more on old IOR boats
Yes, she is a NorthStar 500. And yes, I have had the rudder break free a few times...but I wouldn''t consider 40 degrees ''flat'' for that, many modern cruising boats will have the rudder lose its grip well before the angle this boat does, I say that based on relativly little experiance with other boats but also by comparing the underwater designs.
As for yawing, yep, that can be a workout, but I have a Sailomat windvane, and it can steer with the big chute better than I can. So no workout. Haven''t noticed the bow go down as much as she tucks into her bow wave...seems to me she actualy will try to climb up it to some extent.
I have had a couple of broaches with the spinnaker, but with the size of that chute, given the same conditions any boat would broach, and to her credit she got right back on her feet with no damage. Never actualy got the pole in the water, close a time or two.
But nowdays I rarely use the light air chute, as I find the gennaker a better cruising sail.
Changing sails can be, or I should say is, a chore. But if the main was a lot larger, then there would be a lot of changing sail area there, to. Not as much I''m sure. But you would then have a much larger boom that could make gibing tougher, and might get in the water. However, I do agree that the need for relatively frequent sail changes are a disadvantage here, you don''t know how many times I have cursed that in an early morning squall!
I very much agree she is sensiteve to her weight...most racing boats are. That is not so much of a problem with one or two people, or as in my case one person and two Schiperkes, as we can do fine without five tons of extra weight.
And if you loaded down a boat of about the same size with 1500 lbs, you might not notice the difference in handeling as much, but it would still make a difference...such as capzie resistance. Very likely even more of a difference considering the way the 500 is made. But here also, I agree that this design is more sensitve to extra weight.
However my point still is, that for a small very capable bluewater boat, one that can do very well without the engie being run at all and one that can handle any weather, this boat would be hard to beat. As an example, two years ago in Aug. I did an ''out and back'' in the Gulf of Mexico, 22 hours, 5.45 kt average with the wind on the nose coming back, and a full cruising load of 1000-1500 lbs aboard. Very comfortable ride. I used the gennaker going out, the boat was pushing 7.5-7.7 kts by GPS for a long time...not too many other boats 20 ft on the water could do that with all the equipment and resources aboard needed for cruising. Heck, quite a few of the boats in the marina that are much longer couldn''t do that!
Don''t forget, when these were made was the time, even though it was the last of it, it was the time when these boats were supposed to be "racer/cruisers".
Most of the modern designs I see are purely for costal sailing, the market having apparently determinded that folks don''t much want very small ocean capable cruising boats. I wouldn''t trade a well designed and built old IOR boat for a dozen such modern boats for passagmaking, even though the modern designs are better on the hook or with a cockpit full of guests.
Webb Chiles? Well, he made it didn''t he? That says as much about his guts as his judgement, and presumabley he has learned quite a bit from those times.
I agree that designs have changed, and we do progress, but sometimes there is a false presumption that just because soemthing is not new it is not as good, when often the old stuff can be better than the new stuff. A lot of the newer designs for boats have increased the comfort factor in many ways...that doesn''t mean they have not comprimised in others, or that the fundemental design is better overall.-Ken