Building For IRC by bestt571


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									Three custom
racer/cruiser owners
tell us why IRC is
working for them.

Building For IRC    he enthusiasm with which owners        sive standards. Fewer than three        that can be partitioned as well. In
                    of existing boats have embraced        weeks after taking delivery of the      the main cabin, we have settees,
                    IRC is encouraging. More than 570      boat, they won their class in the       and the backs of those are de-
                    boats in this country were issued      2006 Bermuda Race. Since then,          signed to pivot and act as upper
                    IRC certificates in 2006, and those    the boat has proven competitive in      bunks. It’s very comfortable down
                    vessels range in style from an Is-     various inshore contests, includ-       below. So, we do the competitive
                    land Packet 40 to a swing-keel 86-     ing the American YC Fall Regatta.       events with a full crew and we
                    foot maxi, to Ticonderoga, the            What was the boat’s genesis?         cruise with family and friends.
                    classic 72-foot Herreshoff ketch.         We started this project with a         How did you feel about Snow
                      However, the best sign the rule      dual-purpose boat in mind. We           Lion’s performance under IRC
                    has gained a foothold on this side     wanted a boat that was easy to sail     this past season?
                    of the Atlantic is that a few own-     with just my wife and myself on           We’re extremely pleased. The
                    ers are building, or have built, new   board, but would also be competi-       boat is very stiff. It slides through
                    boats specifically designed at         tive with a full crew. Because we       the water with no fuss, and it gets
                    competing under the rule.              don’t have runners or overlapping       up to speed quite easily. And, it’s
                      To get a better idea of how the      jibs, it’s an easy boat to sail.        very competitive upwind with the
                    rule is being embraced at the             Our boat has a full cruising inte-   TP 52s. Because it has a very sim-
                    grand prix level, we surveyed          rior, including two enclosed            ple rig—no running backstays and
                    three owners who have either re-       heads, a proper galley with a three     a permanently mounted bowsprit
                    cently built a new boat or are         burner stove and oven. We also          instead of a spinnaker pole—it’s a
                                                                                                                                           DANIEL FORSTER/ROLEX

                    Larry Huntington
 Larry Hunting-     awaiting one on order.                 have an onboard heater, and a           very easy boat to sail.
    ton’s Ker 50                                           cabin table permanently installed.        You’ve competed under IRC
 Snow Lion is a
        true IRC                                      ,    The interior is designed so that        with a number of different
                    of New York, N.Y., has owned his       the forward head and the forward        boats. Do you feel that racing
                    Ker 50 Snow Lion for less than a       cabin can be closed off as a suite,     under this rule is competitive?
                    year, and his crew have set impres-    and there are also two aft cabins         Yes, extremely so. There were a

16       About IRC:                                                  Certificates:
                     number of new IRC boats this past       works, and we like it this way.         thing he had ever done. But now
                     season, but also a full fleet of com-     Have you begun to get a               we have a legitimate racer/cruiser
                     petitive TP 52s, roughly the same       sense of the competitive lifes-         IRC boat. Unlike most contempo-
                     size as our boat. We sailed com-        pan of an IRC boat?                     rary designs, we have a full cabin
                     petitively against both groups.           I don’t think I could predict that.   house, and that helps down below.
                       Are there refinements you’d           This boat is one with no extremes,         Another area where we had
                     make to IRC at this stage?              so I think it should stay in the        input was on the keel. John initial-
                       The most fundamental point to         sweet spot of the rule for quite a      ly proposed a vertical fin with an

