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What about the Quest 30/33?


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All this 30-33 shorthanded talk has me wondering, why wasn't the 20 year old Quest 30/33 successful and what do the J/99, Sunfast 3300, Dehler 30, etc have over the Quest, even today?  

Seems like the Quest ticked all the boxes.  Water ballast, non-overlapping jib, not too light, not too heavy, twin rudders or single rudder, standing headroom.  They seem to rate right in the same range as these newer boats.  Might even be faster than a J/99.  

We wanted to buy a Quest twice in the last 10 years and both times we bought a different boat because there were no Quests available, but now I see at least 2 listed.  We have 3 fairly nice ones here in the PNW now. 

Lots of success offshore shorthanded already.  

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I looked really heavily, indeed put in an offer, on a Quest. When I was looking, there were like 5 for sale--I think they only made 13 or so. 

I think they were ahead of the times a bit. They were pretty pricey new, as I recall. 

I love my boat but every time I find some tiny, broken, un-replicatable European part on my boat, I wonder what life would have been like with the Quest...

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They are a bit dated now, so not sure how they'd do against the newest designs. There are several owners or past owners on SA so let's see what they say. The one in our area has not done well in part because it's way slow in light air due to lots of wetted surface and tough PHRF rating.

I looked at them long ago when they were new and just too pricey then, and have mixed feelings about Holby's build quality based on personal experience with a previous boat.

Cheers, Greg

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We have a Quest 33s in our fleet. As Greg says, it's a bit sticky in the light stuff. However, offshore it comes into its own. We were dueling quite well in 11 knots. Ours didn't use water ballast this year but will next year. It's a brand new boat to him and some of his sails are pretty tired, but I think it can still be quite competitive on handicap with newer designs.

If anything, like most of what Barrett Holby built, it's a bit overbuilt, so probably heavier than Rodgers intended. But it's set up well for short-handed sailing with a great setup for cross-sheeting jibs, recessed roller furler, and a decent sized sail plan. My biggest complaint about the whole quest line is the insistence of running the tack line through the pole. I did the Greenport Ocean Race on a Quest 30 and off the sw end of block the tack line parted. It was impossible in that sea state even with a full crew to run a new tack line through the pole. If I were going offshore with one, I'd want a way to run an external tack line as well.

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The Quest and the Grey Wolf ??? that carbon rigged one off of Rodgers where well known by most European designers.
Rodger walked the docks after Ostars in Newport, talking to Euro designers and sailors. He would have been successful in Europe.
It is were I did talk to him. Bicycle was his transport. Very nice guy. A pity the US market were not ready for his designs at that time.

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They look and sou d like great boats, US mkt wasn't/isn't yet oriented towards shorthanded racing. Perry's review says sail it flat, this was a late 90s pre monomaran design, interesting that some went the single rudder conversion.

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the Figaro 3 should have been the choice... not an outdated overweight barge... But then IASF/World sailing has a history of using old heavy out of date designs and ignoring any modern developments... Star.. Finn... Laser...49er... etc etc

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On 12/4/2019 at 8:16 AM, SSolo said:

the Figaro 3 should have been the choice... not an outdated overweight barge... But then IASF/World sailing has a history of using old heavy out of date designs and ignoring any modern developments... Star.. Finn... Laser...49er... etc etc

what does this have to do with the Quests? Post in the wrong thread? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/3/2019 at 10:30 AM, ryley said:

We have a Quest 33s in our fleet. As Greg says, it's a bit sticky in the light stuff

On 12/3/2019 at 1:04 PM, Bruno said:

interesting that some went the single rudder conversion.

Had a Quest 30 in our fleet that I understand did the single rudder conversion to overcome the light air stickiness problem.

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  • 8 months later...

I saw a Quest 33 out of the water a few years ago and it really caught my eye.  It seems like a boat that would keep me very happy.

I'm having a great time in my Mount Gay 30 from the same era   No interior amenities, but any boat envy I might have when comparing it to a J/99 for s/h racing goes away when I compare price tags.

I guess it's the packaging as a racer/cruiser that makes the modern crop so attractive vs some older racing boats, but maybe I'm missing something... Gotta go sailing on a new boat some time to find out what I'm missing.  In the meantime maybe we'll meet on the race course.  Bring it on!

