Blue Water Sailing
by Simon Day
On a gale-ridden bash around Cape Hatteras, BWS discovers that the new First 50 is the epitome of the modern racer-cruiser that will turn heads, cross oceans and show her transom to those who dare to challenge her
The three-day trip from Charleston, S.C., to Annapolis, Md., can be characterized as misery surrounded by joy. The trip brought us through flat calm motoring to lovely downwind sailing under sunny skies with the spinnaker up and dolphins surfing the bow wave back to motoring through a full gale straight on the nose and, finally, to a glorious reach up Chesapeake Bay.
Leaving Charleston at five in the morning we motored out the cut into the rising sun. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t rise with it and for the first six hours we motored in absolute flat calm and nice warm sunshine. The Yanmar 75-horsepower diesel equipped with a sail-drive unit drove us along happily at eight knots revving at 2,800 rpms. The engine is situated in the standard place under the cockpit with access through the companionway steps and through hatches in the aft cabins. All the essential components are easily reachable. This system does make the aft cabins a little loud but nothing unreasonable.
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