Ultimate 24

This Jim Antrim--designed sportboat has innovative, well-executed features, achieves the difficult task of combining ease of handling and stability with sportboat performance, and is a gas to sail. The cockpit received high marks because the seats are wide, the stanchions angle outboard slightly to make it possible to use the lifelines as a comfortable backrest, the anti-skid is excellent, and
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

This Jim Antrim--designed sportboat has innovative, well-executed features, achieves the difficult task of combining ease of handling and stability with sportboat performance, and is a gas to sail. The cockpit received high marks because the seats are wide, the stanchions angle outboard slightly to make it possible to use the lifelines as a comfortable backrest, the anti-skid is excellent, and there are solid bracing points are built into the cockpit. We also liked the watertight locker for the outboard engine and fuel tank in the center of the cockpit beneath the sole. This gets the engine off the transom when it's not in use, keeps weight low and in the middle of the boat, and keeps gas fumes out of the belowdecks area.

Ultimate2

The hull is light and stiff, and finish is excellent. The Ultimate does have two curious features: an out-turned flange hull-to-deck joint and a deck-mounted sprit. The aesthetics of these features can be debated, but we found that the hull flange deflects spray from the cockpit and the low-friction deck-mounted sprit is a snap to deploy. The Ultimate's retractable 750-pound bulb keel reduces draft from 5 feet, 6 inches to 2 feet, 10 inches, making trailering easier without sacrificing performance.

We sailed the boat on a breezy day off Annapolis. The helm was smooth and responsive; the well-sized rudder, bulb keel, and balanced sailplan made it easy to keep the boat flat and in the groove upwind; and the highly maneuverable hull and blade jib made tacking relatively painless. Once we bore off and popped the asymmetric spinnaker, the boat was powerful without being intimidating and easy to coax up onto a plane. The Ultimate 24 represents the evolution from the old-fashioned 24-foot keelboat to a modern, easy-to-trailer performance keelboat that could very well energize new sailors as well as veteran racers.

Specifications

Price: $41,995 (FOB La Selva Beach, CA) includes sails and trailer.

Builder: Ultimate Sailboats, La Selva Beach, CA; tel. 800-724-5820, www.ultimatesailboats.com

Construction: Hull and deck are hand-laid E-glass vacuum-bagged over a balsa and foam core. Carbon fiber, Kevlar, and S-glass are used to reinforce load points. The mast, bowsprit, and rudder are carbon fiber. The boom is aluminum.

LOA 24'5"

LWL 21'2"

Beam 8'6"

Draft (keel up/down) 2'11"/5'6"

Ballast 750 lbs

Displacement 2,040 lbs

Sail area 355 sq ft

Power 5-hp outboard

Displ.-length ratio 96

Sail area-displ. ratio 35

Related

sailingabove-2

Swan Flyer: A Hot New One-design

In a racing scene that’s bristling with innovation, legacy builder Nautor’s Swan refuses to be left behind in its quest to dominate the champagne end of one-design sailing. Arriving hard on the heels of the radical Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50, the ClubSwan 36 offers a ...read more

Maiden sets out for Uruguay during the 1989-90 Whitbread race

Making Maiden and the 1989-90 Whitbread Race

As recently as the late 1980s, the idea of an all-female sailing team in the Whitbread Round the World Race (the predecessor to the Volvo Ocean Race) seemed laughable to many. How could women handle the competition? They weren’t strong enough. They wouldn’t be able to take the ...read more

01-LEAD-J99

Four Very Different New Boat Designs

Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boats award in 2018, the new J/99 represents a similar concept in a smaller package. Specifically, the new 32-footer’s deck layout and rig have been optimized for smaller and even doublehanded crews, with an eye toward meeting the ...read more

Dinghy Suggested CROP

Ask Sail: Dinghy Dilemma

DINGHY DILEMMA Q: We are in the throes of choosing a dinghy, and I would like to ask if you would recommend buying a RIB with a double-skinned hull rather than a single-skinned hull. Which provides better handling or stays drier? Also, aside from the heavier weight of a ...read more

Groupe Beneteau charging its boats in NEOLINE vessel

Transporting Sailboats Under Sail

Transporting sailboats under sail? That sounds like a cool concept, and it’s one that looks set to become reality in 2021 when shipping company Neoline brings its sailing cargo ships into service. Groupe Beneteau has committed to transporting boats between Europe and the United ...read more

01_vor120612_ross_0644

Sailing Master Ken Read

Images trigger memory. Preparing to interview the golden boy of American sailing, I thought I would find a picture that would show Ken Read at the peak of his sailing career, his heyday, to share and have a warm and fuzzy start to our conversation. It was a commanding image from ...read more

New-engine-being-lifted-over-stern

Know how: Replacing the Auxiliary Power System

One of the most complex tasks undertaken during Passion’s refit was the complete replacement of her auxiliary power system—engine, V-drive and fuel tanks. I needed more horsepower, which drove the need for more fuel capacity and a larger V-drive to handle the higher engine ...read more