Thursday, July 6, 2017


I know that many of you, like me, want to really know the differences between the behavior and speed of different types of boats but unfortunately you will not find that on a magazine and in this case nothing like real experience and that's what happened yesterday when I had the opportunity to sail with a brand new Hanse 415 at the same course as my Comet 41s. 

 Note that this is not about the Hanse 415 versus the Comet 41s but much more about two different types of boats, the differences would not be very different if instead of a Hanse it was a Beneteau or a Jeanneau and, instead a Comet, a First 40, a Salona 41, a X40 or a J120.

 It is not also about light wind performance or upwind performance where the differences between the two types of boats would be huge but about sailing with wind on the beam or downwind with 16/18K wind and about not sailing the performance boat with a crew and a Spinnaker (where it would be much faster) but sailing the performance boat under canvassed, with only a genoa versus a fast main market boat sailing with full sails.

 They advertise the Hanse, with its self taking jib as a very easy boat to sail (and it is) and on the other hand people would think a performance boat a more dificult boat to sail and it is, if the boat is sailing exploiting its full speed ability, like racing, but what would you say if I say to you that the Comet 41s only with a Genoa is has fast as a Hanse 415 with full sails? Faster when the wind hit 17 or 18K.

 Do you think that an under powered boat with only a genoa, far from the limit, is more dificult to sail than a full powered boat with full sails near the limit where it needs to reef the main (not a furler main)?

 This experience could only happen because my wife had yesterday a small surgery and asked me to sail only with the genoa for the boat to be more comfortable since I have the autopilot working badly and she could not make any effort. Normally even with a short crew or solo with a working autopilot I would be sailing in these conditions with full genoa and a main on the second reef, with a huge safety margin (the boat would be good for 25k winds with just a bit furled genoa). On those conditions I would be sailing with that wind between 8.6 and 9.6k and no way a main market cruiser could take that pace with only 16 to 18k wind. 

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Magic is perhaps a strong word LOL and they are not really nice but they were the best buy of the year in what regards yachting. I know that it seems odd but if you are more than 50 years old tel me  how many times you had to take away your sunglasses and get another spectacles to see better some  small detail in your plotter?

That's quite pissing specially for guys with a 100/100 vision and that now have to resource to a glasses with one or two dioptres to see fine details.

That's finished, I mean that stupid game of changing glasses and there is some magic in it. I bought them at a boat show in Croatia half believing that they would not really work in real conditions. They are normal polarized ones but with a small lent with dioptres on the right place and they really work effortlessly. I am so happy with them that I had to share it. They are really usefull, the gadget of the year!!!.

The brand is Australian:
Don't buy the bifocal ones, I mean the ones without the cuts on the middle of the glass. They are nicer but don't work as well as the other ones, not by a long shot.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


On winter and Fall I post, on Spring and Summer I cruise and sail. For the ones that are new on the Blog and would like to have a look at my sailing log (with lots of photos) you can do it here:

 I prefer it that way. This blog is about interesting sailboats, not about my cruising season. Fair winds and nice sailing to all ;-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Another post out of season and also about Halberg Rassy? what can I say? The mistral is blowing the boat is dancing, I have nothing to do except to hear the wind howling and Halberg Rassy surprisingly are changing fast their fleet of old-designed well built boats by contemporary designs, faster, more seaworthy and with a bigger overall stability. Interesting boats. Cheers to them! 

The Rassy 340 is going to substitute the 342, an already old design with almost 400 boats produced. The new boat will be a lot more powerful due to a much bigger overall stability  not only because of an increase of beam (and mostly the beam brought back) but also by a more modern efficient keel with substantially more ballast (more 300kg) and a bit more draft.

      The B/D ratio is 38% and that for this type of boat keel/draft is a lot. That would make for a very stiff yacht with a very good final stability. The new boat has about the same hull length (10.36 to 10.32) but has a substantially longer waterline (10.10 to 9.09). The LOA is considerably bigger since the new one comes with an integrated bowsprit (10.95m).

 The 340 is beamier (3.47 to 3.42) a small difference that looks much bigger due to the max beam pulled aft. The new one is slightly heavier (5980 to 5300kg) but it is more powerful and has more sail area (upwind), 65.5 to 61.6m2. 

