Tartan 27' owner
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Since I have a 19' Lightning, which is a racing boat with a center board and fractional jib, I will take a quick stab at this. The Lightning is a very different boat from the Compac as it has a planing hull and is meant to go quite fast and it is also probably at least 1000 #s lighter in weight. The swing keel of a Compac 19 weighs more then an entire Lightning hull at 800#s.
I also have a 27' Tartan masthead rig with a nearly full keel that also is challenged when pointing into the wind next to fin keel boats but it does have a center board that helps a lot when pointing up wind. It also weighs in at around 3 1/2 tons.
It is my humble opinion that the swing keel model of the Compac 19 will give you better performance then the non swing keel model. I am not certain about the draft it reaches when deployed but more draft will certainly give you better pointing ability with all that weight below.
I am also not certain that a larger jib will help you point up better as it will also tend to give you lee helm. As I understand it, the ability to point up is more about the sheeting angle of the jib sheets. My Lightning has adjustable jib sheet cleats for adjusting this angle whereas my Tartan 27 does not, except for jib fair leads which help a little in varying wind conditions.
My other observation is that the Compac 19 has a fairly shallow draft (non swing keel models) that will tend to make it a bit tender and give it a good amount of leeway (slippage) which can be an asset when trying to get into some anchorages but not so good when the wind kicks up.
The Compac 19 looks like a nice boat that could potentially be trailered and take you on some fun overnight trips if you don't mind taking the time to get there under sail - it is about the journey more then the destination, right?
All boats, like houses, cars, significant others and even jobs are compromises of one sort or another. If you want a boat that has the ability to take you places and be able to sleep on it then the Compac 19 is not a bad choice at all. If you want a fast, high pointing boat then get a Lightning, but do not plan on sleeping on it for long or at all.
I would opt for the swing keel model though.
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