BayRaider 20

When SAIL’s judges were weighing the candidates for the 2012 Best Boats daysailer award, there was no dissension over the winner: the BayRaider 20 scored a unanimous thumbs-up for its blend of portability, performance, good looks, build quality and innovation.
Author:
Publish date:
BayRaider-A

When SAIL’s judges were weighing the candidates for the 2012 Best Boats daysailer award, there was no dissension over the winner: the BayRaider 20 scored a unanimous thumbs-up for its blend of portability, performance, good looks, build quality and innovation.

The BayRaider’s genesis is the “raid,” a popular pastime in Europe where small boats are sailed and rowed competitively between harbors in events lasting several days. Speed under sail, light weight for easy rowing and the ability to stand up to foul weather are obviously desirable in such contests, and so designer/builder Matt Newland developed a series of unsinkable boats to meet those criteria.


Capsizing is the Achilles heel of lightweight unballasted open boats, so Newland increased stability by means of a clever gravity-fed water ballast system that lets the boat heel to 125 degrees before inverting—that’s better than a great many ballast-keel boats. The water ballast can be taken on or dumped while underway, and should the boat flip with its ballast tank empty and want to stay upside down, a tank on the port side will flood and cant the boat enough that a crew’s weight on the centerboard will right it easily. The hollow mast and carbon fiber sprit are sealed, so they provide buoyancy as well.

It’s this kind of versatility that makes the BayRaider such an intriguing boat. The fiberglass version—you can order it in epoxy/foam or wood/epoxy too—displaces under 1,000 pounds, so even though the sail area is fairly modest, given enough breeze the unballasted BayRaider will hop up onto a plane and hit double-digit speeds. When it comes time to beat back into that same breeze, just open the valve, fill up the ballast tank, sheet in the sails and settle in for an enjoyable beat.

BayRaider-B

The BayRaider is a pleasing blend of modern technology and traditional looks. The sliding gunter rig is rare on this side of the Pond, but it makes sense for trailering—both spars fit inside the boat. The mizzen does not add a lot of sail area but it helps to balance the helm and in light air, such as we had on my test sail, every bit of canvas helps. With two of us on board, the BayRaider showed plenty of willingness to please in the 6 knots or so of wind that got her scooting along happily, water gurgling satisfyingly along her hull. Between the slight chines at the waterline, the centerplate and the large rudder, she feels solid and forgiving to helm. Wide bench seats run the length of the cockpit. Buoyancy tanks for positive flotation are molded into these seats, but there are a couple of lockers to take lines and odds and ends, and enough room under the foredeck to stash your sailing bag and a small cooler. There’s no need for winches to work the sheets; loads are light on this boat.

It was too bad the spinnaker had not yet arrived, because conditions were ideal for it; there was not enough breeze to warrant filling the water ballast tank. I was left feeling that the boat had a lot more to give, and it was with some reluctance that we fired up the outboard and took the sails down at the end of the day.

BayRaider-C

The owner was new to the boat, so it took a little while to sort out the rig prior to launching. With practice, I doubt it would take more than 10 to 15 minutes. The mast is on a tabernacle, so you just have to unmount the gunter sprit and roll up the sails, leaving all the shrouds in place. De-rigging the boat and securing it for trailering went much faster.

I drove away thinking it would be fun to have a boat like this, a perfect little gunkholer that can stand up to a decent blow without scaring its crew witless.

Specifications

LOA 19ft 10in // LWL 18ft
BEAM 6ft 9in // DRAFT 10in/4ft 8in
WEIGHT 946lb (fiberglass version)
WATER BALLAST 660lb // SAIL AREa 183ft2
DESIGNER Matt Newland
BUILDERSwallow Boats, Cardigan, Wales
U.S. AGENT Swallow Boats USA, 904-234-8779, bill@swallowboats.com
PRICE $27,750 base

Photos courtesy of Swallow Boats

Related

MHS-GMR_3549

New Multihulls 2018

Farrier F-22 New Zealander Ian Farrier ushered in a new genre of sailing with his folding-ama trailerable trimarans, the best-known of which are the Corsair designs. Farrier’s last project before he passed away last year was this sweet little tri. Available in three versions, ...read more

shutterstock_373701682

Cruising: Island Comeback

The U.S. Virgins Islands have surged back from the devastation of the 2017 hurricanes, with new infrastructure plans that will benefit charterers and cruisers alike. After hurricanes Irma and Maria roared through the Leeward Islands in September 2017, it was impossible to ...read more

albintoilet

Gear: Albin Pump Marine Toilet

Head Start Is there room for a new marine toilet? Albin Pump Marine thinks so, having just introduced its line of Swedish-built heads—ranging from compact to full-size models—to the American market. The toilets feature vitreous porcelain bowls and either wooden or thermoplastic ...read more

07n_45R2699

Multihull Sailor: Classic Cats

If you’re looking for a decent sub-40ft cruising cat, you have few choices when it comes to new-boat offerings. It is a well-known fact that the multihull market has taken off in a way very few could have predicted. Despite Hurricane Irma’s recent destruction of a large part of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Thanks a bunch  This scene is very calm and seamanlike. No frantic rope throwing or shouting. As he passes the line to the gent on the dock, the crew on the boat says, quietly and clearly, “Would you ...read more

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more