Brooklin Boat Yard has now built three boats for the owner of VA PENSIERO II (launched in 2004) with the newest of these three being DREADNOUGHT, the Jim Taylor designed 49’ Spirit of Tradition Racing Sloop launched this past (2014) spring. This owner was so impressed with the performance and handling of his new Jim Taylor designed boat that he asked Jim to take a stab at a redesign of VA PENSIERO II’s underwater profile (modified full-keel w/ skeg-hung rudder) with an eye towards achieving more in the way of sailing performance and over-all handling characteristics.
After much thought, design work and number crunching Jim Taylor was able to provide VA PENSIERO II with a new underwater profile that would incorporate a new more modern fin-bulb type keel and a detached, balanced spade rudder arrangement that would greatly improve her performance. This new configuration for VA PENSIERO II would have about 10% less wetted area giving her a big boost in light air performance on all points of sail. Her displacement would also be about 2,100 lbs. lighter, which would allow her to accelerate more quickly. She would float only slightly higher but due to the buoyancy lost in the cut away deadwood, she would maintain her effective sailing length and top end speed. The reduced deadwood volume would raise her center of buoyancy allowing for greater stability with a lighter keel weight. The new keel would about 15” deeper with a much higher aspect ratio than the original keel shape and so the new keel would dramatically reduce induced drag upwind, and improve her pointing ability. The new separated spade rudder would make her far more maneuverable, and she would even be faster under power with the prop freed of its aperture. In short VA PENSIERO II would be a lot faster in light air on all points of sail, a lot closer winded upwind in all conditions, and overall, a lot more lively, responsive, and fun boat to sail.
Taking all of this into consideration VA PENSIERO II’s owner decided (1) not to sell his old boat and (2) commissioned Brooklin Boat Yard to make Jim Taylor’s design changes to VA PENSIERO II. As of this writing (August 2014) the old keel and rudder arrangement has been removed and the keelson is being prepped to receive the new keel. Likewise work is progressing to prepare the boat for the new rudder and steering arrangements along with some other smaller projects.
So what will VA PENSIERO II / DREADNOUGHT’s owner do with two boats? DREADNOUGHT will stay here in Maine tearing up the race courses of her home waters off Mount Desert Island during the spring summer and fall and then come under the care of Brooklin Boat Yard during the off-season. As forVA PENSIERO II, once work is completed this fall the boat will be rigged, launched, sea trialed, hauled and packed up for a cross-country trip to her new home in California where her owner has family and friends and the weather is much more conducive than Maine to sailing in the winter months.