Wednesday, April 21, 2021

NEW HALLBERG RASSY 400 VERSUS HR 40C


Well, half new, because it is not really a new sailboat but an aft-cockpit version of the 40C, which is a central cockpit boat. Except for the different cockpit position and interior layout, all is the same, the hull, sail area, tankage, engine, hull, rudders, keel ballast and draft.

I have done a comparison between the  HR 40C and the HR 412 here: 
https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2020/01/new-hallberg-rassy-40c-versus-hr-412.html

Now that the HR 412 has been retired and substituted by the HR 400, a 41.4ft boat being substituted by a slightly smaller yacht (40.4ft), but with a bigger waterline and more beam (4.18 to 4.11m), the comparison that matters is between the HR 400 and the 40C.

The HR 400 has a bigger cockpit, even if not as big as it could have been. On the 40C the passage from the steering post to the rest of the cockpit is more difficult but all sailing controls are at the reach of the helmsman and are easier to use, while on the 400C only 2 of the four winches are at the direct reach of the helmsman but the passage to the other two is facilitated by a two rudder setup.

Difficult to understand why the winches on the 400 are not more aft and why the second winch is not closer to the one near the wheel. The way it is, it does not only prevent the helmsman from reaching it from the wheel position as its operation intrudes with "passengers" sitting on the cockpit.

The mainsail control on the 40C is more intuitive, quicker and better, through a purchase system on a traveller at easy reach. On the 400 the traveller is over the cabin and for controlling the mainsail you will have to do it on the winches that are out of reach, as well as the lines for controlling the mainsail traveller.

On top of all this, the helmsman seating position is better on the 40C. Normally in this size of boat, I would prefer an AC cockpit to a CC one, but in this case, while the 40C is exceptionally well designed, the 400 leaves much to be desired, particularly the winch position and the treatment of the aft part of the cockpit.

The 400 has an odd transom with two transom small seats that will be uncomfortable with the boat heeled (and the boat is heeled most of the time). The only lateral possible sitting places are very narrow and high, so narrow and high that I doubt they would be of any use due to discomfort, even if most normally sit laterally when sailing the boat upwind or with any considerable degree of heel.

I don't understand why the back seats don't start at the transom, allowing the wheels to come further aft, increasing the length of the cockpit seats, and allowing more space to lie down. Don't understand either why the swimming platform is not bigger, closing the cockpit. Saving money using the 40C swimming platform, on a boat this expensive should not be a reason.

One of the disadvantages of the 40C is having more difficult access to the swimming platform, and a small one, by limitations due to the type of design (CC). The 400 has not those limitations but it has a small swimming platform anyway, as if a bigger one was not an advantage.

Regarding outside storage, the 400, in the 3 cabin version, has little storage and should only be considered if small cruises or marina to marina cruising will be the owner's main program. The 40C offers more storage space, with two bigger stern sail lockers. The 400 two under the seat cockpit lockers (one on the 40C) will not compensate for the bigger overall outside storage space on the 40C.

But things will change radically if we consider the 400 two-cabin version (the 40C has only a two-cabin version) and in this case, the outside storage space is huge, with practically one of the aft cabins turned into storage, but being that storage space accessed exclusively from the cockpit. 

But huge is not the same thing as practical or usable and the only outside access and its huge deep size make it not as functional as it should be, and unnecessarily big. 

This approximate size and type of sailboat, rarely used for charter and with a bigger percentage of owners using it more often for extensive cruising should have ideally two heads, two good cabins, a big galley and good interior and exterior storage space.

Regarding this ideal, neither of the boats comes out with flying colours and I believe either one could have a better layout: the 40C offers a great galley, one magnificent aft cabin, a good bow cabin but offers only one head, and the only head, weirdly, is far from the bigger cabin and almost integrated into the smaller one.

