Join Date: Aug 2001
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In theory, in practice....
With all due respect to JeffH, he should know better than to generalize about performance when it comes to specific sailboats. He says Rhodes' short LWL/ cutaway forefoot/attached rudder design produces a slow, wet boat with a lot of weather helm. ... Well, having owned one (the Meridian, a smaller version of the Chessie 32 from the looks of its underbody), I have to tell you this hull design balances beautifully, tracks like a train, and moves respectably in light air. In fact the Meridian's helm was perfectly balanced on all points of sail, including beating. In a hard breeze, I could drive the boat to weather with no hand on the tiller at all --- the tiller just horsed around a bit as the boat plowed on. Amazing, really.
Many of Rhodes' designs were noted for their excellent balance. I daresay Mr. Rhodes knew exactly what he was doing, when it came to designing to the CCA rule. (Small mains and large gennies on CCA boats, Jeff? Well, they were masthead rigs, but maybe you are confusing these conservatively rigged boats with the IOR "rule-beaters" that followed?)