Monday, September 14, 2020


 I thought that boat counselling was a a win win idea, that would help sailors and would allow me some income without having any real cost for the ones that are buying a new boat (and in most cases a discount), but naively I thought that the ones that follow this blog, were honest people and in fact I have had excellent interactions with many followers, but as in any group I guess there are all sorts of people and it seems I have had bad luck lately. 

To give you an idea just two cases, one an American with whom I worked for several months contacting many boat builders and dealers helping him choosing among many, not only the better boat for him but the better price and equipment (with discounts in some cases over 10% and my commission paid by the dealer). 

At some point he says to me: I changed my mind, I am not buying any boat, thanks for your help. 

Probably he is used to people working for free and did not occur to him asking me how much it would be fair to pay for the many dozens of hours I had worked for him. Note that before starting working I asked him if he was serious, a time table was agreed, one that included a meeting in Dusseldorf next January for a final choice and a command of the boat for late 2021 early 2022. 

But that was nothing compared with the case of a French, Mr Bertrand Debian, that contacted me for help in finding a dealer that accepted his Dufour 412 as part of the deal in exchange for a new boat. He could not find any. 

As you can imagine it is a difficult time to sell a boat now, Covid and all, and I contacted many dealers and shipyards that offered boats that fitted the type he said he was looking for (fast monohull for a circumnavigation). 

After a lot of searching I was able to provide him a shipyard that would take his boat as part of the deal and also a dealer that worked with several brands and that offered him not only a better value for the used boat (compared to the shipyard) as well as a 6 to 8% discount (depending on the boat he chose) and a bigger discount (12%) if the Dufour was not part of the deal. Note that these discounts did not include my 2% commission that was paid directly by the dealer. 

Because he is 70 years old and his wife wanted a catamaran, I convinced him that probably a boat like a XP44 was not the more indicated craft for sailing basically solo on a circumnavigation at his age, that it was a demanding boat that implied a sportive attitude to sailing and a very good fitness, a boat with a huge B/D that was designed to sail with considerable heel to take advantage of the ballast. 

In the end we opted for a Nautitech 40, the more sportive of the “cheap” catamarans (the only one that fit his budget), a boat that is very well suited for the trade winds and able, on those conditions, to sail easily at double digit speeds. 

He and his wife visited the boat (in France), loved it, talked with an owner and the choice of the boat was settled. In the meantime I had posted on the blog (no charge for him) an advertise for selling his Dufour, that it was in fact a good deal because it was equipped for long range cruising and sold at a good price. The post was seen about 1900 times. 

I sent him several contacts of sailors that were interested on his boat and that have contacted me. I don’t now if it was through my blog that he sold his boat, but the boat was sold and that was very good for him because instead of a 6% discount he would have a 12% discount on the Nautitech and the dealer was able to deliver the boat where he chose, including at the nearest port to the Nautitech Shipyard (France). 

It was time to make the contract, all terms had been defined with months in advance, but then I received an email where Mr Bertrand Debain asked me to try a better deal with the dealer. 

I told him that 12% discount plus my 2% commission was a great deal, that the terms of the deal were established long ago and that I was not going to ask a change on the deal but that if he could find better, providing he or the dealer pay my 2% commission, there was no problem. 

After some days without any reply I received an email saying that tragedy had struck his family, that his wife was hospitalised with Covid and that he had probably been infected too, that all his plans about buying a boat were abandoned. He thanked me for my work ….and nothing more. 

Two weeks later I received the news (through Nautitech) that he had ordered a Nautitech 40 through another dealer. 

So, this is the type of people I am dealing with, and I don’t want to have any dealing with the likes of Mr Bertrand Debain, even if I am paid for, much less will I allow again to be swindled by them. 

So, apologizing to the vast majority of honorable sailors on the blog, I will change the terms of any future contract and I would charge a 1% retainer (over the approximate value of a boat) at the beginning of my work. 