The 400 offers the same forward cabin and head, as on the 40C, a second and much bigger head but a smaller aft cabin. The aft cabin could be much bigger if transversal, with the technical space situated not behind the engine, but laterally, on part of the space that was occupied by the 2nd cabin, and that is now a huge undivided storage space. 

The only disadvantage to this solution would be the impossibility to mount an optional stern thruster, but who needs a bow thruster and a stern thruster, on a boat of this size? The outside storage space would still be much increased regarding the three-cabin layout and could be turned into a more usable one.

The 40C galley is much bigger than the one in the 400. The 400 galley could also be made bigger if a transversal aft cabin was considered. On the 400 it is hard to understand the lack of interior access to the main storage space due to the head layout, which has the toilet where that passage could be made.

Both saloons have the same space and distribution both can have two individual armchairs, only the position of the chart table and size varies, being considerably bigger on the 40C. The 400 has in fact an interior that is not smaller than the one of the bigger 412, with the exception of the chart table that is smaller,  and that is no small feat.

Between the two, the 40C seems better designed, however, not having a second head and the only one being a relatively small one, is really a negative point. Maybe the size is wrong, maybe they should have started without a pre-determined size and tried to have the smaller possible yacht with two heads, two good cabins and a good galley. I guess that they would have ended with a 41ft yacht even if I find that the 40C layout could be easily better. 

A pity that for so little extra length, and for a small difference in price, they were not able to offer the smallest, and yet perfect, two cabin/two head cruising yacht. If that is very hard to manage or impossible to manage on a 40ft CC yacht, in what regards a 40 AC, that seems not so difficult, with the right compromises between outside storage and interior space, but in this case, the aft cabin seems too small for perfection and the outside storage space unnecessarily big.

Both are beautiful yachts with great quality and design interior, well built and yachts that will make their owners proud. Test sails have been very positive (40C) and this is a great size to be sailed solo with confidence, and for not being overwhelmed when those automatic systems that allow a solo sailor to sail bigger yachts fail, or when things just go wrong.

HR 40C Sail Tests available on-line: https://marina.ch/fr/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/04/Logbuch-HR40C-130-F.pdf 

 https://marina.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Logbuch-HR40C-130-D.pdf

https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/reviews/yacht-reviews/hallberg-rassy-40c-the-best-sailing-boat-h-r-have-ever-built 

https://www.magzter.com/stories/Boating-Sailing/Yachting-Monthly/FIRST-TEST-HALLBERG-RASSY-40C

https://www.velaemotore.it/test-prova-hallberg-rassy-40c-navigazione-pregi-difetti-19187

 

The price, like the quality, is high and the difference in price between the two boats is negligible. The prices are originally in Swedish Crowns and have small variations due to money exchange, with both boats costing between 400 000 and 420 000 €, without VAT, standard at the shipyard. 

Sunday, April 18, 2021

THE EXPLOSIVE RISE OF DUO AND SOLO OFFSHORE AMATEUR SAIL RACING


Solo and duo offshore professional racing have become not only mainstream but the more popular type of sailing, the one that has created more interest, has a bigger audience. That means more sponsors, more professional sailors, more top racers and a more rapid design evolution towards faster boats.

I guess that many are having doubts about this statement, but look at the racing boat panorama: in handicap racing new top racing boats have become a rarity. Boats like Comanche or Rambler 88, both built 7 years ago, are still the top of the crop, while a top 7-year-old boat for solo or duo races, an IMOCA, with 7 years is already outdated and if not modified, it will only win a top race if more recent boats have problems.

Dehler 30 OD
Some would point out that VOR, now Ocean Race (new name), has a big audience, but that audience is considerably smaller than the one of the Vendée Globe. And not only the boats used in the last VOR edition were outdated, as the crews, having some top sailors, were constituted mostly by middle-level professional sailors and many that were top sailors on those crews had come from solo or duo racing. That was the case with the skipper, navigator and several other crew members of Dongfeng, the yacht that won the last edition.


