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August 14, 2020

The Next Big Thing in Sailboats Isn’t Big

A yacht design icon and a construction icon will take a midsize boat to Moore races in Moore places.

Ron Moore works on Nemo
What’s Ron Moore working on these days, besides Terry Alsberg’s 27-ft sportboat Nemo, pictured here?
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki
Ron Moore with unusual looking spinnaker pole
Or this, a prototype of a custom carbon-fiber creation meant to be a new type of spinnaker pole? He made it by hand and considers it to be a creation of art.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Moore Sailboats Inc., a new entity comprising sailboat builder Ron Moore, yachtsman and entrepreneur Blaine Rorick, and CFO Sam Willner, has announced the pending production of the all-new Alan Andrews-designed Moore 33.

Ron Moore with binder
Ron with Alan Andrews’ Moore 33 design plans.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Nicki

Andrews’ name is synonymous with a multitude of record setters and race winners from ULDB sleds. They include the likes of Locomotion, It’s OK, Cheval, Medicine Man, Magnitude80 and Alchemy, modern TP52s, and last year’s 40-ft Newport to Cabo winner, Fast Exit. But he started his design career with a 30-footer and has since designed many midsize racers and cruisers.

The design skills of Andrews in combination with Moore’s renowned manufacturing expertise will deliver a mid-sized racer that exudes graceful lines and elegant style without compromising performance or speed. The trailerable — yes, trailerable — sloop will offer two configurations: one for distance racing with a four-person crew and another for buoy, day or coastal racing with a crew of seven. They plan to release hull numbers one and two in February 2021.

Earlier this year, Rorick met Andrews to see if a Moore 30 could be modified for offshore racing. (In 1989, that boat was so far ahead of its time, it baffled PHRF officials. They would not let it race.) By the end of the meeting, the concept for the Moore 33 was born.

“It’s going to be screaming fast, capable of hitting speeds in the 20-knot range; long-distance capable but just as competitive in buoy and class racing competitions,” said Rorick. The Moore 33 can be configured to meet US safety requirements for offshore racing with key features planned for one-design, PHRF and measurement-rule racing.

Andrews likened it to a production sports car with all the latest technology, with a strong but light hull created for maximum speed. In consideration of modern hull shapes (unlike earlier ULDBs that were long and lean), the Moore 33’s beamier design will increase power to carry sail and enhance planing. New sail technology in a square-top mainsail adds another dimension of innovation and mixing things up. Andrews said, “It’s a pretty cool boat; great for taking on long-distance or point-to-point races — then returning in the evening and trailering home.”

For ease of trailering, Andrews has designed a retractable keel. With a displacement of 3,750 pounds, the light boat should be launchable from most yacht club hoists.

Equally important to the concept is the appeal to an inclusive market of sailors — those new to the sport, those moving up, and those who want to downsize from a bigger boat confined to a slip without diminishing the intensity of competition. Reduced maintenance costs also add to the affordability and versatility of the boat in hopes of broadening its appeal beyond its good looks.

“The drawings are gorgeous!” said Moore. “The design and planning part is the most fun, but I’m looking forward to the construction: sculpting the molds, the interiors, keel and the rudder. This is one gorgeous piece of high-performance art.”

Moore is best known for his still-popular Moore 24, which launched 45 years ago. The active Moore 24 Class included 18 racing venues on its calendar this year.

While the Moore 24s sailed, the craftsman has spent the last 25 years on the fabrication of custom boats such as the Antrim 30+ trimaran, composite bridge fabrications, stealth powerboats for the US Navy, and R&D for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space. He has built astronomical/scientific enclosures and delivered them worldwide. Most recently, he has gained a working relationship with marine laboratories on the California Central Coast and the local Moss Landing fishing fleet.

“I’m so excited to build an assembly project from concept,” he said. Phase one of tooling, creating the mold, and initial fabrication will commence in September.

The second phase of tooling includes attaching the interior. The composite modules bond to the shell and are forged with aircraft-quality fiberglass lamination. Then Moore conducts the precision finishing. “It’s going to be a sexy Italian-inspired hot rod!” he said. But he also believes it will appeal to a lot of boat buyers. “It’s a solid proposal; great quality for the price point.”

The secret to developing his reputation is that extra 10% that the independent manufacturer puts into every project. “It’s the artist’s passion — high-quality work takes more time,” he said. Today’s modern, beautiful composite construction, spray gel overcoating, new fabrics and improved resins keep Moore engaged. His creative RPMs rev up for taking on new projects.

The initial plan is to manufacture one boat per month. When ramped up, the Watsonville facility will be capable of producing one boat a week.

