These used boats can win in regattas. FIRST PART.

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The “case” of the victory of the First 45 Elusive II at Rolex Middle Sea Race (read HERE) brought back to the agenda a question so dear to racing enthusiasts: do you win only with new boats and racing one-offs, or can you get good results, between the buoys or on the high seas, even with used boats, perhaps modifying them a bit? The right answer is the second, however, that does not mean that with all used boats you can get good results. We have selected a few (we do not claim to be all of them) that in our opinion can be goodies on the used market for those who love racing but do not have the budget to buy a new boat. Here’s the first installment, and don’t miss the next ones!

FIRST 45


Let’s start with her, the boat that amazed everyone by winning the Rolex Middle Sea Race. It is part of the sixth generation of Firsts, and after the Farr-branded successes, Beneteau turned to Philippe Briand for this boat. It is presented for all intents and purposes as a cruising boat, and this is its ideal size. But the shipyard supplied it with 3 different drafts and two types of sail plan. By choosing the deeper draft, 2.75 m, coupling it with the racing sail plan and avoiding the teak deck, here is where the performance of this boat can change in important ways. Pay attention to the type of sail plan as well: gennaker with added dolphin top for offshore use, and spinnaker and tangon to make it perform well between the buoys. At ease in medium/strong winds, better upwind than downwind where it hardly makes real glides. 2008-2011 USED QUOTATION: 140,000/170,000

X-332


One of the most successful boats from the Danish shipyard X-Yachts, designed of course by guru Niels Jeppesen. It came out on the market in 1994 and remained on sale even until 2005 which makes it easy to find on the used market given the many models browsing. Attention should be paid to the fact that two versions were produced: the standard version and the Sport version with a deeper and lighter keel and more powerful sail plan. The version that is successful in racing is the second one, but even the standard one is fast thanks in part to the Danish shipyard’s typical epoxy construction. Optimizations in the most successful models in some cases involved upgrading the rudder or an adjustment of the sail plan (which features a generously sized genoa) to the new ORC regulations, since the boat was designed for the IMS where good overlapping headsails were a constant unlike in the ORC. QUOTES USED YEARS 1998-2000: 45,000-60,000

FIRST 31.7


The hull is that of the Figaro 1 designed by Finot/Conq, the Beneteau shipyard decided to make a version for sport cruising as well. It was a huge success, with a production run of no less than 12 years from 1992 to 2004. Authentically all round boat, capable of gliding under spinnaker in strong winds, not the easiest to steer but able to keep up with even larger boats of the same age. Different versions were produced over the years, by draft and sail plan, and here as in the other models the most valuable is always the one with the largest draft. From the point of view of optimizations, the bulb and rudder tuning is important, as there could be imperfections in the standard versions. QUOTES USED YEARS 1998-2002: 30,000-45,000

ELAN 333


A boat sometimes overlooked by the public because it was also proposed a lot to charters or equipped purely for cruising, but in reality it is capable of excellent performance if equipped well. Designed by Rob Humpreys, the designer who made the Elan shipyard famous, the boat was presented either with tiller or wheel steering, with a tapered mast or more in a cruise version. The tiller, the absence of a teak deck, and the tapered mast are the features to look for to ensure a fast model. The optimizations needed are the trimming of the appendages and a general focus on the displacement of the boat. USED QUOTATIONS 1998-200: 30,000-40,000 euros

 

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