IOR sailboats as ocean cruisers

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by DennisRB, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. DennisRB
    Joined: Sep 2004
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    Location: Brisbane

    DennisRB Senior Member

    A lot of the sailboats I can afford are older IOR designs. I like the look of many of them. But apparently they are a bit of a handful downwind but outperform many modern wide *** cruisers specially up wind? Do you think these designs will make good cruisers if you are a performance orientated cruiser and don't mind a bit of lean when sailing? Also why are the IOR designs the way they are with small mains large jibs and a pinched ends? Why do some designs come with odd humps and bumps in the hull? This obviously has something to do with the rule, but I would like to hear some discussion regarding this from anyone who knows more on the IOR rule.

    Thanks. Dennis.
    Ted Royer likes this.
  2. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    I like the way some of the old IOR warhorses look as well.

    One thing to keep in mind is there were about 4 eras of IOR design. Pre-1973 most boats were similar to CCA era boats, true dual purpose. From 1973 to about 1976 most of the boats were pintails with cruisy interiors. From 1977 to about 1982 the boats has a bit more fullness aft and were getting to be more stripped out inside. From 1983 until the death of the rule around 1990 the boats became lighter, fractionally rigged, no interior, purpose built race boats.

    This is true, but a bit overblown. If you take a 1975 IOR boat out in 25 knots and some waves, put up the big kite, and press the boat hard it will be a handful. Do the same with a Westsail or other "cruising" boat and it will be worse. Sail the boat conservatively and you will have no big issues.

    The old pin tails are good upwind, but honestly a well designed modern boat is going to be faster and easier to sail on all points of sail. For example, a mid-70s Two Tonner (40 feet) will rate about 84 in PHRF. A Mid 80s One Tonner (40 feet) will rate about 18 sec/mile faster. A current Beneteau 40.7 will rate about 15 sec/mile faster than the One Tonner.

    Yes, many of the old boats have been converted over the years and are out there doing it. You need to be sure to have a good survey to ensure the boat you get was built to last and not as a throw away.

    Search the web and you will find the log of a Serendipity 43 that has been cruising the Pacific for the past 6 or 7 years. It is an interesting read.

    FYI, a well sailed IOR boat is going to have less "lean" than most "cruisers".

    Not all IOR boats have small mains and big jibs. As early as the mid 70s Farr and others were doing nice fractionally rigged boats that did well under the rule. The Farr 1104 One Tonner (36 feet) was a very nice multi-purpose boat. Almost all serious IOR boats after about 1984 were fractionally rigged, with big mains and small foretriangles.

    Most people who have continued to sail IOR boats of the first three eras have added length to the booms over the years, as much as 20%. This makes the boats much better balanced downwind and really helps in light air. This also allows the use of smaller headsails for the same sail area, so easier to sail shorthanded.

    Many of the old boats have had the crease in the aft end faired in to enhance the sailing charachteristics. Any bumps that were added at measurement points can be removed, as they are generally microballoons and resin.
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I have cruised and ocean raced extensively on IOR boats. Some of the later ones were a bit extreme and too fine at the bow.
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