Saturday, April 30, 2016


Yes that is a great sailing boat but these guys are so good that make me ashamed of my little sailing skills :-( The IMOCA goes incredibly fast on stormy seas but we can see that he has that huge beast under control...alone. Awesome!!!

He is training already for the next Vendee Globe and you can see that the boat (PRB) has no foils and is not going to have them for the next Vendee Globe. They had studied the subject with JK and after many simulations they decided that it would be a better bet not to use foils. A post about foils or no foils on the IMOCA for the Vendee Globe will come soon.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Sure big America's cup cats had done it but under controlled conditions and protected waters, nothing to do it on Ocean conditions and that is what this is all about and Verdier? Verdier is the NA that we can see on the boat (he is a very good sailor too) the one that is at the edge on the development of foils for Ocean racers, not only multihulls but also mnonohulls.

 They are testing here on weak to medium winds and pretty much flat seas. Next stage, true medium winds and waves. Cannot wait to see the images. Verdier says that they have yet a lot to learn and I am sure they are learning at a fast pace. Great NA, probably the best in what regards Ocean racers. I bet that Verdier working for VPLP was a decisive factor in choosing VPLP for the design of the new Figaro III ;-)


I guess the regulars on this blog will be as curious as me regarding the audience and who is following it and from where, so let's satisfy that curiosity. The map above regards general audience, all time considered.

It is truly a global audience and a blog where the sun never sets :-). The US appears to be the major audience simply because EU countries numbers are not considered as a whole, but are separated by countries. All together the audience is bigger than the one on the US (that is a very big one nonetheless).  

Also many countries have followers but not in enough number for their country to appear colored. From those I will mention a considerable number from South America, from Scandinavia, from Turkey, from Greece, Poland, South Africa, from China and Taiwan. 

Regarding numbers on the two years the blog has, it had about 380 000 hits  and the average of hits a day is well over 500 now. Regarding the overall number of  hits the number of members is not big even if it has increased substantially on the last months, just 10. So if you are a regular consider becoming a member (on the top right of the blog).

 It is simple and it makes for a more convivial approach helping us to know better each other's. After all this blog shows that sailing and the love for beautiful sailboats is truly an universal thing and in what regards that we all share a common interest and pleasure.

Regarding conviviality don't hesitante in posting comments on the blog. It helps for the ambiance I would like to have here and regarding that, I would have preferred a bigger participation from you all and I hope that will increase from now on.

Now, that for most the sailing season is arriving, a special wish for fair winds, great sailing and cruising fun for all. For me the sailing season is also beginning (next month) and that means that my contribute to this blog will be very small, till October. Not closed for sailing but almost ;-)
The best for all,


Not the boat I would chose to sail on the Med (not enough upwind fun) but certainly one in my short list if I was circumnavigating or sailing extensively (voyaging) around, specially considering the relation between price, quality and performance. The new swing keel, that is offered as an option to a twin keel or mono keel, increased the overall versatility and the boat is just an improved 1260 that was already an improved 1200 and the RM 1200 (that I test sailed some years ago) was already a great boat.

I had made already a post about the RM 1270: and I just want to add some more visual information about the boat, regarding the new swing keel, the huge transom directly influenced by solo racers (that will provide a huge stability and no roll sailing downwind) and most of all the excellent test movie made by the German magazine, that tested the RM 1270 and were impressed with its qualities, sailing and otherwise.

The movie:

The interior is also improved regarding the 1260, not anything substancial, but offering the same forward view that allows to sail the boat from the chart table, it has now a more refined interior in what regards finish and color schemes. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Will be a VPLP design, probably with a big hand from Verdier. The boat seems very elegant with a sharp bow, a considerable beam all pulled back a fixed keel and "conventional" foils, a beautiful boat.

But I have to say that I would have preferred any of the two other designs that made to the final. They did not identified the other two finalists, just posted the photos, but I would say that it is clear that this one  from Manuard/Conq and the one that I would have preferred:
Yes, certainly less elegant but offering a lot more spay protection, a view to the outside from the interior (allowing  sleeping on the interior while keeping an eye on the traffic) a more rounded bow (with lots of buoyancy)  and a more advanced kind of foils featuring DSS and adding more lift. It features also a fixed keel. The VPLP design will probably offer a better upwind performance but I would say that this one will smoke it downwind while offering also a decent upwind performance. Certainly the best design in what regards Transats.

