Wednesday, April 30, 2014


The Quant 28 was already a very interesting boat with an incredible upwind/downwind performance, a Hugh Welbourn design using Dynamic Stability System (DSS). The boat was conceived as the ultimate sailor for the Swiss lakes and it is a blast. Chief tester of Yach de magazine, Michael Good, that has tested hundreads of boats when tested this one said that it as was one of the high lights of his career as a boattester. Yes, the boat is as extraordinary as that, been able to make on that test between 13 and 17kts, wind 9 to 11kts wind. A movie of that test:
The Quant 28 was much of a prototype, the Quant 30 aims to be a production boat. The design has been simplified, using two independent foils instead of one. Unlike other DSS-equipped boats that have a single foil that slides through the center of the boat the twin foils flip out laterally. Easier to build and easier to use. 
The objective was not making a faster boat but a more easy one to sail, able to be exploited by average sailors. Even with top ones the small difference downwind will probably be compensated in overall speed by its superior easiness.
If you don't know already how it works DSS you can learn it here, as also more about the Quant 30:

The DSS system is a way to provide more stability in a dynamic way through an immersed small wing. It allows an increase in stability very useful mostly to narrow boats, substituting the hull form stability of a beamier boat. That allows to take advantage of the superior finesse of a narrower hull without losing performance due to an inferior stability/power, specially downwind. Wild Oats (a narrow racer), the winner of the last Sydney-Hobart used DSS. 
But nothing as to look how it sails the Quant 30, and it sails very well. It seems a lot of fun to me ;-)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The Portuguese Leg of the RC44 started with an unexpected domination of the Russian team Nikita and a very good performance of a new team : Charisma. On the last days the more experienced teams dominated and the victory come to Peninsula Petroleum  followed by team Aqua (both British) that are also leading the championship by that order.

 A very good 3rd for the Russians from Nikita and a spectacular 4th to Charisma, a Monaco team on a charted boat. Well they can fly the Monaco banner but they have nobody from Monaco on the crew :-), the owner is a Dutch, Nico Poons. He won already the Swan 45 world championship and the Farr. 40 North American championship. The tactician  is the Australian Tom Slingsby ,olympic Gold Medallist and America’s Cup ORACLE Team USA strategist.

I bet these guys when they got their boat and started to be more used to it will be fighting for leadership on the championship. First race and they are already 7th!!!!

Also a note in what regards Russian teams on this championship: 5, and two of them doing very well overall. They are 3th and 5th on the championship. Some top American and Australian sailors but no American or Australian team. This seems to indicate that Russians like sailing and have sponsors (or rich owners) that can bring Russia to the top of the sail racing panorama. I hope this will be the beginning of a big Russian participation in what regards sail racing: sailing needs more countries deeply involved in international racing at top level. As a foot note, Russians are also among the ones that are following this blog ;-)

Regarding the sailing conditions in Cascais they were great for sailing as usual and allowed some spectacular images:

Monday, April 28, 2014


They have made a great race and were able to resist to a huge pressure on the final days after having overtaken Fabien Delahaye /Yoann Richomme at 500Nm from the finish line. Delahaye /Richomme did not give up and moved a relentless pursuit, having crossed the line less than an hour away. But the best finish was the one from Alexia Barrier /Laurent Pellecuer: these two that returned to the Figaro class after an absence of some years seems they haven't forgotten anything; at 950Nm from the finish they were 6th at 80Nm from the leader and at 69Nm from the ones that won the race. They finished 3rd at only 7.5Nm from the winners and at only 3Nm from the 2nd.
The winners are from the new generation of solo racers and for the younger, Gahinet (30) that's already the 2nd transat won, being the other the 2011 mini transat (serie), a first for Meilhat.

Also chapeau to Rolland Jordain, 4th that finished all over the 3rd. He won this race 20 years ago!!!

Le sacre pour Gwénolé Gahinet et Paul Meilhat por transat-ag2rlamondiale

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Finally some answers and unsuspected ones: The boat was not badly designed (it was  not too weak) and a previous boat repair was not the origin of the breakage. As strangely as it seems the problem on this carbon boat had to do with aluminum electrolysis and aluminium degradation.

Stamm's boat, a  JK design, used an unusual technique in what regards the core material on that carbon hull:  aluminium honeycomb. Almost all other boats use a carbon honeycomb as core (Nomex). The aluminium core was used on some Class America boats and also on the America's cup BMW/Oracle.
It seems that using that kind of core has some risks since the carbon is a very good electric conductor. All evidence points to the passage of an electric current that provoked an electrolysis and destroyed p'art of the core. There are zones that are impeccable and others completely destroyed.

