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Leggero L8

2011 November 1

Sport boat

Here is an unusual daysailer designed by Paolo Bua for wood composite construction. Tim, my editor, warned me that the brochure is in French. "But promo copy is the same no matter what language it is written in," he says. I'll let him argue that with the copywriters. But, the good news is that the drawings are well done so I'll just plow ahead. To my eye this is a very good looking boat.

The hull of this 26-foot, 3-inch sport boat is pretty typical of the type. The beam is all aft with a very fine entry but there are no hollows in the entry. The bottom is quite flat with no deadrise. The topsides are flared with a narrow BWL. The D/L is 87.6, and the L/B is 3.22. The most interesting and novel part of this hull design is the centerboard. We have grown accustomed to sport boats having lifting keels, but centerboards are rare. The typical centerboard that pivots aft to retract into a slot in the hull leaves that gaping slot open when the board is down. That creates drag. The centerboard on the Leggero has no slot and through the use of a clever bracket arrangement the centerboard retracts to remain fully exposed outside the hull. Board down draft is 6 feet, 3 inches, and with the board up draft is reduced to 2 feet, 8 inches. Twin rudders set well outboard help reduce draft. Note the reverse on the bow profile. This is a very shapely and sexy looking hull with an attractive spring to the sheer.

The SA/D of the Leggero is 31.6. The working jib tacks a couple feet aft of the stem and the code zero tacks right at the stem. A 592-square-foot asymmetrical chute can be flown off a retracting sprit. Note the high aspect ratio of the square-topped mainsail. This boat should fly along in all conditions.

I like the shape of the little cabintrunk. It makes the boat more interesting looking to my eye but I wonder what is the advantage of having this small cuddy when there is not enough volume below to use for anything other than gear stowage. It does, however, raise the mast partners and this will stiffen the lower section of the mast. There are long foot braces for the crew and short ones for the skipper on the cockpit sole.

The Leggero L8 uses a strip-plank wood and epoxy construction, and is being built in La Rochelle, France, by Alexandre Genoud. There is a small electric motor for auxiliary propulsion.