Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Red Alert review continued - pg3
I was struggling to conceal my excitement as we eased sheets at the lighthouse and flew across Rangitoto channel, regularly hitting 16 knots under jib and mainsail. It was easy speed, too. Red Alert felt exceptionally smooth and very at home in rough weather. The boat trims on the aft sections of the main hull and leeward float, the straight stem seldom touching the water, and the lee-ward float showing no tendency to dig in. "We feel very safe in it," commented Ambrose, who added that they have already sailed the boat in forty knots without a moment of anxiety. Edlin credits that to the large volume of the main hull and the floats, along with slightly wider overall beam than is common. Certainly on our test sail both men sailed the boat hard and with a great deal of confidence. No-one bothered to ride the mainsheet and the call was for the large mast-head spinnaker for the trip home. This had me raising my eyebrows with the wind at a solid 25 knots, but I needn't have worried. The controllable run with the waves down the East Coast Bays saw the log hit 18 knots and sustain that for long periods as Red Alert caught and stayed with swells for long periods. However, I couldn't help thinking we would have gone even faster with the smaller but more efficient fractional gennaker. Top speed so far on Red Alert is 22 knots, achieved during a strong southerly on the inner Waitemata, the same day as the cover shot and sailing shots in this story were taken.
Looking aft from the for'ard bulkheadInterior:
The dimensions of Red Alert have been carefully considered to provide the owners with the required level of interior space. Ambrose, himself a furniture designer and builder, worked closely with Edlin and together they have achieved a functional, space-maximising layout with ample stowage. The structures are all coved and rounded with large radiuses. The white finish ragged with green and blue creates a seamless look which accentuates what space there is.
LEFT: The outboard lives in the port under-seat locker. Note the modified cover to fit the 60Amp alternator. RIGHT: Standing nav. station. Note the removable stairway to access the aft double berth.
Fans of traditional timber trim need not apply, but it does work, is cost effective and quick to do. Access is down a ladder-stairway which can be removed to provide easier entry to a smallish double berth under the cockpit floor. Immediately to starboard is a compact but very well thought out galley that Ambrose agonised over for many hours. It is a bi-level arrangement with a clever organising system for kitchenware that works well. There is hot and cold pressure water, a two-burner gas stove and more storage underneath for pots and food in two open compartments (no need for cupboard doors when the boat doesn't lean over). A stand-up chart table and nay, station direct-ly opposite can also be brought into play for meal preparation; the fridge is in the aft end of the dinette. The nay. station is again hi-level, with a lift-up lid on top for chart stowage. Also here is a BEP switchboard, VHF, and voltmeter. The saloon consists of an L-shaped settee to port with a single settee opposite. Because of the hull shape, narrow at the waterline then flaring quickly, these are higher than conventional arrangements. You have to step up to sit down, but this has the advantage that you can see outside while dining. There is another berth up behind the L-shaped dinette while behind the starboard settee is more bin storage for food. The table is fixed but has a drop-leaf portion to service those seated to starboard. The is 6'2" headroom throughout the main saloon, and 6' in the surprisingly roomy head and shower compartment forward of the dinette to port. This structure cleverly ties in the centre board case to avoid intrusion that many other designs suffer. The forward cabin was bigger than I expected, and has the roomiest berth on the boat. The cabin offers good storage in large, open compartments either side at the aft end, and enough floor space for changing and easy climbing into the berth.
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