The Precision 18 is designed to be a lively, well-mannered sailing boat rather than a floating vacation home, but the features described are noteworthy nonetheless. There is ample sitting headroom for 4 and a filler cushion that s to form a 6’6″ v berth that is NOT broken up by the usual awkward mast support post. There are 6′ quarter berths port and starboard, not to mention a 48 quart cooler, provision for a portable head, and 12-volt battery. A forward hatch provides ventilation and an emergency exit, and the large companionway and 4 opening cabin windows contribute to the feeling of light and open space.
The long shallow keel, kick-up rudder, and non-corroding fiberglass centerboard of the Precision 18 are all high-lift NACA ‘wing sections.’ The keel allows the board to be housed completely below the cabin sole and gets the ballast down low for stability. The board itself weighs only 65 pounds so that it does not form a major portion of the total ballast, stability is not dangerously reduced when it is retracted, and it can be raised easily by a child with no need for a winch.
The simple fractional rig can be raised right on the trailer in minutes. The jib is of very high aspect ratio for maximum efficiency, but small enough to be readily trimmed by a young crew. The mainsail can be quickly ‘depowered’ in puffy conditions, and it is large enough to provide good performance without the jib when desired a big advantage when in a crowded anchorage or when shorthanded. The cockpit is full 6′ 4″ long with coamings high enough to keep the crew securely inside. Both seats and coamings are precisely angled for maximum comfort, reflecting our years of careful ergonomic design development. There is a generous anchor locker forward, a fuel tank storage bin to port, and a full cockpit locker to starboard.
Carefully controlling construction weight is critical to both performance and to price, but it cannot be done at the expense of safety or structural integrity. Thus the hull liner of the Precision 18 is engineered as a structural grid, and tooled to mate precisely with the hand-laminated hull skin. The mast support beam and chain plate loads are carried by structural bulkheads and there are rugged hull stringers to distribute the stresses imposed by trailering. The external hull/deck joint is bonded both chemically and mechanically, and the flange is protected with a vinyl rub rail.