JPK 1030
On the last Vendee Globe there were thirty-five yachts racing, while on the last VOR (now Ocean Race) there were only seven.  And while on the Vendee there were eight new boats racing, with many from the previous generations modified to be more competitive, all the boats that raced the last VOR were refitted yachts that had raced the previous edition, that had also only seven yachts racing.

The Vendée Globe is the more popular event regarding professional offshore solo/duo racing, but there are several other races with big popularity, like the Route du Rhum, Transat Jacques Vabre or the Barcelona Race, all raced in IMOCA. 

It does not happen the same with top-crewed offshore races for professionals, where the VOR is the only big race. There are no more races sailed exclusively with the VOR 65, and they compete in IRC races, many times chartered to amateur or semi-amateur crews. Unlike the Vendee Globe, the Ocean Race was postponed due to Covid. Instead of starting this year, it will only start in 2022, and this edition will be not only raced in the old VOR65 but also in IMOCA. 

This allowed a much bigger interest from professional solo/duo racers and the number of entries is already much bigger than in previous editions, 14 in IMOCA and 8 on the older VOR65.

The much bigger interest on the Ocean Race is not only due to the introduction of a more modern racing boat, one that has already a large fleet, but also due to the spectacular footage provided in the last edition by professional cameramen. Those great videos were responsible for a bigger audience and that means more potential advertising revenues, and all that allowed for a much bigger number of teams to be able to find sponsors for doing the next edition, 3 times more than on the two previous ones.


Sun Fast 3300
Unfortunately, the organization did not keep up with the increased sportive interest of this race, that would have the potential to be a sort of top World Offshore Championship for crewed racing, if the organization hadn't imposed ridiculous and numerous limitations on the crew composition, especially on the VOR65 crews, with limitations in what regards age and sex, allowing also frequent changes in the crew composition. On the IMOCA crews, the only crew limitation is that one of the five crew members has to be a woman, God knows why.

Obviously, if this were to be a more serious competition, crews could be formed freely, with the best sailors available,  old or young, men or women. If they want to give opportunities to all types of sailors no matter their age or sex, creating quotas, they obviously forgot one for sailors older than 60. LOL

But even so, on the Ocean Race, we see the same tendency in what regards downsizing crews and if the VOR65 still has a crew of 10, the IMOCA has 5, which is still unnecessarily big due to the type of boat and rigging (that will be different than the one used in solo/duo races).

Assuming they are top professional sailors that crew could be easily reduced to 4, without having a significant loss in performance.


J99
Long introduction, to point out what is now top professional offshore racing, and also to point out the disproportionate percentage of solo/duo racing sailors among the top sailors on top crewed racing professionals teams. On the last three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, two were won by crews that had a skipper and several top team crew members that were top solo sailors.

The amateur offshore racing panorama has mostly to do with handicap racing and one-design series, but contrary to professional offshore top races the percentage of  "full" crewed racing is much bigger than solo or duo racing, maybe because it is much easier to sail with a crew than solo or duo. But that percentage has been rising sharply in the last years and not only the number of races for solo or duo has increased dramatically, as well as a duo-handed class was created on the main IRC races.

 

Probably the turning point was in 2013, when the Loison family ( a father and son duo) won overall, for the first time, a major IRC race, the Fastnet, obviously winning also the duo crewed class. A feat that was not repeated even if it was close to happening again in 2019: the son (Alexis Loison), sailing in duo with the boat builder, Jean Pierre Kleber, finished 5th overall, winning the two-handed class and their "full" crewed class, IRC 3. If the weather conditions had not favored big yachts (the overall winner was a VOR70) they would have probably won overall too.


 

In France, offshore solo and duo racing have been popular among amateurs already for many years, but what is really new is the last years' increasing popularity in the UK, North of Europe and Italy. On the next Fastnet (August 2021) edition, we will have 89 duo crews, almost doubling the number that raced the 2013 edition! And more would be racing if the number of yachts allowed to participate was not limited.


