Tuesday, July 16, 2024


Thanks to all that have commented posts on the blog, but from May to the end of September I am sailing, I have not time for the blog, and I will not reply.

Till October, have fun sailing, after that I will return, and maybe I will post some new articles, and I will reply to comments.

Friday, March 22, 2024


Cruising boats should be equipped for cruising but, oddly, they do not come equipped to do what they should be designed for, not even expensive ones like Hallberg-Rassy. Standard, most are not even equipped for sailing. Not the case with the Insieme 40, that comes already very well equipped for sailing and cruising, and that makes it a very different offer, almost a unique one on the market.

Most cruisers are sold with the same cruising equipment boats had 50 years ago, with a low battery bank capacity, without renewable energy power sources, and if you want to cruise without going from marina to marina, to recharge your batteries everyday, or if you don't want to run your engine everyday for several hours, you will need to install, either a noisy generator, or solar panels. In any case you have to increase the battery bank size, in many cases increase the boat tankage, and to make things worse, you will find that some of these items are not on the options list, or if they are, it will be in a very limited way. And you will have to add things like full electronic instruments, radio, auto-pilot, bow thruster or good quality sails, ad so on.

Not the case with the Insieme 40, that is truly thought as a cruising boat, it comes already with all the equipment that in other boats are expensive extras, and it offers, as standard, all the stuff a cruiser needs, from solar panels to a huge battery bank, a big alternator and a relatively big tankage.

The Insieme 40 is not really a new boat, it is a super equipped and slightly reinforced Sunbeam 40.1, now made by Vilm shipyard, also a German shipyard, and under the supervision of Gerhard Schöchl, who directed previously Sunbeam yachts.

Sunbeam 40.1
The Sunbeam 40.1 is an elegant yacht and a very good sailing boat that Sunbeam stopped producing, as well as all its cruising line, to center its activity in small daysailers. Obviously they stopped producing cruising boats, after decades making them, because they were not making money, probably they were even losing money with them. The 40.1 is a 2014 design from J&J and the last one was built in 2021. They only made 14 of them, and that is an unacceptable number for a production shipyard.

Sunbeam 40.1
Nine years ago, when I reviewed the Sunbeam 40.1, I said nice things about it, even if I did not predict a big success, but from there to the shipyard having difficulty in selling them, not managing a small profit to keep going, was a real surprise.

Back in 2015 they had managed to substitute their older cruising models and had two new yachts, the 40.1 and the 46, both contemporary designs, well built, well designed, with nice and high quality interiors, good cruising sailboats, proposed at a fair price. 

Now it becomes clear that the main reason for the Sunbeam failure, in a shrinking high quality yacht market, was their refuse to hugely increase the beam to allow much more interior space, at the cost of light wind, and upwind sail performance and maybe their insistance in maintaining the quality of previous boats when costs were escalating.


The 40.1 has a 3.99m beam and even if that does not make it a narrow boat, it is much narrower than for instance the Hallberg-Rassy 400 (4.18m), and even more if we consider less expensive and lower quality sailboats like the new Hanse 410 (4.29m) or the Dufour 41 (4.27m). 

Above, the Insieme 40, below the
Hallberg-Rassy 40
Also the refuse to bring beam back, to give it a huge transom, may have given it a too classic look for most, in a time where huge transoms are looked as modern, even if boats like  Jboats and JPK showed, while racing, that, out of mostly downwind races, the hull shape configuration of a huge beam and all beam pulled back, is not an overall advantageous one, even less in a cruising sailboat, that normally avoid strong winds, and is normally quite loaded. However it does allow to sail with less heel.

We can see that for about the same length cockpit,
the one on the HR is much wider, particularly at
the transom
And a huge beam and transom pose problems to the one that is sailing the boat upwind in stronger conditions, that risks to fall from above, several meters to the other side of the transom (nothing that hasn't ever happened to me), and increase marina costs, because due to huge beams there is now a beam limitation around 4.0 meters. If the boat has more, even if it has only 11.99m, it passes to the superior price category.   

