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Do You Have a Racer/Cruiser or a Cruiser/Racer?

With so many races already canceled and so much uncertainty surrounding the schedule for the future, we’re wondering if people are considering — heaven forbid — taking their racing boat cruising.

But maybe you always have.

The vast majority of boats are designated as racer/cruisers, and most performance boats still have some very reasonable accommodations. Our Ranger 33, Summer Sailstice, has always been a regular Friday night beer can and club racer, but we also really enjoy afternoon sails with friends, and have taken many Delta cruises with the kids.

Our Ranger 33 racer/cruiser is often out beer can racing, but we also cruise the Bay and Delta.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

For racing, you take weight off the boat for speed. For cruising, you put it on for comfort. For space and speed preservation, you take off the racing sails and put on cruising sails. If you’re like us, you race non-spin most of the time and have roller furling. You can add the barbecue to the stern rail, and an inflatable and outboard. If you’re a competitive racer, the boat might be easier to adjust than your sailing perspective.

You may remember that back in the ’70s, boats like the Ranger 23, J/24 and Santana 22 were all marketed as racer/cruisers. Brochures featured interior shots of families cruising in these four-bunk boats. In fact, many have participated in the Delta Doo Dah over the years.

MacGregor 26
Ed Dietz and his grandkids have done five Delta Doo Dahs on the MacGregor 26 Prime Time.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Latitude Archives

If you have plans for cruising your racer this summer, we’d like to hear from you. There are plenty of places to go in the Bay Area, including Jack London Square, Aquatic Park, the South Bay, the Delta, and out the Gate to Monterey or Half Moon Bay, or north to Drake’s Bay. In Southern California, there are the offshore islands and lots of coastal harbors. Let us know your plans and any changes you plan to make to your boat.

Please comment below, or email us here, and please include your boat name, make and homeport.


  1. Mike Blecher 4 years ago

    Here in Southern California, most of our “cruising” is to Catalina Island. Since this situation presented itself, the Island is effectively shut down for cruising. Unless one is a mooring sublease (a mooring “owner”), you are discouraged from visiting the island–there are no transient moorings being assigned. And regardless, no one is allowed ashore. So, even though we are one of those mooring “owners,” we have a dog, so we will be doing some coastal cruising this season. The scuba diving won’t be a nice, but at least we can get plenty of take out restaurant meals and I don’t have to fight the dangerous and crowded dinghy dock!

  2. Stefan Mochnacki 3 years ago

    Sad to hear about the Catalina restrictions… I have fond memories of sailing there from my time in LA. Hope things get back to normal for you in a year or two. The picture of the MacGregor 26 reminds me that it was one of the very few North American boats which was aimed at trailering, and accessing waterways via shallow passages and low-level obstructions. A vastly more robust and comfortable version of this concept dominates on Poland’s lakes, and such boats can sail on the ocean, too. Brands such as TES, Phobos, Antila, Tango, Sasanka and Maxus are well known, Delphia for the ocean-going fixed keel types. A TES 720 with keel-centreboard has crossed the Atlantic. They are now exported to North America, some can be seen in Ontario, for example.

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