In Brief

Hudson Force 50 Line Drawing The Hudson Force 50 is a full keeled pilothouse cutter ketch, from the drawing board of William Garden, a US and Canadian trained naval architect. Introduced in 1973, they were built in Taiwan at the rate of twelve to fifteen per year until 1984 when the boatyard burned down.

They are nearly identical to the Formosa 51, the molds for the Force 50 come from the same plug that formed the Formosa 51. It is said William Garden did kind of a “private label” deal with Formosa, and some believe the Force 50 is has more of a seaworthy classic flavor with subtle improvements. The Force 50 is known to have less room below decks primarily due to her lower freeboard.

This is a go anywhere sailboat with a touch of the traditional complete with a long bowsprit and on some boats, wooden spars. Teak abounds above and below decks.

As testament to the boats seaworthiness, owner Tom Allen recalls a single handed passage between Los Angeles to Monterey, “I lost my main sail rounding Point Lobos in 55 to 60 knots of winds. I was popping out of 25 foot seas with half the boat coming out of the swell and then slamming onto the bottom of the wave. It sounded like someone taking a sledgehammer and hitting the front half of the boat. When I arrived in Monterey I kissed the ground realizing that this is a very sturdy 30 year old boat that I would definitely trust my life in.”

Interior and Layout

Three staterooms, master is aft with head, two double guest cabins forward with shared head and step in shower. Pilothouse with inside helm station, and lower saloon with desk. L-shaped settee to starboard going forward to starboard is a double guest cabin and to port is the head and shower. Forward is an upper and lower to starboard, workbench and cupboards to port.


LOA: 65′ 0″
LOD: 51’0″
LWL: 39′ 0″
Beam: 14′ 2″
Draft: 6′ 2″
Displacement: 52,000 lbs.
Ballast: 12.000 lbs.
Bridge Clearance: 65′ 0″

Headroom 6′ 4″
Engine: 85hp Ford Lehman
Fuel Tankage: 180 US Gal.
Water Tankage: 75 US Gal.

Designer: William Garden
Builder: Hudson Custom Boats / Ta Chiao
Year Introduced: 1973
Year Ended: 1983

Buyers Notes

The condition of these boats vary widely, some have been well cared for while others have been neglected to “desperately needing a refit” status. Prices for these boats can seem cheap but be aware fixes on boats of this size can be considerable, three to five times more than an equivalent 30 foot boat is a good rule of thumb.

Have your surveyor check the boat thoroughly in the usual places, the hull on haulout, the numerous through-hull fittings, bulkheads, chainplates and rigging, engine, drivetrain, electrical systems, and particularly the metal fuel tanks. Water intrusion in the deck and pilothouse area is sometimes a problem. Also check over the base of the mast and booms on boats with wooden spars.

Similar Boats

Formosa 51
Mikelson 51
Vagabond 47
Formosa 57

Links, References and Further Reading

» Owner’s online forum can be found at


Thanks goes to Tom Allen for co-writing, providing research and owner feedback to this article.


Hudson Force 50 Sailboats for Sale

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91 thoughts on “Hudson Force 50”

  1. Lynne P. McGinn says:

    Regarding The Magna Cum Laude. Built July 1979 by Hudson Enterprise Inc. Owned by my husband and enjoyed by his family until his death in 1990. Sailed mainly in Maine waters. Would love to know if she is still viable and sailing the oceans. When she was purchased, her new owner was contemplating taking her to the Caribbean as a charter boat!

  2. Philip Lindholm says:

    Stumbled on this site. My family sailed our ’79 Force 50 throughout Mexico from December ’81-April ’82, then left Marina del Rey in June of ’82 for 13 months in the South Pacific, specifically French Polynesia. I love this boat. Went through 3 hurricanes in her.

    1. S/V Camelot says:

      Hi everyone! My husband and I live aboard our 1984 Hudson Force 50 and she is glorious! One of the last out of yard, I believe. She has the port side settee next to the inside helm, cabinets to starboard, and a full galley below on starboard and additional storage and counter space on port. It is perfect for our little family. We’ve been refitting her and fixing her up for 2 years (ongoing) but still sail her back and forth from Florida to Bahamas. We are building a website and have launched social media platforms for the boat. I will be including repair videos, how to videos, and just plain fun ones! You can check us out on Facebook @saltyplanetsailing or on instagram as Salty_Planet_Sailing.

  3. erwin says:

    I am looking for a sail plan by a formosa 51 who did this for me. tanks

  4. erwin says:

    I’m looking for a hooft mast and behind mast and sails and a pulpit and even more things of a Formosa 51.
    I have bought a casco Formosa and wants him to have everything sailing is welcome .


  5. Mike says:

    Hi to all! I bought a Formosa 51 from 1981. She was in very bad condition except the interiour. Since 2 years I am doing a complete refit on her: new masts, new rigging, new teak deck, new electrics, new fridge, new oven, new everything, new paintings aso. I am from Austria, my ship now named “Paradise” is in Italy/Croatia. At the moment I am on the dry yard but will go back to water at the end of march 2016. – When I started I was a newbee, now I think I’m some kinda specialist 😉

  6. Hans says:

    I am in discussion with the chain plates supplier in USA and before I send parts to them I need to settle the price. To do this, they need more information about length, width and thickness. Unfortunately my boat and I are separated with an ocean between. If someone has the possibility to measure each chain plate, perfect would be together with a photo? I would be very grateful.
    Please use my e-mail;

    Thanks, Hans

    1. Mike says:

      hi Hans, did you already got your plates or measurements? I got a Formosa51. I am from Austria. Boat is in Italy.