 

On the most popular amateur Nordic offshore solo race, the Silverruder, this year's entries beat all previous records, and like on the Fastnet, they are not more because they are limited to 451 yachts, while the waiting list is much bigger than that. For the 2021 Mini Transat they have 126 pre-enrolled for 86 possible entries and for this year's Transquadra (amateur solo and duo racing Transat) there are 96 entries.

 

This increase of interest in amateur solo/duo offshore racing is very relevant to boat design, especially because we know that for each one doing these races, there are two or three others dreaming of doing them. And it is important because while on top professionals the size of the yacht that can be mastered solo, while racing, can go to 60ft, the same does not happen in amateur racing, not to mention that smaller yachts are much less expensive.

Aeolos P30
Medium-level professionals are not able to master solo 60ft boats (IMOCAS), and to master, I do not mean not being able to race them but to be truly competitive in them. Entry-level offshore solo professionals start with much less powerful sailboats, with 6.50 mini-racers (21.3ft) before passing to the Figaro class (32ft) and 40Class (40ft). Normally only good Figaro racers or 40class racers will be able to do a successful transition to the 60ft class, and even so most will need some years sailing them before being competitive.

Farr X2
A full amateur crew of good level can be competitive racing a 40 to 50 ft cruiser-racer (or racer)  but the same does not happen if the boat is sailed solo or duo. Besides, because cruiser-racers and race yachts are designed to race with a big crew seating on the side acting as ballast, they are underpowered, without the human moving ballast, while racing solo or duo.

The market for an offshore racing yacht, including cruiser racers, was for many years dominated by yachts between 37ft and 50ft, but now, with the increase of duo and solo amateur offshore racing interest, we can observe an unparalleled increase in the offer of small cruiser-racers and racing boats, yachts between 21.3ft and 35ft, with running rigging adapted to solo or duo racing, many with water ballast, to take the place of the crew seated on the rail, or with a big B/D, that provides the upwind extra power to sail upwind or beam reaching, the extra power that was generated by the crew weight, acting as ballast.

Dehler 30 OD
That is why in what regards racing boats and cruiser-racers this market niche is probably the one with more interesting and innovative racing sailboats (including cruiser-racers) and with more new production boats. Sensing this "revolution" I started this article more than a year ago, but I decided to wait till the tendency was more clear to all, and it was a good move because since then several new boats have appeared.

Great new times are coming not only in what regards sail racing but also in what regards sportive spartan cruising associated with a boat's dual-use. Of course, all this started many years ago with the 6.50 mini-racer (44 years ago) and many years later with two pioneering cruiser-racers, the Figaro I (31 years ago) and the Pogo 8.50 (22 years ago). 

JPK 1030
But then it was exclusively a French thing. Now you have just to look at the many nationalities that will race this year's Mini Transat to understand that solo/duo racing has become an international affair. The majority of racers are still French but now there are racers of other 13 nationalities, many of them with several sailors competing.

There are actually 3 Mini-Racers that are production yachts (Wevo 6.5, Maxi 650, Pogo 3) and like those many other small sailboats are designed having as focus solo offshore sailing and solo/duo racing among them the Django 6.70, 7.70, 9.80 (one 7.70 is circumnavigating), Seascape 27 /First 27 (10 years ago), JPK 10.10 (10 years ago), A27, A31 (11 years ago), A35, Figaro 2 (18 years ago) and the Sunfast  3200 (13 years ago).

Sun Fast 3300
Recently a new generation of racers and cruiser-racers, pointed to solo or duo racing, come to the market, and are already dominating not only the solo/duo amateur racing but crewed IRC offshore racing (on their division and also winning overall): The JPK 10.80, JPK 10.30, J99, Sunfast 3300, Sunfast 3600, that were joined recently by even more recent designs, some still on the building phase, the Dehler 30 OD, Aeolos P30 and the Farr X2.