It seems that after all the salvage of part of the hull was essential to know why that boat had break in conditions that were less demanding then many others that it had experienced before. For the ones that did not follow, they were in stormy conditions but not pushing the boat, on a delivery trip.

 It seems to me that given the extensive sailing program of those boats, namely non stop circumnavigations, that type of core should be banned from the IMOCA class: too many situations were an electric current can find its way to the  aluminium core on a Carbon boat.


On the head of the race they are doing 10k and with that average in about one day they will finish. Who will finish first is another story. Since the last post there was some changes on the lead but they remain as close as before: The 5 first separated by 25Nm and the leader is followed by the 2nd at only 5.8Nm.

Two days ago  Delahaye/Richhomme were leading. Now they are second, having been overtaken by the ones that then followed close, Gahinet/ Meilhate; 3rd and coming from behind, passing Lunven/Péron and Rolan Jordain/Le Pape, a duo with a lady: Alexia/Laurent. They have made a fantastic race. They have been away from the Figaro class on the last years doing mostly IRC racing but it seems that they did not forgotten nothing about their sail background: Alexia on the mini racers, Laurent on the Figaro. Rolan Jordain/Le Pape are now 4th and Lunven/Péron are 5th. Some great videos:

Roland Jourdain and Martin Le Pape
A bord de La Cornouaille por transat-ag2rlamondiale Gahinet/ Meilhate
Traversez l'Atlantique avec Safran - Guy Cotten por transat-ag2rlamondiale

Saturday, April 26, 2014


A beautiful movie  by Martin Keruzoré & Théo Reynal. It is about the Voiles de Saint Barth, but it could be just about sailing, beauty or enjoying life. Really  gorgeous.

Best Of Les Voiles De St Barth 2014 from Theo Reynal on Vimeo.

More about Saint Barth here:


When I saw the first photo of the new boat (above) I thought that it was a new Comet or at least a Vallicelli design. The boat from this angle seems like a smaller Comet 41 and the GT denomination made me thought that we would be looking to a fast boat...but that denomination is misleading and in many other aspects the boat is very different from a Comet. That is certainly not a fast boat, even if the designer says otherwise.

It is a designed by a British NA,one that has not been very active on the last years, Stephen Jones. He makes some comments about his new boat and I have to say that some of them leave me a bit surprised. He says:

GT Yachts established by Conrad Cockburn, a qualified Naval Architect from the commercial shipping world, has forwarded a lot of thought to the world of both weekend family cruising and also more ambitious voyaging requirements. ...

 The design requirement is not intended to be wholly revolutionary, but to provide a secure feeling,... the styling of the GT35 is modern whilst moderate; sharply defined and sporting generous freeboard, beam and importantly displacement. The latter is unashamedly provided by simply supplying the boat with more lead ballast low down, requiring a commensurate increase in structure and sail area. This greater displacement with high ballast ratio will give a steadier platform as well as ultimate safety and in many conditions more speed..... 

 A lead keel with a flared base to keep the centre of gravity low is attached below an integral stub keel for maximum stability; a lead keel of this configuration is simply unmatched for its effect on performance. 
It should be apparent from the above that the paths taken in the design are chosen for performance, security, comfort and seaworthiness in all its senses and not least equal effort has been expended in forming a great looking boat. 

As Jones says the boat is heavy for a modern 35ft boat with 7200kg but he says also that the extra weight is " provided by simply supplying the boat with more lead ballast low down.and that seems well to me but does not seem to match reality: the boat has a draft of 1.95 and a keel that, contrary to what he says, it is not one that will maximize lowering the CG. The B/D ratio is 36%, not a small one but not an exceptional one in what regards the type of keel and draft and certainly not a justification for the 7200kg of weight.

The Hull design seems modern, with a beam of 3.60m, except for the amount of immersed area due to the unusual weight and that leads to a odd design on the rudder area, one that was common in older designs, I mean the way the hull is discontinued on the transom.
With the exception of the transom design, that looks heavy to me, I like the way the boat looks, I mean regarding what you can see out of the water.  I don't really like the hull or keel design.