Instead of trusting the ones that are interested in my services I ask them to trust me. If there is a considerable work of my part and the client wants for some reason to abandon the project of buying a boat the money will not be given back, unless I find that there is reason for restitution of a part or all of it. If a boat is bought I will give back the 1% retainer and I will receive from the shipyard or the dealer my 2% commission. 

I maintain that I will only offer deals where the total amount to be paid by the client (including commission) will be no more than the official price of the sailboat. There are some cases where I can have my 2% commission from the shipyard but no discount for the client (because they have a policy of not making any discount) others where I can get 5 to over 10% discount. 

I know that this way of doing business is not nice and goes against what I am and the way I have done business all my life but I hope you understand that if I am available to help the ones that want help in choosing a boat I will make sure that I end not pissed or abused by dishonest people. 

Whishing all the best and a nice sailing season,


Tuesday, September 1, 2020


This is a post originally published in my facebook page in Portuguese, but since it relates to information regarding one of the best places to winter a boat on the Med, I guess it may be of interest to many of you and I decided to publish it here as well: 

I liked Kusadasi so much that I'm going to leave the boat here for the winter. It is an old place, like all the excellent natural ports, with a poetic name: “ birds’ island”. This island closes the natural harbour and is crowned by a Byzantine castle, well, today it is a peninsula because a pedestrian walk connects it to the mainland. 

The place has been inhabited continuously since history is recorded and certainly many tens of millennia before that. The news of the first settlement dates back 5000 years and the nations who lived here were numerous, however it was always a small port, in the shadow of the great port of Ephesus. 

Only when Ephesus silted and became unusable, already in the low middle ages, did Kusadasi gain importance and become the main port of the region attracting Byzantine merchants but also Venetians and Genovese. The Italians called it “Scala Nuova”.

Today Kusadasi, a city of 70,000 inhabitants, is decidedly geared towards tourism, which is its main economic activity and the Marina, which is excellent, reinforced the quality of the tourist offer that until then focused on the proximity of Ephesus and Pamukkale.
Unlike most of the marinas that are turned to themselves, with shops and restaurants isolated from the urban mesh, here there was a master hand creating an aerial pedestrian walk with beautiful views that allowed under it a great number of stores, facing not the marina but the main street and furthermore creating, in the centre, a new square shaded with awnings and full of esplanades. 

This hub originated a second urban centre because on the other side of the avenue the old commercial establishments were quickly replaced by new, better quality developments, especially bars, restaurants and hotels. 

We therefore have a city with two centres, a modern one and a traditional one, with a succession of Turkish bazaars mixed with jewellery, the usual Turkish confusion that after an adaptation period becomes interesting. 

And not less interesting are the prices that maybe because of Covid crisis are practically as low as in Finike, the traditional option for live-aboards, a place that compared to Kusadasi looks like utterly provincial. 

My annual contract with Kusadasi Marina, after some bargaining, ended up costing, after several discounts, only 400 euros more than it would cost in Finike and the marinas are unparalleled in what concerns surroundings or facilities, with relevance to the sanitary facilities that in Finike are clean but have already many years of use and here are new, with double size showers, luxury hotel finishes .... and air conditioning. 

Also available a room with several washing machines and a staff of unmatched sympathy and helpfulness. I checked the technical services, asked for prices for various interventions (anti-fouling and hull valves) and everything seemed fine and no more expensive than in Finike and the prices in Finike were very good. Regarding arriving here there is an international airport in Izmir, at about 1 hour distance. 

Another thing that is important to me is a cheap hotel to stay while I am preparing the boat either for the winter or for the “saison”. We found one near the marina, on the main street for 350 TL with breakfast and dinner included (40 euros for two). I found that too good to be true and went for dinner there ... and what if I tell you you really eat well ?! 

I'm delighted with my new base port and I've already made new friends, Emiliano Pasqualetti who knew me from the blog came to visit me and brought with him a friend, Sílvio Pennetti, both friendly and very interesting, Italians living in Izmir with the boats in the marina. 

Silvio made a point of offering me a beautiful and huge Italian flag, because the one I had on the boat, already in bad condition and which I was preparing to replace with a similar one, was not the appropriate one, because it was not a “navy” flag , as it should be. Well, anyway, beautiful flag. Thanks Silvio! 

