Olson 30, Originally reviewed November 1978
I remember years ago being asked to attend a meeting of local PHRF racers to see what could be done to integrate the new "Ultra Light Displacement Boats" into the then current rating spread. As I recall the boat that had caused the trouble was the Aphrodite 101 with a D/L of around 150 and we thought that was light, even ultralight. Little did we know what was around the corner. Bruce Lee of Santa Cruz had been pushing ultralight boats for years-"Fast is Fun"-with some success but most racers saw them as downwind flyers that could not go to weather. Then George Olson designed the Olson 30 and people began to take notice. We had entered the age of the ULDB and we are still there.
I finished my original review of the Olson 30 with, "If the total criteria for a design is speed at all cost, let's have radical 60-foot catamarans or better still, one-way proas. I guess I'm becoming too much of a cruiser, but the Olson 30 appears to be a design of little versatility. We'll see."
Well, all these years later we have seen, and I was very wrong. Olson 30s are still racing today and have proven if nothing else versatile. They are fast upwind, fast downwind and on top of that, affordable and good-looking.
Read the original review at: http://www.sailingmagazine.net/component/content/article/3-perry-on-design/1095-olson-30?directory=138
LOA 30'; LWL 27'6"; Beam 9'6"; Draft 5'6"; Displacement 3,500 lbs.; Ballast 1,700 lbs;Sail area 380 sq. ft.
Original sailaway price $35,000