Boat Review

June 2011 Issue

PS Reviews the Presto 30 Trailer-sailer

The shallow-draft coastal cruiser draws on Munroe’s classic sharpie.

Rodger Martin’s Presto 30 is clearly a descendant of the round-bilge sharpies made famous by Ralph Munroe’s Presto and Egret. The origins of the hull and rig date back to a classic American oyster-tonging boat, the New Haven sharpie, which first appeared in Long Island Sound around 1850. Martin wanted the Presto 30 design details to include trailerability and shallow draft. The Presto is 30 feet long and 8 feet, 6 inches wide. With the centerboard up, it draws just 13 inches; with the centerboard extended, it draws 5 feet, 6 inches. The 320 feet of sail area is evenly divided between two sails set on wishbone booms, and while the designer calls it a schooner rig, the maker, Ryder Boats, has deemed it a cat-ketch rig. The Presto’s 1,000 pounds of lead shot in the keel help address this shoal-draft weekener's tender handicap, but like any shallow-water boat, the Presto will need to be actively sailed in a blow.

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