Small interesting boats seem to come recently from Holland and Poland. The ones from Poland are mostly centerboarders with limited final stability, the ones from Holland are mostly keeled boats with a much bigger B/D ratio and modern bulbed keels. Let's have a look at the two more recent offers from Holland, one of them, the Pointer 25 (nominated for this year's European boat contest), the other the Winner 8 and one from Poland, the Maxus 26, also a new boat.
Looking at the boats they don't seem that different on the outside but there are significant differences among them. Let's start by looking at the dimensions of the three boats, in m, kg, m2,. First the dimensions of the Pointer, then the ones of the Winner (two versions) and for last the dimensions of the Maxus:
Length: 7.70; 8.00; 7.62. Beam: 2.50; 2.65; 2.62. Weight: 1500, 2400 or 2300, 2350kg.
Draft: 1.20; 1.00 or 1.50; 0.35/1.43 B/D ratio: 47%; 42% or 39% , 26%; SA upwind: 37, 40 or 45, 35. Engine: SD 9hp, SD 9hp, outboard not included. STD price incl 21% VAT: 59500€, 74500€, 42603€.
The prices indicate that in fact the boats are very different:
Regarding the interior, the Winner has a not very different interior from the Maxus 26 even if the quality of the Winner would be probably superior. Anyway a very nice interior in what the Maxus is concerned. The Pointer has a very basic naked interior although it has also what is needed to cruise, including a true marine wc, even if an open one. A spartan interior that can be suited for some but much less comfortable than the other two.
In what regards sailing it is the opposite, it's the Winner that is close to the Pointer in sail performance, being the one from the Maxus much lower, specially upwind. The Maxus relies on form stability to sail and the 26% of B/D ratio is much lower than on the two other boats and that relative ratio, even if already low, is much lower than what it looks, since it corresponds to a ballast on the bottom of the boat while the other two have most of the ballast weight on a bulb at the end of the keel. That's the main reason why the Maxus is so inexpensive: the hull can be less reinforced as well as the boat structure, that, and the outboard engine.
Considering the Pointer and the Winner, the first one has a narrower hull and relies more on ballast while the Winner has a lot more form stability and also a considerable B/D ratio. A very stiff boat specially on the version with the bigger draft. Probably the Pointer will be as fun to sail due to the narrower hull, big ballast ratio, small weight and big sail area. A lot of fun for the price ;-)
So what is the best sailboat? As usually that depends of what we want. If I wanted a boat for all family to sail ( small kids) on a lake, or sheltered waters, to live sometime aboard, to learn how to sail and to move around exploring the shores, the Maxus 26 makes sense. If it was me when I was younger, with kids and all, I would take the Pointer: not expensive, a great sailing performance, fun to sail, more seaworthy...I would trade all that by the extra comfort of the Maxus and I would even consider that difference in price fair.
Regarding the Winner, I love the boat, specially the performance version that will cost way more than the basic listed price...but if I was a young man looking for my first boat I would look at something bigger for the the same price. The Standard Bavaria 9.9 Easy costs less 14000 euros than the Basic Winner 8.
The price restricts a lot the ones that will be interested on the Winner 8: A very rich kid looking for his first boat or a middle aged guy that wants a fast boat for having fun on semi sheltered waters and wants to sleep sometimes on the boat. If we take price in consideration the Pointer seems very attractive and with a bigger market. The Maxus too, regarding the ones for whom the interior is the most important feature of a sailboat, and they are many, has a great price for what it offers.
You will know what is the one that best fits your life style...and your budget ;-)