This new version, besides being slightly reinforced, has some detail alterations in the hull, mostly to be able to say they have a skeg rudder, that is really vestigial, and not really a skeg rudder,  but hopefully those alterations  should have not a significant effect on drag and performance. 

Basically it is the same boat even if they don't disclose the displacement neither the ballast while saying that the boat has a "high ballast ratio".

The Sunbeam 40.1 is a relatively light cruiser, with 8500kg for a ballast of 2980kg on an efficient torpedo keel with 2.00m draft. The ballast ratio at 35.1% is way better than in mass production cruisers and a good one, better that the one of the Hallberg-Rassy 400, with a better final stability, even if the overall stability of the HR is way bigger, due to its 11000kg displacement.

Above, the Insieme 40 with the 1.9m L keel
Below the Sunbeam 40.1 with the 2.00 T keel
If the Inseme was used as a bluewater boat it would gain in having a more reinforced hull and hull structure and because it is a relatively small yacht,  having a bit more displacement would not be a bad idea because it would give it a bigger overall stability. If we consider that the Insieme has over the Sundbeam 500 kg in reinforcements and extra equipment, and a  less efficient L keek with 1.90m draft, for compensating, and give it a similar final stability they will have to increase the ballast in around 3500kg, and that would bring the boat displacement to around 9500kgs.

I have asked them about the ballast and they said that with the standard cast iron L keel with 1.90m draft had 3458kg. It can also have a torpedo T keel with 2.00m draft (the same as on the Sunbeam 40.1) and in that case it will be lighter. If we consider on both yachts the standard keel efficiency into bringing the CG down,  it seems to me that the location of the CG will be very on the two Yachts.

The Insieme, like the Sunbeam 40.1 will have a good safety stability and AVS, and with 9500kg displacement and a considerable hull form stability will have a bigger overall stability than most 40ft cruisers, and a much better safety stability and AVS, more than enough to give it a big safety margin in offshore cruising.

The standard Insieme keel
They told me that they don't know yet the displacement with the alterations, and I find that a bit odd because that should relate with the needed ballast. The standard cast iron keel design looks good, even if I would prefer the T keel with more draft and a lead torpedo (that should be possible). A T keel with 2.0m draft with a lead bulb should bring the displacement to just around 9000kg.

Anyway, if not for bluewater use, the original model with 8500kg displacement is more adequate, and will provide more fun and sailing performance than an heavier and more reinforced sailboat. And doing some Atlantic crossings in the right season, and mostly cruising in the Med, Baltic or Caribbean, in the sailing season, it is not giving it a bluewater use, even if one cruises extensively, or lives permanently aboard. 

What makes the Insieme really different from the Sunbeam 40.1 and other sailboats, even expensive ones (that come already with some equipment), is the quantity and quality of the standard equipment, that makes it not only a true sail away boat, but one very well equipped for cruising. 

It comes standard with high quality cruising hydranet sails (jib and main) using a furling mast, that should not be difficult or expensive to change to a standard mast, with one line furling boom, taking the opportunity to increase sail area. A furling mast in a boat of this size for bluewater use is not a choice I would have made, and even worse with vertical battens, that give a better performance but that increase jamming possibilities, and in the case of jamming makes lowering the sail much more difficult.

It comes with a sloop configuration, but with the deck stepped mast already prepared for a cutter configuration, that is an option. It comes with 6 winches, one of them electric, Harken genoa and mainsheet travelers. A self tacking traveler for the jib is optional and will only make sense in the cutter configuration.

It comes standard with a solid bow platform that serves as anchor stand and as bowsprit for a geenaker or code 0, with a 25kg spade, 50m of 10mm chain and an anchor winch with 1700w. It also offers an acrylic windshield on an aluminum frame.

Above Insieme 40 layout, below the Sunbeam 40.1 layout.
The hull seems different but itis not. The drawing of the
 Insieme is misleading,looks odd, and I don't know why
 they have such a bad drawing in their site.
The outside storage is good, they talk about a sail locker, but it is really a big chain locker that will allow to store some fenders and the garbage, plus a side locker and a big aft locker. On the Sunbeam the interior storage space could be accessed by the outside. That is a good idea, except if the boat is used for bluewater sailing. In that case I would  prefer not to have communication, because that represents a big liability if the boat capsizes.

