Looking for a sailboat and finding
S/V Quietly
November 2001
 
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The lines of a Mason are that of a timeless classic, for they look absolutely beautiful at anchor with their long overhangs, high bow and flowing sheer line. When you see a Mason under sail, far horizons seem just a walk in the park for them.

When I set out to find a long-distance cruising boat I had several requirements. I wanted a boat that could carry myself and a sailing companion along with most of our worldly goods for an extended cruise of several years. This meant a heavily constructed boat with good volume and load-carrying ability, a boat able to stay out there and take some punishment. A sail plan that could be handled in all situations by a shorthanded crew was essential. Moderate displacement and a seakindly motion were high on the  list, and tankage for extended voyage was a must. During my extensive research on blue water cruising yachts, I kept being drawn time and again to the Mason 43.  
In November of 2001 after extensive research and months of looking I found Quietly.  She was represented by Bernie Jakits of Rogewave Yacht Sales of who was selling her for his friends and sailing companions Brian and Teri Schmitz.  Brian and Teri had recently returned from five years of cruising on Quietly in the Caribbean.
If you are reading this thinking about purchasing, I highly recommend Bernie Jakits!  He  did a wonderful job representing Quietly professionally and with great honesty and friendship to both my self, and his friends Brian and Teri.  He also suggested Captain Stanley Kuntz who did a extremely thorough survey over two days.  I can recommend both Bernie and Stanley very highly.

Quietly is one of a long line of exceptional boats from Al Masonís drawing board.  The Mason 43 was introduced in 1978 by Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE).  Built in Taiwan at the TaShing yard, it reputedly evolved from the successful CCA ocean racer Sitzmark.  A full keel with cutaway forefoot is a hallmark of this traditional design. The rudder is attached to the trailing edge of the keel and incorporates an aperture for the three-blade prop. The bottom of the keel is wide, flat and straight, giving good support when drying out at a seawall for bottom work in remote areas, and strength for world cruising.

photo of 43' ' Mason Ta Shing

Topside, the first feature youíll notice is the teak deck. While nothing is as aesthetically pleasing or as effective a non-skid surface, teak decidedly is a maintenance commitment.  After extensive research, including many discussions with Mason 43 owners, I committed to teak decks and havenít been disappointed. To date, no Mason 43 has been reported to suffer from any problems as the result of having a teak deck installed.

Exceptionally fine construction features include full-length longitudinal stringers glassed into the hull. Heavily built is the buzzword with a bridge deck that protects the offset companionway.  A total of 14 opening ports, including four large opening hatches and five large Dorade vents provide good ventilation throughout.  The aft cabin is light and airy with its three opening ports.

Below deck, the unique aft-cabin/aft-cockpit design produces a true owners stateroom in the stern. Included is a double and a single berth plus an abundance of storage, including a large hanging locker.  There is room for two people to stand in the cabin with the door closed! Brian and Teri had added added reverse cycle air conditioning & heat that provides true comfort in all climates. At the base of the entry ladder to starboard is a protected, functional full navigation station.  A U-shaped galley is opposite to port, with large double sinks aft and a refrigerator freezer under the counter of the pass-through that divides the dinette from the galley. The dinette opposes a settee amidships, led by the head and V-berth forward. The head design is excellent, with separate shower stall and lots of elbowroom.

The standard engine was upgraded in 1995 to a Yanmar 4JH2-TE Turbo with 62 Hp installed below the cabin sole along with a Northern Lights 5.5KW Gen-Set that sits just ahead of the engine over a deep bilge sump. Access to the engine and gen-set is a bit tedious, but it is workable, and the engines location maximizes cabin volume while keeping weight low and allowing the prop shaft to be aligned parallel with the waterline for best efficiency. After purchasing Quietly in 2001, I added a Side-Power bow thruster to aid in close quarter maneuvering and single handed docking to allow me to do more sailing and less looking for crew.

