Windrower Purchased: Schumacher 28

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First of all I have to say thank you to all that have helped contribute to my previous post and follow up with me after on messages. Super helpful.


I am proud to say that I am the new owner of Windrower. Thanks to @SuddenlyBrown for pointing me in the direction of this boat and for @Roleurfor providing some good insight to the boat.

She was built by Tom Ybarrola who I had purchased the boat from. She lived the first 3 years of her life being built on a farm in California next to a Windrower. It seemed fitting given the nautical undertones in the name and the back story that they name her after the piece of farming equipment she was built next to. I intend on keeping this name.

To get her ready for short handed distance racing and inevitably some fun buoy racing we have a list of projects to complete.

-          New standing rigging.

-          Convert from foil to hank on foresails. This based on the recommendations from @Foolish  and his book Thoughts Tips Techniques and Tactics for Singlehanded Sailing.

-          New electronics package

-          Solar charging via stern mount with Lithium Phosphate battery.

-          General improvements to organization throughout the boat.

Why I chose Windrower, a custom 1 off Schumacher 28.

-          Low operational costs. With a lifting keel bringing her to a 1.5ft draft, stern mounted rudder, and a pivoting mast I wont have to pay for a yard to lift the boat, mast, or pay for storage. The ramp at the boat launch will work just fine and with a few modifications I can put the mast up on my own. She will live at my house when not in the water making working on her convenient and fun.

-          Trailerable: with a beam of just 8ft 4inch there are no road restrictions in any states for us to trailer the boat. I plan to travel to races both in the summer and winter outside of my immediate sailable geographic region and eliminating road restrictions was important. Beamy isn’t always better!

-          Capable of short-handed sailing. She is a small, manageable boat that requires few modifications to make her a great candidate for single or double handed racing. A major goal of her racing campaign.

-          Offshore capable.  Carl Schumacher designed the boat as an extension of the Express 27 in a lifting keel package. 1000 pound bulb keel in a 6ft draft on a 27ft 10inch boat weighting a total of 2800 lbs. The rudder has a draft of nearly 4ft providing great steerage when healing and in bigger seas. In the purchase agreement we also decided to add a 2nd keel pin to supplement the primary pin. In addition the keel has a backup support cable and lifting line that is always in place while sailing offering 4 points of failure necessary to have a loss of the keel.

-          Speed: She has hit 18 knots surfing downwind and the prior owner is confident with a more racing focused crew she can hit 20. In our sea trial she was nimble, picked up rapidly on puffs and generally responded as if I was sailing a big 420. As a high school and college racer I have missed this feeling and haven’t felt that type of responsiveness and lightness on the helm in any of the big boats I have sailed until getting on Windrower. We will see where she ends up in the PHRF standings in the Great Lakes but in San Diego she rated between 87 and 108 depending on distance vs buoy. My goal was to find a boat that fit my needs and landed in the 80 to 120 PHRF range which this well accomplishes the goal.

-          Preferred design characteristics. This includes an open stern, asymmetrical kite, and clean lines. 


Looking forward you can expect me to be posting up in my blog, eventually some Youtube videos and Ill do my best to stay active around here.

This summer I will still be active on the boat I was previously sailing on but do plan on knocking out a 150 mile solo race on Lake Michigan. Next year I will wither do the Solo Mac or Solo Trans Superior or maybe both….

Thank you again for the input and helping me narrow in on a boat and know that your comments on a theoretical best boat for doing XYZ led to an actual boat purchase this time around!


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Congratulations and welcome to the adventure of your life.

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Nice.Looks like a great starting point.

It brings back memories of the same process I went through back in the 90's. Mine was coastal NZ rather than offshore but otherwise the same. Have fun.

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