AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

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AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby seasailor55 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:01 pm

Got a call from the local boatyard a few weeks ago, asking if our youth sailing program was interested in an AMF Paceship PY23. (Forgot to ask what year, but from what I read, PY23's were built from 1973 to 1981)The owner bought a new boat and is considering donating the boat, as opposed to selling it.

I met the yard owner (a licensed surveyor) at the boat and examined it (sounded the decks, checked the bilge, rig, chainplates and hull, as well as any wood in or on the boat). Hull and deck seemed okay (no obvious soft spots or leaks in the deck, chainplates solid, bulkheads solid, hull laminate sound with no blisters). The rig is all there and appears sound, there is a roller furler, a complete suit of sails (including a new jib), and it comes with a roadworthy trailer and an outboard. There are some issues (tiller, hatchboards, rudder head and a few other pieces of wood that need attention) but these are all within our means and abilities. I didn't get a chance to check the electrical system (no battery on board). I'm sure we'll probably find other issues (don't we always?). It has a keel/centerboard set-up with a board up draft of 21", a decent cabin, and a decent cockpit.

My questions are: How well were these boats built and how do to they sail? I have no experience with the PY23. Comments please.
seasailor55
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Re: AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby Zach » Thu Mar 08, 2012 8:31 am

I had one for a few years... They are a lot of fun.

I had a 6 horsepower outboard on it, and it would coast nearly 200 feet from entrance of the marina back to my slip with the motor in neutral. Its probably the easiest boat I've ever had to sail solo.

The boat won't broach in the pinned down death roll sense. It trips over its keel board in a breeze, and rotates around the center board down wind. It will almost lay the spreader in the water, but will stand right back up and run off. I used to enjoy going out in small craft warnings with the full suit of sails up and try to hit 9 knots on the GPS and stand on the combing...

They are fairly easily driven hulls, but are a bit tender and weight sensitive in light winds. You have to pay more attention to where you position your weight in zephyr breezes, sitting still the boat rolls with the gust and doesn't catch it and take off like a boat with a little more keel. You have to ease off with the wind and sit on the high side, for the boat to get some forward motion before steering back on course. Its not a dinghy, and not a keel boat even though it has a chunk of iron down there.

The decks are thin, and mine didn't have backing plates on any of the cleats just fender washers. One storm I lost a cleat when the water left the marina. The side decks are tiny, I always went up and over the cabin rather than down the side decks to get to the bow.

Also watch the sliding hatch, mine blew off once tacking through the wind on a real gusty day.

Zach
1961 Pearson Triton
http://pylasteki.blogspot.com/
1942 Coast Guard Cutter - Rebuild
http://83footernoel.blogspot.com/
Zach
Boat Obsession Medal Finalist
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:28 pm
Location: Beaufort, North Carolina

Re: AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby seasailor55 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:22 am

Just the kind of feedback I was looking for, pros and cons of the design, handling, and build quality. "Free" boats aren't free, when you consider the "surprises" usually encountered and the cost of repairs and upgrades. We have a donated 1965 Pearson Ensign undergoing a 2 year, down to the bare hull restoration and it's definitely not "free", although donated time and materials have kept the costs reasonable. This PY23 is fully equipped and other than repair/replacement of the mentioned items, a good buff and wax on the deck and hull, and a coat of bottom paint, it appears ready for the water.

The handling characteristics you mention are what I've experienced on a friend's similar keel/centerboarder, an O'Day 23. While tacking up a narrow channel, the boat lost way and was drifting toward the rocks when it recovered and we got it moving again. It's good to know that it will stand up to a breeze and recover when knocked down.

The yard owner/surveyor noted that the bow pulpit mounting plates could use some backing up, but that there appeared to be access to them through the anchor locker. The sliding hatch was there but had blown off the boat when I inspected it. Is there a fix for this?

Really enjoy your blogs on the Triton and the former CG cutter. Some serious work going on there! Thanks for the reply.
seasailor55
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Boat Type: Cape Dory 22 Pearson Ensign

Re: AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby Zach » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:17 am

Thanks... Lots of rubbing and sanding!

