2010 July 1

It's been an interesting 10 days. I went to a 30th anniversary party for one of my favorite custom designs, Night Runner. It was a great way to mark the passage of time. I got a 20-page, handwritten letter from Eric, a reader in New Zealand. Eric commented on just about anything you could think of concerning yacht design. Then I had a visit from Dr. Walter, a professor Emeritus from Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Walter has been reading these reviews for years and frequently e-mails me with comments and criticism. He was lecturing in Seattle and decided to cruise on up to the beach for a visit. We spent a pleasant afternoon together. I'm often amazed at how far these reviews reach.

Paul Spooner, the designer of this 32-foot, 8-inch daysailer, calls it an example of "performance art." I'm not really sure what that means. I think any boat designed for fun and not to a rating rule could be considered performance art. But there is an extra amount of fun in this design. And why not. We have so many venues in our lives for serious behavior why not have a little frivolous fun with our sailing toys.

Obviously the first design feature that leaps off the page here is the tumblehome-style bow profile. Maybe you could call this a "wave-piercing" bow but I don't think the cutwater knuckle is tight enough to deserve that label. It's just a funny bow that echoes, to my eye, the bows of American Indian birch bark canoes. The hull is double-ended and the stern also shows that tumblehome profile. The D/L is 158 and the L/B is 3.99, indicating a narrow boat of medium displacement. Draft with the hydraulically retractable "plate" down is 6 feet, 6 inches, and with the "plate" up is 3 feet, 8 inches. I think the end treatments are fun but I'd sure like to see some more volume aft. That stern is too pointy for my eye. The bow is very fine with a half-angle of entry of approximately 14 degrees. I'm not sure why there is a skeg on this rudder. I'd make that rudder a clean spade type and I'd move it aft at least 30 inches. But that would play havoc with the tiller/cockpit layout. It's always something. The designer says he has "created a yacht unlike any other on the market today." I'd say so.

This is not a small boat so there is a reasonable accommodation plan with two quarterberths adjacent to the daggerboard trunk and some settee berths forward. The head is tucked under the forward end of the settees on centerline. This doesn't do much for privacy but it would be a shame to try and squeeze an enclosed head into this layout. It would alter the entire design.

The rig is available as a wishbone cat-ketch type with unstayed carbon masts wrapped in wood veneer, or a single mast version catboat rig. I like the cat-ketch rig. It just looks balanced on this perky hull. With the taller catboat rig the SA/D is 20.97, and that should move this boat along nicely.

Fairlie Yachts will build this boat in the United Kingdom and construction will be wood and epoxy laminates with the deck and cockpit being detailed in polished hardwoods. You can have either electric drive or a diesel saildrive combo for auxiliary power.

LOA 32'8"; LWL 28'9"; Beam 8'2"; Draft 6'6" (board down), 3'8" (board up); Displacement 8,157 lbs.; Ballast 3,834 lbs.; Sail area 527 sq. ft.; SA/D 20.97; D/L 158; L/B 3.99; Auxiliary Volvo D1-13 12-hp; Fuel 16 gals.; Water 10 gals.
Fairlie Design, Unit 4, Port Hamble, Satchell Lane, Hamble, Hampshire SO31 4NN, UK, 44 23-8045-6336,

OBE: $295,000
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