Some days back I posted about the new XC 35, a boat with a similar program and I was wondering who would want such a boat as a voyage boat, since for the same price of an heavier boat, it is possible to buy a bigger lighter one with a similar stability and seaworthiness, more interior space and speed. The little it cab be gained on a softer motion due to the bigger inertia would  be lost due to the better sea motion that comes with the bigger LWL:

With the GT35 the same type of questions arise since its is even substantially heavier than the X35 (7200kg to 6450kg). Funny that while the GT35 seems more modern above the water line, ( the XC35 looks more classic) below the waterline it is quite the opposite:


Just 550nm to the finish (a bit more than 2 days) and 4 boats inside 20Nm and quite frankly given the wind forecast it seems even closer to me:

If you like racing it's time to follow this one closely because those guys will give everything they got for winning: 1st, Delahaye/Richhomme; 2nd, at just 5.4Nm, Gahinet/ Meilhate; 3rd at 15.1Nm Lunven/Péron; 4th and first veteran, at 19.7Nm, Rolan Jordain/Le Pape. They are doing all between 8 and 9K.

23 avril : sur la route des grands aventuriers por transat-ag2rlamondiale

24 avril : Vivre dans un 9m², vue sur mer ! por transat-ag2rlamondiale

Friday, April 25, 2014


Yes, I bet you are curious :-) but its easy, its also the biggest multihull racer, Spindrift 2, the boat that with another name (Banque Populaire) holds the absolute record of the fastest circumnavigation. The BP skippered by Loick Peyron and a full crew  took 45 days, 13 hours, and 43 minutes to do it. The boat also holds the Atlantic crossing record with Pascal Bidégorry (and crew)  in 3 days, 15 hours, 25 minutes and 48 seconds at an incredible average speed of 33K.

Of course the question is not if this would be the fastest solo sailingboat but if this monster can be sailed solo on a Transat.

On the last Route du Rhum Franck Cammas sailed solo the Trimaran Groupama, the previous holder of the two mentioned records, to the victory (solo). Many did not thought it was possible but Groupama even if big is not the size of this one. Would Yann Guichard be able to do it winning in November the next Route du Rhum? The boat has been adapted in what regards rigging, the mast is smaller and he is training for it and the images are beautiful and spectacular:

Spindrift 2 - Single handed - 15 Apr 2014 from Valencia Sailing on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


On this blog I had already posted about him:

After  a very difficult Atlantic crossing (that lead to the abandon of his partner) he continues as if everything was simple.  We leaved him on Panama channel. Now he is on the middle of the Pacific Ocean, going from Tahiti to Raiatea. He stops frequently and he seems to be enjoying live. I thought he was crazy. Now I am not so sure, but I am quite sure he is a hell of a sailor ;-) Some days ago  he broke a rib on a brutal chock against the mast but he says that's nothing. He is also a very tough guy :-). On Raiatea he is going to meet his brother Laurent (also a great sailor). He lives there and the last time he saw him was 6 years ago.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The new Dehler under Hanse management seems to me a big success: The prices went down, the quality seems to be as good as on the previous boats the design has improved and they won with the 38 the European boat of the year contest on the category of performance cruisers. The boat management in what regards target public have been very careful, pointing to cruisers that like good fast cruisers, to performance cruisers and to club racer/cruisers or even top racers.

To satisfy the different boat clienteles they offer two versions of the same boat, with different hull, mast, keel and rudder specifications being the standard cruising version sold at very attractive prices and the "racing" version, that is in fact just a better performance cruiser, sold at a much higher price. In what regards design they tried to maintain the classic style that suits Germans and North Europeans, introducing the needed changes in the hull to make them contemporary sailboats with top sailing performance.

Judel & Vrolijk have been designing the new boats and making an excellent work that was highlighted on the Dehler 38, that more than the 41, shows a very interesting mixture of contemporary design and tradition. The boat is not innovative and its main virtue is being very good in all points, from sailing performance to the design and quality of the interior.

The new Dehler 46 seems to explore the same trend: Nothing new about the boat that looks simultaneously classic and modern except the unusually very clean design. A very beautiful boat, a bit like a super Dehler 38. The layout seems perfect to me, with a sail locker aft, the anchor locker and a huge storage space on the back of the boat. All that, with the two more cockpit lookers, should be enough to dispense with the option of an aft cabin with only one bed and more storage space. The boat will offer in the standard version 3 good cabins being the forward one a very big  and good one with an integrated head. The Galley is a very big one. Kind of a perfect boat for a couple that sails with the family and receive some occasional friends aboard.

