Articles in this section:
In the mean time, here are Peter Poland’s ‘Cruising Thoughts’ from 1982.
‘A lot of Impalas like to cruise, often shorthanded and with small crews. The boat performs a cruising role admirably. The following ideas may be of assistance.
1. The Impala is endowed with a very large sail plan compared to run of the mill ‘grockle boats’ . This gives her top performance and excellent speed in very light airs. It is worth remembering, however, that the No 1 Genoa is really a racing sail or light weather cruising sail. Many owners are accustomed to the need to hand up the No 1 in all weathers up to a heavy blow. The Impala is not like this. Her main drive comes from the mainsail. For family cruising the No1 is a bore since it takes longer to tack and lays on full horsepower. If you are not going flat out, just use the No 2. It is an easier sail for little people to handle. The working jib is also a very useful sail for cruising. It it is blowing around a 5, use the working jib. The boat still has ample canvas, still goes very fast, and is very easy to crew.
2. Some owners have expressed concern at overloading the Impala when cruising. Again, this is perhaps a misconception. The boat goes just as fast with an extra 400lbs or so of weight aboard, indeed the extra weight digs the boat about 1/2 inch deeper into the water and makes life very easy and steady for a cruising family crew. The overall message is do not worry about putting more weight into the boat.
Many thousands of miles have been covered by Impalas on cruises. Some have fitted Autohelm self-steering, and very good reports have been received.