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Kirie Elite 37 A European Touch By Dick Dixon

LOA: LWL: Keel: Draft: Beam: Displacement: Engine: Yanmar Fuel: Water: Max speed: Homeport: PHRF:

36 July 2010

37 feet 31’-7” Shoal draft centerboard 4’ to 6’ 11” 12’ 2” 12,787 lbs. 30 HP 20 gallons 90 gal. (+ 6-gal. hot water tank) 7.8 knots Pascagoula, MS 135



or nearly five years I have owned a Kirie Elite 37, a French-built racer/cruiser that most sailors probably aren’t familiar with—given the popularity of other brands. When I first considered making an offer on the sailboat in 2004, it wasn’t a design that immediately caught my attention. I was more interested in a traditional design, such as the Sparkman & Stevens’ Tartan 37 made popular in the late ’70s and ’80s. But I found the Kirie interesting and “doable” given the sellers’ urgency to rid their retirement budget of an unused second boat that was draining their checking account of dock fees and insurance. From the drawing board of famed yacht designer Ron Holland, this Elite 37 was manufactured in 1985 by Kirie Feeling in France, shipped to the United States and sold to a customer in the Miami, FL, area. For the next several years, Man on the Run participated in South Florida sailboat races, including the1987 Columbus Day Regatta during which the Elite lost its mast. Ultimately, the boat made its way to south Alabama where the new owners changed the name to MA HAU. With Pirate’s Cove in Josephine, AL, as their homeport, the owners sailed the Elite 37 in the northern Gulf coast for more than 10 years, finally moving aboard a trawler at retirement. Although the design from the sheer to the keel was very appealing, at first I didn’t particularly like the deck profile. The long, fixed port lights and the rounded cockpit coaming seemed too European for a guy who favors a more traditional look. But after sailing the boat and realizing the functionality of the design, I began to appreciate Holland’s expertise. My concern for the deck profile faded into appreciation as I sailed the Elite, renamed CD Express, and realized its performance capabilities and comfort. The layout of the cockpit, with matching self-tailing, two-speed jib sheet winches strategically mounted in proximity to the foot blocks and corresponding adjustable jib sheet blocks, allows easy crew accessibility especially during the heat of battle. Positioned on the bridge deck between the cockpit and companionway is the adjustable traveler on which 6:1 mainsheet blocks and tweak adjustment are mounted. Aft of this area is wheel steering with fixed guardrail—all positioned to provide adequate space for the helmsman. Attached to the guardrail are a teak drink/binocular holder and a matching folding table, easily deployable for meals and cockpit gatherings. Engine, autopilot, VHF and AM/FM radio controls are all within easy reach of the helmsman. Wind, depth and speed instruments are conveniently mounted in a fiberglass structure


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