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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.