The "old 342"
 The new one should not be faster on the light wind but when the wind picks up it would be a different boat:  stiffer, more powerful and able to carry more sail without reefing.  Also easier to sail downwind fast on autopilot due to the beam pulled aft and the two rudders. 

By the way, this boat is the first HR ever with a two wheel setup, that certainly will contribute to a better steering position (seating on the side) and to a better and easier passage from the wheel station to the cockpit.

Like on the 44, a huge improvement over the precedent model, that was already a good and popular boat. The improvement regards not only the sailing potential but everything from more tankage and more interior volume to bigger storage area and I would say probably a nicer and less heavy interior, if we take into account the one of the new 44. 

If this is what you are looking for, meaning a medium to lightweight 34ft sailboat that will be very easy to sail, that has a good (even if not sparkling) sailing performance, with a big stability (for the boat size), a good build and a cozy interior with a luxury finish with a hint of classical taste, this may be the right boat for you, providing you have the 250 000 euros that a decently equipped boat should cost (including VAT).

A very nice boat and a good looking one too, a great design from Frers, now the son. It seems that the new design of the HR has to do mostly with a change of generation, from the shipyard and from the design cabinet that for decades design HR, both are now run by the sons of the previous owner and designer.


A post out of season, while I am stuck at Limnos by the Mistral (gusting 40k), a complementary one to the one about the Halberg-Rassy 44:

I said on that post : "All this translates in a boat with considerably more overall stability, faster and safer with a better reserve stability and better AVS. HR should be congratulated and this model will be a great successor for one of the benchmarks of HR, the 43."

I was talking about boat design and what the design looked to me. No test had yet been made on the boat but that is not the case now, with several magazines testing it, among them Yachting World, with a two day test performed by a great sailor, Pip Hare, more used to racers than to luxury cruisers like Halberg Rassy and that makes her point of view specially interesting.

Well, she is a great sailor but not very talented in what regards communication skills (she does not talk much) and a thick accent makes a bit difficult to understand all that she says but the bottom point, besides the great cruising interior, is resumed in this phrase "effortless but not joyless".

The images on the movie also give a lot of information about how the boat sails, confirming what I had seen on the design: a contemporary one with more stability, stiff and faster than the previous model. A great boat no doubt with the only drawback of a lack of storage for long time cruising.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


As most of you know British magazines some years ago made a big fuss about brass seacocks on new boats (they still do) and hysteria about that was propagated like wild fire on boat forums.

It seems that the main culprit is the RCD, the ruling body for the conditions needed for boat certification in Europe when they state that the seacocks used should be corrosion free for at least five years. From that to the idea that seacocks will only last 5 years was a quick jump and even worse, some just say that if a new boat does not come with bronze seacocks they should be immediately replaced, as if the boat was in eminent risk.

Brass regular seacock
That of course makes no sense. Almost all production boats come with low quality brass seacoks (CW617N) and the average time they need changing is about 10 years.

That does not mean that a seacock due to some unusual circumstances does not need replacement after only one year or two and because of that seacoks should be thoroughly inspected every year and changed at the smallest sign of corrosion, white powder or small changes in color.
Brass DZR seacock
The problem of brass seacocks has to do mainly with dezincification, a galvanic process that extracts zinc from the brass leaving it fragile. It can happen if the boat zincs are not in a perfect condition or if there are abnormal electric currents on the water. It will probably happen anyway after many years, but it can happen in just some years under abnormal conditions.

It is rare but there are some well known cases where seacocks lasted just one year or two. So does that hysteria about brass seacoks make sense? Well, the truth is that boat builders should be using a higher quality brass, more resistant to dezincification (DZR) and almost all of them are using a lower grade brass but the truth is also that even high quality bronze seacock manufacturers don’t warrant their products for 5 years and I know of some bronze seacocks (of low quality) that lasted only one year or two. All seacocks should be carefully inspected every year even if that does not mean that they all last the same time.

