Hope for older race boats?Jul 3, 2014
Actaea, a Hinckley centerboard Bermuda 40 launched in 1971, won the cruising division of the Newport Bermuda Race, claiming the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy. Does this impressive feat give hope to owners of older boats that their sleds might also win a prestigious offshore race? The answer is a little complicated. The reason is that Actaea is not a stock B40. Actaea's owners, Michael and Connie Cone, had the boat's underbody modified starting in 2000. Following those changes they replaced the aluminum yawl rig with carbon fiber spars from GMT Composites in Bristol, R.I. They also had a total of eight crew, including the Cones, on board for the race. The Bermuda 40, a Bill Tripp design, has substantial overhangs, which reduces interior volume (the length overall of a B40 is 40' 9", but the waterline length is 28' 10"), making for cramped quarters for eight for anything other than hardcore racing.
So while a B40 can win the cruising division of the Newport Race, it will likely be a boat that has been heavily modified and hot bunked to victory. Still, Actaea would make for a great looking and fast voyaging yacht. You might want to take a smaller crew, though!