Just Launched – Condor 30

First published in SAIL Magazine, 1990

Just Launched – Condor 30

by Tom Dove

The Condor 30 may not impress you dockside with its functional, simple interior but take it sailing and your opinions will change quickly. We thoroughly enjoyed sailing this boat which has all the fun of a planing dinghy combined with the easy handling of a keelboat. In 8-10 knots of wind on the Chesapeake, the boat was responsive and dry and went to windward and off the wind faster than racing monohulls of similar size. At ten knots, the ride was absolutely smooth as the sharp hulls split the chop.

This vessel also will take you to speeds where few other sailboats can go. In winds up to about 15 knots, the trimaran’s speed equals the true wind velocity, while in strong winds it has hit 21 knots and probably will go faster.

Even with the running backstays, two people can handle this boat. The spinnaker tac?k is attached to the bow of the windward ama (outer hull) so the sail needs no pole and takedown is easy on the wide expanse of trampoline. The fully battened main is easily controlled and the genoa is roller furled.

Power is an 8 HP Yamaha outboard which pushes the lightweight vessel at more than seven knots and tilts up to reduce drag when sailing. Control under power is good.

The interior is small for a 30-footer, but all the essentials are present. The boat will sleep two comfortably and perhaps four snugly in wide pilot berths but the big trampolines would be the bunks of choice for sleeping under the stars. The nav station is excellent and the galley adequate for racing or short-range cruising. The interior is cut in two by the big daggerboard trunk in the center of the hull but the cabin does not generate the common multihull claustrophobia. It is bright, airy and efficient.

Sound engine├Ćering and construction have produced a strong, very light boat, befitting a vessel which is intended for serious racing offshore. The cored unidirectional, biaxial, and triaxial E-glass layup is first class and the crossbeams to the amas are one piece aluminum tubes that go completely through the hull. The builder, Phil Herting, saved weight but retained strength by using cored, vacuum-bagged laminate for the cabin sole and table. Similarly, he cut weight by employing custom canvas for stowage instead of wood cabinetry.

The Condor 30 is a natural for racing as a one-design or on handicap by the skipper who wants to go fast in an absolute sense, not only in comparison to six-knot boats. It will give you a thrill and a chance to zip effortlessly past planing powerboats on a breezy day.

The Condor 30 is available only factory direct and the base price is $79,500. Condor Limited, 326 First Street, Annapolis, MD 21403. (301) 267-8337.

*** Only a few of these rapid little boats were finished before the company on Spa Creek in the Eastport section of Annapolis closed and vanished, literally in the middle of the night. I believe it was the last production boat to be built in downtown Annapolis.