RCD has its share of guilt on this issue because while stating that the seacocks should be made of corrosion resistant material don’t specify the allowed materials and as almost all brass valves will be able to resist the required 5 years (on normal circumstances) boat manufacturers, to save some coins, don’t use proper long term corrosion resistant materials on seacocks. Hopefully there are some talks that it is going to change due to RCD new demands. A good article about the subject:

Should we be very carefully about seacocks and seacocks inspection? Absolutely! 

Should regular brass seacocks be changed after 10 years (no matter what) or changed at the first signal of discoloration, white powder or signs of corrosion? Absolutely! 

Blakes bronze seacock
Should we be worried when we buy a new boat with having seacock problems on the next few years? Nonsense!!! even if that does not dispense seacock inspection each year.

Should you be worried with seacocks when we buy a used boat with 10 years or more? Absolutely! As well as with rigging, rudder and many other parts that are more expensive than seacocks. That does not mean that we should not replace them, if the previous owner has not done that already. The problem here is that many still look at a 10 year old boat as if it was an almost new boat, including the engineer that wrote that article above about corrosion on seacocks.

Should you look at the seacock’ materials when you buy a new boat? Absolutely!... they are a good indicator of the boat building care with the choice of materials but I would not say that they should be more important than keel and boat structure, keel bolts, chainplates linkage, rudder assembly, bulkheads, hull material and building techniques. All are good indicators of boat quality but while seacocks can be easily replaced, all other mentioned parts are not.

Should you mount bronze seacocks when replacing brass ones? Not necessarily, DZR (that is also brass) performs better than some bronze ones and some plastic ones. High grade bronze seacocks like Blakes or high quality plastic ones like the True design may be a better option than DZR Brass but they are justifiable only if you leave the boat full year on the water.

True Design seacocks
Anyway the future seems to point to good quality plastics seacocks, that offer a lesser price than top quality bronze ones and are full corrosion proof. However they need to be of very good quality plastic to assure the needed strength.

Should boats have mandatorily better seacocks (RCD) than the ones that are installed now by almost all boat builders, made of regular brass quality? Absolutely! 

Is there a reason for the hysteria about the ones that are installed now? No, if you have the knowledge to deal with that, after all there are tens of thousands of boats around with less than 10 years on the water and they are not sinking due to defective seacoks, but there is reason to be concerned about seacocks and carefully inspect them every year and change them after 10 years (if made of regular brass) and I bet many don’t do that and that is one of the reasons for this post.

This will be the last post in a long time. I have not been posting because I have been preparing my sailing season that will start in some days. I will come back only in October…so, till then, fair winds to all and have fun sailing.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


A deception, the Caribbean 600, saved by the epic fight between the two Mod 70 trimarans, Maserati and Phaedo 3. Even if on foils, Maserati did not beat Phaedo, but they have put a great fight: the boats have changed 4 times leadership, arriving Phaedo 3 with a 13 minute advantage over Maserati. Maserati had an incident with fish traps holding the boat that took them all chances of victory. The crew had to dive to set the boat free.

On monohulls the big absence was Comanche that left the way to an easy win (in real time) for the 88ft Rambler. The best race was among the two 72fters with Bella Mente beating Proteus and winning on compensated time.  100ft Leopard 3, a 10 year old racer, is not a match for the newer 88ft Rambler and lost almost 4 hours, beating in real time, with some difficulty, the 72ft Bella Mente (also a newer design) that arrived only about an hour after Leopard 3.

Only a bit more of 50 yachts finished the race but the percentage of big and maxi yachts among them was much bigger than on European races. Basically a millionaire's race with some top racing crews and top racing sailboats among them. A pity. This one has the potential to become the America's classic race....if more top racers, professional crews and top amateurs showed up in bigger numbers.

Anyway, some great movies due to excellent sailing conditions, that included a violent squall:

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Some guys get lucky and this time it happened to Toby Hodges, the main tester from Yachting world magazine, that was given the opportunity to sail Endeavour, one of the surviving J Class yachts. I am sure many will know what a J Class yacht is but this blog is followed also by many that have not a deep knowledge about yachting and will not know exactly what a J class is, so some explanation is in order.