If someone is interested in making this their base port, I can get to "friends" the same discount that I negotiated for myself. I made this deal with the marina manager, who is a friendly and competent lady because there were some French friends who had been with us at Finike that were interested (and who already decided to stay here). 

This special price is therefore extended to all followers of the blog who want to stay here this year: 28,935 TL for a 41 feet including two traveler-lift services, electricity and water. For this price I have to talk before with the manager and introduce you. You will not only benefit from the discounts I have managed but will have also a 13 month contract (instead of 12 months) being the extra month free (I also benefit from another month in my contract). 

In addition to the quality of Kusadasi the great advantage is that when making a contract with a marina of the Setur group we are entitled to stay free (up to one month) in any other of the 10 Setur marinas that are spread along the Turkish coast and one on the Greek island of Lesbos (Mytilene). 

In the last contract, we seized this opportunity and stayed several days at each marina, taking the opportunity to get to know the places, renting a car to tour around the region. And we will continue to do so, the next one being Çesme where we plan to arrive by the end of the week and then maybe go all the way to Istambul ( Kalamis ve Fenerbahçe Marina ) to visit the city. 

I have been sailing in Italy, Greece and Turkey for the last 8 years and this is one of the nicest deals I have been offered. Nice marinas at that price you can find some what you cannot find is the possibility of having 10 marinas at your disposal for the price of one. I thought you would like to know.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


As many of you have noticed I am not posting anymore and the most awaited sailing time has come, this year very late, due to the Covid shit.

I am finally on the water and posting from an anchorage that served the ancient city of Myra, the one where Santa Claus lived and where his tomb is still much visited, mostly by Russians.

If you want to follow my wanderings you can do it here:

Saturday, June 27, 2020


It is always good news when small shipyards that offer sailboats at a price between mass production builders and high-quality shipyards make a new boat. Unfortunately, it is also a rare event, with those brands struggling to survive. It is the case of Dehler and Azuree, without a new boat for several years and Salona, that launched the last one five years ago, and now is presenting a new 46ft Yacht.

It would be expected that these brands, that offer a better quality product at a very reasonable price, would not have a problem on the market. But sailboat yacht market is a tricky one, sometimes what appears logic does not work.

Most buyers look for the less expensive mass-produced sailboats and are not interested to pay more to have a better sailboat (many don't even understand that they are better) and the few that want and have the money for more, want to have yachts from brands that can offer them not only the quality but the satisfaction of owning a yacht from a prestigious and well-known brand with a clearly superior quality interior, even if they have to pay much more.

This situation, that resulted in the lack of demand for this market segment, has led these companies to struggle to survive and not properly to a very successful history. I have resumed Salona's situation on this post 4 years ago:

Since then Salona has been fully restructured with a new team, More Yachts experienced trouble, and I do not have a positive feedback from them, you can read about the subject here:

I have exchanged some emails with Marin Donadini, the new CEO, that has come from the Naval Industry to the Yacht industry two years ago, and he tells me that he was aware of Salona's past situation but that things changed and they have had no complaints from clients in the last year.

They are not only making a new 46ft but they also have plans for new smaller boats in the next two years.

I want to believe that this time, after several CEOs in the last 8 years, Donadini, is the right one and that the relation between CEO and investors has become an effective one, because in the past the lack of success was not only due to the CEO but mainly due to the investors, that had not understood that without investment there is no successful yacht business, and that a strong part of that investment has to be the promotion of the product.

Salona 460, below Oceanis 46.1
Anyway, the new 460, that is, in reality, a 44.3ft boat (hull length) is offered at a very interesting price, 259 000 euros, a middle price between high-quality yachts like X4-6 (44.3ft - 424 700 euros) XP44 (43.6ft - 327 400) or  Grand Soleil 44P (44.0ft - 319 000 euros), and mass production boats, like the Oceanis 46.1 (44.8ft - 220 000 euros).

