Wednesday, October 13, 2021


And with good reason. The Hanse were designed by Judel/Vrolijk, this one is designed by Berret/Racopeau, and the previous 458 now becomes the 460.

The 460 is slightly longer (HL 13.87 – 13.55m) much more beamier (4.79 – 4.38m),  fatter, with less finer entries,  considerably higher freeboards, heavier (12,560 – 11.700kg) and with less B/D (26.7% - 28.9%), for a similar L keel with the same draft (2.25m).

Obviously, the objective was increasing the interior volume and cockpit space and that was surely attained: not only is the boat much beamier as it has all beam pulled aft, not to mention the bigger freeboard, that will give it a superior interior height.

Of course, these substantial alterations are reflected in sail performance: the new boat will sail worse with light winds, will go slower upwind and probably will go faster downwind with strong winds, will roll a bit less, and will sail with slightly less heel.

Above the 460, below the 458
SA/D shows this, especially on the version with a classic mast where the 458 has upwind a 20.3 SA/D while the 460 has 19.9 SA/D (both with self-tacking jib). With the in-furling mast the difference is not so big because the new furling mast has considerably more sail area (if they don’t change the data like Bavaria did on the C42) than the one on the 458. In this case, the 458 has 18.0 SA/D and the 460 has 19.0.

But this does not mean that the 460, compared with this version, will have a better upwind performance, because it has less fine entries, a much bigger beam and a transom with all beam pulled back and a design that limits heeling. All this will add a lot of drag if compared with the 458 that has a considerably bigger B/D (28.9% to 26.7%). The two things put together will give a much better upwind power to drag on the 458, in light wind, and even more with stronger winds and waves.

Downwind the 458 has respectively  43.4 SA/D and 40.1 SA/D (classic and furling mast) and the 460 will have 44.0 SA/D and 43.0 SA/D. Here, especially on the classic mast version the increase in downwind sail area will not be enough to make the 458 faster in light winds. Only in stronger winds will the 460  be faster due to its huge hull form stability.

A big freeboard does not contribute to a sailboat beauty (quite the contrary) but in this case that increase is well disguised and will only be apparent in some positions. A modern slightly inverted bow and a well-designed integrated bowsprit as well as a nice transom design contribute to making the boat look contemporary, and disguises well the increase in beam and the higher freeboards.

However, the design created a cut with traditional Hanse shapes that allowed to recognize a Hanse from  other yachts. This Hanse lost identity and even if it is nice, it looks now more like an Oceanis than a Hanse.

The Solent rig, which appears on the first images,  is a positive introduction and it makes a lot of sense because this boat does need a lot more sail area to sail with weak winds than the 458. 

In situations where the self-tacking jib was enough on the 458, the 460, having more drag, will need a bigger sail to sail effectively. That is why a big genoa will be much more needed on the 460. and therefore the need of the Solent alongside with the self-tacking jib.

However the Solent rig increases the yacht price, and in this case, the small distance between the two furlers, will make it mandatory to roll the genoa when tacking, deploying it again on the other tack. If this looks easy with light winds, with medium winds (where the genoa can be used advantageously), it will not be so easy and will imply a lot of work in coastal sailing, where tacks are frequent.

On the positive side of things, it seems that this boat will have a cored hull. The 458 was announced with one (foam core) but later they changed to a monolithic hull. A cored hull will increase the boat rigidity, but the core of this one will be balsa, which has very good mechanical properties, it is cheaper than other good cores but can rot if there is water intrusion.

Also positive is the increase in interior volume. The most interesting alterations and use of the extra space are especially interesting for charter use. Regarding an owner’s use, the most interesting alteration is the possibility of having three good cabins, with three heads.

But this option, which I am sure will be the one that will sell more among owners, will only be suited for short-range cruising, or marina to marina use because the storage space aft (that is bigger than on the 458) will be necessary as technical space for the generator and other equipment.

The forward cabin is much bigger, especially the bed as well as the aft cabins, and I am sure that this will make this yacht much more successful than the 458.

But what is good for charter many times does not suit other uses and in what regards aft cabins I would have preferred the aft cabins to be slightly smaller (that would still make them as big as in the 458) and to create behind the engine a technical space for generator, water maker and other technical equipment.