This new generation of small cruiser racers and racing boats, their variety and market vitality, are a response to the explosive rise of interest for amateur solo/duo offshore sail racing, not only in France, but everywhere. This type of racing allows having great fun with small costs, and allows to have great sportive results, not only in dedicated races, but in IRC major offshore races, where a good duo crew can win, not only the two-handed division but also the crewed division, and even the race overall.

J99
Recently this interest in solo/duo amateur racing was recognized by the World Sailing federation that proposed a duo-handed World Championship and the creation of an Olympic offshore duo category for the 2024 Olympic Games. Unfortunately with a new Chinese President on the World Sailing federation, all these projects went backward, as well as the official recognition of the international growing interest in this type of sailing.

But I would say that it is only a question of time because it is not the President of WS that decides the routes of sailing as a competitive sport, but the sailors that race and that choose in what type of sail racing they are more interested in, and they do that by racing the way they like more.

 

To the growing interest will correspond a bigger number of racers, more boats designed for those races, more public interest, more sponsors and that's the way things work, and not the other way around, with someone on top deciding what should be, and what should not be, the future of sail racing.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

AEOLOS P30: SMOKING THE DEHLER 30 OD

If you are a follower of this blog you have noticed that, more and more, posts are about big yachts, some bigger than 50ft, and believe me, not because I have a bigger interest in them than in smaller ones, but because new and interesting sailboats are appearing mostly among big yachts to the point of becoming rare among smaller sailboats.

I believe this has to do with price and sailor's options. Interesting sailboats, many times imply better materials and superior boatbuilding and therefore tend to be more expensive.  And if the boat is more expensive it makes sense to buy a bigger boat that costs the same price, offers more interior space, is as fast, with bigger overall stability. Regarding bigger yachts, this is less true because sailors are buying the size they want, independently of how much they will cost.

The only remaining niche where we can still find small interesting sailboats is among the ones that are used mostly for racing, cruiser-racers, more pointed to racing than cruising, and true racing boats. and That's the case with Aeolos P30, that is a racing sailboat, one that is pointed more to offshore solo or duo coastal races even if it can be also used in crewed coastal regattas.

The Aeolos P30 is truly a very interesting sailboat, one that will have a great sailing performance and probably will smoke in real-time any other 30ft racer in a single or duo offshore race: it was designed to do that by a very experienced racer, a specialist in this kind of races that used to win them in a Farr 280.

The other boat designed with the same program: winning in real-time coastal offshore races on a 30ft sailboat, is the Dehler 30OD and the Dehler will not stand a chance against the Aeolos, unless very particular conditions are met, with strong winds and a very disproportional downwind sailing...and even so I have doubts that it will be faster. 

https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2020/04/django-8s-dehler-30od-mojito-888-pogo-30.html

Dehler 30 OD
Contrary to the Dehler the Aeolos is a full carbon/epoxy boat and all in it is maximized to save weight. The Dehler interior, which allows for some spartan cruising, looks luxurious when compared with the one of the Aeolos, which is bare, with just some cushions to sleep and a support for a laptop. 

The interior remembers me of my first boat, a 23ft traditional 80-year-old wooden sailboat with a covered full deck and an open interior. My wife and I sailed it along the Portuguese coast, more than 40 years ago, living inside (and mostly outside), for several weeks. 

Dehler 30 OD
Like in this one the head was a chamber pot, the difference is that on this one it is a carbon one LOL. Times have changed and now, instead of emptying it overboard when there was nobody around, they propose to store the pee and shit on plastic bags to dispose of on land.

Well, not very practical, it is to stretch things in a radical way, but that is what this boat is about, and this spartan approach allows it to have a lower price than the one of the Dehler 30 OD. 

Dehler 30 OD
Of course, the Dehler includes an expensive inside engine, while Aeolos will use a small 6hp outboard engine in a removable motor plug, that can also take an E-POD drive 6hp electric motor. 

