The Old, In With The New
past month has given us a great opportunity to do something that isn’t
often done in the sailing media – a comparison of what works and
what doesn’t in two different classes of race boat. One is indelibly etched
on the minds of competitive racers everywhere, and one is a true upstart.
One’s got a massively loyal following, with slick marketing and a powerful
boat-show presence as well as an international network of dealers. The
other is succeeding through guerrilla marketing, internet-savvy class
reps, and a sweet design that is fundamentally easy to enjoy. Let’s take
a closer look.
first is our first real love – the Melges 24. More than fifteen
years after its birth, the M24 is firmly ensconced in its position as
the premier sportboat class in the world, as well as the only small keelboat
with a truly international Grand Prix circuit. We drove from Michigan
to Newport to meet our crew for the Sail Newport Regatta, though we didn’t
really focus on the regatta until we were able to rid ourselves of the
unexpected burden attached to our little Isuzu – a Melges 32 that
a friend needed delivered to town for their Nationals a few weeks later.
While I truly believe that plaintiff’s attorneys have led to US trucks
being woefully underrated for towing capacity, I certainly do not recommend
you kids trying this at home. The rig on that beast overhangs the stern
of the boat by about 8 feet, and the masthead still extends over the truck
to nearly the front bumper. Fortunately we made it, though we might have
broken a toll booth camera or two free from their moorings along the way…