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Old 01-22-2007, 12:05 AM   #1
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Default Vagabond 47 or Formosa 51?

Hello!

Im looking to buy a boat and need some advice.

My plan is to get a boat that I will use as liveaboard and eventually go extended cruising with.

Ive always liked the classic lines of both Vagabonds and Formosas but to select one?

Does any of them have more problems than the other?

Would be greatful for any thoughts or advices.

Future circumnavigator.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:57 AM   #2
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If you're looking at the Formosa 51/Force 50 clippers then take a look at this site.

http://www.force50.org/forum/cmps_index.php
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:34 AM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:58 AM   #4
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We live on a Hudson Force 50, which is almost the same as the Formosa (see us at www.force50.org). We love our boat and plan to go cruising as soon as possible--which will be when the kitty says it's full enough. We looked at the Vagabonds--beautiful boats--but decided on the Hudson because of the pilothouse. If you buy an old one of any of these boats, be prepared to do some work, but if you love gorgeous woodwork and a boat that's fun on the water (even if it doesn't skip along like some of the lighter ones out there), I think you'll find it worth the effort.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:09 AM   #5
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Thanks!

I really like the Hudson Force but it seems to be a bit more money. I'll see what I can find...

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 04-11-2007, 02:29 PM   #6
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I have a Vagabond 47 so here are the pros and cons.

She is absolutely gorgeous for the one liking that sort of classic design. Extremely sea worthy and comfortable, steers very well on open water and with the wide choice of sails arrangement, can be helm balanced very nicely. There is an enormous amount of space for storage and moving around and there are plenty of strong hand grab in order not to be tossed around in heavy sea. The cockpit is quite small, 4 people and that's it. Some people find it too small but I like it that way as one can always find a foot or hand hold, the aft deck has plenty of room for entertaining. Engine access is good for a sailing boat. Large Diesel and water tanks are great. The main mast is step on with 14 shrouds varying from 12 to 6 mm, so it is not about to come down, unless..... Neptune and Vesta get really mad or I do something stupid.

That's just the 2 of us on board and my wife is still learning, that means she can be single handed...with a bit of work.

That was obviously a sample of the pros, I could go on for ever. Now the cons; there are no access to the chain plates so you have no idea of the conditions (I did talk about the main mast above, right?). I checked at least one which involved breaking the Teak panelling and the fiber around the plate. It happen to be fine but it was a lot of trouble and expenses for just one.

The Vagabond 47 is an awful lot of work, in particular on the woodwork. I manage to live on board about 8 months a year and probably spend 3 months just working on her. I had her for only 2 years and she was not geared up for liveaboard beside being neglected, so I expect the workload to decrease within a year or so.

She is also a beast to maneuver in tight spot such as marina but she does well in tight anchorage. She will reverse only in a straight line and when trying to break forward momentum under engine, reversing will cause a severe slice to port but with a bit of practice she can be controlled.

There is a lot of windage due to the high bow and freeboards so she can swing a lot in anchorage, it is a good idea to have an oversize anchor and plenty of chain.

The boat came with a Volvo engine, which has been a disapointment, most Vagabond 47 come with a 85 HP Ford Lehman but I would not have any opinions on these engines.

In terms of sail performance she would do 5 kt on a 10kt wind on the beam, give or take 20 degree either way. That's with Genoa, Stay Sail, Main. I get another 0.5 kt with the mizzen and that's fully loaded.

Anything below 8 kt of wind, she struggle at 2+ kt, that's when the engine comes up. On a close reach I cannot get anyting closerto 40 deg of the apparent wind, closer than that the speed drops to not much.

Fair winds,
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the long reply Francis!

Ive found one Vagabond 47 not to far away from where I am. 1981 with some uppgrades, new masts -87, new sails -03-05, new dieseltanks -07 etc.

Sizewise, is LOA 56, LOD 47 and LWL 36 correct?

Thanks again!

Stay well.
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:29 PM   #8
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Francis, found an old reply of yours about size so problem solved!

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking View Post
Francis, found an old reply of yours about size so problem solved!

Thanks!
force or vagabond--difficult choice.....all need some kind of repair....both are formosa on steroids.......both have benefits and disadvantages---check the decks and caprail well---might find some disappointing news under the glass, if that has been done----check in the anchor locker for sistered overhead beams.......have fun and i love the garden designs--jus tneed to look for surprises very carefully.......
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