Regarding instruments, the Insieme comes with a Raymarine i70s instrument system package for depth, temperature, wind, and speed. Raymarine Axiom PRO 2 9-inch chartplotter, Raymarine Evolution autopilot system (ACU-400) including Raymarine Type 2 autopilot drive. Raymarine AIS700 transceiver and Raymarine Ray90 DSC VHF radio.

Above, Insieme galley and saloon, below, Sunbeam 40.1. A bigger
head with a separate shower takes some space to the saloon and
 makes imposible the nice solution on the photo below, with a central
chart table and two seats.
It comes also standard with a bow thruster and an unusually powerful 50hp Volvo-Penta with a big 300L diesel tank. The water tankage is good, given the size of the boat (HL-11.99m), 400L, and it comes standard with a 24L boiler with a hot water electric system for when the the boat is at the marina or port.

In what regards standard electric systems it makes a big difference towards other yachts, coming with a huge house lithium battery bank with 660AH, 3000VA inverter with integrated 120A charger and 400W solar panel system, integrated into the deck. It has a large 120A alternator and numerous outlets (USB + 230V).

The interior is basically the one of Sunbeam 40.1 in the two cabin version, that was a nice and good quality one, with some alterations: the storage space seems well fitted and the layout was modified to have a bigger head with a separate shower (an improvement). 

On the saloon the seats on the starboard side were removed to be substituted by a multifunctional counter with two drawers (that optionally can be a freezer) and by a pilot chart table and a dedicated seat.

Regarding this last modification, in a relatively small boat, I find that dedicated chair a waste of space. If instead of the chair it was used a multifuncional block constituted by a long seat that coming from the counter served as seat for the chart table, it could not only provide two extra places at the dining table for guests, but also an useful storage space (under the seat) for provisions. It would also look better visually providing more integration.

Good storage everywhere with  plenty cabinets.
 The storage on the large storage room can be 
probably adapted to the owner needs.
Another interesting and very useful standard feature is a Flexima comfort mattress (in the owner's cabin) and blackout blinds and mosquito nets for all the hatches, two very useful items.

Besides the extensive standard equipment they offer options that make sense for extended or bluewater cruising, some of them not offered as options in other sailboats, like an arch with additional solar modules (up to 760Wp), davits for the dinghy, a watermaker, a washing machine (3kg), additional fridge/freezer, a microwave instead of the gas stove, a diesel heater, a masthead camera including collision warning system, and an additional, complete backup autopilot system. 

A generator is not on the list of most desirable options, even if it could be mounted, since this boat offers a lot of customization. That has to do with the spirit of this yacht that is designed for the ones that like to cruise with the nature, sailing and living aboard as silently as possible, even if I doubt the washing machine is not really too much an energy waste for using out of the port, or marina.

The Sunbeam 40.1 was better built than mass produced sailboats, the Insieme 40 is probably just a bit better, and its quality probably near, or similar, to the one of GS 42LC, that would be the boat with which to compare the Insieme 40.



Both boats use as structure a GRP liner that is bonded and glassed to the hull, plywood bulkheads bonded and laminated to the hull, 20mm plywood on the GS, 25mm and 16mm on the Insieme. 

Both use vinylester resin for the first layers then polyester resin, using both boats a high density closed foam core on a sandwich hull, using GS an infusion vacum system, and being hand laid on the Insieme, that uses below waterline only monolithic fiberglass, while on GS, they have only monolithic fiberglass in the places where their use is more indicated, like the keel. The GS uses some carbon fibers as reinforcement in the more stressed areas.

The keel is all cast iron on the Insieme and it is cast iron with a lead bulb on the GS. I would say that the GS has slightly better built specifications, but because the Insieme 40 is not built like a production boat, eventually, that can be compensated by a superior care and more controlled quality check, but to really know that you have to visit the shipyard and see how they work and how  the quality control is done.

