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Old 10-06-2003
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how practical are race boats?

ok, so.. lets say I did make a lateral step from a 20'' sloop to... oh... say... a 20 foot sloop, or a 25, or <insert a size here still not suitable for long term cruising/living aboard>

I have always been a fan of the classic boats. Gaff rigs, topsails, wood, lots and lots of brass. But somewhere something changed.

I''m not sure if it''s time on water, or time doing maintenance, or just time researching what makes boats go... but over time, I''ve found a diffrent type of beauty that speaks to my heart. For example... boats like the mini-transats. OMG what beauty.


So, I know more stupid things about IOR era boats than I''d care to mention. What immediatley pops to mind as bad design ideas implimented simply to beat rules with the current crop of boats? eg: http://www.dixdesign.com/didimini.htm
(ok, I know, a plywood boat isnt gonna be competitave crossing the Atlantic, but I bet it could still clean up on wed nights. )

Could one of these still be used for weekending at the islands if someone were to make room for ground tackle? Would it be idiotic to use one for daily use (bear in mind my only motorized transport is a motorcycle which I ride 12 months a year, so my definition of practical is a bit scewed by most definitions)

What makes this a bad boat to have for messing around and having fun in?

Thanks.

-- James
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Old 10-06-2003
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how practical are race boats?

One of the good things about the IMS typeform is that it produces hulls and rigs that make sense for cruising boats. Obviously, a grand prix level IMS typeform would be a little stripped out, fragile and expensive for your needs but the basic design ideas would produce a very good boat for your needs. Mini Transat boats are extremely sophisticated and are full of carbon fiber and Kevlar. They have virtually no fixed interior components and everything is simply shifted to windward or leeward. The Skipper sleeps in catnaps on the sails piled to windward. I spent a lot of time on Gail Brownings Mini Transat a few years back and was absolutely impressed with the elegance of the deck layout and sailplan, but really did not like the hull form which is heavily optimized for moderately high wind reaching. Cool boats just the same.

I am a big fan of Dudley Dix''s work. These are boats intended to be sailed in pretty high wind conditions down around Capetown, South Africa, where 20 knots or more is the norm rather than the exception. My Farr 38 came from South Africa.

Jeff
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