Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sabrosa arrives in Montana

So we sold our J24 "B4G" (Bound 4 Glory) of 20 years and began the search for something new and exciting to sail on Flathead  Lake.  There were a number of criteria involved in the search:

- has to be budget friendly, we only sail for three months a year here in Montana.  Not going to spend a fortune. Ideally we would use proceeds from the sale of B4G to buy the next boat.

- has to be fast. As Bill Lee says, Fast is Fun! J24's all go the same speed, which is fine if you are one-design racing, but we only have a few J24's left in the area, so we primarily sail under PHRF.  If you're gonna sail in a handicap fleet, you may as well be on a fast boat that is fun to sail, which in modern day terms means sport boat - huge kite on a retractable sprit for downwind excitement.

- has to be able to go low downwind.  That's generally a problem for sport boats.  They go fast across the wind (reaching) but when it's time to go low, they struggle (main covers up the kite). Got to figure out a way to make a sport boat competitive in windward/leeward courses.

- has to be able to carry a genoa.  A lot of our sailing is done in dying moderate breeze. Going fast helps the situation because you finish sooner and therefore more of a race is completed in the stronger breeze.  A lot of fast, fun boats are designed for higher wind speeds and therefore are designed to carry only a jib - gotta carry a genoa to keep the boat moving in the lighter stuff.

- larger cockpit. It's America - bigger is better.  Many sailboats have small cockpits with barely enough room for the working crew and little room for anyone else. If you want to bring along a few newbies to show them why you're addicted to this all-consuming sport, your guests need to either ride on the cabin top and duck every five minutes and try to stay out of the way of the crew who are trying to do their jobs in a small space, or your guests can ride down in the cabin...decidedly not fun.

- easier to rig and tow.  Getting kind of tired of tongue extensions for launching and boats whose hull bottom when on the trailer is higher than the top of my truck! Kinda tired of gin poles to raise the mast.

Every boat is a compromise.  A racing sport boat is going to be a tad uncomfortable to overnight on.  Tough to brew the morning coffee as well. Heck, tough in a nature call situation at times... but you've got to give a little to get a little.  

So in summary, the perfect boat for us, right here, right now is...drum roll please.... Sabrosa, a Henderson 30 - she fits all the criteria above:

- relatively cost effective in that the previous owner really tricked her out with all new sails, new aluminum road trailer, rigging and hardware, complete wireless instrument package, slick bottom job, new rudder and carbon tiller, even a new motor.  But alas life changes and he needed to sell before winter.

- she's fast. PHRF rates her at 45.  For those in the know, that's fast for a 30'er. She'll plane with the kite in 15 knots of breeze - should be exciting.

- she's designed to carry a genoa for those dying breeze races

- she has a nifty articulating bow sprit which sounds complicated, but in fact is as simple as letting one line out a bit and pulling in on another.  She still won't go dead downwind, but she'll go 165 which is close enough for me.

- she has a huge cockpit - 9' x 15' cockpit - bigger than my living room - as my good friend Billy Corwin says, "If it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing!" We got room for everybody, and there's  a lot of lines to pull, so there's something for all those people to do as well.

- she's easy to tow. I hauled her from Newport, RI to Montana myself (thats a whole other story) - tows like a dream... really...a dream.  I've towed sailboats to California, Texas, East Coast, West Coast and everything in between, even Mexico and Canada.  Towing wide, high, tippy loads (see the story below regarding my last sailboat) is really not that fun.  All up towing weight for the Henderson 30 is just over 5000 lbs on her aluminum trailer, about the same as a J24 with a steel trailer, except that she sits low on the trailer like a big ski boat, keel retracted through the deck. She looks cool and fast just sitting there. The all carbon mast can be stepped by hand (no gin pole required) in the parking lot.  

So here are a couple photos of Sabrosa (which by the way is Spanish for "tasty" or "delicious" but can also imply a certain level of hotness...)
Sailing in Rhode Island summer 2014

Going for a ride in the Caribbean by the original owner, who was the builder.

We are all going to learn how to sail her together - should be a fun summer!  Arriva!
Headed west, way west...crossing the continental divide

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