The price is closer to the one of  Beneteau but the way Salona is built is much nearer to Grand Soleil 44, both using vinylester resin (epoxy on X-Yachts) and they all use vacuum infusion foam-cored hulls and the Salona even uses a steel structure, not very different from the one used on the more expensive X-Yacht, the X4-6.

The Oceanis 46.1, in what building is concerned, has almost nothing in common with these boats, particularly in what regards the hull, that is built using much cheaper polyester resins on a monolithic hull and using as internal structure a huge liner that they call a monolithic structural "contre-moule", that is bonded to the hull.

Only in what regards deck the building technique is similar, even if Beneteau uses a system that they call injection (same as Jeanneau), versus vacuum infusion on the others. They all use foam-cored GRP decks but while the resin on all the others is vinylester or epoxy, on the Beneteau a much less expensive and lower quality, polyester resin is used.

The 460 is designed by J&J, the cabinet that designed the first Salona models before they started to be designed by Ker and Cossutti.
Above X4-6, XP44, GS44P

I have to say that I don't understand the change and even if J&J has designed the most successful Salonas, the 38, 41 and the 44, I don't believe the boats' success had much to do with the designer, the same way I don't believe the not so big 380 success, or the relative unsuccess of the Ker 60ft, had to do with the designs or designers.

It seems they have never attained with other designers cooperation that they had experienced with J&J and that the production problems they experienced had there their origin and that's probably the reason they decided to renew the partnership with J&J.

Salona 380
I don't like their designs as much as I like Ker or Cossutti designs, but they are certainly a competent yacht cabinet and I have no doubt the boat will sail well, as it was the case with the Salonas they designed before.

The design looks elegant, a tad conservative, but not too much, a well-balanced yacht with medium beam, a transom closed by a large swim platform, with not all beam brought back. All in all, I would say a nice looking boat except in what regards the huge swim platform that makes the transom look massive. A solution like the one used on X Yachts or Grand Soleil, with a smaller swim platform, would have been preferable and would make the boat look better.

Salona 460, below Oceanis 46.1, XP4-6, XP44
I prefer the Salona 380 design, by Cossutti, that looks more contemporary. The 460 design represents a break with that tendency and a return to the origins,  a kind of evolution of the Salona 41 design, the last Salona commissioned to J&J. Nothing wrong with that, I have sailed the Salona 41 and it is a great boat, but I doubt that commercially this is the right move for Salona.

J&J like IRC/ ORC boats with not too much ballast. That solution can have advantages in racing, under certain conditions, especially inshore and represents the opposite tendency followed by X-yachts, that are designed by Niels Jeppesen, that believes in boats with lots of ballast.

Even so, regarding the new Salona 460 when I say not too much ballast, I am not talking about boats with a  light ballast like the Oceanis 46.1.

Let's start by looking at B/D to understand what I mean:  Salona 460 has 29.3%B/D with a 2.44m torpedo keel; Oceanis 46.1 has 25.8%B/D with a much less efficient iron massive bulbed keel with less draft (2.35m); X4-6 has a 41.3%B/D on a 2.30m torpedo keel; XP44 has a 44.5%B/D on a 2.30m torpedo keel and the Grand Soleil 44s has a 30%B/D with a 2.50m torpedo keel.

We can see that in what regards B/D the X-yachts are really in another championship. That has partially to do with being narrower boats (XP44) that need to have more RM coming from the keel to compensate the lesser beam, but that gives them also much better safety stability and AVS.

Salona 460, below Oceanis 46.1
The Salona 460 and the Grand Soleil 44P are not far away, but the Oceanis, with its smaller draft, less efficient bulbed iron keel and much smaller B/D, is out of place in this group, and even if its shape looks not very different from the others, its place should be among Jeanneaus and Dufours, the ones he should be compared with.

There are also differences in what regards beam: Salona 460 has 4.20m, Oceanis 46.1- 4.50m, X4-6 - 4.27m, XP44 - 4.07m, and the GS 44P - 4.30m. XP 44, the one with the narrower hull, is also the one with the bigger B/D and the Oceanis, by far the beamier boat, is the one with less B/D.