    2. Hans says:

      Servus Mike

      It looks like that you are already finished with what is ongoing with my project right now. I want to know the feeling 🙂
      The old chain plates will be sent to USA next month, thanks but no measurements are needed. Did you replace you old masts with wooden or aluminium? I am considering to replace the rotten ones with masts with manual furling masts and furlex from Selden. Today I have my boat on Power Boats marina in Trinidad but I am from Sweden.

    3. Mike says:

      servus hans, are you on facebook? if so send me a friend request and i can add you to my hidden group showing all the ongoing on my formosa. this is me:

  7. Capt Ronrico says:

    This is a fascinating discussion. I am greatly interested in Bill Garden’s designs, and would like to hear more. Frank Kasala’s insider stories are particularly intriguing.
    These boats really deserve a website of their own. BUT – there’s a problem with that. The link given above (“”) is a dead end. It’s not completely dead – but it leads to an inactive page.
    Can I talk someone involved in Formosa/Force/Porpoise/Sea Wolf/Island Trader boats to set up an active website for these boats?

    1. Hans Bergenholtz says:

      Hi Capt Ronrico,

      i have found a living forum.
      see you there

  8. Christian says:

    We bought our 1974 buildt Force 50 in 2013 and did a major refit since then.
    Major tasks were:
    -Replaced the complete Deck core and finished the deck with nonskid.
    -rebuild the wooden spars into like new condition.
    -New standing
    -complete paint job on the hull
    -opened a couple blister below and above waterline and reglassed them.
    -new electric system from battery to main panel (rest will follow..)
    -complete new electronics incl. hydraulic autopilot
    -build a stainless steel radar arch incl. davids and hold 2 huge solar panels. 3rd panel is on pilot house.
    -and many other smaller jobs..!

    We had ZERO on a dry dock in Mexico and sailed her this year to Hawaii where we are at the moment doing some varnish and stuff..
    Anybody who is interested can visit our webpage
    We would love to stay in contact with you other owners. Is there a more active site than this one?

    1. Christian says:

      Our actual task is to unscrew the bronze porthole to reseal it. Does Anybody has a clue how to do this without damaging the porthole or the hull??
      The outer ring is screwed over the inner window body. But the thread is stucked ( of course!)
      Any ideas..?

    2. Bruce says:

      Hi Christian,

      We are in the process of refitting our Hudson 50, and have had all External Portholes removed. I will have a close look at them on Saturday and let you know about the fixings as I know there were one or two screws that could not be removed so the heads were ground off in order to release the porthole.
      This forum does not seem very active as I have posted a number of questions and have had no responses yet, and I haven’t discovered any other. But here is a question for you. Our Dolphin Striker is missing so could you tell me the length of your dolphin striker and the length of the stay from the hull water line fixing to the dolphin striker. Any photos of the dolphin striker would also be very welcome as we are having to manufacture a new one.

    3. Christian says:

      No problem.
      Send me an email to:
      And I’ll reply with some facts.
      On Facebook is a 50 owner group. Do you know it?

    4. Hans says:

      Hello Christian,

      We also bought our Force 50 in 2013 ( build 1974) and it was a little backlash for us but now we are ongoing with the refit.
      Today Ocean’s Carisma is on a marina in Trinidad.
      Ongoing repair:
      Removing existing wilting fiberglass deck throughout vessel (bow to stern) and also to remove complete top of coachroof and whellhouse. After removal a new deck would be installed using 5/8” marine plywood. The new marina playwood will be coated with e- bond epoxy. All glass windows will be removed and resealed. All teak trims on deck will be sanded and varnished. This ongoing job will be finished beginning of next year.
      Next step:
      All the chain plates, masts and rig need to be replaced. If you or someone have any information where to find chain plates or masts I would be more than grateful.
      I have found a company with good reputation in USA who can replicate the existing’s chain plates. I have some ideas to change position for two of the chain plates. This is to be able to remove the top connection (cable) between the main mast and mizzen mast. It would be great to get feedback on this one!
      The boat need to be repainted and ongoing discussion is same colour as today (blue) or white., it will probably be white, due to the lady in the house wants it that way.
      Ps. I think my wife found your webpage.

      Time schedule: I hope the we can launch her next autumn.


    5. Christian says:

      Aloha Hans,
      That Sounds familiar.
      We replaced the whole core as well. But why do you use 5/8″? We had original 7/8″ core and we replaced it with 2 layers of 1/2″ marine ply.
      After we reglassed the top we cut out before we glasses a complete later with 18 oz biaxial fabric over all and are very happy with it. The decks are rock solid and absolutely waterproof!!
      On our website are a couple Doris and in the first video as well.

      Good luck with your project!!