On top, Insieme 40 structure, above, GS 42LC
The Insieme 40 makes sense if it is cheaper than the GS equipped the same way, but that is not an easy thing to find because the Insieme 40 has some exclusive equipment, like the solar panels and the big lithium battery bank. While on the Insieme you have all this already installed on the boat, and available more dedicated options for bettering the boat for cruising, on the Grand Soleil you will have to select a lot of options, and for some equipment, that is not on the option list, they would have to out source it, probably through the dealer, and that is not the same thing as having them installed at the shipyard, neither provides the same warranty of quality and the price for each item can only be obtained after an individual budget.

Above, Insieme 40, below GS 42 LC, two
different hulls, both with fine entries but
very different aft sections and transom.
Besides that, due to the much smaller production, the Insieme 40 has a potential for customization that the GS 42LC does not have. Another factor to consider is that the the Insieme has a 11.99m HL to a GS42LC 12.95m HL and that will allow the Insieme 40 to save considerably in marinas, dry dock, or in the payment of cruising taxes, that today have started to be the norm (Croatia, Greece, Italy) because it will pay one class below, while the GS will pay in many cases the same as a much bigger boat.

There are several test sails on the Sunbeam 40.1 and they all say that the boat sails very well. with a displacement of 8500kg and an upwind sail area of  87,5m2 (with a genoa), it has a very respectable 21.4 SA/D. You can read below one of the sail tests, (link) one that impressed positively the tester:

"Sailing her in extreme conditions showed she was more than capable of taking on the 1m swell and gusts in excess of 35 knots, moreover, with the right sail configuration she handled it with aplomb. The twin-wheeled Jefa steering was smooth and light, with just the right weight and precision and she was quick to respond: forgetting the course and chasing speed, I was frequently rewarded by double figures on the log.

Insieme 40
She offers a good compromise between performance and comfort. ... She’s a comfortable, fast offshore/ocean-capable cruiser that’s rewarding to daysail, too ..she’d definitely be on my shortlist, were I in the market for a 12m yacht. If you cruise as a couple or with friends, appreciate high quality and are prepared to pay for it, then she should be on your shortlist, too."


Grand Soleil 42 LC
Regarding how the Sunbeam will compare with the Inseme 40 I can only make an educated guess, because the displacement is not given and there is some confusion regarding sail areas. On the Insieme site they talk about a top genoa that is in fact a geenaker. I asked them about that, they confirmed it is a geenaker and they have given me for the genoa a 37.4m2 sail area, that seems to me a very small difference for the 36.1m2 jib. That would give only a 83m2 sail area, that is way less than the 87.5m2 the Sunbeam has, on a lighter boat, and therefore it would make the Insieme a considerably slower boat, specially in weaker winds.

Above, Sunbeam 40.1, below Grand Soleil 42 LC
But unless they have reduced the mast height then the genoa can be bigger and have the same size as in the Sunbeam (41m2) and the main, that is also given as being a bit smaller (45.8m2 to 46.5m2), if a non furling mast is used, can be increased in about 5 meters, so it should be possible to have a total sail area of about 92 m2 and that, considering a (estimated)  displacement of 9500kg (more 1000kg than the Sunbeam) gives a SA/D of 20.9, not far from the original Sunbeam 21.4 SA/D.

With the 2.00m T keel and a lead bulb, considering a displacement of 9000kg (weight saved by the keel superior efficiency), with the non furling mast and the bigger genoa, the SA/D will be 21.6, similar to the one of the original Sunbeam 40.1.

Comparing with the Grand Soleil 42LC, depending on using a furling mast or not, and a jib or a genoa, the SA/D can vary between 21.3 and 23.2 and that means that to have the same performance of a Grand Soleil with a furling mast, the Insieme has to have a non furling mast and a genoa, and that the GS has the potential to be faster, due to a longer LWL and optionally more sail area. But I would not be surprised if the narrower hull of the Insieme and the transom design (and aft hull shape) could compensate that, upwind or in light wind sailing. Not being truly performance cruisers, these two are fast cruisers.

