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Date Posted: - Friday - 11/16/07 - 3:56pm
Author: Jared
Subject: M31 in heavy weather?

Hi there,

I'm currently looking for a smallish sailboat to buy. My plan is to live aboard in Moss Landing, CA for a year or so and then take off cruising with my girlfriend. I've looked at a couple of Mariners (one 32 and one 31) and I really like them. From what I've read so far, it sounds like it would be a great boat for most of what I want to do. The only thing I'm concerned about is how the boat will handle really heavy weather that I could theoretically encounter when my cruising plans come to fruition. This concern has prompted me toward boats like the Baba 30 and Willard 8-ton as alternatives.

Does anyone have any accounts of Mariner 31/32s in heavy weather and extended offshore voyages? Can anyone speak to comparisons of these little Mariners with the heavy double enders I mentioned? I love the ketch rig and the looks of the Mariner but I put a pretty high value on a boats ability to take a beating while keeping me safe.

Thanks in advance.


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[> Tough call -- Randall, Murre, M31, - Wednesday - 11/28/07 - 2:52pm

Few to none of us have ridden out a hurricane in a Mariner, or any boat for that matter, so we may be (I am) a little shy of your question.

From my point of view, the issue is more one of comparing the relative soundness of the specific old boats you’re looking at rather than one of the sturdiness of their design.

What’s the old saw? – Most boats will take more punishment than their owners…

Will a well found Mariner ride out rough stuff w/the best of them? You bet. Pound for pound, will she be as comfortable or as sturdy as a Westsail 32? Probably not. Will she pound to weather in an icy Nor Easter like a (fill in the blank)? Nope.

But she’s got a well proven hull shape for big weather. Her foot’s not as deep as the Baba, and she’s not as heavy as either (she’s moderate, not heavy displacement), but she’s still quite able.

The real question, however, will be (for all the boats you’re looking at) how strong is she NOW. How are the chainplates? How strong the rig? What condition are the masts? How well found the upper structure … etc.?


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[> Hurricane -- Mike M-40 -61, - Thursday - 11/29/07 - 10:47pm

I would buy the boat you like. Captain Voss and the Pardeys proved you can weather out storms in just about anything that floats. Make sure you have enough gear to ride it out. In my younger years on the Gulf Coast, I ventured out in Hurricane Bob on a 32' Columbia LaSabre. One second pointing one direction, the next second, pointing 180 degrees in the opposite direction. It was like riding a 2000lb wild bull. Four people in the cabin crying, praying, and projectile vomiting. My brother-in-law and myself on deck having the time of our life. It was nice being young and dumb. Be prepared for anything and watch the weather forcast. Enjoy you boat!

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[> [> Sea Trek has (Mariner 40) -- Chuck Baier, - Tuesday - 12/ 4/07 - 10:24pm

Sea Trek has been through 15 named storms, all but 4 hurricanes. None of these were offshore under way but all where pretty hairy. She has survived without a scratch so we can attest to her strength. 2 offshore gales under her belt also.

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[> great little boats -- John M., - Saturday - 12/ 1/07 - 3:14pm

I am about to sell my M31 I have had for 16 years. I would like to see it go to a good home. I am in Morro Bay, a short hop down from you. I have never had it out in real heavy weather, but have made the trip to the Channel Islands about ten times around Point Conception. It has always handled beautifully in often times nasty conditions. I put a lot of work into her this last summer not intending to sell but sail! If you want to look at her let me know.

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