Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Express 37 Mk2
I was not able to find Bayview Yacht Club in a search so I did not find Burden. You asked about the lack of interest in the Express 37. I actually think there is a lot of interest in them for a boat that had a three or four year production run and then went out of production over 10 years ago. There is a real niche interest in the boats because they are good PHRF boats and also have several strong one-design fleets.
I don''t think there is more interest because these are boats, like my Laser 28, that take a fair amount of skill to sail well and which are neither out and out race boats like a Mumm 36 say or out and out cruisers. I worked the Annapolis boat show one year on the Laser 28 and helped out in the Express 37 so that they could grab some lunch. I was stunned at the kind of questions that were asked and at the type of people who came aboard both boats. It was really the same crowd. Racers seemed to walk on by seeing both boats as "cruisers". Cruisers came aboard and just plain did not get all of the lines running back to the cockpit, the tiller steering, or the simple interiors. The first comment by cruisers getting on both boats was that they were "tippy" or tender. Actually, for their weight both boats are quite stabile and stand to very large sail plans but have comparatively little form stability and lacked the inertia of heavier cruising boats.
I actually was at the east coast introduction of the Express 37 and have always been very fond of the boats but have also come to realize that they are not a boat for everybody. I personally don''t see the sense in making the kind of changes that you are proposing. It would be hard to recover the rating penalty and frankly for the money you can buy a used IMS racer and come out ahead.
I would think that you could buy an early 1990''s Farr 39 or Tripp 38 or 40/41 and have a much easier boat to race competitively and for less money that a cost of carbon rig and new keel turbo''d Express 37 Mk2. Besides you''d actually hurt the value of the boat since its value has been held up by its one design status in a number of areas of the country.