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What’s to know about the Hinckley 48 (Tripp)


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I’m going to go take a look at a Hinckley 48 yawl and can find essentially zero information other than basic specs online. I’m a big fan of Tripp designs and the 48 has a unique look compared to other Hinckleys that is growing on me. Anyone have thoughts on this model?

Photo is of Scaramouche, a 48 sloop (not the one I’m looking at, just a great shot)

25C44886-79A0-4ED8-A0EC-2898DC684FFC.thumb.jpeg.cc79114a7ece56813b5398d40acbdfc3.jpeg
 

Listing: https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1970/hinckley-48-3614608/

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Gorgeous old boat. Tripp designed and Hinckley built means the fundamentals are as good as you're likely to find.

My concerns would be that teak deck and the centerboard setup. That deck would cost about as much as the boat to replace so it better be in good shape.

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9 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

My concerns would be that teak deck and the centerboard setup. That deck would cost about as much as the boat to replace so it better be in good shape.

The centerboard doesn’t worry me. We have Block Island 40 hull #6 (Tripp!) and have intimate knowledge with everything that can go wrong. I’m looking for a centerboard boat in particular actually because I want to go gunkholing.

Teak decks scare the hell out of me but this is reassuring: “Red Rover's deck is teak.  Re-seamed and finished 2018/19 by Scandia Marine.”

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22 minutes ago, mgs said:

It’s got a newer main boom, I wonder why?

the old winches on the mast look like tons of fun

All questions to ask when I check the boat out are welcome. The one about the boom is a good one I had overlooked. 

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The SW-50's prettier sister. I know of one still in the original family. Another, Malagueña, was the queen of Newport for many years, parked in front of Harbor Court, belonging to John Nicholas Brown, who had a good eye for boats. He's the guy who had Bolero built. IIRC, he crossed the bar in his sleep on the Hinckley. 

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2 hours ago, Alaris said:

Teak decks scare the hell out of me but this is reassuring: “Red Rover's deck is teak.  Re-seamed and finished 2018/19 by Scandia Marine.”

Look at the state of the plugs - if any are missing you will be able to tell the thickness of the teak.

To check the state of the seams simply hose the deck down and wait for it to dry - any failed seams will remain wet much longer than the rest of the deck.

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20 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Probably replaced an old roller reefing boom - they were pretty standard back then.

You mean people don’t like wrapping the mainsail around the whole boom anymore?

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I have never touched a Hinckley, but my experience of GRP boats of that era  is that they were significantly limited by builders's lack of experience with GRP.

This was usually compensated for by using very thick and heavy laminate ... but but but:

1/ The quality of that laminate was often  poor.  Resin-rich, and often chopped strand glass rather than woven rovings.

2/ Inadequate structural analysis, and lack of understanding of oilcanning.

So I have seen boats from reputable yards which had serious structural flaws, such as oilcanning of hull areas and inadequate load distribution for load points.

I dunno how good Hinckley was at that stuff.  

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4 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I have never touched a Hinckley, but my experience of GRP boats of that era  is that they were significantly limited by builders's lack of experience with GRP.

This was usually compensated for by using very thick and heavy laminate ... but but but:

1/ The quality of that laminate was often  poor.  Resin-rich, and often chopped strand glass rather than woven rovings.

2/ Inadequate structural analysis, and lack of understanding of oilcanning.

So I have seen boats from reputable yards which had serious structural flaws, such as oilcanning of hull areas and inadequate load distribution for load points.

I dunno how good Hinckley was at that stuff.  

Mostly urban myths - the properties of GRP were well known shortly after the war. A lot of money was spent on the science.

"They built'em thick because they didn't know the material" is an old wives tale. They built them thick because resin was cheap and the fabrics were unsophisticated - heavy woven roving was the standard back then.

Read Spurr's "Heart of Glass" to get the facts of the early years of fiberglass boatbuilding.

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I delivered one from Long Island Sound to Maine. We cruised it so it took a week. Same rig as the one you are looking at but fiberglass not teak decks.  My major observation is that the boat is undercanvassed for its displacement.  It is heavy so broad reaching and running required at least 13 knots of wind. Anything less and we would usually use the engine especially in the ocean with swells.  Second, the mizzen was difficult to furl because most of it was well aft of the stern pulpit.  It was the longest boom on a mizzen I have ever seen on a yawl. Suggest you stand on the aft deck and see how far you can reach along the mizzen boom.  Finally, the engine was in the bilge, not under the companionway steps.  Access was difficult and required lying down on the cabin sole to peer down and to check fluids and belts.  Otherwise, we had a great time and loved the boat in over 15 knots of breeze.