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I've sailed both the Quest 33 and the J99 doublehanded.  If it was my choice I would go with the J99 as it surprised me at the acceleration in puffs and the overall setup of the boat.  In defense of the Quest the sails on it are currently tired so it has struggled in the light air (new ones are on order so we will see how it goes).  Note that these boats will be lining up again this weekend in Newport for the Sail for Hope regatta in a double handed class

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Had Quest hull#7.  One of my favorite boats.  Great for single and double handing.  Unfortunately, as one of the earlier sprit/asym boats, the asym spinnaker design was underdeveloped at that time.  Would love to see one with a modern shape asym  kite.  Very stable, great accommodations and near perfect for me when I switched to the single rudder config. Actually It would be fun to have one now. 

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On 9/9/2020 at 5:39 PM, nuttin honey said:

Had Quest hull#7.  One of my favorite boats.  Great for single and double handing.  Unfortunately, as one of the earlier sprit/asym boats, the asym spinnaker design was underdeveloped at that time.  Would love to see one with a modern shape asym  kite.  Very stable, great accommodations and near perfect for me when I switched to the single rudder config. Actually It would be fun to have one now. 

I have hull #7 now. PM me, I’d like to ask some questions about when you had the boat.

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On 9/9/2020 at 8:39 PM, nuttin honey said:

Had Quest hull#7.  One of my favorite boats.  Great for single and double handing.  Unfortunately, as one of the earlier sprit/asym boats, the asym spinnaker design was underdeveloped at that time.  Would love to see one with a modern shape asym  kite.  Very stable, great accommodations and near perfect for me when I switched to the single rudder config. Actually It would be fun to have one now. 

you mean like this?

Cepheus__083120-549-1-scaled.jpg?ssl=1

Cepheus just finished 2nd in the Sail For Hope race (behind Kenny Read in a Sunfast 3300).

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I have owned three of them.  #1 the fastest by far, and lightest built, #6 only epoxy one, and well we will keep the third out of this discussion (heaviest built).  Enjoyed two of them, and won the ida Lewis race double handed, second twice in solo/twin.  Each boat built is very different in displacement and fit out.  They were ahead of their time, but 2,000-4,500 over design weight, marketing got in the way of Rodgers initial design.  In RI they have a gift rating that should be 10-18 seconds a mile faster depending on which boat.  So if you can find one, and the core is good, with right gear give it a try, you will have a lot of fun.

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1 hour ago, Kincora said:

I have owned three of them.  #1 the fastest by far, and lightest built, #6 only epoxy one, and well we will keep the third out of this discussion (heaviest built).  Enjoyed two of them, and won the ida Lewis race double handed, second twice in solo/twin.  Each boat built is very different in displacement and fit out.  They were ahead of their time, but 2,000-4,500 over design weight, marketing got in the way of Rodgers initial design.  In RI they have a gift rating that should be 10-18 seconds a mile faster depending on which boat.  So if you can find one, and the core is good, with right gear give it a try, you will have a lot of fun.

The rating of the PNW boat "Koru" was also the subject of a PHRF-NW appeal a few years back. 

Perhaps the inconsistent build weights was a contributor to the rating difficulties?

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Agree, the weights are a problem, but not many want to get properly weighed.  Also getting an ORC rating would clear things up a bit.  But again, if you can find one, enjoy I always had a blast on mine.

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On 9/16/2020 at 1:41 PM, Kincora said:

They were ahead of their time, but 2,000-4,500 over design weight,

This is interesting. That's a HUGE discrepancy over design weight, but in some ways not surprising. I believe the Quests were all built at Barrett Holby's yard. He also built hulls 6 - 14 of the US Elliott 770s. Those boats were quite a bit heavier than the Florida-built boats, which were closer to the original kiwi boats. The story I heard was that Barrett made design changes on the fly that added the weight, much to the chagrin and consternation of the company owner. It wouldn't surprise me to find that he brought the same mentality to the Quests as well.

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The design weight was 4500 lbs, then marketing changed the boat before build, and it was 6500 lbs, which the first one came out as.  Others had different materials.  I owned and weighted the 6500 lb boat, best one built.  Then I also owned the heaviest, on same scale at 8800 lbs.  That one stuck in the mold and had to have the bow rebuilt, and also had two cyl inboard, heavier interior.  The lightest few have outboards.  The one I rebuilt (#6 Epoxy) I took inboard out, and changed all the wet interior to foam core panels and removed 1500 lbs.  That boat had two 3/4" plywood fwd bulkhead and foam filled compartment.  All black and wet sponge soaked.  Same with most of the interior structure. Still was only 6900 lbs after removing all the weight, and it is a tee bulb not a L-bulb, like boat #1.

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