So we had coffee with a SoCal boat builder the other day, ostensibly to talk about ways to get people excited about the sport on the heels of our Flowers by the Door article, and what kind of boat would do that. Of course we talked sportie (32-33′?) and of course we talked price point ($75,000?) and some of the elements that would be part of that (minimal carbon, retractable sprit, outboard in well instead of inboard, outboard rudder, a decent, minimal interior, aesthetics, etc.).
But the conversation was quickly realized as one of convention. Sure, a sexy and fast modern sportboat could be done at an attractive price point and while that might take off, it really would be little more than a rejigged M32 and the like. What would be areas of development that could make the boat more revolutionary than evolutionary, give the boat breakthrough speed, and generate excitement in perhaps a new segment of the market?
A canting keel was the element that jumped out as us as being the most interesting and performance enhancing. Given the success of designers like Rob Shaw in this area it seemed to be one worth exploring. Cost, complexity, reliability and usability being of the most importance.
And what about rig/sails/sail plan? Are there areas for forward thinking that are speed and cost effective?
Starting from zero, we were intrigued about what possibilities there might be. So the questions to you anarchists are along the lines of is the concept viable, what would you do or not do and would this concept be marketable and doable?
March 11th, 2014