X4-6, below XP44 and GS44P
In what concerns displacement the Salona 460 has 9800kg, the Oceanis 46.1-10597kg, the X4-6 - 10900kg, the XP44 - 8650kg and the GS44P  - 9000kg. Note that the much lighter XP44, carries more 1274kg ballast than the heavier Oceanis 46.1 (+ 1974kg displacement) and that it is only possible due to the XP44 being built with top materials and top building techniques.

On the Oceanis, because they have not much weight in ballast, only possible due to the big hull form stability obtained through a very beamy hull, they manage a relatively light boat, using simple building techniques and low-quality material.

That allows the Oceanis a very good performance downwind with strong winds, as all the press has pointed out, but not such a good performance in light wind, an average performance upwind with medium to strong winds and waves, and of course, a smaller safety stability and a smaller AVS.

I say average performance upwind with stronger winds because I am referring to all boats, but if we are comparing it only with these ones, the right word is mediocre and not average because all of them will sail much better, by far, with special relevance for the XP 44, that on those conditions would be faster than any of the other boats.

On the new GS44P they haven't yet announced the sail area but the Salona 44 should have a similar cruising sail performance, due to a not very different hull and a not very different B/D, the GS44P just slightly faster on most conditions, being a slightly more powerful boat due to a lesser weight, slightly bigger B/D and a bit more beam. On the racecourse probably the GS 44R will outperform the Salona 460. The GS44R can be made all in carbon and it is designed by Matteo Polli, one of the best ORC race designers.

S 460, below  O 46.1, X 4-6, XP44, GS44P
Between the two there is an announced 60 000 euros difference but probably that difference will be bigger because the GS 44P comes with not much sail hardware, for a performance boat, and you will have to add several expensive items that are normally standard on Salonas, like mainsheet traveller, genoa traveller and 6 winches (instead of four on the GS).

Traditionally Salonas have a good interior but on Grand Soleils the quality and mostly the design are a bit better.

On the new 48GSP, the last boat from the same series, there was one detail I didn't like which probably can be modified but except that, all were of very good taste, great quality and impeccable.

Salona has the know-how to do very well and I saw on the Salona 60 a very high-quality interior, but on smaller boats, the interior, even if good, has not the same quality of design and finish of Grand Soleil. Regarding this particular boat, we have to wait and see, but I would be surprised if it was an exception.

If we compare Salona 460 with Oceanis 46.1 (and I am considering this comparison because some buyers that are on the market for an Oceanis or a Jeanneau, can also be possible Salona clients) the difference in SA/D, 24.2 to Salona, to 22.8 on the Oceanis will not reflect the real difference in performance, being the Salona mutch faster upwind and in light winds.

Only downwind with 20kt winds and over the Oceanis will probably offer a close performance being also easier on the autopilot and easier to explore, but I am talking about an Oceanis maximized for performance and far away from the standard boat that, with a furling main and an auto-tack jib, has only 17.9 SA/D. I guess that many, looking at the shape of the two boats will assume that the Oceanis 46.1 will be faster on all conditions or as fast, and that is certainly a mistake.

Regarding prices, we can see that between the two standard boats the Oceanis 46.1 is 39 000 euros less expensive than the Salona 460, but this difference in price does not reflect the difference in sail hardware between the two boats: the Oceanis comes standard with only two winches, the Salona with 6, the Oceanis comes standard with a self-tacking jib and no traveller for the main, the Salona comes standard (looking at the pictures) with two more expensive genoa tracks and a mainsheet traveller.

If you are satisfied with the sail performance given by the standard Oceanis, with an auto-tacking jib as and a furling main, then the difference in price will be the one above and the Beneteau will be a relatively slow sailboat under most conditions having only a 17.9 SA/D, but if that is OK, then 39 000 euros is a considerable difference and it makes sense to have the Beneteau, especially if you are doing coastal cruising and don't care much for upwind performance with stronger winds.