The J class rule was used for the America's cup from 1914 to 1937 and was created in 1903 by one of the greatest Naval Architects ever, Nathanael Herreshoff, that called it the Universal Rule. It allowed slightly different boats having similar performances, providing the rating was the same. There were made 17 J class yachts ( 119 to 135ft) most of them for the America's cup and surprisingly 3 of them survived. They still sail and race proudly and Endeavour is one of them.

The fact that these yachts are a kind of paradigma of classic beauty helped a lot to preserve them and already in this century there was a true revival of the class. It has become fashionable to own a JClass yacht, a prestige status on the yacht top community and soon yachts started to be recovered to their former glory and replicas to be built. That is the case with Ranger's replica, with Hanuman (Endeavour replica), Rainbow's replica and even with two boats that were designed but not built at the time, Topaz and Svea.

And of course, races were organized for the J class, now with more boats on the water than ever. Why this revival? Are these boats fast? As racing boats, by modern standards, not bad upwind, lousy downwind or on a beam reach, since they cannot plane...but they have plenty of style, they are beautiful and anyway with a 85ft LWL, even if limited by hull speed, they have a decent turnover of speed as a cruising boat (a thing they are too, since they have gorgeous interiors ).

Sailing pleasure is not only about speed, it is also about sensations and I am quite sure these boats offer lots of good vibes and Toby Hodges looks like he is in heaven while sailing Endeavour LOL. Of course, for sailing one of these beauties it is not enough to have the yacht but to pay for a big crew to sail it. Anyway the owner is now a true Captain of a big crew and it is better he knows what he is doing otherwise he would have to pay for a captain too, since these babies are not properly easy to sail.

If you want to own one, Endeavour is for sale for something like 20 million euros. They offer now a 2.5 million discount so it is better to take advantage of that LOL. I wonder how much would cost to pay a full crew for this boat plus maintenance a year? Certainly way over a million a year, maybe two. There is a reason for the status given by owning one on the millionaire's world and it is not only about beauty. I am grateful to the ones that own them, otherwise we would not have the opportunity to see these beauties sailing. Well spent money!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


C yacht is a small Dutch brand that used to make quality sailboats at an interesting price but with an uninteresting design. But that has changed!!! It seems that finally Dutch shipyards are improving dramatically the quality of their designs and after Contest, it is C Yachts that has a main Yacht cabinet designing the new boats. The C 42 and C47 designs are already the work of Dykstra Naval Architects and as usually Dykstra designs are beautiful.
C yachts have a conservative clientele and certainly they asked Dykstra for a slightly conservative design and Dykstra obliged, specially on the 42 but on the 47 he put a lot more creativity. While the 42 is a good looking boat the 47 is absolutely gorgeous.

Both boats have modern hulls, relatively beamy with almost all beam pulled aft, a spade rudder and a modern bulbed keel with lead ballast, an elegant design with fine entries and narrow forward sections.

C yachst are already built with top building methods using an all sandwich hull with a closed cell foam core, vinylester resins, sandwich bulkheads bonded and glassed to the hull and a stainless steel main structure that is connected to the keel. This allows the C 42 not to be heavy, specially considering that they have a B/D ratio of 40%, on an effective keel with 1.90/2.20m  draft.

The C42 displaces 11500 kg, has  4.10m beam and a SA/D of 19.6. The C47 is more interesting, being proportionally lighter, displacing 13200 kg, having  4.40m beam and a SA/D of 20.6. Not bad for main market boats, similar to the dimensions of the Contest 42CS. The two boats should have very similar performances, good performances for main market sailing boats.

The rigging seems specially adapted to solo easy sailing, with a central winch that takes directly the main halyard, a solution that is used also on the Contest 42CS and on the Maxi 1200 with good results. The other two winches near the wheels receive the lines from the jib or genoa and only for reefing  will it be needed to go forward, on the cockpit.

The C47 will have proportionally a better performance being a very fast boat, for the type. Gorgeous and fast this one will only need an interior as good and nice, as the ones on the already existing Cyachts, to be one of the most interesting offers on this market segment. 

