The strange look of the sailboats of the Golden Globe Race – Yachting Art Magazine

When you look at a Rusltler 36, an Endurance 35, a Tradewind 35 or any other boat on the reduced list of sailboats admitted to the race, and you compare its speed to that of a sailboat of the same size, of current production, we are struck by one thing:

These sailboats, built before 1988, do not look like them at all!

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Suhaili Credit Bill Rowntree

The rules of the Golden Globe Race

The GGR differs from offshore racing by the desire to use navigation “old”, without electronic assistance. The skippers follow their route by calculating their position by triangulation, with a sextant and all modern navigation tools (autopilot, GPS) are absent from their boats. Not completely absent, because a leaded box contains two GPS and they must also carry satellite phones and an Epirb to maintain contact with the earth. Safety first!

Stamina 35

Stamina 35

Sailboats of the last century

The boats, of seriesmust have been built before 1988in polyester, and belong to these models:

Westsail 32 – Tradewind 35 – Saga 34 – Saltram 36 – Vancouver 32 & 34 – OE 32 – Eric (sistership of Suhaili) – Aries 32 – Baba 35 – Biscay 36 – Bowman 36 – Cape Dory 36 – Nicholson 32 MKX-XI – Rustler 36 – Endurance 35 – Gaia 36 – Hans Christian 33T – Tashiba 36 – Cabo Rico 34 – Hinckley Pilot 35 – Lello 34 – Gale Force 34.

They share the following characteristics:

  • Reinforced polyester construction.
  • Designed before 1988 in a minimum series of 20 boats built in the same mould.
  • A hull length between 32 and 36 feet. Bowsprits, external wind vanes and rudders, boom attachments, and pulpits are not taken into account.
  • Long keel with rudder attached to the trailing edge.
  • Minimum displacement of 6,200 kg.
Hanse Christian 33
Hanse Christian 33

Hanse Christian 33

Sailboats made to sail far

Perhaps their antique look stems from a fad?

Their rear are clearly narrower than on current sailboats and the beam is moved forward amidships.

Some boats like the Saga 34, a Collin Archer design, or the Saltram 36 even have a Norwegian rear, similar to the front. Weird.

The cockpits are deepand resemble, for some like the Rustler 36, the reassuring cockpits of sailboats Amel.

The back of Rustler 36 (L) and Saltram 36 (R)The back of Rustler 36 (L) and Saltram 36 (R)

The back of Rustler 36 (L) and Saltram 36 (R)

Under water, long skittles

These bowling long are fully stratified to the hull and form the receptacle for the ballast, at their bottom. The rudder is mounted in their extension and benefits from the protection of the keel. The keels are solidly laminated to the hull, with which they form a one-piece assembly, by means of a fiberglass resin composite with a thickness of up to 30 mm. This type of composite, if it does not include the technical refinements of current manufacturing and can suffer from osmosis, when it is poorly maintained, presents a solidity very important structure. These skittles are famous for the stability that they provide to the boats which are equipped with them, but suffer from a poor reverse quality to the engine.

On the boats modernwe find short bowling pins, bulbous. Their sail, in cast iron, is bolted on the verandas. Longer, their center of gravity is lowered, a useful consideration in regattas. On the other hand, these skittles are fragile and generate significant repairs in the event of bottoming or impact. Easier to implement by construction sites and offering a better maneuverability in portunder power, these bulb pins dominate the market…

It’s paradoxical: bulbous keels, which are thought out by the stiffness under canvas, implemented on family cruisers mainly used under power!

The keel of a Kaiser Gale Force 34

The keel of a Kaiser Gale Force 34

Lean systems

The electrical equipment of the sailboats of the Golden Globe Race must conform to that on board Suhaili in 1968, Sir Robin’s boat.

GPS, chart plotters, electronic anemometer, electric autopilots, electronic logbooks, smartphones, satellite phones, digital cameras, computers, pocket calculators, electronic watches, watermakers, all electronic appliances are prohibited.

Sextant, mechanical watch, log, for the road, barometer and BLU radio, for the weather, speed regulator, for navigation, tarpaulins for water recovery, and logarithmic calculations with tables for calculating the meridian!

A kerosene stove and a hurricane lamp complete the comfort equipment. Soberly equipped, these sailboats consume very little poweras a result, no worries about recharging the batteries… A few photovoltaic panels and a hydrogenerator cover the handful of amp-hours consumed daily by SSB and VHF radio.

On board our modernor LED lighting flush with the floors and air conditioners, desalinators and other freezers have appeared the energy consumption of services is played out in hundreds of ampere-hours daily, involving the fitting of generators on large monohulls and most catamarans…

The air vane of the Hydrovane wind vane, behind Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, GGR 2019 winner

The air vane of the Hydrovane wind vane, behind Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, GGR 2019 winner

What remains of the series sailboats of the last century in those of the current mass production?

Very little, actually. Pleasure has developed to such an extent that the “small“yard sailboats current would have been like yachts there is still thirty years.

Usage also has exchangethe sailboats of that time were designed for offshore sailing, which their descendants are still capable of, but whose designers optimize the characteristics of life comfort on board, from the drawing board.

Where we thought of protected cockpits and stability on the way, we are now looking for easy access to the sea, sunbathing surfaces and maneuverability under engine!

Times change and bring their share of often interesting innovations, but how to imagine a list of 2020s series sailboats able to compete in Golden Globe race 2070 ?

The strange look of the sailboats of the Golden Globe Race

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The strange look of the sailboats of the Golden Globe Race – Yachting Art Magazine