Best $25,000 Bang for your Buck

European Bloke

Super Anarchist
From last night's race. confirmed that they are nice, fast upwind under basic plan and fast down wind as evidenced.

View attachment 443413
Used to race against one of those. Never worked out how the fucking thing went as fast as it did.

It was sailed by 3 of bastards.

Old bastard one drove and didn't bother to cross the boat when they tacked. Not sure he was very mobile.

I think old bastard 2 was wife of old bastard 1. She chilled in the hatch like Rommel and handed out beverages and sandwiches.

Old bastard 3 was a bit more mobile, he pulled sheets.

Nice yacht. Not exciting, but nice.



New member
Flak looks like a sweet boat. 
Flak was a legendary boat/ program in MORC.

It will be a joy to sail upwind, 7000 lbs hull that slices through waves. But the MORC rule didn’t penalize sail area as much as boat weight which is why the boat has that large triple spreader rig. 

If you look at the picture of the tiller you will see the check stay cleats on the traveler bar, so the main trimmer would sit behind you. 
You can cross sheet the jibs to the high side. 
Boat will load up in breeze. But no IOR shuffle downwind and you sail them deep. 





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Black Jack

Super Anarchist
Yes, any mid 80s and on MORC 30 design could be a suitable shorthanded platform.  In general they are pretty wholesome designs, PHRFs're 130 or better, and without many vices.  Sure weight on the rail helps but their sailing characteristics are still pretty good for shorthanding.

Most are steered by tiller, budget for the very best autohelm you can afford + a backup...

CriticalPaths advice is really good. I would expand the search to a custom 1/2 tonners well built in the 70s as well that have been taken care of and loved. They are well in your price range, have cockpits and travellers that can be modified to your needs, are stiffer due to keel weight and have an interior that is more comfortable than plastic. although they may be closer to PHRF of 140 to 150, they tend to be easier on the sailor. Upwind - I have seen them faster than O30 and Laser 28s in blows in more than 15kts appearant. Downwind they do give up but not by much if a spin is used. Under a corrected time, the owner of a half ton can take top places plus have a beautiful boat to be proud of.

Given some of your budget, I would look for a boat that delivers decent thrills and comfort, has good rigging, a solid well maintaned inboard engine with a folding prop, leaving you to buy a good new mixed dacron main sail, a spitfire blade, a 120, a-symetrical and and regular spin (in addition to the other sails that come with the boat) and a stern boarding ladder. That is a platform to be personally successful in.



Super Anarchist
Beside Myself
...and from the dark side. How about an F-27?


Easy to short hand : Check

Accommodations : Check

Trailerable : Check

Ramp or crane launch : Check

Weight : 2650lbs to 3800lbs

Price : $25,000 to $30,000 typical

PHRF: 42-48



Monterey, CA
It seems like you guys are all just talking about nice boats in the rough length range that the OP requested. For short handed long distance racing I think we need to be a little more specific. The boat should go upwind well without weight on the rail. Have an asymmetrical spinnaker because they are so much easier to handle short handed, and they out perform their rating on reaching legs. Plane downwind because its really hard to beat a planing boat in planing conditions. Tiller steering because the Autopilot is much cheaper/easier. Finally controls led aft to minimize trips forward. 

Seems to me like that boat is an F-24! (An F-27 is really like $35k. I bought one for $25k and it would have been cheaper to get a well sorted $35k boat)

If not a multi-then maybe a J80? 


Alan H

Super Anarchist
SF Bay Area
I wouldn't take a Santana 3030 beyond where I could be rescued in less than 6 hours.  I owned one and I have a story which will bore everyone, but there you go.


Alan H

Super Anarchist
SF Bay Area
Honestly, for shorthanded racing, around SF Bay it's pretty hard to beat an Express 27.  I mean, you get all the One Design perks, too. Then again, you'll have to keep up on the sail inventory and so on, if you want to be competitive.

Outside of NorCal, lots of options.  Just....Santana 3030 probably ought not be one of them, if you're thinking about going out where waves get big and wind gets strong.