They are obviously not "cheap" boats but even so the 47 price seems interesting, at around 625 000 euros including 19% VAT, but with no sails. The 42 will cost, on the same conditions, 425 000 euros and that should make it a bit less expensive (but not much) than the Contest 42CS.

More here:

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Contrary to many I don't see anything wrong with the America's cup to be raced on flying cats, even if I had some doubts in what regards it being raced on sheltered waters and on controllable limited conditions, but those doubts, not to say disagreement, were even more present when they were raced on the last monohulls class, that could not sail with more than 15k wind, or about it.

Last edition I hated to see the NZ team  be beaten by Oracle, not because Oracle was American, but because they had managed that using some kind of mechanical/electronic gadget, that they introduced in the middle of the races, when they were losing for the NZ team, that helped them to control the boat better and that gave them an unfair advantage over the other team. They had lost all races till they started using the gadget, they won all after that.

The gadget was considered legal, even if I have some doubts about that, but none regarding the principles that use or the unfairness of making victory depending on gadgets that come in between the sailor and the hydrodynamic sail/boat controls.

Sailing is one of the mechanized sports where the relation between man and nature is more present. The body that regulates sailing sport had forbidden the use of engines to power sail systems to maintain that relation as simple as possible and it should forbid, for the same reason, the use of electronic/mechanical devices that help boat control, otherwise in some few years top sail racers like the AC racers, will be only controllable through a computer and the one with the best computer/program will be the winner.

Do you think I am exaggerating? Do you know that an interceptor fighter airplane can only fly with a flight computer/program that is in between human commands and airplane aerodynamic controls? That those interfaces are extensively used on comercial airplanes? 

Nothing wrong with that or the use of those type of computer managed commands on a sailboat, providing that they are not used on sailing sport, otherwise we will not be measuring sailing skill, neither boat/sail performance, but mostly the quality of the electronic management of a sailboat, if we want, how a sailboat is sailed by a robot. That's what we want for the sailing sport? Do you think that it is far from happening?Well....

"The 50-page design guidelines demand every boat be identical, save a few key elements, including the hydrofoil shape and control systems. So that’s where Airbus engineers focused their aerodynamics expertise. “What is amazing for an aeronautical engineer like me is that the technology used to design these flying boats is very similar to the ones we’re using to develop and test aircraft,” says Pierre Marie Belleau, Airbus’ head of business development....

....The defending champions, not wanting to leave anything to chance, also worked with BMW to integrate a steering system derived from touring car racing. Applying the semi-automated systems designed for automotive applications, the engineers made a yacht that responds to a turn of the wheel nearly instantaneously—instead of taking two seconds...

Aaron Perry, Oracle Team USA designer says..."You just have this little hokey stick foil section cutting through the water...the boats are completing practice races without coming off the foils, the hulls are now almost irrelevant.”

What will control that little hockey stick in real time, adjusting it in milliseconds to each new sea/sail configuration, keeping the boat steady and flying, will be what will make a boat win. That was what that gadget used by Oracle on the last edition has done and I bet that it was just the start. Humans don't react in milliseconds, computers do. That's what we want for the future of sail racing?

Monday, February 13, 2017


The Contest 42CS was the 2014 European yacht on  the luxury class, but I never posted about it here (the blog started about that time) neither  have I visited the boat. I did so this year, at Dusseldorf, and I was truly impressed. Sure it costs a lot of money, equipped about 600 000 euros, but in this case we can see where the money was spent.

And it is not only the interior, that  is impeccable (looks the one of a bigger boat), but every aspect, from the rigging to the build quality and design. Regarding design, this yacht has  a hull different from the other yachts on the Contest line, more updated, lighter, featuring a modern keel and rudder. The others are a bit outdated, old fashioned, as it was to be expected on luxury boats pointing to a very conservative clientele. Not so with the 42CS, that  the ones on the shipyard call a performance cruiser.

Certainly it is not so, at least by general standards, but it is a very stiff and fast boat, for a medium weight boat, specially when the wind is up. It weights 11T but 4.6T of that weight are ballast, that is on a nice lead bulb at the end of the keel with 2.20m draft.  The 42% B/D ratio is a big one considering the keel and draft, generating a lot of RM  that adds to the one that comes from a big hull form stability, due to a lot of beam (4.15m) and a large transom. A powerful sailboat with lots of stability and a very good reserve stability.

