Monday, March 31, 2014


As most already know our contributor Eric owns and sails a Pogo 12.50. That boat is one of the more innovative 40ft fast cruisers on the market and a relative new type of boat based directly on a 40class solo racer. It uses the same hull as the Pogo racer but with a swing keel that allows a very small draft when up and a huge one when down. Eric excellent comments and impressions about his boat and the discussion that followed helped us to have a good idea of that type of boat whose type of hull is one of the major tendencies on modern cruising boat design.
Even if not so light or fast, several cruising designs went that way in what regards hull shape, for instance the Oceanis 38, the Oceanis 41 (both designed by the Pogo 12.50 designer) but also the Hanse 415, all the Azuree sailboats, the JPK 38 and many more. Not mentioning the Opium 39 because it was a predecessor of the Pogo, on its first version and the first true cruiser to have adopted that hull shape.

That's a very interesting subject and I want to recover it here. I will post some of Eric's more relevant comments about his boat (comments that can be complemented by Eric, if he feels the need) and some of the more relevant points regarding that discussion. That will constitute valuable information for each one to chose the right, the one more adapted to his or her cruising style.

After almost 3.000 NM, the boat lived up to our expectations. We wanted it to be safe, fast in most circumstances, easy to handle, simple to maintain and sufficiently comfortable for longer cruises.

Nothing wrong in that perspective, at least with a good sense of anticipation. For example if strong winds are expected, the staysail should be rigged ready to hoist before leaving port. The solent is not meant to be roll-reefed, so after the second reef in the main the next step in reducing sail is rolling in the solent completely and setting the staysail, which is a hell of a job on a dancing foredeck. 

Although both form and weight stability are quite enormous and the boat is designed to be sailed “under the mast”, it gets quite heeled from time to time and then the after-most, open area behind the mainsail track is unsafe. But the sheltered cockpit itself works very well in all circumstances and with easy circulation as a bonus.

What I like most about the 12.50 is the excellent behavior under sail. It is indeed a cruiser and behaves just like that. When overpowered, you will slowly loose rudder control, giving you plenty of time to react and get the boat back in the rails. We never had a real round-up and the single broach we suffered was when we kept the spinnaker up while the wind was increasing to 25 knots. Also quite easy to recover from, although it was a hard job to get the 155 m2 back into the snuffer. Now we keep a much closer look at the true wind speed. 

The stiffness of the sandwich construction is impressive. This is essential because with back swept spreaders but no backstay, the very rigid carbon mast is only kept upright and correctly bent by highly tensioned caps and shrouds. Nothing in this rig ever gives the slightest way and the only method to bend the mast a little more is to put full tension on the inner forestay, which is not countered by backstays.

Also not giving the slightest kick is the swinging keel. .. I personally feel very secure about the swinging keel... It will certainly much better absorb the loads when running aground than any fixed construction. The hydraulic overpressure valve will let it cant, instead of having the hull take the full impact. Be it on sand or on rocks, at speed you will need to repair the outer damage to the GRP (in fact it is GR vinylester) shell anyway. I have also no worry about lateral loads, since the keel is designed to sustain a quite huge righting moment. It is designed to bend, which it even does in normal sailing mode. 

An unsinkable boat means that a lot of space below the berths is filled with foam, but I find it reassuring to know never having to leave the boat unless it’s on fire. And I hate removing all those cushions to be able to get to the ship’s stores anyway.

Excellent antislip everywhere you may need it plus well dimensioned, thought out and top quality gear, including remote controlled stoppers on the foredeck for the bowsprit and inner forestay. I keep telling myself all this cannot be cheap .

Once set up correctly, the NKE gyropilot with remote control is very efficient. But when sailing with crew, we like to disengage the piston from the steering mechanism to get a little more feedback from the rudders. In this prospect the 12.50 is very disappointing compared to the 10.50, which has twin helms fitted directly on the rudderstocks, resulting in sensitive steering even with the twin rudders. The more forward and protected helming position of the 12.50 comes with the price of a (very solid) transmission that takes away most of the rudder feeling.

