Ideal short-handed racer?

A few people have asked me what were my views on the ideal short-handed  racer…

I have been thinking about it for a long time and drew up my 10 points wish list:

-1-  No more than 30ft to 32ft.  Above makes manoeuvres more difficult but more importantly, everything more expensive from sails to insurance to mooring / berthing costs. Also, when it comes to building one, every additional 6ft doubles the overall costs!!!

-2-  A secure cockpit with everything to hand of course

-3- A panoramic view from inside (deckhouse style) to check on sails / traffic etc. but also to provide a light filled interior.

-4- Good headroom…I’m 6ft2 and have 2 slipped disks and a big belly, so spending my time bent in an inverted L shape does not appeal to me.

-5- Some sort of cruising feature comfort (ie a decent bunk, a small sink, a gas burner and a table big enough to sit 4/5 for dinner…that’s the excuse to get the boss (translate wife) agreeing to sign the cheque really.

-6- A simple boat with mechanical / electrical / electronic systems all easily accessible and serviced.

-7- Looks not that important but has to be fast of course…

-8- …AND CHEAP!!!!

-9- Unknown and quirky…it always frightens the opposition!

-10- To top it up, the cherry on the cake would be to have some sort of French connection (designer / builder / whatever) – All French are chauvinistic :-)

I have been searching for the Holy Grail for a long time and, like Lancelot du Lac, caught a glimpse of it in the form of the SH32.

Completely unknown to most, designed by Francois Lucas (not the most renowned architect but does make nice and fast boats ) and built by now defunct French yard Sysba Marine.

You can still have one built brain new from CXV in France, which now markets it under the name R-Medium 32   ( ) Anyone interested? I quite fancy one of them myself.

It obviously ticks most of the 10 points above but what about fast and cheap?

Well, on these points, everything is relative I suppose. There’s one for sale, back from a round the world trip and with a huge inventory ( but is €85K cheap?

Also, it is described as a fast cruiser / passage maker, and is untested in racing conditions…

So the Holy Grail faded again out of my view…until:


Design by Dutchman Bart Boosman, Built by Dutchman Bart Boosman and raced by Dutchman Bart Boosman, the Boosman 30 (not Booze man please) ticks ALL the boxes.

Look at it:

-1- 30 ft = check

-2- Secure cockpit = check

-3-  / -4- Panoramic view / good headroom = check (beside Pogo 8.50, already OK for headroom)

-5- Cruising features for the wife (that’s not my wife BTW) = check

-6- Simple maintenance = check

-7- Fast= Check

Above: Boosman 30 at the start of the Kinsale to Santander BlueCube 1000 Solo Race…

The Boosman 30 finished 2nd in its class (IRC Class 3 – Jester) in the OSTAR 2009!!!!

-8- Cheap = check, essentially homebuilt with student and 1st job money…read Bart’s very interesting article on his website here

-9- Unknown and quirky = you bet

-10- French connection?

Well, would you believe it…Bart Boosman called his boat De Franschman, which is Dutch for “The Frenchman”…so check again.

If you find any other boat that fulfills all my requirements, please let me know…In the meantime, here is a mystery boat competition

It also ticks all the boxes and IT’S NOT AN OPEN 30…

First one to find the solution wins all my consideration.

Olivier Prouveur

6 comments about Ideal short-handed racer…FOUND IT!!!

  • Barry O'Connor


    Can I suggest an Elan31?

    It will tick most of the boxes you have listed, but is not French…..


  • Olivier Prouveur

    I’m afraid the Elan 31 scores only 6/10:
    – no panoramic view
    – not that cheap
    – known and 0 quirkiness
    – no French connection (look at the French team…no “elan” whatsoever)

    Sorry! must do better

  • Darren Nicholson

    The mystery yacht is french (based on the Argens on the motor boat) and the general look. I’ve searched the web can’t find it. any clues?

    • Olivier Prouveur

      Right Darren. Here is a clue: it’s built in wood-epoxy and the naval architect (French)is one of the leader for this type of construction technique.

  • Mike Murphy

    Olivier – it has to be the JPK!

  • Tristan Harwood


    First of all, It seems that the boat you are after I am after! all of your wants are the same as mine.

    The SH 32 is the boat that would suit me down to the ground.

    I think it would be fast and I am keen to find out how much an UK yard would charge for a build of the hull deck snd keels, I would do the rest.

    The mystery boat its Murcurial spirit ( ex Corby ) look on his web site.

    It lived in Penzance with no windows and now has some.

    You have great taste in boats ( I too complimented Bart Boosman on his boat!)

    I can find nothing and have been searching for an age hence the idear about maybe building an SH32.

    Contact me if you would like:



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