Grand Soleil 42LC, above and below
As you all have already understood I like the idea, I like this boat and it makes much more sense to cruise with a smaller well equipped, well built sailboat that offers the speed, space and the seaworthiness necessary, than with a not so well equipped, not so well built bigger sailboat, whose maintenance and marina costs will be much superior, and that will cost more while new (even if not so well equipped).

As usual much is about costs and the Insieme 40, with all the equipment is expensive, at €504,000 excluding VAT while a Grand Soleil 42LC standard (without equipment) costs without VAT €349,000. That means a difference of   155,000 euros in equipment. On Insieme they say their boat has between 200,000 to 250,000 euros in extra equipment. If you have the right budget you have to check these costs out, and see if the Insieme is in fact a considerably less costly option.

With the Insieme you will have, even if you opt for more options than the equipment that comes in the standard boat, a sail away boat, as you want it, directly from the shipyard while with the GS 42 LC you will have a lot of work to outfit the boat with equipment that is not optional.

One thing is for sure, in Europe, with VAT, to have a new superior quality cruising sailboat, offshore capable, and very well equipped for cruising, you need about  600,000 euros, and that is just too much for the vast majority. In 2004/2005 when I was dreaming of changing my almost new Bavaria 36, for a bigger boat, for the retirement days, what you needed was about 350,000 euros. In 20 years yachts almost doubled their prices, and the same did not happen with average salaries.

Friday, January 5, 2024


RM yachts used to be very innovative boats and great yachts, but for several years I have not made a single post about them, even if they continue on the market, after a bankruptcy and subsequent recovery by Grand Large Group, that owns several brands: Allures, Garcia, Outremer and Gunboat, besides RM.

RM 1180, the boat that has led to RM bankruptcy. It is beautiful but
its hull shape with that cosmetic superior chine demanded a hull made
 not only of epoxy-saturated plywood but also made of fiberglass.
The last post was made almost 4 years ago at the time of bankruptcy and subsequent acquisition by Grand Large. It was an odd bankruptcy because they had a large number of orders, but due to the bankruptcy of a sub-contractor, that made the fiberglass parts for them, they could not make the boats at the prices that were agreed on the contracts. You can read more about that here:


RM 1380 and the  ugly graphic work
The new management did not bring anything new to the brand or to the sailboats. The 1180 continued to be oddly made with a hull partially in fiberglass and partially in epoxy-saturated plywood. The only new model was a remake of the RM 1370, now renamed 1380, that finished with the nonsense of a two-material hull, and like the 1380 before, it has a hull made of epoxy-saturated plywood, a deck made of cored fiberglass, being the boat also fiberglassed over the plywood on the interior.


RM 1380 at the 2023 Dusseldorf boat show. You can notice the
boat finish, with a lacquered blue over an uneven surface. 
I saw the RM 1380 last year at Dusseldorf, it looked huge, beamy, with a big freeboard and a beautiful and big interior. It was also a bit on the expensive side, costing at the shipyard without VAT 393,550 euros, and about 550 000 with VAT, decently equipped.



Oceanis 46.1
As a comparison, we can look at the Oceanis 46.1 price, without VAT at the shipyard costs 74,000 euros less, and the difference will be bigger on two similarly equipped boats with VAT paid, I would say around a 125,000 euros difference. 

The RM 1380 is a better boat but I would say that most who will spend more than half a million on a boat will also want that boat to look nicer than a much cheaper boat, and the hull finish of the RM was quite deceiving. 

Not only due to ugly graphics that look inappropriate in an expensive boat but also due to a lacquered blue painted hull, that you could see clearly did not have a perfect finish. All this contributed to an amateurish look, where class was absent. A functional yacht but not one you would fall in love with. You can see what I am talking about, as well as the big and well-finished interior in this "Yacht.de" presentation:


The problem with RM yachts has to do with the plywood building technique, which is suitable for small yachts, but not really adapted for big unities like this one. Just because RM made its name and reputation by building small epoxy plywood-saturated yachts does not mean it has to use the same technique to build bigger yachts.