Having the technical equipment in the aft cockpit locker is not a good idea in what regards accessibility and mixing storage space with technical space.

The galley on the 3 cabin/three-head version, is slightly smaller than the one on the 458 but much worse for using while sailing. On the other version, the galley is huge but even less adapted to be used while sailing. That is not necessarily bad, it depends on the use that it is given to the boat.

If the boat is used in relatively short jumps between marinas or anchorages the galley will not be used while in navigation and at anchor or in the marina that huge galley will be very much appreciated by the ones that cook or wash the dishes. Anyway, that is the way that most that cruise use their boats, including charter use, so I would say it makes sense for many, probably the majority.

First the 460, above, the 458

The interior 460 style and design seem more modern and pleasant, but I do not like that big "door" from the saloon to the cabin, cut on the main bulkhead. They are going to say that is all controlled, but it seems obvious that the bulkhead resistance will not be the same. Sure, there are ways to make the bulkhead stronger, but all that I know imply very expensive reinforcements and different, more expensive materials, and I don’t believe it is the case with the Hanse 460.

The 460 will be more expensive than the 458. Standard on the shipyard, without VAT, the 460 will cost 237.022€ (the 458 costs 212.925€). That was to be expected because the 460 is a bigger yacht, beamier and slightly longer, including a fixed bowsprit.

Friday, October 8, 2021


I posted very positive information regarding the Bavaria C42, and it was not only me; the press followed with very flattering test sails and electing it the Family European yacht  2021.

Because I was one of the first to point some very interesting features on C42 design and specifications, when compared to the competition, it is fair to be the one to point some unnoticed modifications that diminish that difference to almost nothing. The C42 specification file, which was used till mid 2021 (that included the price list), gave a 9678kg displacement on a torpedo keel with 2698kg of ballast, the data from the Cossutti boat project.

Now the specifications have changed and for displacement instead of 9678kg they give 10.070 kg and for ballast instead of 2698kg they changed it for 2622kg. The increase in weight should not be a normal thing, but it, unfortunately, is among boat builders. Almost all brands refer to the projected displacement and even if in some cases there are huge differences they never rectify the numbers and this is particularly true regarding French brands.

The diminishing of the projected ballast ( Cossutti says 2700kg bulb weight) to a keel weight of 2622kg is just odd, and I ask myself what was the data used to certify the boat, because even not considering a 2700kg bulb, but the previously released keel weight of 2698kg, the new data has significant repercussions on the boat stability and AVS.

The B/D, with the same draft and keel design, passed from 28% to 26% and that’s probably due to the diminution of the RM that it implies, that they changed the sail area upwind, shortening the mast. The mast has half a meter less and the sail area upwind, less 2.6m2 on the traditional mast (more sportive version), and 10.3m2 on the in-mast furling version. On the last version, the more popular, it is a huge difference.

Probably the excess in weight has to do with Bavaria having discontinued on the C42 the positive innovations that they had brought to the C-line. Contrary to what happens on the C45 they don’t use vacuum infusion (they use hand-laid), even if they still use a cored hull. That makes the boat considerably heavier.

Cossutti has projected the boat for using, like the others in C-line, the “Modutech” assembly system, a system developed by him based on a strong grid where all furniture and bulkheads were integrated, a system also used on Italia Yachts and on the Swan 48. Instead, Bavaria used on C42 the old system, with all furniture glassed or bonded to the hull.

So, the Bavaria 42 is still an interesting sailing boat, with an innovative bow that will increase hull form stability allowing it a better performance downwind, and on a beam reach, but in what regards the projected boat leaves much to be desired, namely with a not so good performance upwind, especially with medium to high wind, with worse safety stability and AVS, that are now similar with what the competition offers.

Saturday, October 2, 2021


I had already made an extensive and detailed comparison, in what regards design characteristics and dimensions, between the J45 and the competition, giving some information about their meaning in what regards sail performance. You can access it here: 

Now we have images of the boat sailing, a description of its sailing characteristics by Benjamin Dutreux, a French professional racer (9th on the Vendee Globe), that after having sailed the J/45 for 400 miles (a weekend) pretty much confirms what I was expecting and said, taking into account the design parameters.