    6. Hans says:

      Hi Christian,

      I have been in Contact with the craftsman how is doing the job. He has done a few decking jobs on larger yachts using 5/8” ply and they have never had a problem with rigidity. The ply which was original used was not marine grade ply. They will use E-bond epoxy to put down the fiberglass where it will get a proper bond to the ply. With this design it will be better than the original deck.

  9. Hans says:

    I have been looking for technical information for the Hudson Force 50 without success. It looks like it is no valid information to find out there in the cyberspace. I have found these two books. Does someone know if they have solid information that can be used for the force 50? Title Yacht Design by William Garden
    Thanks in advance

  10. Frank A Kasala says:

    John Hartman, Now April, 2015. I have been waiting for an answer on any knowledge of my Force 50 (#2 plug) since early 2014?? If you have any data that would lead to “SEA QUEST” or Tom Post. Please advise?? e mail: Thanks, Frank A. Kasala

    new e mail it is correct

  11. Dale Bagnell says:

    Jim Fones
    Thanks for the email about Moonshadow. It would be great to get in touch. Can you please send me an email?

    1. Larry Wood says:


      I was the one who acquired Moonshadow from Jim Fones and had her for a few years. My wife, daughter and myself lived aboard when my daughter was about 10. We sailed her fairly extensively if only locally during that time. She was a cherished part of my life. I was in contact with the subsequent owner for a few years after. Moonshadow is somewhat well known in the Force 50 community. She has a special spirit to her. I’d like to know more about your plans.

  12. Toby says:

    Just thought I would introduce ‘Frangipani’ 1979 to the list of HF 50s mentioned here. She has a centre cockpit and a 6 cyl. 150 Lehman engine. I have owned her for about 4 years and am very slowly renovating her from almost scratch. Spruce masts have been completely overhauled and are the only things ready to go as yet.
    She is currently sitting on the hard in N.Wales.
    If anyone needs information from an almost bare interior then let me know.
    I am going to be looking for a sail plan soon so if anyone has any information I would be grateful.
    The pulpit was stolen a while back so I am also looking for the info required to fabricate a new one (photos, dimensions etc.).


    1. Hans says:

      Hi Toby,

      bought Ocean’s Carisma HD 50 for one year ago and now an overhaul is ongoing and it will take some years before she is ready for the blue water again.
      During autumn she will get a complete new deck, the current one has lot of soft spots due to leakage. The chain plates and masts and rig need to be replaced.
      Unfortunately this forum is almost dead so it would be great to get in touch so we can exchange information. Can you please send me an email?


    2. Bruce says:

      Hi Toby & Hans,

      We are also in the process of refitting a Hudson 50 in Turkey. In the second year of refit now but still loads to do, and plenty of questions still unanswered especially around the masts and rigging as we like you Hans have to replace masts/rigging and chainplates. Have posted on this forum before but never had any response, suggesting you are right Hans. Our Bowsprit and pulpit have just been refitted so if you still need photos and dimensions Toby, please let me know.

    3. Roy says:

      Hi Toby, I hope you don’t mined me asking . I have been in love with the sea since a small boy. Im now thinking of selling my house and buying a boat. I know nothing about boats but, I do love the look of the HF 50 and The Formosa. I know I would have to learn how to sail but would you say these boats are as good as people say ? Also I see you live in Wales . North Wales ? can I ask where in North Wales pls as my cuz lives there in Llanrwst He has a Pub there the Red Lion. Be Safe Roy

  13. John McCord says:


    Want to make a correction, Apriori is a “raised” cockpit not a center pit. Advantage? Full headroom and an awesome Cal king in the master!

  14. John McCord says:


    When I purchased my 1984 Venetian (center cockpit) I was a little concerned about the 75 horse Lehman not being enough power and I knew 120 lehmans were installed on earlier vessels.. 13 years in my hands and thirty years under the pilot sole, she is still running great! Prop design is the compliment to less powerful engines. She goes fast when I ask her too.

    Returning from Seattle to Monterey a few years back we were surfing over the ground at 14 knots. Awesome!!!

  15. jonn chism says:

    the force 50s are a real deal for some one that knows what they are doing! cant beleve some of the inputs by these experts. these people go to sea in modern egg shells that should not get out of sight of land. ignorance is bliss and they think they have it made. my friends look at me in horror when i tell them i like wooden masts. i paid my dues by building a ferrocement sailboat back in the 70s. my plan is to live it up on a nice boat in my retirement. no boat is maintenance free but some boats can be maintained with loveing care gladly. love the wood and its worth tht work for me.

  16. Kamau says:

    What is the hull speed of the boat (I assume around 7.5knt) can you motor at hull speed with the 85hp engine?

