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doubleplay 11-09-2001 11:09 AM

Expert advice needed
I am a fairly experienced sailor with couple of offshore passages and couple of old boats to my credit.
I''m moving to Tampa area and looking forward to buy a sailboat between 35-40 feet which I intent to use for offshore races in the Gulf of Mexico and for cruising along the West Coast of Florida ,Keys and the Bahamas.
I have a budget of $100-120K(sailaway)...
Performance and reliability is on the top of my list.For racing I''ll be sailing with a crew of four or five cruising mainly as a couple with occasional guests...
Altough I have couple boats in mind I also would like to get the opinions of the experts of this board.
Thanks and Fair Winds

Jeff_H 11-12-2001 04:37 PM

Expert advice needed
That is a very small crew for offshore racing a 35 to 40 footer. J-35''s or Express 37''s for example require a crew of 8 or more to be competitive unless you were racing non-spinacker or some kind of cruising spinacker class. If you were going to do that I would look for a J-37 and set her up with an assymetrical cruising chute. Another option would be something like a Farr 11.6 (38 footers) which you can generally pick up for half of your budget but which might need some work. These are fractional rigs so you can get by with a smaller crew. (That was one reason why I bought mine.)


doubleplay 11-13-2001 06:35 AM

Expert advice needed
Jeff Thanks for the advice.
As for the crew size we will be racing in the non-spinnaker class in the long distance off-shore events.I will definitely will have a look at the J-37 but Farr''s to me are pure racers not racer- cruiser altough after a trough overhaul they can be great boats for the purpose.

Jeff_H 11-13-2001 07:41 AM

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.


doubleplay 11-14-2001 05:24 AM

Expert advice needed
Dear Jeff,
Thanks again one more time for the explanation.You are right I am not as familiar with Farr as I am with the J boats.
Looks like a very capable boat, however I have my doubts about the motion comfort formula when applied to this kind of numbers.Being originally from Europe I''m also looking at Dehlers specially the new Dehler 36 it is a little bit on the cruising side but it is a very fast boat and won couple European races already.I it is overpriced in this country but if you can buy the boat direct from Europe it is a lot more affordable.Looking at the past threads I know you like Dehlers I wonder You have ever been on a 36?
I really liked the boat (test sailed it)

Jeff_H 11-14-2001 07:54 AM

Expert advice needed
I really liked the Dehler 36. I had seen at the show and at Annapolis Yacht Sales. I thought it sounded like a good deal for the quality involved. Another boat that I thought looked like a really nice boat is the Farr designed Beneteau 36.7 which is quite agood deal for a lot of boat.

As I have said here before "the motion comfort formula" is totally useless in that it was developed at a time when boat design was very different than it is today or was even when the Farr 38 was designed.

The so called Motion Comfort Index is a surogate formula that does not look at a single factor that effects the actual motion of the boat. It does not look at the center of gravity, the distribution of the boats weights and waterline plane, the hull sections, or even the waterline beam. These are very real factors that shape the comfort of motion in a boat. To try to interprolate a comfort level using only length, max beam and displacement is useless. These parameters do not look at the canoe body, so, for an equal length, beam and displacement you can have a boat with a wide waterline beam carried for a large percent of the length of the boat which would result in a shallow canoe body and a snappy motion or whether then boat has some flare, a fine bow and so a deeper canoe body and a gentler motion. Or for an equal length, beam and displacement, it does not look at whether a large percentage of the boats weight is in a ballast keel that is low below the boat and therefore acts to slow the roll rate while also dampening roll to a small angle or whether its displacement is in heavy teak trimmings held high above the waterline where it can incite wider roll angles.

Beyond that the constants were based on the IOR type form model of a light boat. These were boats that were tortured to meet a rule, a rule that by its nature created boats with a high center of gravity and a snappy motion.

I researched and weighed this issue very heavily before deciding on the Farr 38 because I saw this as a boat that I expect to own for the next 15 or more years and plan to do distance cruising in. I sailed on a lot of boats of this era and it was from that experience that I made my decision. What I have found in many of the more recent IMS generated modern light designs and in the designs that lead up to the IMS type form is that hull shape and weight distribution go further toward creating a more comfortable motion than these surrogate formulas can begin to predict.


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