Israel Hands

Tell me about the Mason 43

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While not on my recent dream list, this boat is a beauty. How does she sail? 

Is it wrong to lust after a full-keel boat...and is the sail area a little light for the displacement?

(And no, I don't care about the offset companionway. No lady is perfect.)

If you have experience, do tell!

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Beautiful, quality boats. I very nearly bought one but with the light air in the PNW, I ultimately went a different direction.

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Our friends spent 15years doing a circumnavigation on one.  If you are really interested I can PM you Bernie's email, boat is Momo.

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Strong, well built, heavy beautiful bluewater boat that can be had fairly inexpensively at present. The next gen 44 is even better. They all seem to be holding up well except for the teak decks. Try to get one without.

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Thanks guys. I may visit the one near me in the next few days. Just don't want to fall in love with a boat that doesn't handle well or is known for chronic problems. 

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I don't have any first hand experience with the Mason 43.  But I have been impressed with Tom Cunliffe's Mason 44 that is featured in some of his Yachts and Yarns videos.  It looks like a beautiful boat, and was clearly chosen by someone with more sea miles than I will ever accumulate.

People have lusted after full keel boats for years, and for good reasons.  Like anything, it's a tradeoff.  With a full keel I could dry out on a tidal grid, worry less about a grounding or kelp, and have a deep bilge useful for all kinds of things.  The boat is heavy, and can carry a lot of gear.  If my boat looked like a Mason 43/44, my heart would sing every time I rowed away. 

The boat will be slower than an equivalent boat with less wetted surface, and probably won't back under power very well.  The SA/D is pretty low, so it's probably better in the Atlantic, than in protected coastal waters.  The boat appears to put the diesel in the bilge, which is great for weight distribution, but could impact access and put your engine under water when you need it.

Like IStream, I sail in the light winds of the PNW, so have chosen a series of fin keeled, Clorox bottle type boats.  If I see a well found Mason 43/44 on the water, I will lust after it too.

 

To Irrational's point, Tom Cunliffe did have to replace the teak deck, and I am sure it was expensive.  Many people in that situation go to a fiberglass deck with roll on non-stick, but traditionalists will spend the money.

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No experience with the Mason directly but I do own a full keel boat. Lusting after a full keel boat is not wrong, they are just different. 

The directional stability is great in the sense that she will sail on her own, once the sails are balanced correctly.  Its pretty magical.  

What's not so magical is backing up under power.  It's like an erection when you get older: Really nice when it works!  Seriously it takes practice and you'll get the hang of it after a while.

We often sail in company with CS 30s and a 34.  They will put run us on a beat, on a light day but on ant kind of reach, in 5kts of wind or more we keep up quite well

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I have never seen one, much less been aboard or sailed, but I am fortunate enough to have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night. So, that being said, here is what you can expect:

Pointing: 0 degrees apparent and/or true. Amazing!

Speed to weather: 3.461x true wind speed, 19.409x apparent wind speed.

Draft: -2.6 feet - that's correct, no typo. fully layden, she is over 2 feet out of the water. Engineering mastery.

Water tankage: No need. there is a Farfegnator that takes the moisture in the air, condenses it and puts it in the tank. The rest, is separated into hydrogen (for the fuel cell) and oxygen (to fuel the stove/oven).

Displacement: see draft, above - very light.

Downwind performance: best point of sail = DDW, figure speeds of 3.14 - 3.14159X true wind speed.

Powerplant: Caterpillar drive (think: Hunt for Red October). You will never hear it (unless of course you like to do Crazy Ivan's).

I know that doesn't cover all of the aspects, but I think it gets you well on your way.

PS - Teak decks: This is a very interesting feature that I don't think ever really caught on. The teak decks are made from laminated layers of Cambium - this is the living layer that grows each year. If periodically doused with clean, fresh water, the decks actually will increase in thickness. There are countless tales of owners who don't regularly use their boats having to sand down (or pay to have sanded down) their decks. If left neglected (say in the Pacific Northwest), the decks have been reported to being close to 3 inches thick.

EDIT: forgot to add, it has more interior volume and amenities than bost 80 footers.

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The 43 and 44 share the same hull but the 44's deck and interior layouts are more modern and amenable. Very strongly made in Taiwan by Taishing (PAE/Taishing now make the Nordhaven power boats). Most (all?) 43s have cast-iron keels, the 44s have lead. 600litres of fuel in 2 tanks, similar amount of water in 4 tanks. Every one is slightly different in build/fitout detail, so a feature on one may not be there on another..... The teak decks will last forever if properly looked after, they are quite thick.

Very capable blue-water boats, need a good breeze to make them go. When the wind gets up they just heel a bit then get on with it; don't need to reef till about 25kts.

There's a quite active Mason owners group on io:  PAE-Mason-Sailboats@groups.io

They'd be happy to answer any questions about the boats (I had a 44 for many years. PM me if you want more info.)