Given the light weight, at least on paper the 30HP engine is sufficient. But the boat being upright when motoring, the flat and beamy hull drags over an enormous surface of water. No problem on flat and windless waters, 8 knots can be reached.

But because light weight equals little inertia, the boat doesn't like at all being motored into steep waves. I feel we have insufficient propulsion to eventually get ourselves quickly out of a difficult situation, which I consider unsafe.

With the keel up, low weight and double rudders away from the propeller wash, maneuvering requires a learning curve, even with the retractable bow thruster. Sufficient speed is the key issue and if possible we prefer to dock backwards.

Fast in most circumstances: 
The boat is fast, no doubt about that. But carefully calibrating the log resulted in a correction factor of 0.85. This means our fastest surf on the long Atlantic waves when delivering the boat in April was in fact around 18 knots instead of over 21. This has not been beaten since, but speeds of 13 knots and more are quite easy to achieve in a breeze, even without big following seas and/or the spinnaker.

“Gentlemen do not sail upwind”. We don’t like it either but of course sometimes we have to. Let me be clear: sailing the 12.50 close hauled is not rewarding. Certainly not in choppy seas, as we frequently encounter in strong wind against tide conditions in these shallow waters. With a good sail trim, the boat will point up to 33° of the apparent wind while maintaining a correct speed. You will not need 10 knots of wind to reach 6 knots. But you don’t want to try that in choppy seas, because the lack of inertia and the flat bow sections will make the boat slam. Slow and very uncomfortable.

So bearing down and easing the sheets a little is the way to generate sufficient power to get through. This gives very frustrating tacking angles on the chart plotter track, but the much better speed finally results in a quite satisfying VMG. So you end up in port together with most other performance cruisers of the same size, but after having sailed some more distance. The common statement that this kind of boats cannot perform upwind is therefore very relative. What is lost in pointing will be made good in speed.
 One time we gave up, against 2 meter but very steep waves and 30 knots of wind. Not because of the boat’s performance, it was just the crew that decided this was no fun at all. So we turned our back and took a broad reach at an average of 15 knots, even without taking out the two reefs or replacing the staysail with the solent. Big smiles returned on all faces and if it weren't for the trip back, we would probably have gone all the way up to Scandinavia.

So the main reason why you start really disliking sailing upwind with this boat, is because you know how fast any reaching course would be in the same conditions .. anything from a close to a broad reach is very rewarding. With as little as 12 knots of true wind you can start playing the game: pointing a little to build up apparent wind speed, and then bearing down the minimum to hold on to a good apparent wind angle and keep on planing. With following 3m seas it was quite easy to surf above 20 knots. But the next weekend we were again in full planing mode, in comparable wind conditions and at a top speed of 18 knots. Without waves to surf on, since this time the swell was only 1m and coming ahead.

We never sail dead downwind. The mainsail looks horrible against the back swept spreaders, the battens don’t like this at all, the asymmetric spinnaker is completely useless even on the 2 meter bowsprit and gibing on broad reaches is not only a lot faster but also much more fun.

Easy to handle:

All Pogo’s are conceived with shorthanded, if not single handed sailing in mind. It works, I do not hesitate to sail solo. Of course you need a reliable autopilot, which the NKE gyropilot is. The helm is situated forward, which brings the helmsman within the cockpit, protected by the sprayhood and with all lines and winches within reach. No backbreaking efforts leaning over the leeward coamings and trying not end up in the guardrails, but straight up and looking forward in the most sheltered part of the cockpit. Only no code zero or spinnaker in solo for me, because this means maneuvering on the foredeck without the backup of a cockpit crew.

What I do not look forward to, is hoisting the main on my own. The doubled halyard already gives you a good physical work-out at the mast, but without a crew taking up the slack it has to be done from the cockpit which is quite hard work. Not because of the track cars, these are almost frictionless and will let the main crash down on the boom in seconds if the halyard is not under control, but solely because of the weight of the big, fat headed sail.

