Central to the Telstar's design brief is the demand that she perform well under sail. That's not to say this boat is a thoroughbred intended solely for racing-oriented sailors. On the contrary, she's a cruiser that simply won't be left in the dust during weekend club races or on the annual point-to-point distance race. More important, in my view, is the ease with which a shorthanded crew can coax this boat into action. In 5 to 7 knots of true wind, the boat hustles right along under working sail, and if the easily set asymmetric is hoisted, she takes on a turbocharged feel. Her light displacement shows up in quick acceleration under sail; that attribute also means that pinching when approaching chop or a powerboat wake will likely stop her dead in her tracks. The smooth, even feel of the helm is just right for tiller steering, and a simple tiller-connected external autopilot would be an inexpensive self-steering solution.
The mainsail is fully battened, and the overlapping jib furls smoothly on a Furlex headfoil system. The deck-stepped double-spreader rig with roller-furling gear means you'll need a crane or spar hoist to step and unstep the mast, but it's a performance compromise that's worth the extra complication. I like the simple multipart, end-boom mainsheet arrangement that's attached to a useful pin-stop traveler just aft of the rudderstock. Another big plus is the ease with which the genoa sheets are handled on two self-tailing winches mounted on the cabin house. Even with a relatively small genoa, the boat accelerates quickly; when we lowered the centerboard, she climbed to weather as well as many monohull cruisers.