The LOA is 13.95m / 45’8”, the LWL 12.90m / 42’3”, the Beam 4.35m / 14’3” and the keel, rudder and displacement vary according to the two basic versions. 
On the cheaper one the standard keel has 2.25m / 7’4” and it is offered also a swallow draft keel with 1.85m / 6’1. The displacement with the Std keel is 11.20t / 24,691lbs and the ballast is 3.50t / 7,716lbs. The boat has a big engine with 75HP / 55kW and not a very big sail area for a performance cruiser (114.1m2 upwind).

On the performance version the rudder and keel are deeper, with a draft of 2.50m / 8’2’’, the displacement is 10.70t , the ballast 3.00t / 6,613lbs and the sail area  raises to 121m2, maintaining the boat the same big engine. They call this version "competition" but obviously it is more of a performance cruiser than a true regatta boat. Just for comparison a X44 weights 8650kg and has 106.8m2 of sail area, a Sly 48 weights 9900kg and has 122m2 of sail area. The Dehler 46 in its "racing" version is really a performance cruiser with similar performances to a good performance cruiser like the Comet 45s that weights 10 800kg and has 127m2 of sail. or the new Azuree 46 that weights 10700kg and has 124.5m2 of sail area.

Due to the big difference in prices the more interesting version will be the standard one that hopefully will  be offered by just not much more money than the boats the main market mass producers are offering. The Dehler will be just a better sailing boat with a very good cruising interior. Kind of the right boat for the cruiser that likes to sail, it is not particularly interested in racing, wants a good safe, fast cruiser with all the sail controls needed to have a perfect control over them (and to have fun with it) and the perfect number of winches to sail fast and comfortably. 

I can see only a disadvantage on the Dehler 46 and that is the big deep rudder. Not that I have any doubt about its efficiency but in what regards sailing on the med those very deep rudders have a problem in what regards mooring in ports. On the med you drop the anchor and go backwards to the quay and going backwards with an unprotected rudder almost as deep as the keel is a dangerous act when you don't know exactly the depth near the quay. Believe me I know what I am talking about ;-). Not a problem if you go with the bow first, but not practical due to the anchor set up. In what that regards, a two rudder setup would be a far better option that probably would have negligible effects on the overall performance and that probably would even offer an easier boat control at the cost or a more difficult maneuvering on the marinas.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

video: SPI OUEST - A35 - JPK 10.80 - SF 3600

The big French sail reunion, the Spi Ouest, the race where professionals and amateurs join in good fun, finished yesterday.

Regarding that big battle between the JPK10.80 and the SF3600 we can say that the JPK won but not by much and both boats were beaten by the A35R that was the real winner. On the 7 races only for two times the JPK 10.80 arrived first in real time, the A35 one and a First 40.7 crossed the finish line first  in four of the races. The SF 3600 never manged to arrive first.

On compensated the 1st was the A35R, the 2nd the First 40.7, the 3rd the JPK10.80, the 4th the SF3600 and the 5th another A35. Anyway the fastest boat around was the First 40.7, an older and slower boat than the First 40 or my own boat, a Comet 41s. I bet that many would have expected that the two new boats to be much faster in real time;-)  Sure the First 40.7 is a 40ft and the new boats are 36fters but even so the SF3600 is practically a racing boat while the First 40.7 is a performance cruiser. In what regards that also the clear winner between the JPK10.80/SF3600 is the JPK that has a good cruising interior.

I like also more the looks of the  JPK 10.80 with that sexy looking view forward. Have a look here:

In what regards regatta racing the picture seem to be finished, unless alterations are made on the boats: The two new boats are contenders on IRC2, both competitive boats, but for now the A35 is the winner. Regarding the new JPK, the boat is not in IRC2 as competitive as his little brother, the JPK 10.10, is on IRC3, where is domination is absolute.The SF3600 seems comparatively better in IRC2 than the SF3200 is in IRC3.
Next chapter will be the one of  solo or duo offshore racing, the next Transquadra Transat, in about 3 months and there is probable that these boats will be faster than the A35 that seems not to be faster than the JPK10.10 or the SF3200 on solo/duo transat races.

A word for the bigger class on the Spi Ouest, that curiously is raced on an American designed boat, even if they are built in France, the J80:

videos: TRANSAT AG2R

Already two or three days ago I didn't understand why the organization was giving the lead to the group on the North since on the next days there was a lot more wind pressure on the South..... and I had reasons to be suspicious since now the bigger South group  is clearly leading. They will be increasing  his distance over the northern group on the next days.  Probably the old salts (on the North) are done and the victory on this race will go for a new generation team.

