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AlistairM
15-09-04, 08:45
Has anyone any info on these boats. Are they suitable for small coast hopping trips and weekend sailing.

What are the pitfalls (other than age) of these.

Any thoughts greatfully received.

Alistair

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graham
15-09-04, 11:52
I once owned an Alacrity which is virtually identical but only 18 feet long and made by the same company.I also sailed on a Vivacity 20 belonging to someone else.

Both are very strongly built and seaworthy yachts.They are not fast but sail better than you would imagine considering the shallow draught and stubby bilge keels.

They have 3 or 4 full size comfortable berths but the cabins have only sitting headroom and not much stowage space.Really for more than a weekend I would say there is room for 2 adults and a child.More than that and you will be cramped.

They can be dried out on hard sand or soft mud .One thing to watch is that the rudder can lift off the pintles as it dries out so ship it or secure it somehow.

Yes they can be used for coastal cruising and should not have a problem up to about a force 5 to 6 if well equiped and in the right hands.(Im sure there are stories of them surviving much heavier weather at sea .)

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petersto
15-09-04, 12:01
Had one for 11yrs, sailed on the Bristol channel and used overnight. Never a worrying moment, super little boat. Changed to a Centaur because I am over 6ft and fancied an inboard and going further afield. I honestly cant remember any real problems peculiar to this boat that you wouldnt get with any other. My first boat and a delight.

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dickh
15-09-04, 12:13
Good little boats - I had one for a few years and sailed all over the Thames Estuary including a trip to Calais & back. Due to the bilge keel shape, they are not good to windward, but have been out in a F6 gusting 7 and never had a moments doubt about the boat - albeit a bit wet.
Website at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.vivacity20.verycool.at/>http://www.vivacity20.verycool.at/</A>
Recommended first boat, but look at two or three to get an idea, some very basic, some well equipped - usually outboard powered.
They were built at a time when short cuts were sometimes taken - mine had a lot of steel screws which of course rust.....

<hr width=100% size=1>dickh
I'd rather be sailing... :-) /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

AlistairM
15-09-04, 12:25
Thanks all some encouraging replies.
I am also looking to drop in the bristol channel on the welsh side

<hr width=100% size=1><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by AlistairM on 15/09/2004 13:26 (server time).</FONT></P>

jenku
15-09-04, 14:21
I have an Alacrity myself, which is the Vivacity's little sister. This summer my wife and I were out cruising for 15 days without any problem whatsoever. I sail in the Baltic though, so no English weather (well, maybe a little). The windward capabilty is not so bad despite the bilge keels.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.geocities.com/jenku/summer04.html>http://www.geocities.com/jenku/summer04.html</A>

<hr width=100% size=1>http://www.sail.to/alacrity<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by jenku on 15/09/2004 15:28 (server time).</FONT></P>

DaveS
16-09-04, 21:41
My first boat was a Vivacity and she gave me a lot of fun. I sailed her in and around the Forth estuary for a number of seasons, and its ability to take the bottom made it great for visiting wee drying out harbours. We got into all sorts of interesting places. I entirely agree with the advice to attach a safety line to the rudder: ours lifted off the pintles overnight in the Tay at Perth and I had an extremely anxious row in the dinghy before very thankfully finding it a mile upstream drifting slowly round in a tidal eddy.

Possible problems: the bilge keels are part of the hull moulding and they are filled with "encapsulated" ballast. This means that they are slightly tapered and vertical (so that the mould could release) which in theory is not quite so good as (externally attached) angled keels for sailing performance or drying out stability. Can't say I ever found it a problem other than when antifouling when the lack of space between them and between keels and hull was a bit of a pain!

You might want to have a look at the bottom of the keels. The previous owner of mine kept her on a hard sand / stony drying mooring and the bottoms of the keels had suffered a bit from the pounding. There are protective GRP shoes on the keel bottoms, but on mine these and the underlying moulding had cracked badly letting water in to the ballast. In my case the ballast was thousands of mild steel stampings (the oval shaped bits produced when making the holes in Dexion angle) mixed with what looked like pitch. It worked far better than it sounds and even with severe salt water exposure only the immediate surface layer rusted and expanded. All reasonably easy to fix over the winter.

