Evolution   

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Evolution of the Stiletto Thirty

When you hear the stories of how quickly the first two Stiletto Thirties came into being after the project was launched (33 days and 23 days), you’d get the feeling that it was a spur of the moment idea. The fact is that the design is the fruit of over three years of planning and designing.

In building over 300 Stiletto 27’s and sailing many of them in a wide variety of conditions, some interesting things became apparent. From size point of view, longer was not necessarily better. In terms of speed, the 27 can hang in there with most thirty-six footers. In terms of accommodations in a transportable boat, a 36 didn’t really have much more room than a 27. By increasing beam rather than length we would gain not only stability for heavier air speed; but would also gain wider, more functional cabins (with true double beds!). As you can see, rather than starting over we decided to take an exceptionally well designed boat, the 27, and refining it further for even better costal cruising.

Analyzing the hull performance in costal waves we noticed that it was exceptional in smooth water, very good in large waves; and acceptable in a short chop. To improve the short chop performance the hull needed a slight bit more length to steady it down. Our analysis of costal waves put the length at just under thirty feet.

In racing the 27 against other designs, we became aware of its strengths and weaknesses around a closed course. Generally, its strength is off the wind and its weakness in upwind. The good news upwind was that the small fore triangle and light weight of the 27 meant that you could clobber your opponent in a tacking duel. To enhance the upwind performance, centerboards were fitted into each hull of the Thirty, and the mast height was increased six and a half feet. This change increased the aspect ratio of the main and added leading edge length to both sails. The extra sail area also offset the increase in weight of the larger boat. Although the prototype Thirty has fully battened main, we have found that its size and weight make it cumbersome for cruising. As a result, production mains will have four small leech battens and be much easier to deal with.

These improvements represent the bulk of the refinement. Other details include such things as moving the motor forward for better accessibility, adding a cooler in the cockpit for daysailing, a rear trampoline for added safety and girl watching when anchored off a beach, pressure water in the galley, and a single tiller steering system.

The most exciting thing about the Thirty from a designer’s point of view is that it has turned out to be even better that we knew it would be!

Peter Wormwood
 

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