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2 minutes ago, sail2win said:

I delivered one from Long Island Sound to Maine. We cruised it so it took a week. Same rig as the one you are looking at but fiberglass not teak decks.  My major observation is that the boat is undercanvassed for its displacement.  It is heavy so broad reaching and running required at least 13 knots of wind. Anything less and we would usually use the engine especially in the ocean with swells.  Second, the mizzen was difficult to furl because most of it was well aft of the stern pulpit.  It was the longest boom on a mizzen I have ever seen on a yawl. Suggest you stand on the aft deck and see how far you can reach along the mizzen boom.  Finally, the engine was in the bilge, not under the companionway steps.  Access was difficult and required lying down on the cabin sole to peer down and to check fluids and belts.  Otherwise, we had a great time and loved the boat in over 15 knots of breeze.

How is the room below? I’m 6’6” and looking for headroom as a major criteria. 

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I am 6' even and I don't recall ever being close to bumping but 6' 6" is a whole 'nother level!!  The cabin does have a step down from the galley and nav area to the dinette/pilot berth and forward cabin which helps preserve headroom.  The cabin house is truncated forward of the mast so you will be limited in the forward cabin and 6'6" won't fit there.  The hull shape is narrow and deep as was the style then as opposed to shallow and flat currently.

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Hinckleys of that vintage are really skinny in the ends and have a huge overhang at each end.  The result is a massive total overhang of 14ft.  You are then left with a teensy tiny usable cabin space that only offers a single pilot berth aft of the companionway.  You need to be OK with all of that and accept that you are paying dock fees on a 48 footer but only getting the cabin space of something much smaller.

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6 hours ago, savoir said:

Hinckleys of that vintage are really skinny in the ends and have a huge overhang at each end.  The result is a massive total overhang of 14ft.  You are then left with a teensy tiny usable cabin space that only offers a single pilot berth aft of the companionway.  You need to be OK with all of that and accept that you are paying dock fees on a 48 footer but only getting the cabin space of something much smaller.

Yeah I mean I’m used to that with the block island. Something like 29 feet on the waterline for a nearly 41 foot boat.

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From an aesthetic perspective and sailing,  I like it.  I like the small coach roof and wide open deck space. My God, that's a forests worth of wood on the decks. 

If you buy that thing,  I insist on a ride. 

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5 minutes ago, Ajax said:

From an aesthetic perspective and sailing,  I like it.  I like the small coach roof and wide open deck space. My God, that's a forests worth of wood on the decks. 

If you buy that thing,  I insist on a ride. 

I will certainly need the crew!!

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

From an aesthetic perspective and sailing,  I like it.  I like the small coach roof and wide open deck space. My God, that's a forests worth of wood on the decks. 

If you buy that thing,  I insist on a ride. 

We all do.

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1 hour ago, Alaris said:

It certainly holds a lot more sex appeal than my other top choice at the moment, a Bristol 45.5

No first hand experience of the Bristol boats, but the hull looks quite similar to the Hood 38 which was a really good centreboard boat. Ted Hood had mastered the art of designing relatively fast seaworthy centreboard boats.

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2 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

No first hand experience of the Bristol boats, but the hull looks quite similar to the Hood 38 which was a really good centreboard boat. Ted Hood had mastered the art of designing relatively fast seaworthy centreboard boats.

I’m on the Chesapeake so I like centerboards to get into the secluded coves. 

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3 minutes ago, Alaris said:

I’m on the Chesapeake so I like centerboards to get into the secluded coves. 

Yes, I totally get this, many centreboard here were just afterthoughts (a heavier and shallower version of the fin keel or a traditional working boat hull with an added centreboard) whereas Ted Hood was getting the centre of gravity really low with a deep hull to lower the ballast while keeping the shape efficient. The Hood 38 was just marginally slower than fin keel boats from the same era whereas some other centreboards were real dogs. Also it was very comfortable in a blow.

