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SPC 08-15-2010 05:15 PM

Really? PHRF ratings Nauticat et al.
I continue my search for the right boat and am increasingly looking to PHRF ratings for guidance as a first indicator of the boat's ability to sail to weather. (My limited experience in autos suggests that racers are very careful about such things in spite of politics.)

I was surprised to see a 35 Nauticat at 180 which is similar to Hans Christian 38 at 192, Hallberg Rassy 35 at 180, Island Packet 35 at 186, Tayana 37 at 180, and much better than a Westsail 32 at 213 or Island Packet 32 at 198.

The reviews that I have read say that the Nauticat will need auxiliary support going to weather with less than about 10 knots true wind, but I am surprised that it would sail as well or better than the other boats that I listed. Can you affirm that the Nauticat sails as well to weather as the PHRF suggests? If so, then two cabins, two heads, an independent galley, and a very nice second helm cabin look pretty good.

Does the Nauticat PHRF of 180 in comparison to the others listed make sense to you?

seabreeze_97 08-15-2010 09:03 PM

Design characteristics of boats yield different performance characteristics in various seas and winds. PHRF does not address these differences.

blt2ski 08-15-2010 09:15 PM

If you are going to compare PHRF, better ad in a 1D35 at about 30 or there abouts, melges 32 in the very low double digits, they go to weather quite well.

PHRF will not address the how close you can sail to the wind for the most part. For that, you need to look at deck gear, ie how close to centerline is the jib tracks, 8-9 degrees, you will tack quite close, start talking 12-15* not as close, altho it might be abit faster, as 12* off is faster than 8*.


bobmcgov 08-15-2010 09:21 PM

Nauticat may not be the bee's knees to weather, but it's a demon on a reach and decent sail area keeps it trucking downwind. It has a pretty good reputation that way.

None of the boats you list in your post are exactly rockets in their class. I would expect a 35-footer with good all-around sailing qualities to carry a PHRF of 160 or lower. That's for a coastal racer/cruiser with some offshore credentials. As you shift toward the all-weather HCs, expect to slow down a bit. Toward the Omegas, things get a little bit quicker. (Omega 36 = PHRF 117) Toward the Farrs ... the boat will probably make it home before you do.:D (Farr 36 ODR = PHRF 9.)

blt2ski 08-15-2010 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by bobmcgov (Post 632864)
........Toward the Farrs ... the boat will probably make it home before you do.:D (Farr 36 ODR = PHRF 9.)

How about more like, finish before you start the race, if they do a fat boats first, slow last! I did an 18 miler awhile ago, I was the last start, 50 min after multi's, 45min after the Melges 32 bunch, they were all 1/2 -3/4 of the way towards the finish with a 4 mile upwind, then 12 mile down wind in 15-25 knots. They could hold full sail up, doing 7-10, downwind 15, I'm lucky to do 7-8 downwind with my 30' fin keeler that rates 169 ave in the US< 192 local, but we have upped all ratings 10% across the board. I was not even at the first mark when the fast boats were finishing, as the last two miles to the north buoy, the wind shifted to the north, then all down wind to the finish which had the S to N shift in the middle of the sound.......NOT FUN! Now I know why I like reverse starts!

Other factors, keel depth, rig height, more luff, better upwind, less less, more boom, better reach to down wind to a degree. SA to disp, the boats you are looking at are in the 15 or 16-1 range, Melges 32 mid 20to 30-1 for upwind, and 60-1 for down wind along with planing hull forms.

many many items can make or break a rig.


JomsViking 08-16-2010 03:02 AM

The Nauticat 35 is very different from the 33 - So what you have heard might actually have been about the 33, which is not a good sailboat on any point of sail. (the newer versions are better).
The NC35 is also very different from a Westsail 32, as it has a totally different underwater profile (fin-keeled), but still a bit conservative - which explains the PHRF rating being high(ish) but still lower than the Westsail.

christyleigh 08-16-2010 07:24 AM

Something that most people don't know is that Nauticat makes 2 quite different lines of boats. I'm not going to be able to quote all the model #'s correctly but -

* Traditional Motor Sailors - These are the traditional looking, boxy if you wish, classic pilothouse types - Starting with the 30 year old 33, the modified version of the 33 that started in '99 (mine) the 331 and on up through the 37, and on..... These have the sliding side doors that keep the rating down to B.

* Pilothouse Sailboats - These actually look more sleek like the new 'raised salon' types that have been around for the last 10 years by a few makers. Most are S & S designs and although they Do Have real pilothouses with a second steering station they are - Sailboats - Starting with the fairly new 321, then the fairly old 40, and on up...... These are the ones that do well in distance races etc.... and are rated A - Open Ocean (no sliding side pilothouse doors).

JomsViking 08-16-2010 07:34 AM

In all fairness, the modified 33(1) sails way better (for what it is) than the original 33.
The 35 is a Deck Saloon/Pilothouse boat.

Sorry about that, Stan..

tommays 08-16-2010 08:04 AM

At least on Long Island Sound the PHRF is about its all around performance and is not really a good indictor of a boats ability to point

In the recent 190 mile Around Lond Island race at the 100 mile point (more or less) the crusie boats were hanging with the race boats due to very little dead upwind sailing (boats in the 100 to 150 range)

zz4gta 08-16-2010 08:16 AM


Originally Posted by SPC (Post 632795)
two cabins, two heads, an independent galley, and a very nice second helm cabin look pretty good.

Does the Nauticat PHRF of 180 in comparison to the others listed make sense to you?

1. If you want all that in a small package blue water boat, than PHRF ratings should be the last thing on your list.

2. Yes it does make sense. The NC35 is slow, and all the other boats you listed are slow. Even for their size/class.

For example my 25 footer rates 174.

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