On the sliding hatch, if I recall it slides in from the back and doesn't have a stop. Most boats have a molded in, or removable piece at the front of the opening that prevents the hatch from moving any farther aft than the back of the cabin without it being lifted up or removed.

Also now that I think about it, I don't think my genoa tracks were very well positioned. It was fairly docile to tack without getting hung up on much, but they were not sheeted inboard enough to point very well. Perhaps the design can't take that much pressure on the bow end.

Mine had a split back stay, and a novel back stay tightener. A bar with two pulleys on it, and a piece of rope going down to a cleat. The mast would pump pretty good in a chop without it cranked down, but I didn't get the sense you could jack the mast through the bottom, as the back of the boat seemed like it was going up the tighter the back stay got. (Grin)

I'd build a tiller with a bit more arch than you see in pictures of the boat, as with a full cockpit the helmsman ends up standing/dancing beside the tiller as its knee clearance is interesting. Mine had a cockpit sheeting arrangement, and had a to short hiking stick for the tiller.

I used a loop of rope between the stern cleats to hold the rudder steady while getting rigged up. She was fairly docile under motor, and would hold her bow to the wind without much fuss. The battens on the main sail had a habit of getting hooked on, under, and around the spreaders when raising the main. I found raising the genoa, and blanketing the main to be helpful in low wind speed with just enough gust that the boat wanted to go beam to and flop over. I'd spend some time with them getting some chafing gear on the spreaders.

The mainsheet seemed like it had way more power than it needed. I never raised or lowered the mast, so perhaps it was for that purpose. I always found myself confounded when going in to the wind, with the sheer quantity of rope in the cockpit under foot.

Lastly, i had a short piece of high test rope to go under the tack of the headsail which made it a lot easier to see ahead tacking into tight places. Also gave passengers the ability to sit on bow and drag their feet in the water. The sail shape seemed like it didn't lose anything, as it had less interference with bow pulpit going down wind.

Zach
1961 Pearson Triton
http://pylasteki.blogspot.com/
1942 Coast Guard Cutter - Rebuild
http://83footernoel.blogspot.com/
Zach
Boat Obsession Medal Finalist
 
Posts: 726
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:28 pm
Location: Beaufort, North Carolina

Re: AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby seasailor55 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:54 am

Our committee voted unanimously to accept the boat. The comments regarding build quality and sailing performance were very helpful in the decision.

Now on to the paperwork, repairs, and bottom painting.

'll install some stops for the hatch slide. I didn't see the hatch boards (they may be stored somewhere on the boat). If not, I'll fabricate some new ones.

I've seen split backstays with tensioners. They look pretty powerful. (Curl that stern right up to the spreaders if you're not careful, eh?)

I have to make a new tiller anyway, so I'll make sure it's arched to get out of the way, and has a tiller extension.

I'm not surprised that narrow high aspect main gets into the spreaders during hoisting. I'll get some spreader boots.

The mainsheet tackle was apparently designed help raise the mast, as from what I've read, these boats were designed to be easy to trailer and launch and mast raising a one or two person job. I've raised the mast on our Cape Dory 22 singlehanded using the boom (attached to the front of the mast at the base) and the trailer winch. The Ensign mast is another story, as we have the older, heavier mast extrusion and have to stab it through the cabin top.

This boat has a roller furling genoa, so I don't think I can alter the jib tack position. I plan on making up a short (8")wire extension for our Cape Dory to raise the jib up and help clear the bow pulpit as you mentioned.
seasailor55
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Posts: 60
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Boat Type: Cape Dory 22 Pearson Ensign

Re: AMF Paceship PY23 -advice?

Postby hriehl1 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:37 pm

www.paceship.org is an active owners site.

You should be able to receive tons of useful advice on the PY23. EWverything I have read is that they are a sound, solid design. It should serve your group's needs well.

Hank
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