Class 2M

With a beam of less than 5ft on an overall length of 23ft, this daysailer promises exciting upwind sailing. There's a lifting T-keel to facilitate trailering and a high-aspect-ratio rig. <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"
Publish date:
Social count:
With a beam of less than 5ft on an overall length of 23ft, this daysailer promises exciting upwind sailing. There's a lifting T-keel to facilitate trailering and a high-aspect-ratio rig. <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"

This past fall I had a chance to sail the Class 2M, a 23-foot sloop with a retracting bulb keel that was one of the most eye-catching boats at the 2010 Newport International Boat Show. Long and lean, with a maximum beam of just 4ft 11in, the deck constitutes an unbroken series of sweeping curves, all the way from the blunt destroyer-style bow to the wonderfully long reverse transom. Light-colored bamboo decking and metallic gray topsides emphasize the boat’s clean lines.

The hull is vacuum-bagged vinylester and fiberglass. The cockpit is a sculpted oval—you sit on the side decks—that blends into a small removable cuddy forward of the mast. There is a lip under each side deck for hooking your feet when hiking out. Hiking straps are an option.

The fractional square-top rig spreads 290 square feet of sail on an aluminum spar and is simple by design. There is a vang, but no main traveler. There are fixed sheet leads for the roller-furling jib and the option of a spinnaker. The French builder Naval Force 3 describes the 2M as a “true upwind keel boat” and hopes there will be enough interest to create an exciting one-design class. Ultimately, though, the boat is intended to serve as an elegant daysailer.

Underway, the 2M is nimble, yet stable. The published displacement of 992lb seems a bit optimistic, but the boat is still very light. SAIL associate editor Meredith Laitos, a veteran of the Northwestern University sailing team, insisted we try some roll-tacking during our test sail in Newport, Rhode Island. But this was a challenge with a 484lb ballast bulb at the bottom of the boat’s 5ft 3in high-aspect keel.

Both on and off the wind, the boat tracked well and was a joy to steer. It was also refreshingly predictable. Ideally, I would have liked a bit more wind, but the 2M responded to the slight puffs we had like a true keelboat, digging in and powering ahead, immediately translating the increased pressure into forward motion. With that big square-top main overhead there’s certainly no shortage of horsepower. The boat also turned on a dime. Despite the profusion of moorings and a nearby finger pier, threading our way back to the dock was a piece of cake.

As a side note, I was pleased to discover that the polished bamboo deck was not as slippery as it appeared when I first examined it during the show. Of course, with all sail controls led to the cockpit, there is little need to spend much time traipsing around the foredeck anyway.

The mainsheet is cleated forward of the elegantly sculpted tiller. Jib sheets are led under the side decks, preserving the boat’s clean lines. The rudder and tiller are both mounted in a removable cassette, which can be easily be swapped out for a small electric motor to help you back home in a calm.

I enjoyed sailing this fast, good-looking boat.

Photo courtesy of Forum Marine 


LOA 23ft 7in // LWL 20ft 10in 

BEAM 4ft 11in // DRAFT 5ft 3in 


SAIL AREA 290sq ft (jib and main) 

ENGINE outboard 

BUILDER Naval force 3; La Rochelle, France 

U.S. AGENT Forum Marine, Annapolis, MD, 410-286-1930 

PRICE $49,000


Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far more


SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comTeak deck paradise  I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. more


Gear: ATN Multi Awning

THROW SOME SHADEAmong the many virtues of cruising cats is the large expanse of netting between their bows, which is the ideal place to hang out with a cold one after a hard day’s sailing and let the breeze blow your worries away. Only trouble is it can get a bit hot up there more


How to Sail the Med

“After spending so many years sailing the Caribbean, I was frankly astounded at how much more I enjoy the Mediterranean,” says Scott Farquharson of charter brokers Proteus Yacht Charters. “The culture, the history, the food, the weather, friendly people, crystal-clear water—there more


Know-How: Rigging Emergency Rudders

We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the more


Experience: Hard Aground

This is a story of how mistakes are made and judgment is dulled to the point of catastrophe. It is also about how prudent planning, good equipment and a bit of luck can bring you back from the brink.We departed Norfolk, Virginia, on December 15 bound for Jacksonville, Florida, more


Vestas Discusses Fatal Collision, Recovery

Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-captains Mark Towill and Charlie Enright discuss the collision near the end of Leg 4 as well as the efforts the team has made to get back into racing trimJust over a month after 11th Hour Racing’s fatal collision with a commercial fishing vessel shortly more