I can assure you that a deep keel and a big beam do give you tremendous power. When we hit 18 knots without surfing but against a light swell, we had about 25 knots of TWS on a broad reach and only the (full) main + solent up. I don’t think we will ever try the asymmetric spi or even the code 0 in these conditions, after all the 12.50 is only a cruiser.

I agree with Paulo that this kind of sailing demands some feeling, both at the helm and at the traveller. Especially the big fat-headed mainsail is very sensible, but also very rewarding to trim. With a well-designed deck lay-out and high-spec hardware this is quite an easy job.

Although we are basically dinghy sailors, we don’t think the 12.50 demands anything but good basic sailing skills. Even pushed, the boat never felt out of control and even in 40+ gusts everything always kept perfectly manageable. So I don’t think she could not also be easily sailed short- or even single handed, although I prefer a little more training before trying this myself. But I certainly will do, knowing this is what Pogo’s are basically designed for. What I do not look forward to, is docking the Pogo solo. As said, even with a crew this can be a challenge. But the learning curve is flattening .

                                                     Easy to maintain:

Both NA and builder of the Pogo’s are very experienced sailors. When it comes to practical and efficient solutions, these guys definitely know what they’re talking about. This is also very obvious on the 12.50, where everything is thought and laid out with efficiency, accessibility and ease of maintenance in mind.  Although this might be somewhat easier in a boat without inner moulds, let it be clear that this particular aspect has been given much care. From visible and thus accessible deck fittings to the technical starboard aft “cabin”, you don’t have to be a contortionist to maintain the boat and there are much less places where moisture and mould can hide. Dyneema lashings instead of shackles are not only lighter (and cheaper) but also much safer (just cut them in an emergency, even under load) and easy to replace. The removable and transparent fuel tank, the easy to clean interior surfaces, the list of practicalities is too long to fit in this already oversized post.

Sufficiently comfortable:

“De gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum ». The loft style interior of the Pogo is, if not shocking, at least repelling for many. We like it, especially for its brightness and simplicity, but this is a of course only a personal feeling.With 4.50 meters max. beam there is no lack of space, for living or for storing, even with all this foam underneath the berths. And again, lockers without doors but with plastic boxes instead look quite shocking at first, but are in fact an uncomplicated, very practical and seaworthy solution.

The space is big for a 40 footer, inside and outside..all the classic (and my opinion impractical) storage space beneath the bunks is taken up by water tanks or by foam to make the boat unsinkable, but this leaves sufficient stowage to completely overload the boat. The capacity of both the starboard technical/stowage/spare sleeping cabin and the cockpit locker is simply huge. Apart from headroom, the volume was the main reason why we chose for the 12.50 instead of the 10.50.
With 4.50 meters max. beam there is no lack of space, for living or for storing, even with all this foam underneath the berths. And again, lockers without doors but with plastic boxes instead look quite shocking at first, but are in fact an uncomplicated, very practical and seaworthy solution.
Otherwise it has everything a cruiser needs, including a hot shower and a large refrigerator. We even have heating, not really a luxury in this northern sailing area. ..

Given the fact that weight is a major issue everywhere on any Pogo, the finish is far away from e.g. Hallberg-Rassy but otherwise quite decent. At least once you’ve accepted boats don’t necessarily have to look like a Swiss chalet and that the absence of counter mouldings is in fact very handy for both cleaning and maintenance. So once again, it is all about compromises and making the right choices.

                          Bottom line:

Every boat is the result of more or less distinct choices and this always implies compromises one way or the other. If you will be sailing mostly in light winds and calm seas, no need for any concern about flat bottoms, light displacements and/or large sails. On the contrary, you have the ideal conditions to fully enjoy this kind of boat design. We don’t, because our sailing area is the English Channel and the North Sea, where choppy seas and very variable wind conditions prevail. Nevertheless given our personal cruising program and tastes, we are very happy with the 12.50.


