Love for the Moore 24

This cult-classic from the 80s is still popular on the race course today.

Moore 24

Designed in the 1960s and first produced in 1972, the Moore 24 led the way for an entire generation of ultralight-displacement boats that would serve to cement the place of Santa Cruz, California, in the annals of yacht-racing history. Designed by famed surfer and sailor George Olson, the Moore 24 was first conceived as the longest, lightest way to make a racing keelboat that would use a Cal 20 rig. In the strong summer breezes and big swells of Monterey Bay and the San Francisco region, the little speedsters immediately proved their merit with solid construction and unrivaled off-the-wind performance, surfing past 50-foot IOR designs in local offshore races.

In 1975, a Moore 24 was sailed doublehanded to Hawai’i, further proving the boat’s seaworthiness. By 1980 production and popularity was at its peak, and three of the boats raced one-design in the biennial Singlehanded Transpac, a solo race from San Francisco to Kaua’i. The boat’s lightweight, easily handled sail plan and well-mannered, bow-high surfing characteristics made it a favorite of local ocean racers, earning an impressive racing record in the challenging Gulf of the Farallones and the Pacific Ocean.

Over the past 40 years, the Moore 24 has become an ageless classic in Northern California and all over the U.S. West Coast. With one-design fleets in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, and the Pacific Northwest, you’ll often find more than 30 boats at a big regatta. The 24’s cult-like following and long list of talented owners is a testament to the longevity and durability of this superb design.

In addition to one-design contests, Moores regularly win mixed-fleet races to this day. Collecting hardware in weekly beer-can races, local offshore races, and even races to Hawai’i, the oversized presence of the Moore 24 on the U.S. West Coast belies the fact that only 156 boats were built. Continuing their rich ocean-racing tradition, two Moore 24s were sailed singlehanded to Hawai’i in the 2012 Singlehanded Transpac. In a class that included several other Santa Cruz ULDBs and even a Transat 6.50, the Moore again reigned supreme, earning yet another class win in Hawai’i.

Ronnie Simpson is the owner of Moore 24 US 101.