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Boat Dilemma

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Short version: Invest more in the Davidson 28, or hold off and plan on an upgrade?

Long Version:

I bought my first yacht, a Davidson 28, in April 2018 after spending a year or two training and crewing on boats down at Westhaven. Since then I've gone from totally green to... well I can dock without embarrassing myself now! We are based at Hobsonville/WestPark marina.

The boat has been great. I've cruised up as far as Whangaroa, sailed with my kids and a lot of friends, and am on my second race season with CCYC and an established pool of crew members. It's safe and reliable and for a first boat I really can't fault it. I didn't entirely know what I wanted to do with the boat when I bought it but it's become clear that the racing is a bit of a bug and something I'd like to go further in. Here comes the dilemma.

While we've improved a great deal and are starting to perform more consistently, there's no escaping the fact that there aren't many boats around us in the same performance range. We are last on elapsed every race by quite a margin (excusing those that hit a sandbank...) though starting to come in better on handicap. There is very definitely a list of crew work and racing experience to work on but there is also money that needs to be put in to sails, rigging and other gear to have it in race condition.

The question is do I continue to invest money in the boat to make it perform to handicap and plan on keeping it longer term, or do I put that on hold and start planning to move on? The things I would like to do are:

  • Continued regular club racing.
  • Some involvement further up the harbour (RYC etc).
  • SSANZ Triple Series (2021 and beyond).
  • Coastal Classic (2021 and beyond).
  • More cruising, especially Barrier, BOI etc.

The goals are very much engagement and experience building. Here are a few RaceTrack class ratings for comparison (I can't find a D28 with an active PHRF to compare):

  • Tracker, 0.6161
  • Davidson 28, 0.6192
  • Whiting 29, 0.6204
  • Noelex 22, 0.6218
  • Noelex 25, 0.6321
  • Pied Piper, 0.6515
  • Marauder, 0.6787
  • Young 88, 0.7509

SSANZ has a couple of boats in our range though not many so that seems doable. The lowest I can see in last years Coastal is a Marauder and we'd trail that by a good margin. The time it takes us to get from Hobsonville to the harbour entrance doesn't go unnoticed either and makes weekend cruising fairly limited. The math on VMG against the tide is especially rough on the slower boats!

If I moved on I'd be looking for something with an active class around me to compare against and take notes from. Something that puts us in the fun part of the fleet where my crew can feel a little more engaged with the race scene. Something that can get a bit of boogie on downwind wouldn't hurt either! 

I'm a bit torn as I love my boat but not sure it's going to do what I want. All advice and ideas welcome.



Edited by crump
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This is escalating quickly, there's a couple of Ross 1066's on TradeMe that look good fun too... Honestly right now I'm planning to list my boat, sail with some other crews, and go kayak fishing

I think the main question you need to ask yourself is what’s more important, cruising or racing. 1020 or  S34 best of both, 930 more race/sportboat style, 88 good for both but a bit dearer.  

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3 hours ago, Deep Purple said:

Scarlett fever or start me up. $25g or less and all the racing you could ever need

Any comment on the different 930 setups and what I should care about in that space? E.g. one of these boats has standard keel and prod, the other an extended keel but no prod?

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1 hour ago, crump said:

Any comment on the different 930 setups and what I should care about in that space? E.g. one of these boats has standard keel and prod, the other an extended keel but no prod?

I'll answer that myself by having a read of this 32 page thread... lots of info on all the different keels, though maybe not an terribly satisfying conclusion!


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Scarlett is a good boat, neither are better cruisers than a d28. Swings and roundabouts in that dept, but 25k? thats a joke considering what you get. Namu is 25 as well and thats an awesome performer but 37ft so a bit dearer on marina fees but youll be up there playing with the bigger kids and have much better cruising.

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Namu is good buying at that price. Should race with likes of S34's, Farr 1020's kind of fleet. You'd need more sails for racing, downwind stuff obviously, then the rest is for your preference.

I would have said a Y88 for racing and ok cruising, maybe a bit tight depending on how big your family is.

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