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Hope this works as I emerge from the anon users! Has anyone knowledge/experience of the Barbican 33 with lifting centreplate eg motion at sea, sailing to windward, stability etc. Thanks in anticipation
The hull is from Maurice Griffiths Atlantic Clipper and was developed by Mike Spry who I believe worked for Philips on the Dart were the Atlantic Clipper was built.
A colleague of mine owned the Barbican 33 and performed as the earlier post indicates. Solid and comfortable but not a great performer to wind.
I sailed one owned by a friend of mine in the Med. and concur with the others here. It was pretty awful in just about every respect I'm afraid. I won't say it was the worst boat I've 'sailed' in the last 38 years, but it comes very close. There are far better boats about for the same sort of money IMHO.
Hello David, As a Barbican 33 owner I’ve watched the contributions coming in, initially with a smile, but became surprised at the later strong tone which I don’t believe does this boat justice. A fair and knowledgeable assessor of this design wouldn’t call the results of the thread “brilliant”. There are well-researched reports you could read and I list them at the end of this contribution,
I acquired my boat last July and am very happy with her. The 33 is no goer to windward but she is reasonably quick reaching and running, very seakindly with a comfortable motion in a sea and strongly built. I’ll just pick a quote from David Harding which encapsulates a fair view of the design: “For those … used to more performance-orientated designs, she takes some getting used to. But there’s little doubting her sea-keeping qualities and ability to carry on in the sort of conditions that would find most other boats wanting; her record of long-distance and trans-oceanic passages speaks for itself. As a comfortable, go-anywhere, shoal draft cruiser she would be extremely hard to beat”.
It’s worth mentioning that despite the damning with faint praise that came through in his most recent post, James Jermain offered the Barbican 33 as one of a number of others to consider as alternatives to the Rival 32, Contessa 32 and Nicholson 32 in his post which was timed 1820, date 16/05/01.
Bennett, J. 1990. “An easily handled cruising yacht of shallow draught”. Classic Boat 26, pages 77-80.
Desoutter, D. 1980. “Dream ship sailing”. Practical Boat Owner, 161, pages 51-53.
Harding, D. 1995. “Made to measure”. Yachts and equipment, Autumn/Winter edition, 1995, pages 69-71.
knowledgeable assessor of this design wouldn’t call the results of the thread “brilliant”.
Fair comment; however, I was assessing the level of apparently well-informed response, not the design - of which I know nothing, zilch, zero.
But . . . going with the majority on 'Ask The Audience' usually seems to be a sound move - although I admit not always - I would need more than one owner's reply (which is likely to be naturally biased no matter how well informed) before deciding the others were wrong.
Hopefully the references you gave will provide that backup information.
Not dissing the Barbie, but you said "The 33 is no goer to windward but she is reasonably quick reaching and running,"
Difficult to find a boat which isn't an OK performer reaching and running, buit going uphill well is what marks a good sailing boat out from the crowd. Nothing is more miserable than a wet slog upwind when you're going nowhere very fast, and sliding off to leeward. Of course, if you've got a taxi engine you can turn on in that situation, windward performance doesn't really matter.
Have read with interest the posts to date and have been interested in the prospect of aquiring one for some time.
I would be interested to hear from the better informed of suggestions as to which might be better boats,rather than just criticism.In this respect I am interested in a boat about the same size,capable of ocean crossing ,draught no more than 4ft at minimum for navigating shallows,and stable and kindly for a mature sailer!.
I have come across the posts re: the Barbican 33 rather late in the day, but I could not let the adverse comments go unchallenged.
Firstly, I wonder if some of the commentators actually know which boat they are talking about. On several occasions I have had people who ask me what sort of boat I have, mistakenly think I am talking about another 33 with a similar but slightly different name ( and definitely inferior performance). I won't name the make to avoid upsetting any owners!
To describe her as 'sailing like a brick dunny' is absolute garbage, and I wonder what actual experience of the type backs up that comment.
I have owned a Barbican 33 for 20 years out of some 50 years of sailing experience, mainly in similar size moderate displacement boats, and including a lot of racing in the North Sea.
My boat is a cutter rigged version, which makes for easy sail handling for just two of us. I have always found her to be close-winded, and in a full sail breeze she tacks through 90 degrees, is well balanced, and makes 5 to 6.5 kts close-hauled depending on sea conditions. Now that may equate to being 'no great goer', compared to modern boats, but I reckon it's pretty respectable for an old fashioned long keel design. Off the wind she is remarkably slippery, and overall she easily keeps up with similar size/displacement boats, plus some modern lightweights, although they will have the edge in light airs. Below the waterline she has a fine entry, and a sweet run aft, which gives her an easily driven hull, which is very noticeable in light airs. The slightest increase in wind speed brings an instant response. She is a very good sea-boat, with a lovely soft motion, tracks easily, and one thing you will not have is a wet flog to windward ( Twister Ken please note ! )
I have no experience of the sloop rigged version, other than sailing in company with one, when the performance seemed fine.
For cruising her shallow draft is a great advantage for going places deeper boats can't get to, and her relatively narrow beam is a boon when trying to find a slot in a busy French marina!
On the domestic front she has superb stowage, both in the cockpit, and down below - far better than any similar size boat we looked at. Her traditional accomodation is comfortable, and we have no problems living aboard for 3-4 months each year
It is perhaps worth noting that many Barbican 33's stay in the same ownership for many years - a fact that speaks volumes for the class.
None of this is of use to David of course, but I hope that anyone else looking for a good, comfortable, go anywhere boat with a bit of character, and which draws many complimentary comments, will find it useful.