The e33 Puts a Fast Spin on the Daysailer

The e33 puts a performance spin on the timeless daysailer. A boat review from our September 2007 issue

e33

Walter Cooper

The perfect daysailer-whether meant for racing or gunkholing-should have three basic traits: smooth handling, comfort, and most importantly, what I refer to as a high fun-to-grief ratio.

Delivering on all these isn't always easy, but with a lot of clever design details and performance-bent lightweight construction, designer Jeremy Wurmfeld and sailmaker Robbie Doyle achieved the trifecta. Yet, their e33, a beautifully sailed boat built by Waterline Systems in Portsmouth, R.I., is capable of so much more than day tripping around one's local waterway. This is the type of daysailer you can't help but want to race.

The e33 has a long, slender canoe-body hull with an easy run aft. Its overall appearance, from bow to stern, is clean and uncluttered-the jib furler is recessed in the foredeck hatch, along with the anchor and hydraulic forestay fitting, there are no sheet winches anywhere on the boat (unless you ask for them), and most of the running rigging's fine-tune adjustments are hidden under deck. Below the waterline, a 4-foot, high-aspect spade rudder is slightly forward of the transom's counter. This, together with the sail plan and the
5'9'' fin keel with a large bulb located amidships and several feet behind the mast, gives the e33 its excellent balance.

The stated intention of this design is to have the entire crew comfortably seated in the cockpit, and in this regard the e33 follows suit with other new comparable daysailers on the market. There's an expansive 16 feet of cockpit from end to end. Nearly six feet of it is actually behind the traveler, which creates an aft lounge of sorts, an ideal place for any crewmember that's simply along for the ride.

During our test sail last fall, a few of my fellow Boat of the Year judges commented that the e33's large, high-roach elliptical mainsail looked aesthetically out of place on such an appealing, classic design, but I knew the mainsail was all business, being very similar what is now used on nearly every high-performance multihull. While it's more challenging to trim perfectly than a triangular-shaped main, it's easier to control the power of a high-roach main. Most importantly, however, it's an efficient shape that can maintain attached flow from bottom to top without assistance from a jib. Consequently, for casual or heavy-wind sailing under the main along, the boat will move along perfectly well.

A 150-square-foot non-overlapping jib brings the boat's total upwind sail area to 525 sq. feet, which is the right amount of flying cloth [standard sails are Doyle Pentex; a Doyle Stratis package is optional] for the 2,500-pound bulb keel in winds up to 17 knots. The main has generous reef points just below the first full-length batten, and this reef reduces the mainsail area by a little more than 20 percent, which should allow the e33 to stand on its feet when the wind gets into the high 20s.

The boat we sailed came rigged with the asymmetric spinnaker package, which is optional. We couldn't imagine owning the boat without one. The 710-square foot kite tacks directly to the bow so there's no sprit or foredeck work required to get it flying. Once it's rigged, it's launched and retrieved through the forward hatch. Spinnaker handling can be done singlehanded, but in race mode, at least three people are required to make it go smoothly.
One appealing aspect of the e33 is its minimalism. A great deal of effort was made to do more with less. On our test boat there was one halyard winch (again, optional but recommended) conveniently located on a center pod just below the tiller. This self-tailing winch is used for the main halyard, spinnaker tack line, and jib furler.
In order to eliminate the need for sheet winches, both the main and jib sheet systems have gross and fine tune setups. The mainsheet's 4-to-1 gross and 4-to-1 fine tune adds up to a 16-to-1 purchase, which was enough for my aging arms. The carbon mast's swept spreaders allowed them to eliminate running backstays, which typically limits the range of the mainsail downwind. One development, however, that Doyle applied from his work with super yacht Mirabella V, is progressively decreasing the spreader sweep up the rig, which allows the mainsail to be eased further than it might otherwise be with a
traditional swept-spreader rig.

While the e33 is billed as a daysailer, the cabin, finished in white gelcoat, is perfectly adequate for overnight shorthanded racing and even roughing it for a weekend with family or friends (the latter, of course, would be much more appealing with the addition of the optional cockpit shower and hot-water system.) Belowdecks you'll find a 7-foot open "kids" berth and sail storage area, aft of which is a covered Jabasco marine toilet with manual pumpout. There are settee berths on either side-with storage underneath-and the Igloo cooler doubles as the companionway step. Underneath the cockpit is a 14hp Yanmar Saildrive unit (pushing a double-blade folding prop). For tankage there's water, fuel, and waste, at 10, 10, and 6 gallons, respectively.

Wurmfeld and Doyle have created a very unique and interesting package that will appeal to those with a range of sailing interests from gunkholing to shorthanded racing. At press time, the boat was racing PHRF in Marblehead, Mass., and Narragansett Bay (R.I.), with two different ratings (90, with spinnaker, in Marblehead, 108 in Jamestown). One of the designer's goals is to establish a one-design class, which would appeal to sailors who typically race smaller keelboats. Until this happens, however, the e33 has enough attractive features to allow it to stand on its own regardless of its one-design status. It will become an attractive package to sailors who grow tired of having to round up a crew every time they want to go for an evening sail or a Wednesday night race.