30Corsaires : " on ne peut plus se quitter " por transat-ag2rlamondiale

La Minute Santé - Les accidents à bord... por transat-ag2rlamondiale

Remember that crazy video at the beginning of this blog, with two crazy sailors with a Figaro 2 in a storm, "training"  for this race? It seems they have trained well since they are the leaders  now :-)

Lunven/Peron  have 12Nm over Gahinet/Meilhat and 22 over Delehaye/Richomme and they are sailing between 8 and 10k.

Some days ago, after Morvan having lost his mast it happen the same to another favorite:  Tabarly. Both masts  broke in normal circumstances and it  was due to the breakage of the the same stay on the rig leaving to believe that someone is making stainless steel with less quality or that the new allowed sails put  more pressure on the rig. Anyway something to be corrected on the boat "jauge".

19 avril : Démâtage de Gedimat por transat-ag2rlamondiale

Monday, April 21, 2014


This is only the s 5th edition of a race that has the potential to become a classic. For now it is an odd mixture of professional sailors, good amateurs...and charter racers in a beautiful setting and always with good wind.

On the big monohull category Bella Mente  a 72-foot Mini Maxi designed by judel/vrolijk disputed line honors with the older  but bigger Maxi Rambler, winning some races losing others...till it lost its mast. A Mills 69 (that won in compensated) made incredible races, never winning in real time but finishing always at few minutes from the 90ft Maxi Rambler.

On the next category, called  SPI 0 all line honors and compensated wins went to two TP52, a Swiss one, Near Miss, raced by Franck Noël, owner/skipper and its international crew and a charted TP52 with a Portuguese skipper and crew (they use to race a Soto 40). The Swiss boat won more races and finish first. Third a very fast Ker 43.

On SPI 1 e 2 the boats were very different so no sense in making any comment. On SPI 3  there were not many boats  but several modern performance cruisers. On real times line honors were all for a Grand Soleil 43, being the 2th almost always a J111, with  a exception, where a Salona 44 took 2th in real time. In Compensated the order was the same.

On the Multihull class, the performance 65ft cruising trimaran Paradox won by far all line honors. In real time the next to arrive was sometimes a Gunboat 62 cat (two different ones), sometimes an old 40ft racing trimaran (K1). On compensated first a little SeaCart 26, next an also small Toro 34 and finally one of the Gunboats 62.

Some nice boats but as usually on these parts, mixed with many old boats and most of all not many boats in each class, even if their number is increasing every year. But they have made great movies ;-)

Les Voiles de St Barth 2014 filmed by a Drone. from Pigeon Vision on Vimeo.


Dorade is a famous 52ft yacht, one of the best deigns from Olin Stephens of S&S. Launched in 1930 it was one of the fastest boats of its time and even today able to win in compensated time the last TransPac leaving behind some more modern boats, but being beaten in real time for example by a First 40 and a X41. Some great images of the boat on that race:

And another not less interesting movie, this one shoot in 1925!!! with some Jclass boats racing with their original huge gaff rigs. Beautiful images of another era:

Sunday, April 20, 2014


This red carbon beauty  gave me a wild desire of sailing it, when I saw it for the first time on the last Dusseldorf boat show. The 31R was tested by They did not seem to had much luck with the wind. Even so I will be very interested in seeing if they confirm the good impression that boat give me, when I fell in love with it :-) Maybe Anders can say us something about that when he reads that test.

 Contrary to all those boats made in China by European and American companies this is truly a Chinese boat and a high quality one designed by Simonis-Voogd Design. The Fareast company really impresses me and I will not be surprised at all if they become the first Chinese big boat manufacturer of cruising boats.

They are learning the technology from the top and they have the means and knowledge to succeed. If they get the right advise in what regards the proper program for a popular main market fast performance cruising boat, I will have few doubts. The Asia boat market is on the rise and all the staff of this company is unusually young with a large future ahead.
Just the dimensions of the boat make me want to have a spin on it. Can you imagine a boat with 1800kg and 1200kg of ballast? Or a 1800kg boat with 63m2 of area upwind and 161m2 downwind?:-) It is a relatively narrow boat with 2.95m beam for a hull length of 9.48m.  The Beam is pulled back and it has a single rudder.

A rocket boat for sure and probably one less expensive than the competition. Let's see how it will perform!

SPI OUEST: SF3600; JPK10.80; A35; JPK 10.10

Second day of racing on this great French classic. Contrary to that Italian racing event, there are many good teams here and the performances of the boats can give a good idea of their sailing potential under the conditions. Let's have a look how boats performed in IRC2 and IRC3, the more popular sailing groups.