    1. Chris Juredin says:

      That is a good question I am dealing with right now since I want to repower my vessel, Frank said he had a Ford 135 Hp in his vessel the few Ive seen online are in the higher range ratings, maybe someone can chime in here, as I am looking at options a Beta Diesel 90 + range and John Deere 150 Hp range, and a Yanmar 90 Hp range.
      For Frank Kasala that is my boat now showing on this site the blue hull name Sea Fortune – as stated before the only paper work I have says Hardin 51 built 1972

    2. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi Chris, Please remember the Force 50 is a cruising Ketch Sail Boat. Not power boat. The comment of getting power for hull speed in not a wise move. Talk to pro. guys that know the problems of high speed broaching etc. Plus the added weight of a much larger engine throw off the balance that was designed into the boat in the first place. My Ford Lehman 125 was more power then the boat could handle.
      It worked well with a Capitol Heavy Duty Gear Box. Also, must get the correct working prop. that will not cavatate with normal use. Can’t force the high power issue. Your photos look great. Cheers, Frank

    3. Kamau says:

      Thanks all. Not suggesting trying to be a motor boat just trying to see how engine hp relates to hull speed. Im trying to power a 51′ sloop that displaces 32k lbs. The Beta dealer is telling me to go with a 60hp engine and run it hard because thats what diesel engines love. Im considering a 75 hp becaues when I compare boats of similar displacement thats what they have. Who do I trust…?

    4. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi Kamau, Go with what the pro. tells you. Do not know the lines of your 51 Sloop. The Harden – Hudson Force 50 had mostly Ford Lehman 80 HP. Mine had a Ford Lehman 125HP.
      Worked well in the Force 50.

    5. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Again, Chris, As I took a second look at the transom view of your Force 50, please tell me what is the shiny material covering the aft part f the hull? Looks glossy?
      Sea Fortune looks great!, Frank

    6. Chris Juredin says:

      Hi Frank
      I had the boat sprayed with Awl Grip, the gold lettering was painted over the transom and bow by my dad using a gold leaf paint, it has pure gold flakes, needs a dozen coats literally then a sealer, I could not find Awl Grip gold on the island and the gold colours on offer where not what I was looking for, this is the best match I could make, she is a work in progress and I am looking to repower her with a Perkins M90 for the teak I have been using Sansin stain and sealer which makes it really nice, and I am told should give me at least two years hassle free maintenance. We are busy finishing below before moving upwards, hope to have her sailing by August.

  17. Frank A. Kasala says:

    To: Blue Water Boats? Is your blog any relation to Blue Water Yachts, Taipei, Taiwan? Blue Water Yachts is located
    on Tam Shway river not quite out as far as Hudson Enterprise Yard. For any concerned: The Hudson Enterprise yard did not burn down! It is still standing. Run over with weeds and junk. Concrete does not burn! Cheers, Frank

    1. Dale Bagnell says:

      Hello Frank,
      I bought my 1983 Hudson Force 50 about 3 years ago. We are fixing her up for some extended Blue Water Cruising. My hull number is 111. Were there really that many of these boats built? I have one friend with a Formosa 50 and another friend with an Island Trader. The boats are similar in some ways and different in others . It would be great to get more info on the Hudson 50 and learn about solutions to some common problems such as the deck leaks. I brought Moonshadow around Pt. Conception in the early spring in heavy weather and these boats are very sea-kindly and dependable. It can take a lot more weather than I can! Would appreciate hearing from other owners.

    2. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi Dale, Yes, many of the Force 50’s were built. Along with the Hardin 45 and the Hardin 44 Sea Wolf. Up through 1983 most were out of the Hudson yard. However, Hardin also had his own yard in Kaoshung, South tip of Taiwan for the 44 Sea Wolf and the 45 Hardin designs. The late designs of the Force 50 were the Center Cockpit version. The Hudson yard did not burn down! It still stands, concrete with ragged brush and junk.
      The Formosa 51 is a complete different story. Can’t go into details, but it is same hull as the Force 50 (Hardin design) with a one foot more height in free board that makes it 51 foot. By adding sister frames it was easy to change the plug upper hull appearance to the Formosa 51.
      Cheers, Frank

    3. Dale says:

      It sounds like you have a lot of info on the Hudson 50’s . Can you tell me the location of the yard? My girlfriend and I were in Taiwan last year but we could get much info on the location. We were told that Hudson Enterprises had moved to China. I’d really like to get a complete history on the boats and the builder. Do you have any photos of the old yard when it was in operation? I just submitted a few photos of Moonshadow to this site. Hopefully they will get posted soon and you can see what I’m working on.

    4. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi again Dale, The Hudson yard was on the Tam Shway (sp?) river out further than the Blue Water Yacht yard. Blue Water built the Vagabound 47. That is the other side of the river from Ta Chou and Formosa. I have zero photos of that yard now as it is run down and I do not know the owners?
      The owner of Hudson moved to Canada when he closed the yard. Too many stories to tell on that era and some not to tell. I lived that era from Hong Kong and Japan. I am back in Japan for the near future. Can reply to questions that I can give the answers to. Cheers, Frank

    5. Irene says:

      Hi Frank,

      My husband and I are anxious to get “the rest of the story”
      regarding the Force 50 #1 hull which we purchased in 1988.


      Doug and Irene

    6. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Again, Dale, Reference the teak decks: I never had those problems on my Force 50 as I fiber glassed my decks at Hudson as in that time frame of 1972 – 1973 the caulking for the teak decks was not perfect like today. I have since rebuilt a Hardin 44 Sea Wolf with teak decks, had the same problem that you describe, stripped all teak, replaced the rotted plywood that seemed like scraps not full ply panels.Replaced the teak with new caulking, and fastenings and looked like a new boat. Sold my Hardin 44 Sea Wolf a couple of years ago. Cheers, Frank

    7. Dale says:

      I really like to look and feel of the teak decks. I sanded them all down last year and I’m re-fastening the planks and re-caulking the deck bit by bit. I applied a couple of coats of Semco to repel the water. I still have 6-8 leaks that I am tracking down and repairing one by one. We plan to go off cruising in a few years and if I can get a good price on teak in Thailand or somewhere else I’ll re-do the teak deck properly. My friend with the Formosa 51 had his deck done but it cost over $30K so it’s not a trivial undertaking.

