Victory by Design, L.L.C. announced the results of the first on-the-water tests of the V38, a new carbon fiber sport boat.
Brad Robinson, a veteran sailor in scows at Lake Minnetonka has been in pursuit of continuing the development of the A scow (38 foot) Class, ultimately including the use of modern structural technology to reduce weight and create an "A Scow on steroids." This new boat is the V38, and hull number 1 is named Innovation.
A fiberglass-hulled boat that Robinson designed and built from the same molds in 2003, (Victory) received mixed reviews among the A Scow community. It was certified a class-legal A, but nevertheless it was banned from most racing events except in the A Scow Open Class of the Inland Lake Yachting Association.
Fortunately, the ILYA Open Class still considers the A to be the development class it always was, and even accepted the V38, weighing some 1/3 less than the 1850 pound weight of a glass hulled A.
The hull, deck and internal components, carbon fiber boards and rudders, for Innovation were completed in June this year at Goetz Custom Yachts in Rhode Island. Brad and his wife and partner, Susana, trailored the boat home to Minnetonka and the fitting out was begun.
Innovation met water (and wind) on July 11th and was Christened on July 16th among dozens of excited friends, crew and well wishers. A celebration feast prepared by noted Lake Minnetonka chef Connie Blanchard was hosted by the Robinsons following the official launch.
Then it was time to pull her from the water and head for the first opportunity for competition. The first regatta – A Scow Open Fleet Invitational at Clear Lake Iowa – turned out to be a "shake-down cruise." Two mast profiles had originally been designed, and Brad chose to build them both, naturally of carbon fiber. Both were of a rotating design, but one bendier, one stiffer. The mast taken to Iowa was the bendier and snapped above the spreaders in 15 miles per hour of breeze. Not only did Innovation not win the regatta, but she came home without even winning a race. On a positive note, all other systems and the lightweight foils performed flawlessly.
That set the stage for reworking a mainsail to fit the luff curve of the alternate stiffer mast to see what might happen at the Inland Championship Regatta to be held August 10-12 on Lake Winnebago, in central Wisconsin.
The results spoke for themselves:
"Oshkosh, WI -- The 2007 Inland Lake Yachting Association Champs saw 143 entries competing on Lake Winnebago during August 11-19, featuring three segments that hosted a total of 7 scow fleets... ...The A Open was won by Minnetonka's Tom Burton..." – Burton was steering Innovation.
Innovation was first at every mark for 4 races except one, and topped the performance of Victory (the fiberglass boat built from the same molds) skippered by two-time Inland A Scow Champ David Chute, and an experienced crew. Victory was second in all 4 races. The Inland events are filled with fun, both on and off the water. The teams of both Innovation and Victory enjoyed the pinnacle social event -- an authentic Wisconsin fish boil. Scow sailors from the C and I-20 Classes joined the A Open Fleet sailors in the fun and camaraderie of the event.
This outing proved that victory was achievable through design and that there really is still room to make scow sailing faster yet, and even more thrilling. At the same time, the V38 is easy and safe to sail, with good visibility. Her sail handling systems are world class with carefully calculated mechanical advantages, top of the line hardware and durable construction. The V38 is built to last!
Many of the features of the V38 had already been incorporated into the A Scow "Victory." Some of the key elements include the mid-boom vang placement, vertically articulating bowsprit, and a rudder linkage system smoothly connecting dual rudders to a single tiller. A self tacking jib simplifies tacking and jibing. The sideboards and rudders are perfectly designed for proper hydrodynamics. The fact that the sideboards float is an advantage, and they hold themselves wherever they are set.
The V38 is living up to its expectation as a "super-high-performance sport boat" for which there is believed to be a world-wide market. There are many pockets of potential owners beyond the geography of the Midwest who will be excited about the adrenaline pumping speed of the V38. Any enclosed or semi-enclosed body of water where you have enough room to get up to speed is perfect. That definition encompasses a lot of bodies of water around the globe. Think Lake Washington, Narragansett Bay, protected waters along the New Jersey coast, Lake Ponchartrain. Just add sailors with a thirst for speed!
When will it be ready for market? Victory by Design is ready to produce more of the V38, and welcomes inquiries from around the globe. Test drives are available at Minnetonka, Minnesota.
- Length: 38.0 feet
- Beam: 8 feet, 6 inches
- Weight: 1,400 pounds
- SA: main- 350 sf, jib- 200 sf
- SA: spinnaker- approximately 1,000 sf
- Mast: swivel base, single-spreader, carbon fiber construction
- Rudders: carbon fiber, removable, symmetrical
- Sideboards: carbon fiber, draw 5 feet, easily retractable, asymmetrical