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Sweetest sailing old plastic?


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For my long term retirement plans. What is the sweetest sailing old plastic for a windy place like The Bay? I don't mean fast or any of the usual yardsticks, but what boats give you that difficult-to-describe feeling of being a sweet and pleasurable sailor on all points. For my use it will be an oldish plastic boat 27 to 37 feet long, but I am curious about any "sweet sailing" design that I have been missing. It is important that it is "sweet" on all points - there are many boats that can point or run well, but not so many that do it all.

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With reefed sails and a double bottom with a bilge pump and maybe more lead, ok, Solings aren't bad for singlehanding around the Bay if you never put a kite up but I would raise the boom and want a big window in the jib. The thin polyester layup tends to go soft so maintenance costs go up. Ntm wet.

What about a Sonar? Or any fractional old Kirby?

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an 80s Ericson (especially 32-III, 34-II, 35-III) would be my choice.

Well, technically, "is" my choice.  I love my 32-III.  Perfect combination of good sailing and comfort, and very well built.  For the $, I don't think there's better.

$.02

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A Tartan 30 is worth a look. No bad habits, solid build and the tiller makes for good short handing. The usual 130 jib would be too much for the bay but you probably could not go small enough to self tack.

 

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7 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Any old Cal or non-IOR Ranger.

Ranger 26 or 29. Great sailing, good looking, relatively well built, well rounded characteristics.

I'm not as big a fan of the Cals but there's not much wrong with them either. I sailed the hell out of a Cal 34 back in the day

FB- Doug

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Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I'm not geriatric yet, so sweet sailing does not have to mean easy sailing, but they often go together, right. I have been a Folkboat fan for a long time, but might want to do some long distance offshore work too, so is not so well suited for that. The Ericson 32, Rangers and Cals (I've always thought the 29 was a sweet looking boat) give me lots to think about.

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52 minutes ago, Guvacine said:

... want to do some long distance offshore work too....Ericson 32...

Previous owner sailed Ericson-32 to Kauai and return.  Still says it was the best all-around boat he's ever owned.  I might be biased, but I agree.

 

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1 hour ago, Guvacine said:

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I'm not geriatric yet, so sweet sailing does not have to mean easy sailing, but they often go together, right. I have been a Folkboat fan for a long time, but might want to do some long distance offshore work too, so is not so well suited for that. The Ericson 32, Rangers and Cals (I've always thought the 29 was a sweet looking boat) give me lots to think about.

We have a cal 34 and even though based in light air, mostly use a 108% jib for easy handling. When friends are motoring, we find she will sail just fine. Trick with the cals in particular is to not load them up with shit. They start squatting in the transom. I like the rangers, Ericsson,  and some of the islanders, but the cals really tick all our boxes

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1 hour ago, Guvacine said:

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I'm not geriatric yet, so sweet sailing does not have to mean easy sailing, but they often go together, right. I have been a Folkboat fan for a long time, but might want to do some long distance offshore work too, so is not so well suited for that. The Ericson 32, Rangers and Cals (I've always thought the 29 was a sweet looking boat) give me lots to think about.

If you like the 29 you should look at the 34 - essentially the same boat but bigger and more comfortable.

Looks the same, layout is the same, basic hull design is the same - just bigger.

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1 hour ago, notallthere said:

We have a cal 34 and even though based in light air, mostly use a 108% jib for easy handling. When friends are motoring, we find she will sail just fine. Trick with the cals in particular is to not load them up with shit. They start squatting in the transom. I like the rangers, Ericsson,  and some of the islanders, but the cals really tick all our boxes

You got so lucky with that purchase!

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An Islander 36 should be on the the list, a 50 year old design but well balanced  and should be quality boats at a good price point availability.  They're slow (PHRF 144), but have generous interiors and were solid FG (glass over plywood decks) so don't break up with time.

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4 hours ago, Hitchhiker said:

You got so lucky with that purchase!

I was patient and waited for one that someone had already spent cash on the expensive shit. Honestly figured it to be a few years boat for us and then move up. We are still smitten with her! Really fits our needs well in a tidy package. Hell, we lived aboard (wife, me, 2 kids, and a dog) for 9 weeks this year while in between houses! She is headed to the yard later this month for a full paint job.  Figure she deserves it for her 50th birthday this year...

