Jul 21 '14
Last Wednesday saw Simon Rogers pay a visit to the Arbor Yachts yard. It's always a pleasure, and we get to have a very enjoyable conversation as we discuss the next steps for Arbor.
We have been continually evaluating the Arbor 26 on the water, as well as working through the feedback given to us from the Try-a-sail days. One issue for many small yachts with a bowsprit is preventing water ingress through whatever mechanism is used to allow the pole to retract. This was one of the reasons the first Arbor26 was launched with a fixed pole. Whilst the fixed pole is light and simple, a retracting pole can help with close quarters manoeuvring, simplifies mooring for those on a swinging berth, as well as easing a few feet from the mooring fees! with a little thinking outside the box, we have not only designed a retracting bowsprit that maintains the integrity of the for'ard cabin, keeps the foredeck clear and is simple to use and maintain, but we can also find the space to add an anchor locker to the foredeck; not something you can often find on a 27 foot yacht.
Having spent a few more hours enjoying sailing, we can also add a few tweaks to the cockpit area, fine tuning the tiller placement depending on expected crew numbers, offering racing or cruising alternatives for the traveller controls, as well as some options on comfort and security.
These types of discussions are always very enjoyable, partly because the fine tuning of a design is so exciting, and also because the design has already proved to be so good to start with!
The second half though was the real fun. This was our third conversation on the subject of the '26s bigger sisters. What sizes will we aim for? How many crew will they be designed for? What will elevate them like the '26 to a special standard? All wonderful questions to discuss. At this stage, we are looking toward 31 foot and 35 foot models. Whilst the 35 is still in very early stages, the 31 is starting to shape up well, expanding on the passion and ingenuity that guided the creation of her smaller sister. The 26 has a cockpit maximised for crew sailing, so as we step up in size, the extra 4 or 5 feet can really be used almost entirely in the cabin, offering dining space, an enclosed heads, more storage, and a choice of berth layouts.