The AVS is a good one (about 125º) but the RM at 100º is proportionally much better. To give you an idea, the boat with the mast in the water is making as much force to right itself up as about the force it is opposing to the wind when heeled at 30º, the max heel the boat is designed to sail with and as you can imagine, that is a lot of force.

The hull is built in sandwich using vacuum infusion, vinylester resins and balsa as a core, the same with the deck. Bulkheads are in sandwich laminated to the hull and deck. The structural floors are also in sandwich. The rudder is made by JEFA as well as all rudder system.

The Contest 42CS can be made in many configurations but the one at the Dusseldorf boat show is the most interesting one, with a very clever winch arrangement (with a central winch) making easy for a solo sailor to control the boat without never leaving the two steering wheels. 

That layout features two cabins, a big aft locker, accessible from the exterior and from the interior, that joins the other big cockpit locker on the cockpit floor.

Inside there is a huge storage space, smarted with lots of cabinets for everything a boat needs including clothes. It also comes with a big space for a generator, that sits aft the engine and is easily accessed by the sides.

The type of boat that makes my wife happy (the first thing she looks on a sailboat are the storage spaces) and one that looks to be much bigger than the 42ft it has, with a great interior for a couple that receive occasionally another couple as guests.

 This is the perfect type of bluewater boat for the ones that like the more sedate movement of a middle weight boat and can dispense the sailing fun and speed of a performance cruiser, a less amusing sailboat to sail, but a more easy and comfortable one.  Personally not my type of cruiser but the one that will make  most sailors.happy...for a price. But if money is no problem and what you want is a very safe, comfortable and reasonably fast 42ft sailboat with one of  the best interiors I have seen, you cannot go wrong with this one.😉

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Another great boat winning this year's award. I had already made a post about it and it was without surprise that the Outremer 4X won this year's contest. Only the price of this beauty is not to like and they know it, since it is impossible to find it on line. It should cost over 750 000 euros, a huge price for a cruising boat.

Sure, the interior space of this extended 45ft (2ft more on the swim platform than the 45ft), about the same as a Lagoon 42, would be too much for most couples, the problem here is that a smaller performance cruising cat, with less than 45ft, would have not the right size for offering an adequate seaworthiness offshore, so in what regards performance cats, it is this size or bigger, while condo cats, due to the much bigger weight can offer the same seaworthiness in smaller sizes.

A great performance cruiser, not at reach of many, but that can be a very interesting choice for the ones that are looking for a 55/60ft performance monohull cruiser, a boat with a similar price, probably a not very different performance and certainly not more difficult to sail.

Here's what the boat testers of 11 European sail magazines said about the Outremer 4X and why they had chosen it as the 2017 European multihull:

Bert Bosman. Waterkampioen, Netherlands: The 4X can reach speeds of 20 knots in a pleasant and safe way, without heeling. Although the fine hulls do not provide the maximum interior volume, there is still a lot. 

Joakim Hermansson. Båtnytt, Sweden: The Outremer 4X moves faster than the wind in light wind conditions and sails even better when a good breeze fills the sails. With a tiller and ergonomically designed seats you can stay for hours at the helm and the living spaces on deck and bow are as pleasant as the interior ones. Also people who do not like to sail can enjoy going out at sea on it, since the 4X offers a new level of comfort.
 Roland Duller. YachtRevue, Austria: Surely the best of a new era in cruising catamarans of this size. It showed a good speed and  a capacity to offer sailing fun while providing many well thought out solutions, both on deck and in the interior. 

Pancho Pi-Suner Oses, Boats & Yachts, Spain:  It aims to be a comfortable boat to circumnavigate in a  fast and fun way and succeeds its objectives outstandingly. It provides all the comforts one expects to find on a catamaran but offers also very high performance. The interior and exterior spaces are integrated on one level leaving the two wheels or carbon chairs of the cane on a superior level for better visibility and that allow a more sporty steering. You really get what you pay for. 

