The RC-30 - by Bill Roberts

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Matt Haberman
Posts: 602
Joined: November 10th, 2003, 8:22 pm
Location: Minnesota

The RC-30 - by Bill Roberts

Post by Matt Haberman »

Below is an write up on the RC-30 by its designer Bill Roberts.
I grew up in Tennessee sailing Snipes mostly in the 1950s and early 60s. There were other classes around
like Sunfish and Thistles and Y Flyers but the Snipe was the largest/dominate class by far. There were
also some small keelboats on the lake/Tennessee River. There was a definite division between the
boats used for racing and the cruising keel boats. The dinghy type boats were raced and the keel boats
were for day sailing. Frequently the keel boats were the start and finish line boats for the racing boats.
The keel boats were used primarily for picnicking and casual sailing. There was an obvious and major
division in use and application between these two types of boats. The RC27/30 is a hybrid kind of boat
that bridges this gap and does these two types of sailing activities very well.

Here in south Florida, Eric and I race the RC30 in distance races. This leaves the impression that racing
is the only thing this boat is about. The outstanding performance of the boat only serves to reinforce
this point of view. There is another whole world of fun uses and applications that this ‘same boat’,
RC27/30, can perform and very few sailors know about. This other side of the coin is the relaxed,
easy sailing, fun boat, the play boat, the picnic boat, the take wife and kids sailing boat, the let’s take
friends and neighbors sailing boat, the let’s go camping boat, the let’s go fishing boat, the SCUBA
diving boat, the motor boat, etc. The list of fun, easy sailing activities goes on and on. What makes it
possible for the boat to have so many uses/applications is the simple rigging and the clean topsides. The
topsides are wide open, front tramp and deck 9ft by 16ft and the rear tramp and deck is 11ft by 16ft
wide. There are no winches and lines crossing the boat with a hundred pounds or more of tension in
them to block passenger movement or that could hurt someone badly in case of a winch malfunction.

( Winches are dangerous and accidents happen. Sailors have been hurt badly, like fingers cut off using
a winch.) There is no cabin on this boat that commits this boat to a “ heavy and slow cruising boat”
and takes away most of the open tramp area. Therefore with an RC27/30 and the addition of picnic
basket and cooler and 10 people and some beach towels and plenty of Sunscreen, “let’s go for a picnic
and sail”. (See first picture with 5 people on rear tramp and there are also 5 people on the front tramp.)
If you don’t want to go fast, don’t sheet the sail in all the way. Leave a big bubble in the main, that’s
OK. We all have cars that will go 100mph or so but we don’t drive them that fast. We operate our cars
at part throttle, part power, a comfortable speed. The same is true of this sailboat. It can go very fast ,
therefore it can go slow also. Another low speed option is put the small heavy air sails up for day sailing
slowly/ cruising.

Back to casual picnic sailing: If the sun is too hot and you want shade, add a Bimini Top. Two push
button pins put it on or take it off. The Bimini Top can be put over the front tramp or the aft tramp or
both. (See pictures 2,3 and 4 of a family enjoying the front tramp and shade from the Bimini Top.)
It does not interfere with the any of the standard mainsail sheeting arrangements . For the most part the
sheets are under the trampoline.
If you want to go for a weekend cruise, add a pop-up tent for $100.00, 8ft by 8ft by 6ft head room. The
tent comes with waterproof roof and insect netting over each opening . The floor of the camping pop-
up tent helps keep the tent interior stay clean. Remove shoes before entering. Pop the tent up on the
tramp at your arrival spot or pop it up on the beach, your choice. Standard camping equipment has as
much or as little application as you want to use here. (Possibilities are gas cooking stove or charcoal
grill, dry storage for clothes, water container, cold storage for food, etc.)

The last two pictures show the pop-up tent and Bimini Top and outboard motor. Four cycle motors are
quite and 10 mph cruise all day with 8HP motor.

Final conclusion: Most RC27/30s sold in the US are used for cruising and daysailing. Less than half are
used for racing. When you buy an RC27/30, you are getting two boats. You are getting the fastest
racing sailboat built in the US and at the same time with the ‘same boat’ you have the best/most fun
day sailing boat around.


Bill Roberts

PS 1. Who would have ever thought you could buy a sailboat that will bump 30mph top speed for less
than $100,000.00 USD and you can take family and friends out on THE SAME BOAT for a picnic.

PS2. The big majority of RC30s and RC27s sold are used for daysailing. Only a few are used for racing.

PS3. For those who want to sail a boat with America’s Cup Multihull Yacht sailing characteristics, here’s
your boat. This boat is always sailing with the relative wind forward of abeam nomatter what the point
of sail. Downwind the RC30 will sail 1.5X to 2Xs the speed of the true wind while sailing 140 to 160
degrees down from the true wind. The windward hull will be flying and the mainsail is sheeted along
boat centerline with telltales flying on both sides of the mainsail.
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Matt Haberman
Aquarius Sail Inc.
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