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Old 17-11-2008, 09:20   #1
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Highly competitive 25'-30' Sloop?

I'm in the market for an older lake-going cruiser that can be competitive in the local competitions. Looking at local race results hasn't been very helpful as the crew has so much to do with where the boat places. One year a Catalina30 is dead last; the next a different group takes 1st or 2nd of class with the same hull.

I imagine a tall-rig or otherwise over-powered boat does better in marginal wind? Any of you that often participate in Regatta; do you have any insight?

Manufacturers I'm considering currently are pretty predictable: Cal, Catalina, C&C, O'day, Hunter. J29 even? I'm open to just about any 25-30" Sloop that comes highly recommended although I'd prefer to have an Inbord and I'd like to avoid pop-tops.

Or is it that among these hulls there is no significant difference between what's below the waterline and it comes down to sail portfolio?
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:39   #2
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Do you want to stay with the same boats everyone else has or be a little bit out of the box? Of the ones you mentioned just pick the one that seems the better performer overall. If you want to go out of the box then get an Islander or a Columbia Saber 32. They may not have inboards but inboards can slow you down due to the weight. The Columbia Saber 32 with new rigging and sails will beat all the ones you've mentioned if sailed properly. It only has a 6' beam though so is not roomy.
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:49   #3
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Take a look at the J/30 (see J30 Front Page ).

s/v HyLyte
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Old 17-11-2008, 10:52   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vreference View Post
I'm in the market for an older lake-going cruiser that can be competitive in the local competitions. Looking at local race results hasn't been very helpful as the crew has so much to do with where the boat places. One year a Catalina30 is dead last; the next a different group takes 1st or 2nd of class with the same hull.

I imagine a tall-rig or otherwise over-powered boat does better in marginal wind? Any of you that often participate in Regatta; do you have any insight?

Manufacturers I'm considering currently are pretty predictable: Cal, Catalina, C&C, O'day, Hunter. J29 even? I'm open to just about any 25-30" Sloop that comes highly recommended although I'd prefer to have an Inbord and I'd like to avoid pop-tops.

Or is it that among these hulls there is no significant difference between what's below the waterline and it comes down to sail portfolio?
25-30" sloops are easy to find online. Getting comparably sized crew -- now, that's the hard part!
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Old 17-11-2008, 11:43   #5
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I think you have the cart before the horse.
Find a boat you like and would like to race.
Trust PHRF will have an accurate rating for the boat (pray a lot)
Get some new, expensive sails and a new hot and relaible crew and go out there and practice, practice, practice.
In time you will love your boat and you will win a race from time to time.
I'd go for that J 29. They feel good and are fun to sail. They are also numerous enough to have a reliable rating. There are some with tall rigs also.

You could win in a Westsail 32, with the right rating, but would you enjoy that. By the time you got to the club bar to celebrate your vistory the rest of the fleet will have gone home and be in bed. In fact, I suspect the bar would have been closed for hours.

Get a boat you want to sail.
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Old 17-11-2008, 12:37   #6
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:00   #7
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You could win in a Westsail 32, with the right rating
Exactly; I'd like to avoid this. I'm afraid Saber 32 might be a little too race oriented; I'm shooting for top 3/4 of the class and still somewhat useable as "weekender" (if you consider a 27ish foot boat weekender material). I don't have a problem trailing all out race boats but I don't want to blunder into a boat that is outclassed by nearly everything. Catalina 27 or 30 is the boat I've had in mind for a while. I'm afraid the j29 is nearly too new to be in my price range. Really almost has to be pre-1980.
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:37   #8
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Old 17-11-2008, 13:46   #9
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I once owned a Catalina 27, 34 years ago. They are quite fast in light air, relative to other boats of that vintage. They were always quite succesful around Seattle where we have lots of light air. Can't imagine why that Sabre 32 would be too "race oriented" I think it would be a good choice if you want somet ghing cruisier than the J 29. I just like the overall feel of the J29. It's a powerful, stiff boat that is fast in a variety of conditions. Not too cruisy though.
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:18   #10
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I think to zeroth order; long skinny and tall = fast.

I'd guess that you'd be more likely to see a Catalina come dead last not so much because of the boat per se, but because the Catalina might be more likely to find herself in the hands of a novice (being something of a starter, or an everyboat).
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Old 17-11-2008, 16:44   #11
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If you had to make the choice between Cal 30 and Catalina 30, I'd pick the Catalina. If the Cal 30 is a Cal 2-30 I was once beat by an Islander 24 while sailing a Cal 2-30 and all of us were experienced racers. Rather embarrassing!! I'd still go for the Saber.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:21   #12
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Oh Oh, I think the Cal 2-30 is a great boat. They were very succesful in Seattle years ago. I can't imagine how an Islander 24 could possibly beat a well sailed Cal 2-30.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:54   #13
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Bob Perry is exactly right (what a surprise). If you are talking about club racing, you are subject to the vagaries of conditions (duh) and someones interpretation of PHRF ratings.

My wife and I are not into racing - we suck at sail trim (stop the sail from flapping, get the wrinkles out, and if it feels good, leave it alone). However, we are undefeated ( 2 and 0!). In our last race, after the two experienced guys who were supposed to be our crew failed to show, we decided to go anyway. Our cruise equipped Hunter 34 beat, among others, a J30, even though the J30 was over 1 minute faster over the typical triangular course in 10 to 12 kt. winds. If you want a fast racer/cruiser 30 footer, buy a J boat. If you want to win, buy a lot of boats and pick the right one for each race.

Good luck.
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Old 17-11-2008, 17:58   #14
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Elliott 770, Melges, Pearson Flyer, Quest 30....
How fast do you want to go
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Old 17-11-2008, 18:18   #15
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I think it is more fun to race against boats in the same class than it is to race against boats using a handicap system. It really does measure who are the better racers. Handicap formulas are nothing more than a big guess and in my opinion rarely determine who are the better racers. This is especially true when you are racing against radically different boats.

I would try to find a boat that has a number of the same hulls out there. It does not have to be a particularly fast boat. I think it really is more fun to race against the same type of hull....at a glance you can see how well you are doing on the race course which of course makes it more fun.

Boats with active racing fleets also have better resale values.
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