ideal18250Nov2Canada's Conneticuit-based yacht designer Bruce Kirby has long been known for the singlehanded Laser. Of course, he has designed numerous boats in the two decades that have passed since the famous dinghy made its debut, and one of the most recent is the Ideal 18. Although this new design is a keelboat, with a crew of two, the basic philosophy behind it is true to the little boat that made Kirby a household name -- in nautical households.

Designers don't create boats in vacuum; more often than not a commission from a custom client or a production builder provokes the new craft and dictates its parameters. The trick is to pick the right designer for the job, and it is this case Kirby's track record of creating one-designs like the Laser (for builder Ian Bruce) or the Sonar (initially for a group of Long Island Club racers) made him a logical choice.

In the case of the Ideal 18, the provocation came from Frank and Skip Shumway of Rochester N.Y. They had long andmired the Bullseye, a stable, full-keel little design by Nat Herreshoff first produced in 1934. They found it easy to sail because ther was no hiking required, and its stability inspired confidence. But to make it exciting, it needed a little more speed.

That's where Kirby entered the picture. All those involved felt the market was ready for a new fixed-keel sailboat with exceptional performance under strict one-design rules. After the preliminary design was complete, Ontario Yachts was brought in, not only to produce the boat, but to lend its years of small-boat experience building the Etchells-22, Kirby's Sonar, the Albacore and the International 14.

There is a strong emphasis on simplicity in this boat. It can be sailed by one or two people because of its self-furling and self-tacking jib. (It's so simple the second person might even get bored!) A Laser-style mainsheet with the bridle at the transom keeps the rigging cost low and maintenance to a minimum.

Kirby has drawn a hull whose whose shape differs in philosophy from his Sonar and Laser. The form is much more that of a displacement hull, with less emphasis on planning. As Dirk Kneulman Jr. of Ontario Yachts explains, the curvature in the underwater profile just forward of the rudder is there "to eliminate those large differences in speed you see in other classes between crews of different weights." I can attest to that fact, having watched Laser sailors lighter (and younger) than me scoot past on the reaching legs as I struggle to get up on a plane. To promote its use for the "aging Laser sailor," this boat has been desentitized to allow sailors of different weights and athletic ability to sail at very similar boat speeds -- and that should make for great racing.

No tweaking allowed!

Kneulman is keen to eliminate much of the tweaking that is done to so-called one-designs to elicit some subtle speed advantage. To produce smooth, consistent keels, the lead casting is lowered into a second mold and encapsulated in pigmented resin. Thus, no fairing is required or allowed. To locate the keel on the hull, a small stub is molded on centerline that fits into a recess in the keel. The keel cannot and must not be moved fore or aft.

With such tight controls, competitive racing plainly is contemplated, but much of the market is hoped to be at the cottage. Although the boat can be launched from a trailer, I suspect most owners will leave it on a mooring and enjoy the fact that four minutes after you jump on board you can be sailing.

Specifications

LOA            17 ft. 10 in.

Beam            6 ft. 2 in.

Draft            3 ft. 3 in.

Weight            1,200 lbs.

Sail Area             167 sq. ft.

To see if this boat is available, go to http://www.boatcan.com for listings!

 

 

Lifestyle

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DIY & How to

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Diesel Fuel MaintenanceSince the late 19th century, a debate has raged on the relative merits of diesel fuel over gasoline. In more recent decades, that argument has included boat manufacturers, and increasingly, individual boaters. As I pass through boat yards in the spring or fall, I’m sure to hear a comment or two (sometimes ruefully, other times with great joy) of the merit of a particular engine or fuel source.

Increasingly, diesel engines are praised for their long-life, ease of maintenance, compact design, reliability and safety, and rate of combustion. As well as cruisers and trawlers, many sailboat manufacturers in particular have chosen to install diesel engines. 

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Beneteau Flyer 32By Andy Adams

Summer sun boat! The handsome new Beneteau Flyer 32 is all about entertaining and the bow area is one of the main attractions. It's a wide shape forward with a huge anchor locker and opening centre section in the railing that invites you to beach the boat and go swimming. The bow is really one giant sun bed area with armrests that fold down and head rests too, for fall-asleep comfort. 

 

 

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Dufour 460By Katherine Stone

When one does an October yacht review on the Great Lakes you can never be sure of what kind of weather you will get…. and did we ever luck out! A beautiful sunny day with a high of 31 degrees and a perfect 8-10 knot breeze with light chop made for a champagne sailing day. Lucky for me we were at Swans Yacht Sales located in the Whitby Marina on Lake Ontario, trying out the Dufour 460 Grand Large, a flag ship for the midrange Dufour boats. With an overall length of 46’5” and a hull length of 44 ‘, this boat is majestic, not only in size, but also in elegance with timeless and contemporary style. 

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Destinations

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Belize: Sailing SolitudeBy Mark Stevens

We’ve just weighed anchor off Thatch Caye, a tiny island nuzzled by Caribbean waters flowing between the world’s second longest barrier reef and the mountainous coast of Belize to our west, and now we’re navigating a serpentine course through a crowded congregation of coral heads.

Once safely in deep water we raise sail. I spin the wheel of “Kavok” (a Lagoon 421 catamaran we’ve booked for our weeklong Belize bareboat adventure from Dream Yacht Charter) until we’re pointed south – steady on a lazy beam reach.

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Marine Products

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