The Golden Age of #plasticfantastic is called IOR


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Behind the elegant shape of the #plasticfantastic, lies a three-letter name, IOR. That sleek bow and stern, maximum width amidships, and low freeboard, elements that characterize fiberglass boats built until 1995, are daughters of that acronym, which stands for International Offshore Rule.

From the late 1960s until the mid-1990s, the IOR was the measurement system that allowed different boats to compete on a level playing field, determining an overall winner regardless of who came in first. The result of a series of measurements was assigning each boat a magic number, the rating. A kind of handicap like that which allows an amateur golfer to compete with a champion.

All over the world, a unique case, in whatever sea the cabin boats sailed, they raced each other with the IOR formula. And it was a huge success because all the mass-produced boats that were born in those 30 years were very similar. The reason is simple, they were being designed following this regulation.

Easy to identify an IOR boat today, you can recognize it too: it has a slender bow and not, as now, almost straight. The second clue to identify it is the stern, which also has a nice momentum with a negative transom, that is, with an angle that recedes toward the deck. The third distinguishing feature is the maximum width, which is considerable but concentrated in the middle of the boat while the bow and stern ends are thinner.

Here, without going into detail the aesthetic elements that distinguish an IOR boat. And they make them so elegant and beautiful to look at.

If you then take the helm and sail with it you will find them capable of making excellent upwind angles while in downwind gaits they will be difficult to steer, very “ballerine” and at risk of oversteering in strong winds. As for passing over the wave, it is gentle even when the sea comes from the bow. These are behaviors that are referred to as “marine” behaviors.

Never in the history of yachting has the design of production cruising boats been so influenced by a regulation born for racing as in the IOR period. It can be said, without being denied, that the birth of standard fiberglass boats coincides with that of the IOR .

The reason for this success is simple-they were beautiful to look at, elegant, marine, safe. And the shipowners liked them very much. Because of this, all designers and shipyards adapted and produced models with those sleek, marine shapes. And that is also why we created the initiative
which culminates with their celebration during the VELAFestival, in Santa Margherita Ligure from May 5 to 8. If your boat is a #plasticfantastic, sign it up here. We will post it on our website at this page.

Here are some examples of IOR boats you have already sent us:


YEAR: 1982 – DESIGNER: SERGIO LUPOLI – YARD: ELIVELA SRL – LENGTH: 25ft – BRIEF HISTORY/DESCRIPTION OF THE BOAT: “Kaila is a 25-foot Vajra, designed by Sergio Lupoli. She is a small cabin cruiser, just the right size to have fun on day trips. Kaila is a !/4 Tonner that is at her best between 8 and 14 knots. Now after a few have of oblivion she is reliving a new youth. Together with a group of friends we are redesigning the current rigging and rigging. With the help of a carpenter we are redesigning the interior. i like the idea of reviving a boat that has a story to tell and cha has entertained many friends.

vagabond4YEAR: 1989 – DESIGNER: VAN DE STADT – YARD: DEHLER – LENGTH: 9.96 – BRIEF HISTORY/DESCRIPTION OF THE BOAT: “A dream conquered three years ago , owned for years by a single owner ( now it’s mine!!!!!!!!!!)”


YEAR: 1986 – DESIGNER: PETERSON – BUILDING SITE: Se.Ri.Gi. – LENGTH: 49ft – BRIEF HISTORY/DESCRIPTION OF THE BOAT: “Launched in 1986 as “Kapoc V,” it won the Italian First Class IOR cruise to Capri in the same year. Built in epoxy as the first in a series of the yard’s Club Racer (a sport version of the Solaris One 46), it has a lead bulb with a draft mt 2.95, a Velscaff mast with three tiers of spreaders, Lewmar deck equipment. The sail area (mainsail + genoa) is 150 square meters. The boat has only one “sister,” which is less sailed. After a few seasons in Tyrrhenian was bought and sold in 1994, the new owner transferred the boat to the builder’s yard where it was completely regenerated equal to the origin with only a few modifications to the systems. The boat until 2011 (the year of my purchase) sails and races in the Gulf of Trieste. In 2015 the boat was completely repainted.”

Screenshot 2016-02-02 at 6:00:56 p.m.
YEAR: 1972 – DESIGNER: CUTHBERTSON&CASSIAN – YARD: C&C – LENGTH: 18.70mt – BRIEF HISTORY/DESCRIPTION OF THE BOAT: In 1972 no one had ever seen a sandwich hull of this size. the Rainbow was commissioned by cartoonist Stan Lee, the daddy of Spider-Man and the whole “Marvel world.” The boat was named Robon, a twin of conductor Von Karajan’s then better known Helisara IV. In 2000 it became the property of the Rocca family, who restored it to its former glory after a total refiitting of the facilities and parts of the deck equipment, which retained the original character and style. Eight long months in the shipyard before taking to the sea again to participate in regattas and cruise all corners of the Mediterranean. The basic Rainbow winters in the Ligurian Sea spending a few months ashore each year in order to keep the hull more intact and dry. A hull that in 1972, when it was built by the C&C shipyards on Lake Ontario in Canada to a design by Cuthbertson&Cassian, marked an epic turning point in the boating world. Because the two Canadian designers were forward-thinking pioneers in the world of boat building, assembling fiberglass and balsa (balsa sandwich) to create lighter and stiffer hulls.



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