Buccaneer 18 The Sailing Experience


Welcome to the Buccaneer 18 Class. The Buccaneer is fun & fast. This simple sloop is a blast to sail, and easy to maintain. The Buccaneer Class is friendly and family oriented. Here you will find all the resources you need to enjoy the Buccaneer.


  • Great Class for Daysailing or competitive Racing
  • Fast Planing Hull Design
  • Sloop Rig, Roller Furling Jib
  • Integral Spinnaker Launch Tube

Contact Windrider for complete Bucaneer 18 sales & service. Windrider has all the parts and expertise you need to maintain your Buccaneer.

Experience Sailing Harmony

BNAC 2016 Registration OPEN!

YEP, the biggest Bucc’n event of the year is now accepting registrations.

BNAC organizers have put together everything you need here:



So start packing & get yourself to RACINE, WI for the best Bucc’n event of the summer.

We have a GREAT PACKAGE lined up for the week.  You can expect to enjoy some great racing, along with a lot of fun with some theme parties along with great music and food.  Bring the family – there is a host of other activities to enjoy, both at the event and in and around Racine.


You can see all the details and register at  <http://www.bnac16.com/>

Hope to see you there!

Advice On Buying a used Buccaneer

Prospective Buccaneer owners are constantly asking questions about what to look for in a used Bucc, here’s a rough guide put together by a recent Bucc buyer, Doug King. Doug is an experienced sailor who has bought & sold many boats over the years, and his perspective as a newer Bucc buyer is worth reading.

Thanks Doug for putting this together.