    8. James M. Fones, II, CDR USN (Ret.) says:

      Good Afternoon Dale,

      Many years ago, 1990-91 I was the proud owner of S/V Moonshadow and we sailed her out of San Diego. I sailed her to Ensenada for a haul-out and bottom work and had her bronze port-holes cleaned. Notwithstanding large swells she handled very well and the trip was uneventful.

      Next I sailed her to Catalina with Mom on board (now 93) and even in gale force winds she was easy to handle. I ended up single handed because my mate got sea sick. We did lose a cleat on the main boom for the sheet but there are (were) two available. How thoughtful of the builder.

      The Bow mermaid suffered some damage from the anchor chain but she still looked great.

      Were you able to get the auto steering Unit to take the strain of heavy weather – I could not. On the other hand, the radar and flux-gate worked perfectly.

      Unfortunately the former Mrs. Fones was chronic sea sick – USN studies proved that near sighted persons with night blindness had near a 100% chance of being chronic. We sold her and the family that became her owner used her as a condo. Are the starboard bunks amidships still out and the space being used as a closet?

      I am jealous of you and your family – she was a good boat and on one transit I had her balanced perfectly with the mizzen, main, two jibs and a stay-sail. Do you still have the spinnaker with the Dragon?

      Thanks for reading this far and if you respond to my e-mail I will send the few pictures I have circa 1990.

      Jim Fones sends from Pensacola, Fl.

    9. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Again, Dale, Just saw your Moonshadow. Looks good. I missed one portin previous message.? 4 up forward. Your Bow Sprit looks changed from original? Cheers, Frank

  18. Christian says:


    i bought a Hudson Force 50 in June 2013 and now refit her to bring her back to the open sea.
    I do have some rudder problems. The rudder attachment to the boat has some play and water comes in.
    Does anybody got some detailed Information about the costruction of the rudder? (Photos, sketches, drawings etc)
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Dale says:

      Hi Christian,
      I hauled my boat to do a bottom job on it this summer and I spent quite a bit of time working on the rudder. I’ll post some photos to this site for you. I sanded it all down and drilled a couple of holes in it to see if there was any water in the voids but luckily it was dry. On my boat there are 2 stainless hinges that are still in good shape and the rudder post assembly is still tight and smooth so I didn’t take it apart. I did find that the rudder didn’t fit the keel very well so I spent a lot of time sanding and filling the hull side of the joint so that I have the same clearance everywhere and it doesn’t bind. I have hydraulic steering so it always felt pretty smooth anyway. There is a copper strap attached to the two rudder hinges and then two zincs are sandwiched on either side of that to provide some corrosion protection. I have a tiller handle that I have never attached to the rudder post but it looks original. I can’t imagine what kind of a gorilla arm you would need to steer one of the big old girls by hand. I’m not sure were you would get replacement parts for the Rudder. Perhaps Edson have some traditional parts that would work for you.

  19. Frank A. Kasala says:

    Reply to Tom Allen, Had a same experience, off the southern tip of Taiwan: hit a typhoon 9 hours 60 ft to 90 ft seas, headed up to Keelung. Under very slow power, diving and cresting. My daughter says the wave crests were twice the height of the main mast. That mast is 50 ft. on deck.
    My Force 50 was #1 “the Force 50 “plug” a world beater. All Hudson Force 50s fiberglass were built from my plug!
    Please also know the story on the history of the Force 50 Hudson is not accurate. I lived that experience and have all the 100% true facts. Cheers, Frank A. Kasala

  20. Frank A. Kasala says:

    Hi to all above and to the owners and previous owners of this world cruising yacht;”The Force 50″
    I have the true history of the Force 50 both from the Hudson Yard in Taiwan and also from the Hardin Yard also in Taiwan.
    I am the previous owner of #1 hull. I would not like to dispute the data over the true beginnings of this yacht as it would spoil the history printed above.
    My Force 50 was named “Anacapa” same as my e mail address.
    I am the person that financed the original Hardin Line of
    Force 50 yachts. Some built at Hudson. I am still in Japan and will share any details. The Formosa 51 is not as stated here either. Sorry to make any conflict. Cheers,
    Frank A. Kasala

    1. Chris Juredin says:

      i have just bought Grae Crest seized for smuggling drugs recovered off Virgin Islands she is in a very poor state any info on her would be appreciated – she has a glass deck some minor leaks and rot located in places solid marble counter tops teak below – balance is a shell seized engine wiring stripped and rats living all over paperwork aboard stated she was built in 1972 by Hardin she looks near identical to the Force 50
      Any info would be appreciated on the vessel i can supply photos she looks very strong and with sanding should bounce back – any recommendations on max hp for repowering?

    2. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi Chris, If it is a true Force 50 it can take a 125hp 6 cyl Ford Lehman. My Force 50 had that engine and it was the best. Good Luck.