                                                             Henry Fretz, and his son
                                                             long time.                              L-shaped bulb. But we ran the
                                                                                                     numbers on a torpedo bulb and
                                                                                                     that seemed to work out well. So,
                                                             Gus, of Kent Island, Md., took          that convinced John to include
                                                             delivery of their all-carbon Corby      our torpedo bulb keel instead. To
                                                             41.5 Wahoo three years ago. Built       me, it’s the best keel in the world.
                                                             by Vision Yachts in England,               Also, my son Gus, who steers
                                                             Wahoo immediately made its mark         our boat, moved to Cowes for five
                                                             in 2004, taking class honors at         months and supervised the con-
                                                             Block Island Race Week (six             struction of the boat firsthand.
                                                             firsts) and Annapolis Race Week         That really makes a difference on
                                                             (two firsts and two seconds).           a project as big as this.
                                                             Despite this early success in              Why does the boat have a re-
                                                             around-the-buoys contests, Wahoo        tractable bowsprit?
                                                             was created with offshore racing           Well, you have to recognize that
                                                             as the primary emphasis. Its suc-       it adds six feet to the boat going
                                                             cess in short-course events, says       around the buoys. Also, it’s on
                                                             Henry Fretz, is testimony to the        hundreds of J Boats, so it’s a
                                                             boat’s all-around prowess.              proven concept. But, I’m not sure
                                                                Why a Corby design?                  that I’d do it the same way today if
                                                                A friend of mine built a Corby 41    I were to do it again. It took some
                                                             called Barlo Plastics. He sails his     convincing, because our project
                                                             own boats just like I do, and I         was the first boat that Corby had
   Henry Fretz’s
                     understand about IRC is that for        liked the design of his boat. I went    ever done with a bowsprit. And I
      Corby 41.5     the first time in maybe 30 years, it    over to Europe and met John             don’t think any IRC boats had yet
  Wahoo, wasn’t
designed specif-
                     is possible to have a dual-purpose      Corby and I liked him. Also, Vision     done that. The trick, really, is
   ically for IRC,   boat that is competitive. For so        Yachts is a really good yard. At the    building the right asymmetric
 but it does well
  under the rule.    long you either had a race boat or      time, they had just gotten a can-       spinnaker design, and these sails
                     you went cruising, but not both.        cellation in their schedule. Ulti-      have gotten better and better.
                     The reason I got interested in IRC      mately, the people at Vision built         Do you prefer distance racing?
                     is that these boats are functionally    me a beautiful boat.                       Yes. We like to do long races.
                     now as they were when I was a              The other reason I like this de-     The around-the-buoys competi-
                     boy. When you went to a regatta         sign is that I’m intrigued with         tion on the Chesapeake for boats
                     back then, you stayed on the boat.      masthead sailboats and non-over-        like ours has nearly faded away.
                     The IRC brings us full circle to        lapping headsails. I really wonder      We have only five or six decent
                     that concept, and I think it’s truly    why so many boats go to fraction-       boats in our size range now. But
                     a boon to the sport.                    al rigs and give up that additional     also, I just love distance racing.
                        Look at this way, this season        area, especially on spinnakers.         Events like the Mac races and
                     there will be 50 new boats racing          How much input did you have          other long races. Going around a
                                                                                                                                            COURTESY CORBY YACHTS

                     that have been built expressly to       in the design of the boat?              course with mile-and-a-half or
                     compete under IRC. That just               John Corby did the lines and the     two-mile beats isn’t fun for me.
                     didn’t happen under the previ-          hull shape, but how it’s laid out on       Given your preference for
                     ous rule. So, it’s pretty clear the     deck and down below is more my          offshore racing, why go with a
                     sailing public—the owners               design. The way we laid out the in-     tiller?
                     really—are saying that this             terior is totally different from any-      It’s a personal preference. We