Buying The Right Buccaneer For You
Now that you’ve decided to buy a Buccaneer, we don’t need to discuss all the good reasons to do so.
Let’s talk about the nuts and bolts of bringing your new, or new-to-you, Buccaneer; and then getting out
on the water and really sailing!
FINDING A BUCCANEER FOR SALE- Everybody knows about Craigslist, right? This on-line ad website has
everything, everywhere. Make sure you’re going to craigslist.ORG because there are some bad things
associated with the faker websites using dot-com addies. There are also some other resources, the class
website links to a Bucc-for-sale listing page on Facebook; you may find one at a local sailing club or
marina. A good step is to decide how far you are willing to drive to get one.
FINDING- Don’t get too enthusiastic. It’s easy to say to yourself “Yes, I will drive for 6 hours across 3 or 4
states to get a Buccaneer” but it is unlikely that you’ll complete the quest. Or worse, you may put in a
long day of driving for a boat that is not really what you want. So keep it realistic! How far would you
drive to see a boat that you’d better turn down?
FINDING- Another important step is to decide how much you are willing to spend. Remember that even
if you are buying new (Nickels Boat Works 888-609-2827 they do beautiful work) you will have some
stuff to buy afterward, so don’t shoot your wallet in the foot.
Rough Price Guide- as always, the market makes it’s own rules. However here is what I have seen (we
will have a section on evaluating condition, see below). Thru 2015, I was actively hunting for Buccaneers
in the eastern US, and found they average about $1,250 in asking price. About 1/3 had galvanized
trailers (more below).
Under $1,000… you can find lots of boats in this price range, but they will need new gear, rigging, or
$1,500… In this range you should be able to pick up a boat that is truly ready to sail. Maybe the sails and
ropes are tired, and it needs some minor work.
$3,000+… In this range you should be able to pick up a boat that is in good shape and close to
competitive. It should have good blocks & cleats, good lines, sails less than 6 years old.
$7,000+… Second-hand Nickels boats, 2006 and newer. There are fewer of these than any other
Sails are a HUGE part of the value of the boat. Many of us have spent more on sails than on the boat
Spinnaker- you don’t need the bow launcher to fly a spinnaker, but you do need the pole ($200), sail
($600+), sheets & halyards ($100+ for the good stuff), blocks & cleats ($225+ for the good stuff). That
means a –good- racing spinnaker rig adds at least $1,000 to the value of the boat. Obviously the
contributed value will be less if no ratchet blocks, 2nd-hand Flying Scot spinnaker (which is what one of
my boats has; hey it works and it cost $110) etc etc.
Note- you don’t really need a spinnaker to race. The Buccaneer genoa is large that winging it out can
provide a LOT of drive downwind, and I’ve personally seen Buccs sailing wing-n-wing keep up with
spinnaker-flying Buccs. Spinnakers are a lot of fun though!
Main & Jib- It is difficult to find 2nd-hand sails for the Bucc. It’s possible, but assume that if the object of
your Craigslist desire has no sails, or 40+ year old rags, then part of enjoying your Bucc will be to fit her
with some sails to make her GO properly.
Kit sails- Yes you can get a pre-cut kit and sew up your own sails. Still gonna cost about $500 or more.
“Bargain” or “sweatshop” off-brand new sails- Some only cost a little more than a kit and look very
good. Pay attention to sailcloth weight, and details like whether you’re getting battens, etc etc.
Big-Name Sails- Don’t kid yourself, even the big names have their sails cut & assembled in 3rd-world
sweatshops. However the big names have the best airfoil designs, for gaining best performance in close
races. And the finishing of the new sails I’ve seen the last few years range from beautiful to fantastic.
Mainsails range from $850 to $1,250, genoas from $495 to $795 (prices as of 2015)
Also remember that you may have a local sailmaker. Give them a call. Don’t expect them match the
cheapest sweat-shop price, be ready to pay something for better and more personal service.
TRAILER- Also a big big part of the value. You see Buccs on yard trailers or those Home Depot kit trailers;
yes, this can work but it’s not good long-term gear. Condition of the trailer is important, but the way it
has been fitted to the boat is also important. Are the bunks in good contact with the hull? Are the rollers
mounted and adjusted so that the hull can launch & retrieve smoothly? How about the winch and the
mast prop? A well-cared for boat may be run down but all these details will have been attended.
TRAILER- Tires? Make sure they are inflated to within 10% of their rated pressure, even if they look a bit
cracked. If they are badly cracked or sun-rotted, plan to stop by the closest tire shop (call first!). If you
know how to grease bearings, it would be a good idea bring some tools (don’t forget the clean-up rags)
and make sure the bearings are good before hitting the road. I don’t worry about trailer lights & wiring,
because I always use a “light bar” that goes on the stern of the boat.
HULL- No cracks, duh. Actually, with older boats, spidery cracks in the gelcoat are very common and not
necessarily bad. Obvious structural cracks, well if you want to fix them then go ahead. Sight along the
bottom of the hull to see if it is ‘mushed in’ around the trailer supports.
Note- I consider a damaged hull to have zero monetary value. In fact, the owner should to have it hauled
out of his yard. A damaged boat –might- be worth considering, if everything else about the boat is
HULL- Gunwhale (should be smoothly curved & uniform); Mast Step (low or high); Hatches; Access; CB
trunk & gasket (look underneath!); Centerboard; Rudder
Note- when inspecting a hull, look out for critters. Wasps, ants, spiders & snakes… they like the boat too
RIG- First sight along the mast & boom, make sure they are not hooked or bent. Look for dimples in the
metal, and corrosion around fasteners. Look at the chainplates, especially inside the gunwhale where
they’re attached.
RIG (furler)- A major component is the roller-furling. Obviously you want a modern Harken roller, but
there are older/simpler versions that work well enough. The oldest system is a pipe in the jib luff, this
can work but is not optimal for many reasons. Unless the seller demonstrates it working perfectly,
assume one of these old pipe-luff rollers is non-functional and budget to replace it with a wire luff &
modern furler.
RIG (lines & blocks & cleats)- Inventory the rigging to see how much of the rigging is present &
functional. If my experience is any guide, any boat short of brand-new will have –something- missing or
broken. Main halyard & cleat; Mainsheet, blocks (ideally, the ones on the boom should be spread out),
and swivel cam-cleat; Main Outhaul, shackle & cleat (ideally internal to boom with pulley set close to
gooseneck); Main Downhaul; Boom vang (ideally 6:1 or more with swivel cam-cleat); Cunningham; Jib
Halyard and tensioner; Jib Sheets, blocks (ratchets on track at seat) & cleats; Jib Barber Haulers (few
Buccaneers are equipped with these, no worry); Jib Furling Line & cleat; Spinnaker Halyard and dousing
line, blocks & cleats; Spinnaker Sheets blocks (turning & ratchet) & cleats; Spinnaker Pole topping lift &
cleat; Spinnaker Pole hold-down & cleat; Twings/guy hooks; Rudder hold-down & cleat on tiller;
Rudder Uphaul & cleat (often the same as the hold-down, on tiller); CB hold-up & cleat (very important
for trailering, see if it really pulls and holds the centerboard –ALL- the way up); CB hold-down
Now, the Buccaneer is a simple boat. You could sail it with just the halyards & sheets, outhaul, and the
jib sheet blocks on the gunwhale. But it would a pain to have to constantly force the centerboard back
down as the speed of the boat brings it up, ditto the rudder. In fact, if the rudder tends to kick up, that
makes the boat much more difficult to steer! And you will want a vang the first time you start going
really hard on a broad reach or run. Then the ratchet blocks on those sheets, the first time you ever sail
with some, you will want some too because they are really nice and they make the boat a lot easier to
handle. They also cost $65 apiece.
One thing leads to another, and you could easily spend over $800 on line & blocks & cleats for rigging up
a Bucc for “just for fun” sailing. So it will pay dividends to double-check the running rigging and all
hardware –BEFORE- you buy.
Builder/Year Models: There is not really a direct correlation between age or builder and price. Some of
the older boats are real gems!
1968 ~1977 Chrysler, the “classic” Buccaneer. These have a reputation of being heavy, with clunky gear
like the standpipe bailers and pipe-luff furlers, which don’t work very well.
1978 ~1981 improved Chrysler, these are also heavy but have rigid hulls and several improvements. The
mast step is above the crown of the centerboard, making it much easier to raise & lower the mast. The
jib sheets are on the seat, improving the boats’ performance close-hauled. The spinnaker tube was an
option. Chrysler built thousands of Buccaneers and these are the majority of the ones on the market.
1981~1983 TMI basically an improved Chrysler, but after the gov’t bail-out forced Chrysler out of the
sailboat business.
1983 ~ 1989 the Bucc transformed into the Starwind 18 (manufactured by motorboat builder Wellcraft).
These boats are also heavy but not as well-built, and may not be recognized for class racing.
1989~ 2005 Gloucester and then Cardinal, same company renamed. Much better boats, lighter but
some are flexy; generally better rigged than any previous models.
2006 ~ present Nickels Boat Works, a high-quality one-design boatbuilder. The best Buccs ever built,
also the most expensive, for obvious reasons.

