Conyplex, builder of the Contest 35S, is an established company that was a pioneer in fiberglass boat construction. In 1958, it began work on fiberglass Flying Dutchmans, and two years later introduced the Contest 25, its first cruiser. More than 5,000 boats have been built since, with about 600 of these being exported to the U.S. through Van Breems Holland Yachts of Westport, Connecticut.
It doesn't take a lot of brains to see that Catalina is doing something right that a lot of other sailboat makers aren't. They're the largest sailboat builder in the country, and a terrible year for them would be Valhalla for almost every other manufacturer. With more than 1,000 built in seven years, the Catalina 34 has to be in the running as the most successful production boat of the 1980s.
Bill Lapworth didn't invent light-displacement cruiser-racers, but his name is indelibly linked with the type. At 15,000 pounds of displacement on a 30' waterline, the Cal 40 is still a fairly light boat, especially considering the low-tech materials and techniques available when she was introduced. Lapworth designed a number of smaller sisters to the Cal 40 in the late 1960's, all looking as alike as peas in a pod.
The Cal 31 is the thirteenth Bill Lapworth-designed Cal boat between 27' and 34' built by the Costa Mesa, California firm. Cal, a pioneer in fiberglass sailboat construction, later became a division of Bangor Punta Marine, whose boatbuilding group also included O'Day and Ranger. Cal boats went out of production in 1989. Cal and Bill Lapworth are best known for the breakthrough Cal 40, which many years ago began the trend toward moderately light displacement, fin-keel spade-rudder ocean racers.
The Bristol 35.5C, which also came in a full-keel version (without the "C"), is an extraordinarily orthodox boat. There simply are no extremes in design, construction or performance, unless it is in her ability to flaunt her stern downwind and burn a lot of boats when beating in light to moderate air.
The Beneteau First 345 was designed as a moderate displacement racer/cruiser, and much of its popularity has been because of its success in blending the two functions. In fact, it could be said that the First is a racing boat that contains a cruising interior. The architect is Jean Berret, a Frenchman noted for his cruising and racing designs (he designed the 1985 Admiral's Cup winner, Phoenix, a Beneteau one-tonner).
While the Alberg 35 had moderate success as a racer, the boat was--and still is--a cruising boat. By current standards, the Alberg 35 is a slow boat for her length overall, with a typical PHRF rating of 198. By way of comparison, her replacement, the Pearson 35, rates about 174, and the Ericson 35-2 about 150.
The arithmetic of weights and displacements prevents us from ever realizing a trailerable boat that will sail at the preferred half-submerged condition of our hypothetical craft. But you can get a trailerable hull by this scheme that will sail about one-third submerged, which probably is close enough, and that boat will have more than enough righting moment for reasonable sail-carrying. You also can get a boat that weighs relatively little out of the water compared to its displacement in the water--exactly the characteristic you want in a blue-water trailer sailer. I describe this design as "Ultra Water Ballasted."
C&Cs have been known for good-looking moderate designs, a tradition started by the original partners and the company's chief designer Rob Ball. Some models--like the early Corvettes and C&C 35s--have become classics of production sailboats, and (except for the Mega, a one-design 30-footer of the late 70s) it's hard to think of any C&C which has been extreme or unattractive to the eye.
The PDQ 32 was introduced in 1996. The concept was to offer a smaller, lighter and less expensive alternative to the PDQ 36. One of the things we like about PDQ boats is the quality materials and generally clean workmanship. A modified epoxy resin (AME 5000) and tri-axial knitted fiberglass fabrics are used in the hull and deck. The mast is supported in part by a carbon fiber-reinforced deck beam. The hulls are solid glass below the waterline and cored with Klegecell foam above the water, an arrangement we think makes a lot of sense. Each hull has an air-tight comparatment forward, which provides a measure of safety in the event of collision, and the keels also have sacrificial sections. When you poke around in lockers, you don't see a lot of unfinished glass.