Join Date: Mar 2007
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Regarding the NY36 -- which is the only boat you are considering that I have first hand experience on -- I would further characterize it as more of a racer/cruiser than a cruiser/racer, which is to say the design (especially the rig) emphasizes the "race" more than the "cruise". The interior, while interesting, is probably better suited as a crash pad for "away" races.
I previously mentioned the large mainsail, but neglected to add that the rig is further complicated by running backstays (or checkstays, if you prefer). There is a very lightweight backstay that goes to the masthead, but it is primarily used for inducing mast bend/rake. The real "backstay" is the working runner, which must be switched from side to side each time you tack (much like going between your working/lazy jib sheets). No problem for a boat with crew, but shorthanded it can be a royal nuisance.
One of my brothers owned one and we campaigned it for a number of years -- typically with a crew of 6-8. If we only had 5, that was pushing it for racing. I also delivered the boat with only 1 crew on many occasions, but it was not very relaxing. The boat get's overpowered quickly and even with the main reefed you still have to deal with the running backstays.
Again, NY36 is a good boat for PHRF racing, but not so great in my experience for shorthanded cruising/daysailing. Also I have seen NY 40s and I can't imagine they would be any more manageable.