Know anything about the Discovery 47'?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by jeremybrown, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. jeremybrown
    Joined: Mar 2012
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    Location: Vancouver

    jeremybrown New Member

    I'm curious about the general design, whether or not my idea is feasible. I've included the specs on the one I'm looking at as well as some questions I have about it.
    Looking at it as a liveaboard with long distance sailing later.

    Background on me
    I've always dreamed of living on a sailboat, ever since I got into my dad's copies of Great adventures in Small Boats. I read many books on bigger ships but those first stories always stuck. Never had the money to make it a reality.
    Recently I've come across what looks like to me at least a very good possibility to finally make this dream a reality.
    I'm trying to collect all relevant information and make a good decision on this, as I am looking at a very serious investment, and tying myself down for the better part of a decade. I figure this would be the best place to ask about the boat itself. I'm motivated to make this happen, I'm not just another university kid dreaming of some idealistic work and stress free life floating around in a boat. I've spent the better part of a decade working heavy industrial jobs, I went back to school after enough injuries and damage to my health. It's given me a useful background of skills, from CAD for part layouts to running CNC controlled water-jet cutters to simple machine maintenance.
    I'm comfortable with wood/metalworking, anything from turning wood on a lathe to gas/mig/tig welding. I can dive, am comfortable underwater and have my own dry-suit/tank.
    I'm comfortable living in less than ideal conditions, and spent roughly 8 months last year traveling south to Panama overland on an old CX500(70's Honda motorcycle).
    I'm looking for a boat to live on and sail long term, blue water sailing eventually, once I have the experience to make it feasible.
    I have a reasonably well paying, stable full time job, and my expenses are now extremely low.
    I have sorted out all my bills, transportation etc to the point that my only recurring expenses are 68$/month for phone(including all usage).
    65$/month for cable+internet
    4400$/year for university tuition.
    As a percentage of my income the mortgage for the boat would be approximately consistent with my current rent(50% of income). I will be an additional 250$/month into a emergency/maintenance fund.
    Does this sound affordable? In terms of actual dollars, after all currently calculated expenses I'll actually have 3x more income left over after expenses than I've had in the past 3 years.

    My father will be helping me with any planning for repairs or upgrades, as well as teaching me to sail. He's got experience with most aspects of sail from repair to navigation, though he mostly races small boats these days.

    The Boat
    I'm hoping that people here will be able to give me some insight into the design of the boat itself, other than a one page spec sheet on I have found no information.
    It looks a bit different from the blueprints I found on saildata, without the portholes set into the hull, and larger windows.

    Would a center console boat of this type be blue-water worthy?
    Are there any known issues to look out for, common problems with this design?
    How is it in terms of durability especially, is the design sensible in terms of construction, with sufficient safety margins?
    How do they handle in rough seas?
    What would be the minimum crew possible? I'd prefer to sail solo once I gain enough experience(thinking 8-10 years away).
    What kind of upgrades should be performed immediately?

    Asking price 135,500$(+12.5%tax)

    1983 Discovery 47' Center cockpit
    Last surveyed in '08.
    Had an epoxy bottom coat put on in '88, due to blistering, all blisters less than 3/8" but there were lots of them. Owner says the last time it was out of the water(two years ago) he filled approx 40 of them, all smaller than 1/4" in diameter by grinding them out with a Dremel then filling with West epoxy.
    The couple who own it currently live aboard, and have done most of the work themselves.

    Discovery 47' Peter Hatfield Design Offshore Cruiser
    Fibreglass Centre Cockpit Cutter
    Beam 13' 4”
    Draft 8'
    Weight 18.59 R.T
    Fin Keel
    ½ Skeg hung rudder

    2000 Watt Trace Inverter
    Apelco 265 Fish Finder/Depth Sounder
    Radar - Raytheon R20X
    Autopilot- Seatex s725
    Depth Sounder - Data Marine Loran - Magellan Meridian GPS
    Dell Laptop with electronic charts

