New Boats: Speed of Light

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
LiteXP-A4_web-2

There can’t be many sailing boats inspired by a combination of distance racing in the Pacific Northwest and rowing solo across an ocean, which is one reason I found the Lite XP so intriguing when I came across it at Germany’s Boot Düsseldorf show back in January.

Liteboat founder Matthieu Bonnier is a veteran of both the Race to Alaska (R2AK) and various long-distance solo rowing adventures, including an Atlantic crossing and a transit of the Northwest Passage. The 20ft Lite XP is his concept of a small, simple yet versatile expedition cruiser powered only by wind and oar, drawing only a few inches with the ballasted centerboard and rudder raised and able to sneak into places where bigger boats dare not venture.

There are berths for two in the cuddy, and a cockpit tent expands the accommodations. The rig is an unstayed two-piece carbon fiber spar, the top part of which is buoyant, upon which a boomless mainsail and a gennaker are set. When the wind drops, carbon fiber sculling oars are deployed from a sliding rowing seat. Should you want to haul the boat onto a beach, a pair of launching wheels can be clipped on.

Thanks to its vacuum-infused foam sandwich construction incorporating carbon-fiber reinforcements in key areas, the Lite XP weighs in at under 400lb fully equipped. Even if you’ve no plans to do the R2AK or the other race that’s tailor-made for this boat—the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge from Tampa Bay to Key Largo—the Lite XP looks like an excellent weekender for the minimalists among us.

Hood-24-under-sail----Matt-Murphy-photo-credit-

Speaking of minimalist, the traditional daysailer category has an attractive new débutante in the Hood 24, from the board of Belfast, Maine, based naval architects Stephens Waring Yacht Design, and now being built by Marblehead boatbuilder Chris Hood, well known for his beautiful C.W. Hood 32 daysailer.

Although the Hood 24’s lines are timelessly classic above the waterline, she sports a modern underbody with a spade rudder and bulb keel. A generous sailplan combined with light displacement gives her plenty of horsepower. With room for six in her large cockpit, she’ll be a rewarding daysailer for family and friends.

Corsair-760R

A 24ft daysailer of a completely different stripe, the Corsair 760R targets adrenaline junkies who are not content to amble along at single-digit speeds. It’s based on the hull and floats of the other boats in the 760 folding-wing trimaran line, but with the accommodations stripped out and the cabintop pared down to make way for a longer cockpit with room for 10.

Loaded with go-fast goodies like a rotating wing mast, retracting bowsprit, high-end deck gear and boasting an unloaded weight of just 1,800lb thanks to its vacuum-infused, carbon fiber-reinforced construction, the boat has a beam of just 8ft 2in with floats folded and can easily be trailered. If you want to leave bigger boats bobbing in your wake and like to feel wind in your hair and spray on your face, this could be the small multi for you.

Astus

If you like to sail flat but also want some comfort, France’s Astus Boats has a line of small trailerable trimarans from 16ft to 24ft, the latest of which is the Astus 20.5, which boasts design input from multihull hotshots VPLP. Slippery hull design and wave-piercing bows on the retractable floats add up to an increase in performance over previous models. Two versions are available, depending on how sporty you want your boat to be, with a choice of interior layouts designed to suit either a small family or a cruising couple. Tents can be rigged over the trampolines for comfortable al fresco sleeping.

Seascape-14

Slovenian builders Seascape has carved out a nice little niche with their quick, seakindly all-rounders that defy categorization—their 24-footer is reviewed on p26—and now they have branched out into the dinghy field. The Seascape 14 also made its debut at the Düsseldorf show. It’s simultaneously an entry-level dinghy and a high-performance boat that’ll get on the plane with a crew of two, thus catering for all skill levels. All you do is add sail area. The boat will sail perfectly well under main alone so you can putter around enjoying the scenery, then, when you want some thrills, you rig the jib and/or spinnaker, hike out and away you go.

With a foam-cored hull weighing in at under 150lb, the boat can be transported on the roof of your car and pulled up on the beach with its clip-on launching wheels. Does the world need another dinghy? Who knows, although this one does look like a heck of a lot of fun. 

CONTACTS

Astus 20.5 windrider.com

Corsair 760R corsairmarine.com

Hood 24 cwhoodyachts.com

Lite XP rowandsail.liteboat.fr

Seascape 14 seascapeusa.com

August 2018

Related

20190614_131026

Kiwi Spirit Takes Line Honors in Bermuda

Mark Riley’s Farr 63 Kiwi Spirit secured line honors yesterday in the Marion to Bermuda race, finishing off St. David’s Lighthouse at 0227 local time. Francis Seldorff’s Kinship, a Baltic 52, was second in the 40-boat fleet, crossing the line at around 0500. With 18-year-old ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com No cracked skulls please Modern boats with aft bathing ladders offer a big advantage when it comes to rescuing crew who have fallen overboard. Not all casualties are basket cases unable to help ...read more

01-Lead-show

France’s Annual Multihull Show

If a boat show could be described as intimate, the annual Salon International du Multicoque in La Grande Motte, on France’s Mediterranean coast, is it. Held in the latter part of April, the multihulls-only in-water show is a boon for builders, because the people who attend come ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more