The problem of those designs has to do with going fast upwind with waves. The bigger the waves the worse is the performance. That has to do with wave drag that is increasing exponentially in that type of boat when crashing through waves, making it lose more power than the one the boat can generate over other type of boats. Of course the big power needed to go on those conditions and the big wave drag makes also the boat very uncomfortable in that particular case.

The problems going upwind with waves has to do with this:

When the boat passes a wave, the wet area increases as the wave passes through the hull, the bigger the wave more the hull boat will be "surrounded" by the wave and in this case the drag is not only that little footprint, but most of the hull surface and here that big beam and big overall hull surface represents a huge disadvantage regarding a narrow boat. The narrow one will also be "surrounded" by the wave but because its hull surface is a lot smaller the wave drag will be a lot smaller.

Narrow boats, even with a big draft and lots of ballast will not manage to have the RM (Power) of an open type boat. What happens is that till a certain size of wave and sea condition the Open type of boat is capable of compensate its bigger wave drag with sheer power at the cost of a bigger pounding. After a given sea condition and size and type of wave even all that extra power will not be able to compensate the increased wave drag and the narrow boat will go away with a much more softer ride, wasting less energy in its movement because the sea and waves offers much less resistance to it.
Of course that narrow boat will be much worse downwind because downwind you don't get wave drag and the flat and bigger hull makes less pressure over the water (not so deep in the water for the same weight) and helps the boat to surf sooner. The control of the boat is also better with less roll motion due to the large transom.
Racing boats or fast boats chose different types of compromises between those two contradictory requirements in what regards hull shape and the required ballast for each type of hull. Since narrower boats need more ballast for a same draft, that has implications on the final weight of the boat and that has also influence in what regards boat performance.

Our very first experiences in strong wind-against-tide conditions tend to confirm this. It needs quite hard work at the helm to keep the boat comfortable. But we think we still have a lot to learn, about trimming as well as about steering, especially upwind.

Finer entries are linked to better or at least more comfortable upwind performance. Although David Raison .. surprised almost everybody with his “scow” bowed mini TeamWork Evolution, which only dislikes oncoming waves but otherwise outperforms every other 6.50, even upwind..
Anyway, the bigger the boat, the easier it seems for the architect to give it a fine entry. This certainly has to do with internal volume, but I am sure there are many more good reasons why smaller boats have more bulky lines in the forward sections.

I ‘ve seen VPP and VMG figures that suggest the Pogo 12.50 should even be able to keep up with a racer such as the X41 upwind. When I look at our actual upwind GPS tracks on the screen, I find this very hard to believe. But as we learn, especially about trimming, we definitely make progress. 
But as Paulo stated, even apart from handicap considerations (horrible for any Pogo, designed without any consideration for any handicap rule), racing results indicate we will very probably never be able to stand out in an upwind course.

In what regards speed weight is indeed a major issue on this kind of boats. That’s why our son and most fanatic sailor Jim has been appointed as our “weight watcher”. Being the youngest, he has the best chances to resist Mum’s urge to fill up the boat with stuff we don’t even use at home. And to persuade Dad to drag the dehumidifier and the folding bike back to the car bunk before we go out sailing. Or to keep a sharp look at the water tanks, since they must not be filled up as long as we can take a shower ashore. Kids…


 Finot had showed with some drawings that the "footprint" of a beamy boat with a large transom (the wet area) is not bigger than the one of on a narrow boat when the boat is sailing. It has even advantages because as it is a diagonal asymmetrical shape it has a bigger LWL. The wet area has also to do with weight and surface of keel and rudder and the Pogo is very well designed in what concerns that and not only that.

 Those comparative charts may well proven right in flat water but I am sure it will not be the case with waves and the bigger the waves the better for the X41 and the worst for the Pogo.

The hull shape that performs better is not a fixed equation and it changes with length, becoming proportionality less beamy when the length increases. Even considering boats with the same length and an optimal mixed upwinf/downwindI performance, the hull shape that performs better is not a constant and it will differ with wind intensity and optimal hull ballast.

