Thus. I found is a real pleasure to just look at the little Canadian-produced Cuthbertson and Cassian designed Redwing 30 which is notable for her traditional good looks with her moderate overhangs, a bit of sheer, and rather fine ends even though those features are built over an underwater form that is as modern as tomorrow -fin-keel, spade rudder, and all - to cut her wetted surface.
In the course of preparing this report, I carefully went over both a 1968 and s 1969 model, questioned at length the owner of a 1970 model, and raced aboard the 1969 boat twice, spending enough time at the helm to judge her behavior on all points of sailing in the moderate weather we had.
The Redwing 30's performance is very impressive, indeed. My opinion of her speed is not exactly hurt by the fact that the boat I was aboard won her class in both races, and she was first in a fine fleet of seventy-four boats on one of those occasions.
Let me hasten to say that I contributed little to the boat's success. Credit goes to her skipper. John F. Vuinn, a thoroughly competent sailor who knows how to get the most from a fast boat.Although luck did play an important part in the fleet win-we finished with a freshening breeze which enabled the Redwing to save her time on the larger boats-it was plain to see that the Redwing was fast on all points. In fact, I was astonished by the way she gobbled up new boats of well-known racing abilities that rated a foot or so higher under the Cruising Club of America rule.
Those two races were sailed in tight to moderate breezes in smooth water, but Captain Ouinn assured me the Redwing 30 also excels in strong winds. This is believable since the boat is rigged to a fairly low aspect ratio by today's 'standards. and has a high ballast/displacement ratio of nearly 49 per:ent with ballast of 3630 pounds and displacement of 7458 pounds. Furthermore, unlike some boats with internal keel ballast in the form of metal pigs or punchings set in foam or concrete, the Redwing's ballast is a one-piece lead casting bolted to the bottom of the keel, an arrangement which gives the lowest possible center of gravity for maximum stability. The boat's light weather ability might be attributed to her minimal wetted surface with a combination of fairly slack bilges by modern standards and a short fin-type keel. Also, her sail-area-to displacement ratio of approximately 17 is well above the Cruising Club of America base of 15.4 for sloop rigs.
Below decks, the Redwing is not as roomy as many current thirty-footers. but it should be realized that she is a true thirty-footer, while many others, like the Cal 2-30, Soverel 30, Yankee 30, Tartan 30, Islander 30, PT 30, and so forth, are boats that could be classified as bob-tailed thirty-five-footers. Considering the volume of her hull, the Redwing is very comfortable, and her accommodations are well planned. There is full headroom below without the necessity for a doghouse. a practical head and forward cabin arrangement that provides good privacy, and an adequate dinette for four with an efficient galley opposite. Although the boat has only one quarter berth, such arrangement allows ample stowage space for sails and other gear opposite the quarter berth. The cabin will sleep four in comfort but five in a pinch. To my way of thinking, that is about all the crew one should carry when cruising on a true thirty-footer.
The boats fiberglass construction seems fairly light but strong, rigid, and of good quality. There are seven bulkheads that act as transverse stiffeners to minimize hull flexing, and the integrated bunks, shelves, and lockers are bonded to the hull in certain areas to provide longitudinal, as well as transverse, reinforcement. The deck and cabin house unit, stiffend and insulated with a balsa core, is bolted-not pop-riveted-to the one piece hull. Workmanship seems very good and I found none of the usual jagged glass or resin spikes in the hidden areas. This is often indicative of sound construction in general.
The hull shell, however, may be slightly on the thin side. One of the boats I examined had collided with a channel buoy while moving at a moderate speed, and the blow punched the hull inward so far that the inside liner had broken. The hull had sprung back to its original shape and there was no evidence that the laminate had been cracked, but I would prefer a slightly heavier shell with a little more resistance to impact. The gel coat, which seems to be exceptionally hard, showed no signs of gouging but had a few small, circular cracks at the point of impact.
But the mast step seems somewhat less than perfect to me. As is the case with many boats in this size, the Redwing's mast is stepped on top of the cabin house with the step positioned about midway between two transverse bulkheads. The mast is supported by an alloy longitudinal girder on the cabin top that spans the two bulkheads. Evidentaliy, the support system is not as strong as it could be because when I examined the 1960 Redwing she had a noticeable dip in the cabin top under the mast step. When I laid a straightedge along the base of the girder, it was apparent that the metal support had bent in the middle. While it is true the boat's owner left his rigging set up very tight over a considerable period of time, still, in my opinion, the hull and rig should be engineered so that overly taut rigging will bow the mast before it noticeably changes the shape of the hull or cabin top.
