Toby Hodges looks at this new Chinese-built 28-footer
One-designs can provide fun, fair racing, as epitomised by the Volvo Ocean Race fleet currently sliding round the planet. But modern one-designs tend to come with off-putting prices, particularly if the sail inventories are not capped.
This new Far east 28R has been conceived as a fast, fun one-design in a lightweight, affordable package. A displacement of just 1,200kg and a lifting keel allows her to be towed to events.
Fareast is launching this 28R with a bang: the first 16 boats competed in the China Cup last year. The company sees “an increasing market for sailing schools, event centres, sailing leagues, etc,” says export manager Ellen Jiao Lee, for “those looking for a boat that is easy to handle and maintain, and carries a modern sailplan.”
Fareast’s crimson-coloured 31R was the eye-catching boat at the Düsseldorf boat show in January 2014. It was a clever ploy designed to highlight a new direction for this Chinese yard, which was founded in 2002. Fareast is the biggest producer of Optimists in the world and has a rapidly expanding yacht production line, drawn by Netherlands-based Simonis Voogd.
The hulls, rudders and keel fins are all built in epoxy, and the keel bulbs in lead. In short, this looks like a modern, versatile, easy-to-rig one-design racer or daysailer that seems simpler and certainly cheaper than the competition.
Price ex VAT US$38,000 (£24,000), including sails. www.fareast28r.com
LOA 8.95m/29ft 4in
LWL 8.07m/26ft 6in
Beam 2.75m/9ft 0in
Draught 1.73m/5ft 8in
This is an extract from a feature in the November 2014 issue of Yachting World