New Boat: Paine 14

Author:
Updated:
Original:
PAINE-14BB

For the past 40 years Chuck Paine has sailed a classic Herreshoff 12½ named Petunia and has always proclaimed to any who will listen that she is the best boat ever conceived by mortal man. Not that he didn’t have some complaints: Petunia, he’ll tell you, is a bit overweight, a tad under-canvassed, a bear to trailer, can’t sail under main alone and is inclined to sink when filled with water.
So, what’s a veteran naval architect to do? Is it possible to improve upon perfection? At the very least, Paine knew he could address his own particular complaints, and so set out to build a better Petunia, which in turn became the Paine 14, winner of a 2014 SAIL Best Boats award in the daysailer category.

Compared to Nat Herreshoff’s iconic daysailer, Paine’s boat is almost two feet shorter overall (14ft versus 15ft 10in) and a bit over a foot shorter on the waterline (11ft 2in versus 12ft 6in). It is also drastically lighter (850lb versus 1,500lb) and carries proportionally more sail area, with a sail area-displacement ratio of 19 versus 17. Overall, Paine describes his boat as being 10 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter than its predecessor. Visually its hull closely mimics that of the older boat above the waterline, but is radically different under the water, with a NACA foil fin keel and a svelte dagger-like transom-hung spade rudder.
Unlike the original, this new boat can, in fact, be sailed under mainsail alone and is unsinkable, thanks to a pair of large flotation compartments fore and aft. Its rig is also considerably simpler, with an unstayed carbon-fiber mast and a mainsail that is bent on to its spars with sturdy Velcro straps. The club-footed jib sets on its own luff.

[I test-sailed the boat in almost no wind on Spa Creek outside Annapolis and was immediately captivated by it. In one sense, at least, these were perfect conditions, as this is how many people actually use such boats—drifting idly about an anchorage, ogling other boats while watching carefully for each cat’s paw of breeze.

[advertisement]The Paine 14 feels reassuringly solid, thanks to some serious ballast in its keel (almost half the boat’s displacement), but it remains quite nimble in light air. I had no problem sailing the boat efficiently upwind in 3 knots of wind (or less) against a mild countercurrent. It gets going easily, thanks to its reduced wetted surface area, but still has enough weight to carry momentum through voids in the wind.

Just as importantly, the Paine 14 feels like a true classic daysailer when you are sitting in it. The warm glow of its varnished trim, the stolid feel underfoot of its slatted-wood cockpit sole and the elegant simplicity of its bronze hardware are all intensely evocative of the boat that inspired it. The sail controls fall perfectly to hand, and the cockpit ergonomics are so seamless you feel you are wearing the boat like a piece of intimate apparel.

Paine did, in fact, design this boat for his own use and describes hull #1, Amelia, which he built himself in cold-molded wood, as “the most expensive 14ft boat in the world.” Fortunately for the rest of us, enough people have expressed interest that French & Webb is now offering both fiberglass and cold-molded boats for considerably less than what it cost Paine to build his. The glass and wood hulls both weigh the same, so it will be possible for all boats to race together on a one-design basis.

PainePlansColored

LOA 14ft LWL 11ft 2in BEAM 5ft 3in

DRAFT 2ft 3in

DISPLACEMENT 850lb

SAIL AREA 107ft²

Ballast RATIO 45% SA/D RATIO 19 D/L RATIO 273
What do these ratios mean? Visit sailmagazine.com/ratios

DESIGNER Chuck Paine, chuckpaine.com

BUILDER French & Webb, Belfast, ME,
frenchwebb.com

Photo courtesy of Chuck Paine; illustration by Pip Hurn

Related

02-'17-Trans-Atlantic_Downwind-Schralpin

At The Helm: Man Overboard!

Imagine this simple scenario: the boat’s powered up, sailing close-hauled in a building breeze under full sail. I come on deck as the skipper during the watch change to make sure the new crew is comfortable and the boat is properly set up for both the current conditions and ...read more

Promo-01-LEAD-MGR00321

Contrasting X-Yachts & Moody Cruisers

One of the most fascinating things about sailboats is the different ways that sailors, naval architects and builders will approach a single design problem. The result has been a bewildering array of rigs and hull forms over the years, and in the case of the two boats we’ll be ...read more

04-Yacht-anchored-in-front-of-one-of-Lastovo's-gunboat-tunnels-(3)

Cruising Charter to Croatia

As is the case with so much of the Mediterranean, to sail in Croatia is to take a journey through time. Centuries before the birth of Christ, Greeks traded amphoras of oil, wine and grain across these waters. During the first millennium, the Romans built lavish palaces and ...read more

m123728_13_01_171012_PMA_02901_9999

Alicante Announced as an Ocean Race Europe Stop

The Ocean Race Europe, a new event in offshore sailing, will include Alicante as one of four stopover cities. This European offshoot of the former Volvo Ocean Race will include the biggest change to the racing rules under the new title—fully crewed IMOCA 60s will join the ...read more

01-LEAD-doublehanded2

Preparing for a Doublehanded Race

A few months ago we took a look at the development and attraction of doublehanded racing (Two to Tango, June/July 2020). Hopefully, that served to whet your appetite. If so, the question becomes: “How do I get started? The good news, as we explained in Part 1, is that if you are ...read more

01-LEAD-Day-three---dolphins.-300-dpi

A Key Approach to Passagemaking

How you approach offshore sailing is key to the success of each passage. In addition, some of the most valuable, even crucial attitudes and skills may not be either learned or valued in everyday life on shore and may even fly in the face of talents that are greatly admired and ...read more

OceanVoyagesInstitute-2048

Point of SAIL: Mary Crowley of the Ocean Voyages Institute

In this episode of Point of SAIL, Principal Editor Adam Cort talks with Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of the Ocean Voyages Institute, a not-for-profit based in California that has been both educating sailors and working to preserve the health of the world’s ocean ...read more

01-Ocean-Voyages-Institute_PHOTO-READY_1_pg

Tracking and Catching Plastic Waste

Plastic waste—in the form of everything from plastic soda bottles to abandoned fishing nets—constitutes a major threat to the health of the world’s oceans. Giving the immense size of an ocean, though, actually finding all the plastic floating around out there in a time-efficient ...read more