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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-30-2016 12:42 PM
Scotty C-M
Re: What makes a good light air boat?

Lots of good boats have been mentioned. Another classic is a Santa Cruz 27.
05-30-2016 11:21 AM
Re: What makes a good light air boat?

You really need to be much much more specific as to how much you will pay, how old you will accept, how many people aboard, what you want to use it for, how much experience you have, how much experience your crew has, etc. Without lots more data, everyone will give you their own favorite boat. The problem is that few people ever own more than 2 boats in their life, and thus they only have experience with one or two boats.

And so, sailors are like electricians. They leave the innovation to the America's Cup since innovation can be expensive, dangerous, or both. I once asked in a small boat forum about using screw clamps to tighten the roller furling in a blow. I put one above the center and one below and put tubing on the metal of the clamp. I was told online by a revered member of my boat community that the clamps would rip the sail apart. In fact, they worked amazingly well, and the jib had no issue on a steady 50 mph wind and 65 mph gusts. Other people had their roller furling jibs suffer severe damage.

So while everyone in forums is conscientious, they only know about their boat, and your boat and you situation is often very very different. I can tell numerous stories like this.
05-30-2016 10:22 AM
Re: What makes a good light air boat?

Frankly an Olson 30 is almost impossible to beat for its size in light air. But they are no where near $20k. I sold mine in very good condition for $10, there is one in New Orleans right now asking $12k, and it has some really fun go fast bits (asymmetric rigged).
05-30-2016 09:23 AM
Re: What makes a good light air boat?

Okay first most important is skipper hands down to get the boat to go.

I just briefly read this noticed j/30 and j/32 mentioned and seeing I owned a 30 for like 20 years and have had a 32 for 15 I'll give you all my thoughts.
J/30 you had 3 head sails the biggest a 168% you could sail at around 3 knots into the wind with a 4knot breeze I know nothing about drag and was never passed with someone with a 110%.
The 32 I haven't found the right sail combo yet the first head sail was to small went to a bigger sail and wasn't happy with either light or big air.
I've been researching sails all winter because I need a whole new set. Right now what I think I'm going to do is get a code 0 figure out how high a wind I can sail it and then figure out how big a jib I can get away with.
Down wind I'm thinking code 0 and a a3.
We'll see....
05-30-2016 02:59 AM
Re: What makes a good light air boat?

Pardon the thread bump; I don't like starting a new thread if I can recycle. I'm looking for an ultralight displacement boat for lake use where the wind is very light most of the time. If money fell from trees, I'd like a vintage model like an Express 27, Capri 30, or Olson 30. Those boats tend to cost 15K to 20K for the best, cleanest examples with lots of recent restoration work and a good sail inventory. I'd like something a bit cheaper, for day sailing only, and for no more than 4 people. Cruising acommodations are not important. I'd be keeping it in a slip, so ease of setup is not a major factor. I recently sailed on a Capri 30 in very light air and was very impressed by it's speed. We had a very experienced skipper though, which I'm sure helped. Any ideas of possible vintage ULDB designs of 24 to 28 feet or so? Perhaps other boats not officially ULDB but that still move well in light air? Multihulls are not very practical in my location due to a lack of wide slips where I would be keeping it. It would be nice if the boat was good for single handing, but I would have 2 plus guys most of the time. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.
10-13-2009 11:05 PM
Once you start seeing numbers approaching 17 and above you are getting into a more performance oriented design
My Stiletto has a sail area to displacement (SA/D) of 48.86! If I fly the spinnaker it soars to 112.2!!!

How's that for a wild ride!

Don't ignore the power of the dark side
10-13-2009 10:39 PM
LyleRussell Getting the crew weight to leeward hasn't been mentioned as a technique on any boat.

I like a J/30 for your purposes. They have lots of room ,bunks for 5 adults and the rig is easily handled. You can get a good one for less than 25k and have money left over for fresh sails and a DIY bottom job.
10-13-2009 09:49 PM
One more boat that does well in Light Air

To the OP,

I know that you said that you didn't want to go over 32", but with a bunch of kids and wanting to do the occasional weekender, you will need the room.

Look at a Pearson 10M (33'). On paper it looks like a slow, fat boat. It's 33' long, has a 11' beam, displaces almost 12,500 lbs, skeg rudder, but...... the thing is pretty quick. If you get the tall rig (can find one) your NE-PHRF is around 135 AND you can get it for under $25K. The standard rig is 140ish as a PHRF. It's got pretty good creature comforts and is roomy below.

Yes, you can find a quicker boat in this length range, but all aorund it won't have everything the 10M has for the price.

Disclaimer - I own one (Tall Rig) and routinely kick ass on boats much larger than ours. I crew on J105, and while it is faster than the P10M in light air, it is spartan below, very low head room and tight even though it is 2 ft longer and the same beam. I imagine the J32 will be similar.
10-10-2009 08:08 PM
What makes a good light air boat?

The answer is simple: The skipper & crew! Some boats seem to spring forward while other identical hulls appear to be anchored. Of course a clean bottom and a modern fin keel and loads of sail will all help.
10-09-2009 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by AndrewMac View Post
bubb2 - thanks for the input. Reading the different comments here, it seems that, if one were in 3 knots of wind with a 130 headsail on roller furling and noticed that the leech was curling, it may well make sense to take in some of the head sail in order to reduce drag in the slot and create better airflow across the back of the main.

Btw - I hope you don't misunderstand my questions to mean that I think a different boat will compensate for the (rather considerable) holes in my sailing skills! I am very much hoping to build those skills in order to have more fun in whatever I boat I find myself in.

Thanks again!

reading some of the comments along
Andrew, I run a 110% jib on my boat. It does well in light air and does well in heavy air. It will out point a larger sail. For the in between days is what a Asymmetrical is for.

I am not trying to say boat numbers are not important. However, what you might give in light air performance may give you stability when it gets snotty.
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