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Old 11-13-2001
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Expert advice needed

You obviously are not familiar with the Farr 11.6. These were racers in their day but they have full cruising interiors and are known as short handed long distance cruisers. My boat was single-handed from South Africa to the US and there is a sistership here in Annapolis that was single-handed from South Africa to the Virgins and then cruised up to Annapolis with a young family on board.

You seem to be making the assumption that Farr''s office only designs race boats. While Mr. Farr''s firm is well known in the racing world, Farr and Associates does not seem to be a ''household word'' with cruisers. They obviously have specialized in performance oriented boats and have had a real success designing grand prix racing sailboats, one design keel boats, and round the world race boats for races like the Whitbread and Volvo round the world races. In addition to the race boats for which Farr has become famous, the firm has also designed quite a few really nice high-performance cruising boats.

My boat was designed at an interesting point in Bruce Farr''s and yacht design history. Farr, like many top designers, had been designing to compete under the IOR racing rule and had done so quite successfully. But in the early 1980''s designers and racers were becoming disillusioned with boats optimized for the IOR rule. These early 80''s IOR boats were comparably slow, tender and difficult to sail especially in heavy conditions or with short crews. Designers began designing large one design keel boats that were designed to be more well rounded designs that were not specifically optimized to any racing rule. For example this is the era that saw the introduction of boats like J-35 and Santana 36. Into that climate, Bruce Farr designed the Farr 11.6. The boat was a big hit in New Zealand and South Africa with well over a 100 of these boats built worldwide.

They were built as cruiser/racers and in their day they were extremely fast compared to other 38 footers that could be cruised. Compared to cruiser/racers of that era, they were very light. With a design weight of only 10,600 lbs., they were 2/3 of the weight of a normal 38 footer. In some ways these were boats with a split personality. Sisterships of my boat have been distance cruising all over the world. So while my boat was sailed in from South Africa on her own bottom, at the same time Farr 11.6''s were also winning races.

Today the Farr 11.6''s are pretty slow when compared to modern race boats. But they were the last of the previous generation of boats that could be raced or cruised in a wide range of conditions. She is remarkably easy to handle short-handed and in a breeze. She points well for a cruising boat and is very fast in a wide range of conditions. Although light in weight, her hull form and weight distribution seem to make the Farr 11.6 surprising comfortable in rough going.

There is a nicely finished off forward stateroom, then comes an enclosed head with shower. The main salon has a dinette on one side and a settee on the other. There are seaberths outboard of both. There is an ell or U-shaped galley on starboard and a good sized nav station on port. Aft of each are quaterberths. The boats are set up so that there are three good sea berths in the main cabin and quarterberths on each side of the boat.

They are a bit more moderate in draft than many race boats of that era as well with three keel depths, 6''-4, 6''1, and 5''5".

I''m just throwing this out because my own criteria was the same as yours only with half of your budget.

Regards
Jeff
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