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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Valvetech Bridgewater MarinaFor many years now, we have used gasoline in our cars and trucks that contains some amount of ethanol, a form of alcohol, and just as a few drops of water combine almost instantly in your Scotch, moisture from the atmosphere can combine with the ethanol in the gasoline that is in your boat’s fuel tank.

Your motor vehicle has a sealed fuel system to control evaporative losses that are a source of air pollution. Fuel is moved into the engine under pressure and any drips that might escape, drop onto the pavement. The engine is open to the pavement below. In an inboard boat, the hull is below the engine and any drips will collect in the bilge with potentially explosive consequences. 

Read more about gasoline containing ethanol......

 

  

Grand Banks 60 SkyloungeThe Canadian market has always been a tough nut for yacht designers to figure out. Summer days get really hot; other days are downright cold. There is always the chance things could change in the blink of an eye and let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t stepped off the boat wearing shorts, flip flops and a warm jacket? Canadian yachting has always been a world of contradictions, which is why designing cruising yachts for this market has never been easy. It’s not like Florida or the Med, where weather is dependable throughout the year.

 

 

Read more about the Grand Banks 60 Skylounge............

 

ILCA DinghyAustin, Texas, USA (25 April 2019) – In the wake of last month’s termination of its contract with its European builder, the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) announced today that, from 25 April 2019, all new, class-approved boats will be sold and raced under the “ILCA Dinghy” name. This change will have no impact on existing ILCA-authorized boats and equipment, which will be able to race alongside ILCA Dinghies in all class sanctioned events.


“It’s a big change for a racing class that hasn’t seen anything like this in our almost 50- year history,” said Class President Tracy Usher.

Read More about the ILCA Dinghy............

Destinations

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Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
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Port of OrilliaTake your boat and a beautiful waterfront setting, pair that with a fantastic musical lineup of over 100 Canadian and international performers, spice it up with an awesome food truck alley, add in an artistically diverse artisan’s marketplace and finish it with a Folkplay area dedicated to children’s fun and you have the successful recipe for the Mariposa Folk Festival.

Each July this longstanding musical tradition kicks off the summer at Tudhope Park in Orillia on the picturesque shores of Lake Couchiching and you can get there by boat. This year’s festival runs July 5-7 and is celebrating 20 years back in the city where it all began 59 years ago.

Read more about the Mariposa.....

 

Marine Products

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Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...