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There is a gap in the market which has never been filled...

Old 04-18-2012, 10:48 PM
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Default There is a gap in the market which has never been filled...

At least, not to my satisfaction.

Reading of the fantastic voyages embarked upon by Bobthebuilder and Twin O/B Sonic is largely what got me thinking along these lines again. I had never realized how well suited the 24 Sonic is for long range cruising, especially with outboards (my next boat will have them).

But, as much as I appreciate the classic low-deck offshore boat, I find myself consistently drawn toward greater creature comfort below deck (even if it means shaving off a few MPH).

The Wellcraft Excalibur Eagle 42 was the first attempt at a cruiser/performance hybrid. It remains one of my favorites, but only a few were made. There was nothing like it until Black Thunder came along with the 43EC.

These are fine boats, but I'd prefer something with a "main salon".

I can easily imagine boats like these would be a hit if brought up to date with a Hunt deep-V.



Here are a few of the once popular "Sedan" styles:





These would be very well suited to distance cruising.


Looking back on the early Cowes-Torquay races, it is evident that some honest, deep-V cabin cruisers were at least conceived of:

A particularly handsome example is Sir Max Aitken's Vivacity, a 38' Bertram designed by Ray Hunt - this boat really is a perfect embodiment of an offshore hull with full-blown cabin cruiser amenities for distance cruising. It would also be fantastic scaled down to 25' with an aft berth:




Certainly, it is a forgone conclusion that boats like these will never be built in this economy. And even if conditions were favorable, I doubt that the present boating culture would embrace such a concept.

Your thoughts?
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:16 PM
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I've always liked the day cruiser's looks. Bump it up to 30-35', put a pair of diesels in it and you'll be good to go.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:07 AM
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Black thunder!
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:16 AM
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I agree. It would nice to have a cabin that could actually be used as such for overnight anchoring, not just taking a nap. There was one boat in the size range you are talking about that came up in my Under 26' with Windshield thread that is as close as I have seen to the goal of having a real cabin, and that's the Formula 255 Liberator. Apparently, some of them had a full pump out head (appears to be enclosed in the pictures), pressurized water with 25 gallon tank, galley sink, and shore power. It also looks like it has a refrigerator. Scroll to post #46 by sprink58. He's restoring one. They even came with twins, which is good for offshore use. He said he got 68 mph with two 260 Merc small blocks.

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Old 04-19-2012, 01:54 AM
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Cary 50

'Nuff said.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:27 AM
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One of my favorite "compromise" boats. Not much compromising to do really.

I was just shopping ahead of winning the lottery



http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...400-cuddy.aspx

390
http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...ort-yacht.aspx

430 Sport Yacht
http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...ort-yacht.aspx
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Catmando View Post
I've always liked the day cruiser's looks. Bump it up to 30-35', put a pair of diesels in it and you'll be good to go.
Just what I was thinking, although some slow-turning V-8s (ideally, the old Cadillac 8.2) could conceivably attain diesel economy.

Originally Posted by offshorexcursion View Post
Black thunder!
They took the offshore performance cruiser to new heights, but I'd make many changes.

Originally Posted by Michael1 View Post
I agree. It would nice to have a cabin that could actually be used as such for overnight anchoring, not just taking a nap. There was one boat in the size range you are talking about that came up in my Under 26' with Windshield thread that is as close as I have seen to the goal of having a real cabin, and that's the Formula 255 Liberator. Apparently, some of them had a full pump out head (appears to be enclosed in the pictures), pressurized water with 25 gallon tank, galley sink, and shore power. It also looks like it has a refrigerator. Scroll to post #46 by sprink58. He's restoring one. They even came with twins, which is good for offshore use. He said he got 68 mph with two 260 Merc small blocks.

Michael
Sprink is, without a doubt, our resident Formula historian. I've been following his 255 project closely.

The 255 is, in my opinion, the best boat under 27' ever designed. The staggering amount of freeboard is what makes it. The Four Winns 261 Liberator is the only other boat I know of with such generous freeboard. It really shows below deck. There is more headroom than in a 402 SR-1.

Originally Posted by Sydwayz View Post
Cary 50

'Nuff said.
A solid legend, for sure, but four engines coupled to TRS drives... Not something I'd trust to make the journey to Nassau



Originally Posted by VtSteve View Post
One of my favorite "compromise" boats. Not much compromising to do really.