  And again the same A35R cross the line in 1st in compensated and real time with 1.35.27 (the times are always real). Second in real time and 3rd in compensated, a First 40.7 with 1.35.51. Third across the line the F3600 with 1.36.12 (4th in compensated), followed very closely by another A35 (1.36.33) and the JPK 10.80 with 1.37.04. Then, between 1.40 and 1.41, by that order: A35, Grand Soleil 37, JPK10.10. Between 1.41 and 1.42: Dufour 36p, A35, MAT 10.10.

For the first time one of the new boats cross the line first in real time: 1st JPK 10.80 with 3.53.20 (2th in compensate). 2nd A35 with 3.55.45 (1st in compensated), 3rd JPK 10.10 with 3.58.51 (6th in compensated), 4th Grand Soleil 37 with 4.00.23 (5th in compensated). Between 4.01 and 4.03 and by order : Grand Soleil 37, X37, J35, A35, A35. The Sun Fast 3600 made 4.04.47.

A bit better the JPK 10.80 arriving first for the first time but not managing to win in compensated. Again very well the A35 that are definitively the boats to beat and the JPK 10.10 that out of its size range (10.00m against the A35 10.59m) manages not to lose much time for the bigger boats, even beating several A35 and the SF 3600 on the second race.


The first over the line was a really big boat for this class, a Jeanneau SO 40 that won in real and compensated time with 1.10.38, followed closely by a JPK10.10 with 1.10.46 (2th in compensated) followed by more 3 JPK 10.10 (1.11.25, 1.11.34, 1.11.39).

No doubt here, the JPK 10.10 is the boat to beat and the fastest boat with this size range but I think it would be interesting to compare the times with some other fast boats with about the same size.

Several Sun Fast 3200: 1.13.40, 1.14.26, 1.14.43, 1.17.01, 1.18.09, 1.18.27.

Several A31: 1.15.50, 1.15.44, 1.17.19, 1.20.51. 

Two Sominou 29: 1.19.31, 1.24.50

Several bigger and older X362s: 1.17.39, 1.18.26, 1.18.38, 1.19.31.

Several other boats including  a J 105 (1.14.43) a J109 (1.15.29) but as they are lonely boats the results are less meaningful regarding the boat performance.

This one was even more dominated by the JPK 10.10, in real and compensated. The first 9 were JPK including a smaller and older 9.60. The times of the first 7 : 3.04.36, 3.05.00, 3.05.14, 3.06.46, 3.06.52, 307.51, 3.07.59.
The first  non JPK was a bigger X362 with 3.10.06 followed by the SO 40 with 3.10.58, another X362 with 3.12.22, the first A31 with 3.13.06 and two SF 3200 with 3.16.06 and 3.19.16.

What can be said except that the domination of the JPK 10.10 is overwhelming, so much that even can compete on the class above (IRC2) without making bad figure.

A movie where we can see the conditions were these results happened : 

Spi 2014 samedi 19 por OuestFranceFR


Hi Paulo, 
Well, as you guessed the guys are not all that serious all the time, at least not in the first half of the video :) But they do actually mention that the 310 is a lot faster than the Arpege, I think about 1,5 knots upwind. 
And the 310 feels also much bigger than 31 feet. 
That´s actually my sailmaker from North Sails, Anders, helming the 310! They also mention that the 310 is much of an inshore boat, slamming a bit already in the sea conditions during the test. 

In the end, the guy from Hamnen asks my sailmaker (who is a very experienced sailor) if he personally could consider the 310 for family sailing, a question he doesn't answer (10:35 in to the test)... meaning NO! So, probably more of a boat for cruisers who don´t value a well sailing boat as much as great comfort and space. 

Saying that, I think there is a huge market for the 310 since not too many people put performance first (like me for instance)! By the way, I´m going on vacation tomorrow for a few days in Montreux by lake Geneve and when I get home it´s time to leave again, this time for Denmark to pick up my new Dragonfly, that I´ve told you about earlier. Cheers!

Hi Thomas!

And thank you for your comments. I was a bit confused with your explanation regarding why the sailmaker did not reply. The question was if he would consider the boat for family cruising, not for racing. On a 30 ft boat for family cruising space is of essence and the Dufour has a very nice interior, a good cruising one, so why should he say no? It seems to me that for a main market boat the Dufour 310 sails pretty well. In fact he was just sailing with a self taking Jib while on those conditions he could use a genoa upwind and an assymetric spi downwind. For the price that boat costs I have doubts it is possible to find something that sails as well and has such a good interior.

