Abandoned one-design racing boats, once part of big, healthy fleets, and now left with nothing to show for their former greatness but sun-fried gelcoat and faded memories. This can happen for any number of reasons. Perhaps class numbers dwindled, or the major hull manufacturers went out of business. Maybe a newer, slicker boat came along and lured away most of the younger sailors.
There was a time when the Buccaneer 18 Class seemed in danger of heading down this unfortunate path. However, the Roadshow crew can happily report that in 2011 things seem to be looking up for a design that, despite being conceived of in 1969 by Chrysler Marine (Yes, THAT Chrysler), remains a very fast, fun, and accessible boat.
Through hard work, open-mindedness, communication (in the shape of lively and helpful online forums), and a significant dose of humor, Buccaneer sailors have succeeded in raising interest and fleet participation. We got a chance to see this firsthand at the annual Buc's on the Bay Regatta at Narrasketuck Yacht Club in Amityville, NY.
Powered by Gus's intimate knowledge of the boat, (and by his truly awesome paint job), we managed second place finishes in both races on Sunday. As a lifelong dinghy sailor, I felt right at home in the Buccaneer, and thoroughly enjoyed my day out on the Great South Bay.
Great photography by Brooke!