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17 hours ago, Alaris said:

How is the room below? I’m 6’6” and looking for headroom as a major criteria. 

John Nicholas Brown was 6' 5" I believe. Of course, his was bespoke, built for him, as were all Hinckley sailboats.

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18 hours ago, TwoLegged said:

I have never touched a Hinckley, but my experience of GRP boats of that era  is that they were significantly limited by builders's lack of experience with GRP.

This was usually compensated for by using very thick and heavy laminate ... but but but:

1/ The quality of that laminate was often  poor.  Resin-rich, and often chopped strand glass rather than woven rovings.

2/ Inadequate structural analysis, and lack of understanding of oilcanning.

So I have seen boats from reputable yards which had serious structural flaws, such as oilcanning of hull areas and inadequate load distribution for load points.

I dunno how good Hinckley was at that stuff.  

In that era, Hinckley was the best in the world at GRP construction. I think it was one hand laid mat to avoid print through on the gel cat, then all hand laid woven, using the highest quality resins, optimal resin-weight ratios, with all interior woodwork tabbed to the hull. Structural bulkheads where they belonged, also tabbed to the hull. The hull-deck joint has to be seen to be believed, severe overkill, but nothing wrong with that. The mast step on mine was a massive 7' long Stainless channel piece extending fore and aft over multiple structural floors. 

These were all bespoke boats, usually for highly experienced owners who could tell the difference between these and everything else and were willing to pay for the difference. They were more expensive than most full customs. 

I owned one for 15 years, and would have happily kept it for the rest of  my life had I not been presented with an extraordinary opportunity on a Brooklin custom. When I got my boat used I received a copy of the labor ticket. 11,000 man hours to build a 42' sailboat. The attention to detail was nothing short of astonishing. Just varnishing the owners cabin took nearly a month for a master varnisher. 

Yeah, they're old now, but they were done right to start. 

 

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3 minutes ago, slug zitski said:

If you like that vintage , there is a nice looking Bowman Corsair for sale in New England 

bowman is a very high quality  build .. perhaps a level above  hinckley

 

 

88270548-6719-4D6F-9754-B267C018C6A3.jpeg

I’ve looked at that listing so many times and she sure is pretty. But I think the H has far more room below and that is a major criteria.

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3 minutes ago, Alaris said:

I’ve looked at that listing so many times and she sure is pretty. But I think the H has far more room below and that is a major criteria.

You might be correct 

the interior does look cramped on the bowman 

This is a recent bowman refit with better interior layout  pictures 

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1982/bowman-44-corsair-british-swan--2887999/

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On 9/19/2020 at 5:13 PM, Cruisin Loser said:

The SW-50's prettier sister. I know of one still in the original family. Another, Malagueña, was the queen of Newport for many years, parked in front of Harbor Court, belonging to John Nicholas Brown, who had a good eye for boats. He's the guy who had Bolero built. IIRC, he crossed the bar in his sleep on the Hinckley. 

Malagueña is mostly out on Nantucket now.   I’ve done a couple of deliveries on her, and that is one comfy boat.  

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Nice looking boat.

Never sailed one, but here's my take of plusses and minuses from pics and drawings, and stuff on sailboatdata.

Plus:  Hinckley quality from their heydey era. Looks very well cared for. Style looks elegant.  It will be seaworthy without cheap-shit shortcuts you see on modern production boats, those guys built those old Hinckleys with heart in their craftsmanship.

minus: the pics in the listing show what looks like a low cabinet over the port v-berth.  Looks like a good place for banging your elbow when rolling over.  Lots of sail to move around if you're short handed.  Big boat with aperture prop on long keel with attached rudder- will be tough maneuvering at docks under power shorthanded- ya Alaris is a smaller version but this is 8 feet longer, and the wind will catch that bow pretty good when you're approaching the pier.

There's lots of ups and downs on any boat though.  If it fits your bill, get it- there's no rationality to buying a sailboat anyway, it's for crazy people- like us.  My boat is a Hood centerboarder like Panoramix mentioned, and it sails pretty fast for a very heavy boat- but it's a bitch to steer.  Similar to the old Navy yawls which I did steer, as well as a few other full keel CCA style boats back in the old days- but I knew that when I bought it and decided the other good qualities were worth the not so good.  No boat will be perfect.