    Sails and Rigging
    1 Main Cranfield
    1 - 145% Genoa
    1 Yankee 100%
    1 Staysail with reefing points
    1 Spinnaker Radial cut 1 3/4 oz. by North Sails with snuffer system by Hood Sails.
    Isomat spar, made in California, double spreader, 55 feet tall
    1 Spinnaker pole.
    Winches are all heavy duty Knowsley (British)
    2 - 2 speed primaries
    2 - 2 speed secondaries
    1 - 2 speed main sheet,
    Winches on mast: 2 s.s. cable halyards, 1 2 speed rope halyard.
    Standing rigging oversized stainless with Norseman Fittings
    Harkin roller furling system on forestay, Furlex roller furling on cutter stay

    Engine and Pumps
    Main engine Perkins 4-236 73 Hp. diesel, 3,111 hours, head and injectors rebuilt.
    Genset Yanmar driven Pincor 2 KW
    3 - 12V bilge pumps wired with float switches and manual over ride switches,
    1 manual bilge pump
    1 engine-driven mechanical bilge pump

    Fuel - 100 gallons
    Water - 200 gallons s.s. 2- 30 lbs propane cylinders in laserette locker.

    Full fibreglass hard dodger with full side enclosure
    2 - 75 watt Siemens solar panels on tilt turn brackets on roof
    Wagner hydraulic steering on pedestal with hydraulic Seatex auto pilot, emergency tiller, folding cockpit table
    Large and roomy.

    Fire Safety
    1 - 15 lb. ABC extinguisher
    4 - 2.5 lb. ABC extinguishers
    1 battery operated smoke detector
    1 carbon monoxide detector.

    Ham/SSB Radio Kenwood TS 140S and MFJ tuner, Midland sea ranger and Standard horizon VHF radios, SMR handheld VHF radio

    Ground Tackle
    1 - 100 lb. Plow with 300 ft. 3/8 galvanised chain, 1 Bruce 44 lb. with 50 ft. galvanised chain and 300 ft 5/8 rode, 40 lb. Danforth spare, Tigress electric windlass, rebuilt and anodized.

    Batteries & Electrical
    *All Batteries new June 2011
    House - 4 6V Deep Cycle, Starting Battery 1 Heavy Duty 400 Amps, 2 75 Watt Siemens solar panels on tilting and turning mounts, 2 x 30 amp shore power connections, phone and cable connections

    Teak interior hard wood floor
    Private aft master cabin
    2 Bronze hatches and 2 Lewmar hatches
    4 oval opening port holes
    2 round opening port holes
    Large teak dining table which comfortably seats up to seven people
    Halogen lighting in salon/galley/chart table
    2 heads, one with shower and holding tank
    Work shop has furnace and wet gear and tool storage and work bench
    Fridge/freezer -Danfoss 12 volt freezer unit, and fridge alongside with top and front loading
    Dickenson diesel stove/heater (Lofoten model)
    Sylvannia microwave oven
    Custom stainless steel galley sink insert
    Wedgewood 4-burner propane stove with oven
    Jensen CD/cassette player/ fm/am radio
    Magma propane BBQ.


    Dingy - Avon Hypalon 10.2 ft hard bottom
    Outboard Johnson 15 HP, new July 2003
  2. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    The boat may or may not be any good.....only a proper survey by an experienced individual working for you (and you only) can tell. Offhand the price is way high, which is why the boat has been on the market for months and months.

    It's way too much money and way too much boat for a first try at sailing and living aboard. Look for something in the 30-36' range and at most $20K......try living aboard and see how it goes....then look for the ultimate boat.....

    Good luck
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  3. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

  4. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Go for it!

    Offer 10% of asking price and go from there.

  5. jeremybrown
    Joined: Mar 2012
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    Location: Vancouver

    jeremybrown New Member

    External factors apply to the decision. That's a nice boat but I can't afford it.
    I might be able to afford the discovery though.
    It has to do with the cost of living here, and the rules around live-aboards. Also to do with the potential usage of the boat by my dad, whom the deal depends on.

    I can afford a place to live OR a boat, not both.
    I can PM you the math on it, but every way I try and cut it I seem to come out ahead on just the boat, even rounding up costs generously.

    How much would you say the Discovery is overpriced? Do you have any information on it's design?

    If it's over by 10-15% I'm ok with it, then I'll make an offer accordingly, if it's over by 50% then I might have to re-consider.

    I'm more concerned about potential design flaws, or known issues(especially the expensive to fix variety)
  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I don't know the design or builder

    Sounds overpriced . Good quality marine equipment has a service life of perhaps 10 years. A yacht is a mass of marine equipment.