But if you want a faster or more seaworthy and well-built boat, you will have to spend a lot more in extras, you would have to pay for 2 extra winches, two extra genoa tracks, an extra taller mast, an extra 110% genoa, the extra boom with automatic reefing system, the extra bigger mainsail, a backstay tensioner, many extra clutches and blocks and even so you would not have traveller for the main and would have less two winches than on the Salona.

Salona steel keel structure.
And I suspect that with the taller mast you should also have the performance keel, a torpedo one similar to the one of the Salona ( with a lead torpedo) but with a bigger draft (2.65 to 2,44m) that giving to the boat a slightly smaller 24.7%B/D increases, in fact, the RM, more than compensating the lowering of the keel CG, the difference of less 159kg ballast.

If you pay for all this then the difference in price for the Salona 460 will be very small, if any, and the Salona is still a faster and better-built boat with better safety stability.

Regarding interior design, I would have to see the Salona 460 interior for comparing it but small companies seem not to understand the importance of having the interior designed by a top design cabinet instead of designing it at "home" and I would not be surprised if the interior from Oceanis offers a nicer design.

The Salona layout seems functional but the solution for the saloon is in what regards apparent space worse than the one on the Oceanis. On Oceanis the chart table is on the same side of the galley while on Salona it is on the opposite side, a small detail that is an important one because, while on the Oceanis, seating on the saloon main seat you will be looking at a large open space, that includes the galley and the other side of the saloon, on the Salona you will be looking at a much smaller open space because the large head occupies all the space opposite the galley.

Regarding quality and interior materials, taking as reference older Salonas, I doubt Oceanis will match Salonas's quality. In what concerns sails, Oceanis comes with basic sails and I don't know if that is the case with the Salona. Normally more expensive boats don't include sails on the standard price. Anyway for having an Oceanis closer in performance to a Salona you would need other sails than the ones that are offered on the standard boat, namely a bigger main and a genoa instead of the jib.

Bottom point, as you can see the Salona 460 can be for some that, due to price are interested in mass-production yachts, but want a fast and seaworthy boat, a very interesting option, one that will make a lot more sense than to spend a lot of money to upgrade an Oceanis 46.1 to have a good sail performance, but a lower quality sailboat.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Salona is on the right track again. According to the information provided by the shipyard since November last year till now they have produced 12 boats and that is a healthy number for a small shipyard that almost went bankrupt some years ago.

Anyway, a yacht can always be bought with bank insurance, that will return you your money in case the shipyard fails to deliver. That costs about 4% of the boat value but does not need to cover all the boat cost since a part of the boat can be paid at delivery and obviously, you will only pay that part if they deliver the boat as contractualized.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


The Viko S35 is a very good looking boat, an Italian design by Sergio Lupoli but made in Polland. The hull design looks good to me and having visited the boat twice I can only say nice things regarding the finish, taking into account the boat price, but some of the sail hardware looked under dimensioned and they didn't let me have a look at the boat structure. The dealer was not forthcoming regarding more information neither seemed to have much knowledge about how the boat was built.

You can read my impressions and thoughts about the design and visits to the Viko S35, here:

Now I have more information, the boat was test sailed by the Dutch Zeilen magazine, by the German Yacht magazine and we have the opinion of the first Dutch owner. Of course, many more boats were sold, some are doing charter and we have only the opinion of one owner,  but I do think it is a relevant one because he is not bashing his new boat and what he says seems honest and clear. 

Besides most of what he says is confirmed by the opinion of a German owner of a S30, that loves his boat, and it seems that the "problems" and advantages on the two models are very similar.

Basically what they say, and it is supported especially by the Dutch tester, is that the boat, if one intends to have a normally equipped sailboat, is much more expensive than what the standard price lets you believe. Many things that are standard on boats like Beneteau, Jeanneau, Bavaria and Hanse here are options, and that says much about the lack of equipment since those mass production boats come already with very little standard equipment.