    3. Chris says:

      Hi Frank
      Any recommendations on converting the aft cabin my boat renamed Sea Fortune has no aft windows i prefer none however would like a larger aft stateroom? It currently has a smaller double style bunk on port side i would also like a dual steering helm station its currently chain and i would like to keep it that way any advice?

    4. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Hi Chris, The thing that puzzles me is no port holes aft? The Force 50 had 2 port hole aft, 3 forward? Mine was configured as you describe yours. I have seen them with full or almost full bunks in the aft cabin but you would lose a hanging locker? You should check the bare hull to see if the ports were removed from the fiberglass hull?
      Also, check for a builder plaque with hull # etc. If the rest of the yacht follows the Hardin design could be a Force 50? On the port side one port hole was in the aft head. Let me know. Frank

    5. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Again, Chris, With reference to the steering stations?
      I had two stations and both were hydraulic. No problems except in extreme cases some air would get into the lines that caused a slow bleeding session. Other than that they were great. I had a lot of miles over my keel. Based in Hong Kong, RHKYC, and later in Japan. Sailed all local HK waters. Philippines, Taiwan, Japan. Cheers, Frank

    6. chris juredin says:

      Hi Frank
      I will look at the aft stern section, she may have had windows the only paper work I have states a Hardin 51 built 1972 she has chain steering and from Google pictures appears identical to most Hudson Force 50’s ive seen with exception of aft cabin, marble sinks and table below etc she does have a porthole in the aft bathroom i will post photos or email some if you are interested she is a project in the works – there is a hull number cut into the floor on the cross beam where the generator sat, any help would be appreciated! Thanks again

    7. Bruce Watson says:

      Hi Frank,

      We have just taken ownership of a 1985 Hudson Force 50 “Venice Edition” which is in need of a lot of love and restoration, including masts and rigging. Do you know where we might be able to find detailed and dimensioned sail plans. Also may need Hull drawings at a later stage to pass european CE certification.

      Kind regards


    8. Hans says:

      Hi Bruce,

      I have same problems with my Force 50. It would be interesting to know if you have found any information about your request. In that case could you please share it with me?

    9. Bruce says:

      Hi Hans, no luck yet on a sail plan, but will definitely let you know if I find anything (and please let me know if you find anything). The only thing I have is a table of standard/running rigging lengths, and the measurements I took of the existing wooden masts. Talking to an expert mast maker it has been suggested that I increase the height of both the main and mizzen masts to carry slightly larger sails which would better suit the lighter winds of the med.

    10. Irene says:

      Hi Frank,

      This is exciting for my husband and I!

      In 1988 we purchased the #1 hull (wood) Force 50 that was built in 1969 in Taiwan. We have done periodic research on our boat and wanted obtain the true history of the boat, without success.

      We were told that William Garden designed the boat and just discovered that it is a Hardin design because of you!

      We would be eternally grateful if you supply us with all the history you have and where we could continue this journey.

      Thanking You In Advance,
      Doug and Irene

  21. Micke says:

    I am looking in to buy a force 50 at 45 000US .She seem to be in good condition with a lot of new additions,such as sails and autopilot and more.The bad part is the masts are wooden.The deck is fibreglass and the seller says that is original-can that be true?She is built 1974 ,so must be one of the first ones ?
    I am grateful for any opinions of the price and also any additional info re. the boat.

    1. Dale says:

      $45K for a Hudson 50 sounds like a remarkable deal. Make sure you have a good surveyor go through it completely . I’ve owned my 1983 for 3 years now and I’m very glad I bought her as these boats are great Blue Water cruisers but they really need to be maintained. They are small ships with complex systems and take a lot of TLC to bring them up to par and keep them there but I for one think that it is a worthy cause. Best of luck with your purchase.

    2. FRankA. Kasala says:

      This is for Chris:There was no reply note so this is an answer to The info.: On the plaque”Hardin 51″ Built 1972
      That is a very early Unit. My “PLUG” (the second plug)
      for the Force 50 did not have 51′ on the plaque as the unit is actually only 50′ 10″. In 1972 Hardin and “other yards” were having a battle. WE the Hardin yards were foreign intruders to that Country Yacht building Industry. Can write a book on the subject. Any other questions please ask? Cheers, Frank

    3. Chris says:

      Hi Frank
      Thanks for the reply, I have tried to post photos of our boat on the Facebook page and I cannot any suggestions to post here would help, I am near certain she is a Hardin Force 50 built 72, I wanted your opinion however as we are undertaking a major refit, thanks again

    4. Frank A. Kasala says:

      Chris, Must be a force 50. Early model? First I have heard that Bill put in a plaque with 51 Ft.? More correct then 50ft as it is actually 50ft 10″. Cheers, Frank

  22. John Hartman says:

    While in the U S Navy, I was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan 78-82. I was able to crew and live on a 1972 ( I know some don’t believe this year) wooden mold that was built up and sold as a completed vessel. I had so many happy memories of her. Her name was Sea Quest home ported out of San Francisco, Ca. The owner’s name was Tom Post. She left Yoko around 1982 headed for stateside. If anyone can tell me what happened to her since, I would really love to know.

