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Old 03-20-2013, 03:09 PM   #1
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CHB 34' thoughts and impressions

Hey everyone! I'm new to this forum and this is my first post.

I grew up sailing the Southern California coast with my father. Now as an adult, I have been enjoying the same tradition with my kids... Only now on our small 24' cabin cruiser.

Anyway, I am in the process of upgrading to a 1978 CHB 34' trawler. This boat has forever been my "dream boat". I recall seeing many cruisers enjoying the comfort and space aboard these roomy and capable rigs while spending summers at Catalina Island.

As I am going through the sea trial/survey process now, I would love some useful information from any of you more experienced members.

Any info on the Ford Lehman 120, overall experience with the CHB 34' aft cabin, build weaknesses, and even any positive feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard. Mr. ah. If you search the archives you'll find everything you need.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:21 PM   #3
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Welcome to the world of Taiwanese Trawlers! I've had mine for 20 years and she still turns heads - even mine! Hope your survey works out.
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:56 PM   #4
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The quality of CHBs of this vintage can vary all over the map because of the way the basic hulls were farmed out to small, family yards in Taiwan for completion. Some yards used sound construction practices, some cut corners. This is especially true with the stiffening materials used in the fiberglass cabin sides and subdeck.

A hull surveyor familiar with these boats should know to check the whole boat thoroughly for soft spots in the decks and cabin structure, particularly below windows.

The condition of an FL120 is dependent entirely on how it was operated and maintained by the previous owners. It can be in excellent condition or it can be a piece of junk. This is why I strongly suggest you get an engine surveyor familiar with the type of engine(s) in the boat to check it or them out.

The good surveyors tend to specialize in hull/systems or engine/driveline. We hired one of each when we had the boat we subsequently bought surveyed and we would not do it any other way in the future.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:41 PM   #5
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CHB buyers guide

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #6
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The quality of CHBs of this vintage can vary all over the map because of the way the basic hulls were farmed out to small, family yards in Taiwan for completion. Some yards used sound construction practices, some cut corners. This is especially true with the stiffening materials used in the fiberglass cabin sides and subdeck.

A hull surveyor familiar with these boats should know to check the whole boat thoroughly for soft spots in the decks and cabin structure, particularly below windows.

The condition of an FL120 is dependent entirely on how it was operated and maintained by the previous owners. It can be in excellent condition or it can be a piece of junk. This is why I strongly suggest you get an engine surveyor familiar with the type of engine(s) in the boat to check it or them out.

The good surveyors tend to specialize in hull/systems or engine/driveline. We hired one of each when we had the boat we subsequently bought surveyed and we would not do it any other way in the future.
Excellent recommendation! Seems that you've already got that arena covered....

We also own an Taiwanese Trawler, and really love it!

From an insurance standpoint, our underwriters seen the CHB lines as good risks, with no real fatal flaws in general. Enjoy and welcome to TF!

ps: thread topics 'round here have a way of drifting like a rudderless ship...
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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ps: thread topics 'round here have a way of drifting like a rudderless ship...
And, There's drift #1... to this thread - lol

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Old 03-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
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And, There's drift #1... to this thread -
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:09 PM   #9
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In "thread land"

To bring up drifting outside of thread's topic is - DRIFTING!
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:17 PM   #10
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In "thread land"

To bring up drifting outside of thread's topic is - DRIFTING!
I guess I missed it as Pua Hana was referring to the Insurance coverage on a CHB. (No drift there!)
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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I think Art's in his own orbit
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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You'll find lots of firsthand experience from CHB owners at

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:44 PM   #13
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Again, thank you all for your honest and informative posts!

One more question....

As we are hauling the CHB out to do bottom paint, I want to upgrade the boats through hull transducer so as to install a great Fish finder/GPS plotter/Radar combo.

Any opinions? RAYMARINE? GARMIN? SIMRAD? Etc...

There are so many options and reviews available online... I kinda want to narrow it down. I'm kinda leaning towards the RAYMARINE 7D system.

Also, any sort of below the waterline upgrades or trick gadgets that I should consider?

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:34 PM   #14
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The CHB forum on Yahoo is the place to go... as is the MTOA.

There are lots of folks who know these boats backwards and forwards.

P.S. I hope you like working on boats and varnishing things LOL
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:39 PM   #15
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Any opinions? RAYMARINE? GARMIN? SIMRAD? Etc...
It's hard to miss with any of them but I'm a big SIMRAD fan. If there's a West Marine close to you, go in and play with all of them.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:01 AM   #16
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I would take Walt's advice and check out a variety of makes and models for yourself. The marine electronics stores (I would suggest you not limit yourself to West Marine but try your local independent dealers, too) should be able to run demo displays on their various models so you can see for yourself which display and functionality suits you best.

Our boat came with a very good depth/speed system but it's not a fish finder. In fact it's rather odd for a powerboat because it's a Signet which is typically associated with sailboat instruments. The system was installed in 1986, but what truly amazed us a few months ago is that when the display at the lower helm started to loose its screen brightness and contrast, I learned that not only does the company still exist but their brand new really cool stuff is totally compatible with their really old used-to-be-cool stuff. So all we had to do was change the display for a brand new one. All our existing sensors as well as the black box "brain" plugged right into it. Same cables and everything.

But it's not a fish finder so my endorsement of Signet doesn't mean much in this case. Speaking only for myself, when we buy new electronics we stick with the name brands with good reputations and easy-to-reach factory service. For us in this neck of the woods that tends to mean Furuno and Icom.

I've had good luck with Lowrance in our small boat but I don't know if they make depth/fish finder gear for larger cruising boats. Standard Horizon is good and reliable.

Based solely on experiences by boating friends in Bellingham I would not touch anything made by Raymarine with a ten foot pole, but maybe they've gotten better lately although I am not likely to ever find out.

I'm not familiar with Simrad's line but if Walt thinks highly of them that's a pretty good endorsement in my opinion as he's no fool when it comes to judging quality and reliability.

Garmin is also an unknown to me. While intellectually I know better, I just don't think of Garmin when I think about marine electronics so I've not paid them much attention in that regard.

But go to the dealers and check out the reputable brands. You will see one at some point that just makes sense to you, and your decision will have been made and you'll be happy with the unit.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:17 AM   #17
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Based solely on experiences by boating friends in Bellingham I would not touch anything made by Raymarine with a ten foot pole, but maybe they've gotten better lately although I am not likely to ever find out.
.
I'm in the same=========>
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:08 PM   #18
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^^^ conversely, I have had excellent experiences with the latest generation of Raymarine gear (all post-FLIR). The e7D of our last boat was a great piece of gear. We outfitted the new boat with a full Raymarine suite and couldn't be happier.


(well, I'd be happier if the gear was free )


Go play with all the electronics and only then make your decision...
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