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post #3 of Old 11-11-2004
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more on old IOR boats

I too am the owner of one of the older IOR I designs. In fact, a Heritage 1 Ton that the afore mentioned author of dubious common sense is using for his latest escapades. I tend to agree with much of what Jeff offers in his critique of the designs, in general.

I will add a few of my own observations: We were out on our last day-sail of the year on Sunday, 11/7. True winds in the upper teens to low twenties, seas 3 - 5 feet, steaming along at about 8 kts, beam reaching with a full main and heavy #1 (150%), rail not even close to the water, moderate helm. Two couples enjoying a lovely fall afternoon with Long Island Sound to ourselves. A wonderful afternoon to set me up for the long winter months ahead.

Within limits and understanding her foibles, these are the conditions that make Silmaril a joy to sail. HOWEVER.... turning into the wind to drop sails, set her up for the usual wave peircing, bow into the next wave, everybody gets wet, experience that one has to deal with when sailing a boat with such a slender bow section. No pounding like the later IOR II and III designs, just a wet ride in very moderate conditions.

Then turn her down wind for the motor into the harbor, and you are chasing her all over as she sashays from side to side on the following seas. I have done it with the chute up in these conditions, and well, you had better be on the ball 100% or be ready to be bitten. Does the term "Death Roll" come to anyone''s mind? For cruising, the ''chute, pole, and strut just aren''t part of the inventory! I use my drifter, (170%) my heavy #1, and the reefable #3/4 genny, along with slab reefing the main.

A lot of the boats from that early era exhibited even worse behavior (the Nautor 44 & 47 S&S designs were notorious for their wild broaches) I chose mine very carefully from experience with the particular design. Knowing her bad points, I avoid them as best I can. But the designer (Charlie Morgan) pushed the envelope of the era in many ways. For a 37'' boat of that era to weigh in at 13,000# with 6,500# in a deep 6''6" fin, deep balanced rudder, and still be going strong today after MANY hard racing and cruising miles, testifies to the construction techniques he used in the design. It was built tough, not pretty below, but very funtional.

There are boats today that I feel are still built with the same "Sailing First, Cruising Second" approach: The Seaquest 36 Reichel-Pugh design comes to mind, a fast balanced design, taking advantage of the latest in modern design, the J-109 also is an excellent performing racer/cruiser, the Cape Fear 38 by Bruce Marek can be had in all-out race trim or more cruising oriented. The C&C 110, while taking a bashing from some, is a really well built high performance boat with a nod towards more cruising comfort, but still able to "make tracks" when raced.

The good, high performance designs are out there, you may have to look beyond the mass producers to find em, but todays boats have come a L O N G way from the early IOR designs.

Because I haven''t hit the lotto or had any better mousetrap ideas come my way, I am happy with my old IOR desgn, familiar with her strengths and her weaknesses, and enjoy those days when she really shines on the water.
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