Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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PHRF racing boat, what to buy
Much of this will depend on where you sail because rating vary with the region. There are several ways at finding a PHRF boat that has a good rating. I like to be at or near the low rating in my class without being scratch boat. This usually works ok in most conditions but works best in a dropping wind.
Then there is an emphaisis on how racy a boat you are would like to purchase. In that rating range are Kirby 25''s @171-174, and J-24''s @ 174. I really do not lik esailing J-24''s but they are an exceptionally popular class and you can often race one design or at least find tuning advice, both can improve performance. These boats are amde to race and so the gear is laid out for that purpose. Their small size makes sails and hardware less expensive.
Even more stripped out but nice boats to sail are J-22''s.
At the other end are venerable coastal cruiser/racers like the Pearson 30 @183 or something like a Catalina 27 @ 204. Both have win-able ratings. Both sail reasonably well in a wide range of conditions. Where I live on the Chesapeake, these boats are still raced one-design and are often sailed with upgraded gear and sails.
Then there are the less popular and less known boats like a Morgan 27 @180 or S2 7.9 or old IOR 1/2 tonners such as the Bucaneer 295 which was a poorly built Peterson design.
Of course a lot will depend ony your budget and whether you will trailer to races. Boats like the Kirby J-22 and J-24 take more skill to sail to their ratings. The others take more effort.