The well will be closed, when the engine is not in use, allowing for a clean hull and less drag.

Farr 280
All in this boat is spartan, cleverly designed, functional, aiming to save weight and maximize performance. The only concession to performance is the beam, which is limited to what it is possible for the boat to be trailerable. Even so, it is not a big trade-off because they use a special trailer that tilts the boat and they manage to have the required width (2.55m)  with a 2.95m beam. 

Aeolos P30
The concession to performance due to limitations on beam is small because the optimal beam for such a boat should be between 3.10 and 3.30m, assuming that it is used mostly in coastal offshore races, where generally there is a bit more beam reaching and downwind sailing than upwind sailing. 

And if it is a small concession in what regards performance, on offshore coastal races, in what regards crewed traditional regattas between buoys, the beam is probably the right one (or very close) for providing the better performance on traditional regattas, that normally have the same distance upwind and downwind. This is even more true if the wind is in between 12 and 14 kts.

Nothing to do with the big beam compromise L30 (the boat chosen by World Sailing for the World Sailing's Offshore World Championship 2020) assumes, regarding overall sailing performance, to be trailerable without a tilting system: a 2.55m beam. That beam compromises the sailing potential of a 30ft boat, slightly on traditional regattas, but much more when the boat is used solo or duo on coastal offshore races, especially if they are solo or duo crewed.

The Dehler 30 OD, with a sailing program similar to the Aeolos P30, has a 3.28m beam, the 32ft Figaro3, 3.40m. Solo racers maximized for beam reaching and downwind sailing have more beam: most racing boats from the 9.50 Class (31ft) had a beam between 3.6 and 3.7m and the Pogo 30 has a 3.5m beam.

https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2018/02/l30-racing-and-cruising-on-fast-lane.html

https://interestingsailboats.blogspot.com/2019/03/l30-shame-on-world-sailing.html

Out of that limitation, the Aeolos P30 is truly maximized for performance, offering much more spray protection and interior space than other fast racers like the Farr 280, Soto 30 or Fareast 28R, offering also more power, more stability and a rigging adapted to solo or duo sailing.

If we compare the Aeolos 30 design data with the one of the Dehler 30 OD we will understand clearly why the racing potential of this sailboat is extraordinary: both boats have the same hull length:  9.14m (30ft), with a similarly long bowsprit, that will give them a close LOA, one that is not specified on the Aeolos and it is 10.30m on the Dehler. 

The Dehler is considerably beamier, with 3.28m while the Aeolos has 2.95m. The Aeolos is much lighter, with 1530kg (including a 6hp outboard engine), while the Dehler, with a 10hp diesel engine, displaces 2800kg. Both have similar torpedo keels with the same draft (2.20m) but the Aeolos has a lifting keel that allows it to be moored in shallow water (0.5m) and allows it to be easily charged on a trailer without the help of a crane.


Above,Dehler, below, Aelos
The ballast is not very different, 940kg on the Dehler, 800kg on the Aeolos, but because the Aeolos is much lighter that gives it a much bigger B/D (52.3% to 33,6%). The bigger RM/D that comes from the Aeolos keel will be partially compensated by the Dehler superior hull form stability and also by 200kg of water ballast, but all that increases weight and drag, and in the end the Aeolos will have a considerably better power/drag relation.

And if we look at the sail areas we will see that even if the Aeolos is much lighter and has less drag,  they are not very different. Aeolos with 57.3m2 upwind, 144.8m2 downwind and the Dehler with 61.7m2 upwind and 133.5m2 downwind. This indicates that the Aeolos is a much more powerful sailboat, one that will have a considerably better performance in all points of sail and sail conditions, maybe, except downwind with very strong winds.