18        About IRC:                                                 Certificates:
              like the feel of a tiller as opposed    It’s something like a TP 52, but       marily in lighter breeze.
              to a wheel.                             three feet longer, with more free-     Reichel/Pugh designed a near sis-
                 Is there a reason you prefer         board and more accommodations          tership called Yendys that’s being
              a boat in the 40-foot range?            below. It will also have more right-   built now for an Australian owner
                 To me, a 40-foot boat is an ideal    ing moment than a TP 52. We’re         by the same yard, but our boat
              size. It’s just easy to manage and      expecting the boat to arrive in        will have a slightly larger rig
              still comfortable offshore.             Newport in mid April, and then we      because of where we sail. I don’t
                 So, why chose an IRC design?         have a full season of regattas.        want to say too much, but the
                 This boat wasn’t designed with          We’re anticipating a blend of       designers have tweaked the
              IRC in mind. In fact, with IRC, you     windward-leeward events and off-       design for the requirements of an
              don’t design to it, you just design     shore distance races like the          inshore and offshore boat to
              good fast boats and the rule gives      Block Island Race, the Halifax         make it appropriate for venues
              you a good rating. If you make a        Race, and the Stamford-Vineyard        along the East Coast.
              boat with a lot of sail area and        Race, as well as the New York            One of the reasons that prompt-
              good stability, the rule will figure    Yacht Club Cruise next August.         ed me to lean in the direction of
              it out. If you make an ultra-light      Our season really doesn’t stop         this new boat is my admiration for
              flyer like the Farr 36, the rule will   once the boat is in the water. We      several of the larger boat pro-
              put the boots to you because that’s     really like a mixture of inshore,      grams I’ve come to know. There
              not what it’s all about. It’s a good    closed-course racing under IRC         are a group of owners with boats
              cruiser/racer rule.                     and some distance events. Essen-       in the 65-foot range, notably Bob
                 We travel a lot with our boat, so    tially, I wanted a multipurpose        Towse with Blue Yankee, and we
              we used to end up with four or          boat, so the new boat will have a      greatly admire their success.
              five different ratings, but now,        galley, a watermaker, a fridge, and      Is there anything unusual
              under IRC that’s not happening as       a dining table—racer/cruiser.          about this new boat?
              much. The rule is leveling that out.       What other considerations             One interesting aspect of our
              It’s good to know where you stand.      factored into the new boat?            new program is that the boat is
              Under PHRF, I sail in the Chesa-           We wanted to get a boat slightly    being built in China and the spars
              peake with a 3, but in New Eng-         smaller than the 60-footer that        will be fabricated in Argentina.
              land I’m a 9.                           we’ve been campaigning, to sim-        The winches are coming from
                 Also, the IRC offers a better sit-   plify our lives, yet we wanted it to   Italy, the sails from Nevada, and
              uation for people like me who im-       be large enough to go offshore         the electronics from all over.
              port their boats. Under PHRF,           anywhere. Our expectation is that        How successful has IRC been
              when you bring a boat in from an-       this boat will have the excitement     in your view?
              other country, it’s random what         of a TP 52, with the greater right-      As we all have become used to
              you’ll be rated. But under IRC,         ing moment and accommodations          the scoring in IRC, and more boats

              John Brim
              that doesn’t happen.                    inherent in an IRC boat.               have become rated, we’ve come to
                                                         So, why an IRC boat?                agree that it’s a pretty decent rat-
                                   , of New York,        I greatly admire the TP 52 class,   ing system. It’s simple to use, and
              N.Y., has competed for almost five      but those boats are a little Spartan   allows you to know where you
              years on board his Farr-designed        for offshore work, in my view. The     stand during the race. And the ad-
              Carroll Marine 60 Rima, which           TPs are really an inshore, spon-       vantages that some boats have
              was built in 1998 and optimized in      sored class located primarily in       over others in certain wind condi-
              recent years to compete under           the Mediterranean, with only a         tions tend to even out over the
              IRC. Now, Brim has a new boat           handful of boats campaigning           course of a season. As, more boats
              under construction, which he’s          here in the U.S., so we felt an IRC    in the U.S. have now begun to be
              tentatively calling Rima2.              boat would be more appropriate         built to the rule, I think it’s pro-
                 What is the design emphasis          for the kind of racing we do.          ducing some interesting boats.
              of the new boat?                           What were the main priori-          They’re interesting to look at and
                 This boat is a Reichel/Pugh 55,      ties you established when con-         well-performing. The boats we’re
              and it’s currently under construc-      sidering the design?                   beginning to see aren’t stunted in
              tion in China by a joint venture be-       We asked the designers to take      their spinnakers as they were
              tween McConaghy, of Australia,          into account that the racing on        under IMS. And, they’re really
              and JinLi Composites, of China.         the East Coast takes place pri-        more aesthetic boats.

20   About IRC:                                                Certificates:

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