SAIL's Best Boats 2014: Archambault 27
If you’re looking for a sub-30-foot IRC sportboat, the Archambault 27 could be your ticket. This athletic-looking racer features a plumb bow with a slightly upturned knuckle just above the waterline, a hard chine, hiking wings, and a planing-friendly undercarriage than transitions into beamy, equally planing-friendly stern sections. The boat’s towering deck-stepped aluminum rig (a carbon-fiber mast is available) supports a large mainsail and fractional blade jib, while a retractable sprit pole and circular foredeck hatch allow for easy A-sail gybes, sets and douses. (A standard symmetrical spinnaker can also be flown off a pole attached to a fixed ring on the mast, providing yet more tactical choices on downwind legs.)
The boat’s spacious cockpit provides plenty of room for the crew and includes a number of go-fast features, such as a flush-deck traveler situated abaft the rudderpost, a pair of foot braces exactly where you’d want them, and a tiller and extension that together provide the helmsman with an excellent feel for how the boat is passing through the water. A clever “pod” located between the foot braces consolidates the mainsheet (which includes both gross and fine tune), the backstay adjustment and traveller controls so that they are all within easy reach of the helm. The pod should also help to encourage good onboard communications between the driver and the mainsheet trimmer.
The Archambault 27’s hull and deck are polyester-infused fiberglass, and include a central lifting point that allows for easy dry sailing. Interestingly, the boat is available with two distinctly different keel and rudder combinations: a standard version that matches a conventional cast-iron fin and bulb with a single high-aspect spade rudder; and a shoal-draft version with a hydraulically controlled centerboard and dual blades aft.
The boat’s narrow-waisted doghouse ensures clean sight lines, and its minimalist interior keeps the boat’s displacement lean while still allowing for some overnight work or limited cruising. A drain-only sink enables some barebones cooking, while an optional gimbaled stove can be spec’d to provide hot meals aboard this sharp-looking little racer with a twist.
Performance Monohull (30ft and under)