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

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no chances  This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

ZK-Seaboot-900

Gear: Zhik’s Seaboot 900

A Better Sea Boot Following up on its successful ZK Seaboot 800, Zhik’s Seaboot 900 was created in partnership with team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team, the latter the overall winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Designed for serious, long-distance offshore racers and ...read more

01-LEAD-FP-Astrea-42-Gilles-martin-rajet---Navigation

Switching to Solar Offshore

No sensible bluewater sailor would consider setting off on a long cruise these days without some means of generating power other than by burning fossil fuels. The good news is that solar energy is becoming less expensive by the day, making it an obvious answer for providing the ...read more

190812-Tiwal-Video-600x

Video: Tiwal Cup 2019

Who says you need a superyacht to have fun? It would be hard to imagine having a better time on the water than these sailors recently did racing aboard a fleet of Tiwal inflatable sloops. ...read more