High tech and old school coexist nicely in the new Alerion Sport 30 gentleman’s daysailer. Classic lines and varnished teak exude old-world elegance but underneath, carbon fiber appendages and the latest equipment give her an edge that screams 2017.
Designed by Langan Design Partners and built in Rhode Island, the vinylester-infused foam core construction is wrapped around a carbon fiber structural grid. The result is strong and light and makes her both fast and easy to manage. The five-foot draft keel with a bulb provides a 41-percent ballast-to-displacement ratio so she’ll stay on her feet in a blow, and her simple rig is perfect for both short-handed, civilized sunset sails and crewed beer can races.
The Offshore Spars carbon fiber mast with double spreaders and no backstay carries an upwind sail area of 465 square feet. A self-tacking 98-percent jib with a Hoyt jib boom rides on a curved track ahead of the mast and has a Harken under-deck furler, aligning with the sleek look created by the absence of stanchions and lifelines. For downwind fun, there’s the optional asymmetrical spinnaker on a top-down furler that attaches to the also optional carbon fiber bowsprit. Both the aluminum boom and carbon mast are offered in Awlgrip’s “Moondust” finish, and you could hardly ask for a more enticing name for a subtle color.
The twin Harken primaries are within reach of the helm, and the main halyard and traveler control lines are led through the cockpit coaming to the wheel. The cockpit is divided by a 44-inch Edson racing-style wheel, and the only giveaway that this is not the helm of a hardcore racing machine is that the wheel is trimmed in teak like a work of art. In fact, there’s quite a bit of gleaming teak on the topsides including foredeck grab rails, a caprail that runs nearly the length of the deck, the companionway trim, the flag staff and a wide, glossy cockpit coaming. It’s interesting how this old-style yachtie finish blends with the new-world carbon fiber of the sprit without missing a beat.
Aft is a giant lazarette to stow fenders, lines and maybe an ice bucket for genteel entertaining at anchor. Six can squeeze into the cockpit but four will be much more comfortable, leaving plenty of room for crew to help sail or set out a picnic.
The Alerion Sport 30 has a functional interior. A double berth occupies the bow, with a large Lewmar hatch overhead to bring in air on breathless evenings or swallow sails that need to be stuffed hurriedly below. A manual marine head with a Y valve for the holding tank is below the bed, which will prompt one occupant to ask the other to go topsides when it’s to be used.
In between the settees and the V-berth is a split galley with Corian countertops, a single-burner Kenyon alcohol stove to starboard and a sink and foot pump to port. A wood-topped cooler functions as the galley icebox and hides under the single step used to get down from the cockpit. With five gallons of fresh water in a bladder tank, showers would be more like sponge baths, but two people could weekend comfortably on this Alerion and still produce meals with some pizzazz.
A 12 HP Volvo Penta diesel with Saildrive is standard propulsion along with a two-bladed folding Gori propeller; however, our test boat was equipped with the optional electric auxiliary power by Ocean Volt. Not only is it quiet and fume-free, it’s more eco-friendly and can be used on lakes that don’t allow traditional gas or diesel propulsion. It’s a $13,000 option but then, what price do you put on peace and clean water?
We motored out of Back Creek onto Chesapeake Bay at 5.9 kW and 6.3 knots on flat water at wide-open throttle. The display said we’d be able to motor at this pace for one hour and nine minutes. Slowing down to 5.2 kW and 5.8 knots upped our potential running time to two hours and 18 minutes so there is decent range in this high-tech system.
A six-knot breeze met us on the Bay so we unfurled the bright red Code 0 and quickly picked up speed to four knots at 90 degrees apparent wind angle. Upwind and under the traditional mainsail and the self-tacking jib, the Alerion happily tacked through 80 degrees. In only six knots, most boats that day went for a bob but we sailed nicely, reminded once again, how sailing got its reputation as a gentleman’s sport.
The Alerion Sport 30 has a classic appeal with a modern bite. You’ll be equally comfortable sailing her in breathable Gortex foulies as a yachtie blue blazer, and not many boats can claim that kind of a split personality.
Other Choices: The M 29 by Morris Yachts is another daysailing design with a classic look.
For more information, visit Alerion Yachts.
See Alerion Sport 30 listings.
|Fuel capacity||15 gal.|
|Water capacity||5 gal.|