If you want to finish the race quickly and hope to save your handicap time, a lightweight flyer is the way to go with this race. Boats like the Moore 24, Olson 20, Hobie 33, Express 27, hawk farm, etc. are popular with the comfort be damned racer
set. No way I'd want to cruise
in any of the above boats. If you haven't been below on any of these boats, read the definition of 'spartan' to get an idea of their level of comfort. Most have portapotties sitting in the open, a shelf and a SeaSwing for a galley
, a few pipe berths below, headroom
even my 5'6" height can't stand up in and pretty much stripped out otherwise. Water and fuel
capacity are miniscule and they have very little excess carrying capacity if you start adding on all the goodies that cruisers seem to accumulate.
Yes these small lightweight boats can cross oceans but at least one was abandoned largely because of it's light weight and small size on the return trip to the mainland. Another one limped in minus it's keel
. That was no small feat of seamanship.
Having said the above, actually bought a lightweight, stripped out 30' flyer to do the SHTP. Fortunately finances and my wife brought me to my senses. If anyone is looking for a competitive, ready to go boat, the Moore 24 that won it's class in the 2012 SHTP is for sale
at something over $20,000. That's a lot of money
for a Moore but it's thoroughly set up for long distance single
handed ocean racing. From my experience almost equipping a beer can racer
for the race, the asking price
isn't really out of line.