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9 hours ago, SloopJonB said:
10 hours ago, Guvacine said:

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. I'm not geriatric yet, so sweet sailing does not have to mean easy sailing, but they often go together, right. I have been a Folkboat fan for a long time, but might want to do some long distance offshore work too, so is not so well suited for that. The Ericson 32, Rangers and Cals (I've always thought the 29 was a sweet looking boat) give me lots to think about.

If you like the 29 you should look at the 34 - essentially the same boat but bigger and more comfortable.

Looks the same, layout is the same, basic hull design is the same - just bigger.

If it's not an issue with dock/slip space, I'd say the same for the Ranger 29 vs Ranger 33. The 33 is -just- enough bigger that it feels quite comfy inside and solid sailing. And no more work to handle or keep up.

I had a good friend with a Cal 34 that we sailed hard, all over. It was a really well mannered boat. I just think the Rangers are a little better looking!

FB- Doug

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Swede 55 from Knut Reimers is still a head turner.
swede_55_photo.jpg.0a90f0d67479fd575c17642a802d26db.jpgswede55-skye2small-549x351.png.84588e915af30daa446885b93c894007.png

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22 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

If you like the 29 you should look at the 34 - essentially the same boat but bigger and more comfortable.

Looks the same, layout is the same, basic hull design is the same - just bigger.

Are you referring to the 34 MK 1 (and 2)? It looks like the Mk 3 was a redesign.

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23 hours ago, sledracr said:

Previous owner sailed Ericson-32 to Kauai and return.  Still says it was the best all-around boat he's ever owned.  I might be biased, but I agree.

 

I loved this video when it came out! I assumed it was a bigger boat. Indeed looks like a pretty sweet sailor.

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1 hour ago, Guvacine said:

Are you referring to the 34 MK 1 (and 2)? It looks like the Mk 3 was a redesign.

Mk1 had twin quarter berths and galley along st d side

Mk2 has galley port and aft

Mk3 is similar to the 2 if memory serves. It does have some changes on deck including anchor locker and taller rig

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1 hour ago, Guvacine said:

Are you referring to the 34 MK 1 (and 2)? It looks like the Mk 3 was a redesign.

Yes - the 2-29 and the original 34 both from the late 60's.

The starboard side galley and dinette (California) layout works very well.

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On 1/5/2020 at 10:06 AM, SloopJonB said:

Looks the same, layout is the same, basic hull design is the same - just bigger.

All the Cals are the same, just longer or shorter. Except the 2-46, which has an extra station on one side of the hull. 

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On 1/5/2020 at 5:34 PM, Guvacine said:

...

I have been a Folkboat fan for a long time, but might want to do some long distance offshore work too, so is not so well suited for that...

 

Well there are quite a few who disagree with that assessment, more than a few transatlantics and circumnavigations have been done on Folkboats!

Probably not as comfortably as on some of the other suggestions I admit :P so that might be a factor to take into account, but the boat can handle it.

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The reasons I suggested a Soling:

0) They are beautiful. You don't need a boat, so you might as well have a beautiful one.

1) Very, very cheap or free

2) Easy to dry sail or keep in a slip

3) Self tacking jib

4) The sweetest helm of any monohull

5) Wonderful motion in a seaway

6) They haul ass downwind, they go to windward wonderfully. They are VERY fast and fun with trapeze!

7) As tweaky as you want to be, or completely simple and benign.

8) Only low loads, so safe for unskilled guests

9) No cabin! So you spend time sailing instead of cleaning the head, cushions, mildew, and all the other cabin sailboat work list items.

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32 minutes ago, carcrash said:

The reasons I suggested a Soling:

0) They are beautiful. You don't need a boat, so you might as well have a beautiful one.

1) Very, very cheap or free

2) Easy to dry sail or keep in a slip

3) Self tacking jib

4) The sweetest helm of any monohull

5) Wonderful motion in a seaway

6) They haul ass downwind, they go to windward wonderfully. They are VERY fast and fun with trapeze!

7) As tweaky as you want to be, or completely simple and benign.

8) Only low loads, so safe for unskilled guests

9) No cabin! So you spend time sailing instead of cleaning the head, cushions, mildew, and all the other cabin sailboat work list items.

All true, but hard to keep flat,  and really wet.  At C.O.R.K we set the spinnaker after the last race one day and planed the miles (seven?)  back to the keelboat harbor. The three of us huddled aft next to the helmsman to keep the bow from submarining into the waves we were shooting through. A handful in 20+ knots of wind.  Etchells might be a tad more relaxing. 

