness) I cannot and would not do ever again. Low sheet loads make sailing possible as I get older (weaker and more fragile).

The strength and seaworthiness of the Santa Cruz built ULDBs has been and continues to be well proven. Webb Chiles is a bad example, as he is so very unique, but he went almost around the globe in an open boat, and a Moore 24. Light means low loads structurally too, not just sheet loads.

And a huge advantage is the easy access to all structure and systems. The saying "cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations" needs to be extended by "and fixing your boat at sea in difficult conditions." Having simple, easy to access, easy to diagnose, easy to repair systems is another attribute that leads to the boat being practical to cruise.

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27 minutes ago, carcrash said:

I am a BIG fan of Swans. I agree with the advantages you mentioned: very tolerant of excess weight, comfortable motion, strong, beautiful, and lots and lots more.

The reason I went with an Olson 40 instead of a Swan (looked at many in the 36 to 48 foot range) is the practicality of actually using the boat as I get older. Light loads are much safer than heavy loads. Things I could easily do in my youth (climbing to the top of the mast of maxi yachts at sea hand over hand without a harness) I cannot and would not do ever again. Low sheet loads make sailing possible as I get older (weaker and more fragile).

The strength and seaworthiness of the Santa Cruz built ULDBs has been and continues to be well proven. Webb Chiles is a bad example, as he is so very unique, but he went almost around the globe in an open boat, and a Moore 24. Light means low loads structurally too, not just sheet loads.

And a huge advantage is the easy access to all structure and systems. The saying "cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations" needs to be extended by "and fixing your boat at sea in difficult conditions." Having simple, easy to access, easy to diagnose, easy to repair systems is another attribute that leads to the boat being practical to cruise.

Thanks for that carcrash. Can’t agree more. 

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On 7/18/2018 at 1:20 PM, carcrash said:

Yes, that was me yesterday afternoon right after putting the boom and vang on. Just walking forward to remove the bubble wrap after taking the green stretch film off.

 

That there is a nice sailboat.

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The Olsen is well built. Shorten sail early and install a strong autopilot. You can cross oceans if you fish for dinner.

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The 'fridge is actually pretty good. Can make ice if the weather is cooler than about 80. When its hotter than that the freezer compartment keeps beer just this side of frozen. Can easily keep a week's worth of food for 4 people cold. Most fun cruising is coastal, so that doesn't bother me.

On the very, very rare occasions that we might go further, like to Hawaii, we will take an additional cooler: got a perfect place for it where the nav table used to be.

Autopilot uses an Octopus 1673, and its been demonstrated to be able to steer the boat under spinnaker past Pt Conception on the Coastal Cup, and that was with the old, original rudder.

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I am envious of you with your Olson. I raced on "Screaming O " in Lake Erie and in the Port Huron - Macs when Jim Crawford owned her and miss it very much. It was fun being the 13the boat to finish and getting a shore dock! We popped 18 kts quite often. We had 9 crew, I think, with no problems for weight. 
  The rudder seems more of a trim tab for steering when everything is all up. She balances out with sail trim very well. I was main sheet trimmer. I'd like to hear how things develop for you. Some people questioned the room for surfboards? LOL put them in ONE of the rear quarter berths with NO problem. I was amazed at how much room is in the boat BUT there aren't a lot of hidey holes. Everything is clean.
  The runners could be a bit of fun, I would think, single handed. We usually brought them forward to the shrouds during buoy races short handed. We did 7.5 mile triangles in 42 minutes to just under an hour every race. Fast. 
  She was made to be in the Pacific. I hope to see your ideas of the Olsen sailing her single handed . Good luck!

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I think there is a Santa Cruz 40 for sale on the West Coast.....  another similar candidate.   

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1 hour ago, solosailor said:

I think there is a Santa Cruz 40 for sale on the West Coast.....  another similar candidate.   

Bill Lee was selling one.  I think it sold.

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On 8/19/2018 at 6:58 PM, redboat said:

Cal 40  ????

Yes, Cals are great old boats. But one sail on a slightly younger ULDB and you'll never go back. I wanted a SC 40, but they are rare (only 7?). So settled for a 50.

The beamy Cal 40's are a rolly MF'ers for cruisers. Been there. These Santa Cruz era boats, long and narrow, don't roll. But the pounding to weather can be unnerving. Luckily cruisers may not need to sail much in pounding conditions.

Perfect for singlehanding because the light loads.

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Is there a list of ULDBs in the 40-50’ size range somewhere?  I always see the Olson 40 and SC - are there others of comparable vintage and price range worthy of a look?

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