Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Brenta 30

untitled-9.jpg The Brenta 30 might seem like an odd boat for this site. It’s not that I wouldn’t love to sail on one, but it is way bigger than what we’re after. The reason I’ve bothered to share my thoughts on it is I feel if Brenta were to make a 20′ version it could be the EXACT boat I’m after.

Brenta makes a sexy boat. Their idea seems to be keeping things as simple as possible and also keep the lines as clean as possible. The results are amazing. Their boats look and sail very well and everything is kept simple which is always good. The Brenta 30 was also at the Newport Boat show back in the fall and it looked awesome.

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Melges20 first hull.


Melges has their first 20 out of the molds. It looks like a melges, but it’s also interesting to see the hard chine placement in the back. I’m really looking forward to seeing one put together so see how it really sails and how their idea comes together. Should be a few months before they have one on the water I’d imagine.

You can go to to checkout the gallery there, or click below to see the images here.

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Melges 20

Microsoft Word - MANUEL OPEN 5.70 2007 The other interesting new boat is the Melges 20. It’s not even out yet, but it’s still very promising. Rumor has it it’s come into existence just because the SB3 is being sold direct from the factory… Melges is a Vanguard dealer. Vanguard opted to sell the SB3 direct in order to offer it at a more competitive price. Well Melges didn’t like that idea as they’re one of Vanguards better dealers, so they decided to build a better mousetrap. The interesting thing about that is everyone complains that the SB3 is overpriced since it’s old technology. It’s said you’re paying for the marketing behind the boat, and that Laser is getting a hefty margin on it. Well melges has gone out and designed a boat that on paper is very similar to the SB3. Sit in, no hiking asym screamer. But theirs is all high tech, and their prices is the same exact price ($39,999!). Hmmmmm…. Continue reading ‘Melges 20′

Speedfeet 18


The speedfeet 18 is another interesting boat I’ve found online. It’s site is in French (paste the url into google for a translation option) so it’s hard to make sure I’m understanding everything correctly. It appears they offer a dingy and keel option (the dinghy having a centerboard). The boat is very similar to the open 5.70 and they are both French. The open has slightly more upwind sail area (and more weight in a deeper keel) and a tad less sail area downwind.

I like the look of the open a bit better overall, but there are a few ideas implemented on the speedfeet that are interesting. It’s mainsheet comes forward which might work better (I need to sail an open so I can see how the aft mainsheet works for me). The huge difference though is that the spinnaker hoist is about halfway between the jib and the top of the mast on the speedfeet while it’s much closer to the jib on the open. This gives the speed feet a larger downwind sail area by ~70²’ (always a good thing) but more importantly a better shape to their A sail. I’m not a huge fan of broad shouldered chutes to squeeze sail area into a short space, I’d much rather see a mast head that’s narrow….

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bongo1stshoot016.jpg The bongo is another interesting boat. It’s nothing we would consider for actually racing for me and Dad as we’d be way too heavy, but it’s a fun concept. It’s a 15′ sportboat designed by Paul Cronin. He’s from RI and kept a Bongo at Sail Newport while I had my Vector there. The concept here is a inexpensive 15′ sportboat for one. The idea is really fantastic, but the execution leaves a bit lacking for me.

First the jib was clearly and afterthought. I saw the boat in development w/o a jib, and I think the original boats were sold initially with only mains and spinnakers. When the jib was added, it was done so in a way that makes it look like and afterthought unfortunately. My issue is the sailplan upwind looks a bit odd. The main dominates it and the jib just looks too small. Continue reading ‘Bongo’


1156055940_883d85e311.jpg Another motorboat option I’ve fallen in love with is the Taiwanese longtail design.  I’ve never seen on in person (which probably adds to the appeal to me) but they look to be a similar skiff design to the Caribbean skiffs with a deep V bow and a flat aft section for planing.  I love the old look to them with the stem at the bow.  I also love the look of the covered read section aft.  I’d love to built one (or modify a caribiana skiff?) with a hard dodger/bimini in the rear.  Something to keep the sun off, but that’s also durable enough I don’t have to worry about it in a breeze.  If I could stand on it it would be even better as I’d love to be able to shoot some sailing shots slightly elevated like that.  Something to think about.

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Melges 17

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The melges 17 is another cool little boat.  It’s not on our list for 2 main reasons.  The first is that it’s basically a dingy because (like all scows) there is no ballast.  So you’re hiking to keep it flat.  Second, is also because of the round nose all scows have.  So basically, if it wasn’t a scow, it would be close to perfect for us.

What it is though is an awesome little boat for 2 people to rip in.  It’s got a huge asymmetrical spinnaker with a chute tube and a roller furling jib so it’s very easy to handle.  Weighing in at only 300lbs, it looks to be a screamer.  I’d love to get out on one, but it seems we never see any scows here in RI.  Too bad really because I’d bet they would be perfect in the bay.

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Viper 830

viper.jpg Our last boat was a viper 830. My Dad and I decided to sell the etchells and vector to get the viper as a fun boat to sail together (I hated the etchells downwind and he couldn’t sail on the vector). So we looked into some sportboats and the viper was our solution. We ended up tracking down High Voltage in Ohio and bought it and drove it home. The boat is a lot of fun, and can be very fast (our speed record was ~26kts, we know the speed-o was a little high, but it was probably a 20kt run).

Of course no boat is perfect and the viper was no different in that regard. First we had to stiffen up the doghouse of the boat, as it would flex when you stood on it. Second the pintle was loose and we had to cut it off the boat to fix it. Nothing serious. We also added a forward hatch for setting and dousing the spinnaker which was very nice. Continue reading ‘Viper 830′