Loïc Madeline. Voiles et Voiliers, France: The Outremer 4X is not only the European multihull of the year, but also a luxury yacht, fast and elegant. What makes it winner is the builder's decision to make it pleasant at the helm. This means having a light displacement boat, with a carbon tiller and a large sail area. It is certainly not as spacious as other catamarans of this size but it has a wide cockpit and offers a wide platform to enjoy anchorages. It is more expensive, certainly, but if you have the money, go for it.

Axel Nissen-Lie. Seilas, Norway: Outremer has what it takes to convince a monohull sailing cruiser to go over to multihull. The builder manages to solve the delicate balance between space / comfort and sailing performance. The reverse is the cost.

Jochen Rieker. Yacht, Germany: This has been a difficult category with many potential winners, but in the end the Outremer won in its class simply because it offered the best combination of space, comfort and performance while sailing. Even with the lazy wind in front of Cannes it was the boat that sailed more far away, always moving without effort. We will hardly find a better option to cross the Atlantic and spend the winter in the Caribbean.

Alberto Mariotti. Vela e Motore, Italy: With little wind, 4X Outremer was the boat that sailed more miles in Cannes and not only because Loyck Peyron was on board as ambassador. This catamaran is a real missile, built with carbon reinforcements and is half a ton lighter than the Outremer 45. Its undoubted sailing qualities are  opposed to a lesser living space in the hulls and to a bigger price. Interesting the option of having two steering positions with tiller, for sailors with a regata soul. 

Troels Lykke. BadNyt, Denmark: The 4X is expensive compared to other cruising catamarans of the same size, but the carbon fiber construction and modern design make it more fun to sail than others, being noticeably faster and with a much better acceleration. The Outremer 4X is a catamaran for real sailors. 

Lori Schüpbach., Switzerland: This catamaran is just perfect in every way: the steering is ideal, the sheets and halyards are located exactly where they should be and sailing performance is impressive. And nothing more and nothing less than the renowned sailor Loïck Peyron was on board as a shipyard consultant. The Frenchman was fully satisfied: "The boat is light and fast. And although it offers no more comfort than a home, it offers practically the same ". 

Toby Hodges. Yachting World, UK: The boat that was always sailing. That an 8T, 48ft cruising cat could sail at all in the 3–4 knot zephyrs was impressive. That we subsequently sailed steadily at 11–13 knots in 12–15 knots wind and that she could hit the mid 20s when pushed, indicates the 4X has the legs to perform. But getting that balance between speed, controllability and safety right is key for a distance cruising machine – and the 4X achieves that handsomely. This boat is not about outright speed, more a smooth, fast enjoyable ride – easy, stable flight. Outremer’s employment of Loïck Peyron in a godfather role is a clever way to ensure the ergonomics of the boat and the line handling is practically set up. The Outremer 4X is well-built to last, enjoyable to helm and the ideal size to go distance cruising at a good pace. I want one!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Three very different products related with cruising or boat maintenance: A sailing dinghy, a small scuba dive and a mast climber. Why are they  important? The Mast climber importance is self evident. A small scuba diver importance will be evident the first time you have a real problem with the chain or anchor stuck on rocks and a sailing dinghy, even if not indispensable, will add to the cruising fun. Who wants to go around an anchorage, exploring the coast, disturbing everybody with noise? Sure, there were several interesting  products around, but these ones seemed very good to me, for several reasons, being price and usefulness among them.

1 - Mast climber:

I have tried several products, even bought one, but with the age and weight going up I cannot go up the mast anymore with the one I got. Even younger and in a perfect fit it was difficult going up on a flexible ladder that was pulled up by a halyard. On the boat show there was a French guy demonstrating the American ATN system, that his firm imports to Europe, a system that is used by several solo racing sailors.

I was convinced and I am going to get one. The price of the mast climber kit is 280 euros. With the bosun's chair and with the bag, that doubles as tool bag, it costs 420 euros (VAT included). The bosun's chair is a wood rigid one and if you don't have one of those, but a more usually flexible one, get the rigid one since it is much more comfortable.

