View Full Version : Picking a boat -

Jim Conlin
11-17-1999, 09:16 AM
I'm thinking of a new boat and would like suggestions.
I'd like suggestions for my next boat.

My current boat is a 35' Carl Alberg design built by Pearson in 1962 of ~another material~.
I've had it for 24 years.

Mostly these days I daysail, race on Wednesdays and do an occasional weekend with wife and teenage daughter.
The bulk of our sailing is done in Buzzard's Bay, MA, where standard afternoon conditions are 20 kts and a short two foot plus chop.
It seems to me that he current 13,000# boat is not the best choice for this use.

I'd hope for a boat which:
- sails well in my local conditions
- is pretty
- is moderately easy to maintain
- requires less muscle to sail than a 35' masthead sloop monohull
- has limited accommodations - a couple of berths and an enclosed
head for the ladies

Were it 50 years ago, the boats I'd be most intrigued with are the LF Herreshoff ketches Rozinante, Quiet Tune and Araminta, but it seems to me that the technology has advanced a bit since then and there might be other choices. I'd be looking for advances in speed and ease of maintenance.

Multihulls are intriguing, particularly Newick trimarans.

What do you all suggest I study?
Jim Conlin

Ian McColgin
11-17-1999, 09:48 AM

There's a Rozonante over on the Vinyard that I've seen sail in the Moffett Cup, and a handier faster little unit for when the afternoon s'wester piles in you'd be hard pressed to find. Of course, Holmes Hole is, besides a wooden boat mecca, a multi-hull center. Hop the ferry or sail over and hang. You're dream boat will emerge.

Your Alberg is a classic in its own right and may sell faster than you can get it on the market, but I have some friends, a couple, who are looking this winter, so e-mail me if you're prepared for the supreme sacrifice of selling a long term love . . .

Jim Conlin
11-17-1999, 01:23 PM
I'd certainly love a Rozinante, but I fear that I couldn't keep up with the maintenance
of a plank-on-frame boat. There are a few cold-molded ones, but I expect they're
out of my price range. Which leads me to contemplate building something. The
current leading candidate is a 28' Newick tri called 'Spark', but if there were a
monohull design as graceful as the Roz. with a more modern underbody, I'd love to
see it.

I guess that my game plan is to spend maybe 6-9 months surveying what's on the
market and designs I might build, then deciding. If i build, it'll be three years
minimum in construction.

I won't put the Alberg on the market 'til I have the next boat. I'd rather own two
boats than none. I have had the first conversation with a yacht broker. Feels sorta
like consulting a divorce attorney.


Ian McColgin
11-17-1999, 02:56 PM
Jim, the fact that you're looking at multi's shows a spirit of adventure I wouldn't dream of dampening. Also, even weekend cruising in a monohull smaller than your 35 with a wife and daughter might prove stressful, and is in my opinion the biggest problem for your family with the Roz.

But, to put the question in the hardest relief, what's more modern than the Roz ? Sure you can get hard bilge fin keeled units that will be faster in flat water, but cavitate their rudders and weathercock unmanagably is just the weather where Buzzard's Bay and the Roz come into their own. And the Roz is stunningly easy to sail.

& there's the real issue. You're down-sizing or re-sizing for ease of sailing. (Actually, if I had an Alberg 35 I'd probably do things to the rigging to make it easier but that's another matter. . .) Some traditional designs are hard and muscular to sail, (Wianno Sr. a great example of a fun but muscly boat) but a lot, like LFH's designs, are easier and more harmonius with the water than some IOR freak. I'm beginning to think that 4:1 (LWL:B) or more is the way to get comfort, ease & speed. NASA chord X73ZB high prismatic flattened buttock planing surfaces be hanged. Water's not changed that much in the last few years, despite the polution.

Jim Conlin
11-17-1999, 06:41 PM
I find the multihulls intriguing in three respects. There's nothing wrong with speed. While most multihulls look a tad 'industrial' for my taste, there are a very few which are, to me, beautiful. Moxie is moored near us in Marion. I admire it greatly. Third, I believe they're potentially easier to sail if you don't get too macho. Less weight requires less canvas.

For accommodation, I'd like two berths and an enclosed head.

It seems to me that since 1950, we've gotten materials and methods which significantly expand what's possible (epoxy for fastening and sealing, aluminum and carbon for spars, dacron and better for cordage and sailcloth, LPU paints, the list is long. I think that the sensible application of these resources can be a good thing. Take White Wings for example. Seems to me that she's an improvement over the period design in every respect I can think of- cost, performance, ease of use, maintenance requirements and beauty. I hope to find a boat in my size range which achieves similar advances.

Water hasn't changed, but the designer's palate has. Therefore improvements over the 1950 solutions are possible, I think.

