Saturday, June 27, 2020

NEW SALONA 460: BEST VALUE?


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

VIKO S35, THE BEST BARGAIN ON THE MARKET?


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:
https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-dusseldorf-bargains-viko-s35.html
https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/search?q=Viko+S35

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 :-) 


Saturday, June 13, 2020

SARCH S8, THE FIRST TRAILERABLE CLASS A


A class A trailerable sailboat it is something many sailors desire. The best of two worlds:  a light, fast sailboat, easily trailerable, that can be sailed offshore, even cross oceans, with the advantages of not being expensive and easy to store in a garage for the winter?

That is a boat that ticks a lot of boxes and makes you, and even myself, dream. A boat not only able to explore the seas but all those big and beautiful lakes, and for those that are not retired, able to be transported cheaply and fast to the cruising grounds one wants to explore, without losing weeks on the way to arrive there.

Who is making such a wonder? Well, a very small Spanish shipyard that is better known in the North of Europe than in the South and that has been making very interesting small high-quality yachts for years, using a mixed building technique that involves carbon, epoxy, high-quality maritime okume plywood and infusion techniques that allow for very strong and light boats.

They use an unusual building technique, now a well-proven one, that allows for a  hull with a thickness between  1.2 and 1.7cm, one that is much bigger than what is normal on this size of boats, giving the hull a very big resistance to impact. A kind of RM on steroids in what regards solidity.

They have on their line three boats, the DS6, a daysailer, the S7, a Class B cruiser and the new S8 that is being developed but can already be commanded, at a special price. The numbers on the models' names regard the length of the hulls, so we are talking about 20, 23 and 26ft sailboats and they have plans to build a 33ft boat in the near future.

Their best seller is the S7 that has deserved positive reviews from German, French, Spanish and Nordic sail magazines. The boat comes standard with a basic iron keel and certified as Class C, but can have a lifting keel made with a high-tech aluminum foil and lead torpedo keel and in that case it not only offers more power but is certified as Class B. That option costs 4580 euros, including the keel and the lifting equipment.

Contrary to the vast majority of fast boats of this size it comes with a very well designed, well built, cozy interior with plenty of space (cabin height 1.60m), with a closed WC cabin that can have optionally a chemical or a true marine toilet with black water tank, an 80L water tank, and good interior storage.

The S7 is fast and testers reported on a beam reach and downwind speeds of 8 to 10 knots without too much wind (13 to 15K) and a very good sail performance on all points of sail including upwind. With over 18kt of wind it can sail downwind over 10k, at around 12/13kts.

For some, the S7 looks like a mini-racer but it is not the case due to beam, that is very different. A Mini racer has less 0.5m in length but has 3.0m beam while the S7 has only 2.49m. That makes for a very different hull and the boat will sail differently, with more heel but with less wave drag upwind and with less stability downwind.

This gives the Mini-racer more stability, one that allows it to be certified as Class A but gives the S7 a proportionally better performance and comfort upwind, a good one, with a good final stability, one that allows it to be certified as ClassB.

On the different sail tests, they reported for the S7 upwind speeds of  5 knots with 8.5kts wind at 40º and 5.5 at 45º. With more wind it could sail upwind at a bit over 6kt. The S7 on its better and lighter configuration displaces around 950kg, it has 350 kg ballast that due to the aluminum foil is almost all on a torpedo, 1.70m under the water. That gives it a 38.9% B/D.



These numbers allow for a good final stability and a good AVS and make it a safe offshore coastal cruiser that will allow good seaworthiness on reasonable sea conditions, way better than the one of the Viko 21, that I talked about on one of the last posts. Even if both boats are certified as Class B sailboats, the Viko has a much lower B/D and significantly lower stability.

There is however a thing that I really don´t like on the S7, the single winch for all the manoeuvers. Sure, with a jib on an auto-tack rail system and a main on a purchase system (with a good traveler) it is possible to sail with only one winch, but that makes the use of a genoa, code 0 or asymmetric spinnaker complicated.

And it seems Axel recognized this because on the S8 there are 3 winches, two on the cockpit and one in the same position as the one on the S7, over the cabin. They are not on the options it should not be difficult to mount them on the S7, if a client wishes to.

