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Frers 41, Carroll Marine


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Anybody out there know anything about the Frers 41 built by Carroll Marine?  I'm considering buying one.  My biggest concern is structural integrity of the hull and deck.  I've heard that CM had some qualiity issues on some of their boats.  Would these problems be picked up in a pre purchase survey?  Or in other words, if the boat passes survey is it OK?

Any input would be welcome.

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3 hours ago, sailor bum said:

Anybody out there know anything about the Frers 41 built by Carroll Marine?  I'm considering buying one.  My biggest concern is structural integrity of the hull and deck.  I've heard that CM had some qualiity issues on some of their boats.  Would these problems be picked up in a pre purchase survey?  Or in other words, if the boat passes survey is it OK?

Any input would be welcome.

Some quality issues on some of their boats is a vast understatement. 

I don’t think I could buy a Carroll boat, ever.

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27 minutes ago, sunseeker said:

Some quality issues on some of their boats is a vast understatement. 

I don’t think I could buy a Carroll boat, ever.

Seems unfair to me to make such blanket statement w/o supporting evidence. 

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1 minute ago, fucket said:

Unfair to who?

 

2 minutes ago, fucket said:

Unfair to who?

To CM boat owners for a start. To prospective purchasers. 

Many opinions floating around that upon scrutiny prove groundless.

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The fact that CM’s reputation isn’t great is reflected in the boats price which means I can afford it. Peeling gel coat and other obvious problems don’t worry me because they’ll be caught in the pre purchase survey.  Is anyone aware of issues that are hard to spot?

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Check the tabbing.  I did manage to break a carol marine boat by pulling on a bit too much backstay and mainsheet in heavy air and sharp waves.  Poor gelcoat adhesion is particularly noticeable on flexy boats.  And weak tabbing is a contributing factor in flexy.  

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1 hour ago, sailor bum said:

The fact that CM’s reputation isn’t great is reflected in the boats price which means I can afford it. Peeling gel coat and other obvious problems don’t worry me because they’ll be caught in the pre purchase survey.  Is anyone aware of issues that are hard to spot?

395’s had some serious issues with the core getting wet, and several of them were missing a stringer.

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I worked w a couple of CM Farr 40s. Generally ok but the one thing I didn't understand was the half inch gap between the companionway boards and sliding hatch.

How do you build a boat like that and just call it a day w that level of finish?

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10 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

 

Name ONE Carroll Marine boat that has not has gelcoat issues. Like peeling off in sheets.

I could name a dozen or so which I have known for many years (some for more than 30) which have had zero gelcoat issues, and a half dozen which have had minor to major issues but my experience with Carroll boats is limited to only 100 or so.  There certainly have been some problems, particularly with certain generations which span a range of construction practices, and Carroll boats seem to have more than their fair share, but I'm calling bullshit on condemning them all.

I have a soft spot in my head for the Frers 41 however, purely because of the miles I delivered one for a really good customer.  Lord knows it wasn't particularly comfortable or well behaved offshore, and having to wear boots in the nav station while on a starboard tack due to the pitiful bilge got old after a while, but she always got me home safely, even when we tried to stand her on her head.  I always thought she sailed pretty well, and that particular boat never had any structural issues despite being sailed hard many times.

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I think you should not condemn them all.  The late 80's frers boats were built better than the 90's and later boats.  I sailed a lot on the little sister to the 41 and thought it was reasonably well put together.  Check keel sump and mast base for issues, deck - around the partners and hardware.  I don't think the frers boats from Carrol of that era have any more issues than a comparable j boat.  

Cored construction so get a good survey.  They have some IOR influence so can be s little rolly downwind, and the elliptical rudders can stall with little warning, but for the money I think it would be hard to find something a lot better at that size.  

Good luck.

T

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14 hours ago, Somebody Else said:

The stress isn't on unsound build strength, though I'm no expert on that.

But.

