Will from USWC here. I can answer any questions you have...
First off, this isn't really conceived as a 'sportsboat'. There are plenty of great sportsboats out there already. This is going to be sporty as hell, but capable of, and designed to do, short/medium distance races too. There are quite a few races that we'd like to sail that have a minimum length requirement of 30 feet, so 30 feet it is. The mummfarr comparison is pretty apt. The 30 is still my favorite sailboat - we build 'em, but nobody wants to buy one anymore :-( . Beating that boat is a steep, steep challenge. That is the goal though.
After about my 200th W/L of the year, I'm pretty ready for some environment enrichment. Tossing in a short overnighter with a bunch of my idiot buddies is a blast. Those short / medium distance races are an area in the sport that is growing and there really isn't an awesome, fun, entry level boat. We aren't pretending that this is a cruising boat at all, she's just a fun little raceboat. We do enjoy sailing with women aboard, so it does have a head!
The fixed prod has a ton of advantages. It's very stiff, so you can fly Code 0s off it. As mentioned, two tack lines can be nice. And... at speed it's really freakin' hard to keep water out of a retracting pole. As far as slip space goes .... http://www.youtube.c...h?v=mIUk08iYZKE
The keel is fixed. Structurally it just works better. 99% of the time, the boat lives at its home club, you can trailer with the keel attached. or, if you prefer, it is designed to go on and off pretty easily with a minimum of yard equipment needed. For the one time a year when you want to tow it to Key West or cross-country it is pretty easy to pop it on and off, and go low rider.
The runners aren't really runners. To have a real square-head main, you need 2 backstays. There ain't a flicker that can toss the backstay over the top of that head! The rig isn't going to fall down it the backstays are off.
As far as it not looking like a C&C-- What does a C&C look like? Is it a CCA boat like Red Jacket? An IOR boat like many of the 70's and 80's boats? The 29 was a stab at the MORC rule. Is it really cruisey like a Landfall or less cruisey like Evergreen? One of the cool things about C&C was they went with what was current and delivered race boats to the masses. There were more IOR certificates issued for the 35 than for any other boat.
Designing boats to fit the current mode of yacht racing is EXACTLY what the C&C of yore did. We’re just returning to those roots. We might put the cove stripe on the boom for the traditionalists out there.
Construction is medium tech. Vinylester, foam, glass, infused. The cost / performance on a 30 footer make carbon a bit like tail fins on 50's cars. There is carbon where it should be, there isn't carbon where it would just be a waste of dough.
Just for reference, the price is a few grand less than the J/88. I really doubt that there will be many people choosing between the two boats. If you want this boat, you probably don't want an 88 and vice versa.
I paid very little attention when this thread started. At first I thought "yet another 30 footer!".....but then I read Will's post and it got me thinking.
Here is a US builder/boat prep firm that many of us have done business with over the years. Here is a group of guys that have been racing sailboats with us when we were young crazies on the J24 circuit, still young and no less crazy on the Mumm 30s and now older, wiser and still a little crazy putting together their collective wisdom to put together a boat that they could see themselves racing for short medium distance racing or a run around the cans on Saturday afternoons or Thursday evenings. If it is the boat that they would like to sail............then it really could be a boat that a lot of us would like to sail.
So I read Will's post and I found myself nodding my head in subconscious agreement.
This boat is getting design input from a group of sailors whose judgment I trust and from the same group of sailors who will build the boat. Importantly, from a builder who has shown that they know how to stay in business and honor their checks for over 30 years now.
I am as happy as a pig in clover racing one design in my Viper, but I would like a boat to race on Thursday evenings at Vespers. I would like to do some short distance races on LIS. I'm thinking that I will take a look at this boat.
The detachable rather then retractable sprit really appeals. When I go up to a 30 footer, I want a dry boat and a stiff sprit.
I see there is some discussion about whether to go for detachable or retractable keel (comparing sarah's post to will's post). I will only comment that I see many of the J70s buying "high bunk" trailers and leaving the keel locked in the down position. Retractable keels work on 20'-24' boats, but there gets to be a tipping point as the boats get larger.....I'm just not sure where that is. I don't sail enough in this size range to have a view yet. I'm not sure I like the idea of a keel trunk taking up what little overnight space there is in the cabin.
Anyway, good luck with all this.