1975 Spencer 1330

I’ve been having an on-line love affair with Spencer boats ever since we saw that 1968 Spencer 44, Mondo Mer, up in Seattle a year ago. Fortunately, that boat was recently purchased by a couple who have contacted us and are loving that boat. Whew! That was a close one.

I always love the way these boats look ‘on paper’ with their roomy interior and fine sailing abilities. So I was excited to see this 44 foot 1976 Spencer 1330 that has been listed for sale up in Vancouver, BC for many moons. When our broker called to make arrangements for to see this boat, he said we were just in time because the owner was having it surveyed in order to donate it to charity. WHAT??? We felt we better hurry because it might just be a great boat and maybe we could get it for a pretty good price.

The bow of the Spencer 1330 in the pouring rain.

True to Pacific Northwest form, it was pouring down rain. Literally.

My first impression of this boat consisted of two things: first, very pretty lines. I always notice that. Second, it’s really big. But it had many things that interested us, including a very nice steel hard dodger that protects the cockpit from rain and sun. We appreciated that on the day we went looking. This boat has a center cockpit, which is something we think we would like because it gives you an aft cabin that can be mighty comfortable on some boats. There are lots of opinions about center cockpits but since we’ve only owned two boats, and both of them aft cockpits, we figure we could get used to it.

You’d likely want windshield wipers. They would get a lot of use up here.

I also really like the idea of mast pulpits. I know there are many times I would appreciate them even on Moonrise. So having them out at sea would give me a feeling of security.

Hatch doors

I also thought the hatch doors were interesting and seemed extra sturdy. I think I would like this set up but have no experience with it myself. I admit that the rain was coming down so much that we didn’t spend as much time outside as usual. So on to the living quarters.

My niece and nephew enjoyed the salon on the Spencer 1330

I really loved the interior of this boat. Like the 1968 Spencer we looked at, this boat has an awesome layout that includes a versatile and comfortable salon. The full galley is to port at the base of the companionway, with a dining/chart table to starboard. Then you still get two decently sized settees and a good table in the main salon. What luxury that would be! The salon was a little dark due to the fact that there are no ports, only hatches. But lighting can be added.

Here’s the galley.

The galley was well equipped and had ample storage. Everything appeared to be in good shape.

The v berth in this boat was adequate and there is a full head for that cabin. There is a good hanging locker close to this berth and additional storage in the cabin. Storage is definitely NOT an afterthought in this boat.

The V berth

The passage to the aft cabin has good headroom, meaning you don’t have to crouch down and shimmy through to that cabin. There is also incredible storage all along the hull in that passageway. Engine access, which is basically an engine room, can be had here, and is also available through a door in the aft cabin. The idea of having an engine room fills my heart with joy for my husband’s sake.

Who doesn’t want this kind of easy-access storage on a boat?

Engine access galore! And an almost new engine, too. Can’t beat that with a stick.

The aft cabin in this boat (which is also accessible from the cockpit through its own companionway) is pretty nice. Yes, I would prefer the ‘centerline queen’ berth that some people say so scornfully when talking about the recent spate of condo-type boats. But that’s because I like my sleep and don’t want to have to crawl over Mike, or vice versa, to visit the head in the middle of the night. Generally more than once. But that would not deter me from this boat. We could live with it the way it is.

Here’s the aft cabin. I gave the berth a try and it was fine.

Both of the heads in this boat are large enough to be comfortable and have plenty of storage.

This is the head for the main cabin.

The interior of this boat is in very nice condition. Frankly, I cannot understand why this boat has not been sold but I wonder if its very size might have something to do with it. It’s only speculation, of course, but the only reason we walked away from this boat knowing we would not make an offer is because it is just too much boat for us. It’s really huge, which is why the accommodations are so great. There is plenty of room inside to do everything well. It is possible, though, that getting moorage for this boat in the Vancouver area might be a problem. Another boat owner we talked to there said there is a waiting list for slips in Vancouver.

