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Re: Cape Dory 30 - How slow is "slow?"
I've had a CD Typhoon (so pretty much the same design, just 19' instead of 30') for about a year and sail out of the Rhode River, and it is a great boat for the bay. She is definitely slower than lighter boats, but there has never been a time when I was packing it up for lack of wind while others were still sailing. With a 150+ genoa I have no problems getting moving even in only a couple of knots of wind, so reviewers that describe it as slow are probably comparing it to more racing-oriented boats. I would think any heavy, full-keeled design is going to be slower than something with a fin keel and spade rudder, so not a CD-specific issue. That being said, there are just a lot of summer days on the Chesapeake with no wind at all, and even the lightest boats end up motoring back in or anchoring...
Also, as someone else said, when the weather turns bad she handles everything really well. One afternoon this year I was about halfway across the bay, around 12-15 knot breeze, blue skies, beautiful day, then within a couple of minutes the wind had clocked around and increased to 20-30 with higher gusts. I hove-to, put in a reef, and kept on sailing for a couple of hours while a lot of others were dropping sails and motoring back in. It was definitely exciting until I got the reef in, but I'd feel comfortable being out in similar conditions again, which I can't necessarily say for other 19' boats I've been in over the years. Since I mostly single-hand, this was an important factor for me when I was shopping around.