Name ONE Carroll Marine boat that has not has gelcoat issues. Like peeling off in sheets.

Frers 41, 38, 33, 30 and Tripp 36.

Personally, the s-glass 38 is the best boat the built during that era.

The 41 is fine boat. We have a 33, same construction techniques and structurally, all its had is a soft mast step in its 31 years of existence.

All the Frers boats are moderate  in all ratios and drive sweet.

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I raced a Tripp 36 hard for years and would still be here if not for the hurricane that parked another boat on top of it.  I knew of several other CM Tripps that had no major issues. Based on my assumption of location the issue with the 41 is: the sail inventory will be pretty much useless.  If a boat that is 30 years old has not developed significant build issues I doubt that it will.  Normal stuff moisture in decks etc can and does happen to any boat.  Get a good survey as for any used anything.

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7 hours ago, Parma said:

you should read the other "Opinions on the  Frers 41 ?" thread

Parma,  I've looked for that thread and can't find it.

Can you point me to the right place?

Thanks

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5 hours ago, d'ranger said:

I raced a Tripp 36 hard for years and would still be here if not for the hurricane that parked another boat on top of it.  I knew of several other CM Tripps that had no major issues. Based on my assumption of location the issue with the 41 is: the sail inventory will be pretty much useless.  If a boat that is 30 years old has not developed significant build issues I doubt that it will.  Normal stuff moisture in decks etc can and does happen to any boat.  Get a good survey as for any used anything.

D'ranger, the boat I'm considering is in Seabrook.  Is this the boat you're talking about?

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I've had a F41 for 21 years, bought it when it was 10 years old.

The gelcoat peeling did not happen on the F41.  Issue with lighter one design CML boats.

The F41 is over 30 years old and I think more depends on how they've been maintained than any build related matters.  Get a survey.

The boat sails boat for boat with J35s at PHRF 72.  We can kill the 35s in light air, they kill us under surfing conditions.  The F41 will not surf.  Period.

We've raced the boat pretty hard, but also have taken care of it.  We've done Bermuda twice, Key west once, and block island a bunch of times, plus Charleston and local races.

She'll go if you know to keep her flat and as with any boat, don't pinch.

I probably would not buy one today for racing.  There are lighter boats that surf and use smaller and hence cheaper sails.  The F41 is a big rig and is pretty heavily loaded.  Boats like the J120 could not sail to her rating with us upwind, but on a reach or downwind in breeze they were gone.

Some of the early boats needed the keel area reinforced -- was done under warranty.  No issues with keels after that to my knowledge.  Keel bolts onto the canoe body -- no sump to speak of.

Boat has wide hips and must be sailed flat.  We change down to the 3 when other boats are still carrying their #1.  Otherwise it takes too much helm to keep her on course and she slows.

Like other boats, cored hull and deck (solid in keel area).  

Good boat, getting old though.  Did I mention get a survey?

P

 

 

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2 hours ago, sailor bum said:

D'ranger, the boat I'm considering is in Seabrook.  Is this the boat you're talking about?

Yes, haven't looked at it but I do know the broker - per the listing the sails are all 2001 era - laminate sails normally don't hold up that well over time as they delaminate. The boat looks good - while I was checking out the listing I saw it listed as Galveston also for well over $100k (this was a quick Google search).  Mike Little has been around a long time and probably as good a broker as any.  A good survey is the key, never buy a boat without it.  If I can help let me know (PM is great) - we need more boats out sailing. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 11:59 PM, sunseeker said:

395’s had some serious issues with the core getting wet, and several of them were missing a stringer.

Yet we haven't all written off J Boats for some reason

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Too big a boat for its age. Tends to bannana when it’s loaded up. CM did some strengthening to prevent this and it worked. Warranty work and maintenance records would be the deciding factor.