On the images of the Dutch sail test we can see that the Viko 35S has apparently a good sail performance but the tester complained that the boat when over-canvassed lost steerage and turned to the wind too easily. On the German test they did not report that and remarked a good sail performance, with the boat making 8.0 kt with not too much wind.

Maybe there was more wind on the Dutch test or they were sailing the boat with the shallow draft,(1.6m) that has a smaller rudder, anyway on the German test, made by a very experienced sailor, they liked the way the boat sailed, even if that boat was very well equipped and far from a standard boat.

They pointed out that the water tank is below average as well as 15hp engine, both too small making it unavoidable to pay more for an optional 30hp one and bigger tankage. On the Dutch test they also pointed out that the boat comes only with a battery (house and engine), the blocks were undersized and didn't work well, a front sail furler is extra and that the mainsail has only one reef.

The owner of the Viko used on the Dutch test sail paid for it 106 650 euros, meaning 48 330 euros, almost 100% in extras over the 58 320 euros standard price boat (prices without VAT) and even so he had to spend 5000 euros more to substitute undersized equipment and had to do plenty work himself, because the factory did nothing, and stop replying to his emails.

He also said that the interior of the boat was in order, except in what regards electric installation that he says is substandard. The bigger problem had to do with deck layout, sail hardware and installation errors. He remarked also that the boat sailed well.

It seems that the Dutch dealer stopped activity as Viko's dealer and I don't know if some of the things the owner complains about were not his responsibility since many things on a boat are mounted by the dealer.

Anyway, the boat was delivered with lots of installation errors, like for instance stoppers for 10/12 lines, when the boat uses 8mm lines, bad running rigging with no functional blocks and VHF without an antenna.

The German dealer is the main Viko dealer and I don't know if the lesser problems with the German boat have to do with a more experienced dealer. I hope many of these problems will be smoothed with time and in fact they were not reported on the German sail test.

 It is unacceptable the factory refusing to assume any responsibility for obviously inadequate equipment and even worse, refusing further contact with the owner. I have heard similar complaints from owners of smaller boats in what regards the shipyard replying to owners.

So, is it all bad? Well, no, if we look at the boat characteristics, namely design characteristics, including B/D, the Viko S35 is interesting by itself and if we compare prices, for instance with the one of an Oceanis 35.1 (96 000 euros standard), we will see that the Viko 35s is considerably less expensive. Sure, the Oceanis 35.1 comes standard with more equipment but it is far from being a sail away boat.

To put it at the same level as the Viko S35 used on the sail test, probably you would have to spend 35000 euros more and the difference between the two boats similarly equipped would still be very significant, about 25/20 000 euros.

Another important factor is that in what regards boat structure we know how the Oceanis is built, and we know, by the experience of many similar boats built by Beneteau and many 35.1 already made, that the boat is solid enough for not losing the keel (unless the structure is weakened by grounding).

 On the Viko S35 they don't show the boat structure to anybody, there is no information or photos from the factory and the one I saw on the Viko S30 did not impress me positively, namely due to the absence of substantial backplates and due to what appeared to me to be few and not substantial keel bolts.

Nevertheless, the boat has a good stability and that means also a good sail potential and it can be interesting for coastal cruising or even some club racing. The possibility of buying an underequipped boat inexpensively (it comes standard with sails) can be an interesting proposition for the ones that choose to upgrade themselves the boat, every year, as more money is available, doing all the work.

 In the meantime, they can still cruise and sail the boat and if the work is done by them, the upgrade will be less expensive than if it was made by the shipyard, with the advantage of choosing the material they want (blocks, furler) at the best price and having all the special pieces available by the factory, like a cockpit table, a transom swim platform or a bowsprit with an anchor stand.

If you are interested in a Viko S35, to know its qualities and drawbacks I would not advise you to go to a boat show where all you would see, or they would let you see, is of relatively good quality, namely the interior and the gelcoat finish. I would strongly recommend you to charter the boat on the Baltic, where it is available for not much money. Talk with the guys that make the boat maintenance for the charter company and you will have some real insight about possible problems on the Viko S35 or the absence of them. Then, please, tell us your feedback :-)