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Old 11-05-2013
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Re: Bolt 37

I can't speak for the European market but I don't really understand the current crop of medium-length sport boats like the Bolt 37, the McConaghy 38, the Carkeek 40, the Farr 400, C&C 30 (just announced Mills' design), etc., for the North American market. When I look at what has been going on the past few years, there's an exodus from IRC and high performance sport boats to more benign one-designs like the J/70 and (perhaps) the J/88. Or to nothing at all, since I think overall participation in keel boat events is trending downward.

North America is increasingly looking like a One Design + PHRF world, with a few strong OD classes (J/70, Viper, Melges 20), a few OD classes on life support (J/105, Farr 30, Melges 24), and PHRF, which is designed to protect past investments not encourage new designs or fleet-building. I predict that IRC in North America is just waiting for someone to throw flowers on the grave.

In my pessimism about the NA scene, I can't envision who is going to buy a Bolt 37 or any of the other aforementioned boats. I know Steve Benjamin and others are trying to get a high performance thing going out here on the East Coast, but it's been slow going, largely for economic reasons, I'd imagine. And the West Coast is pretty mucha wasteland. At the most recent Rolex St. Francis Big Boat Regatta, the largest fleet was the Melges 24, and only because the Worlds was in town the following week. There were scarcely any "big boats" to speak of, and the class divisions pointed to the near futility of the whole situation. At least they let multihulls compete, which is progress, I suppose.

All the more reason to continue sailing my Laser and working on my cruising plans for the next few years.
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