Want to go even faster? Turn the tech knob to 11? Now the weight of individual sleeping bags and toothbrushes is far more important to you than luxurious accommodations. The emphasis here is on racing and racing free of the vagaries of rule dictates and whims. One-design racing is the purest kind there is, where identical boats with near identical gear show off helmsmanship and crew skills.

The One Design 48.

The One Design 48.

Reichel/Pugh has done some spectacularly fast boats lately, including the Melges 24, the Melges 30, and the impressive IMS 70 Windquest. This 48-footer puts those lessons to work in a one-design package geared to the most discriminating of sailors. Organized by such illuminaries as John Bertrand and Dick and Doug DeVos, this project has, I think, the horsepower behind it to ensure success.

The rudder and keel are very high-aspect-ratio fins. The keel is a cast stainless fin with a lead bulb attached. Kelp will collect at the bulb-fin joint, but not to worry, a clever kelp cutter built into the leading edge of the keel will free the nasty stuff in a hurry.

The hull is relatively wide with an L/B of 3.42. The canoe-body profile shows the forefoot lifted just above the DWL and a near plumb stem. The rocker appears to flatten around the keel root and then to kick up around station 7.5. I estimate the chord length of this keel to be about 36 inches at midspan, maybe 40 inches at the most. Draft is 10 feet, and there is a large fillet at the leading edge intersection with the hull.

Ballast comes in two forms: 8,820 pounds of lead cast to the bottom of the fin, and 2,980 pounds of water ballast in two tanks per side. In a light boat that has the beam and the topsides shape to take advantage of it, water ballast can add significantly to the sail carrying ability.

We could go on about the design features of this boat, but more important to this effort are the one-design organizational effort and the strict rules to ensure equal boat speed. TPI will build these boats with the most exotic of fabrics, including carbon-fiber woven biaxial fabrics for the inner skin and Kevlar and glass hybrid fabrics for the outer skins. The resin is all Ampreg custom-formulated epoxy.

Keel floors and longitudinals are described as solid carbon-fiber and glass over a foam core glassed integrally with the hull. This probably means that the cores for the structures go in with the hull cores and are then covered with the inner skins and additional reinforcing. The shaped cores for the stiffeners will be applied within the inner skin, then reinforcing fabrics will be added. The deck is all carbon over foam with integral beams. The rudder and stock are all carbon-fiber by GMT with Speedwave bearings.

All deck gear is Lewmar. Primary winches are ultralight and coupled with a lightweight centerline pedestal. The rig, with an SA/D of 27.98, features a carbon-fiber mast by Sparcraft with the masthead unit, gooseneck and vang bracket all cast of carbon-fiber. The boom is of two-piece construction combining an extruded top section with a shaped bottom section.

The list of instrumentation is extensive, with all gear supplied by Ockam. Instruments include full polar readouts.

It's a great-looking boat. You will have to be alert and quick to get a good look if you see one on the water. If you carry two anchors on the bow and like to fly both yankee and staysail together, I suggest you find a One-Design 48 at the dock, where it will hold still long enough to let you look.

A new grand prix yacht designed to outperform IMS 50-footers.

Boat Specifications
Displacement17,860 lbs.;
Ballast keel8,820 lbs., water 2,980 lbs.
Sail Area1,194 sq. ft.
AuxiliaryYanmar 3JH2-TCAE X SD31
Fuel21.4 gals.
Water41.5 gals.


SAILINGlogo-115This story originally appeared in Sailing Magazine, and is republished here by permission. Subscribe to Sailing.