We have also images from the interior that looks great for a cruising sailboat. I would have chosen other woods and Corian (colors), but certainly, they will be available on-demand or as options. 

As it is, it is already a beautiful sailboat and one that will be very hard to beat for sailing on the Med, Baltic, or in any other place with variable winds. Not the boat that I would choose to sail on the trade winds, but unless you are going to make a circumnavigation from West to East, or crossing many times the Atlantic, those are not the winds that are more common while cruising, and the ability of this boat to sail with very weak winds will give it a great sailing potential and will make rare the need to use the engine.

Ok, I am biased, this is a sailboat very similar in sailing characteristics with my own (Comet 41S): 

This year I sailed directly from Marmaris, in Turkey to Siracusa, in Sicily and it was all the time upwind, sometimes with strong wind, sometimes with very weak wind and I rarely had to use the engine. 

I filled the tank in Marmaris and then again in Sciacca, near the end of the South coast of Sicily, and wasted 60L of diesel. Take into consideration that I use the engine for supplementing the energy from the solar panels when needed (no generator) and that I practically didn't charge the batteries in marinas (because I rarely go there). 

Considering that many times it was beating against the wind the sailing distance was well over 1000 nm. I know that most cruisers don't sail this way and prefer to use the engine instead of beating (that by the way, if the sea and wind are strong, is not faster than sailing, and certainly more uncomfortable), that many choose days without wind to have flat seas for motoring and that some will motor most of the time anyway (each year I overtake several sailboats that were motoring, while I was sailing). 

For all that use the engine a lot while cruising this is the wrong sailboat (why pay more for a better sailing boat if you are not using its potential?), but for the ones that really like sailing, that want to motor as little as possible, that go upwind sailing and sail mostly out of the trade winds, this is certainly one of the best options on the market, and I don't need to wait for the test sails to know that. This boat will be particularly good in light and strong winds (in strong winds particularly sailing upwind).

But for the ones that want to use it for cruising and racing or just for racing, we will have to wait for racing results. I have no doubt that the J/45 is fast, but how fast and how well it will sail to the handicap, or in real-time against boats like the Solaris 44, the X 4-6 or the Grand Soleil 44, we will have to wait and see, even if I think that in most conditions it will be slightly faster than most of them, or all of them.

The price is proportional to the quality and should be about the same as the one of the X4-6, that notwithstanding the designation, is a slightly smaller yacht. An expensive yacht (it has to be) but one that I am sure will make any owner proud.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021


 Beautiful small production super fast carbon 50ft cruiser racers seem to be on high demand and even if only a few can own them, they are a pleasure to our eyes: after the Swan 50 there came the Shogun 50 and now the Mylius 50.

Mylius is not as well known as Swan among sailors. It is a top Italian recent brand that unlike Swan only does carbon yachts, and the 50 is the smallest yacht they produce: they have a 60, a 65, a 72 and two 80 footers, one of them a deck-salon.

All of them are very fast with luxurious semi-custom interiors. I would say that proportionally this 50 is going to be the fastest of them all. This boat comes to replace a previous 50, a yacht that still looks beautiful and contemporary.

Compared to the previous 50 the new one has not a very different hull, just a bit bigger (it is in fact a 51ft), slightly beamier (4.48m to 4.42), with a similar T keel but a bigger draft (3.50m to 3.00), lighter (9500kg to 9900) and with a much bigger B/D (43% to 38%) and all that means much more power.

Don't take me wrong, the previous 50 was already very powerful, with a 38% ballast most of it on a lead torpedo at the end of a long fin (3.00 draft). Just to have a fair idea in what regards what this B/D means, mass production 50fters have normally a less performant cast iron keel, lesser draft and a much, much lower B/D. For instance the Beneteau Yacht 54 has a 2.50 m draft, a cast iron keel and a 27% B/D.

What this means is that the new 50 is really a power beast, a racing machine with a confortable cruising interior. We can see that not only on the B/D but also on the sail area that is much bigger than the one of the previous boat and the one of the previous boat was already big, not to mention this is a lighter boat (upwind 170 to 148m2, downwind 346 to 285m2).