I was just shopping ahead of winning the lottery



http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...400-cuddy.aspx


390
http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...ort-yacht.aspx

430 Sport Yacht
http://www.intrepidboats.com/model-g...ort-yacht.aspx
Now that is the best of both worlds.

Last edited by JP-8; 04-20-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:19 AM
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Great thread and I of course, agree.
It's a different market than most are into in the Hi Perf Offshore crowd. Most of those guys don't weekend on their boat. More of a sports car to them I think. Imagine having a Viper and going to track day w/a nice room and hanging w/you friends while comparing hardware and beating on them on the track.
The market you're talking about is more of the camper crowd. At least in the sub 30' range.
I've spent the last 10 yrs fantasizing about splashing my Sonic and updating it w/current construction, design, power options. I truly believe a market is there if my sugar daddy were ever to come along

Interesting that you'll see way more in this market pre 1990 than you will post 1990. Something else I always found ridiculous but I'm sure market driven, find a cabin picture in any brochure, any magazine test on any sub 30' boat??????

My dad got our family in to boating just after returning from WW II as many did. He being a retired engineer just told me the other day that that happened because he researched family activity Vs expense and boating surfaced. (at that time) He may be 92 but he's still a geek
A lot of the literature that JP-8 posted (awesome by the way) is from that era. It was function over form in that era. If a 18' plywood O/B pocket cruiser had a plywood table that folded into a tiny bed........., and could plane w/a 18 HP motor that was front page news.
Once you get over 30' (IMO) the options open way up through all era's just due to increased size.
A lot of those boats w/over night capabilities were challenged in the looks department to say the very least. You had to want to be able to stay on your boat way more than hang w/your buds at the local watering holes.
Here's a couple pix's of a perfect example. A 1968 19' Glastron Carlson Conquest that was my first cuddy cabin. I found it rotting in a field after catching fire. Being a "function" guy I fell in love with it based on the size of cabin. That thing used to get laughed at all the time! I remember being in the cabin at Put In Bay one time and hearing a guy on the dock laughing at it
His buddy stopped him though recognizing what it was. A very early, fiberglass cuddy cabin, aimed at the go fast crowd. That boat could sleep 4 adults w/o touching each other and did many times. Although some touching was involved. My next boat was a 28' inboard cruiser and it had a smaller V-berth! The Glastron had storage under all V-berth, a cut out for a head, the cushion on the port side of the cockpit folded up and into a jump seat and had a bench seat across transom that was also, all storage.
I saw your thread about windshield boats and didn't respond assuming that the expertise on this board had you covered and assumed you were implying new which doesn't exist. If not mentioned on that thread I would add the 25' and 28' Checkmates to the mix from the mid to late 80's. These were awesome boats, available as twin O/B (or easy I/O conversion) and were built in the pre-inner liner era which gives you a ton more space as well.
After owning my 2nd 24' Sonic I like the build quality of the Checkmates better plus my boat has a liner. (where I haven't removed it)




Last edited by Twin O/B Sonic; 04-20-2012 at 06:44 AM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:20 AM
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An amazingly hard boat to find in today's market. You're so right about the "camping crowd". While I don't like the tenting thing, I love it on the boat. We went for a week on my 22' cuddy. Went to an island first. Had to use the tent, because we had all of our gear, plus two sets of golf clubs and assorted goodies in the cabin. Amazing how big it is for a 22. My cabin is larger than many bigger boats, with a huge cockpit. Too bad it doesn't have the weight, nor the 24 degree Vee.

Alas, no enclosed head (:

Those Liberators come as close as you can get to smaller boat, big cabin, good ride as you're likely to get. But they sure were tanks. The only boat I've found today that fits the bill in a smaller, good performance cabin boat is the AT. The AT 28' has good freeboard, and a spacious cabin, enclosed head. Like you said, it's hard to get decent pictures of the cabins in smaller boats today.

More and more outboards are coming out now, reflecting the narrowing gap in costs between them and IO's. It's hard to get headroom and all in a smaller boat without having the deck so high you can't see over it. Step ups is the only way I would guess. Maybe a 27/28 foot version of your Sonic would do it. Your Sonic would probably sell extremely well.

The boat builders don't see the market, and they are driven by past sales. So we have lighter boats, smaller cabins with a PP, and very little in the way of overnighting innovation. It gets real tiring seeing a couple of benches and a flat V berth. Same old. If you want more, you really have to go to a recreational, not a performance boat. It gets harder if you want the mobility of trailering.

The realities of today's market are that they won't build what we want anytime soon.

My ideal would be a AT 28 sized boat, twin outboards, and I want a sit down. Basically, a Liberator in 2012. lol
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:26 AM
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Magnum 27 sedan
Or if u got the bank the magnum 60 in the classified adds

Last edited by scarab63; 04-20-2012 at 07:31 AM.
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