Also, while this boat would be very comfortable, I kept thinking about how much we like sailing in our Puget Sound area and how much more trouble it would be to take out a boat this big. There are a lot of big boats in our marina, and they rarely leave the dock.  I also thought again about how I would handle a boat like this if Mike were incapacitated for any reason. I want to be as self sufficient as possible when we do our voyage. The very last thing I would feel good about doing would be to call for help because Mike was sick and I couldn’t handle the boat by myself. It makes me shudder to even think of it.

In addition to that, anything that went wrong on a boat this size would cost us a fortune and while everything looked good on the outside, I haven’t seen the survey for this boat so I have no idea if expensive repairs would be needed. I’m not sure we can really afford to keep a boat like this in good condition without compromising our retirement, and we can’t do that. I kept seeing dollar signs everywhere I looked. We’d have to get a mighty good price on a boat like this in order for it to pencil out.

Still, I am delighted we looked at it because it’s only by looking that a person can be sure of those kinds of things, and now I won’t bother to look at boats this big, even if I do like them. Every time we look at another boat, we learn something about what we want. So this crossed these worthy, but large, Spencers off of our short list.

9 thoughts on “1975 Spencer 1330

    • Kelley,

      This review was written in November of 2012. We do not know what became of her. We really did like the Spencers and on the West Coast, they do come onto the market from time to time.

      Good luck finding your next perfect boat but enjoy sailing Chance while you have her.

  1. Hi There,
    We bought this boat from the SALTS society. Have had it for 2 years now. Very, very happy with it. In the process of a refit as would expect for this age of vessel.
    There is a sister boat to this for sale in Nanaimo, B.C. right now. They came aboard and copied the aluminum dodger that we have and did a really nice job of it. Not sure why they put it up for sale actually. Let me know if you have any questions about these boats. I pretty much know them inside out now. They are not perfect but are excellent in many many ways. At time of construction were ahead of their time in many ways as well.
    Cheers,
    Ralph

    • How wonderful that this awesome boat found a good home. I went back and read my review of that boat and then had to laugh. We walked away from it because at the time we felt like it was ‘too much boat’. Then we went and bought a 47 foot Brewer!! Logic. It has no place in boat buying decisions. But you got an awesome boat. Sometimes I wonder if we should have held out for a Spencer, but we just knew our boat when we saw it. Very glad to hear this worthy vessel is in good hands! I remember that dodger and was very impressed with it. Our Galapagos has a full hard dodger as well and we love it.

  2. I think this boat started at “Bluey II” and I was the second owner …and had it for almost 20 years. I sold it and it was then renamed Sanctuary (3?). I know the new owner did extensive changes which I was not happy with as the quality of replacement / new items were not in line with the quality of the boat. This was a GREAT boat and we loved it – but our circumstances changed and it made sense to pass it on. Overall, probably one of the best sailing boats in its size.

  3. Hi !
    Thanks for this. Always interesting to know the history of the boat we now own. Over all I am happy with the descision we made to buy but it has been an immense undertaking (as a side project….Ha ha) anyway about 3/4’s of the way through a major major refit (4years I think)
    Other than bolting things through the balsa cored deck the construction is good. I just replaced 6 feet of the bow deck due to delamination. Installed a new hydraulic windlass system at the same time and no more coring nonsense. It’s all solid fiberglass up there now. How are you making out with your new boat. I have a feeling we are in similar circumstances. Hope it’s going well for you and you’re having fun with it too. If you ever sail up to the gulf island, let us know, maybe we can have happy hour together and swap stories.
    Cheers,
    Ralph

    • Hi there! Yes, we are down the coast now, taking our sweet time going to Mexico! I read your previous comment and wow, you really have done a lot to that boat! That’s a great boat, however, and I’m sure you will not regret any of the efforts you are putting into her. I bet she sails like a dream! Sorry we missed you in the Gulf Islands! We spent several weeks there waiting for our new headsail to come in. It remains a favorite destination and we have grown to really appreciate the quiet and protected anchorages those islands offer.

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