London Boat Show - Wednesday

Worlds apart - J-Boats and the Cha Cha but that's the Boat Show

Wednesday January 10th 2001, Author: Gerald New, Location: United Kingdom
J105 at London Boat ShowAs we enter the later half of the London Boat Show we look at two very different types of boats available at the show and the first one, right beside the pool, is the stand of Hamble based Tangent Yachting, the UK distributors for the European built range of J - Boats.

In addition to former 'Boat-of -the Year' J/120 and J/105's on the stand they have advance information on the new J109 due to be launched in mid 2001.

At the 'luxury' end of the range the 6/8 berth J/120 is a 40 footer which with an asymmetric spinnaker set up adds ease of handling to scorching performance.

The J105 is a cruiser/racer with simple 4/5 berth layout, which has proved very popular with it's large, comfortable cockpit combined again with asymmetric spinnaker, makes it easy to handle and more fun to sail. At the upcoming Key West International Regatta over thirty of the J/105's will be racing.

Not at the show but it's worth mentioning the flying 30 footer in the range, the J/92. Another former 'Boat of the Year' this 30 footer has a keen following in the UK not least from Andy Bird - J/92 owner - who successfully bid for the Olympic leaders vest recently raffled on behalf of the John Merricks Sailing Trust here at Andy is keen to get a good turn out at the J/92 National Championship, May 4th and 5th at the Poole Yacht Club, so drop us an email and we will put you in touch.

All these boats are available at special Boat Show prices.

Escape Cha Cha at Boat ShowIn a different area of the market but not far away in the show is the Escape range of fun sailing dinghies.

They are huge sellers in the USA and have made inroads in the UK with their unique Cha Cha, introduced into Europe a couple of years back, which features the tiller operating from the front of the dinghy! This means you can sit facing forward all the time and point the tiller in the direction you want to go.

This was followed by the more conventionally steered Mango and the larger Rumba which both feature the 'SmartRig' with a separate pivoting boom and a sail that can be quickly reefed by rolling it around the mast.

Now the Escape Sailboat Company has a beach type catamaran, the Playcat. The version on the stand at the London Boat Show is a preproduction version.

Escape Playcat at Boat ShowFollowing their philosophy of 'keep it simple' the polyethylene hull construction cat incorporates a keel skeg form,so doing away with dagger boards and has rudders mounted under the hulls rather than transom hung.

A simple two piece rotating mast with internal halyard sits on a ball foot and is supported by four shroud/forestay wires incorporating keyhole attachments for fast and easy rigging. The sail is loose footed and fully battened. With no kicker the only sail control is the multi purchase mainsheet again keeping the whole thing very easy - just jump on and push off.

Plenty of room on the trampoline as this is a descent size cat, 5.1m x 2.1m (16ft 7in x 7ft) with an all-up weight of 99kgs (220lbs) and available at the show price of £3495.

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