The Vivacity can have one subtle, but potentially lethal, trap. The sink is mounted to starboad at the point of maximum beam and it drains via a skin fitting just above the normal water line. It is a really good idea to fit a seacock into this drain - and keep it closed while sailing. If not then, when well heeled on port tack, nothing (other than maybe the sink plug) stops the sea filling the sink via the drain. The sink normally has a worktop cover over it which means that you don't see this happening. The water then quietly overflows the sink (under the cover, remember!), runs down behind the bunks, and slowly fills the boat. A foot of water in the cabin after a couple of hours to windward is very possible - and quite baffling since with the boat restored to even keel there is no further ingress and it is not at all obvious where all the water came from!

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AlistairM
17-09-04, 07:23
I had noticed the sink issue, I will definetly be fitting a seacock now.

I am very greatfull for all your responses, you have certainly set my mind at ease. I am very impressed at how knowledgable this forum is and the broad spectrum of knowledge to boot.

Thanks once more , I will look forward to a winter season of fitting out a Vivacity.

Alistair

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Trevor_swfyc
17-09-04, 07:37
I had a Vivacity 650 great for river trips but once I ventured further it became obvious that a bigger boat with a diesel engine was required.
Force 5 - 6 with wind over tide and an outboard for propulsion was not good news, no the vivacity was an excellent first boat and if you intend to coast hop then it pays to work the tides and be a bit cautious with the weather, but maybe you don't scare easily.

Trevor



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brian6619
25-05-07, 22:50
Yes

I own one at present and I have found it to be easy to sail and as long as you don't push it it is a great little boat.


The only thing I have struggled with is sails I can't seem to get a hold of any second hand and a new Jib is in the 3/400 range.

If you here of any one selling sails let me know I am desprate now.

Martin Hatchuel
19-03-13, 19:48
My first boat was a Vivacity and she gave me a lot of fun. I sailed her in and around the Forth estuary for a number of seasons, and its ability to take the bottom made it great for visiting wee drying out harbours. We got into all sorts of interesting places. I entirely agree with the advice to attach a safety line to the rudder: ours lifted off the pintles overnight in the Tay at Perth and I had an extremely anxious row in the dinghy before very thankfully finding it a mile upstream drifting slowly round in a tidal eddy.

Possible problems: the bilge keels are part of the hull moulding and they are filled with "encapsulated" ballast. This means that they are slightly tapered and vertical (so that the mould could release) which in theory is not quite so good as (externally attached) angled keels for sailing performance or drying out stability. Can't say I ever found it a problem other than when antifouling when the lack of space between them and between keels and hull was a bit of a pain!

You might want to have a look at the bottom of the keels. The previous owner of mine kept her on a hard sand / stony drying mooring and the bottoms of the keels had suffered a bit from the pounding. There are protective GRP shoes on the keel bottoms, but on mine these and the underlying moulding had cracked badly letting water in to the ballast. In my case the ballast was thousands of mild steel stampings (the oval shaped bits produced when making the holes in Dexion angle) mixed with what looked like pitch. It worked far better than it sounds and even with severe salt water exposure only the immediate surface layer rusted and expanded. All reasonably easy to fix over the winter.

The Vivacity can have one subtle, but potentially lethal, trap. The sink is mounted to starboad at the point of maximum beam and it drains via a skin fitting just above the normal water line. It is a really good idea to fit a seacock into this drain - and keep it closed while sailing. If not then, when well heeled on port tack, nothing (other than maybe the sink plug) stops the sea filling the sink via the drain. The sink normally has a worktop cover over it which means that you don't see this happening. The water then quietly overflows the sink (under the cover, remember!), runs down behind the bunks, and slowly fills the boat. A foot of water in the cabin after a couple of hours to windward is very possible - and quite baffling since with the boat restored to even keel there is no further ingress and it is not at all obvious where all the water came from!

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Thanks for all this information - I've just bought a Vivacity 20 that was built in 1971 here in South Africa - she's my first yacht and although she's in good enough shape (we had only to replace a pulley and service the motor before we could go out in her), we're looking forward to restoring her shiny and bright. Your information will help us with that.

