2010 January 4
T he Reichel/Pugh office has been designing some big, fancy and fast boats lately. I'd say they are very near the top of the heap in terms of high-performance design. Vincitore was designed for Jim Mitchell and is one of R/P's newest designs. It has proven very successful and thoroughly lived up to its name. I got a nice package of drawings, no hull lines of course, and a cryptic spec sheet but I did not receive any "designer's comments" or general notes on the design. So I called Reichel/Pugh and spoke to Jim Pugh.
This boat wins races. It has racked up a long list of victories including the recent Rolex Big Boat Series in San Francisco and the Rolex Regatta in St. Thomas. It can race under a variety of rating rules but it was primarily designed to race under IRC. I searched for some mention of the TP 52 rule but I couldn't find it. I asked Jim if Vincitore was designed to fit the TP 52 rule and he said no. But in many ways it is a similar design, just heavier by about 1,864 pounds than the heaviest TP 52. Vincitore is also just a wee bit beamier than the beamiest TP 52s. According to Jim, Vincitore is faster downwind than the TP 52s but slower upwind. However, under IRC it has a rating advantage over the TP 52s, probably due to its displacement. That said, TP 52s have faired very well under IRC. Jim thought that with some redesign and tweaking they could beat the TP 52s upwind next year.

The D/L of this design is 73.08. While it's heavier than a TP 52 it is still a very light boat. The L/B is 3.56. Beam is carried aft with almost no taper to the deck line in plan view. There is no camber to the transom so that no sailing length is given away due to camber. Max hull depth is forward of the keel. The draft is 11 feet, 6 inches, with a T-configuration fin and bulb with a 14-percent thickness ratio on the keel fin. That sure is a long bulb. Long bulbs have a lower center of gravity than short bulbs and their frontal area is less. The sheer looks like a dead straight line but there is about three inches of spring to it to gain some freeboard at the transom. This boat was designed primarily for offshore racing in similar venues to where you would see a TP 52 fleet.

Below there is a double berth forward, a large head, a reasonable looking main cabin with settee berths and upper berths. There is a small galley to port and a refrigerator to starboard of the companionway. The nav station is divided fore and aft by the trunk for the retracting prop shaft and strut assembly. I guess you pick one side of the nav seat on starboard tack and the other on port. Quarterberths extend into the stern to sleep eight crewmembers.

Perhaps a big part of the magic of this design is the huge rig. If I use the R/P number for "upwind sail area" I get an SA/D of 42.66. That is right up with the highest SA/Ds I have ever measured. So I used I, J, E and P, ignoring the fat head and roach of the mainsail. I still came up with an SA/D of 35.95. That is a lot of horsepower per pound of boat. With a masthead chute flown from the fixed sprit the downwind sail area is 4,090 square feet. The triple spreaders are swept 20 degrees. There is no standing backstay but there are runners that go to the masthead and lead to winches aft of the main traveler.

Vincitore was built in carbon fiber over foam core by Davie Norris in New Zealand. This is a great looking design. The cabintrunk is "smoothed out" by extending seatbacks aft for the seats forward in the cockpit. Jib tracks are mounted in notches cut into the sides of the cabintrunk for an 8.25-degree sheeting angle.

This boat looks like a lot of fun.

LOA 52'; LWL 48'7"; Beam 14'7"; Draft 11'6"; Displacement 18,804 lbs.; Ballast 9,921 lbs.; Sail area 1,590 sq. ft.; SA/D 35.95; D/L 73.08; L/B 3.56; Auxiliary Yanmar 4JH4E 55-hp; Fuel 40 gals.; Water 100 gals.

Designer: Reichel/Pugh Yacht Design, 2924 Emerson St., Suite 311, San Diego, CA 92106, (619) 223-2299,

Builder: Davie Norris Boatbuilders, P.O. Box 19702, Christchurch, New Zealand, 64-3-3848454,

OBE: $ 1.2 million
Our Best Estimate of the sailaway price