The first RM were entirely made of epoxy-saturated plywood, then they started to use fiberglass for the cabins and decks. On the 1180 significant parts of the hull are made of fiberglass. On the 13.80 they abandoned the nonsense of having a hull with fiberglass parts and plywood parts and made it again all in saturated epoxy plywood, with a fiberglass cabin and deck. 

I wonder if the RM 1380 would not be a better boat if it was all made in fiberglass. But it is a plywood shipyard (all the fiberglass parts are outsourced) and making the boat in fiberglass would have implied a big investment. I don't know if it would make sense, because epoxy-plywood is a perfect construction method for the smaller boats that constitute the RM line. Maybe RM should stick to smaller boats having 36 to 40ft as its upper limit.

Probably what makes sense is to return to the origins, I mean, RM yachts were about inexpensive small fast plywood boats that offered a huge interior space, and good seaworthiness that allowed sailors to cruise to faraway places with a little budget.

1998 RM 1035
They started to build yachts 35 years ago and for many years they built small yachts for sailors who wanted to sail and cruise differently. Their first 40ft was only built in 2004 and it was not a big success, being their most successful boat the 35fter, which was first named as 1050, then as 1060, 1070, and now 1080.

Above, RM 1380 interior space, below,
Dufour 470 home-like interior space.
But the yacht cruising market demanded bigger and bigger cruising sailboats. This is linked partially to the increase in the cost of sailboats and the lack of places in marinas near big European towns. This led to most cruising boats being bought near, or at retirement age, in many cases by sailors who had not sailed extensively during their lives and whose wifes wanted to live, even if only for some months in the summer, in a house-like sailboat and therefore wanted the biggest possible cruising interior at the minimum possible cost.

Well, RM is not about that, and even if the 1380 can offer the accommodations that satisfy those requirements, the price is substantially higher than other options in the market, and puts the RM 1380 out of the main market, competing on the much smaller market for bluewater cruisers, a very limited one in numbers, where I have doubts plywood is really the best option, making it a boat that will be bought by very few.

The true RM best seller is the 35/36fter, in a size where epoxy-impregnated plywood makes sense and where the option for very beamy boats has given  RM the possibility of offering a small voyage boat with two decent cabins, lots of storage space, fast and with good seaworthiness.

RM 1070, above and below
And curiously they had maintained for 9 years, practically without changes, their last boat in this range, which is a huge period if we take into account the average time for changing a model, or at least for launching a true MKII. The RM 1070 is a great boat, very modern for its time, and escaped the nonsense introduction of a hull that was part plywood, part fiberglass and it sold well.

Some years back they introduced the 1370+, but it was not an MKII, just the same boat with some small improvements. The RM1080 is close to the RM 1070 but we can talk about a new boat, with a slightly different hull, basically the same interior, but with a new cockpit concept.

The cockpit proposal seems to me like the beginning of a good idea that got stuck somewhere. On a boat like the 10.80 the priority on the evolution should be to offer a bigger amount of living space to the sailors, without compromising speed and seaworthiness, while offering in the cockpit added protection and a better-adapted space for the cockpit's main functions: sailing the boat and living in the boat, while sailing and while at anchor.

For RM shipyard this should be a revolutionary boat to relance the brand, now under the Grand Large ownership, but with the original owner as CEO. Well, it is not, but it could and should have been.
Above the new 1080. It looks beamier even if they announce the same beam
(4.0m), that is a huge one for a 35.4ft sailboat. The max beam on the 1080
is reached at almost midship, and that makes the bow entries less fine.

The previous design is already a great one, the fruit of the continuous development of a concept over several models. This one should be the continuation of that evolution, and given the 9 years that separate it from the previous model, it should be considerably improved.

Knowing well what the type of cruiser that wants this type of boat is, it should be easy for them to provide this one with solutions that would make it a choice, not only for those cruisers but for the ones that would find that the bigger main brand 40fters (that are in reality 39fters), that cost about the same price, are not a better solution for a couple that wants to live in the boat for considerable periods and to cruise around, in the Med or doing the Atlantic circuit: Med-Caribbean-Med.