Thanks again!

DaveS
26-03-13, 19:39
Thanks for all this information - I've just bought a Vivacity 20 that was built in 1971 here in South Africa - she's my first yacht and although she's in good enough shape (we had only to replace a pulley and service the motor before we could go out in her), we're looking forward to restoring her shiny and bright. Your information will help us with that.

Thanks again!

No problem. You did notice that my post was 9 years old? (Not that anything relevant has changed.) :)

lustyd
26-03-13, 21:35
Thanks for all this information - I've just bought a Vivacity 20 that was built in 1971 here in South Africa - she's my first yacht and although she's in good enough shape (we had only to replace a pulley and service the motor before we could go out in her), we're looking forward to restoring her shiny and bright. Your information will help us with that.

Thanks again!

My blog (link below) has lots of pictures in case they help you with anything. There is also a Facebook group "Vivacity20 Alacrity19" if you'd like to join :)

alahol2
26-03-13, 22:39
I'm fairly sure 'My Poll' in Michael Green's Art of Coarse Cruising was a Vivacity 20. A very funny book and well worth a read.

Hendrik le Roux
03-12-13, 07:32
Thanks for all this information - I've just bought a Vivacity 20 that was built in 1971 here in South Africa - she's my first yacht and although she's in good enough shape (we had only to replace a pulley and service the motor before we could go out in her), we're looking forward to restoring her shiny and bright. Your information will help us with that.

Thanks again!Martin, I just bought myself one, only she's moored on the Vaaldam right now.

I have a question on the Vivacity's however: I did a read on HIN (hull identity number), and could not find any clear HIN guidelines for the Vivacity, although it would seem that they were identified by "sail numbers".

Can anyone give me a pointer here? Is there some kind of database for these boats maybe where one can get more details?

Mctavish
16-03-15, 23:04
Hello
I'm just about to buy a Vivacity 20. Any info/advice appreciated. Thanks.

LittleSister
16-03-15, 23:50
Great little boats if you find one in reasonable condition.

Two friends lived on one for three years (rather them than me!), during which they circumnavigated Britain. Some years later they bought another because they had liked the boat so much.

JumbleDuck
17-03-15, 00:14
Hello
I'm just about to buy a Vivacity 20. Any info/advice appreciated. Thanks.

Get hold of a copy of "The Art of Coarse Cruising" by Michael Green, which has frequent references to, and several photographs of, his Vivacity 20, My Poll.

alahol2
17-03-15, 00:50
Our first cruiser. Quite strongly built and gave us our first three years of cruising round the Solent and beyond. Only had a 5hp Tohatsu 2-stroke on the stern but it was enough to allow safe manoeuvring. Even towed it up to Burnham on Crouch for a week's cruising/racing with the owners association. Happy memories of a good little boat.

PuffTheMagicDragon
17-03-15, 01:16
My very first 'boat-with-a-lid'! Unimpressed at first I bought a furling genoa in the second season. The difference that this had on performance was incredible. Over the second winter I fitted a little single-cylinder marine diesel; this was more reliable than an outboard, especially in waves over 1 foot height. Longest 'open sea' passage was between Malta and Sicily (55 miles or so). No problems there, she will take care of you, even if rather wet. Stayed with my son on board for a week on several occasions. He was around ten at that time

Down side was the lack of headroom. I became quite expert at moving around on my knees when below!

Changed her for a Centaur twenty years ago when I needed space to stretch my arms when standing without having to go out in the rain, wanted a separate heads and my son became too big to do the antifouling between the twin keels.

Two boats later I still miss that boat, even though I still can go on her sometimes with the friend who bought her. Note that we are still friends!

ronsurf
17-03-15, 07:49
I'm fairly sure 'My Poll' in Michael Green's Art of Coarse Cruising was a Vivacity 20. A very funny book and well worth a read.

I've got this book if you'd like a copy for the cost of the postage.

lustyd
17-03-15, 14:26
Hello
I'm just about to buy a Vivacity 20. Any info/advice appreciated. Thanks.

