I met Robert Ditterich back when he was building a Waller 540. I'd never heard of the Waller design, which is no surprise, Robert lives on the flipside of the globe. There is a substantial amount of skinny water in and around Australia, so boats with shallow draft have an advantage long capitalized by designers.
That may be the case, I wasn't there to verify any of those accounts. A fact I can verify is, if you want a boat that performs well in all conditions and is fast to boot, you need a design like Robert's Waller 540.
Ok, so I like a good turn of speed. I was reminded of this a couple days ago when we went for a row in Port Townsend Bay. The weather built up to a bluster on the way home and rowing with some difficulty, we kept pace with a couple walking the path along the shore. Until recently, human and sail powered boats have been what an old sailing mentor of mine called "slugs on the water".
But now we have boats that will sail at the speed of the wind. Hard to wrap your mind around, isn't it? This morning, the question of velocity came up again while reading Earwigoagin and an account of how the Gougeon brothers built an i550 design by Chris Beckwith, for this year's aborted Everglades Challenge. The i550 is an 18 foot sportboat, built for racing, a boat designed to go as fast as the wind. Why be satisfied with five knots when you could be going ten?
It took me four hours to buy that guitar.
On the way out, I was shown their sportboat. The way they'd been talking about her speed, I expected a motor boat, but was pleasantly surprised to see a very fast looking sail design, 28 feet long, with kevlar and carbon fiber everywhere. This boat had recently spent a couple seasons eating up the competition around Seattle.
Wow. Then there is the story of Webb Chiles' ongoing circumnavigation in his Moore 24, Gannet. Webb has an appreciation for small, simple boats and demonstrates they are capable of much more than we give them credit for. He also has a need for speed. His Gannet is similar in size to my Belle Starr, but in fifteen knots of wind, he is sailing at a spectacular ten knots.
I would be back there, somewhere, making nearly five........
Whoa, doryman! What happened to "less is more"?
Whew, got a little carried away there. On a less astral plane, let's consider the cs20. B&B Yacht Design has here a boat for everyman. Performance in a builder friendly design.
I've had the privilege of sailing with Randy Jones on his Core Sound 17, pictured here. A boat that sails itself and practically builds itself, too.
The Core Sound 20 is bound to be that much better.
Who knows what may become of this?........
The only photo I can take credit for is the last one. The others belong to friends mentioned and to them I extend thanks.