US Yachts 21, anyone know this boat?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Bigfork, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. Bigfork
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Bigfork Junior Member

    I've got the chance to buy a little US Yachts (Bayliner?) 21. I know the owner quite well and have even sailed on the boat several times. With a v berth and smallish cabin, she scoots right along. After google research, she doesn't seem to have been made for very long, if only one year-1982. Her target market seems to be for the casual racer who wants to sleep below. I think she is faster than a Buccaneer of same length or a U20. I know the boat is immaculate, I can see my reflection in the gelcoat. I'm not too savvy on other aspects of her, but all the parts are there, trailer included, and even some extras. The owner takes care of things! He's a good friend so I can verify this (I hope he doesn't check this forum out...might be a little strange). I've got a Laser and an Hobie 16 w/traps. I've been fantasizing about a build, but all advice says buy your first trailer-sailer for 1/3 the price of an equivalent build (unless you have many parts lying around and have a penchant for misery).
    I guess I'm just looking for somebody who is familiar with the model of boat and can help shore up my confidence in the purchase. As I said before, I know she scoots right along and would be a great addition to my fleet. Plus, the Mrs and I could overnight for the weekend. Anyone have one of these, rode on one, or capable of speaking on the model's behalf...tall order, I know.

    thanks!
     
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, she's a not a bad boat and she was later built and called the Triton 21.

    [​IMG]

    Her lifting keel (only 200 pounds) worked though if not in good repair can have issues. She can display all the issues of boats built in this era.
     
  3. Bigfork
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Bigfork Junior Member

    thanks!

    Thank you for the reply!

    I do know of one minor issue. The board she has now is not the original. The boat was once on her side and the dagger pin wasn't in. The 200 lb board came out of the top with force and straight to the bottom. When sailing, we've had a bit of a hassle getting the new board to go down. It takes some wet lube and a firm stomping from the foot. The thought was that the parts that are a little tight would eventually rub off and the board would move with more ease. Eventually the board will seat and the pin installed, but it can be a task. My friend has put no real effort into solving the tight spots, just dealt with the initial wrestling match. Would something non-toxic like olive oil work to grease the skids? A squirt bottle with olive oil seems like an easy solution. Would there be any bad effects to the inside of the dagger sleeve?

    --The boat has all 3 sails in fine shape with a tattered e-bay storm jib.
    --Great trailer, wheels, bearings
    --True mast and rigging
    --Stored under cover for last 5 years and it shows! Can comb your hair in the reflection on her belly.
    --No soft spots
    --Has Minkota and deep cycle batteries (cabin wiring might be a little dodgy as most 30 --year old boats seem to be...no biggy, just a redo.)

    Asking price is 3000$. When I look on craigs list or e-bay for a similar vintage or size, 3k buys you a turd that might sail and certainly needs TLC. Likely no trailer or some other deal-killer. I know this boat is in fine shape. 3k seems fair and even a deal when compared to the others I see out there. Plus, it's 10 miles from home! I don't have to travel to get it!

    What do ya think?
    thanks.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Without having the boat in front of me, it's difficult to tell, but I'm leery of 30+ year old boats with a shinny buff job, as I'm inclined to think the buff is just to distract you from the real issues. I would think in your area, he's pretty much over a barrel, that you've brought with you. Not many folks will spend 3k on a 30 year old, less than mainstream pocket yacht, so offer 2k and see where the deal goes. The real question is, will the purchase price be worth it to you. Lastly buying a boat from a friend is often a problem, so pick your poison carefully.
     
  5. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    More 21

    I was a dealer for those- back when:( where did the time go? They were an inexpensive boat at the time, and most boats of the era, even the expensive ones, have had their share of problems. Check it carefully, and by all means SAIL it. They were a light boat, but not really light for a racer, and seemed to me to be under ballasted- in MORC righting tests, they did not have any reserve. A modern foil with a bulb would change their performance and righting moment for the better.
    IMO, the sails, motor and trailer would all have to be in very good condition to bring 3K, even to a friend.
    B
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    They were fairly light on an 18' LWL, but as Bruce mentions, not exceptionally so. Similar racer/cruisers, would be a few hundred more pounds on an 18' LWL. The real key figure that stands out is her SA/D and ballast ratio. Her firmish bilges standup to her nearly 25 SA/D, but she's over powered quickly, as you'd imagine a second generation IOR with barely a 12% ballast ratio. The only one I know that was actively campaigned carried internal ballast, as she needed to be reefed pretty early other wise.