Todd Schliemann
11-18-1999, 12:05 AM
Jim, Just a few notes on Araminta, Quiet Tune and Rozinante. You'd be devilishly hard pressed to match the beauty of any of these boats with a mutlihull or otherwise. You'd also be devilishly hard pressed to find appropriate space for an enclosed head on any of them, barring canvas. They all would excel in Buzzard Bay conditions, not as wet as one would imagine, a delight to sail in all conditions. Maintenance is a long topic, but maybe alot less than your Alberg... depending on how you like to keep your boats and how you prefer to build them. If you still want to race it, I'm told that PHRF gets very "fooled" by these rigs, as well as the underbody as designed. Don't give up the dream for something that will do the job faster. I've had the pleasure to share my harbor with QUIET TUNE and ARAMINTA and a Roz named EDITH for sometime now. I've raced against them (and come in fourth each time), sailed in company in all kinds of weather, rowed by them day and night... and my mind still won't let go of all the details I wouldn't change. If I could trade my 34' masthead sloop for one of L.F.'s best I would do it in a second. Thanks for the opportunity to share the mutual envy and.. so you really want to give up your Alberg? All the best and Onward!

Bud Ingraham
11-26-1999, 05:21 PM
Joel White desighned a 31 foot ketch based upon Quiet Tune called the Center Harbor 31. Brooklin Boat Yard in Brooklin, Maine has built several of them. I believe you could purchase plans from them. It is cold molded with spade rudder and fin keel. If you happen to have a Wooden Boat Calendar from 1998 she is the month of August pin-up.

John Gearing
11-29-1999, 01:47 AM
Tris are fast, that's for sure. Even cruising tris like John Marples' and Jim Brown's go like stink. Folks forget that Brown and a handpicked crew set a record winning the Transpac years ago sailing one of Brown's cruising tris. As I recall, the crew included Bill Lee and some other boat nuts from Santa Cruz, CA who were duly impressed. So impressed that they came back and built the legendary monohull Santa Cruz 50's and 70's and inaugurated the era of the "downwind sled" on the West Coast.

History aside, one important thing to consider regarding a trimaran or any multihull is where you can have it hauled. When I was trying to buy a tri out in the San Francisco area I discovered that a lot of marinas and yards only have travelifts and they were unanimous in their refusal to consider lifting a multi. I doubt it was physically feasible for some of the equipment. In the end I only found two yards on the whole Bay which could haul a tri--they had marine railways. One of them went out of biz a few weeks after I discovered it, and the other one was really more of a commercial yard and they charged $500 for the haul and then $300 a day for every day you took up space on the railway.

Just some thoughts.....

11-07-2000, 01:39 PM
Check out the Rozinante web site: http://www.rozinante.org

Art Read
11-07-2000, 02:26 PM
John... (off topic) I got a chance to sail one of those "legendary" Santa Cruz 50s... Impressive doing 4 knots upwind under bare poles while waiting my turn for the fuel dock in Hawaii. But my god, sailing her back north to Seattle was "interesting"... Going airborne for two thirds of the boat's length off the back of every third wave and slaming back down for hours on end gets old QUICK! (Guess that's why the owners pay us poor slobs to bring 'em back...)

Jamie Hascall
11-07-2000, 03:39 PM
One more voice for the LFH designs. Legendary Yachts out here has been building a group of them to classic specs with modern techniques. Their Araminta has been cleaning up the WYRA circuit out here with more style and grace than anything I've ever seen.

Good luck on your choice.

11-07-2000, 04:14 PM
Jim...Far be it from me to offer you any advice as your resume predates my own by about 23 years, but if you're looking at multihulls, you may want to take a gander at Kurt Hughes designs as well. As mentioned earlier in this post, they all have a sort of character that seems to be on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, but he incorporates some theories into his designs that make for some great cruising and racing multis in just about any size.

Take Care


Todd Bradshaw
11-07-2000, 04:20 PM

If you haven't already done it, find a dealer and take a test drive of a trimaran. Corsair dealers (Farrier F-28, 31 etc.) are probably the easiest to find. Sailing a tri is very interesting, but different. We had a small Farrier for a while and it was a very ingeniously designed boat. The amount of usable space, while sailing, is amazing due to the nets and beam. The folding feature also makes launching a breeze for most of the boats in that size range. We put 200-300 miles a summer on it for about five years and then sold it. I really liked the boat but heeling so little, in some ways it made me miss feeling like we were really "sailing".

11-07-2000, 09:52 PM
I think I have to add my two cents on this one. LFH designs, like mentioned, are real sea boats, not distorted by the ratings and designer's attempts to beat them. Yes, many method/material advances have come down the pipe in the last 30-40 years, but the rules governing how a yacht behaves in a confused sea or contrary current have not. The new designs are fast under some conditions and quite unsafe in others. You'll be hard pressed to find a better mannered yacht then Rozinante, Quiet Tune and Araminta. They will not toss someone off the foredeck because you let the helm go for a few seconds to crack open another beer, pivoting on their deep fins.

In fact these yachts seem to redefine performance sailing, because they repeatedly meet or surpass the design requirements. They're faster then they look like the should be, they handle better then they look like they should and bring you home in a style and level of comfort and safety not seen in more modern yachts.

Not to say newer designs can't be had; Benford, White, Paine, Brewer, Scheel and many others have rather traditional designs that perform very well. I strongly believe they are from the old school or were trained by folks from the old school of thought that generated the rules LFH tried to stick to all his life. Build it strong enough, but not too heavy, keep it thin so it's easy to propel and make the lines flow for efficiency not rule beating, and keep it an art that must be well understood through years of wake watching and tutoring not pure math and cad regurgitation.