I think the B45.5 will probably sail circles around the Hinckley and be more comfortable with a lot more space, and be easier to sail and handle all-around.  But it's not always the rational criteria that matters.

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20 hours ago, Cruisin Loser said:

In that era, Hinckley was the best in the world at GRP construction. I think it was one hand laid mat to avoid print through on the gel cat, then all hand laid woven, using the highest quality resins, optimal resin-weight ratios, with all interior woodwork tabbed to the hull. Structural bulkheads where they belonged, also tabbed to the hull. The hull-deck joint has to be seen to be believed, severe overkill, but nothing wrong with that. The mast step on mine was a massive 7' long Stainless channel piece extending fore and aft over multiple structural floors. 

These were all bespoke boats, usually for highly experienced owners who could tell the difference between these and everything else and were willing to pay for the difference. They were more expensive than most full customs. 

I owned one for 15 years, and would have happily kept it for the rest of  my life had I not been presented with an extraordinary opportunity on a Brooklin custom. When I got my boat used I received a copy of the labor ticket. 11,000 man hours to build a 42' sailboat. The attention to detail was nothing short of astonishing. Just varnishing the owners cabin took nearly a month for a master varnisher. 

Yeah, they're old now, but they were done right to start. 

 

As you know CL, I had the pleasure of building mine at the Southwest Harbor yard in 2005. I visited often during the build. There were literally no compromises to quality. Any path to improvement was always taken, regardless of cost.

I fear we're losing the ability to access the sort of devoted craftsmanship required for a build like those accomplished at the Hinckley yard for so many generations.

LprjNfo.jpg

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8 minutes ago, kdh said:

As you know CL, I had the pleasure of building mine at the Southwest Harbor yard in 2005. I visited often during the build. There were literally no compromises to quality. Any path to improvement was always taken, regardless of cost.

I fear we're losing the ability to access the sort of devoted craftsmanship required for a build like those accomplished at the Hinckley yard for so many generations.

LprjNfo.jpg

Sorry I didn't see you guys this summer. I'm going to keep the boat in southern NE next summer. Perhaps you can do the Herreshoff or Newport classic regattas with us?

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There are pockets of craftspeople(?) - but the economics of boats being what they are, they are fairly concentrated. Add on to that you're seeing the retirement or passing-on of the last people from the heyday of sailing, the environment and workforce are changing a lot. You see good craftpeople who are dedicated, but don't understand sailboats more and more frequently. Many times the ones that do have an understanding, are coming from superyachts, or large no-costs-spared re-fits.  

If even you ever could, you can rely on "expert" opinions from yards less and less. 

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20 hours ago, Elegua said:

There are pockets of craftspeople(?) - but the economics of boats being what they are, they are fairly concentrated. Add on to that you're seeing the retirement or passing-on of the last people from the heyday of sailing, the environment and workforce are changing a lot. You see good craftpeople who are dedicated, but don't understand sailboats more and more frequently. Many times the ones that do have an understanding, are coming from superyachts, or large no-costs-spared re-fits.  

If even you ever could, you can rely on "expert" opinions from yards less and less. 

Penobscot bay seems to be a hotspot for knowledge. So are Buzzard's bay and the Newport - Portsmouth area. 

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On 9/21/2020 at 11:56 AM, Cruisin Loser said:

Sorry I didn't see you guys this summer. I'm going to keep the boat in southern NE next summer. Perhaps you can do the Herreshoff or Newport classic regattas with us?

Would love to.

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FYI:

Wikipedia: Scaramouche or Scaramouch (from Italian scaramuccia, literally "little skirmisher") is a stock clown character of the 16th-century commedia dell'arte (comic theatrical arts of Italian literature). The role combined characteristics of the Zanni (servant) and the Capitano (masked henchman), with some assortment of villainous traits. Usually attired in black Spanish dress and burlesquing a Don, he was often beaten by Harlequin for his boasting and cowardice.

Not surprisingly, there is more than one yacht named Scaramouche. I think the more famous one was the 1974 Bermuda Race winner designed by German Frers, Jr. and built by Palmer Johnson. https://gcasailing.com/2015/07/01/scaramouche-shes-here/

I'm pretty sure we've seen a Scaramouche here on WLIS in the past few years.

