A Harstad 31 Motorsailer Editorial

A Crealock design and fairly fast under motor or motor sailing, this is a nice interim sailboat if you are looking to become serious about sailing extended. If you just want a coastal cruiser, this is a nice boat. We live in southern California and have had her to Catalina Island several times for overnighters, and she performed well. On one trip, we left port only to find ourselves in gale force winds about 10 miles out. We were hitting 15 foot seas at about 5 second intervals, so it was a bit rough. With her 22+ HP Yanmar, she plowed through the waves even after taking the sails down. No problem with power.

Her sail plan is a bit weak. She is not a fast boat by any stretch, unless you have the diesel fired up. If you have a good wind (12-15 knots), then you can count on 8+ knots on wind alone.

Her fit and finish could have been better. Typical of the 1970’s, there is a lot of laminated particle board, but there is some nice Teak trim. Nice sized head/shower, and she has hot and cold pressure water. The cockpit was typically bare-bones, so plan to add a pedestal support, table, bimini or dodger, gauges/depth/radar. There are sooo many little things that were added to sailboats starting in the 1980’s that are not on this boat, but the Harstad 31 gave you a lot for the little money you spent on her. And these days you can have one for a song, that is if you can fine one. There were between 6 and 13 built, depending on who you ask. As I understand it, the Harstad Trawler Company built 6 operating under the Clipper company, but later there were a few more made using the molds. Clipper also made one that was almost identical, and was called a Clipper 32. The Harstad 31 is actually 31’7″ on deck, so it should probably be called a 32.

Another nice aspect of this motorsailer is that she was trailerable. With the 8′ beam, she could be trailered without the need for any special permits. She originally came with a trailer, but the one I bought did not have the trailer with it.

All and all we have really enjoyed sailing/motoring this boat. Lots of good times and lots more to come. As I said in the first paragraph; she is a good interim boat. We have plans to sell her and buy something in the 40+ foot range for extended voyages. I will say that if we had to stick with the Harstad 31, we wouldn’t really be disappointed. She has a LOT of potential and there are sooo many mods that can be done to her interior to make her almost as good as a modern day motorsailer.

Published in: Boat Information on April 11, 2010 at7:25 pm Comments (0)
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