In lighter and medium winds the Aeolos will smoke the Dehler and that big difference in sail potential is somewhat reflected on the SA/D and D/L, that are both much more favorable (in what regards racing) to the Aeolos. The Aelos has a 58.9D/L, the Dehler 109.9, a huge difference and the difference in SA/D is also big: upwind the Aelos has 43.9SA/D, the Dehler 31.6 and downwind the Aeolos has 111SA/D, the Dehler 68.4.

How does the Aeolos manage this huge difference in sail potential to the Dehler? Basically with a much lighter boat with a much bigger B/D. The lighter boat is obtained with better building materials and with a much lighter interior, a truly racing interior. That means an almost naked interior. Big savings in weight comes also from the option of an outboard on a pod versus a much heavier diesel engine.

So, what are the building differences that allow the Aeolos to be much lighter? The Dehler has a GRP hull and deck, built in vacuum infusion with PVC sandwich core using polyester resins (vinylester only on hull outer layer), the Aeolos has a full carbon-infusedsa ndwich hull and deck using epoxy resins. The materials used on Aeolos allow the same strength with a much-reduced weight (and are also much more expensive).

On the Aeolos the boom, the bowsprit, the tiller and tiller extension, as well as all interior, are made of carbon. On the Dehler, the boom and the tiller and extension are made of aluminum, all the rest is GRP, except the mast and some carbon fibers on the boat structure (fiberglass and carbon). The Aeolos does not have a proper head, much less a black water tank or a 40l flexible water tank with a manual pump or a mini galley, like on the Dehler, and all that saves weight. 

But who cares for the interior comfort if the boat is used for racing?  All that is necessary for two to live in a boat for 2 or 3 days, while racing, is not much and it can be easily improvised. For cruising, it is another story and the Aeolos, in what regards that, it is truly a camping boat.

 Well, when I was young I have cruised in a boat with a similarly naked interior, with my wife, for more than a month at the time, and we were quite happy about it. It is up to you to find the right kind of girl, one that goes along with it, or else you really will need another type of boat, unless this one is used only for racing or solo cruising.

I am quite sure that if there is a demand for it, they will figure out a better carbon interior, a small galley and a true head with some privacy, as well as a water tank and a black water tank. But as it is this is already a remarkable boat with an incredible price: it costs standard (first orders) 84 000 €, and that is 30 900€ less than a standard Dehler 30 OD (prices without tax at the factory). With a proper interior and inside diesel engine there is no way this boat will cost less than the Dehler and it has to be much more expensive, due to the incomparably superior cost of the carbon/epoxy boatbuilding.

Even considering that the Dehler comes with more cruising equipment (but not better equipped for racing or sailing) it is hard to understand how they are able to sell the Aeolos for this price. I would say that this is a promotional price for the first yachts and that it will be impossible to maintain this low price.

If I was a young guy interested in sailing and racing, and I had the means, I would be very interested in this boat, that truly corresponds to the image that was given to Dehler 30OD, the one of a racer that would be almost unbeatable, size by size, in solo or two-handed offshore coastal races, and a yacht that will be a lot of fun to sail. 

Like the Dehler it is a small seaworthy boat, but while the Dehler comes already certified as Class A, the Aeolos comes certified Class B. It can be certified optionally as Class A, but for that, it needs extra equipment. The Dehler, due to its bigger displacement has an overall bigger stability but the Aeolos has better dynamic stability, better safety stability and AVS. Both offer good potential for offshore sailing and in the right season they will have no problems crossing the Atlantic, with a reasonable safety margin.

Some doubts can be raised because the Aeolos was not designed, like the Dehler, by a reputable sailboat designer, and built by a reputable shipyard.  I know of several very experienced sailors that basically designed their own boats, with some external help, some giving origin to famous brands, even if on the Aeolos the concerns can be bigger, due to the type of yacht, a very fast and light carbon racer.