Andrews’ first commission was a 30-ft cruising boat in 1982 that won its class and the MORC Internationals that year. He’s also responsible for two versions of the fleet that Balboa Yacht Club uses in their Governor’s Cup youth match-racing regatta.

After the first meeting, Andrews said Rorick’s directives were to design the smallest boat that could competitively race to Puerto Vallarta, Cabo or Hawaii, with reasonable configurations and options so that it would be fun, fast and easy to sail. “I take reasonable with a grain of salt,” he said.

After the boat rolls off the line in February, Rorick’s goal is to have it ready for the 2021 race and boat show season, complete with a competitive team of sailors.

Moore Sailboats will announce additional specifications shortly. The company will take deposits for pre-production orders starting on August 30. For more info, contact Blaine Rorick, president of Moore Sailboats, Inc., at (909) 754-4487 or [email protected].

COVID-19 Pauses Local Sailing Camp

Bay Area summer sailing camps, many of which would normally include overnight stays, have been operating under stringent COVID guidelines to ensure the safety of all involved. However, recently a participant in Call of the Sea’s “Young Salts Adventure Camp” program tested positive for COVID-19. The person had shown no symptoms and was tested along with the rest of his family as part of their own precautionary protocol. The other family members tested negative.

Kayak lessons
Social distancing is tricky for kids, but they are doing a great job.
© 2020 Jay Grant

Although public health officials advise that the tests are not 100% accurate, Call of the Sea (COTS) immediately halted all of its activities and informed participating families and staff of the situation.

COTS executive officer Steven Woodside said in a newsletter, “We suspended all of our sailing and camping activities until we could confirm the safety of our staff, facilities, and participants in our programs. Even though it will cost time and money, we believe that it is prudent to stay tied to the pier and get back on course only when we have reliable information that it is safe to do so.”

Call of the Sea’s camp crew were promptly booked in for a rapid-result test, and over the following week all came back with a negative result. Many of the camp participants’ families also booked in to be tested and received negative readings. The young camper who had tested positive was retested, twice, and was given a negative both times. His family, who originally tested negative, were also given the all-clear after retesting.

Despite the good results COTS has stood down its operations until the designated quarantine time has passed.

“Given that a negative test is also not a guarantee, out of an abundance of caution, we will stay in our safe harbor until 14 days have run and no one has symptoms of the virus. After this pause in our operations, we will resume camps and sailing soon — and in a manner that is even more protective than before.”

Summer Camps despite COVID-19
A mask can’t hide the pride in this young camper’s eyes as she sits by the model boat she built during the “Young Salts Camp”
© 2020 Fiona Rhodes

The good news is that the 14 days end this weekend and the next camp session will commence on August 17. Campers, parents and crew are all excited to get back onboard for the remainder of the camp season.

Welcome to the Mexico Cruisers Fence-Sitters Survey

Should I stay or should I go? We’ve all heard the lyrics from the Clash but, in 2020, the question is reaching a crescendo. Yacht clubs are wondering whether to run races, junior sailing programs are navigating proper protocols, boat shows are being postponed or moved online, and racing has been severely curtailed. And the Grand Poobah is holding off until October 1 to decide whether to run the 27th annual Baja Ha-Ha. Makes sense.

But those are all large group activities. Cruising is different. People often cruise to get away from it all. And, there’s a lot to get away from right now. You can cruise solo or as a couple. While cruising you probably have to visit a grocery store or any other public place less than you would at home. But the decision is not easy.

Turtle Bay
One nice thing about the Baja Ha-Ha is that there’s actually lots of room to spread out in both Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria.

You can wake up one day and find that your dream cruising destination has closed down. But, as Mike Curran showed us in last Friday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, Mexico is a great place to shelter. To help us determine the current sentiment of everyone who is or was thinking about sailing south, we put together a very short survey for your input. We also asked our friends Mark and Patty Thompson, who sailed south with the Baja Ha-Ha a couple of years ago and were planning to return to the boat they’d left in La Paz this past summer.

Mark replied, “Our Mexico plans are still TBD waiting to see how the situation develops in Mexico. Our boat Agave Azul is in La Paz and well looked-after. We hear that despite whatever travel restrictions might be in place,  Mexico is not enforcing many of them and tourists are being welcomed down there. But we also hear that much of the tourist infrastructure (bars, restaurants, etc.) is still closed. We’re going to start paying closer attention as we get into September.

“Our original plan was to head down in October/November, and instead of doing seven months or so, like we have the last couple of years, do more of a commuter cruise — one month there, a few weeks home in the Bay Area, etc. That’s still the plan if all goes well.

“Our real issue is not wanting to get sick down there — not that we don’t trust Mexican healthcare. Our experience with that has been great. It’s just we don’t want to crowd locals out of their healthcare if they need it.