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7 minutes ago, PaulK said:

All true, but hard to keep flat,  and really wet.  At C.O.R.K we set the spinnaker after the last race one day and planed the miles (seven?)  back to the keelboat harbor. The three of us huddled aft next to the helmsman to keep the bow from submarining into the waves we were shooting through. A handful in 20+ knots of wind.  Etchells might be a tad more relaxing. 

Nope.                                                    :)

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On 1/5/2020 at 6:56 AM, Al Paca said:

A self tacking headsail should be in everyone’s retirement plan. 

Or an agile trophy bride. The self tacker might be cheaper though.

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On 1/5/2020 at 9:28 AM, sledracr said:

Previous owner sailed Ericson-32 to Kauai and return.  Still says it was the best all-around boat he's ever owned.  I might be biased, but I agree.

 

Hadn't seen this in a while - but now it is playing, in a minimized screen, in my office.......well work can wait a bit :rolleyes:

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52 minutes ago, sadug said:

Hadn't seen this in a while - but now it is playing, in a minimized screen, in my office.......well work can wait a bit :rolleyes:

So he moved up after that to a 38.  Love his videos - perhaps my favorite series on the YTube.

--------

Question for the group:  How much of a concern is it that Ericsons and some of the other boats shown doing crossings do not have skeg-hung rudders? Would this be a deal-killer for you?

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At what age is a boat considered Old?
My Zap 26 is the last known boat out of the molds in 1988.

below the water it reflects everything a modern sport boat has. Above it has the old flared beam.

I'd say it's a modern design built before it's time.

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On 1/4/2020 at 5:27 PM, steele said:

A Tartan 30 is worth a look. No bad habits, solid build and the tiller makes for good short handing. The usual 130 jib would be too much for the bay but you probably could not go small enough to self tack.

 

I'll enthusiastically second the Tartan 30. I have owned one for years, and my daughter owns one down in the bay area.

You haven't really said what you want to do with the boat. If it's to go fast on day sails and look pretty doing it, then maybe something like the Soling is more up your alley. But if you anticipate multi-day trips with friends and family, with the occasional foray out the bay, then the T30 is a great balance of comfort, performance, and prettiness.

Something else to consider, are you going to keep her at a marina? For many marinas, slips for 30' and under are available and not too pricey. You go above 30' and you're typically talking waiting lists and big step up in cost. LOA of the T30 is exactly 30'.

By the way, my daughter's Tartan 30 is currently for sale in Vallejo. It's a beauty.

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2 minutes ago, wristwister said:

Um ... yeah, the OP specifically said "old plastic".

old metal. same age..

Image result for 1974 dodges

 

idk. but pretty much the boat to buy is the one you see a good deal on and kinda like.. my boat is old too, but more like this..

Image result for 1986 automobile

 

 

 

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idk. if you are to put effort into a boat - and any boat is always going to be some work. better to own some random production boat - or something with 'style'.

PS: I was going to go out on a limb there with the word 'value' - but we all know that simply ain't true. ;)

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9 hours ago, Mr Moab said:

Interesting statement “Ideal candidate(s) would be knowledgeable and experienced sailor(s) that don't need inspections, history, etc.”

LOL that's priceless! In other words, sucker prospects preferred.

Well, somebody bought it. I wonder what they paid for it.

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10 hours ago, Bruno said:

Swan would be nice but overpriced, tempted to strip teak and redeck with foam or something.

yes. There are plenty candidates for this - notably baltics and swans. one would think removing the teak would be a good thing - less weight too.

However, on some boats the teak is part of the boat (deck) structure as well?

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On 1/4/2020 at 11:04 PM, Steam Flyer said:

Ranger 26 or 29. Great sailing, good looking, relatively well built, well rounded characteristics.

I'm not as big a fan of the Cals but there's not much wrong with them either. I sailed the hell out of a Cal 34 back in the day

FB- Doug

The 33 is pretty decent also ...for a relic

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Had a Yamaha 33 many years back that would check all your boxes. I used mine as R/C one time and a Cal 34 rammed me at the finish line. Tore the living crap out of the Cal. I had some minor gel coat damage that buffed right out (really). Great boat for SF Bay area but a real kelp catcher in SD. By far the best layout below in a 33 footer.