Of course others would prefer a Pogo 30 or a JPK 10.10 but those boats are not only considerably more expensive but they also have a worse cruising interior and less tankage. Not saying I would not prefer any of  those two (if I had the money I would) but that is not the point. The point is that they are not the same type of boats, directed to the same type of sailors and on a boat test the tester should be testing the boat regarding what the boat was designed for and regarding the sailors the boat is aimed to. He should not test it with his preferences in mind but objectively regarding the boat market and having as reference similar boats.

Regarding slamming, things are what they are, a Pogo 30 would be much faster but would be slamming a lot more. Slamming or not slamming has also to do with the one at the wheel. Not all boats can be sailed upwind with waves at the same angle. If the boat was slamming with that sea it means that he was pushing the boat too much upwind. Not all boats and types of hulls are the same. 

The guys from when they tested the SO 349 said that the boat did not slam and had a very nice sea motion. Those hulls are very similar and I bet that the 310 does not slam more than the SO 349. If a guy is used to sail for instance on a J111 he is going to find that both boats (the SO 349 and the Dufour 310) slam upwind if he tries to sail them as the J111 and that's why a boat tester should have an huge experience with all types of boats. That's the only way not to be partial and not to compare a boat with others that have nothing to relate with.

Sorry about the rant but I felt I should clear this.

I will be closing the Blog soon, to go sailing. I will get back in October and I would like a full report on your new Dragonfly 32 with lots of information. I count on that ;-)

Hi Paulo,
Yes you are right, and I knew you would be a bit confused about it! It is a good boat for family cruising, but some people just can´t let stop racing even if the family is on board :) I think they just used him in the test for fun (he is an ex Volvo ocean race skipper) and not because he was interested in the boat in the first place. As I said, these guys at Hamnen are not all that serious all the time!

I wish you a very nice sailing season and I will definitely give you a full report on the dragonfly. Cheers!!


Thanks again and most of all have fun with the new boat!!!! I know the sensation and it's one of the best we can have. Enjoy your perfect boat ;-)


Saturday, April 19, 2014


 I had already made that comparison on the old thread but the Swedes from Hamnen did not only the same, reached the same conclusion as they had made a fantastic video with both boats on the water. :-)
Before seeing the video some basic information about the boats:

The Arpege was on the origin of Dufour success as a brand. It was designed by Michel Dufour himself and built from 1966 to 1976. 1500 boats were made and that was just huge for that time and 10 years of production. It was incredibly modern for its time, featuring a deep bulbed keel.

Built as a cruiser son revealed that it was also a competitive racer and even today is far from a slow boat. The boat was light with only 3300 kg which 1200kg of ballast on a bulb with 1.62m of draft. It was narrow (3.00m), it had 9.14m of LOA but a LWL of only 6.71m. It had 35.5m2 of upwind sail area.
The Dufour 310GL is a great design from Umberto Felci, it weights 4940kg, it has 1300kg of ballast on a torpedo keel with a draft of  1.90m. Compared with the Arpege it is beamy (3.31m) but most of all has all beam brought back and a two rudder setup. The LOA is 9.67m  (LH 9.35) and a much bigger waterline (8.70m). It has 50.3m2 of upwind sail area.

Two very different designs, both great to their own epoch. As all modern boats regarding their older comparable models the Dufour 310GL has an overall better performance and an incomparably bigger interior volume.

Regarding the performance the two conditions were the Arpege would have a closer performance would be  in very light wind or close upwind. On the video, besides being able to see the differences between the two interiors we can see the comparative performance close upwind with medium light wind, with the 310 being faster. 

A pity they had not showed the comparative performance on other points of sail where the 310 would be much faster.

 The video, as usually is very funny and as I don't understand Swede I can only see what was going on. If someone understands Swede I would be grateful for one or two meaningful comments regarding what was said.


Surprised they went with a teak toe rail. also don't like the way the aft end of the coachroof tilts higher. I thought it would have a more sleek look. (parallel to the deck a bit more).
Also....are there any winches on the coachroof? i'm not seeing them.

