Antrim 27

1997 March 6

Sport Boat

Jim Antrim is probably best known for his radical trimarans that have been ripping up the San Franciscan racing scene for the last five years. Jim is also involved with cats and has done extensive engineering on a number of high-tech projects for other designers, including myself. This new 27 lets us see Jim's talents applied to a boat that is almost normal.

Attacking the sport boat market, Ultimate Sailboats International of Santa Cruz, California, asked Jim to come up with an ocean-capable 27footer that would be a perfect boat for the performance enthusiast and would offer better stability than its competitors. The hull form features a fine and very slightly hollow entry, with considerably more fullness to the bow above the waterline than is currently typical in order to keep the boat riding high and dry in ocean wave conditions. The slab-sided fine bows we often see today can easily bury themselves into the back of the next wave. The prismatic coefficient of .56 indicates a full-ended shape. Beam is kept at 9'3" to make trailering easy. The factory weight of 2,600 pounds and the retractable fin keel also help with trailering. The D/L of this design is 86.64.

The fin-up draft is 3'4". The fin is a cored carbon fiber blade with a 1,050-pound lead bulb on the bottom. It is fixed in the down position for sailing. The bulb has a small beaver-tail trailing edge. The thickness ratio of the fin is about 13 percent. The rudder features a "gudgeonless" patented-type attachment to the transom that is neater and cleaner than the typical metal gudgeon type. It also allows the be attached more snugly against the transom. The balance area on the rudder is 17 percent.

The boat has a big, dinghy-style rig with an adjustable headstay. The jib is fitted over the headstay with a sleeve. The spreaders are swept aft to a 28-degree angle at the deck, eliminating the need for a backstay. The mast is designed to bend above the hounds for depowering the mainsail in a breeze. The SA/D is 29.95, using the 1, J, E and P for sail area. Jim has designed a patented swiveling bowsprit that is controlled from the cockpit by a line drive unit. This is a safer and more versatile way of attaching the bowsprit, as opposed to the internal tube/ retractable pole-type mounting. There is a recessed groove in the foredeck to control the travel of the aft end of the tube; the forward end is clamped in a fitting that is like an oarlock.

There is usually not much to say about the interiors of sport boats, but Antrim has devised a very clever and workable layout for this little rocket. He integrated the structure required to support the keel trunk with the interior components. It's a sit-down layout and you will have to scoot around on your fanny, but it does work. You can even close off the head area for some privacy. I'm not saying that this is a cruising boat, but you could cruise with it. My cruising pals Paul and Laura would consider this luxurious compared to their current Ultimate 20.

We see a lot of these sport boats entering the market today. Competition between them is keen; the Antrim 27 will have to shine in all areas to capture its share of the market. Considering the work that the Ultimate group has done with their other models, I think the builder/designer combination of Ultimate and Antrim will be tough to beat. This is one boat I really want to test sail.