Under sail, the Mason 43 is powered by 899 square feet of sail divided between the three sails of a double-spreader cutter rig. The moderate-aspect ratio mainsail provides good drive off the wind without the need for jibs that are too large for two to handle. The staysail stay is backed up with running backstays and held to a heavily reinforced deck plate by a quick-release fitting. Sailing performance is good for a vessel with this kind of volume and displacement. Most owners cite routine 150 to 160-mile days.

Storage is good, with four hanging lockers, including a wet locker at the bottom of the companionway stairs.  Forward cabin has double berth with slide out extension, hanging locker, 3 large drawers and numerous smaller lockers. Next to port is the head with marble top vanity sink and a large separate stall shower. Opposite to starboard, is a large double door hanging locker. In the main saloon, a convertible C-shape dinette is to port with an extendible settee and a pilot berth to starboard. Bookcases and numerous lockers are outboard. Next is a U-shaped galley to port with 3 burner Force-10 stove, large double stainless sinks, and fridge/freezer. Opposite to starboard is a wet locker and navigation station with full size chart table. Aft is the master cabin/stateroom with double berth to port, centerline hanging locker and single quarter berth starboard. Interior joinery is hand rubbed teak in satin varnish finish. Cabin soles are varnished teak and holly.

The galley is a traditional offshore U shaped configuration galley to port. It includes a gimbaled 3-burner Force Ten Stainless Steel propane stove and oven, two stainless steel sinks, spice rack, Formica counter with drawers, locker storage and over/under counter storage. There is a Tappan 500 Microwave hidden away in the aft cabin. The Crosby refrigerator/freezer system with 2 large holding plates and both top and front loading insulated lids keeps the provisions cold. There is plenty of pot & pan storage and pantry/grocery storage along with tankage for 180 gallons of water in three stainless tanks.  A six gallon stainless water heater provides hot water for the galley and head. The pressure water system is backed up with fresh/salt water foot pumps in the galley and head as well.

The nav station is exactly what a proper offshore voyaging vessels nav station should be. All instruments are in easy view, all properly and professionally installed. All electronics are late vintage and top of the line. The nav station is wired for a PC, NMEA interface ready, has extra storage, book shelves for operations manuals. The Robertson AP300 Autopilot  with hydraulic linear drive can be controlled from both the nav-station and cockpit. The equipment includes a Garmin GPSMAP220 color chart plotter, Raytheon R10XX Radar, Icom M-58 VHF at the nav-station and Standard Horizon Eclipse+ VHF in cockpit.  An ICOM IC-710 SSB provides e-mail and long range communications. Pioneer AM/FM CD stereo  with remote control, speakers in saloon and Bose all weather-speakers in cockpit keep the crew on beat.  Datamarine wind, speed, and depth instruments along with  Sestrel binnacle compass, Davis Mark 25 sextant and ACR 406 EPRIB round out the instrumentation.

Underway, the helm is a little heavier than today's more modern boats which sport a balanced spade rudder, but tracking is excellent and she is easily sailed by the helmsman or steered by the excellent autopilot. The standard fixed prop has been replaced with a feathering Max-Prop which improves her performance significantly.  Eleven knots on a beam reach drives her easily at close to hull speed of 7.5 knots and 130 Gallons of fuel carried in two steel tanks provides for extended cruising when the wind is less favorable. Dual bow rollers are heavily constructed holding a 45lb CQR Anchor with 200 feet 3/8 inch BBB Chain and a 45lb Bruce with 50 feet 5/8 inch HT Chain with 300 feet 3/4 inch Rode in the divided chain locker. The Nilsson V3000 3000lb electric anchor windlass makes easy work of raising the anchor.

The Mason 43 is a proven passage maker with lots of ocean miles to back up this claim. She's a great hostess when entertaining friends. A safe home in a blow where she heaves to well under staysail and reefed main, lying surprisingly close to the wind with a comfortable motion. Over 100 were built, including 10 with ketch rigs, before the model was replaced by the Mason 44. The Mason 43 represents one of the best in the long-distance blue water cruising boats.

 

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