New Zealand designer Ron Holland’s first major success was this world
champion quarter-tonner from 1973. Her name, pronounced in the Kiwi
vernacular, sounds like ‘eighteen’ – the number that a boat’s measurements
had to add up to, under the IOR rating system, for her to qualify as a quarter-
tonner. The hull shape is unusual: narrow waterline beam with aggressively
flared topsides, like a Merlin-Rocket dinghy. This enables her crew to exert
a large righting moment when they sit on the windward rail. The downside
is that it creates a yacht that, while fast, nimble and exciting, is tender on an
even keel and likes to be sailed upright, though her narrow stern makes her
less sensitive to heel angle than some boats with fat sterns. Thanks to her
fine ends, the Eygthene is blessed with a very comfortable motion upwind,
but she’s relatively slow on a run and rather rolly downwind in a breeze. That
said, this is a fairly heavy quarter-tonner and a far better sea-boat than most.
The hull shape provides lots of space in the saloon. She offers four or five
berths, including two quarterberths and a vee-berth in the forecabin, ample
seating around a table in the saloon, a separate heads and a basic galley.
However, her pinched ends, narrow waterline beam and shallow hull mean
that stowage is limited. Fit-out was light and simple. Today, she’s a good
entry-level club racer and can be a sprightly and entertaining pocket cruiser.
LoA 7.3m (24ft) LWL 6.2m (20ft 6in) beam 2.9m (9ft 8in) Draught 1.40m (4ft 8in)
Displacement 906kg (4,300lb)