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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 10-01-2007
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Smile IOR as cruiser?

In the part of the world where I live there are very few used boats on the market. The one thing you can find a lot of are older (late 70īs and 80īs) IOR-type boats. They usually have a proper interior and not a spartar racing interior. I'm just wondering what the disadvantages of an IOR-type boat would be as a cruiser. I know the big headsails is one!
Thanks in advance.
Mark
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Old 10-01-2007
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Another reason to fill out the little profile information that sailnet asked for. Where does this guy live ?
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Old 10-01-2007
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Of course Jeff H will have answers to this question (most likely more than you hoped for), but I'll start with perhaps the most obvious disadvantage.

To my understanding the early IOR boats, before conversion to conform with the new rules, were very tender - designed with less importance to crew comfort. These boats therefore, required large crews for use as rail ballast. Chances are, you aren't considering taking along rail meat on your cruises.
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Sorry! Brazil
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I would say that would depend on how far out into the Atlantic you wish to go and how tricky the tides and currents are. IOR boats tend to be fast, but, as noted, tender. They also tend to have smaller engines for weight reasons and sometimes are not powerful enough to motor against the tide. Also, an IOR boat built in North America that has sat near the Equator for a number of years may have issues with dried out bedding compound (usually butyl tape as used formerly to bed car windshields), insufficiently strong portlights that are fixed (you'd want ventilation) and insufficiently strong hatches.

If you just wish to do fair-weather coastal sailing or light-air sailing or club racing, they are fine and are a good platform on which to learn, but if you want to go out into the South Atlantic, I would say there are better eras of boat building from which to choose.
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Old 10-01-2007
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The large "J" measurement of these rigs create the large genoas and large spinnakers. As a cruiser the spinnaker issues may be less important, but if you expect to be using the kites, many of these designs are infamous for wanting to "deathroll" when sailed deep. This can be unnerving at best, and at worst can lead to crash gybes. Spinnaker takedowns can be complicated by the large size and minimal crew.

However, if you pick your days, and keep the apparent wind away from dead aft, these boats can be a lot of fun too. Just don't expect to be using the chutes when the wind pipes up much above 18-20 knots or so.

As I mentioned on another thread we lived quite happily with such a boat for 12 years, sailed lots with just a blade and main, had great deck gear and large winches to help deal with the large headsails and picked our days to attempt flying the spinnakers. We did own this boat in a partnership arrangement that saw us mostly sailing with crews of 4 or more, which helped. When the partnership was dissolved my wife and I downsized to 35 feet for better managability as we are now almost exclusively doublehanding.

If you can carefully choose a boat that has not been abused or neglected, and was well built in the first place you can get a lot of bang for your buck taking this route.
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Faster has hit most to the important issues with IOR type boats. The Fastnet disaster highlighted the problem some of these boats had with insufficient stability. That said, when sailed intelligently, they make great coastal cruisers and competive PHRF club racers. One possible problem for some cruising areas is the draft of the typical deep fin keel. My CAL 9.2 is basically a Ron Holland 1/2 tonner and my wife and I have cruised her from Western Long Island Sound to Block Island and the Vineyard many times.
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Actually, the Cal 9.2 is one of the more popular boats here.They made quite a lot of them and they are popular as cruisers along the Brazilian coast. Do you know the Ron Holland design built in England as the Nicholson 345 (and here in Brazil as the Fast 345)? It is one of the boats I'm looking at. You can pick up a late 80's one with a new Yanmar 30hp, new rigging and in very nice shape for about US$60K.
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JimsCAL, to what do you attribute the lack of stability? Insufficient ballast? Hull form?
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Old 10-02-2007
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Light cored hull, shallow displacement, minimal ballast, high freeboard with a tall rig all contribute to the reduced stability of the 80's -90's era IOR's. One thing I might suggest about the large J-dimension is that with a moderately sized jib on a roller reefing system can really help bring some control to a boat that would otherwise be very difficult to handle in high winds. Since the main should already be somewhat undersized (due to IOR rules) a sub 100% headsail will help balance the sailplan and reefing the jib will bring you into the the equivalent running a reefed main and storm jib.
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