KWRW 2012 - Day 3 Racing - Farr 400 ClassDay 2 report from Emerson Smith sailing on Sled Shelhorse's Farr 400 MERIDIAN X.
No wind today! The race committee waited most of the day for the breeze to fill in, but in the end we stayed on shore. However, lack of racing gives me a chance to talk about the boats a bit.
This is my first event sailing on the Farr 400. I was involved in the design of the boat, and it is always good to see ideas come to life. Along the same lines, seeing what works and what needs to be tweaked or altered in incredibly useful. In general the boats go upwind very well. The full bow alters the motion a bit, but you soon realize the difference is a benefit to boat speed. The 400 mainly goes over the waves instead of through, submerging less into each.
As I've said before, downwind the boat really comes alive. We are able to maintain high average speeds, while many other boats are simply surfing or rocking and rolling through the waves. The large rudder offers plenty of bite and allows us to point the boat where we want.
Outside of the sailing attributes, the pedestal driven primaries and the drop line system are what have really stood out for me. The pedestal allows you to take the power of the crew and put it to use more efficiently; whether it's in a tack, gybe, hoist or take down. Using the drop line, lead to a powered primary winch, makes take downs so much easier. No longer do we need half the crew on the foredeck to gather in the large spinnaker. By using the drop line, we suck the majority of the spinnaker in through the forward hatch. This translates to more options at leeward marks and better roundings.
We are still learning new things about the boats each day, but from what I have seen so far, this is a class with a bright future.