Which boat should I buy?

That depends completely on your aims. If you want to win the Nationals this year then you will need a boat built or modified to the latest rule set, with good foils and a sorted rig . Your options for this are

  1. Modify an older boat,
  2. buy an older boat already modified
  3. buy a second hand modern boat
  4. design and build your own,
  5. design one and commission a builder to build all or part of it
  6. buy an 'off the shelf' design from Bloodaxe, Aardvark.

As in any class it usually takes a bit of time to get to the front of the fleet, and in Cherubs there can be the added challenge of modifying a boat to suit you and your sailing style. We really recommend buying second hand for your first Cherub, so you can decide what you really want for the second, Nationals winning one!

There is quite a range of older boats out there, many of which turn up on E-bay from time to time, due to the changes in design and rules of the class these are not going to be potential Nationals winners, however can be a very cheap boat, good for teaching the kids to sail and that in some wind can still be a real hoot. Boats with a sail number below about 1900 date back to the first era of Cherub Design. They are significantly better in light airs than the modern cherub hulls, but slower in planing conditions. Be sensitive about extreme conditions, and you have a very enjoyable vintage sailboat that doesn't weigh a ton (a 1968 Cherub is still lighter than an RS200!). Between 1900 and 2600 you have boats from the 1970 design revolution. Huge numbers of Forman 4s. Lots of these were amateur built, and the build quality varies. Only the good ones are likely to have survived. Foam sandwich has been used on and off for Cherubs right back to 1970. Epoxy/foam boats (1980 on) seem to last forever if reasonably looked after. Most of the 1980’s boats were modified to asymmetric and 1990’s sized rigs, taking these boats further to 1997 or 2005 sized rigs is unlikely to work and there are plenty of newer boats that would be better candidates for not much more. There has been a recent resurgence in interest in restoring the older wooden boats back to Symmetric Spinnakers and sailing them as they would have been when new.

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Hulls after about 2635 to 2673 fall into the bargain blaster category, giving a lot of fun for your cash, these boats were built in the early 1990’s. Almost all of them were foam sandwich construction typically from glass with Carbon or Kevlar reinforcement. These hulls would have had asymmetric spinnakers when built and had a maximum beam of 5ft and were quite wide in the bow as they had to meet a minimum rise of floor measurement. One of the most popular designs of this era was the Italian_bistro which was fast but forgiving. The rise of floor restriction lead to the development of the double chine designs to get a narrower lower drag waterline and can be seen on later designs such as the Dog or the Pasta Frenzy. Most of these boats were modified to 1997 rules with the addition of a snout and small wings as the max width changed from 5ft to 1.8m. The upgrade to 2005 rules typically involved the addition of kick bars for the helm, a longer spinnaker pole and a longer or extended mast, together with new sails.

In recent years there have been a number of these boats that have had major refits, striped down to the bare essentials and rebuilt stronger and with revised deck layouts to work better as twin wire boats. Although they are a bit off the pace compared to the most modern boats they are more stable and will still offer thrilling performance for very little cash and the potential to embarace some much fancier boats, with some particularly well done conversions finishing in the top five at the nationals in recent years.

1997 saw a major rule change with a reduction in the minimum waterline beam to 900mm and an increase in the min width to 1.8m any boat between 2673 and 2685 was built to this rule set mostly in foam/carbon. The narrower waterline on these boats gives much improved performance in waves compared with the fatter bows of earlier boats, and all the boats were originally built with snouts to hold the larger 12.5 sqm upwind and 15sqm spinnaker area of the 97 rule set. All of these boats have been upgraded to 2005 rules, mostly just needing new sails, a stump or extension to the mast and a longer spinnaker pole. Sailed properly these boats will get you close to the front of the fleet and offer a competitive introduction to the class.

Any boat from 2686 onwards was built to the current ruleset, these boats were intended for twin wiring and the larger sail area most have T-foil rudders and all have self tacking jibs. Set up properly any of these boats could be in contention for the top spot.

If you have any questions about what sort of boat to get then anyone on the Committee will be familiar with most of the modern boats and a few of the older ones to, and will be happy to talk to you. Many clubs will let you sail an older boat to a more representative handicap based on its age, have a look at the recommended handicaps for older boats and see how the boats have speeded up over the years.

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  • Last modified: 2020/12/09 19:21
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