 A narrower hull will require for a competitive power a bigger ballast ratio or a bigger draft and that was influence on the weight of the boat. Very interesting and difficult subject with plenty of variables. I have saw several times different boast playing with different "cards" having in the end similar overall   performances with different strong and weak points.

Anyway the Pogo "way" offers several advantages regarding a boat with similar overall performances : A less expensive boat and a boat easier to sail solo, two very important points to a cruiser

A last point in what regards the Pogo 12.50. Eric uses his boat to coastal cruise including crossing the British channel but many use the Pogo 12.50 as a long range cruiser (it was conceived for that). The boat is specially adapted to sail on the trade winds and to circumnavigate. Below a video of one crossing the Atlantic to cruise in the Caribbean: Average speed 7.3K, many times over two digit speeds to compensate the days without wind or with headwinds.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


SQ stands for super quality and I would say that in this case it was achieved not only on the building quality but on the design. It is difficult for me to find a boat perfect but on this one I like everything, from the different options the boat offers : interior engine/outboard/electric engine, Daysailer interior/cruising interior (with a head), Fixed keel/Swing keel, Standard rig/Performance rig, Closed transom/Open transom and so on.

Another interior characteristic has to do with the storage space available that is huge for a small boat. Instead of using all space for interior space, as most do in very small cruisers on this case all the back of the boat was reserved for storage. All that cruise know that storage space is a problem on a small boat. Not on this one, with all that space that can be used for multiple purposes, inclusive to have a bigger refrigerator installed there.
Probably I would not like the price of a fully equipped boat that much but who says we can have Super Quality at a cheap price? The basic version costs 45000 euros (without engine) but including 19% VAT.

The SQ25 is designed by Marc-Oliver von Ahlen, a young NA that won a design contest for that boat program, beating several well known NA cabinets. 

This is not one of those lake cruisers with a limited stability but a fast and seaworthy boat (for its size) with lots of stability: The boat is not particularly beamy (2.49m) and the beam was probably limited to facilitate the road transport on a trailer, but it has a considerable draft (1.60m) with almost all the ballast on a torpedo keel with a B/D ratio of 35%.

The stability is also increased by the beam brought back and by a chine designed to work at a relatively small angle of heel. The boat weights 1670kg and that good stability allows it to carry a big sail area upwind (40.6m2) and downwind (75.6m2) and that, with the very nice hull design can only mean a very fast boat and lots of fun sailing :-).

If any doubt remained, just looking how it sails would take away all concerns. It sails just beautifully as we can see on this movie by, that tested the boat recently (great movie):

The best pictures of the boat interior and also  one showing its transom are on You can find them here:

Friday, March 28, 2014


And to finalize  lets see how a boat evaluation based on hear say and "common knowledge" can be misleading. Let's look at two great boats, one with a more conservative design, a Halberg-Rassy 342 and other that is  a main trend mass production 34ft boat, the Hanse 345. Most would say that the HR 342 has an offshore potential while the Hanse 345 is a coastal cruiser, some would even call the Hanse a "marina boat" with lots of interior space, by opposition to the HR, that is made for sailing.

We can see that they are very different boats, the Halberg-Rassy with a hull a bit dated and the Hanse with a modern hull with all beam brought back. When I say that the Halberg Rassy hull is a bit dated it is not because the beam is not all brought back, but because on the modern designs that opted for that solution the hull design has already evolved and the transom is not so narrow as it is on that design. 

