Eagle 54

2014 May 3

I've been looking at this design from the Hoek design office in Holland for about two weeks trying to find something I don't like. I need more time. This is a boat for dreams. It's big and beautiful and will attract attention wherever it goes.

Of course you have to like overhangs if you like this boat. This design is all about the delicate proportions you get when you draw the ends out. It's in very stark contrast to the boxy ends we see on so many of today's production models. It helps that this is not a "production" boat. This is a semi-custom boat. This means that while the hull and deck will come out of molds the rest is left up to the owner. So, if you see something you don't like, chances are the builder can change it to suit your own taste.

This is a very narrow boat with a L/B of 5.1. I figure anything above 4 is narrow. The transom beam is only 39% of the maximum beam. The waterline length is 65.6% of the LOA. We could argue about the effectiveness of overhangs. I don't think they add as much sailing length as some like to imagine. But these "uberhangs" are all about style and panache. The D/L is 193 and with extra-low wetted surface this boat will rocket along in the light-to-medium conditions.

Draft is generous at 9 feet 2 inches but the builder offers a shoal-draft version at 7 feet 3 inches. I think it would be a pity to have the reduced draft. A narrow boat needs a low VCG for stability.

Look at the lovely spring to the sheer. It's not flat and it's not exaggerated. Narrow boats need far less sheer spring than do beamy boats. As beam is reduced the linear length of the sheerline is reduced and the less distance the sheer travels the less spring it needs. With another 4 inches of sheer spring this design would look like a banana.

I have two layouts for the Eagle, but these are suggestions and you can play around and come up with the layout of your choice. One layout has twin quarterberth cabins aft and the head forward. The other has the head aft and no quarterberths. In this layout there is only a centerline double forward. I prefer the no quarterberth layout because it allows the galley to be aft. With the twin quarterberth layout the galley stretches along the port side forward. Given the LOA this is a pretty small accommodation plan but this boat is not about piling on cruising pals. It's meant for a couple or a small family probably doing more daysailing than cruising. The huge cockpit takes up a lot of volume and there is very little if any useful volume for accommodations in those delicate ends.

This is a monster rig with a SA/D of 30.39. A captive, hydraulic winch below deck with push buttons controls for the main. The jib halyard, jib car position, vang and backstay are all hydraulically controlled. The sheet winches flanking the helm position makes shorthanded sailing a cinch on this boat. The headstay is pulled aft off the stem almost 5 feet, so there will be no need for any sprit on this design.

Hoek is one of my favorite designers. He gets great commissions that allow him to play with combinations of aesthetics and performance design features. The Eagle is a perfect example of his skill.

Wait a gol' darn minute! I found something I don't like. I don't like the long windows in the cabintrunk. I'll order mine with two opening, stainless steel, oval ports. That will fix it. I feel better already.