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post #185 of Old 05-02-2013
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Re: Why a racer for cruising discussion...

Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Hey Jon,

One of our good friends that are cruisers just pulled off their cruising chute and stuck it in storage. Why? It took up too much room that became necessary for other things.

Food for thought.

I suspect a lot of cruisers fall into that trap. They get their boats so loaded down, that the boat practically needs a gale to get it moving. As a result, they find themselves motoring more often when the wind isn't perfect. Then they decide that they don't really use that spinnaker very much, so they take it off, and replace it with more stuff. They are often the same people who declare "I don't need to clean my bottom, I'm not a racer, and my boat is slow anyway!" Not to mention "Why should I bother spending money on my sails, my boat is slow anyway"! It is a vicious cycle that ends with a power boat!

With regards to racer/cruisers, there is more to it than whether or not it has enough room for all the stuff you would like to take with you. Today's racer/cruisers have plenty of ammenities and storage. The choice to go with a performance cruiser has more to do with sailing. For example, In mast furling: from a performance perspective it is not just about the loss of sail area and sail shape, which in itself is not insignificant. It is also about excessive weight aloft, windage, and lack of tuneability. While a cruiser with in mast furling might feel that ease of reefing is great, the cruiser that has a good performance rig may not need to reef at all because they have the tools to depower and control the full main, plus they are not dealing with the extra heeling moment caused by the heavy "tree trunk" furling mast. I also wonder what you do if your in-mast furler jams with the sail partially furled. In that case, you are screwed, because there is no way you are going to get the sail down. Aside from the mast, performance oriented boats tend to be equipped with better quality hardware. Better running rigging, better winches, clutches, travellers, vangs etc. They have more efficient keels, and more powerful rudders. All of those upgrades make the boat more enjoyable to actually sail. To me, sailing is kinda the point of having a sailboat.

A case in point is what may very well be our next boat. A Jeanneau Sunfast 37. It has all the amenities of the Sun Odessey, except that they cater to performance minded sailors with the mast, keel, rudder and rigging. Sure, you have the inconvenience of not being able to deploy your cockpit table underway because of the cockpit mounted traveler, but that is a price I am willing to pay for the vastly superior functionality of it. The SunFast and the Sun Odessey are very similar boats, but the SunFast will do circles around the Sun Odessey. And it can win races too!

1979 Santana 30 Tall Rig
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