Farr 280 one design

Farr Yacht Design President Pat Shaughnessy looks at their new baby

Tuesday January 28th 2014, Author: Pat Shaughnessy, Location: none selected

The Farr 280 One Design is a new production racing sailboat by Farr Yacht Design that aims to deliver the excitement of Grand Prix racing in an under-30ft One Design. The Farr 280 features contemporary Grand Prix features and style in an economical small boat package, and will have scintillating performance on all points of sail, with a focus on inshore racing with a moderate crew size of five to six people.

FYD developed the concept for the Farr 280 after talking to owners of our Farr 30s and after careful examination of the world-wide market space. We determined that the market really wanted a modern equivalent of the Farr 30. When the Farr 30 (then Mumm 30) was placed in the market in 1995 it represented a very high performance boat for its cost relative to other offerings. The Farr 30 gained respect for being a very well balanced and robust boat, and as a result has become a favorite of many sailors.

We saw that the market had space for boat positioned as a real Grand Prix boat if its size created a correct cost result. The sailor we are targeting reads Seahorse Magazine and drools over the TP52 images, and Grand Prix performance gadgets. We wanted to create a really well balanced high performance boat that could trickle down some of these Grand Prix features in a really slick package that regular people could afford. If we offer the boat at approximately $115k before sails and electronics, we will give owners a reason to move from their existing boats and into what will become a new sailor’s favorite.

In order to be a successful class we need to build on all of our recent One Design Class experience. In our recent work developing the Volvo Ocean 65 we’ve created an incredibly high end boat that also has incredibly high end One Design controls to ensure its success. The VO65 controls produce a boat weight variance before corrector weights of approximately 20kg. Bouwe Bekking said that the VO65 “is the closest one-design class ever built!” and many of those same design, construction, and control procedures are employed on the Farr 280. The boat itself was designed with the builder’s OD controls and One Design rule all as one cohesive product.

Over 3000 man hours have been spent in the design portion of the project to ensure that every part is a well-developed and controllable part. Every component comes from precision milled tooling, and is produced with vacuum infusion technology at Premier Composite Technologies’ state of the art facility in Dubai. The combination of precise tooling design, strict infusion controls, and drastic part number controls during the design process means that we have great individual part controls, but also less individual parts that are in need of control. The result is a very tightly conceived and monitored product.

The Farr 280 rig and sails were sized carefully to provide excellent all-around performance. Upwind sail area/displacement is 10% higher than the Farr 30, yet the righting moment is high enough to provide similar overall tenderness. Even with a broader hull shape, the upwind sail area/wetted surface ratio is the same as the Farr 30, while the downwind sail area/displacement is 40% higher than the Farr 30. These parameters ensure that the boat has generous sail area for light air but also plenty of power to handle the sailplan up range. The downwind sailplan promises a very lively boat that will be up on the step early.

We looked at a wide range of features for the Farr 280 to try to find the right combination of Grand Prix allure and ease of use. We discarded several concepts like a lifting keel and rudder to simplify the maintenance of the boat and to help us meet our strict cost targets. We decided to focus our efforts on rig and sail handling to separate this boat from the pretenders. For the rig we’ve developed an actively adjustable rig tuning system that utilizes a Harken hydraulic forestay and mast jack, both of which are adjustable from the cockpit.

Together with our partners we’ve developed an initial tuning set-up across a range of conditions that requires no fore and aft mast step adjustment or diagonal stay tuning. We’ve also worked to develop color guides on the forestay and mast itself so that tuning positions are easily read, and repeatable. We have a rig that is much more easily matched to varying conditions, and more importantly, it does away with the old school practice of running below to a rusty old mast jack, and then all around the boat with a set of wrenches. When V1 and D1 adjustment is required, it’s done safely below deck in a turnbuckle-less system utilizing a simple socket wrench.

Headsail sheeting is another area where we’ve worked hard to provide a slick Grand Prix solution. The vertical adjuster for the jib sheet passes through the deck of the boat via a water-proofed deck slot and has all adjustment by purchase system below deck. All control lines are neatly packaged below deck, with an exit above deck right where the trimmer needs it. Without jib tracks and jib cars we have a less expensive solution and a very clean look.

The downwind sails have a full takedown system into a dedicated tube below deck through a well-positioned foredeck aperture with a remotely controlled retractable canvas cover. The takedown system, combined with a hanked headsail (which will typically be left up for downwind sailing) work well toward our goal of keeping people off of the foredeck. An inshore One Design stanchion layout utilizes low hiking straps, and opens up the forward spinnaker takedown path.

For short distance racing, a composite deadlight is available for the foredeck aperture, as well as a second masthead halyard, and an offshore set of stanchions and lifelines. Finally, a 20hp inboard engine creates a turn-key way to get home very quickly after racing.

The powerful combination of Southern Spars, and North Sails Design Services has given us unparalleled access into the design of our complete aero package and the ideal partners for developing a new product. In the rig we have a 2 piece carbon fibre rig that offers true Grand Prix performance with very clever cost reduction in areas like aluminum spreaders and boom, along with discontinuous Dyform rigging.

The sails and associated rule constraints have been developed in close conjunction with several potential sailmakers to provide a versatile group of sails that maintain a level of cost control and good performance across a wide range of conditions all while being perfectly matched to the rig design. The boat features a square headed mainsail, J1 and J2 headsails, as well as a J3 heavy weather headsail. Downwind the boat will carry an A 1/4, and an A2.

As of January 2014, the first five boats have secured order slots at PCT, and orders are being taken for the remainder of the 2014 boats.

8.72m - 28.60ft
LWL 8.02m - 26.03ft
Beam 2.87m - 9.40ft
Draft (deep) 2.10m - 6.89ft
Disp 1,625.00kg - 3,585.00lbs
Ballast 652.00kg - 1,435.00lbs
Keel Fixed T-keel with lead bulb
Rig material Carbon
Type Southern Spars Grand Prix Mast
Lombardini 20hp diesel
Drive LDW 702 Saildrive
Prop Gori 380 x 260 LH folding

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