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Old 26-01-2010, 14:04   #1
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IOR-Design Cruisers

I have seen various postings that kind of trashed the 1980s IOR design boats. But never really see what the problem/issue with the designs were. I've become attracted to a 45' IOR design so am looking for info on the topic. In looking at the boat the only thing that kind of jumps out to me is the displacement seems a little light (but it has more ballast for its' displacement). But looking at newer designs it seems to be in line with models like Beneteaus, so I don't really know what to think about that. At the same time even though it is a 45' boat, if you took of the stern scoop displacement wise it would seem to compare more to 42' boat. I don't really know if any of this was due to the IOR issue.

So what was the issue with the IOR boats?

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Old 26-01-2010, 15:25   #2
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I own an IOR half tonner - great boat - sea kindly and built like a brick out house. Mine did a number of Sydney - Hobart yacht races in the early 80s and still plows along very well. Issues include: relatively narrow stern hence less cockpit space, large overlapping headsail and relatively small 'ribbon' main, relatively short LWL along with the narrower stern tends to make them rock and roll when square to the breeze. Mine has a fair bit of tumble-home which is prone to scratching when coming alongside anything. The plus side? Great at sea and to windward, big inside for size of boat (good here in Tassie where nights can be cool) and many of them were over built - hand laid glass and can cope with a grounding or falling off a wave.

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Old 26-01-2010, 16:18   #3
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There are lot's of old IOR boats out cruising. The older boats are generaly better built and heavier without the underbody being quite so tortured.
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Old 26-01-2010, 16:24   #4
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We're Happy 1976 Ericson 35 "IOR design".
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Old 31-01-2010, 19:38   #5
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It would probably be a mistake to try to put all IOR boats in one basket. Some may make better cruisers and pleasure sailors than others. One of the common findings is a large foretiangle and short boom. This tends to put more stress on the crew than a rig with the opposite sailplan. Now that more boats are being built outside the constrants and the abberations of race rules and an insain drive to get a good handicap the boom is getting longer and fortriangle (J) shorter. The appearence of the J/24 a boat designed outside the race rules kind of proved the point a good all around well manered fast boat is a better boat
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Old 31-01-2010, 21:31   #6
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My 40' IOR has the same hull as the 40' Swan if that says anything. And some of the sisters to mine are built for offshore.

The problems I see with the IOR is when cresting a wave they can be a little squirrely and heaven forbid if one were to slide backwards trying to crest a wave with just a tiller. Even backing into a slip could catch one off guard and pin you to the rail.

Personally I feel the the large rudders are actually part of the COE, a bit of an extension of the keel. On a closehaul I use to get a lot of weather helm running a 150% genoa and the old main of 13'. After a eyeballing the hull on the hard for a long while it seemed the sail plan was just too much forward. The COE looked like is was more under the mainsail then the whole system.

So I took a risk and put on 16' of mainsail and a 135% genoa. Now on a closehaul I can let go of the wheel and it sails itself, so that proved my theory IMO. It even points higher now but that may be due to the new sails.

For their waterline they are fast. They exceed the formula. Sitting dead in the water the waterline looks like and eye. Healed over it's still about the same except the tail end is rounded.

IOR's have a lot of positive buoyancy for and aft. It keeps them moving when breaking a wave or with following seas but bad when they hit you on an aft quarter, time for the foulies.

Mine, an old racer, could use some more keel weight. They relied on a 4-6 man crew to level them out (rail meat).

In the chop mine gets tossed around a bit but it sure can surf the waves. I keep a drogue on board for offshore.

They have very little bilge so if your getting water in, you'll know it fairly soon.

They do have deep keels so if gunk holing one has to be very aware of the depth. Mine's a bit old and not too pretty so I've been thinking of renaming it "The Ugly Duckling" (because it's not a Swan) but I'm happy with it and will probably keep it the rest of my life, unless I come into a large amout of money some how.

The first picture is before the change in sail plan...................._/)
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Old 31-01-2010, 23:45   #7
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Ya...and if you have ever seen any of Del's workmanship...he is a liar calling his boat an ugly it's impeccable!
"Go simple, go large!".

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Old 01-02-2010, 05:09   #8
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Since the IOR Rule was a (handicapping) system for measuring racing boats, IOR boats are, by definition, not optimized as “cruising” boats. A lot of IOR boats were slow, unstable and not particularly seaworthy.

Rating rules shaped our boats ~ by Ted Brewer
Good Old Boat - No feasr mast stepping article

“... The early IOR yachts were rather strange looking to my eyes, as the boats were fairly beamy but the ends, both bow and stern, were very pinched and the deck plan wound up looking like the ace of diamonds. If you see a yacht with a transom that resembles the letter V, then she's probably an early IOR boat!

The problem with the rule, in my opinion, is that it produced unseaworthy yachts ...”

Or read C.A. Marchaj's book, "Seaworthiness - The Forgotten Factor". It goes into lengthy detail as to what was wrong with the IOR rule, leading up to the Fastnet disaster.

Disclaimer: We happily used our C&C29 as a live-aboard cruiser for 10 years. The 29 was a Midget Offshore Racing Club Rule (MORC) design, very similar to the IOR.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:07   #9
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The IOR rule penalized stability, which most of us consider a good thing in a cruising boat. The result, classically, was the IOR "Broach Coach," which had a terrible tendency to round up once it became overpowered. A lot of one-design classes from that era, such as the Express 37, have corrected built-in instability by going to "turbo" rudders, often with twice as much surface area as the original designs.

The bottom line is that as more and more designers found ways to "beat" the IOR rule by designing pinched sterns, tumblehomes, ribbon mains, tiny rudders, et cetera, the boats became less and less seaworthy. The result, in the heyday of the rule, was that many of these boats could only be sailed by expert crews. That's great for racers, where the rock stars always want a bit of advantage, but awful for someone who wants to cruise the boat shorthanded.

The rule collapsed of its own goofiness because it produced so many bad-mannered boats.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:38   #10
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There are plenty that would make fine cruisers, I'm sure. But I see a lot from that era that have the classic exaggerated super-wide beam and pinched ends. Those characteristics are not on my list of attributes for a great sea boat.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:13   #11
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While I am not a proponent of IOR boats I think we should judge the individual boat not the IOR cover. Some ex race boats can make good cruisers as is- some with modification. The price of a defunct race rule boat can be attractive.

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