Designed by Russell Coutts and naval architect Andrej Justin, the RC 44 is a light displacement, high-performance, one-design sailing boat created for top-level racing. With a wide-open cockpit, a fairly narrow beam, and a huge sail plan, the RC 44 produces a lot of excitement.
A History of the Boat
The RC 44, named for the length of the boat, 44 feet, and four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts, made its debut at the Genoa International Boat Show in 2005. The response was tremendous.
"People saw a real race boat and were excited by that," says Coutts. "The philosophy was to create something special for the racing sailor – a bit like owning a sports car versus a 4-wheel drive." The concept and design was focused on the day sailor racing a high-performance vessel. Today some 22 boats have been produced.
The RC 44 Class was established in Geneva in 2006. The objective of the class was to develop a high level and entertaining racing program. One of the rules restricts the number of professional sailors to four per boat creating a blend of skilled amateur athletes and America’s Cup and Olympic sailors racing a fast and technical boat.
Class rules also ensure that all boats are as identical as possible in terms of construction, shape of hull and appendages, weight and weight distribution, deck layout and equipment, sail plan, and performance.
Design with a Purpose
“We wanted to include a degree of complexity so an owner can experience what a top-end race boat is like to sail, and it delivers on that,” says Coutts. “Yet we also wanted it to be easy to own – you can race this boat in summer, and if you wish, put it away relatively easily in winter.”
Built specifically for racing witha wide-open cockpit and no comforts for cruising, the RC 44 lends itself to excitement, fast downwind, and powerful upwind.
- The Russell Coutts 44 is a light displacement, one design racer
- With a powerful sail plan, the 44-footer is designed to be fast downwind and powerful upwind
- The boat has twin steering wheels, a high aspect ratio keel (with a weed cutter fitted in its leading edge) and an adjustable trim tab on the keel
- It is built using carbon infusion in female moulds, ensuring a light weight, accurate structure and protecting the one-design integrity of the class
- The boat also features a carbon mast with PBO rigging and a carbon boom and retractable gennaker strut and carbon rudder and keel fin
- The LOA is 43.8 feet (13.35m), Bmax is 9 feet (2.75m), main is 753 square feet (70m²), and displacement is 7,850 lbs (3,560kg)
- It has a specially designed canting trailer, easily detachable stern scoop and simple keel-to-hull attachment making the boat very easy to transport and store
- The mast is built in two structural parts adding to ease of transport on the road (with no oversize restrictions)
- A large racing cockpit allows sailing with a crew of eight
- For fleet racing it will be an owner/driver class with strict limitations on the number of professional crew
- The rudder and steering system were designed to produce a well balanced boat that handles with two fingers even when sailing at surfing speeds
- When not sailing, the Russell Coutts 44 is powered by a 20 HP Volvo diesel engine with a specially developed hydraulically controlled retractable prop for drag reduction, light weight and ease of use.
- RC 44 racing also boasts tightly controlled rules and well managed Class Association