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SMALL BOAT REVIEW

Boston Whaler Harpoon LOA: 17’ 0” LWL: 15’ 0” Beam: 7’ 6” Draft (up): 4.6” Draft (down): 3’ 8” Hull Wt.: 565 lbs. Clearance: 25’ Main: 108 sq. ft. Jib: 52 sq. ft. Spinnaker: 150 sq. ft.

Photo by Derek Atkin

REVIEW YOUR BOAT SOUTHWINDS is looking for sailors who like to write to review their sailboat — whether it is new or old, large or small. It can include the following:  Year, model, make, designer, boat name  Specifications: LOA, LWL, beam, draft, sail plan (square footage), displacement  Sailing performance  Comfort above and below deck  Cruiser and/or Racer  Is it a good liveaboard?  Modifications you have made or would like  General boat impression  Quality of construction Photos Essential (contact us for photo specs) We have found that our readers love reviews by those who own the boats — comments are more personal and real All articles must be sent via email or on disc For more information and if interested, contact editor@southwindsmagazine.com or call (941) 795-8704

(If you hate your boat, we aren’t interested — you must at least like it)

36

September 2011

SOUTHWINDS

T

he Boston Whaler is, of course, the powerboat line that is found on every waterway in the country. It is known for its unsinkable construction and distinctive shape. What was Boston Whaler doing building and marketing a sailboat? Old-timers may remember that the brainstorm guy behind the original Boston Whaler powerboat hull was C. Raymond Hunt, a world-class sailor back in the day. He was an innovator and natural sailor. By the time the Boston Whaler folks decided to produce a sailboat, Ray Hunt was not part of the company, so in 1976, C & C Yachts, a big player at the time, designed the Harpoon, and Boston Whaler built it. The resulting 17-footer was pleasing to the eye, comfortable for a small boat and characteristically well-built. Yes, it has the same fiberglass double hull with foam between that made the powerboats so rigid. Remember the advertisement that showed a Whaler cut in half and still floating? While otherwise not great for that boat, it was an effective demonstration, since it is remembered decades later. There were eventually three designs: the 4.6 Trainer, 5.2 Harpoon and 6.2 Weekender, a 20-foot cruiser. But the most popular was the Harpoon. Boston Whaler has not built any Harpoons since 1983. They were rather expensive compared to other day sailers of the day, partly because of the robust construction, and partly because only first-class gear and sails were provided with the boat. Because they were so well-built, used boats can be found in excellent condition in the Southeast. What should a sailor look for in a used Harpoon? Look for damage under the mast tabernacle, the transom where the rudder attaches www.southwindsmagazine.com


Southwindsseptember2011