    When you purchase an old boat you look for top pedigree design and build, accept that all gear is dead , then calculate that every system must be refit , thrown away and replaced.

    Marine equipment is expensive. A boat that size can eat 75k in upgrades, maintenance, before your eyes. If you like the design concept , build quality , of this boat...DRIVE A HARD BARGAIN.
  7. jeremybrown
    Joined: Mar 2012
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    Location: Vancouver

    jeremybrown New Member

    Thank you! That is really helpful information. The integrated electronics package is a couple years old(radar/depth etc) the individualized stuff is older, but still in place as a backup. Most of what I understand to be wearing or maintenence/upgrade stuff has been done in the last 4 years.
    Engine and winch overhauls in the last 2.

    I won't be ready for about 10 years for heading offshore. If I keep up on the basic maintenence end of things until then, would 50, 000$ be a reasonable budget for overhauling the more expensive equipment? That will be about the time I'd be looking at leaving the Co-op if nothing changes in my plans so I'd have a significant amount more funds available then for upgrading.(Co-op would refund me about 52, 000$ then if I leave permanently).

    What are the most expensive things in terms of overhauling?
    What should I check on them to get an idea of how soon they'll need it?
    Is there any preventative maintenance I can do to reduce that later cost?

    Still cheaper than buying a condo here, but the savings are a lot less, and I'll need to budget acccordingly.
  8. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Intended use dictates the service life of marine equipment and the suitability of any brokerage yacht.
    . If you are a coastal sailor, live aboard at the marina, you can fix, fiddle with old gear. If you expect to sail around the world you must depart in first class condition. The gear and boat will be in operation under stressful conditions 24 hours a day.

    A simple detail like worn rudder bearings will ruin your day at sea. Standing rigging over 6 years old is not suitable for ocean crossing. The list is long.

    Once on the road repairs are eye watering expensive and cramp your schedule
  9. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member


    Don't shy away from a larger boat as your first.

    I know a couple of guys who were advised to buy big on their first and they've been really happy because they've been able to invest in their vessel knowing they wont be getting a bigger one down the road. A lot depends on what your future holds...

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  10. jeremybrown
    Joined: Mar 2012
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    Location: Vancouver

    jeremybrown New Member

    Just figured I'd follow up to give the thread some closure. I ended up at the total opposite of what I was looking at. After learning a bit more and some good advice I started looking smaller. I was interested in quite a few different boats(CS 33s and a very nice 36T among others). I ended up even farther down from there, on a chance ad on craigslist looking way below my initial price range I found an Alberg 30 with all kinds of new stuff(according to the seller, everything from a brand new 2011 Yanmar to new sail he bought), a small less expensive boat to learn on and get my feet wet so to speak, as my dad wasn't too pleased with the idea of me getting into a bigger more expensive boat to start. Surveyed well, and I hired a very expensive surveyor from a well regarded company but unfortunately the boat didn't match the survey. :mad
    Learning a lot as I go. Landed a job out of it, so I'm gettinga taught as I work to work on my boat as well which is nice.

    Refit is ongoing, another month or two and another few thousand and I should be able to live aboard, maybe even take her for a sail!
    The next owner will be buying the boat I thought I was buying, as she's now got a completely brand new(and properly designed and installed) marine electrical system to replace the speaker wire, household wire and other crazy hack jobs, and will have the broken tabbing, de-laminated mast support beam sorted out properly in the next month.
    3000$ into electrical so far, lighting over the next few weeks as well I hope.
    Fiberglass probably another 2000$, then I can start repairing the butchered woodwork.

    Live and learn, but the advice to buy bigger and buy once(my original thoughts as well) was quite good IMO. Just maybe not as big as that discovery! If I was keeping the A30 longer the refit wouldn't be quite so painful as it would average out over the long term.
    I'll be living aboard with someone else, so the quarters are pretty cramped.
    For a solo liveaboard it would be pretty comfortable though.
  11. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If the boat didn't match the survey, that is the surveyor missed major items, they are liable for your loss.

  12. PeterWatt
    Joined: Apr 2024
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    PeterWatt New Member

    Hi Jeremy,

    I'm wondering if the Discovery 47 that you were considering in 2012 was named Shamanta?
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