Wednesday, March 26, 2014

RM 890, ONE OF THE BEST RM EVER

The 890 seems  to be one of the best RM ever and that is not a small thing to say since they are great boats. Seven boats have been delivered already and they have a long list of sailors waiting for delivery. The main difference from the previous popular  880 model are: more beam, about the same ballast, more draft, more power, about the same weight, more elegant. In two words, more sportive and fast without losing nothing of its cruising potential. It seems that it is just that the French younger cruisers want and I have to admit that the boat is so cute that even I  would like to have one...I mean it does not make sense but when we like a lot something sometimes we don't  make sense anymore :-)

The boat has been tested by some of the best European sail magazines and they all have been very positive about it: The testers from Voile magazine measured, with more than 10k wind 6K, close to the wind. Opening the course they reached 7 and then 8K. They found it very effective downwind and with an asymmetric spy they went till 10K (on occasions). The boat planes easily.They did not exactly say how much more the wind was over 10k, but we can assume that it was not much more. 
 As a negative point the standing height is only for small to medium sized guys, with 1.79cm near the stairs and 1.69cm on the head...but this is a 29ft boat and in what regards me I prefer it like that than an ugly boat with more windage.

The testers from Voile and Voiliers,  on a longer test were  more precise and informative regarding wind and sea conditions, performance and about some things that could be improved.The version tested was the one with twin keels and a single rudder, a deep one. Even so they say that in limit situations, with too much heel, the rudder has a tendency to "ventiler", that I would translate by losing grip. They said that it would be a better solution twin keels and two rudders (like some other RM  have). It is not by chance that the shipyard chose that solution regarding cruising but because it allows  a third support point for balancing the boat while beaching it. Not a strong one but one that can be important just to maintain the balance.
The boat on this configuration has a draft of 1.5m and is RCD classified as a class B boat. On the version with single keel (1.9m) and two rudders it is classified as a Class A boat.

Regarding things they didn't like: The tiller feels a bit stiff (single rudder), the galley storage not well thought and the standing height a bit limited...and that's all in a boat that they found proportionally lighter and faster than the other RM series. They also referred a good finish and that in what regards sailing all is perfect: the position for steering the boat, the way all rigging is done for a solo sailor with everything at easy reach. They also refer a great storage on the cockpit, with a double central locker for the life-raft and dinghy, a big lateral one for sails, outboard engine, boat defenses and also a big anchor locker.

Regarding performances with a sea almost with no waves they were surprised with a very good performance with light winds and I say surprised because on this type of very beamy hulls upwind performance in light winds is normally a weak point.

MS / genoa: 7K wind 5.1K speed at 50º off TRW
MS / genoa: 9k wind 5.4K speed at 50º off TRW
MS / genoa: 9k wind 6.7K speed at 70º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 7k wind 6.0K speed at 90º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 11k wind 8.4K spd - 100º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 11k wind 7.3K spd - 140º off TRW


As you can see the overall performance is very good for a  9m cruiser. Going at almost 8.5K with only 11k wind (with Geenaker) is outstanding and already way over hull speed. From then on, with more wind I am quite sure the speed will increase rapidly and this baby will be able to do 2 figure speeds with strong winds, adequate sails and a good sailor at the tiller. 
Even without geenaker, just with an average sailor and only with genoa the boat is already making almost 7K with 9K winds. It is a pity they didn't refer the speed with 11k wind with genoa but I would say that it would be around 7K or just a bit over. A very fast cruiser that can be even faster, specially upwind on the version with a single keel and deep draft. The advantage of this type of small boats in what regards speed is that one solo sailor can handle a relatively small geenaker while on a 40ft boat the big size of a similar sail will raise some concerns when handed alone and demand an experienced sailor or a very expensive furling system.

Recently the Germans from Yacht.de tested the boat. I had only access to a small comment but they could hardly be more positive. The headlines are something like that: A thrilling different cruiser that can offer a lot notwithstanding its small size. As usual we count on Anders to make a more complete brief of what they say about the boat, but just having a look at the photos from the test we can see that they had fun sailing the RM :-). No doubt that Marc Lombard has got this one particularly right. No wonder since he has lots of talent as a NA and has been developing and improving this concept for decades.


The boat seems to sail so well that they should contemplate making a "RC" version with a really deep keel, something like 2.3m. That would save a considerable weight in ballast, would allow the boat to plane earlier and would improve even more the upwind potential making it a boat to make the transquadra. The hull and the boat potential seems to deserve it. Even with a big upgrade in performance the boat would still be inside the maximum rating allowed for the transquadra. It would not only be a very fast boat but also a boat with a good cruising interior.

3 comments:

  1. Thomas Larsson (aka Mr W)March 27, 2014 at 5:15 AM

    Really nice boat! I hope there will be some cool videos soon to drool over :)

    Cheers!

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  2. Hi Paulo. I Love this boat. When I'm done our circumnav (with the Nordhavn), it's a choice between the Pogo 30 or this RM890. : )

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    1. That's quite a change!!! And then I guess you will be cruising without your wife...or will she accept that change in lifestyle?

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