If genoa tracks are put over the cabin, instead of that auto-tack system,  more flexibility will be allowed on the choice of sails as well as a better trim will be possible, at the cost of two more winches. On the positive side regarding sailing and simplicity, the carbon mast option costs only 6500 euros and the S7, like a Pogo, does not have a backstay.

Much better built, faster, more seaworthy and bigger than the Viko 21 the  Sarch S7 is also more expensive. A standard boat costs 47 750 euros and they have a comprehensive list of options that will adapt the boat to the use you want to give it. The options seem well priced and include a four-wheel trailer with a winch for 3950 euros.

Many sail tests have been made by different sail magazines and the general opinion about the boat is very positive:
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/yachttest-sarch-s7.pdf
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/testbericht.pdf
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/voiles-et-voiliers.pdf
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/251-qqb-s7ok2.pdf
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/v-ab_sarch-s7-definitivo.pdf
http://www.sarch.eu/assets/sarch73.pdf

The price of the boat, taking into account the building quality, does not seem excessive to me, but to understand why you have to understand how well the boats are built: first, they make the hull and bulkheads in okume maritime plywood using a stitch and glue technique; then using the wood as core they fiberglass the hull interior (including bulkheads) using axial fiberglass, carbon reinforcements and epoxy resin.

On the outside, they do the same but using carbon fibers. The cabin and deck are made using, not an okume core, as on the hull, but a lighter Aircell core (high-quality PVC foam), using axial fiberglass, carbon reinforcements and vinylester resin. On the deck and cabin they use vacuum infusion and on the hull they used it too, but they found out that they could get better results, at the cost of some weight, with manual saturation.

This is a boat built without cutting on costs and just to give you an idea epoxy is about 6 times more expensive than top polyester resin and carbon fibers cost 4 times more than good fiberglass. That is why these materials are not used on well-built boats like Pogo, that does not even use vinylester, but only polyester resins and fiberglass fibers.

Built like this the Sarch are very solid boats that will not break, even on bad sea conditions and that will last many years. They could be lighter if built in another way but I doubt they would be as solid. Even so, due to the materials used, these are light boats and, if we take out the 350kg ballast, the S7 weights only 600kg.

The S8 is a better, bigger sailboat, more seaworthy, faster, with more interior and storage space and also a more beautiful sailboat. The standing height on the cabin is higher (1.84) but the boat due to a bigger length, looks slender and larger than its size.

The new boat is a meter longer but it has the same beam, due to the max limit for a boat to be trailerable. The weight will be different due to different ballasts and keels. The standard one has a hydraulic 420kg swing keel, a max draft of 2.00m and it will displace 1300kg.

The second version, which would be a Class A boat before the last RCD alteration and will be suited for most utilizations, will have a more efficient vertical lifting keel with 1.80m draft, a foil in carbon/fiberglass and a torpedo in lead. It weighs 478kg, the boat will displace 1350kg and will have a 35.4% B/D.

The third version, the certified Class A sailboat will still be trailerable but will demand not only a trailer with brakes but a heavier vehicle to tow it because it will weight 1658kg, having a ballast of 770kg on a lifting keel with a steel foil, a lead torpedo and 2.0m draft. That will give the boat a 45.7% B/D and it will make it a very powerful sailboat with a great safety stability.

The STIX, which results from a complicated formula, is the RCD stability Index, related to boat seaworthiness. As a rule of thumb to know if a boat is well designed and seaworthy the STIX should be bigger than the length of the boat. The S8 has 26ft and a 38 STIX and that is an extraordinary difference between length and STIX.

The 2.00m draft keel and the huge B/D will also allow a bigger stiffness that will be translated in more sail power that will be very noticeable on a beam reach and even more upwind. It will be a boat that will need to reef less and only with a lot of wind. The only inconvenience is that it can roll a bit more when there is no wind and there are still waves.

33ft Sarch
The S8 price, compared with the one of the S7 seems too good to be true, only 15 250 euros more, especially if we consider that the S7 comes with only one winch and the S8 comes with three. 

Another good news is that the price of the extra equipment seems to be fair and the options for the S7 cost about the same as the ones of the S8. But this is a promotional price only valid for the first boats.

This price, 63 000 euros for a standard boat on the shipyard (Spain), seems really a good one for what is offered, carbon/epoxy included. The Django 7.70 costs standard 80 000 euros and the Pogo 30 around 100 000 euros, with the fixed keel, both are Class A but neither is trailerable.