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Contessa 32, 

A Contessa 32 was the only yacht in the small boat class to finish the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race, in which 15 lives were lost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contessa_32

Contessa_32_sailing_2.thumb.jpg.e0e86f42c0b979d7f31ee0279dc34487.jpg
114469499_Contessa32.jpg.4d4a2a61696bd248f19b52e39dd4d543.jpg
They are still sold for good value:
Contessa 32 Eur 29,500.=
 

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5 hours ago, Schakel said:

Contessa 32, 

A Contessa 32 was the only yacht in the small boat class to finish the disastrous 1979 Fastnet race, in which 15 lives were lost.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contessa_32

Contessa_32_sailing_2.thumb.jpg.e0e86f42c0b979d7f31ee0279dc34487.jpg
114469499_Contessa32.jpg.4d4a2a61696bd248f19b52e39dd4d543.jpg
They are still sold for good value:
Contessa 32 Eur 29,500.=
 

That raises an interesting point. The Contessa 32 is cirtainly a classic, but as an old boat it's slow and has less room in than I can describe, the Mrs would do her nut. Also as a cult boat it's frankly overpriced.

So back to the OP's original question what's sweet and what's currently viable?

To make the point the Contessa33 may not be a classic, but it's a fantastic yacht. Much quicker, much more space, half the price.

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33 minutes ago, European Bloke said:

That raises an interesting point. The Contessa 32 is cirtainly a classic, but as an old boat it's slow and has less room in than I can describe, the Mrs would do her nut. Also as a cult boat it's frankly overpriced.

So back to the OP's original question what's sweet and what's currently viable?

To make the point the Contessa33 may not be a classic, but it's a fantastic yacht. Much quicker, much more space, half the price.

There's a Contessa 35 sitting in Ontario advertised at $19k.  Might make a good first project boat for somebody.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1977/contessa-35-3497186/

(bet it's very negotiable, since the owner didn't even take the trouble to remove the dirty dishes from the sink to make his photos.)

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3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

They seldom do.

At least they didn't leave a turd in the toilet - I've seen that in a boat with an asking price in the $20's.

Pics or it didn’t happen. I’ll get my coat. 

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6 hours ago, floater said:

that's right. its not so much which boat you pick - but which boat picks you.

Far too many years ago, a Santana 20 picked me.  (A sailor who really only knew and had sailed on ILYA Scows). 

I wasn’t sure it was a boat our family needed or a boat I really wanted but in the end, I am surely glad the little boat found its way in our family. 

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Per the OP, "For my use it will be an oldish plastic boat 27 to 37 feet long".  A Tartan 37 might fill the bill at the upper end of your size specs. 486 built from 1976 until 1989, pretty S&S design, decent build quality, many have been loved, maintained and upgraded.

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The S&S Tartan 37 indeed looks sweet. Love the low freeboard with the centerboard. Unfortunately it looks to be an East Coast creature. It brings home that the left coast/right coast thing is real and that some boats are kind of out of the question by location. Many boats here that I would never have thought of - if you don't know, you don't know. Such as the Islander 28, both local and a Perry design. Thanks.

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On 1/9/2020 at 7:34 PM, Schnick said:

C&C designed Viking 28 is a sweetheart that still handles well with a proper fin keel.

The 70's C&C's were very nice boats for their time.  Well made.  Cruised a CC 29' that was a delight as a family boat for 4.  The Viking 33 was also solid.  

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35 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

The 70's C&C's were very nice boats for their time.  Well made.  Cruised a CC 29' that was a delight as a family boat for 4.  The Viking 33 was also solid.  

This.   The 80's too.   Except for a few notable exceptions, your hard pressed to make a mistake with a C & C.   

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6 hours ago, sail69 said:

This.   The 80's too.   Except for a few notable exceptions, your hard pressed to make a mistake with a C & C.   

To be a nit, the Viking28 was built by Ontario Yachts.  My dad had one for five or six years and it was a boat that could win in any condition and any point of sail.  Forerunner to C&C's Long Line series 35-1, 43, 30, etc.  The boat was two years ahead of its time coming out in '68. 

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On ‎1‎/‎16‎/‎2020 at 1:30 PM, sail69 said:

This.   The 80's too.   Except for a few notable exceptions, your hard pressed to make a mistake with a C & C.   