But with all that power it will be a relatively easy boat to be sailed by a couple, if not pushed near the limits and there is no need to because this boat sailed at 75% will be faster than almost anything sailing on the water. The easiness has to do with the small amount of sail that is needed for going fast. The SA/D is huge but due to the very light weight the sail area to be handled is relatively small, 170m2 with a main with square top and 158m2 with a "normal" main.

The previous 50 had good racing results for a cruiser-racer with a luxurious interior, but it was not as fast as the also full carbon Swan 50. Truth be said that though the Swan has a luxurious interior, it is not comparable to the true cruising interior of the Mylius, that even has a dinghy garage, except in finish and materials. Well, now we will see, if not a match it certainly will be much closer.

The hard asses will say that both boats are med boats, even if the Swan has been sailed and raced all over the world in many offshore races. It is true that for enjoying sailing while cruising and enjoying life they are more geared for the Med or Baltic conditions, but with that stiffness and stability they can be sailed safely anywhere even if that does not mean comfortably in what regards water projections.

Mylius is a recent brand created in 2003 by three friends who love sailing and yachting, one of them a yacht designer, Alberto Simeone, and amazingly their first boat the Mylius 11E25 still looks modern. 

What had started just as a challenge to create the perfect boat for the Med, due to the increasing demand and the Italian's love for fast and beautiful boats, ended up in a medium sized "cantieri" specialized in big carbon boats, always beautiful, always fast.

Today Simeone coordinates a team of engineers, architects, designers, and technical specialists that work in the house, and that allows him a full integrated design where speed, high performance and comfort are perfectly matched.

This methodology, that was common 30 years ago is today very rare and almost all shipyards ressource to exterior naval architects and interior design cabinets and sometimes exterior designers.

Maybe this difference is one of the things that makes Mylius different and special, contributing for a homogeneity of style and design that is hard to find elsewhere and that makes the boats easily recognizable as Mylius, no matter the size.

I know that some will be asking about the price. Well, if you are really interested ask them, it should be not far form the one of the Swan, maybe a bit less but certainly over 1 million euros. A boat like this cannot be built for less.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


I am in Marmaris waiting for the Greeks to allow European Union sailboats to enter EU waters (they closed the door almost two years ago more for political reasons than sanitary ones). I am bored, have time and I will share with you the observations I have made on the Round the Island race regarding the performance of different type of sailboats and hulls, I don’t mean handicap performance but true performance over the water.


The Round the Island race (around the Island of Wight) is not a top race and the average crew has lesser quality than for instance the one on the Fastnet, but it has an advantage of having a huge number of boats racing (more than 1000) some of them very well sailed.

Pogo 12.50
To take into account the bigger variability in crew quality I will disregard the worse results of a given boat model and I will consider the best and average results.

Regarding winds, this was a typical summer coastal race with variable winds in direction and strength, from very light to light winds to 25kt. A good race to measure the all around boat sailing potential, especially in summer conditions.

And let’s start with the Pogos, with three 12.50 competing, a moderate performance, with similar elapsed times. The fastest has done it in 8h 16m 22s, then the others in 8.21.39 and 8.37.59.

J122 e
With a similar type of hull but smaller, not so extreme but heavier, an RM 10.70, made it in 8.39.27.

As usual the JPK were fast, with a 11.80 making it in 7.34.59 and a smaller JPK 10.80 making it in 7.42.20.

The Sunfast were a bit slower than the JPK, with the exception of a 3300, that was very fast with 7.52.59, faster than all 3600 (8.01.25, 8.05.27….)

Jboats were also very fast with a J122e making it 7.49.41, another in 7.53.29 and the slowest in 8.32.22. Three fantastic J112e have done it in 7.46.16 , 7.51.11, and 7.58.18. Two J99 made it in 8.13.36 and 8.15.54. Three J111 have done it in 7.36.21, 7.36.27 and 7.43.11. The First 40 were also way faster than the Pogos, with 7.44, 7.45.10 and 7.55.57. 