Regarding hull design, I don't see any problem, the hull is very similar to the one of the Farr 280 with a modern bow, not very different from the one of the Dehler 30 OD, a bow that will provide more buoyancy and will prevent the boat from digging in the waves, helping to keep on planning. It has just a bit more length than the Farr (9.14m to 8.72), a bit beamier (2.95m to 2.87), more powerful, with a bigger draft (2.20m to 2.10) and a bigger B/D (52,3% to 40.6%).

Like the Farr the Aeolos has a deep single rudder, but mounted on an innovative smart cassette system, that  allows to pull the rudder up, when the keel is up. It will also allow for a very easy replacement in case the rudder breaks, due to contact with some submerged object.

Performance-wise, the single rudder on a relatively narrow hull will have more advantages than disadvantages. Only while beam reaching in oceanic strong conditions some slight advantage may be felt, while on all other conditions and situations the single rudder will have advantages.

The Farr 280 is built using an epoxy/e-glass sandwich, the Aeolos, epoxy/carbon sandwich. That allows the Aeolos to be lighter, but the biggest difference is due to a very different hull structure.  While on the Farr a more traditional one is used, with a big frame reinforced by some longitudinal beams (under the deck), the one on the Aeolos is more modern, with two main carbon bulkheads that hold a carbon box for the keel and three longitudinal frames, one forward, two aft.

 It looks well to me, even if on the drawings the substructure for the forward hatch is missing. But one thing is to look good, another is to be sure that all the calculations and dimensions have been done with an adequate safety margin, by somebody that knows very well this type of sailboats and solutions, someone in which reputation and past work one can trust.

If I am confident with Hans Genthe ability to improve the Farr 280 hull (a boat that he knows very well and raced extensively), to be more effective and faster on offshore coastal races, regarding boat engineering, I would like to be more reassured, especially because this boat has a hull structure different from the one of the Farr 280, and because the Aeolos is a more powerful racer, with more efforts involved, especially on the keel structure.

Farr 290 structure 
If it seems that, regarding architecture, there is no doubt that the Aeolos P30 is a Hans Genthe design, but in what concerns boat engineering, the site is vague about who has done the project. It seems it was Solico even if they are not specialized in sailboats, much less high-performance racing boats.

https://www.solico.nl/markets/composite-engineering-for-maritime

Several firms, from fluid engineering, passing by structural engineering and composite technology are referred to but none specifically related with high-performance sail racing engineer, except Pauger, but Pauger is not a yacht engineer cabinet, but a carbon Yacht shipyard and carbon mast building, and certainly a reference in both counts.

The Aeolos will not be built by Pauger (except the mast) but by Aeolos composites, a firm based in UAE (United Arab Emirates) that seems to have little experience in boat building, even if one of the managers is Hans Genthe that is familiar with the processes.

https://www.aeoloscomposites.com/location

As I said previously I like the basic structural design even if I would have liked to see it complemented, between the two bulkheads, with a small carbon grid, vacuum infused to the hull. All structure will certainly be laminated to the hull, deck and cockpit providing a very strong shell. If there is a weaker point it will be on the lateral support of the keel box and on the big efforts that the hull will be subjected on that area.

I am not saying that the boat is not well-engineered and strong, only that yacht carbon top sail-racing hull structure design is a very specific subject, that nothing substitutes engineering experience, and that I would be a lot more reassured if the ones that designed and specified that structure had a reputation built over a substantial experience on the sector. 

This boat has an incredible price and the specs are almost too good to be true. The materials are top, I am sure the running rigging will be very good, it is transportable, it can be class A, and the only points where I would require more information would be about the boat structure, not because it looks bad to me, but because the reputation and knowledge base (top racing yachts) of the ones that designed it is unknown. https://www.solico.nl/composite-news

For the same reasons, I would require more information regarding the shipyard that will build the boat, also about its financial stability and portfolio. Much of these doubts will be lessened once the first prototype is sailing and even more when several boats have been built.

https://www.aeoloscomposites.com/news