“One change we are considering is to potentially not cross to the mainland this year and instead just do stints up in the islands in the Sea of Cortez. Very fun, very beautiful, plenty of social distancing — solitude even. We shall see.

“The new toy Agave Azul will have for the coming season is a drone — we hope to be able to get great pics and video with it to share.” (We’ll look forward to seeing them.)

Isolated in Mexico
If you want to remain isolated there are plenty of places in Mexico.
© 2020 Sterling

We assume there are hundreds of different iterations of these sentiments, but that sounds sensible to us. It’s unlikely the risks change as you cross a border. If you behave responsibly south of the border, wear masks, wash your hands, and socially distance, you’ll be just as safe as doing those things north of the border. The only thing missing will be the famed Mexico cruising camaraderie, though that can be continued to some degree with cruiser radio nets and small, fresh-air gatherings.

Another twist on this tumultuous time is homeschooling. In the past parents often wrestled with the decision to pull their kids out of school and become the teachers while cruising. Well, that’s one decision you don’t have to make any more. The kids are already doing their schooling at home, but the playground is your living room! Wouldn’t it be just as easy to have the kids attend class from their bunk in La Paz as from their bedroom at home? In our January issue, April Winship wrote Homeschooling Daze, in which she described her fears of failing at homeschooling. Since your kid’s teachers will be online this is not your worry. Then, instead of playing in the backyard on the weekend, they (and you) can cruise the Sea of Cortez. Your only worry is being near a good Wi-Fi signal.

Homeschooling Daze
The Winship homeschooling classroom. You should see the playground.
© 2020 April Winship

Either way, if cruising to Mexico, as part of the Baja Ha-Ha or not, was in your fall plans, give us a quick read on your current thoughts in this short survey.

Can you believe we wrote a whole story about cruising without once mentioning the word C… oops, almost blew it.

We’ll leave you with a quote: “A ship in a harbor is safe but that’s not what ships are built for.” — John A. Shedd

National Rum Day Is This Sunday

Apparently, National Rum Day is this Sunday, August 16. National Day Calendar explains the origin story of the distilled spirit: “Rum conjures up sailors and pirates. The reason for that is how rum came to be. In the West Indies during the 1600s, large plantations grew sugar cane. When they extracted the sugar, they created a byproduct called molasses. For years, the molasses was a waste product until it was discovered it could be distilled — into rum. Then rum became not only a commodity for trade but also a ration on the ships delivering the product. Even in the modern Royal Navy, British sailors received an allotment of rum until 1970.”

Pina Coladas
Dockside piña coladas made in a blender with white rum, fresh pineapple and freshly harvested coconut. Yum!
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Sailors also associate rum with refreshing summer boat drinks. Even when San Francisco’s summer chill returns, sipping a rum cocktail will conjure images of swinging in a hammock in a tropical anchorage. So, what are your favorite boat drinks? Recipes and rum-related tall tales are welcome in the Comments section below.

Boats Are Selling: Classy Classified Deadline Tomorrow!

Classy Deadline
Click here to get your ad into the September issue. The deadline is Saturday, August 15, at 5 p.m. Posting your ad on Sunday or Monday will be too late!

Go figure. In April, the boat market thought the sky was falling, but since then boat sales have been booming. Really. People are staying home and using their boats more than ever. We don’t want to encourage anyone who’s suddenly enjoying their boat a lot more to sell it, but if you’ve been thinking of it, now is a good time to try Latitude’s new Classy website.

Or if you’re looking for your next boat, check it out! There are some great deals, and new boats are added all the time. One beautiful boat just listed is the 41.5-ft Alden Malabar II Schooner Legacy, built in 2000:

Alden Schooner
This lovely schooner just came upon the Classy Classifieds website. She’s offered at $75,000.
© 2020 Cynthia Sinclair

Though it’s powerboat-centric, you can read this article from Fortune magazine, As Stir Crazy Americans Take Refuge on the Water the Boat Business is Booming, or this story in USA Today about Bay Area broker Wayne Goldman of Atomic Tuna Yachts.

The World Famous L38
Here's your August Caption Contest(!). This video and subsequent still photos went viral a few months ago, inspiring our non-sailing, non-boating friends to send us the footage.
An Actual In-Person Event
With all other in-person events canceled for this year's Delta Doo Dah, we were pleased that Delta Bay Marina in Isleton was able to welcome about a half dozen boats and 20 fleet members.
IOFF Goes Virtual
The 17th Annual International Oceans Film Festival is on now. The event which usually runs in March has this year become a virtual event. In addition to the online screenings, the IOFF is hosting livestream interviews, Q&A sessions, and panel discussions with filmmakers.