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Sloop vs. Fractional Sloop vs. Cutter
You state that you are looking for sailing vessel, 35 feet, primarily for single-handling in offshore waters.
We live in a world were everybody out there has their own opinion. My dear friend JeffH being one of them. Jeff has always pressed the advantages of a fractional rigs. Fractional rigs work on the big Farr designed Volvo Challenge boats, that have a crew of eleven. Fractional rigs are also wonderful on the race course going around the buoys. This is the type of sailing that he does.
Now to my point. Seventy five percent of the cruising vessels out there are being single-handed, I mean actual world voyaging boats out there doing it, are CUTTERS. For a good reason. They work. Offshore, one will work under jib, staysail and main. This is a proven combination that works. In building winds and seas; one will reef the main; then after that partially furl the jib,; then as the wind builds, one throws in another second reef and furls the jib; then the sailor will have just the staysail up and double reef in the main; if the winds builds further, drop the main and staysail will carry the vessel to 50 knots; his vessel will be balanced, the center of effort is low and center; the autopilot works effortlessly, the crew is relaxed.
Take a survey of the boats doing the cruising, and see for yourself that itís much different than the opinions of the sailors that sail the race courses.
I have always sailed successfully a cutter; if it was a Perry designed Norsemann 447, or a Pacific Secraft Crealock 34, or a Valiant 40, or a BCC28, or now a HR53. Iíve owned sailed 200K on these cutters. The design works.
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