Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar launches their first Hurricane

Meander sailing downwind
Our first Hurricane, Meander was launched the week before Christmas on a cold gusty day. On board were owner Jim Moir, builder Seth Ahrenholz and Suzanne Leahy, owner of Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar Company. After three days of test sailing, we were finally able to celebrate. Not only did Meander look incredibly good, she handled superbly.

The Hurricane is a keel/centerboard version of a retake on Carl Alberg's Typhoon. The most striking difference above the waterline is the traditional gaff rig. This boat rides lower in the water thanks to the removal of four inches of freeboard. The combination of reduced freeboard and a small centerboard makes this a very trailerable boat. The biggest plus is the handling at the helm and on the sheets. I love a big boat thrill and this boat has all of it without the hassle. The roomy cockpit was comfortable and dry (!) in spite of the breeze and the wintry water temperature.

Merv Hammatt conceived this boat, knowing the popularity of the Typhoon, and the benefits of a more manageable package. In a few short years he had built twelve Hurricanes. Pleasant Bay Boat and Spar was busy for the first few years after taking over from Merv building the Baybird and making a new plug for the Classic Cat. Last February the Moirs commissioned us to build our first Hurricane. Jim was the dream customer, with a font of knowledge and knowing exactly what he wanted, working with Brian Porter, Seth set out to build a custom sloop, rigged by Doug Ingram using innovative materials on our signature hollow spars.
 Jim wanted and electric outboard and chose a Torqueedo with battery storage inside a bridge deck. The O/B weighs 15 lbs making removal a snap.
You can see from all the activity on deck that removing an outboard would have been awkward, but with a light electric motor storing it was so easy. It moved along at 4 knots with hardly any effort or noise.

We can't wait to sail it in warmer weather. Meander's homeport is Stuart, Florida, so hopefully we'll get that chance.

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