Above, RM 1070, below RM 1080
Providing the previous design already a great living space and very good performance, the improvements on this design should have to do with the shortcomings of the RM1070 towards main brands 40fters and in offering important features that are needed for cruising and that are absent on those boats and have to be customized later.

A virtual visit to the 1070 interior:

Being the RM 1070 interior space amazing, one of the shortcomings towards a 40fter is the smaller space to carry a dinghy forward to the cabin, which implies the use of a small dinghy. Everybody who cruises and likes to be at anchor will tell you that a dinghy, with at least 2.50/2.60m and a 4/6 hp engine is very important for autonomy, while at anchor. 

Initially, drawings were more radical, and the new model
looked even better, but the choice of not using a hull made 
partially in fiberglass limited design possibilities.
It allows one to be on anchor in less crowded places, having the possibility to go safely to villages some miles away for bread, restaurants, and provisions.

Not having space for it forward to the cabin, the obvious solution is to have it in an arch structure on the back of the boat, which would also provide space for the installation of solar panels and a wind generator. 

RM 1070 with a custom-made arch for carrying
 the dinghy and for solar panels
Solar panels are indispensable for cruising life and all cruisers have to customize a solution. If such a solution, for having the dinghy suspended and for solar panels, was an RM 1080 option, many sailors would have it, so many that probably it would make sense to have a version called "bluewater" with all that equipment. If produced in bigger quantities it would be less expensive than if customized, not to mention, better designed.

RM potential buyers tend to sail more and farther away than buyers of main brands 40fters, so another improvement that would be much appreciated would be better protection for sailing at night or with rainy weather, but the cockpit modifications they propose have nothing to do with that, but just with the possibility of having more space to be reclined, half laying, while at anchor. 

The new cockpit has the disadvantage of not allowing mounting a winch near the helmsman, for a genoa or a gennaker, putting all the winches far away, over the cabin, with the access made difficult by a fixed table. And it does not allow a good seated position at the wheel. They propose for it a kind of ridiculous seats behind the wheels, that are not comfortable or suited to steer the boat when it is heeled.

Above, RM 1080, below RM 1070. Note the absence of space on the
 1080 to seat comfortably at the wheel, as well as the impossibility of
having a genoa winch near the wheels. Imagine those seats brought to
the transom and a tiller. There are several options to modify the
 traveler to allow that.

A disadvantage of the previous cockpit solution versus a longer 40ft cockpit, that is not bettered on this one, is the length of cockpit seats that do not allow for laying down on them, sleeping from time to time, during a night watch solo, or with a wife who refuses to make night watches, and they are many.

While on a 40ft sailboat, there is enough length on the cockpit seats for laying at night, on a 36ft boat with a two-wheel setup you do not have enough space. But if you change from two wheels to a single tiller or single wheel, you can bring those seats all the way to the transom, not only allowing for space to lay down but also increasing the interior aft cabin space and the space for storage, inside and outside. Space in a small boat is precious, especially when you want to give it the same or better-cruising potential of a bigger boat, with the same price.
If well-designed the longer cockpit seats will provide space for a bigger sprayhood, one that can be easily put up and down, leaving half the cockpit covered and half in the sun, providing good shelter when it rains, or the sea is rough, and the tiller with a pole extension will provide better access to the winches over the cabin, with the possibility of having a winch on the side for the second head sail.

Probably it implies bringing the rudder a bit forward or moving the boom traveler aft the rudder. No big deal. Eventually, even if the tiller makes a lot more sense, an option with a single wheel can be used, one of those that tilts to make the access forward easier.

Above, on the 1080, you can sit but there is no space for lying on
 those big cockpit "beds. You can see that the seat for helming
disappeared substituted by narrow and uncomfortable seats.
One thing they should have done on this boat was to mount one of those cockpit tables that hide under the cockpit floor. It is especially important because it relies on winches over the cabin for maneuvering, and due to being a 35.4ft boat, does not have a wide cockpit that allows easy passage forward, with a cockpit table in the middle.

