Finnsailer 35 Motorsailer for sale in Florida, USA, United States
Why choose the Finnsailer 35?
I wouldn't presume to tell anybody what
kind of boat they should buy, but I can tell you why I chose a motorsailer and why,
specifically, I selected this Finnsailer 35.
If one enjoys sailing, but is not a racer at heart, a racing sailboat requires a substantial crew, restricts comfort and just about everything else. Unless one is a rugged individualist seriously planning a trip around the world, a heavy, deep-draft ocean cruiser will crimp most other usage - no Bahamas, no Keys, few rivers or lakes, Intracoastal trouble, marina trouble. A normal cruising sailboat is nice for sunny day-trips but otherwise provides no protection from the weather and lacks a substantial engine for windless passages, river cruising, canals, the Intracoastal, etc., and for just plain safety. A proper motorsailer with a pilothouse solves these deficiencies.
Why a Finnsailer 35? Before selecting this Finnsailer, I had examined many boats and toured several manufacturers of production sailboats. I was duly unimpressed, even distressed, by many of the construction and workmanship standards. One manufacturer, for example, ran a bead of mastic around the top edge of the hull, then placed the deck structure onto the hull, somewhat like a shoe-box lid, and "secured" it with pop rivets (no back-up plates). The joint was then "hidden" by covering it with a rub rail - it looked "nice."
By chance, I saw a Finnsailer 35. The owners were kind enough to let me examine the boat and to supply me with the manufacturer's address in Finland. There was no dealer in the United States, so, after much correspondence about the boat, its construction, and its options, the manufacturer (Fiskars, a large Scandinavian company - you may own a pair of their scissors) agreed to build one for us and allow us to pick it up at the factory in Turku. This we did, my wife and I. We spent weeks at the factory and were much impressed with their experience, workmanship and concern for quality boats. They were building everything from a huge fiberglass minesweeper for the Finnish navy, to special fully enclosed lifeboats for Russian oil tankers, to custom-design one-off racing sailboats for designers Britten Chance and Pelli Pederson (the Swedish yacht designer and challenger for the America's Cup). And, of course, they built the Finnsailer 35, a unique boat. It is the boat which the factory's founder first produced, adapting its hull design from a North Sea rescue boat. Most of the production went to Germany - they demanded a high-quality boat and were able to pay the price. Because Germany was the prime market, they were also able to favorably influence the interior design. Some Finnsailer 35s also went to England and other European countries, a few to Canada and the U.S.
I keep saying, "Finnsailer 35" - how come? Because there are other "Finnsailers," but they are entirely different. There is the 28, 34, 36, 38, etc. - all subsequent to the 35, all of different configurations and hull designs, all made for more price competitive markets, all increasing their profit margin by replacing most of the handsome woodwork (cockpit and interior) with fiberglass. The Finnsailer 35 was ultimately considered too expensive to continue manufacturing and was dropped from production.
Another point about Finnsailer 35s - not all were created equal. Most were ordered with few options and some had Volvo engines instead of the preferred Perkins. Those 35s prior to ours had a simple wooden mast and boom instead of the superior aluminum Per Selden mast and boom. The Selden mast is stepped on deck with a hinged foot, thus allowing the crew to lower the mast without special equipment. Inability to lower the mast can put a major crimp in one's ability to transit many rivers and waterways. The Finnsailer 35's hull and superstructure is solid, heavy, hand-laid fiberglass, constructed to Lloyd's standards and supervised by a full-time, on-site, Lloyd's inspector who delivers a Lloyd's certification on completion. No corners are cut, no chopper guns are used, no balsa, foam, or other cores are used - nothing which could compromise the strength and durability of construction. The salon of the 35 is handsome mahogany woodwork - not one square inch of fiberglass is on display. The cockpit and pilothouse is a judicious combination of fiberglass, mahogany, and teak - all of which is easily protected from the weather with the fully enclosing cockpit "tent." The tent also provides comfort for motoring in foul weather, plus, it permits the open utilization of the entire boat, cockpit, pilothouse, salon, and forecabin for privacy or during inclement weather. If you like boat maintenance, scrubbing a teak deck and trim, sanding, varnishing, etc., this is not the boat to choose. The Finnsailer 35 designers wisely put the wood on the protected inside and left the exterior clean - only the grabrails are teak.
Why not select a boat larger than 35 feet? It may sound foolish to someone who hasn't been aboard many boats, but the Finnsailer is a very large 35 feet. The 35's waterline length is 30 feet - no pointy overhangs at the bow and stern to increase the stated design length (and additionally increase the per foot dockage expenses) without increasing the usable space below deck. OK, so, the Finnsailer is a big 35 feet, why not get an even bigger boat? Once a boat exceeds 30 feet at the water line, an interesting design factor begins: duplication - another compartment for additional crew, another "head", another sail locker, etc. The boat doesn't get much bigger on a personal level, just harder to handle and dock, requires more crew members, more maintenance, more expense, etc.
The 35's open design, together with the cockpit tent, permits the entire length of the boat to be living space. No "bathtub" center cockpits; No going "outside" through the cockpit to enter a confining aft cabin via steep companionway steps; No entertaining guests in a cramped or wet cockpit; no need to peek out a port to check the weather - just relax in a pilothouse seat, gaze out the windows and plan your next adventure.
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