Sailing “Grace”

A photo of Grace getting launched after Spring maintenance (2022).

In 2019, I took on an extensive restoration project of a 1980 Artekno H-Boat called “Grace.” Even though the H-Boat is a common racing class in Europe, mine is one of the few on the West Coast of the United States. It seemed like a worthy boat to bring back to life both for its aesthetic beauty and lineage. The H-Boat descends from the folkboat, which appeals to my motivations for sailing: minimalist coastal cruising, often singlehanded. Racing doesn’t interest me much, although it’s always nice to go fast and point well into the wind. I rather compromise comfort for performance and performance for safety. After about two years of restoration and dreaming of the trips I would take, Grace sails again. These posts share my journey in boat restoration and sailing.

By the numbers

The H-Boat balances relative performance with seaworthiness and simplicity. Comparing the H-Boat to the Nordic Folkboat and to the Santa Cruz 27 (a popular racing class in my region that is the same length as the H-Boat although of a different generation of sailboat design):

  • The comfort ratio of the H-Boat (15.78) falls between the Santa Cruz 27 (11.64) and the Nordic Folkboat (22.13). Its motion comfort is less like a coastal cruiser, such as the Folkboat, and more like a lightweight racing boat, even though perhaps more kindly than high performance racers like the Santa Cruz 27.
  • The displacement to length ratio — an estimate the power required to drive the boat to its nominal hull speed — places the H-Boat as “light” (161.26), which falls between the Nordic Folkboat (“moderate,” 249.22) and the Santa Cruz 27 (“ultralight,” 95.92).
  • The balance to length ratio over 40 for the three boats indicates that they are all stiff, powerful boats able to stand up to the wind. Interestingly, the H-Boat (49.97) is just slightly lower ranked than the Santa Cruz 27 (50.00), and both these boats are noticeably lower than the Nordic Folkboat (51.82).
  • The sail area to displacement ratio places the H-Boat (19.54) as a reasonably good performance between the under-powered Nordic Folkboat (19.54) and the high-performance Santa Cruz 27 (23.21).
  • The capsize screening formula (CSF) or capsize ratio, which compares the beam with the displacement, rates the H-Boat (1.95) as suited for ocean passages much better than the Santa Cruz 27 (2.22) and slightly worse than the Nordic Folkboat (2.22).
  • The S#, which estimates probable boat performance versus boats of comparable size, ranks the H-Boat as a racer cruiser (3.29) between the slow/underpowered Nordic Folkboat (1.82) and the fast/racing Santa Cruz 27 (5.32).

Cruising Logs

  • Monterey – June 2023

    Monterey – June 2023

    Originally, I planned to do a trip to Santa Barbara and back, but life rarely goes as planned. First, there were some issues with Grace that made me less than confident about such a long trip. Secondly, my wife, Saday, decided to join me for this sail. Since she is still learning, I decided it…

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  • Santa Cruz – April 2023

    Santa Cruz – April 2023

    Between storms and strong winds, my father and I found a window of mild weather to sail from Berkeley to Santa Cruz. We motored from Berkeley to just past Alcatraz, at which point the winds quickly picked up. I had chosen the genoa due to the light wind conditions, but we were quickly overpowered. As…

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  • Berkeley – September 2022

    Berkeley – September 2022

    This first day of sailing ended up being a trial run. Conditions from shore seemed mild. I had packed lightly having just returned from a three-week work trip. A friend, William, accompanied me. After some delays in organizing our belongings, we got a late start around 1:30pm. The sun was shining and the winds were…

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  • San Francisco Bay – June 2022

    San Francisco Bay – June 2022

    With mild but sufficient winds until Davenport, I sailed with the genoa. At this point, the northwesterly winds picked up and I switched to the class jib. Fog was also pretty thick such that I relied on my instruments for orientation. Arriving wet from the fog and upwind sailing, I anchored in darkness close to…

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  • Año Nuevo – March 2022

    Año Nuevo – March 2022

    Originally, my plan was to sail to Half Moon Bay and then onward to the San Francisco Bay. I got an early start at 7:12am given predictions of some coastal wind. However, it was largely non-existent. After a little while bobbing about near the Santa Cruz Wharf, I decided to motor at about 3 knots…

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  • Monterey – March 2022

    Monterey – March 2022

    Consistent southwesterly winds prevailed throughout. I sailed with my genoa and full mainsail close reach to close hauled on a starboard tack for the entire trip. About halfway to Monterey, I spotted perhaps five boats flying spinnakers in my path. They seemed odd bunched up in the middle of the Monterey Bay until I realized…

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Maintenance and Repair Logs

  • M&R Log 2022

    M&R Log 2022

    This year finally saw the end of major repairs and improvements to Grace. Mostly, I kept up with annual maintenance, such as servicing the outboard, bedding deck hardware, servicing the winches, and keeping up with the brightwork. I am continuing to use a natural linseed oil varnish, called Le Tonkinois Linseed Oil Varnish No.1, which…

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  • M&R Log 2021

    M&R Log 2021

    The year 2021 marked the end of extensive repair projects that had started in 2020. Once I had removed the headliner from the cabin’s ceiling, I sanded the interior of the hull and paint several fresh coats of gelcoat wherever I could reach! I also built shelves below the v-berth to hold a 100Ah Battleborn…

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  • M&R Log 2020

    M&R Log 2020

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and work transitions, I spent most of 2020 camping out on my sailboat and outside my family home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. My online teaching at a community college afforded me the time and flexibility to become very familiar with all the issues with Grace. I didn’t…

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  • M&R Log 2019

    M&R Log 2019

    In October 2019, I broke my arm playing a late night game of roller hockey. My inability to do much physical activity for a month got me thinking more seriously about buying a sailboat. I purchased Grace November 2019. She was previously owned by a couple with a slip directly across from my father’s sailboat.…

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