    1. Frank A. Kasala says:

      John Hartman, I am Frank A. Kasala, Former owner of the Sea Quest re named after I sold it. Original name Anacapa. Tom Post took ownership of that yacht after he purchased
      1/2 of my yacht from my devorced previous wife! His current story is not known, I do know that while at Yokuska, he had many problems. My last knowledge is: He sailed to Manila? after that all trace vanished. I have been trying to trace the yacht since that time. Yes, that is the original “plug” for the Hudson Force 50. So all the fiberglass Force 50’s are on the water because I built the plug that furnished the mold for Hudson Ebterprise, Jimmy Chen, Owner. I am in Japan and would like to get a trace on my”PLUG” There is 1000% more to the story. Cheers, Frank A. Kasala

  23. Gary Czarnecki says:

    I bought my Formosa 51 1979 “Eagle III” Canadian registry out of Vancouver July 2010 in Puerto Vallarta ((Barry Kerfoot). Love my boat! Re-registered her back to USA original name “Eagle” (out of Boston/Joeseph Pesaturo) and now resides in Cabrillo Way Marina, San Pedro. Planning on going to Carib (Red Hook) and Med 2016-7. Crew inquiries welcome.717-309-4385

  24. Farrell Vanderree says:

    We have owned our Formosa 51 “Solskin” since 2004 and have refitted her extensively with new spars, standing rigging, sails etc. We removed the teak decks and have fiberglass finished with Inter-lux single part polyurethane which has proved very durable and easy to re-finish as required. Our travels from our home port on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada have included a winter in Mexico, several trips around Vancouver Island, and many adventures among the many islands of our coast. This summer we voyaged to the islands of Haida Gwaii (formerly called Queen Charlottes)and visited the amazing park Gwaii Haanas often compared as a northern Galapagos. We have put a short video on youtube of Solskin on this adventure if you are interested in seeing one of these boats under sail.

  25. Bob Austin says:

    Good to see this web site! I owned “Locura” a Hudson Force 50, from 1981 thru 1986. She had less than 100 hours on her when I purchased from University of Calif. Irivine for 90K. We lived aboard over 4 years and traveled 41,000 miles on a voyage from Calif. to the East Coast of US, Across the Atlantic to most of the Med, up to the Balitic, Canaries, Caribbean and back to Calif. During the Atlantic Crossing we had 6 days of heavy winds, at times well over 65 knots (the limit of the aeronometer) and breaking seas documented at 40 plus feet. We too one roll which put the spreaders in the water. There was some damage to the bow sprit grating (and I had to secure the outboard ends of the lower spreaders, which had risen, with down hauls, until I could re-wire them in place. The boat handled well with the engine ticking over at 1200 RPM, and the staysail only up on auto pilot the entire way. We had one storm where we had to run back–going inbound thru the Straits of Gibralter against a Lavente with very steep seas. Alan Bond’s Southern Cross (105 footer) had extensive damage and turned back to Cadiz at the same time. Our trip from the Canary Isles to Barbados was about 2800 Nautical miles and we averaged 180 miles a day, or 7.5 knots–not bad 100% under sail. We did leave the Spinaker in the middle of the Atlantic–a squall blew it out at night. We also carried a 150% genoa. We never got the boat over 9.8 knots speed thru the water (sorry current doesn’t count)- and it was digging a big hole then! We never had a 200 mile day, but many in the high 190’s.

    The weakness of the boats was the teak decks and leaking. If I had kept the boat , I would have removed the teak decks, and gone with just glass. There is “mystery” wood core in the decks. Also the booms and masts are prone to glue failure and potentially rot. Some boats have had these replaced with Aluminum spars. There was a later model which had a larger aft cabin, with the cockpit on top.

    We know the boat got to Nassau with the owner I sold it to in the late 1990’s. I saw her for sale about 2005 in New Orleans–and looked to be in sad shape then. We also saw two of the Force 50’s which had been confiscated by DEA because they were hauling drugs–and we were profiled a number of times by US Coast Guard.

    Overall one of the best cruising boats her size, and very sea worthy. We had considerably larger tankage than listed above. As I recollect 250 of fuel and 250 of water, plus we carried a fuel bladder tank under the main saloon of 200 gallons. Our next long distance cruising boat was a Cal 46, because we did not need the size or accommodation of the Force 50.

    1. Maxwell says:

      I would love to be able to be pen pals with you mr Austin.
      I am the current proud owner of your old boat. Your stories would mean a great deal to me and probably more.
      I’m about to relaunch the boat after a couple of years of refinishing her!
      Hope to here more from you and if you want to keep up I can send you a photo or two.

    2. Bob Austin says:

      I would be very pleased to correspond with you. My e-mail is: I apologize that I had not seen your reply that you currently own my old “Locura”–I had feared that she was lost in Katrina.

      I am also very happy to correspond with any owners; having over 41,000 miles at sea with the boat, I have a fair about of knowledge about their habits–and care/maintenance!

  26. forrest broom says:

    I have been rebuilding a Force 50 for 10 years after salvaging from 70 ft. Of water. Last but not least is the bow sprit- would you know the lenght? I am also interested in the main and mizzen heights please. Thanks Forrest

    1. Mike says:

      My wife and I just rescued a Hudson Force 50 that was for sale for over a year and showed so poorly that no offers were made and was eventually offered to 501c-3 charities to fix up and sell and they refused her. So we took her on to get her out of her slip in 30 days and she is our new 4th “child”. So I can get you her dimensions or any info you want from our boat.

