Brian, my estemed colleague, What the heck are you talking about? The Beneteau 40.7 I raced on won Key West, Block Island, the IMS East Coasts, Cheapeake High Point several years running, several Carribbean races. Sisterships won thier class in the Bermuda race, Sydney-Hobart, Solent Race Week, and the Fastnet. And none of them have sagging headliners.
Cheez. Name one Hunter or Catalina that did anything like that...
Sorry Jeff for the late reply. First, let me say that I did not express what I meant well. So if you (and Smack) will bear with me, I will give you my opinions on a few things. So here goes... bear with me...
I used to be a pretty good bowler. Last competitive game I threw a 268. I even won the USBC County championship for Clark County which includes Portland and Vancouver. I have always made money bowling... never lost, not once. I have a load of pins, certificates, awards, and even a big purple USBC Clark County Championship shirt which isn't easy to get. On that particular game, I threw one of my worst games (didn't even average 200 scratch). I had guys throwing 220 average, which is a bit over semi pro. Yet, I beat them. WHy? Handicap. I have lost games where I have thrown a scratch 250 to a player that barely throws 130, and won games just the opposite. I came to realize it was all a bunch of crap. Handicap is for losers. If you don't throw straight up, what are you really proving? Scratch Leagues and Semi Pro are the only way to go. Otherwise, you are only playing yourself, and celebrating your mediocrity.
Now fast forward to racing. I have used this example before. We did a distance race some years back. Overnighter, maybe 110 nm ballpark. Not a long race, but not beer can either. There was a FLying Tiger, an Olsen 30, Bene 10m, a Tartan, Farr X I think, and quite a few other boats. The key 'other boat' was a IP 38 IIRC. We finished the race. We sat down at the bar. We had our third pitcher of beer, celebrating our great time. The IP finally passed the finish line (whether he passed bow first or stern first is up for conjecture). Guess who won? The IP. Are you kidding me? WIth his corrected PHRF, he beat us by some minutes. Another example of this is the Conquistador Race in Charlotte Harbor where the winner twice was some cruising boat. That race has over a hundred entries. I also participated in that race.
So what are you racing for with PHRF? THat bene 40.5 is NOT the fastest boat on the water - not by a long shot. Can he outrun a Farr 40? 38? Flying Tiger? Melges? J122 or Jx? Heck, can he even outrun a modern Bene First? Can he outrun a 40.5 that is tricked out with carbon fiber, new mylar sails, and gutted below just to race? NO! Well, hold on, yes. Yes he can. Why? Because he has a PHRF. His time is corrected based upon some nebulous average of other Firsts. The reality is that he is racing against himself and an average. And with that average, doesn't he stand just the same chance, if he sails well, to beat a TP52 on a IP38 with corrected time? And any prize you win, isn't just a consolation prize for mediocrity? So what I was trying to say was to get a boat that would be a good boat for his boys that would be a comfortable cruising boat first and foremost. I am in no way suggesting he get a clunker. I recommended a 40.5 Legend which I think is a super boat for the money and not a bad performing boat either (compared to some, but slow compared to a First). Now if he just wants a Man Cave, then get something that can really be competitive. Or if he3 just wants to race, maybe get that First and gut it and trick it out that he can beat many other boats straight up. Because to me at least, anything short of straight up is a Purple Championship Shirt that is little more than a way to celebrate nothing.
I know you disagree, Jeff. Many people do. I know it will be pointed out that some of these boats should not have been placed in the same class, or PHRF is a way to make the playing field equal, etc. I too would not have a 'slow' boat ever again. But when it comes to cruising and sailing with a 9 yo and 12 yo boy on the ocean, well, that's something I know quite a bit about. His boys and mine are the same age. The First is not a boat I would take cruising with two boys, though some have done it. If he isn't planning on cruising with them, or he just wants a fun weekender, then I would kinda agree with you, though I would opt for a Henderson 30 or see if I could get into a Melges or Farr or something else maybe.
PS Catalina and Hunter do NOT make a boat that can compete with a first (scratch). But lets be honest, that isn't saying much. I have what I think is a good performing boat for a loaded cruiser, but it sure isn't a racer. However, I sure wouldn't want to race a First against a 400 or 42 with a PHRF or a Legend 40.5 with corrected time. Scratch, they would leave us behind like crazy. But anchored, race over, everyone would be meeting on our boats (snicker).
That is where I was coming from. Not trying to upset anyone or any racers. And when it comes to racing Jeff, you are by and Farr (pun intended) a better racer and sailor than I am; certainly more knowledgeable. But I'll still out grill ya, my friend!