The beam is slightly different being the HR a narrower boat with 3.42m, while the Hanse has 3.50m. Looking at the two boats we would say that the difference is much bigger. The Hanse is a bit heavier with 6200kg versus 5300kg on the HR. Regarding B/D ratio the HR has 37% and the Hanse 33%.
 This is also a great example to see how the B/D ratio can be misleading if the keels or drafts are not similar. In this case the draft is close (HR 1.82m, Hanse 1.87m) but not the keels: The Hanse has a modern high efficiency torpedo keel (an iron one) and the HR has an all lead keel with a bulb. Also a good example to see that a typical all lead keel, even with a small bulb is not a match (in what regards efficiency) to a modern steel/iron torpedo keel.
Curiously and also contrary to what most would expect the sail performance of the Hanse, compared with the HR, will improve when the wind gets stronger and it will be better in medium to strong winds since the HR will have to reef sooner. That type of hull will also allow the Hanse a better ride on a beam reach with less heel, more power and most of all with less roll downwind. It will  allow it to carry more sail safely, to be faster and easier to sail, specially in autopilot.
 Some of those things we can tell by the hull shape but others are only disclosed by a stability curve, in this case a righting moment (RM) stability curve.
 If some information that is contained on a RM curve can be accessed sailing the boats (stiffness and power) that regards only the first 30º. All other information will remain hidden and that information is fundamental for accessing the boat reserve and final stability, that are very important to the boat's seaworthiness.
Only a comparison of stability curves will indicate the heel angle where the boats will invert themselves. That angle is called Angle of Vanishing Stability (AVS) and indicates the point where the positive stability will disappear being substituted by negative stability (with the boat inverted). It also indicates other important factors, as the force that the boat is making  to right itself up at 90º and over or the max righting moment, or the total amount of energy that would be needed to capsize the boat or to re-right it (correspondent to the area below the positive and negative areas of the RM stability curve) and finally, the ratio between the positive and negative total areas, that indicates the difference of energy (and proportional size of the waves) needed to capsize the boat or re-right it.
Comparing all these factors on the Hanse and HR RM stability curves we will have some big surprises. It is not a surprise for the Hanse to have a better "sailing" stability,  a bit of a surprise for the HR to have a slightly bigger max RM but the real surprise regards the rest of the stability curve and the facts will contradict what most would imagine:
 The Hanse AVS is better as well as its final stability from 95º till the AVS (it means that the boat will be making more force than the HR to right itself up when capsized to 95º and over); the inverted stability of the Hanse is smaller and the ratio between positive and negative stability is better. It means that while the energy needed to capsize both boats is about the same (the area under the positive part of the RM curve) the energy needed to re-right the boats will be smaller on the Hanse than on the HR.

A final note to say that these are two great boats, that the HR 342 AVS ( about 125º) is good in what regards modern designs, that the ratio between its positive and negative stability is a good one and that big difference in power in what regards the first 30º of RM curve has to be balanced by the smaller power the HR needs to go at the same speed than the Hanse, due to its smaller weight and lesser beam (more "finesse"). 
The point here is not the Halberg-Rassy not being a great boat but the Hanse 345 showing that it is as much an offshore boat as the HR 342. Of course this comparison regards only these two boats and is not valid regarding all modern mass production cruisers. When you chose a boat ask for the stability curve. Most builders will not like to give it, others have them available on their sites (a minority).

Some magazines publish them (Yachting Monthly and Yachting World) when they test the boats but even if the data is relevant to what cannot be accessed sailing the boat, no magazine makes a relevant analysis of the positive and negative points they reveal in what regards reserve and final stability. Regarding these points I can tell you that the stability curves from different boats are not all the same, being them beamy or narrow, they can be very different. Now you know what to look for in what regards having more information about a boat besides the one that can be given by a polar speed or by visiting the boat interior on a boat show. ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


The 890 seems  to be one of the best RM ever and that is not a small thing to say since they are great boats. Seven boats have been delivered already and they have a long list of sailors waiting for delivery. The main difference from the previous popular  880 model are: more beam, about the same ballast, more draft, more power, about the same weight, more elegant. In two words, more sportive and fast without losing nothing of its cruising potential. It seems that it is just that the French younger cruisers want and I have to admit that the boat is so cute that even I  would like to have one...I mean it does not make sense but when we like a lot something sometimes we don't  make sense anymore :-)

The boat has been tested by some of the best European sail magazines and they all have been very positive about it: The testers from Voile magazine measured, with more than 10k wind 6K, close to the wind. Opening the course they reached 7 and then 8K. They found it very effective downwind and with an asymmetric spy they went till 10K (on occasions). The boat planes easily.They did not exactly say how much more the wind was over 10k, but we can assume that it was not much more. 
 As a negative point the standing height is only for small to medium sized guys, with 1.79cm near the stairs and 1.69cm on the head...but this is a 29ft boat and in what regards me I prefer it like that than an ugly boat with more windage.