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On 3/2/2019 at 9:43 AM, T sailor said:

I think you should not condemn them all.  The late 80's frers boats were built better than the 90's and later boats.  I sailed a lot on the little sister to the 41 and thought it was reasonably well put together.  Check keel sump and mast base for issues, deck - around the partners and hardware.  I don't think the frers boats from Carrol of that era have any more issues than a comparable j boat.  

Cored construction so get a good survey.  They have some IOR influence so can be s little rolly downwind, and the elliptical rudders can stall with little warning, but for the money I think it would be hard to find something a lot better at that size.  

Good luck.

T

No gelcoat issues with my 87 Frers 33.  Structurally sound, as far as I can tell.

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2 hours ago, Beer Can said:

No gelcoat issues with my 87 Frers 33.  Structurally sound, as far as I can tell.

I think that is correct as I've worked/sailed on a few '80's CM boats. But the '90's on they went downhill. Couldn't keep up with their market. Got greedy and the product suffered because of it. I had a friend was at the Annapolis boat show thinking to do a new build Farr production design. He wasn't negotiating with them but did make a comment that their prices were up there against other builders. He was told: "When you have enough money to buy a Carroll boat we'll chat". WTF?  

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I'm with Beer can on this- my '87 Frers 33 has also been solid, without any apparent gelcoat issues. I believe several of them, including mine, had earlier work done to correct some mast step issues.

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:38 AM, SloopJonB said:

I understood the CM boats had gelcoat issues because they were epoxy laminates.

True?

They had gel coat issues because they used a tie coat between the gel coat and the epoxy that didn't actually form a chemical bond between the epoxy and the gelcoat, letting the gelcoat fall off in sheets.  And they used it for years.  

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21 hours ago, Left Shift said:

They had gel coat issues because they used a tie coat between the gel coat and the epoxy that didn't actually form a chemical bond between the epoxy and the gelcoat, letting the gelcoat fall off in sheets.  And they used it for years.  

I have read this before as well. Gelcoat over epoxy can be tricky. I think his point was that the Frers 41 is a polyester laminate boat which should have zero issues with gelcoat adhesion.(and from all accounts they don't have that issue)  

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  • 1 year later...

It's still listed for sale by the broker - have never seen it out on the water. Biggest issues are needing new sail inventory, lots of crew and similar boats to race against. Would be a good Harvest Moon ride next October.

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On 3/11/2019 at 5:27 PM, Left Shift said:

They had gel coat issues because they used a tie coat between the gel coat and the epoxy that didn't actually form a chemical bond between the epoxy and the gelcoat, letting the gelcoat fall off in sheets.  And they used it for years.  

That’s going to live on in history for decades more. :P

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45 minutes ago, mad said:

That’s going to live on in history for decades more. :P

From what I hear...entirely 2nd or 3rd hand from boat builders...was that it was a mistake in product specification.  They applied a tie coat, just the wrong one.  It looked fine for a few years until it starting failing everywhere with a lot of boats sold and out the door.  I remember seeing my first one with dinner plate size chunks of missing gelcoat. 

Ultimately it was fixed and became a very competitive boat around here.  

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I just had a flashback to IMS 40 racing (maybe BIRW) and BC walks down the dock when somebody lets go of a loaded runner only to have the boat splash his shoes.

It was funny back then because I was not writing the checks. Now, seeing the gelcoat peel off OD 35's not so much. 

 

Sail Safe!

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2 hours ago, fingerbang said:

 You must eat some big dinners!

Well, yeah.  The piece the owner handed my was about 12" by 18" off the bow.  It was his souvenir piece to remind him later why he had to empty his wallet.

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19 hours ago, Left Shift said:

From what I hear...entirely 2nd or 3rd hand from boat builders...was that it was a mistake in product specification.  They applied a tie coat, just the wrong one.  It looked fine for a few years until it starting failing everywhere with a lot of boats sold and out the door.  I remember seeing my first one with dinner plate size chunks of missing gelcoat. 

Ultimately it was fixed and became a very competitive boat around here.  