I don't know if I am wrong. I am thinking as a cruiser that likes fast boats, but it is possible that the RM would sell better with the 1070 looks, just because it looks more like a race boat, and some are not bought for extended living aboard. About looks, the 10.80 is improved by a continuous plexiglass window that makes the boat look longer, and the bowsprit is longer, even if the 1080 has less fine bow entries than the 1070.

RM 1070, seating position at the wheel, with a winch nearby.
They did not pursue that crazy solution they tried in the 1180 of a hull part plywood, part fiberglass, and that is a very positive thing. 

The 1080 may not look as good as the 1180, but it looks good, and the building is much more rational and problem-free.

The 1080, as its name indicates, is slightly longer than the 1070 (cm), it has the same big beam (4.0m) with a hull with the beam brought aft. The difference is that in the new boat max beam is almost at the midships, while on the previous model, it was more aft and it was not all brought back to the transom, like in the 1080. This allowed for finer entries on the previous model.
The RM 1080 is heavier (5200 to 4900kg), and it has similar keels (twin keel, single keel, or swing keel) with a similar draft (2.04/2.05 for the single keel, 1.72 for the twin keel). Like on previous models they don't announce ballast, which on the version with the twin keels, on the 1070, is 1600kg. That gives a 32.7%B/D on a keel with 1.72m. 

That is not much and it will give it a safety stability and an AVS probably not better than the one on a Jeanneau SO 410 (that has good values for a main brand 40fter), and smaller than for instance the one on a Pogo 36, that has a smaller 30.3%B/D, but on a swing keel with 2.8m draft. 

Above, RM 1080, below RM 1070
However, it should be pointed out that the RM 1080, being heavier than the Pogo (5200 to 3600kg) will have a bigger overall stability. I hope that on the TM 1080 they have resisted the temptation of not increasing the ballast, otherwise the AVS and the safety stability will be worse than on the RM 1070. For having a similar AVS and safety stability the new boat should have at least around 100kg more ballast.

The new boat will have the advantage of a bigger standard tankage, water 2x150L to 186L (on the 1070) and fuel, 130L to 80L. In regards to sailing it is the opposite having, both boats with genoa, 72.0m2 for the 1080 and 77.2m2 for RM1070. 

Above and below, RM1070
Being the 1070 300kg lighter, having a bigger SA/D, with finer entries, it is a faster sailing boat. Not having the 1080 the possibility of having a gennaker winch (that can also be used to sail the boat solo with a genoa) contributes to the smaller sportiveness. Both have a 30hp engine.

Bottom point, if I had to choose, I would choose the 1070 over the 1080. Sure, the 1080 looks slightly better if we don't look at the cockpit, but I find that solution bad. If it offers some advantages while at anchor, it offers big disadvantages while sailing the boat...and it makes the boat uglier.

It displeases me to say that I find that the 1080 is not the evolution I hoped for to give a new life to RM yachts, and to continue the innovation path that had characterized RM yachts, before having derailed.

The new boat will cost at the shipyard without taxes 250,000€, and the Jeanneau costs 228,672€. 

21,000 euros less but the RM has better sail hardware and you will have to spend more on the Jeanneau to have the same quality, not to mention there is not a cutter rig option for the Jeanneau, that is an option on the RM.

Above Jeanneau SO 410, below, Pogo 36
Both boats with taxes and fully equipped should cost in Europe a bit more than 300 000€ (VAT between 19 and 23%) and being different boats can be a choice for a sailor that has a budget of less than 350,000€ and wants a relatively fast cruising boat.

Being the Jeanneau SO 410 the fastest among 39/40ft main brands mass-produced sailboats, and offering also an option for a swing keel (that is also possible on the RM1080) it is a natural competitor.

We could also consider the Pogo 36, which can also have a swing keel and will fit the same budget, but it is a much faster and radical sailboat, not offering the same interior comfort, offering more fun while sailing, provided you cruise in a spartan way, carrying very little personal stuff. 

A different type of cruising, less pointed for family cruising and more for solo or a very sportive couple. 

 But no doubt, some of the ones who will consider choosing the RM1080 as a cruising boat will also consider the Pogo 36, but not the same that will consider a choice between the RM 1080 and the Jeanneau SO 410.