The EXPO Solar Sailer was conceived by Hoyt (who has a long list of conceptions to his credit), designed by Hood (who needs no introduction) and built by TPI(at present, or one time or another, the builder of J Boats, Aldens, Jeanneau catamarans and Freedoms). Put Gary Hoyt, Ted Hood and Everett Pearson in a canoe and you have the marine industry's maximum tripartite brain power. The cerebral sparks from these three New England dynamos produced the EXPO Solar Sailer.
While we wouldn't consider the Tartan Ten to be one of the better-built racers, she doesn't have to be. Since she is primarily intended to race against her sisters, consistency between boats is perhaps more important than superior (and hence, more expensive) construction. The major construction criterion she must meet is to be sufficiently seaworthy to endure an occasional short offshore race. She meets this criterion, although, like too many production boats, she barely makes it.
In the late 80's, the Ultimate 20's landscape was littered with the remains of boatbuilding companies that couldn't cut to fit. The conventional wisdom was that starting a new company was guaranteed to convert a large fortune to a small one. In this period, Jeff Canepa conceived the idea of entering the fracas with a pint-sized company based in Santa Cruz, California, that would introduce yet another performance 21-footer.
When it comes to describing a sailboats most valuable attribute, its surprising how varied opinions can be. Staying afloat should be our first priority, and although you seldom read or hear much about it at boat shows, the structural elements that hold a sailboat together are an all-important consideration.
With summer upon us, light, quick sailing dinghies that are easy to sail and easy to transport make summertime on the water a blast. Practical Sailor reviews some of the perennial favorites-the Optimist, Sunfish, Hobie, and Laser-and looks at how newcomers like Bic Sports Open Bic match up. Testers also review a do-it-yourself sailing dinghy kit, the Eastport Pram from Chesapeake Light Craft, and Hobies newest catamaran, the Bravo, a quick-to-launch beach cat with plenty of get-up-and-go. We also take a look at Laser Performances newest club trainer/racer for the wee sailors, the Bug.
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The experience of the owners of the 14-year-old, six-man, valise-stored Avon liferaft pictured here reminds us of the importance of following the manufacturers inspection schedule. With air leaking from the seams and through the fabric itself, the raft is a graphic example of how even a professionally serviced liferaft that remains dry in its hard canister can deteriorate to the point of becoming worthless.