There is now a growing group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/162492177112018/ if you'd like to join us. Great boats and large enough for some proper little cruises. They also put up with all sorts of silly weather if you make them :)

Topcat47
17-03-15, 14:41
The Vivacity is a young man's boat I think, although I have a sailing friend in his 60's with a Newbridge Corribee who has no problems with the "cramped quarters" or long cruises. When I was training apprentices one of the lads had one and regularly crossed the channel with it. He'd happily spend a fortnight on board. For me a weekend trip to Lulworth Cove was quite enough. It is said that the smaller the boat, the greater the fun. I certainly used my 26'er more than fellow club mates use their 38footers when I was fitter. If I were 40 years younger and about to start cruising, I'd certainly consider one.

If you're looking for new sails, you could do a lot worse than trying SeaTeach in Emsworth. You'd probably not go there for a set of racing sails, but their cruising range are cheap enough any my main and genoa have lasted over ten years with proper care.

PuffTheMagicDragon
18-03-15, 00:27
+1 for SeaTeach.

The only connection that I have with them is that I bought a genoa for my Viv 20 from them and then another one when I upgraded to a Centaur. If the sails on my present boat were not practically new, they would be my first port of call for replacements.

Seajet
18-03-15, 00:49
:rolleyes:

Meanwhile if you actually want decent sails that work on a sailing boat, try Crusader Sails at Poole, highly respected among sailors who know what they're looking for; note they offer seveal different sailcloth / grades so probably best not to start at the bottom.

No connection

Mctavish
18-03-15, 04:22
Thank you for the replies. I'll see if the sale goes ahead over the coming weekend.

Dave-Shafa
18-03-15, 04:49
I own a 18' Vailiant twin bilge keel masthead sloop, called Shafa, which IMHO is far superior to the Alacrity or the Vivacity.

Someone above mentioned, "The Vivacity can have one subtle, but potentially lethal, trap. The sink is mounted to starboad at the point of maximum beam and it drains via a skin fitting just above the normal water line."

Too late alas and alack for me as last year I went below for more fags and found the water up to my neck and ciggarettes all waterlogged.
The sink drain so craftily camoflaged with chewing gum had sprung a torrential leak. WE barely made it to safety without a ***. F a g.
[UK ciggarette]

I digress - info here>
http://www.davehighland.scot/index.php/sailing/shafa-2

Somewhere in the Pasific
http://www.davehighland.scot/images/shafaskywee.JPG

Jayx
15-12-16, 15:50
Hi Hendrik. I stumbled across your post a few weeks ago while researching Vivacity 20s. Do you still own the yacht? I would really like to get in contact with you & benefit from your owner experience before I commit my money. I'm in JHB, let me know. Thanks

William_H
16-12-16, 23:49
Hi Hendrik. I stumbled across your post a few weeks ago while researching Vivacity 20s. Do you still own the yacht? I would really like to get in contact with you & benefit from your owner experience before I commit my money. I'm in JHB, let me know. Thanks

I don't know the Vivacity however have had much experience with 20ft similar boats. Yes it would be a lovely boat. On the other hand there seems to be a huge increase in performance and space with a 22 ft. In our club, oriented to cruiser racing the 19/20 ft class is almost lost because they are so slow compared to 21/22ft.
Makes me wonder if a 22ft is that much more expensive to buy or own than the 20ft. I suspect that in the current s/h market for boats the larger size could be very affordable.
Of course with this argument there is no end to going for a bigger boat. So it is all down to your own needs.
The trick is to make your last boat your first. But then you never know until you have had experience as a boat owner just what you need. Certainly as a step up from an open boat the Vivacity will be a huge improvement being comfortable is a greater range of weather and conditions. good luck olewill

MarcJ
20-12-16, 01:11
We had one for a couple of years, if I can help at all I will :-)

Major_Clanger
27-12-16, 18:03
I had a Vivacity 20 based on the Blackwater in the late 80s. Great little boat and my first with a cabin (albeit one with little headroom and limited stowage). I covered quite a few miles in her including two trips to Holland and she was quite good for a bilge keeler, although windward performance was no better than adequate.

Some great advice already given to which I'd only add this; be careful not to over-tighten the standing rigging. A helpful quayside 'expert' tuned mine prior to a race and the subsequent forces cracked the coach roof!!