I'm looking to take part in an event next year called the Eddystone challenge, which is a time-controlled race to an offshore lighthouse and back. It starts from Mountbatten breakwater (in Plymouth, UK) and is approximately 36kms.
I'm looking to build a boat to take part, as my current two are not suitable (one is 14' and the other is a double), but need it to be something I can use as a good sea boat too. I need something with plenty of speed, but that does NOT require me to ballast the boat in order to get the correct trim. I am not 100% against fitting a rudder or skeg, but would rather not use either if possible. The prevailing winds are SW, which puts the winds squarely on the beam for both legs of the trip.
I'm currently thinking Night Heron S&G and Petrel with skeg, but lean toward S&G so I can get the thing built in time to have some practice paddling before the event.
Whatever I get I'd be importing the wood parts from the US because the cost of buying it here is high. I'll buy my own epoxy carbon and glass, plus disposables.
Thanks for any thoughts...