    I don't think a bulb could be placed on that inclined board - it would just bind and jam at that angle, without major surgery (winch, rollers or high modulus plastic slides, etc.). I do think she could use and would benefit greatly from a significant increase in ballast. Typical racer/cruisers of the era would carry several hundred pounds of ballast. At 40%, she'd need nearly another 500 pounds, but if this was all in a bulb and the rig could take the moment increase, well then . . .
     
  7. Bigfork
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    Bigfork Junior Member

    Thank you for all the comments. The model is fairly rare; doesn't seem to be that many around. The 2nd previous owner to my friend puttered around with 3 different variations of the US 21 since the mid 80's. He really likes them!

    About the under-ballast part...I too have thought this! I'm not super savvy on boat engineering terms but I do have a basic understanding of the forces as work. I did have to look up "SA/D" to see what it meant. I've sailed on this exact boat maybe 10 times over the last 5 years. When she gets overpowered, she heels hard, rudder cavitates, and she rounds up. Those events would tell us to reef...we almost never left the dock reefed though, just waited for a knock over before getting to it:) How do people add weight under the floor? Whatever is used must be set firm so as not to bang about and do damage under the floor...maybe sandbags or other "soft" weight??

    bruceb mentioned: "They were an inexpensive boat at the time, and most boats of the era, even the expensive ones, have had their share of problems"

    What other systemic problems do boats of this age possess?

    I'm going to talk to the 2nd owner going back and see why he likes them so much...enough to have owned several. I know the sails are like new, trailer is decent but could likely use a bearing job (I can do that easy enough)

    Thanks for all the comments folks!
     
  8. Canracer
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    Canracer Senior Member

    What about the deck and hull? I am considering this boat, and would like to know where to look for bad core (if any.)
     
  9. bruceb
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    bruceb Senior Member

    inspections

    I know this may sound a little crude, but on a small light boat, the loads are low enough that there are only a few critical areas. The rest "can" be about as stiff as an inflatable and not make very much difference, but should be factored into the price.
    Check the high load areas- around the forestay/bow deck and hull, chain plates, mast step inside and on deck, board and trunk, and rudder attachments. Also check where the trailer supports the hull, mis-loading or over loading (from standing water and such) can also cause damage that may not be worth repairing. In Florida, ice damage should not be much of an issue, but can destroy a boat in one winter in northern areas.
    B
     
  10. Canracer
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    Canracer Senior Member

    That's a great point. Still, that stuff has to be fixed at some point.
     
  11. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Loads are relative and though seemingly low, particularly compared to other craft, typical engineering details address these loads with similarly seemingly skimpy scantlings.

    For example the shroud chainplates may only need to support twice the displacement of the vessel in a severe knock down and the working strength of the "weak link" may be 2.5 to 3 times the displacement, perfectly tolerable with a margin, but the backing plate and laminate also will be sized to this expected load/margin and may very well fail in an unanticipated event, such as a swell driving the boat into a wharf.

    Just because the loads may be modest, doesn't mean they can't be exceeded and that the scantlings and laminate schedule are equally sized.

    Simply put, small craft generally are simple structures, so there's less to look at, but these areas are none the less as important as a larger, more complex structures. Since you're having difficulty with some portions of an inspection, it would be wise to have the boat surveyed or at the very least, to bring along someone that is quite familiar with these types of boats.
     
  12. Canracer
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    Canracer Senior Member

    The boat was constructed by two different companies. Is anyone familiar with build quality variations?
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Bayliner built them in '82, then Pearson built them in '85. Pearsons build quality was better, but this is also the "dark years" of production boat building and lots of "experiments" where conducted in regard to cost reductions and material choices. Blisters on moored version can be an issue as can a host of other, often just age related things, need to be looked at. There are some things you just have to exspect from 1/3 a century old production boats, particularly those that were at the low end of the quality scale, like this one.
     
  14. Canracer
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    Canracer Senior Member

    What's "low end" about it? Can you give a few examples? (also, what is a "high end" boat with a similar design?)
     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I don't understand your question? There are lots of differences between a "low end" build and a "high end" and they are usually obvious once you glance around the deck of a small production sailboat. A classic example of a low end build will have deck hardware through bolted, but just fender washers under the deck, while a high end build will have an inert backing plate, bedding oozing out all around and still some fender washers under the same fasteners.
     
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