A General Look Around | New Features | Technical Tidbits | F-33 Video | Interior

Updated April 10th, 2003


Peter Wesley's F-33 'SHADOWFAX' was launched on January 21st, 2003 at Mooloolaba
(Queensland, Australia) and went sailing for the first time the following day.

Everything went perfectly, and 9 - 10 knots was easily achieved in
only 10 to 12 knots of wind, with ten people on board!

Peter's F-33 will be kept on the water in Sydney, with no need for a trailer for now, so a borrowed Ross
780 (7.8m trailerable mono) trailer was used to transport to water. The F-33 is still surprisingly compact
while being trailered and will have a slightly lower trailering height than the F-9A/F-31, even though
17% larger in surface area, and a whopping 33% larger in interior volume.

SHADOWFAX leaving Mooloolaba January 23rd for the 600 mile delivery trip south to Sydney.

Delivery Trip Proves To Be A Real Test!

SHADOWFAX spent the first 80 miles beating into strong head winds and large seas, to where it was decided to stop in Southport Harbor and wait for more comfortable conditions. The F-33 handled the rough conditions very well, and 13.8 knots of boat speed was seen to windward with two reefs. Quite a baptism of fire for a brand new untried boat, but everything worked perfectly.

At Southport Yacht Club.

SHADOWFAX then spent a week at Southport while the crew returned to work, and headed south again the following Friday night. Unfortunately the weather was still not cooperative, with increasing rain, seas and winds due to Cyclone Beni off the Australian East Coast and moving closer. Gale force winds were being forecast, and with SHADOWFAX eventually down to a triple reefed main only, in 30 to 40 knot winds, and continuing to beat into large seas, it was decided to call into Evans Head, around 90 miles south from Southport.

The F-33 was handling the conditions very well, but crew was cold, tired, and it was obvious they were not going to make Sydney that weekend. However a local F-9A owner offered them a loan of his trailer, an offer which was quickly taken up and SHADOWFAX was soon heading for Sydney at 45 knots. A good demonstration of the major advantage of a trailerable boat, and SHADOWFAX is now at its new home on the Pittwater in Sydney.

The F-33 handled the rough conditions extremely well, and crew felt very safe. There were no problems or failures, and the rough offshore conditions have certainly been a great initial test.

Since arriving in Sydney SHADOWFAX has achieved 16 knots of boat speed in 18 knots of wind, with only main and jib.

* * * LIGHTWEIGHT * * *

SHADOWFAX was built as a cruiser with a 12HP diesel inboard, but still came out very light for its size with a bare weight of 3730 lb (1695kg), including rig, and the diesel inboard. The light weight combined with a lower trailering height (less windage) means the effort to tow the F-33 will be very similar to that required for the smaller F-31.

* * * * * *

Demonstration Sales

SHADOWFAX was initially going to be available in Sydney for demonstration sales, but owner Peter Wesley received an offer that just could not be refused, and SHADOWFAX has now been shipped to a US buyer. Unfortunately this makes demonstration sales unavailable for the time being. However, the F-33 sails exactly the same as the F-31, only faster and in more comfort, stability being 25% higher while having 33% more interior room. It is also around the same weight or lighter than the smaller F-31 which will give a faster and much more responsive boat.

* * * * * *

Initial Comments:

Hi Ian,

I had a sail on the new F-33 last Sunday thanks to Peter Wesley. I was very impressed with the whole boat, the way it sailed, attention to detail and overall finish.

The winds on Pitwater were variable between 5-15 knts with minimal chop. The boat is very responsive to the helm especially upwind with 20-30 deg shifts. Although perhaps a little under powered in the lighter winds (I usually sail Nacra 5.8's and sport boats) the boat pointed very well and had minimal side slip.

We went out onto Broken Bay which had a confused SE swell & wind chop of about 2m. This is where I was most impressed by its ability to keep speed & height. The boat wasn't been knocked about much and was surprising dry when compared to an equivalent sized yacht which would have been quite a bit wetter. I was also very impressed with stiffness of the boat considering the messy seaway we were in as there was almost no noticeable movement with the floats in comparison to the main hull.

I am very impressed by the rudder system and will adopt something similar on my F-82. Overall an excellent product has been produced and I hope you have great success with the boat.


Andrew Downing
F82R - 105, Sydney, Australia

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