The boat is designed and built to race
around short harbour courses. A very uncomfortable boat to sail, and technically challenging. It requires crew to balance and ballast. And for an occasional offshore race, a wonderful man against nature experience.
Iíve crewed a boat of an almost exact design copy; an Elliot 10.5 mtr between Fiji
and New Zealand
. Try a google
search of Elliot 10.5 and youíll see how similar they are; Ker has even copied Greg Elliotís trade
The owner had warned us that she was a Ďwetí boat. But we didnít really appreciate what that meant. But in reality, because of the huge open cockpit
, without any protection from wave splash itís like someone pouring a bucket of water
over you every few minutes. And it gets very cold too, because there is no protection from the wind either. Even in the tropics, once the sun goes down you get very cold and wet. Exposure is always something to watch out for.
Because it is so wet on deck trying to dry gear is impossible, so water gets carried inside the boat with all the wet gear and crew. Thereís intermittent rivers of water on the cockpit floor because of the waves. So everything in the cockpit is soaking. Keeping ropes tidy is more difficult when theyíre sodden. And thereís a significant quantity of rope
on racing boats.
And the flat bottom and light weight causes the boat to pound heavily in the waves, incredible noise
and violent motion as you sail in even a moderate sea state. Iíd describe it as bash and crash and so very difficult to sleep. Especially as within a few days sleeping bags are sodden from the wet gear splashing water all over everything in the saloon
The open cockpit presents more issues. Obviously the odd thing slides off the back through the huge open transom and you never feel safe that you wont wash out overboard
too. On a heal thereís a propensity to slide down the deck as thereís little in the way of foot holds. Nor is there seating as on a conventional yacht, nothing to lean on either, so you sit on the floor or the topsides and get even wetter. Watches are very tiring, and cold, especially at night.
We also spent a couple of days in a significant storm. No option on a boat like that but to turn with the wind and sail under bare poles. They just canít lie a-hull or heave to. Under bare pole sheíll still maintain 7 knots and I can absolutely confirm that helming at 7 knots in a black night with 5-6 metre waves is one of the most exciting and terrifying things Iíve ever done. Itís a racing boat, and it just wants to fly.
OP if you have questions Iím happy to exchange PMs.
And Iíd end by saying huge fun, learnt much, and very glad I did the trip.