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Off topic but, what is your modern take on teak decks Bob?  Has technology improved via laminating making them a more viable accessory or are they something that is a owner requirement with a drop dead date for failing?

Personally I have seen some very nice jobs, Martha comes to mind, Silver Bali not teak but same idea. But the cost of doing it right vs long term life seems like a stretch.

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Nice looking but you're paying for a lot of overhang and not a lot of waterline...How much does mooring cost in your area?  LWL = 35'

image.png.b3f56e25a41c46a4109902d80af9ed39.png

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Sass:

Most of the teak decks boats I did in Taiwan are beginning to get long in the tooth. Teak decks are aging and those who were lucky or wise enough to buy models without the teak deck are looking good today. This has little to do with how thick the teak is. It's still screwed down to the deck. Most of my boats had min 3/8" teak or better. But in some cases it's time to consider replacing the teak or eliminating the teak, not an inexpensive thing to do. So, to be accurate, teak decks may last forever, but the cored deck the teak is screwed to will certainly not last forever.

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9 hours ago, Bob Perry said:

The builder is Ta Shing not "Taishing."

The teak decks will not last forever.

Ta Shing - sorry.

Nothing lasts forever but most failed teak decks I've seen have done so due to poor maintenance (overscrubbing, with the grain) rather than other reasons. I replaced the teak decks on my Mason (originally~ 5/8" I think, but down to less than 1/4" in places - not cheap) and the sub-deck was in excellent condition.

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The practice of putting zillions of screws into vulnerable deck cores is so utterly daft that it's a mark of shame on boatbuilders who continued it for so long.

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On October 16, 2020 at 9:08 PM, Zonker said:

Nice looking but you're paying for a lot of overhang and not a lot of waterline...How much does mooring cost in your area?  LWL = 35'

image.png.b3f56e25a41c46a4109902d80af9ed39.png

That's longer on the waterline than my 48'. 

Logic isn't everything. My relationship with my boat is a weird, compulsive, obsessive romance. 

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On 10/16/2020 at 10:08 PM, Zonker said:

Nice looking but you're paying for a lot of overhang and not a lot of waterline...How much does mooring cost in your area?  LWL = 35'

image.png.b3f56e25a41c46a4109902d80af9ed39.png

According to Sailboatdata, the waterline length is 31.75 for the 44, and 31.25 for the 43.   (The 44 weighs 2400 lbs more than the 43).

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They are nice boats, our friends has been used hard and has a crazy amount of miles on it. Seems like a very safe bluewater boat.

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I looked at a 44 still in plastic wrap at BHM in the mid 90's. A friend has a 53', wonderful boat, another has a 43', sailed TA and everywhere else. A favorite of knowledgeable sailors. Is there a better recommendation?

Really good boat, the owner love them. Just met a couple leaving theirs of many years for a Hinckley 52' they've rescued. 

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So, offset companionways have been accepted back into the fold?

 

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31 minutes ago, hobot said:

So, offset companionways have been accepted back into the fold?

Bah.  It's just that the heresy has not yet bene fully eradicated ;) 

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Surely the offset AMOUNT should matter. Thus a slightly offset companionway is much better than one right at the deckhouse edge.

For non flush deck boats, the Companionway Offset Amount aka the Hole Certain Death Factor = distance of companionway outboard edge/(1/2 beam of the deckhouse) x 0.42.

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I really liked the layout, our a friend's who have one are a family of four and it made for nice access dealing with little kids and passages

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Surely the offset AMOUNT should matter. Thus a slightly offset companionway is much better than one right at the deckhouse edge.

For non flush deck boats, the Companionway Offset Amount aka the Hole Certain Death Factor = distance of companionway outboard edge/(1/2 beam of the deckhouse) x 0.42.

I think the only factor of importance in determining the degree of offset is the amount of wind it takes to actually heel the boat and, from what I've heard, that's a lot with a Mason. I looked at a wooden one once. It was tempting even though there was no chance I'd actually be able to sail it much in San Diego.

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1 hour ago, kinardly said:
3 hours ago, Zonker said:

Surely the offset AMOUNT should matter. Thus a slightly offset companionway is much better than one right at the deckhouse edge.

For non flush deck boats, the Companionway Offset Amount aka the Hole Certain Death Factor = distance of companionway outboard edge/(1/2 beam of the deckhouse) x 0.42.

I think the only factor of importance in determining the degree of offset is the amount of wind it takes to actually heel the boat and, from what I've heard, that's a lot with a Mason. I looked at a wooden one once. It was tempting even though there was no chance I'd actually be able to sail it much in San Diego.

Maybe the square root of the waterline multiplied by the metacentric height?

FB- Doug

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It’s probably some kind of log scale as the farther you go from the centerline the chance of being doomed approaches infinity. 

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9 hours ago, Zonker said:

0.42 is a nod to Douglas Adams

Sure. It's 10% of the answer to everything!

I never thought it that way, maybe 21 is the answer to half of everything?

FB- Doug

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