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Date Posted: - Friday - 01/19/07 - 9:22pm
Author: Randall, Murre, M31
Subject: Some notes...
In reply to: Ken 's message, "Mariner 31 Performance" on - Friday - 01/12/07 - 10:54pm

Sorry weve not answered you, Ken. Apparently were all too busy sailing.

Some thoughts from me to answer your question about sailing characteristics of a Mariner 31.

The Mariner is a medium displacement, full keel, split rig boat, designed for the sailor whose interests are for ease of handling in a wide range of conditions rather than raw speed and agility.

Contemporary wisdom suggests that the split / ketch is generally less efficient on the wind than, say, a sloop; that its more expensive to maintain (more masts/more rigging) and unnecessary on such a small boat where the sails are already small and easy to handle. The first two of these criticisms are undoubtedly correct: my Mariner doesnt go to windward as well as newer sloops and maintaining a second mast and its gear is more work (though not as much as all that).

But the third I take issue with. One of the joys of a Mariner ketch is that shes just dead simple to sail. Partly this is due to having more sail configuration options. For example, if youre single handing and its already honking by the time you get out onto the sailing ground, you can just raise the jib and jigger (mizzen), without having to leave the cockpit. (This assumes you have a roller furling jib.) Similarly, the ability to spread the shortening of canvas over three sails instead of two or one means your boat can carry more square footage of sail (because its lower down) longer that other rigs.

The rig is well balanced, and that, combined with the full keel and spade rudder helps the Mariner to be very directionally stable, especially on tacks forward of the beam where it is often a simple thing to lock the wheel and walk away. I routinely reef the main this way. One drawback to the full keel is that it makes the boat slow to come about, and occasionally if the chop is heavy and my speed slow, I can fail to make stays.

If I pay attention, I can keep up with those boats I ***should be able*** to keep up with (i.e. not the J boats), and if my unknown competitor is at all sloppy, I can pass him. But I find that the short rig and extra wetted surface below mean very light winds can be a problem. One solution is to hoist a Mule sail in the area inside the triadic and the backstay. If you also carry a large genoa, as I do, good headway is still possible even in zephyrs.

The Mariner is not a particularly wet boat. I have the 31 w/the cockpit splashboards, which helps to keep the water rushing down the deck from soaking your bum.

I am less a day sailor and more the sail-comfortably-to-some-anchorage-for-the-night-type, and for me the Mariner fits the bill. Shes easy to handle, gentle in her movements, comfortable below, and still shapely enough to get frequent compliments from others.

Hope that helps.


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[> The Mariner 31 -- Buzz Hall, - Monday - 01/22/07 - 10:43pm

I believe the Pelican from San Diego, My Mariner, could sail in most any weather. If I was a better sailor, We would sail in all weather and I could prove my point. I've been traveling with The Pelican for just about a year and a half. I love it.

I have fired up the Perkins every once in a while!

We are docked in Channel Islands and try to run to the islands often or at least whenever we can. Most of the time there is more wind than necessary.

I'm sure there are many ships that could be moved more quickly in light air but not many that are as comfortable and classic!

Some people have said that the Mariner is perfect for these waters.

I wish you the best and hope you find your way to pick up a great yacht!

Buzz Hall

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[> [> Thanks -- Ken, - Tuesday - 01/30/07 - 9:10am

Thanks for getting back to me. Both posts are very informative and have helped in our decision-making process. We are temporarily on hold regarding the Mariner to resolve several non-boating related issues. But if the boat is still available when this stuff is history, maybe a few weeks or so, we plan to make an offer. In the mean time, we'll keep sailing or over-sized dinghy and dreaming about a boat that makes a weekend trip to Catalina a pleasure rather than an endurance contest.
Thanks again.

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[> [> [> Value is the key -- Will Holoman M31 Salvia, - Tuesday - 01/30/07 - 11:51am

I sail out of Long Beach/Newport Beach so I am familiar with the SoCal winds. The Mariner is slow and steady most days when I go out. If I am cruising over 5 knots I am satisfied. It is rare for Salvia to break 6.5 knots unless we're surfing. I have found that once this boat is set up, it will sail itself seemingly forever. This can make for less than exciting day sailing but lots of time to read and relax. The Perkins 4-107 is a great motor, easily pushing the boat to hull speed when the wind dies. We run at 6.5 knots all day long under power burning just over a gallon an hour of diesel. The amount of boat you get per dollar with the Mariner is amazing! It is a comfortable boat for two to cruise for a week and not feel cramped, has loads of beautiful wood and a full head with a sink. Our boat has been inexpensive and easy to maintain. The downside of the Mariner is the bowsprit and the mizzen boom (mine's oversized)which turns the 31' boat into 38' when it comes time to get a slip. This has made it considerably more time consuming to change marinas given the high demand for slips in OC/Long Beach. Be sure you have a place to park it before you buy it!

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[> [> [> [> value -- matts, - Wednesday - 02/ 7/07 - 8:33pm

Will, Buzz, and Ken are righ . We keep our Mariner 31 (Scandia Dream)in Long Beach as well--we bought her last January. She's a proven performer, comfortable, not quick but steady, and likely to be complimented at the dock.

You might be interested in a piece I wrote for Sailing magazine, July 2006 on buying a boat (which was the Mariner we now own); the March issue will describe her refit; and the July or August issue will describe bringing her down from Moss Landing/Monterey to San Pedro/Long Beach.


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