Join Date: Apr 2006
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Not that it can't be done or done well, but I think you may be biting off quite a project and then, when you are done, you will have a boat that is painfully difficult to resell, since few people will even be thinking about a "custom" boat of that type and cost.
Racing boats can be re-rigged to be sailed shorthanded, sure. Lose the backstays, move all the lines to the helm...Are you also going to be moving enough fittings to want or need to strip the entire deck so it can be repainted and not look like everything has been moved around? Will there be some expensive winch changes, etc, involved?
Can you find a suitably short keel (let's say SIX feet zero) or will that also be an expensive mod? With the mast perhaps reduced to compensate for less keel, or adding more ballast and slowing it down instead?
Then there's weight and floating on the lines. OK, let's say you subtract ten big 235 crew and trade them even for your cruising cloths, kitchenware, music, tools....Now what about the tankage? Typical offshore tankage might call for 48 hours of fuel and what would you like, 100 gallons of water? 150? Plus a holding tank for when you are in harbor, maybe 20-30 gallons? SO, maybe 60 gallons of fuel, 30 of waste, 150 of water...240 gallons at about eight pounds per, oops, almost a ton of additional weight, not counting the tanks themselves.
And, as the folks at J/boats will tell you, many racers are built with a lightweight "docking engine". Will your choices be offshore racers with suitable cruising engines, with enough power to keep you off lee shores for 24 hours?
Will the interior be stripped down, for serious racing? (When it gets really serious, there's a bucket someplace, but no hot water and no head compartment at all.)
Dunno...with careful choices maybe some of those boats can be converted nicely. But the PHRF numbers are going to be meaningless as you start to make changes to the boat and the payload. It might make more sense to just look at "What are people using for serious fast cruising?" and work from a list of CRUISING boats, not trying to build one the hard way. I don't think any designed tries to build a SLOW cruiser, they just put certain other values (like seakindliness and payload and heads) ahead of the speed target.