    2. forrest broom says:

      Hi Mike, thanks for your reply.
      I need the over all measurement for the bowsprit, the measurement between tacks for staysail and jib on the bowsprit.
      thanks , Forrest.

  27. marcus harrington says:

    Hello All, SO VERY MANY people, all over the forums and internet, are enquiring about the differences between the Hudson Force/Formosa/CT54/Mikelson group of yachts. If someone knowledgable did a proper comparison/review, it would be one of the sailing community’s most popular articles! Needless to say, I’m another one interested in acquiring one of these yachts, having spent weeks surfing the web for information about the differences!

  28. Guido Blasi says:

    Can you please give me more information on the actual position and price ?
    Thank you, Guido Blasi

  29. angelo says:

    I own a force 50 and I am re doing most of the systems. I would like some info from other owner operators as to what their exhaust set up is. The engine I have is a Ford Lehman 2722E. Also any information about the keel construction,bolts and any known problems would be appreciated.

  30. Cassiers Daniel says:

    I am a Belgian living most of the time in France, and also own a force50 currently being rebuilt in Deale MD. USA . Can anybody tell me what happened to the force 50 website ?

  31. Rick Benko says:

    I sail a Hudson Force 50 and agree with the comments above.  Ours is a 1980 center cockpit version without the pilot house.  We sailed her up to the Chesapeake (where we keep her) from St. Petersburg, FL following the Gulf Stream.  We logged a day with average speed over 10 knots over the ground (13.8 knots max!).  All four sails were up on a starboard beam reach.  She was barely heeled over 15 degrees … smooth and dry.
    Capt. Rick

  32. Chris says:

    I also like , the Hudson 44 Sea Wolf Ketch. Hudson Seawolfs are popular for their sea worthiness and sailing capabilities.
    It is one of todays’s most successful and exciting ketches.This is a really comfortable center cockpit cruiser. The basic layout of the
    yacht allows for four separate enclosable partitions. Any crew member can obtain
    privacy by just closing a door in a designated cabin. The captains quarters
    contain a huge king size bunk and its own head and shower. The guest quarters
    also contain a double berth, a head with its own shower as well. The largest of
    the cabins in the main saloon containing a U-shaped sitting area that converts
    into a double bunk. The last of the cabins is the crew quarters that contain two
    comfortable single upper & lower bunks in the forepeak. The entire interior
    is teak. All of the doors, lockers, tables, throughout are teak. All the
    necessary equipment to cook your favorite gourmet meal while anchored in your
    favorite spot and includes everything necessary to make your trip in safety and

  33. iÑaki says:

    What an amazing boat!!!  hope to own one not so far…

  34. Frank says:

    The Hudson Force 50 in the photos was built in 1979.  My wife and I purchased her in 1992 and lived aboard for 15 years. We sold her in 2007.
    She was named “Christy Lee” when we purchased her and then we changed the name to “HoneyDo II”.  In 2010 she was renamed to “Juliana”.

    Part of her beauty that you can’t see from the photos is the complete Teak interior.  It was really beautiful.  I hope the latest owner is enjoying her as much as we did.

    1. Mike Morgan says:


      I found a Hudson for sale in California on eBay, built in 79, and the seller purchased her 8 years ago. wondering if it could be your old boat? Just looking for any info I can find before going for a look. Thanks.


  35. Rtdnathanson says:

    This vessel was not built by Cheoy Lee. It comes from Hudson Enterprises, Inc.  in Taipei, Taiwan. Cheoy Lee is a family owned and operated shipyard in China.

    1. Rosiemac says:

      Hi, thanks for your input and you are correct. Apologies for the inaccuracy. Have amended the article accordingly. Cheers Rosemary

  36. Richard Jordan says:

    You should mention the brand names Mikelson and Venice. I think these refer to same design that you call the Formosa 51. Last year in our little marina, there just so happened to a Force 50 and a Mikelson 51 slipped next to each other. Side by side the differences were striking and to my eye much to the favor of the Mikelson 51. The Mikelson was sloop rigged compared to the Force 50’s ketch rig. She also had a bald clipper bow compared to the Force 50’s bowsprit. But the real attraction was the more pronounced sheerline and excessively raked mast which gave the Mikelson a romantic style that more plain Force 50 didn’t quite stir. Watch out for the leaky teaky decks!

    1. Rick Benko says:

      Not all Mikelson’s are sloops.  We visited one in Annapolis which was ketch rigged with the bowsprit and Sitka Spruce spars.  “Skol” was for sale at the time for $300K.  She had everything including a dive compressor … beautiful boat!

    2. Hans Bergenholtz says:

      I bought HD 50 for one year ago and now an overhaul is ongoing and it will take some years before she is ready for the blue water again.
      Maybe this is not the right forum for my questions but I try anyway. I need to replace the complete rig and chain plates. Does someone have information where to buy new chain plates? I am also looking for blueprint over this boat or similar information.

    3. Roy says:

      Hi Hope this may help you,I just seen this on youtube

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