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:
Updated:
Original:

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

CCA-story-2048x

Safety Culture Starts with the Skipper

Sailing might not be the first pastime that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports, but that’s not to say risks don’t abound. The Cruising Club of America tackles many of them head-on in their newly released guide for skippers, Creating a Culture of Safety: The Skipper’s ...read more

GMR19_F53_0539

Boat Review: Beneteau First Yacht 53

Luxury performance-cruising isn’t entirely new. You can go fast and still be comfortable. You can even race if you make the right tradeoffs—or so says Groupe Beneteau, which recently launched its First Yacht 53, in the process also reinventing the company’s “First” brand. ...read more

BirdonBoard

Cruising: Birds of a Feather

One of the neatest things about sailing offshore is the other lifeforms we encounter. We smile when we see flying fish skimming over the surface of the sea. We cheer when dolphins leap and dance in our bow waves. We are duly reverent when mighty whales sound and spout, and ...read more

pirate-marlin-logo

Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

This Spring has felt a bit like a slow day of fishing but it’s almost time to time to Bait…and Switch. The Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournaments offer something for every member of your crew. Exceptional fishing, fun times with family, old friends and new. Our run is short, our ...read more

Tusk.00_00_16_21.Still001

Tusk by Spyderco

Spyderco's Tusk knife combines a blade and marlinspike to create a multitool perfect for marine use. Made with corrosion resistant materials like titanium and LC200N steel, a nitrogen alloyed steel, and Spyderco-exclusive locking mechanisms, this knife is one of the toughest ...read more

IY11.98_fTaccola©DJI_0200

Italia 11.98 Performance-cruiser

This past winter, SAIL principal editor, Adam Cort, check out the new Italia Yachts’ new 11.98 performance-cruiser at the boot Dusseldorf show in German, and says he can attest to the fact it’s a boat more than worthy of the attention of North American sailors. Available in ...read more

01-LEAD-2017_IDALEWIS_0219

Racing: Doublehanded

I was born in 1955, and although I was a tad young to actually follow the first Observer Single-Handed Transatlantic Race, I grew up in the age of the pioneers of solo offshore sailing—Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnson, Alec Rose, all Knighted for their singlehanded ...read more

newport-400c-updated

Spectra Watermakers

The world's quietest and most energy-efficient watermakers. Our product line ranges from hand operated desalinators that can make 6 gallons a day to our largest system that produces 20,000 gallons of fresh, potable water per day. Spectra Watermakers has the complete package: ...read more