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5 minutes ago, Alaris said:

Have you been reading my email? I’m talking to the broker on one now. 

Can’t say that I have.  I stumbled across the one on Yachtworld last week and gave it some serious thought but I’m not bound by draft so moved on but seemed like a very capable boat and probably a better sailing boat than the 45.5 you mentioned.

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I’m not really familiar with the Cambria other than what a cursory google search turns up but it looks like a lovely boat. Just need to see if it can match the headroom of the Bristol. The worksmanship looks every bit as good as a Hinckley or Bristol.

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The designers have learned a few things about utilizing space below decks over the last few decades.

The cockpit lockers on my Columbia 43 were so big they would be aft cabins now - I could climb in and sit down in them. There was enough empty space behind them to fit a big double berth.

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A big part of this is selling myself on how much room I really need. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I looked at the boat with the biggest cabin first (Bristol 45.5). Everything since in the 40-50 foot range has felt small. I need to recalibrate my brain as to what size and what amenities (e.g. a stall shower) I really need.

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14 hours ago, Alaris said:

Okay! Took a look at this boat after work today. What a piece of art. Also, what a small big boat! It did have plenty of headroom but there is not a lot of square footage below. Tons of it on deck though.

I looked at a Cambria when I was shopping 15 years ago, and was struck that the cockpit seats weren't long enough for me to nap. 

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4 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

I looked at a Cambria when I was shopping 15 years ago, and was struck that the cockpit seats weren't long enough for me to nap. 

I haven’t checked out the Cambria yet. Good to keep in mind. 
 

The H48 doesn’t have that problem. The cockpit is huge (I would estimate 8’ or longer on each side):

8F156B21-B2C0-4D40-9B0D-561204FC195D.thumb.jpeg.18e3a45a88b54a6591700f38ba3fb3c5.jpeg

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15 hours ago, Alaris said:

Okay! Took a look at this boat after work today. What a piece of art. Also, what a small big boat! It did have plenty of headroom but there is not a lot of square footage below. Tons of it on deck though.

yeah, overhangs, beam @ wl etc...

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Okay. I think this boat checks all the boxes for me. Anyone want to talk me out of the idea? The teak decks were rehabbed (not replaced) last year over two seasons by a specialist in the area. That was one of my big worries. Everything on the boat works. Sails are 2015. Canvas around the same vintage. Awlgrip 2013. It shows very well.

So far the only real downside I can come up with besides all the teak (which is all just grey with no varnish—fine by me) is that I have to slouch a little in the galley but then, I don’t really like to cook.

If I haven’t already mentioned in this thread I will be living on board. The bunks are of satisfactory size for me. 

Obviously, a thorough survey and sea trial would be forthcoming. 

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Oh and it has a bow thruster to help handle that long keel. I’m familiar with the challenges of backing a full keel in anything other than the direction the boat wants to go with the BI 40.

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5 hours ago, Alaris said:

It does have an offset companionway so I should probably look elsewhere

Just be wary of that main halyard winch. I've seen one of those get loose and break a young man's wrist. They have a brake for a reason...

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20 minutes ago, Remodel said:

Just be wary of that main halyard winch. I've seen one of those get loose and break a young man's wrist. They have a brake for a reason...

Yeah... we have two of those. Only people who know how to use them are allowed near them. 

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On 10/4/2020 at 3:31 AM, Alaris said:

Okay. I think this boat checks all the boxes for me. Anyone want to talk me out of the idea? The teak decks were rehabbed (not replaced) last year over two seasons by a specialist in the area. That was one of my big worries. Everything on the boat works. Sails are 2015. Canvas around the same vintage. Awlgrip 2013. It shows very well.

So far the only real downside I can come up with besides all the teak (which is all just grey with no varnish—fine by me) is that I have to slouch a little in the galley but then, I don’t really like to cook.

If I haven’t already mentioned in this thread I will be living on board. The bunks are of satisfactory size for me. 

Obviously, a thorough survey and sea trial would be forthcoming. 

The rest of the cabin is non-slouching?

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How much do you want to trade looks for volume. You mention gunkholing, that First 51 is a shoal keel, the ask price is nutty compared to others that have sold. The interior would be more livable.

BUT it is not a classic overhang look

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10 minutes ago, Ajax said:

The rest of the cabin is non-slouching?

