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Old 01-22-2015, 01:18 PM   #1
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California 34 Long Range Cruiser

Another boat that I've been looking at on line to replace our wooden Spindrift is the California 34 LRC. Nice appearing boats and like the interior/exterior layouts. My big concern is how well do these boats handle in close (ie around the harbor, docking, etc.) not having a keel to speak of. Spindrift is a semi displacement built down keel and is very predictable. I handle the boat alone frequently coming into a float where the wind typically is against me. So, I'm real interested in others experience. Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Well, I have a 1978 version of the 34 LRC. Its my first "large" boat and it seams to handle fine. I come into my dock space and turn it 180 degrees with little room to spare (at least it seems like its little room to spare in my mind). They have twin engines so I just use the engines to maneuver in tight spaces.

Some once told me when I asked about how fast to be moving in tight spaces, "only as fast as you are willing to hit something". so I go real slow and take my time...
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:17 AM   #3
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How does she track at slow (no wake) speed? Other boats I piloted wander (kind of slue) back and forth. Also, the last fast trawler I had (rounded not hard chine) would rock almost violently from just a small (8-10") wake of a passing boat when on the hook or docked. She was fine when running but not sitting. How do you find your boat in this situation?
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Old 01-23-2015, 01:01 PM   #4
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The 34 LRC tracks straight and true at all speeds. In close quarters, she's easy with tight turns on differential power and solid tracking. No problems with mine in all but following seas as she does wander in a following sea at displacement speeds. If I had bigger engines, I could plane and not have that problem.

At anchor, her roll is very mild in moderate chop like we experience from wakes and small wind waves. In moderate conditions at anchor, she has a bit of a snap in her roll as you'd expect with hard chines on a flat aft section.



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Old 01-23-2015, 08:40 PM   #5
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FlyWright, Thanks for sharing your experience. I just reading some of your post on BoatUS from 2009. A lot of good info there on what to look these boats in those posts. This hull design is much different that my previous "fast trawler" a 1987 Bayliner 3218. Also, she was heavy in the stern; engines, batteries and fuel tanks all in the aft 12' or so.

My Spindrift also gets pushed around in a following sea.

There are several of these California 34LCRs on the market right now. All a ways off from Maine so the more I can learn before traveling the better.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:31 PM   #6
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You're raising my curiosity. What is the range of a Californian 34 long-range cruiser? ..


I've always been pushed around by a following sea. The autopilot is totally incapable for the situation.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:50 AM   #7
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On my boat, 2.5 gph, 250 gals, 550 NM with 10% reserve fuel. Not really long range...more of a marketing label.
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:47 PM   #8
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The 34LRC is a good well built trawler for the time and easy to spin around on a dime, predictable in sloppy water and pretty comfortable at anchor for a small boat with a full walk around deck.

I wouldn't hesitate in getting another one if the time and place was right. My old 34 is now living down in San Diego and the delivery crew that took her from San Francisco down for the new owner said she handled like a dream.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:36 AM   #9
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We had a 1983 LRC with the 3208NA cats and the TD 502. Handles great with the twin engines. But, if yours is powered with the Cats and the TD make sure they are in good shape. We spent thousands getting the water cooling system on each engine working properly, and eventually had to rebuild both TX. Parts for the Cats are expensive and parts for the TD 502 are scarce since it is so old.
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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Biggest mistake I made was selling my 82 LRC when I bought my 55. I could have left her in Mexico for cheap!

Great boat, lots of good advise from current owners here. My one comment regarding the build was the thickness of both the deck and hull, very impressive. We added a deck mounted bait tank and it was a chore to cut new holes!

Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:32 PM   #11
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I have a 34 LRC in Newington, NH. Sometimes I will practice leaving the slip and putting on the fuel dock with just the engines. No wheel. Very easy to do. I have been caught in steep 6 to 8 foot seas a couple of times. In those situations I bump up to about 10 knots and things smooth out rather nicely. My boat is not for sale but you are welcome to take a look at it if you have not seen one 1st hand before. Still probably a 4 hour trip from camden I think. Leon
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:21 PM   #12
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Duvie, Greatly appreciate the offer to show me your boat. I'll try to pm you for contact & location info. We moor in Camden and live just north of Portland so travel would be not be so bad, 2-2 1/2 hours. Thanks again!
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:36 PM   #13
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We have a 1984 LRC w/twin Detroit 8.2's. Great boat. As Al says following seas require some attention to steering. Our boat is a bit stern heavy due to the larger engines; this will lead to the bow blowing off in a docking situation with the wind perpendicular to the bow. Other than that issue they are wonderful boats.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:01 PM   #14
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My old 1978 performs as per everyones comments above. Easy to manuaver in tight quarters, tracks very well, handles wakes well. Mine has two old Perkins, and my top speed is really about 9 knots FOT, i run at about 1600 rpm at 7 knots 99% of the time.

The ONLY tricky time I had with her was when we got caught is a squall with 12-15 foot following seas. scared the crap out of me... the hard part was the counter steering before the swell behind me caught me and correcting as you surfed down that same swell.

anything under 6 foot does not frighten me now, but I avoid anything over a 2-3 foot swell.. I am a fair weather boater, and not NEARLY experienced enough to say I feel confidant in my abilities on water over 4-6 foot. I dont doubt my boat, just my abilities.

if I am not haivng fun, I dont want to be on that water....LOL
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Old 02-01-2015, 02:52 PM   #15
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Came across a 1983 Californian 38 lrc sedan. Couldn't open the photo album, yacht-export.com (not sure about the legitimacy of these people), so not sure how the addition 4'of length was put to use. Anyone have any knowledge of this version?
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Old 02-01-2015, 03:55 PM   #16
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A member here for many years, Per (pronounced "pier"), had a 38 (or was it a 37?) sedan which I saw when we met in Long Beach, CA. It's a very comfortable sedan with much more room in the salon. There's greater width and length which allows for an L-shaped galley counter to divide the galley from the seating similar to this 38 Convertible on the market.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1984...s#.VM6TPtLF-TA

All in all, it's like a 34 on steroids. Everything is upsized a bit to improve the comfort and storage.

If you PM Per, maybe he could provide you with more details.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:20 PM   #17
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I was aboard a 38' LRC a few years ago in the Bay Area with twin Cat's. Al summed it up perfectly. Very nice boat with great saloon and cockpit space. Kinda surprised so few of that model where produced when compared to the 34'.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:19 PM   #18
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Thanks for the input on the 38 lrc sedan. I thoughts, if the 34 is a really nice boat, the 38 ought to be a little bit more comfortable and have more storage gear in the staterooms.
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