-This is an article by Fair Weather Mariner designer Robert Perry, from Sailing Magazine. August 1988-
This is one of my designs and it was designed for one single purpose. The target of this design was offshore passagemaking.
When choosing a hull form I stayed with very moderate beam, almost narrow by today's standards. Why? Beam slows a boat down. I chose a narrow boat to get good speed and a light and predict-able helm.
The volume in the topsides is carried forward to produce a boat with a high heeled prismatic. The idea behind this is that you want reaching performance for sailing in the trades. I sacrificed pointing angle for comfort and reaching speed. I also kept the stern quite full to further help with off the wind speed and control.
The boat has a deeply Ved chest forward and a clean bustleless run aft. The transom is near vertical to extend the useful cockpit space. The skeg and rudder combination has a lot of area for good directional stability. The D/L ratio of this design is 212. The keel fin is long enough to set the boat on when hauled out. The midsection is a result of looking for reasonable form stability along with a gentle motion. Harder bilges will increase initial stability through form assist but hard bilges will also give a boat too quick a motion for long term comfort at sea.
There is no doubt that the cutter rig offers the offshore sailer some advantages. The cutter rig is also one of the hardest rigs to trim correctly and requires precise deck hardware location for the correct trimming angles. The Fair Weather Mariner has a relatively small foretriangle and can be sailed very effectively as a sloop. For those wanting the cutter rig the staysail is large and the head of the staysail is located just where the head of the main would be when double reefed.
The deck of the Fair Weather has deep bulwarks. There is nothing quite like the security of deep bulwarks on an offshore yacht.The house or cabintrunk of the Fair Weather has been reduced in bulk in order to keep windage down. Windage must be reduced if performance is a goal. We went with 6'10" of headroom in the working area of the interior and then reduced it for-ward to 6'1". There is an advantage to popping up the coachroof in what used to be called a doghouse type trunk. This raised portion of the trunk comes up to shoulder height and provides shelter and support without inhibiting vision forward. The corners of the trunk have been faceted to further remove bulk and give the trunk that nice crisp line.
The cockpit of the Fair Weather is deeply contoured in both the seat backs and seat bottoms. This con-tour starts flat at the bridgedeck where you would stand to work, then increases as the seats go aft. The helm seat carves out a portion of the coaming to allow the helmsman to get further outboard. There are large lazarette access hatches. A large lazarette is essential to a long distance cruiser. Lazarettes must be big and access hatches to them must be big enough to stuff your deflated dinghy through without having to jump up and down on it. The near vertical transom was used for several reasons. It extends the sailing length while at the same time extending the cockpit. The steep angle also facilitates the mounting of a steering vane.
We could argue all day about what a "real" offshore interior is. We could probably agree on three items: a fore and aft facing w.c., a keyhole shaped galley and a good sea berth. The Fair Weather has all of these.