Mike's Analysis of Hawk

I am inclined to approve of the choice of metal, not only for the second boat, but for the first as well. I am not so sure about some of the other choices Beth Leonard made. As choices go, I think the one's made for Hawk are excellent. But, if it is a question of the ideal cruising boat, I would do things differently.

Here are my reasons and conclusions. She mentions that they wanted to go sailing at higher latitudes. This should tell you a lot about the first trip which was made in the trade wind belt areas, mostly. They had very little experience with boats before their first trip and it shows. I think that after their second trip, if it is made in higher latitudes that they will change their minds about the boat they want for such cruising. Higher latitudes are my territory and the reality of cruising beyond 40 degrees, North or South is not something that you get by simply reading books, especially books written by those who have not cruised extensively there.

She talks about Hawk in "racing boat" terms, not that Hawk is intended for racing, but that they wanted better performance and windward ability. All this may seem quite natural, but since I have real serious doubts about the entire notion of high aspect sailing rigs and trying to eke out small gains in windward ability at the expense of taut rigging, expensive sails, etc. Then it follows that I would argue for putting the money into a simple rig system, Junk/Lug rig style and use the saved funds to pay for fuel and engine to power to windward. Unless, of course you don't care about the expense that must be put into the sailing system. In which case, you can go with the crowd and buy what everybody else is buying. After all, there are far more Bermudan/Marconi rigs for sale than anything else.

Think about the differences in strategy, mine versus Beth's in terms of differences in experience and cruising background. I am not trying to tell you that there is a right and a wrong way, but there is a difference in thinking. In order to come to your own conclusions, you need to keep every author's background and experience in perspective in order to make informed decisions for yourself.

If you follow her lead, then you need a Spinnaker, maybe several, more sails for downwind and then some for upwind and a few for storm conditions. With a Junk/Lug rig you maybe able to get by with one sail for each mast. If the sail rips, you repair it later. The inventory is less and the cost of maintenance is much lower. Follow the crowd, if this is the way you want to sail, but if not, then there are alternatives and you are entitled to be aware of them.

More Later.

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