I looked hard at some C&Cs.  The thing that waved me off was the cored hull most of them have.

ymmv

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On 1/5/2020 at 12:58 AM, PaulinVictoria said:

C&C30 Mk1, good manners and very stiff.

There was a decent looking one for sale here that went for $2800 on eBay. I regret not buying it.

If you're thinking Tartan 30, the Yankee 30 is similar, and had a fleet on the Bay.  I think it's better looking, and maybe better sailing.  I've sailed the Yankee but not the Tartan.  The Yankee will claw upwind in over 30kt.

So can a Folkboat.

Wauquiez Pretorien and Gladiateur. 

Another vote for old Cals and Rangers.

I would choose an old Cal over an early Ericson, but a later Ericson -- Mk3 or the Ron Holland ones -- over any Cal.  Those RH Ericsons may need rail meat though.

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On 1/4/2020 at 2:18 PM, Guvacine said:

For my long term retirement plans. What is the sweetest sailing old plastic for a windy place like The Bay? I don't mean fast or any of the usual yardsticks, but what boats give you that difficult-to-describe feeling of being a sweet and pleasurable sailor on all points. For my use it will be an oldish plastic boat 27 to 37 feet long, but I am curious about any "sweet sailing" design that I have been missing. It is important that it is "sweet" on all points - there are many boats that can point or run well, but not so many that do it all.

A sweet sailing boat....I'm partial to Alberg designs,  great for SF bay. Very comfortable motion...a bit tender, not fast by any stretch of the imagination...but sweet sailing and very pleasing to the eye.

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 10:20 PM, sledracr said:

I looked hard at some C&Cs.  The thing that waved me off was the cored hull most of them have.

ymmv

Sorry...but that is a  red herring for a vast majority of C & Cs.   There are other more real problems with other manufacturers runs.   Dont let it scare you.    

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On 1/8/2020 at 5:01 PM, JPD said:

The 33 is pretty decent also ...for a relic

I used to own one, loved it! Added bonus is it’s PHRF racing potential, we did quite well with her. 
I now have a Tartan 38, which is a “racing” version of the 37. I’d recommend the 37 for the top end of the size range. 

10437A3E-0D8F-4284-8E1F-8214BBE9F1BB.jpeg

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Swede 55! I had a folkboat, a Hinckley, and then the Swede. Awesome boat, and very easy to single hand. The boat makes you look like a better sailor every day.

 

This is a shot from a 35-50knot day. Had a blast!

 

 

DDA99458-5E65-4188-B4DC-EECADD5721DC.jpeg

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On 1/21/2020 at 5:31 AM, Slowboat said:

Swede 55! I had a folkboat, a Hinckley, and then the Swede. Awesome boat, and very easy to single hand. The boat makes you look like a better sailor every day.

 

This is a shot from a 35-50knot day. Had a blast!

 

 

DDA99458-5E65-4188-B4DC-EECADD5721DC.jpeg

No one "has a blast" sailing in 35-50 knot winds.  Well, not in the vernacular use of that term. 

Especially short handed and if they aren't able to keep the boat on its feet.  Sailing with your winches in the water is usually not the sign of being in control.

 

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8 hours ago, Left Shift said:

No one "has a blast" sailing in 35-50 knot winds.  Well, not in the vernacular use of that term. 

Especially short handed and if they aren't able to keep the boat on its feet.  Sailing with your winches in the water is usually not the sign of being in control.

 

The Swede is somewhat of a different style of boat: long narrow hull, doesn't build up excessive weather helm nor lift the rudder out of the water until heel goes WAY out of control; rig inboard and balanced to keep the boat driving not stalling.

I have not sailed a Swede 55 but a few of it's smaller cousins and they don't reward handling them like a modern racing boat, they don't power up until the point of heel long past a modern boat would be stalled and probably unsteerable. I raced a 6-Meter for a while and it was similar in handling (except that it probably didn't steer as well, the helm was almost irrelevant to that thing).

The pic looks like she's only at 30 degrees or so, our 6 used to peg the fun-meter at 45 for long stretches. The winches were bit further inboard though

FB- Doug

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5 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

The pic looks like she's only at 30 degrees or so, our 6 used to peg the fun-meter at 45 for long stretches. The winches were bit further inboard though

FB- Doug

I hope you're not an engineer or an artist.

It's heeled about 44 degrees.

 

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