The testers from Voile and Voiliers,  on a longer test were  more precise and informative regarding wind and sea conditions, performance and about some things that could be improved.The version tested was the one with twin keels and a single rudder, a deep one. Even so they say that in limit situations, with too much heel, the rudder has a tendency to "ventiler", that I would translate by losing grip. They said that it would be a better solution twin keels and two rudders (like some other RM  have). It is not by chance that the shipyard chose that solution regarding cruising but because it allows  a third support point for balancing the boat while beaching it. Not a strong one but one that can be important just to maintain the balance.
The boat on this configuration has a draft of 1.5m and is RCD classified as a class B boat. On the version with single keel (1.9m) and two rudders it is classified as a Class A boat.

Regarding things they didn't like: The tiller feels a bit stiff (single rudder), the galley storage not well thought and the standing height a bit limited...and that's all in a boat that they found proportionally lighter and faster than the other RM series. They also referred a good finish and that in what regards sailing all is perfect: the position for steering the boat, the way all rigging is done for a solo sailor with everything at easy reach. They also refer a great storage on the cockpit, with a double central locker for the life-raft and dinghy, a big lateral one for sails, outboard engine, boat defenses and also a big anchor locker.

Regarding performances with a sea almost with no waves they were surprised with a very good performance with light winds and I say surprised because on this type of very beamy hulls upwind performance in light winds is normally a weak point.

MS / genoa: 7K wind 5.1K speed at 50º off TRW
MS / genoa: 9k wind 5.4K speed at 50º off TRW
MS / genoa: 9k wind 6.7K speed at 70º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 7k wind 6.0K speed at 90º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 11k wind 8.4K spd - 100º off TRW
MS / Ass.Spi: 11k wind 7.3K spd - 140º off TRW

As you can see the overall performance is very good for a  9m cruiser. Going at almost 8.5K with only 11k wind (with Geenaker) is outstanding and already way over hull speed. From then on, with more wind I am quite sure the speed will increase rapidly and this baby will be able to do 2 figure speeds with strong winds, adequate sails and a good sailor at the tiller. 
Even without geenaker, just with an average sailor and only with genoa the boat is already making almost 7K with 9K winds. It is a pity they didn't refer the speed with 11k wind with genoa but I would say that it would be around 7K or just a bit over. A very fast cruiser that can be even faster, specially upwind on the version with a single keel and deep draft. The advantage of this type of small boats in what regards speed is that one solo sailor can handle a relatively small geenaker while on a 40ft boat the big size of a similar sail will raise some concerns when handed alone and demand an experienced sailor or a very expensive furling system.

Recently the Germans from tested the boat. I had only access to a small comment but they could hardly be more positive. The headlines are something like that: A thrilling different cruiser that can offer a lot notwithstanding its small size. As usual we count on Anders to make a more complete brief of what they say about the boat, but just having a look at the photos from the test we can see that they had fun sailing the RM :-). No doubt that Marc Lombard has got this one particularly right. No wonder since he has lots of talent as a NA and has been developing and improving this concept for decades.

The boat seems to sail so well that they should contemplate making a "RC" version with a really deep keel, something like 2.3m. That would save a considerable weight in ballast, would allow the boat to plane earlier and would improve even more the upwind potential making it a boat to make the transquadra. The hull and the boat potential seems to deserve it. Even with a big upgrade in performance the boat would still be inside the maximum rating allowed for the transquadra. It would not only be a very fast boat but also a boat with a good cruising interior.