Bucc Buying guide

BNAC 2015 notes from Ed Montano

First off I would like to thank my wife/crew Shannon.  We have been a team in the Buccaneer for 9 years and

our teamwork during BNAC 2015 is what put us on top.  This win really meant a lot to us, as we have been

committed to it since we started dating and got into the Buccaneer class in 2006.  Thanks babe!


BNAC 2015 was all about adapting to conditions and boat handling.  We sailed the boat differently from how

we usually do, this is probably because we don’t usually sail in 20-25 knot, puffy and shifty

conditions.  Everybody should be using the “Ease Hike Trim” approach in anything over 10 knots of breeze, this

is very fast. Here is a great article on the subject.  In the article he says “If you try to sail a 420 the way you’d

sail an FJ, you’ll slip sideways almost as fast as you go forward.”  We sailed the boat more like a 420  when it

was 20+, we worked the jib AND main together.  Easing in the puff keep the boat flat, hike to get it as flat as

possible and trimming to accelerate and come up. This helped keep the boat balanced and fast.    The VMG

upwind was better than pinching, sticking the boat up and potentially slowing down.  We tried to keep the boat

moving fast first, then try to get the boat going higher.


Boat Setup Upwind: We kept moving the cars back throughout the regatta.  On the last day we had them ALL

the way back.  We had as much rig tension as we dared (like 425lbs.  I know, it sounds crazy).  We had the

vang on very hard to flatten the main.  We sailed with some Cunningham, about 50%. We also adjusted the

cloth tension on the jib to keep the draft forward (we adjust this in most conditions). I think a big reason why the

boat was fast in the very breeze conditions is our mainsheet tension.  Its noticeable how much the headstay

sags when you ease the mainsheet, so by easing the jib it allows us to keep some sheet tension on the main

keeping the jib (forestay) from sagging.


Downwind:  Easing the vang was critical  as we approached the windward mark, not easing probably would

have broken something at the bareaway. Other boats were faster than us downwind, so ask them about

speed!  Looks like braveness pays off until it doesn’t, we played it pretty conservatively.  We just tried to keep

the boat under the sails and when the wind piped up, we did heat it up and plane.  If we were afraid to gybe

with  the chute up, we would just hold that course a little longer, douse then gybe and jib reach to the leeward

mark. About 5 boats capsized at the finished line and finished capsized.  This looked to be because they were

sailing by the lee to make the finish.  Sailing by the lee in that much wind can end poorly, you’re better off

gybing ,even dousing and gybing.