Correct, it was a shitty tie-coat product.

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On 3/2/2019 at 3:26 AM, sailor bum said:

Thanks for all the input. I’ll be sure that the surveyor checks for these problems 

No, not really. Surveyors catch obvious stuff, but unless you specifically pay for it, and you find a surveyor that actually DO the tests, they really won't check anything that would uncover non-obvious problems that a meth-addled homeless person would not notice.

The contract basically excludes anything of real importance.

Also, getting a surveyor that is truly independent of the broker might well be impossible. Brokers are their bread and butter, whereas you  are a one time only client.

Diesel: oil analysis. Only if you pay. They will look ant and remark on obvious visible issues.

Electrical: No tracing of wires, no checking for resistance issues or ground issues, including that absolutely critical test for AC into the water around your boat that can kill you if you fall in.

Wet core or delamination, unless obvious to a meth-addled homeless person: Only if you pay. 

Keel bolts, rudder shaft, corrosion in any mast fittings, crack analysis of rod rigging: Only if you pay

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22 hours ago, stayoutofthemiddle said:

CM issues are largely delams on the Mumm 30 and Farr 40s....

I did bow on a Frers 41 in Chicago during college in the early 2000s. Great boat. Solid racer, cruiser. As mentioned above, if there aren't structural issues showing up in a survey by this point you are good to go.

Man, I was amazed at the amount of structural damage to the Farr 40s I looked at to buy about 5 years ago. Now those boats are raced hard and put away wet, but so was the Olson 40 my wife bought for me to get me to stop spending hours on yachtworld. The Olson had almost no actual damage anywhere, once the huge hole in the side was fixed from an errant port tack charter boat (thanks Brownie! A true wizard).

There are LOTS of good things about CM boats! Many have long, happy, successful, fast lives. And the problems are sometimes skin deep, so you or a surveyor or a drunk homeless person will find them.

The problem with composite, of any age or resin system or fiber system, is that serious flaws can lurk under very high gloss and fair finishes. Its not just CM boats: I have been on Cal 40s that under sail were as flexible as a fishing pole.

The good thing about CM boats is they were designed well, and a lot of every boat -- even the trashed ones -- is well done. So its more of a detection of problems, not pervasive inherent issues. While Farr 40 decks might get destroyed and structure detached from the skin and soggy and/or broken and delaminated core, you won't lose that keel.

Getting a good survey is the challenge. I have never been satisfied with any survey I have ever paid for over these decades.

We removed every single part of the Olson, above and below water, mechanical, electrical, and otherwise, to uncover the very, very many issues. And fixed them all. None was major, but it sure was a lot of items, and a lot of money and a lot of time. At least everything is brand new now, everything works, everything is strong, and done how I want it done. Spent about what a new 30 foot J or similar costs, but ended up with a much larger, faster, and nicer boat for our purposes.

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On 3/2/2019 at 12:33 PM, Fisher said:

Frers 41, 38, 33, 30 and Tripp 36.

Personally, the s-glass 38 is the best boat the built during that era.

The 41 is fine boat. We have a 33, same construction techniques and structurally, all its had is a soft mast step in its 31 years of existence.

All the Frers boats are moderate  in all ratios and drive sweet.

 

Edited by voodoochile
oops. misread
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On 4/2/2020 at 8:57 PM, Kenny Dumas said:

Nothing like a pretty girl who takes her clothes off 

.....and then takes your clothes off, and empties your pockets.

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The same old story from "experts" on Carroll Marine boats - "barely careful" etc etc. Listen not to those who jump on the bandwagon, but to those who know something from real, firsthand experience - there are several above. Carroll Marine built alot of boats to a specific market, they built alot of good boats that have sailed alot of miles and, like any production boat builder - they built alot of boats that have had problems major and minor.  Listen to the experienced folks above, have a good survey done, do your due diligence and make your decisions. You might just get a good boat of the deal, whatever the builder's name on the paperwork...

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