Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 138 Times in 111 Posts
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I am reasonably familiar with the Nicholson 303. This is a cruising version of the Ron Holland designed IOR half tonners made infamous by the 1979 Fastnet disaster. These are the poster childs for what was wrong with the late 1970''s era IOR rule. Pinched ends, high vertical center of gravity, large jib small mainsail rig proportions, rudders that would stall out out when heeled and stability that was heavily dependent on crew weight on the rail. As race boats these offered neither good light air performance, nor good heavy air performance, nor good reaching performance. With enough weight on the rail, they did offer good upwind performance in moderate winds.
So, while these were pretty well constructed boats boats, they are literally the textbook example in Marchaj''s "Seaworthiness, the Forgotten Factor" for the type of boat that should not be taken offshore. Their dismal light air performance would make them a poor choice for LIS as well.