Theo Stocker tests a 1983 version of this redoubtable Finnish cruiser
What’s she like to sail?
Honour Bound is quick and responsive on the helm. The rudder is set as far aft as possible, which means the tiller reaches over the lazarette just far enough for the helm, but doesn’t take up precious space in the cockpit. Handling her in a marina was easy as she responded quickly under engine and went astern predictably.
The self-draining cockpit is deep and secure, although you feel closer to the water than you would in a tubbier, newer boat. She doesn’t have single-line reefing or a stack-pack, but the decks are good and wide for moving about safely.
We had an exhilarating beat up to Newton and a gusty sail around the Farne Islands and back to Amble, with the wind finally dropping slightly for the hop back to Blyth. Whether we had two, one or no reefs in, we spent most of the time up around hull speed. Her narrow hull slips through water very easily and her moderately light displacement lets her accelerate quickly in the gusts.
There wasn’t much chance to crack off on a reach, but she was just as quick on a run. On the wind, she heeled quickly to 20°, but then felt good and stiff, easily getting into a groove.
What’s she like in port and at anchor?
A 10kg Rocna anchor with 25m of chain and at least 60m of rope offers more than enough scope for most anchorages. With a draught of around a metre and half she’s no creek crawler, but she isn’t prohibitively deep either. For such a slender boat she has a surprising amount of storage under her bunks, in the forepeak, and in the cockpit lockers. There are also some unusual but very handy cubbyholes above the quarterberths.
She’s certainly comfortable for a small crew, or for a larger crew over a shorter period. The lack of separate cabins or a double berth might not offer quite the level of home comforts some may be looking for, and the headroom isn’t huge – there’s just about six feet (1.8m) at the companionway and this decreases forwards, so that in the heads you are either stooping or kneeling. A fitted cockpit tent provides extra space at anchor.
‘She isn’t a party boat with loads of accommodation’, says Doug, ‘but she is very comfortable and more than adequate for extended cruising – particularly for a serious sailor.’
Would she suit you and your crew?
Doug usually sails Honour Bound singlehanded or as a father-and-son team, occasionally taking on more crew for racing.
The biggest cruise they have undertaken as a family was through the Caledonian Canal to Mull and back. Doug and Cameron have fond memories of an exhilarating reach up Loch Ness ‘with probably too much sail up’, Cameron on the helm and Doug playing the mainsheet with spray flying everywhere. Doug is hoping to take her around the top of Scotland to the Western Isles this summer. Her 60-litre fuel tank is enough for about 60 hours of steady motoring and 100 litres of water gives her reasonable range.
Her previous owner regularly took her across the Channel to France, so there is no doubt about her offshore credentials. He only swapped her for a larger boat when the number and size of his grandchildren exceeded Honour Bound’s capabilities.
Doug had her surfing at 12 knots during a race last summer, and he often finds himself at the front of the fleet. Not bad for a 30-year-old boat that still has space for an electric guitar.
Quick, responsive and very comfortable