We didn’t have that great of starts (except for our port tack start in race 4, see pic ) and our downwind speed

wasn’t that great.  Teamwork, staying upright, upwind boat speed and upwind tactics were king in this regatta.


We look forward to hosting BNAC 2016 at the Racine Yacht Club August 8-12.  Mark your calendars!  The

Racine Yacht club and the Kenosha Yacht Club (home of Fleet 15) are co-hosting the event.  We already have

had a lot of communications about the event and it is looking to be a great time.  See you in Wisconsin, the

land of beer, brats, cheese and no hurricanes except the drink!


Ed Montano

Atrevida 5223

BNAC 2016 August 8-12, Racine, WI @ Racine Yacht Club

Winter is here, time to work on our Bucc’s, store them and start planning what events to attend in 2016. Definitely mark your calendars for BNAC ’16 which will be in Racine, WI on August 8-12, 2016.

Loose Schedule
Monday: Aug, 8 – Measure/Practice/Setup Welcome Party
Tuesday: Race Day 1/Annual Meeting/Crew Party
Wednesday: Race Day 2/TBA
Thursday: Race Day 3/TBA
Friday: Race Day 4/Awards

Racine Yacht Club is a great facility with a very established race program and regularly holds championship Regattas. Kenosha Yacht Club’s Fleet 15 will be lending a hand for the off the water duties and promises to put together a great event. We look forward to getting together with you. Mark your calendars. More details to come.

Some photos of Racine

Thank you.  David Neely

BNAC 2015 …and the winners are…

Congratulations to Ed & Shannon Montano for taking first place in a rather convincing BNAC performance.

Congratulations as well to Tim Olkowski for winning the B-Fleet & being forever banished from the B-fleet!

Here is a link to the full results, more stories to come soon!


2015 BNAC bothFleets



Ed & Shannon




Tim(right) & Scotty

Nomination Period for National Committee Officers is now Open!


The Online Nomination period or three National Committee positions is now open.   The Closing date is 10/11/15.


The Positions are:


  1. Secretary/Treasurer


  1. Publicity Chair


  1. Membership Chair


The Position descriptions and responsibilities are described in The Buccaneer Class Constitution.


Our current Secretary/Treasurer, Tony Chapman has agreed to serve for an additional two years.


Additionally our current Publicity Chair, David Neely has agreed to serve for an additional two years.


The National Committee endorses both of them for these positions and is seeking a nomination for each along with a second.  Please show your support as well be Nominating them and  making a Second for each.


We need to also Nominate and Second a Class Member that will serve on the National Committee as the Membership Chair.


Please discuss this with your fleet members and help us fill this Chair position by Nominating someone who will accept this position.


Voting will commence on 10/12/15 and close on 10/25/15 in a separate posting


Thank you,


Larry Schmida


Buccaneer Class Association Commodore


Schurr Fall Sails Sale

Schurr Fall Sale

Buccaneers Racing to fight Leukemia

The Leukemia Cup Regatta series is held around the country to raise funds & awareness in order to help fight leukemia and other blood born cancers.

Buccaneer sailors have raised thousands (probably hundreds of thousands) of dollars over the years to help this cause.

2015 will be no different…

Try to get out and attend one of these fun, and inspirational events…


Birmingham Sailing Club Sept 19-20:    (Birmingham, Alabama)

Besides having a justifiable pride in my home club for our friendly people and great facilities, and the obvious worthiness of the cause, I’m also proud that the whole Leukemia Cup movement started on my home lake before being taken nationwide by Gary Jobson. I’ve been lucky enough to have sailed in a half a dozen Leukemia Cup regattas around the country and am regularly reminded of how genereous the members of the sailing  community can be when they get behind a cause.

Save the date and I’ll be putting up regatta info soon. Let me know if you are thinking of coming so I can tell the regatta chair, “Order the Buccaneer Trophies, I have a fleet!”

Rick Scarborough

Sangiune #5258

Potomac River Sailing Association- Sept 19-20  (Alexandria, Virginia)

Sailing in view of the national monument on the upper Potomac river is a wonderful experience…and with a great fleet.

read more and register at: http://potomacriversailing.org/


2015 Special Buccaneer Awards


Buccaneer Class Association

2015 Special Trophies

In 2005 a new Award and Competition were initiated by Scott Laundry to honor the designers of our boat, the Buccaneer 18.