I know that the conclusions are similar to the ones on other races with variable winds, where it is the overall sailboat potential that counts (and not a boat maximized for a given set of conditions) but some keep thinking that boats like the Pogo or the RM are, out of the trade winds, faster than fast boats with a more traditional hull, and that is not the case.

J 112e
In what concerns fast cruising multihulls we can see that with these conditions the results were not better than the ones of fast monohulls with the same size. A very fast 1295 Dazcat catamaran, that is used extensively for racing, made it in 7.27.08.There were several Dragonflies, two 32 made it in 8.05.46 and 8.38.42; a 35 made it in 8. 36.53. There were two Nautitech racing and these ones, that are among the fastest not very expensive production cats, were slower then the monohulls: an Open 46 made it in 9.02.17 and an Open 40 in 10.14.12.

Nautitech Open 46
This particular race confirmed the performance of the J112e, a sailboat boat with a great cruising interior and that in what regards regatta racing had already proved itself winning a World ORC championship. It shows here that in a more offshore race it continues to shine, being only slightly slower than the racing J111, faster than the racing Sunfast 3600 (on this race) and with a performance similar to the bigger First 40, and of course, going faster than the Pogo 12.50.

I love this little boat, made several post about it, but it seems I fail to convince other sailors to love it too. The J112e sales continue on the low side and it seems that today for a performance cruising boat to sell it is not enough to have a great cruising interior, a stellar performance, to be well built, it is needed to be fashionable and it seems the J112e is not. You have more information about the J112e on this post:


Wednesday, June 16, 2021


VOR 65 Mirpuri Foundation
Many have said that the VOR 65 was outdated, too heavy, and they would expect the last generation of IMOCA, on foils,to leave the VOR 65 behind but very few would expect that on the Med leg between Valencia and Genova the differences were so big. 

Maybe the ones that had doubts start to believe that the hugely beamy Imoca hulls are only suited to a very small set of conditions, the ones you can find on the trade winds. Even in what regards downwind sailing and beam reaching the IMOCAS seem only to be faster over 20kt winds.
VOR 65 (drawing by Francois Chevalier)
Downwind with medium winds IMOCA and VOR 65 seem to have a very similar performance but upwind and in lighter wind the VOR 65 is much faster. For an overall use the VOR 65 is a faster boat, being the IMOCA only faster in a small set of conditions.

Of course the VOR65 has a crew more than two times bigger than the one of an IMOCA, but there is no reason for the running of a VOR 65 (and sails) to be adapted to be sailed by four, and I believe that if the four were top sailors, the boat would lose a bit in speed, but it would be still overall faster than a top IMOCA.

And if we look at the hull of the older VOR 70 Groupama, the faster of all VORs, we will see that it is even narrower that the VOR 65. The 65 is probably more adapted to trade wind sailing, but if we compare the sailing results in IRC offshore races (real time) we will see that the VOR 70, under several names, has been consistently faster than the VOR 65 and in IRC has won many big races.

IMOCA 11th Hour (drawing by Francois chevalier)
So, as I have been saying it makes no sense to use hulls with shapes derived from IMOCA on cruising boats, even less in performance cruising boats (in what regards sail performance), but what happens is precisely the opposite with designers claiming they are using on cruising sailboats faster hull shapes, not limited by handicap rules and derived from offshore solo racers.

Sure, it makes a lot of sense to use very beamy hulls for maximizing interior space, but when someone tells you that those hulls are also used to maximize sail performance, be suspicious: those hulls can make sailing easier, with less heel and less roll, but will not maximize performance, except on a very limited set of conditions and will lose a lot, sailing with low winds or upwind.

(drawing by Francois Chevalier)

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


Like every year, I stop posting when the sailing season begins, normally from April to October. I sail and cruise on those months and I am having too much fun to "lose" time making posts. The comments will take more time to be published and I will try to reply, but it will take longer than what is usual.

And in what regards losing time, when you are looking at posts, see if you can click on some of the adds , because it is the only way I receive some money for the effort, a ridiculously small amount for the work involved.

I am already at Kusadasi (Turkey) and should be sailing and cruising in about a week or so.

Fair winds to all.