Skip to main content

Boat Review: Andrews 21

Adapted from a successful youth match-racing design, every feature of the Andrews 21 is keyed toward teaching and training. I sailed the boat in a mild breeze in Newport Harbor, California, its native waters, and it delivered what I expected. The boat was lively, but tractable, and comfortable in every way, whether it be from an emotional perspective—she looks contemporary and aggressive—to physically finding my place in the cockpit.
 A sport boat that doubles as a fine trainer

A sport boat that doubles as a fine trainer

Adapted from a successful youth match-racing design, every feature of the Andrews 21 is keyed toward teaching and training. I sailed the boat in a mild breeze in Newport Harbor, California, its native waters, and it delivered what I expected. The boat was lively, but tractable, and comfortable in every way, whether it be from an emotional perspective—she looks contemporary and aggressive—to physically finding my place in the cockpit. This is a dandy little sailboat anyone can enjoy. It is also very much in the moment for 2014 as a fast-but-stable, small keelboat.

In terms of design, the boat’s deep-slung lead bulb and powerful hull form add up to tremendous stability. For a student’s first-time experience of dynamic balance, this can be a great confidence builder. There is also more than enough performance potential for the Andrews 21 to hold the attention of youngsters coming out of speed-thrill dinghies.

The helm was fingertip light, and the boat tracked nicely on all points of sail, with weather-helm-to-taste varying easily through a full range of adjustments—another important teaching tool. I can’t imagine a better platform for demonstrating how to steer with the sails.

In the cockpit, every working element was positioned optimally. “Talented” people like me can always turn a day of sailing into a spaghetti feed, but the Andrews 21 does as much as any design can possibly do to look after the organizationally challenged, encourage learning and making a good sailing teacher look great.

The angels are in the details. The boom is high—you’d have to be more than slightly careless to get whacked—and the cockpit, at 10 feet long, is large enough to accommodate four students with an instructor working from either the companionway or the transom. The rudderstock is also thoughtfully positioned to leave standing room aft for a teacher.

There are two Harken winches on the cabintop—not because the boat really has to have them, but so students can learn how to load and use a winch—and for those in search of a little extra reassurance, the Andrews 21 is built with positive flotation. I don’t know if the production folks at W.D. Schock get to use the word “unsinkable,” but an instructor could, and probably would in good conscience. Fleet administrators and club officers will be glad to hear that the hand-laid composite hull is solid, not cored, for impact resistance and ease of repair. The use of vinylester resin will help fight against water absorption and blisters.

The deck-stepped mast is built from a proprietary Schock extrusion and rigged for simplicity, but with all the controls for trim, sail shape, backstay adjustment and reefing—that is to say, all the fundamentals of operating a sailboat. For a different level of teaching—to keep race-oriented sailors engaged, for example—there are options for a fixed sprit and asymmetric spinnaker. In terms of power, designer Alan Andrews says, “We can adjust the rig profile to suit specific local conditions. It’s easier to adapt a light-air performer to heavy air than vice-versa.” Do your home waters typically have 9-knot winds? No problem. An 18-knot peak sea-breeze? Also not a problem.

Nervous (or merely cautious) school managers will probably pad the corners with the optional bow and quarter fenders, which our test boat lacked. Putting the boat through its paces, though, I wondered: What could possibly go wrong? Still, as we closed in on the dock, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and handed the tiller to Andrews. “Alan,” I said. “You can take her in.”

A21SailPlan

Specifications

LOA 21ft

LWL 18ft 5in

BEAM 8ft 1in

DRAFT 5ft

DISPLACEMENT 1,840lb

BALLAST 650lb
SAIL AREA 266ft2 (jib and full main)

ENGINE outboard motor bracket optional

BALLAST RATIO 35

SA/D RATIO 28 D/L RATIO 132

What do these ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

DESIGNER Alan Andrews

BUILDER W.D. Schock Corp., Corona, CA, 951-277-3377, wdschock.com

Related

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Barcelona Venue Shaping Up

The decision to host the next America’s Cup in Barcelona ruffled the feathers of some fans, but the Defender is happy with how the venue is shaping up. The process of allocating team bases, spectator zones and the race village is underway. “I cannot speak highly enough of the ...read more

ELAN-GT6---273

Boat Review: Elan GT6

Elan’s first sporty “Grand Turismo” yacht, the 43ft GT5, launched in 2017, and was actually a bit of a mash-up. It combined an existing go-fast hull from Elan’s sexy E5 racer with a new deck and interior optimized for cruising comfort, and a somewhat detuned rig to create a ...read more