Finally the one that I guess is from Mer Forte ( Desjoyeaux), the only one featuring a canting keel with foils not very different from the ones proposed by VPLP. The bow seems to be just a bit more rounded than on the winner proposition but a lot less than on the Manuard/Conq design. Also a very beautiful boat.
I would love to see a canting keel on this boats not only for performance but also in what regards development of simpler and very reliable systems whose technology could be transferred later to performance cruisers. The price of this boat, ready to sail (and with all tax paid) has to cost between 150 000 and 200 000 euros and that would have implied the development of an inexpensive canting keel mechanism.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


These stability curves are nice ones, from the new Halberg Rassy 44. They are righting moment curves that are obtained multiplying the boat mass in kg by the length of the arm (GZ) in m. The arm is the a horizontal one that you obtain with heeling, between the vertical CG (center of gravity) line and the vertical line of CB,(center of buoyancy) that is the center of the the underwater volume of the boat. The picture below makes shows that arm increasing and decreasing.

The CG is where the mass of the boat pulls down, the CB is the point where the buoyancy push up. Stability is increased when the CG is lowered (with more draft or a more efficient keel) and when the boat beam is increased (the distance between the two vertical line becomes bigger). The righting moment is positive till the AVS point (point of no return) and negative after that.

A good stability curve is one that has a much more positive righting moment than negative righting moment and you can compare (and measure) that by the the amount of surface between the positive area of the curve, first part (up) till the AVS point (the heel where the boat inverts itself, not returning anymore to the upright position) and the negative area under the second part of the curve, after the AVS point. They are marked on the drawing as upright stability and inverted stability.

A good stability curve is also one with a good AVS and not less important, a good or very goor righting moment at 90º heel.

The minimum acceptable AVS has been maintained constant on the RCD but the way stability curves are considered have increased in fact boat stability. The minimum AVS on Category A depends on the boat mass. Lighter boats need a bigger AVS to be approved, heavier and normally bigger boats can be approved with a smaller one, but never inferior to 100º and that only for a boat over 15 000kg, assuming that it can pass STIX demands. 

That diference regards the smaller stability a lighter boat will have towards a significant heavier boat will be translated by a bigger possibility of a capsize to occur on the lighter one, all other things considered equal. On the below image we can see stability RM curves of boats with very different mass and since the energy needed to capsize a sailboat is proportional to the area under the positive parts of the RM curve, we can see that the diference between those sailboats regarding the energy needed to be capsized is huge.

The formula for the minimum AVS on the RCD is this: 130º- m/500, being m the mass of a boat in kg. For instance a light category A boat like the Pogo 30, that weights only 2800kg, will have to have a minimum AVS of 124.4º. Well, that was during the first years of RCD, since then, without modifying the values the stability needs were greatly increased.

At the beginning the considered value of AVS regarded a lightship Stability curve, that you can see at red on the first image. Some years ago they demanded the AVS to be considered was the one of the boat in maximum load condition and things become more exigent. You can see that the AVS in lightship condition on the HR stability curves is about 125º but the AVS on max load condition is only about 120º. 

Now the demands become bigger and retroactively regarding all boats on the market from the end of 2016, the minimum AVS will be considered regarding a new stability curve that will give a significant lower AVS, a stability curve with the boat on the worst possible configuration, meaning tanks emptied, all the weight of possible boat extras over the waterline considered,  none below,  all allowed crew over the deck and none inside.

It seems not to make a big diference but it does, since extras, like radar on the mast or furling main, empty tanks and the weight of the crew over the deck can rise significantly the CG and diminish the AVS. I have heard about a 40ft aluminum voyage centerboarder (and not one with a low AVS regarding other centerboarders) having to add around 450kg of ballast to be able to comply with the new minimum AVS and also, in what regards STIX, having to reduce the mast and the sail area.

The STIX (that for Category A has to be over 32) is obtained by a complex formula and is the other relevant parameter, in what regards stability conditions, for a boat  to be approved.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


Just to remember that this almost 25 year's old duo transat, on little 32ft sailing boats (Figaro class), is going to start again tomorrow, Avril 3 and that you will be able to follow it almost in direct through the tracker on the race site:

The short movie above is from one of the 15 teams that will race this edition, training some days ago in 40k winds. Another team is this one, well known in internet by their acrobatic figures LOL:
Xavier, the more experienced from the two, with an already long carrier (2015 France champion of solo offshore racing), says it is the third time it had happened to him.

This race has always been the one that had revealed the best solo offshore sailors and being essentially a race for  the new generation of solo offshore racers, use to have the participation of several stars from the IMOCA class (Open 60's), but not unfortunately this year due to their involvement on the Transat Anglaise (British Transat) that will start in a month.

Some images of the more than 20 years of this race on an already old but interesting movie: