Olson 30 vs New Modern 30' Boats

Black Jack

Super Anarchist
How much better; bang for buck, seconds over ground is a 200k plus new 30' shorthanded race boat is it better than an Olson 30? Would a completely refreshed and modernized turbo'd Olson 30 with a new rig, sails, keel change and rudder be that much slower or uncomfortable for 100k less?

Simpler North Americans sailors who don't attend OD races and generally sail shorthanded day races could argue maybe not...
 

Raz'r

Super Anarchist
63,064
5,823
De Nile
How much better; bang for buck, seconds over ground is a 200k plus new 30' shorthanded race boat is it better than an Olson 30? Would a completely refreshed and modernized turbo'd Olson 30 with a new rig, sails, keel change and rudder be that much slower or uncomfortable for 100k less?

Simpler North Americans sailors who don't attend OD races and generally sail shorthanded day races could argue maybe not...
the size difference, inside and out, is hard to believe. Put a Pogo 30 next to an Olson 30 and you have twice the space down below. Twice if not more cockpit, etc.

But for grins for the money? Winner must be the Olson.
 
The O30 is almost near impossible to beat in light air (corrected). Their rating is gold also.
I don't think you turbo anything or you tamper with the recipe that is already working beautifully well for it.
Is it comfortable and super exciting to sail? Nope.
Will it slay almost anything under it's handicap? Yup.
Can you buy one for near dirt cheap? Yup
Would you and your significant other be happy spending the weekend on the hook in one? Nope!
 
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Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,132
6,319
Canada
Very different design philosophies of a O30 and a Pogo 30. Skinny versus fat. It's hard to beat fat light boats except in light air or maybe upwind in severe chop (haven't sailed either). Beam is a very cheap way (for the weight) of gaining RM and thus sail carrying power.
 

Curious2

Anarchist
670
246
Looking at the French national PHRF style system it would appear that the fastest version of the Pogo 30 would rate about 75 in the USA. It's slower than a J/109, between a J/88 and J/99, and a full 30 s/m slower than a Farr Mumm 30 on French times.

That's obviously a lot quicker than an Olson but whether that makes the beamy big-rig big-wetted surface style better than the lighter, slimmer, Farr 30 style is a matter of opinion.
 

Not for nothing

Super Anarchist
3,544
834
jupiter
first Olson 30, awesome, won a lot a races with her, did a couple of 200-mile race (crewed)
The problem I had singlehanded, was hoisting the Chute, (we weren't allowed autohelm)
the boat would alter course, when moving the wait around. I would recommend a Asym on a roller furling
Also bang for the buck, you can pick one up, a fraction of the cost of a J or a Farr
 

Steam Flyer

Sophisticated Yet Humble
45,305
10,131
Eastern NC
Does anybody sail a Farr/Mumm 30 shorthanded? This would seem like the ride, assuming you can find one for sale at a non-exhorbitant price.

One lesson I've learned, if there are a lot of something for sale cheap, it's probably not as good a deal as you might think. I am not fond of the Olson 30 although I'd agree it's ~best in it's price range.
 

BrightAyes

Member
314
114
Seems absurd to compare a late model racer against aging ULDB. Just buy the Olson, lightly modify it and try it out. If it's not what you want/expect then sell it. Should get back your cost minus little change.

I will also add that you could purchase a Moore 24, trailer it around to cool 50-300 mile events around the country and do so with ease and cheaply. Dragging around the Olson requires dual-axle trailer and muscle stepping the mast. The Moore mast is a one man job with gin pole of some sort. Same for launch and retrieval. Just imagine the 2000# Moore with 4' keel versus #3400 Olson with 5.5' keel. Once this traveling circus gets old, you can graduate up to the high dollar 30' custom racer.
 

Hale Moana

Member
58
54
Morro Bay
Three of my best friends bought the first O30 off the floor at the Long Beach Boat Show. Named it Mas Rapido. Last time I saw it it was in Monterey. Don't know where it is now. It was one fun boat to sail. Even did a Newport to Cabo race on it.
Have not sailed on any of the current crop of go fast 30's. Sure they may be a little faster. But so what. As previously said you can't beat the bang for the buck on an O30.
 
