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post #2 of Old 10-22-2010
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We JUST finished a race with several of the boats listed above.

I will not say that this is indicitive of the boat necessarily, because I am not sure the crews were evenly matched (did I say that nicely)?? SO, here is what I saw:

The fastest boat was the Tartan 4100. There are known hull problems with these boats too. In fact, the boat I saw had also had a hull repair done. But, they are beautiful performance boats and do pretty good in a race with enough crew.

The Farr 39 did ok. It still looked the faster boat and in different curcumstances, I think it would have outrun the Tartan. But the crew was pretty long in tooth on the Farr and the Tartan had like 15 people there to trim and throw over the side for rail meat!!! Come to think of it, not sure we counted that they finished with 15 people... hmmmmm (snicker).

A very good racing boat that is very fast and relatively inexpensive is the Henderson 30. Whew. I was surprised at how well she runs. Not great accomodations for cruising... to be forewarned. But for the money and the speed (PHRF around 40 I think), she is going to be a tough girl to beat. THere is one for sale in CA right now that I have to say, caught my eye. Even came with a trailoer if you want to start loading her up and getting mroe competitive.

I will certainly fall in the minority here but this has been the discussion amongst the mods (in private) for a while now. In a perfect world, I would have two boats - one for cruising and one for racing. I liked the Melges for racing, but short of the 32, it would not be something I would take for any of the longer offshore races. John Pollard owned a Melges and he said it was a pretty wet ride and that would get pretty old after the first day for me.

But for distance racing (offshore) if you really want to have fun, I think a trailer is about mandatory unless you have a crew to sail her all over for you. Seriously - consider that. Because if you have a trailer, you can enter into the Ft Lauderdale - Key West, Tampa Key west, Tampa - Havanna, Naples - Jamaica, (some great races out of Texas to Mexico and Key West or havanna... but I have not done them). Maybe even get into some of the Bermuda races??? But that would be local to you.

Problem I have found is that what I (me, not some people) think makes a good cruising boat, often does not line up well with a great buoy boat or distance racer. And if you get competitive and have to fight a PHRF against dry docked boats that are covered in carbon fiber, you will lose before you cross the start line (as we found out many times).

SO there are my thoughts. I have raced several times on a j92 but not the others mentioned, though I have been on them and ewwed and awwed, but other can speak more intelligently about them. But I would not take either one of those J's cruising (my opinion... sorry). But I don't even care for the J42 for cruising so my opinion on them may need to be discarded. If you are stuck with the boats you metioned, I would choos the Farr. I have become a fan of their boats (thanks to Jeff who is our expert in these areas and owns a Farr, so see if he can help when he gets back).

If you want opinins on a boat that is a good performance cruiser/racer, let me know and I will throw out some thoughts. Just be forewardned that I don't think many of them are really that competitive on a racing circut without a generous PHRF. Its flat out hard to beat a Melges or Henderson or Farr no matter what the correction.


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