Newest U.S. Open 60, Ocean Planet, Takes Solo Spin

California solo sailor Bruce Schwab took his Tom Wylie-designed Open 60, Ocean Planet (Shoreline, August 2001), for her first solo shakedown late last summer, a 300-mile spin off the California coast. In light-air conditions, Ocean Planet sailed from her home berth in Marina Village in Alameda, past the Farallone Islands, and well into the Pacific before returning to port. Close-hauled in light wind, at 8 to 9 knots, the autopilot steered perfectly, Bruce said. "There’s still is a lot to learn about how to make Ocean Planet really hit her stride, as she seems fast all the time," Scwab said. "But it will take many months of testing to iron out such options as much water ballast to put in for a given wind strength and angle. At this point, it’s good for me to just get used to being on the boat and establishing a relationship with her. You can tell a lot by feel and intuition once you get connected with your boat."