2015 Rod Macalpine-Downie & Dick Gibbs Trophy

The Buccaneer one-design Competition will be named for MacAlpine-Downie/Gibbs.  The names of the captain and crew that win the regatta shall be recorded on a perpetual plaque.  The winners will have the honor of holding the plaque until the next competition.  The time and location of the MacAlpine-Downie/Gibbs Cup Regatta shall be at the discretion of the BCA Commodore.  The regatta will be a venue other than the Buccaneer North American and Mid-Winter championships and will be designated a class-sanctioned regatta.  The hope is that this will serve as a high profile regatta that can help foster or acknowledge growth.  It may also serve to provide geographic balance.



This year’s MDG Trophy will be awarded by the Kenosha’s Fleet 15 at the August 15th & 16th Kenosha WI Regatta.  Fleet 15 is the expected host of the 2016 BNAC and this will be a great way to get a feel of Lake Michigan.  In subsequent years, the MGD Trophy will be awarded by the Fleet that will be the host of the next BNAC.



2015 Rod Macalpine-Downie & Dick Gibbs Cup (aka The Quaich)

One-design racing helps sustain our class but so do dedicated people that help it survive and thrive.  Some Buccaneer sailors directly reflect Dick Gibb’s dedication to the preservation of the design.  Others plow energy into the Buccaneer spirit that is part Corinthian, part pirate, and mostly fun.  While many contribute, there are usually a few who stand above.  Each year one of these Buccaneers will be designated the “Cup-Bearer” for the MacAlpine-Downie/Gibbs Cup.  The BCA Commodore will select the Cup Bearer for distinction and contribution to Buccaneer sailing.  The Cup Bearer will have his or her name recorded on the perpetual plaque.  The Cup bearer will also retain the award cup for the year.

In a nod to Rod’s Scottish roots a Scottish Quaich (pronounced quake) has been chosen for the award cup.  The Quaich is a shallow drinking vessel that is traditionally used to offer a drink of welcome and farewell to travelers.  It is sometimes called a “cup of friendship”.  The Quaich is ideal for an award to be associated with Buccaneers gathering from afar and for honoring friends.



The 2015 Quaich will be awarded at the 2015 BNAC’s hosted by Fleet 69 in early October.  The “Cup Bearer” will be selected by the BCA Commodore.   However I would truly appreciate your input, please send your thoughts to me at bcacommodore@gmail.com or Lschmida@gmail.com .



J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie

By Dick Gibbs, his design partner (beginning in 1964).
(from Buccaneer website)

J.R. (Rod) Macalpine-Downie
Born, Appin, Argyll, Scotland.
Gained his interest in sailing and science from his father, an offshore sailor and specialist in hypervelocity artillery shells and armor to resist his newest weapon.
Rod won the King’s Scholar Award at Eaton. He majored in biology and seriously considered a career as a concert violinist. One of his professors at Eaton said he remembered him well, because an IQ can be accurately tested to 170, but his: went off the scale. While chicken farming in Scotland in 1961, he saw a Shearwater Cat and although he never designed a boat, concluded he could do a better job. The first boat was Thai MK4 which won all six races of the 1962 European, “one of a kind” regatta. He followed that with the winning of the first International Catamaran Challenge in 1963, and had seven more consecutive wins. He was the first with the UNA rig and wing masts. A series of crossbow designs won 5 consecutive competitions. Players Fastest sailboat, Trophies at a top official speed of 41 knots, the last of which sailed in 1984, unofficially at 60+ knots. At the time of his death, a new crossbow was underway, which he believed was capable of 70+ knots. The partnership with Dick Gibbs in 1964 put 80 boats in to commercial production, resulting in 15,000+ boats. Of all his designs, it is probably the BUCCANEER that ended up being the most popular and commercially successful.
Dick Gibbs
American boat builder and designer best known for his partnership with Rod Macalpine-Downie. The Gibbs Boat Company was located near Toledo Ohio. (Destroyed by fire 1n 1961 and then re-established in La Salle Michigan.) Besides a number of other boats, Gibbs was building a number of racing catamarans and it was probably at this time that the partnership began. Gibbs Boat Co. was purchased by MFG sometime around 1972 and Gibbs became the head of the SailMFG division. Gibbs also had his own sail loft where the sails for a number of the MFG models were made. After SailMFG was closed and sold in about 1979, Gibbs and Macalpine-Downie developed a number of boats for Chrysler Marine. The most successful of these was the BUCCANEER 18. The 2 worked together until Macalpine-Downies untimely death in 1986.


Bucc Sailors raise $ for Youth Sailing!

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