6’9” in most of the cabin including the owner’s head. Makes this 6’6” guy happy. 

5 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

How much do you want to trade looks for volume. You mention gunkholing, that First 51 is a shoal keel, the ask price is nutty compared to others that have sold. The interior would be more livable.

BUT it is not a classic overhang look

I’m definitely looking for a classic design. The other boat I’m seriously looking at is a Bristol 45.5 which has an enormous cabin but is far behind the Hinckley in the looks department (and isn’t a split rig, which as I have alluded to in the other thread is a big appeal). 

That said, the First 51 looks like a nice boat. It’s just far away and I don’t have the time to get down and look at it. And like you say it’s 30k more than the Hinckley. 

I do want to do some races with the boat, like Governor’s Cup, A2N, and A2B, and I bet the First would be the better boat of the three for that. 

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Just now, savoir said:

Beats me why you would want to pay all the bills for a 48 footer just so you can luxuriate in the useable space of a 40 footer.

What 40 footers do you know of with 6’9” headroom including in the head?

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On 10/5/2020 at 4:47 AM, Alaris said:

6’9” in most of the cabin including the owner’s head. Makes this 6’6” guy happy. 

I’m definitely looking for a classic design. The other boat I’m seriously looking at is a Bristol 45.5 which has an enormous cabin but is far behind the Hinckley in the looks department (and isn’t a split rig, which as I have alluded to in the other thread is a big appeal). 

That said, the First 51 looks like a nice boat. It’s just far away and I don’t have the time to get down and look at it. And like you say it’s 30k more than the Hinckley. 

I do want to do some races with the boat, like Governor’s Cup, A2N, and A2B, and I bet the First would be the better boat of the three for that. 

The last First 51 to sell was closer to $100k, not $150

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16 minutes ago, Alaris said:

Well, yes. I hope it was clear that one should not suggest a Clorox bottle to someone looking at a Hinckley. 

Some people just don't read the original post.

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16 hours ago, savoir said:

Beats me why you would want to pay all the bills for a 48 footer just so you can luxuriate in the useable space of a 40 footer.

Gigantic row away factor.

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On 9/19/2020 at 7:46 PM, TwoLegged said:

I have never touched a Hinckley, but my experience of GRP boats of that era  is that they were significantly limited by builders's lack of experience with GRP.

This was usually compensated for by using very thick and heavy laminate ... but but but:

1/ The quality of that laminate was often  poor.  Resin-rich, and often chopped strand glass rather than woven rovings.

2/ Inadequate structural analysis, and lack of understanding of oilcanning.

So I have seen boats from reputable yards which had serious structural flaws, such as oilcanning of hull areas and inadequate load distribution for load points.

I dunno how good Hinckley was at that stuff.  

Well, the 1962 Hinckley I sail is doing just fine.

They were doing GRP in the '50's and always did hand layup. The hull is thicker than modern vessels, doesn't oilcan and the deck has reinforcing ribs molded on underside without any of the core nonsense. 

Your analysis is accurate for some of the mass production boats built over the years... 

Not sure how many Columbia, Morgan, Erickson, Hunter, Catalina  et al from that or any other era are still sailing... 

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On 10/4/2020 at 3:31 AM, Alaris said:

Okay. I think this boat checks all the boxes for me. Anyone want to talk me out of the idea? The teak decks were rehabbed (not replaced) last year over two seasons by a specialist in the area. That was one of my big worries. Everything on the boat works. Sails are 2015. Canvas around the same vintage. Awlgrip 2013. It shows very well.

So far the only real downside I can come up with besides all the teak (which is all just grey with no varnish—fine by me) is that I have to slouch a little in the galley but then, I don’t really like to cook.

If I haven’t already mentioned in this thread I will be living on board. The bunks are of satisfactory size for me. 

Obviously, a thorough survey and sea trial would be forthcoming. 

Do it... 

the pleasure of a well designed/built boat is what you are after.

Why compromise with something that's been optimized for at the dock volume? 

Get something that gives you joy when you see it, sail it and take care of it.

 

 

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1 hour ago, LionessRacing said:

Not sure how many Columbia, Morgan, Erickson, Hunter, Catalina  et al from that or any other era are still sailing... 

Most of them. :D

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