It is hard to fault the Redwing's hull design, even though some American sailors may consider her ends a bit too fine and overhung for such a small boat. The International Offshore Rule currently favors fine ends, a position that has drawn the objections of many U.S. yachtsmen who point out that small boats especially need plenty of buoyancy aft to support crew weight in the cockpit. The Redwing's ends are not extreme, though, and all told her design resembles a larger boat that is built to a reduced scale. As a matter of fact. It is said that her hull shape was very much influenced by the famous forty-footer Red Jacket The result is that the Redwing has a fairly low prismatic coefficient with ends that are not quite as buoyant as those on many thirty-footers. In my opinion, this is not bad so long as crew weight is kept reasonably amidships. On one of the previously mentioned races, when we were approaching the weather mark, a man went forward tc rig the spinnaker turtle on the bow pulpit, and we immediately felt the boat slow down. Another noticeable result of crew weight in the ends is the increase in pitching when sailing in s seaway.
There was a problem with the rudder design on the early Redwing models, but the newer boats have been fitted with redesigned rudders. According to reports, the early rudders stalled rather easily on heavy weather reaches, and as a consequence the boat would round up uncontrollably. The boat I raced on had her rudder modified by her builder, and it gave us no problems. The modification was slight-but it was effective. While one or two boats near us broached as we were close. reaching with spinnakers set, we had no steering difficulties, and I never felt the rudder even begin to lose its hold.
For sailing in unprotected waters, whether offshore or nut, there are several safety features that should be added to the Redwlng. First of all, as with many modern boats, she has no bridge deck at the torwaid end of the cockpit. This omission became common on stock boats after one of the stock manufacturers conducted a survey of buyers and found that women felt the bridge deck was an awkward obstacle and objected to it. Its omission may be an aid to sales, but certainly puts in peril every boat that encounters rough water and a possible boarding see.
The Redwing's cockpit will not qualify even as "weathertight," which means it should be subjected only to ordinary rain and spray, under the safety standards propounded by the American Boat & Yacht Council, These require that the companionway roaming be at least nine inches in height, but the Redwing's measures only five and three-quarter inches. Neither are her cockpit steppers large enough, all of which could lead to dire consequences it she was caught in a hard chance.
Among other shortcomings is the location of the bilge pump. Although the optional pump is an adequate manual diaphram type, it is installed inside the cockpit seat locker which must be-opened to operate the pump. In heavy weather the open locker could' admit more water to the bilge than the pump could remove.
According to the Redwing's plans, the head is a fraction of an inch or so below the designed waterline and there really should be a vented loop on the discharge line, but the boats we inspected did not have them. Also, the dogs on the forward hatch and after lazarette are far from adequate, the gas tank shut-off valve is tar too flimsy, and the electric wiring is on the light side to my way of thinking. Shrouds and stays also should be grounded for lightning protection, and there ate sharp corners on the table and elsewhere below which should be rounded to minimize the risk of injury to crew members staggering in a seaway. The cast bronze rudderhead fitting broke on one boat of my acquaintance but it was replaced promptly by the builder.
A few minor imperfections not so directly related to safety ate: inadequate limbers in some of the bulkheads; water tanks somewhat small; no ventilation port at the after end of the quarter berth; no drain in the inboard half of the ice box: no sump for bilge water (perhaps this is impossible with external ballast on a fin keel); deck scuppers drain through the rail allowing topsides to be stained; no stowage compartments in winch bases, and the galley sink seems a little too close to the bulkhead.
But an the whole, I like the Redwing 30 very much. As said before, she is a fast, smart-responsive sailer, basically well built and comfortable with traditional good looks. She is finished in a workmanlike manner, and careful attention has been given .to most details. Unlike many stock boats, she has proper seacocks on all through-hull fittings which are electrically bonded and grounded; toggles an all stays and shrouds; abundant handrails above and below deck: adequate stowage space; engine controls recessed, although they could be recessed a little farther; small windows; good visibility for the helmsman; an "S" curved tiller to minimize interference with the legs of crew members; hasps on seat lockers; the galley stove is accessible; fiddles are higher than those found on many boats; gasoline fill pipe on the side deck, and most fittings. except for jib blocks, of ample size. Furthermore, many important items are included in the base price rather than being listed as options.
The builders of the Redwing 30 wrote me that they plan to stop production on the boat, mainly because they are introducing an entirely new thirty-foot, the C & C 30. This is surprising since the Redwing has-been such a successful model, and has only been in production since late 1967. The Redwing 30 could be improved by making some of the changes suggested in this report. In addition. I would tike to see the mast moved aft a tittle more than a foot where it would be directly above the main bulkhead for better support, and the rig redesigned to the International Offshore Rule. Another smart change I could be talked into would be a vary slight bobbing of the stern which would reduce stern weight as well as allow her to qualigy for MORC racing. It is difficult to understand, how ever. why the builder would want to scrap the boat and replace her with an entirely different model when the Redwing has proven so successful and when she could be so easily modified.
Let us hope that boat builders don't adopt the philosophy of American automobile manufacturers of change for the sake of change, and newness for the sake of being new.