2 - Small basic diving gear:

I knew that Beuchat had a basic kit for boat use and I wanted to have a look at it and eventually buy it, but even if they said to me that Beuchat was at the boat show I could not find them at the huge pavilion full of diving equipment. Instead I saw what I wanted on a big German diving shop (SF-1) and after a talk with a very friendly and knowledgeable dealer (Thomas), I got convinced that they offered a better kit than the one offered by Beuchat and got one, delivered in Portugal without extra costs (it arrived today). Bought also an extra bottle, to have two on the boat.

Beuchat kit: 565 Euros, VAT included
SF - 1 kit: 435 + 39 Euros, VAT included.

3- Sailing dinghy:

That was a long time dream, to have a dinghy that would supplement the normal dinghy work with some sailing fun, to explore the coast around anchorages without the noise of the engine and with sailing pleasure.

I had not seen anything that had convinced me till now, not in size, weight and practicability. I found a Dutch one (DinghyGo) that probably had already seen on other occasions, but with a much superior weight.

The difference in weight makes all the difference in what regards practicability. They come in two sizes, weighting the bigger one (275 cm - 26kg)) less than the smaller one (220 cm - 28kg). A similar loss of weight is going to happen on the little one that will be considerably lighter than it is now.

Both dinghies look well built, strong, have a relatively narrow beam (both 145 cm) and a big payload (500 / 350kg). They can accept reasonably big engines (8hp / 3.5hp). The sail rig weights 15kg. When folded in bags both boats and rigs have a small dimension, the bigger one (dinghy and rig) : 112 - 72 - 32cm / 120 - 72 - 32cm. The smaller one: 112- 59 - 32  / 125 - 45 - 18cm. The bigger one costs  2899 Euros the smaller one 2398 Euros, VAT included.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


The More 55 was one of the boats that I was more curious to visit at the Dusseldorf boats show. I had done several posts about the More 55, accompanied the Atlantic crossing of several of them on the ARC, where one of the boats was very fast, being the others reasonably fast and with one of the them losing a rudder.

Regarding that rudder it seems that the problem was only with the rudder blade that delaminated and was gone, they say, after having hitting something. All steel structure remained in place and they were able to repair it with some floor boards.

They also said that on the Caribbean they had hit a reef hard and that the boat had not sustained any damage on the keel structure. Fact is that the keel structure, a huge massive steel grid that was visible through a plexiglass that substituted the floor boards, is an impressive one.

This is a new brand, owned by Swedish with boats built in Croatia, with the "savoir faire" of Salona, from where many  workers have come, including at high level, over a very good design by Cossuti. An improbable and curious story that started when a charter company, specialized on the charter of performance boats (More charter, that used mainly Salona yachts), decided to build their own boat.

The More 55 offers a dinghy garage of good dimensions and an interior very similar in quality to what Salona used to offer, even the design and choice of woods is similar and that means a good quality interior.

Unfortunately the layout is far from being the better for a boat with those dimensions and the saloon has much space wasted. It has a galley all along one side and a seating area and table on the other, resulting on a large space unused between the two sections. Worst, that large space makes difficult to use the galley at sea, since no body support is possible, at least in one of the tacks.

Three layouts are offered (all with the same saloon), two for charter and one for private ownership use, that one with a big forward cabin and a  large sail locker that will provide the needed storage.

The big disappointment came when I was trying to understand what kind of core they use on the hull and after  a lot of confusion I understood that even if this is a vacuum infused boat, they use a monolithic hull. Hard to believe in all those claims that they make regarding a very stiff hull with great resistance against torsion.

It also helps to explain how they manage to propose these boats at a very attractive price, being the one of the More 55 - 387 000 euros and the one of the new More 40 - 185 000 euros. Both boats are very light and it is difficult to understand how they can be strong enough using a monolithic hull with that displacement. A mixed feeling about these yachts after an initial big enthusiasm. Maybe they will improve the boat. It does not seem difficult.

Comparing the More 55 with a Jeanneau 54 we will see that the Jeanneau is almost  2T heavier and costs about the same. The Jeanneau has an infused balsa sandwich hull on the sides, a monolithic hull below the waterline with an interior "contre moule" as structure on the bottom. A better hull for the Jeanneau, a better structure for the More.

More about the More 55 :