CHOOSING A BOAT FOR FRIENDLY RACING With regard to choosing, rigging and pre paring a boat for a race, there must always be a. considerable variety of opinion ; but as a general rule, supposing that you have a choice of two. or three boats, take one with a long floor ; length of floor is of more consequence than fineness of ends ; two sharp ends with a lump in the middle, never did any good yet; it is a mistake that is. very common with English boat-builders, and that is the reason why the French boats generally beat ours both in pulling and sailing, their boats. are bluffer above water, but they have longer floors, and consequently more buoyancy. The requirements for an open sailing boat and a. decked yacht are quite different ; the yacht is• intended to carry lead or iron ballast, and generally be built very deep and without any floor at all.
I don't suppose that any of our English racing yachts would stand upright at all without a considerable quantity of ballast, or lead in the keel, even if she had no mast in, she would tumble right over on her side, in consequence of her shape ; but for a boat that is to sail without " sinking ballast," a good flat floor is absolutely necessary, and she must depend for her weatherly qualities upon a keel or centre-board, after the manner of the American yachts ; therefore choose a boat with a good floor, so that she may have something to stand upon when you put sail on her ; also choose a boat that has a fair amount of free-board, or height out of water, so that she will not begin to take the water in over the gunwale directly she begins to heel over, or gets into a little rough water.
Your choice should also be guided more or less by the weather that is to be expected, remembering that as a rule, light boats do best in light winds and sm000th water, and heavy boats in strong winds and rough water.