Balance is a George Buehler designed Otter 50. She was built by Dunn Boatworks in Indiana between 2002 and 2006. Her interior was completed in 2009 in Deltaville, VA, also by Michael Dunn of Dunn Boatworks. The interior cabinets, bulkheads, and trim – all wood for that matter – is either 3/4″ solid oak, or 1 1/4″ solid walnut. There is no plywood or veneer in the boat at all. The hull is 3/16” American mild steel with ½” on keel sides, and 1” at the keel shoe. The hull is exceptionally heavy duty and beautifully welded and crafted. There is no fairing compound on the topsides and the welds are perfectly smooth. The single hard chine is just below the water line, giving her hull a smooth and curvy appeal. This is by far one of the best built steel boats I have ever seen. The interior of the hull is uninsulated and sprayed with three coats of Devoe epoxy and shows next to no rust – only a few tiny spots that rub right off. We take great care to keep her dry and well ventilated and immediately touch up with new epoxy any spots that do show up. The electrical system is completely balanced and the large solar array provides more than enough charging capacity for the huge battery bank. Because of these excellent systems, LED lights, and new 12 volt equipment, we only run the generators for power tools, shop-vac, and maybe every two months for battery charging if it has been particularly cloudy, or during the winter months up north. While in Miami, the Keys, and the Bahamas, the sunlight provides all the power you can use.
Mr. Dunn built this boat for himself and his wife after a long career of building wooden and steel work boats on the Great Lakes. Unfortunately, he fell ill toward her completion and was forced to leave the boat on the hard in Deltaville,VA for over a year; we then purchased the boat in 2010. She had standing rigging, and a basic 120 volt shore power system; but no running rigging and no 12 volt system. I immediately went to work installing a state of the art 12 volt system, and rigging her with all new Harken, Schaeffer and New England Ropes parts. In the process, we sailed Balance from Deltaville, VA to Key West, back up the coast to Annapolis, MD, and from there back down to Ft. Lauderdale, through the Bahamas, and back to Miami where she is now on a mooring in Dinner Key, Coconut Grove. Balance is a very good boat whose life is just beginning. She was well designed, exceptionally well built, competently outfitted and very lightly used. She has many decades of life, travel and adventure through which to carry the right person/people safely, quickly and in style.
Balance is a true head-turner. We get more comments and attention in anchorages than we might like. People are very curious and impressed, and often jealous. She sails exceptionally well for such a heavy boat; easily cruising at 6 to 7 kts SOG in 12 knots of true breeze. We’ve seen as much as 12 kts SOG with approximately a two to three knot kick from the Gulf Stream, in 20 kts of true breeze. She prefers a broad reach and does very well down wind with the genoa. She climbs best to windward with the yankee and staysail combo. The main likes a reef in winds above 18 kts true, and two reefs over 25 kts true – while still carrying both the yankee and staysail. The mast is a continuos aluminum pole with 5/16” wall thickness and tapers from a 12” base to an 8” top – it is a highway-side light pole. The mast is rated to 120 mph winds without the rigging. This boat is extremely stout while staying simple and easy to sail. My wife and I handle her easily with just the two of us with the help of the lazy jacks, stack pack, autopilot, modern rope clutches, and all self-tailing winches.