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B dock

Member
192
97
SF bay
The Olsons are great boats, built incredibly well and fun to sail. My 86' still looks almost new. I chose an Olson 29 for my SF bay daysailer. I preferred the 29 over the 30 because it is much easier access to the outboard. Crawling over the transom to get to the outboard is a drag when single handed. I am not into racing but like fast, budget friendly, challenging boats to sail. I sail 90% single handed. The boats are very sensitive to weight distribution when moving around on foredeck, which makes the boat wander quickly, you have move fast up there when by yourself.

I have set my mine up with roller furling head sails, a trogear sprit and a harken top down furler for A2 spin. I also use a Code 0 on a bottom up furler, the boats just kills it in light air with the code up. I typically do not use an autopilot but just a tiller clutch which works great 90% of the time. This system works for me and allows me to use my spinnakers 80% of the time on the bay.

Ease of use is my priority for this boat. I can get it sailing in 5 minutes and put away in about 10 minutes. Makes lunch time sails a possibility. I am a big fan!!
scarlet.jpg

I agree with folks above, the fastest set up for these boats are in its design configuration with 1500 lbs of crew weight.
 
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Foolish

Super Anarchist
1,730
408
Victoria, BC
The problem I had singlehanded, was hoisting the Chute, (we weren't allowed autohelm)
Practice my boy, practice. I singlehanded my O30 for 5 years with only a bungee cord in up to 25 knots. Lots of practice made me proficient with the chute in all conditions; launching, dousing; gybing. I still consider the O30 the best boat for the dollar anywhere.
 

Not for nothing

Super Anarchist
3,544
834
jupiter
Practice my boy, practice. I singlehanded my O30 for 5 years with only a bungee cord in up to 25 knots. Lots of practice made me proficient with the chute in all conditions; launching, dousing; gybing. I still consider the O30 the best boat for the dollar anywhere.
Boat is long gone, but miss the days of sailing her, nothing like planning her, doing 16+knots
 

Lost in Translation

Super Anarchist
1,275
75
Atlanta, GA
The advice above is all really good. Used to race Run Wild in the '90s on SF Bay, local ocean events, and Coastal Cup. Lifetime memory of a great boat to sail and one that won races. I think we corrected over Pyewacket and won Coastal Cup overall one year. I remember being told the Olson was the smallest "big boat" in the ULDB era. Moore 24 a different game in terms of portability and gear.

What B Dock has now looks sweet. What a perfect lunch break. The Olson is fast enough to deal with the quick currents in the bay and big enough to be somewhat comfortable for a daysail. It is small enough to be easy to manage sail loads.

ULDBs are well suited to downwind in big waves and wind as well as light air around the buoys. Awesome to pole back and go deep and quick, even flying a jib. Not as fast in medium breeze or that fun to sail upwind in big breeze and waves as it is low to the water and pounds.

A modern boat in this length will be a totally different game with room and space below, freeboard and cabin height, and different points of sail as it will be optimized for reaching rather than deep running. It will have much larger sails and righting moment.
 

Alaris

Super Anarchist
1,840
657
Annapolis
I had the opportunity to sail the Olson and a newer 30-footer, the Henderson 30, for two years simultaneously.

The Olson was easier to win races. The Henderson was a revolution in comfort (massive cockpit, wide *flat* side decks) and fun (planing). The responsiveness of the Hendo’s helm blows away the feel of the Olson.

My feet hurt just thinking of those narrow, slanted Olson side decks. I really can’t emphasize enough how much I hated going forward of the cockpit on that boat.

I’d rather go planing and be comfortable than win every race because of a sweet rating. My choice is the newer boat.
 
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B dock

Member
192
97
SF bay
Since this a short handed thread. Hendo may have flatter decks but you try single handing that beast to its rating. The beauty of the Olson is every thing is within a reasonable reach for the helms-person and one person can keep the boat moving well. Has a Hendo ever won the SH race to Hawaii?
 

shaggyq

New member
30
25
i have raced singlehanded, doublehanded and fully crewed on my pogo 30 in all conditions, its a comfortable boat and sometimes even wins races. I cant imagine sailing on an uncomfortable boat anymore but i am over 60. I have hit speeds of 16 on my own and 14 fully crewed. enuf sed
 




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