Bargain Performance Page 2 - Sail Magazine

Bargain Performance Page 2

Bill Schock, the founder of California-based W.D. Schock Corp., got a lot of things right in his time, not the least of which when he turned to his son Tom back in 1976 and said, “It’s a great little boat. Let’s build it.” In this way the Santana 20 was born with, as Tom recalls it, “no demographic studies, no market research, nothing. We didn’t know who we’d sell it to.”Thirty-five years
Author:
Publish date:

Martin acknowledges the Santana 20 can’t keep up with the latest crop of sport boats, but insists that isn’t a problem for the boat’s fans. “Okay, it’s a Seventies design,” he says. “New boats are faster—if that’s worth another $70,000 to you.”

For W.D. Schock Corp., the Santana 20 marked a fortunate departure from the rather bumpy, distorted IOR-influenced hull shapes of the time. The rudder has a low aspect ratio by 2011 standards, and the stern is a bit narrow, but designer Shad Turner still drew a clean, fair hull that has stood the test of time.

In 1996, the company pulled off the trick of updating the boat, with an open transom and rolled cockpit seats, without destroying the class. Although there are now plenty of “new” Santana 20s out there along with the original boats, plus some original hulls with new decks, none of these boats is automatically faster. The class recently weighed a cross-section of the fleet, finding maximum differences of 200 pounds (on an advertised displacement of 1,350 pounds) and no correlation to hull number. In an Olympic class, 200 pounds would never do, but this is about playing games with your friends at a price point. And it hasn’t determined a national championship, yet.

Santana 20s trailer easily and are raced in both one-design and handicapped fleets on both coasts and in lakes across the United States. A relatively wide beam waterline provides greater initial stability than many newer designs, making it a great boat to learn on. According to five-time national champion Chris Winnard, a sailmaker from Seattle, Washington, with plenty of experience in other boats, “The Santana 20 has made me the sailor that I am. It’s a great vehicle for learning how to sail keelboats.”

Adam Mazurkiewicz, who sails mostly on lakes out west, agrees. “My wife wanted a boat we could hang out on. I wanted a boat to race, and the Santana is very satisfying on that score. It has all the adjustments of a big boat. There’s always a job for everybody, the whole race long. Generally we race with three or four, but it’s easy enough for two people to sail. We can take a learner or two along and keep everybody comfortable. And, oh yes, downwind in a breeze it’s wildly exciting.”

Tom Schock likes to call the Santana 20 the original sport boat. “We sold 50 of them at the 1976 Long Beach boat show, which was amazing, we weren’t prepared for that, and by the third year we were turning out three a day.”

He adds that the new deck has played a major role in the boat’s longevity, helping to ensure the class will remain a vibrant one for years to come. “The comfort level went up 5,000 percent,” Schock says. “We sold about a hundred new boats and that many more new decks for old boats. It revitalized the class, but it was critical to not blow away the existing fleet. We had to hit the bullseye, and we did.”

Related

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more

albinheaters

Albin Pump Marine: Marine Water Heaters

IN HOT WATERSweden’s Albin Pump Marine has introduced its line of marine water heaters to the United States. Complete with 130V or 230V AC electric elements, the heaters can be plumbed into the engine cooling system. They feature ceramic-lined cylindrical tanks in 5, 8, 12 and ...read more

03-squalls4

Squall Strategies

Our first encounter with a big squall was sailing from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico. We left at 0200 to ensure we’d get into Ensenada before our 1300 haulout time. The National Weather Service had forecast consistent 15-20 knot winds from the northwest, which was perfect for the ...read more