Paulo: On the teak rail toe I am as surprised as you. It was not on the original designs (it had an aluminium one) and it is hard to justify on this type of boat. Regarding the 4 winch setup they were already on the drawings. The Allures 45 has a 6 winches set up. Probably the higher cabin on the Garcia would not allow the direct passage of lines and would not allow for winches on the top of the cabin (for reefing). 
So they would have the choice to have 4 on the cockpit or six. They have opted for two on each side. That means that while reefing you would not have the line from the frontal sail on a winch, but blocked while you are using the winch for reefing. That will allow less control over the boat, or at least a more difficult one, while reefing.

Regarding the looks it was to be expected. If the boat had a gently sloped forward cabin "glass", a bit like in an automobile, the looks would be better, but the temperature inside the boat on the tropics would be higher.
 I have designed once a building with that kind of slopped backwards windows. It works effectively in what regards keeping the sun out, but a movable extensive protection for the sun  would have probably worked as well not making the boat look so "heavy".

The higher central part of the coachroof has a function: it works like a fixed dodger providing a "dry" entry to the boat (look at the first picture) as well as two places to be outside warm and dry even on bad weather.

Again it could have been designed other way but it would be harder to make it lower without making the forward part of the cockpit lower (that is used in some boats) but it raises other problems as well as diminish the interior space. On the Allures 45 the problem of keeping the water out in bad weather passes for a removable dodger.

Another solution on the Allures 45,  a very nice one in my opinion, an aluminium fixed small dodger in connection with a removable bigger one:

SPI OUEST 2014 - SF 3600 versus JPK 10.80

Well, first day of the long waited battle between the two hottest  new boats (IRC2) and...first race a A35R wins in compensated and real time ( RT - 1.40.41), a A35 make 2nd in compensated and 6th  in real time (1.42.17), the JPK 10.80 comes 3rd in compensated and 2nd in real time (1.41.26), then a First 40.7, 4th in compensated and 3rd in RT (1.41.50) then the SF 3600,  5th in compensated and 4th in real time. Anyway all really close in real time.

Second race and the winner is ....the First 40.7, in real and compensated time (2.58.22), 2nd in compensated and real time the SF 3600 (2.59.46), 3rd in compensated and real time, the A35R (3.02.31), 4th in compensated in real time a JPK10.10 (3.12.35), 5th in compensated and real time a A35 (3.18.22), 6th in compensated and real time the JPK 10.80 (3.20.40).

I hope the JPK 10.80 had technical problems since the time is not good.
 The hero here seems to be the JPK 10.10, a smaller boat that normally races in IRC3, that had made 8th on the first race in compensated, 5th in real time (1.43. 16)  and that on this one made a spectacular 4th in compensated and real time.

On IRC3, on the first race, 1st on compensated but only 3rd in real time a Sf 3200, 1st in real time and 2nd in compensated a JPK10.10, 2nd in real time and 3rd in compensated another JPK10.10. Then more 3 JPK 10.10 in real and compensated time.
On the second race on the 7 first places 6 JPK 10.10. Among them a SF 3200 in 4th in compensated but only 6th in real time.

Two comments: 
Most of the times the classification in compensated is very close to the one in real time and that is a great,  only possible due to the high quality of the crews that are closely matched.
And the other comment has to go to the JPK 10.10. What a boat!!! This one wins not only in compensated but also in real time, going as fast as bigger boats.

Not yet movies from this edition, so some good ones of past editions:


Friday, April 18, 2014


We have been looking at hull design development following the evolution towards better performance and paying attention to the differences between  hull designs maximized for solo racing and crewed racing. Even if the main point of interest is the evolution of cruising designs the focus, in what regards hull development, is on racing since it is here that the developments are first implemented before being used on cruising designs.

While today main market cruisers are used almost only for cruising, performance cruisers are used many times with a dual purpose : cruising and racing; so it is natural that while on main market cruisers the main hull influence comes from solo racing, on the performance cruiser market the influence is a more mixed one, having the boats different compromises in what regards solo and crewed racing. 

Contrary to main market cruisers they are designed taking into consideration IRC and ORC handicap racing and its particularities. On the recent developments on these boats the increase in popularity of short hand racing on the traditional handicap racing circuit has importance in what regards a bigger balance towards short hand sailing potential.

To have a better idea in what concerns these two different type of hulls, let's look at two recent designs (2011) by a top designer, Mark Mills and look at the differences in what regards design and also at the similarities.
 On the left we will have a 45ft crewed racer and on the right a 38ft short handed cruiser-racer, that is pretty much what the performance cruisers are today.

We can see that in both boats the beam was all brought back and also that they are beamier than what he used to design some years back. If we compare the Mills 45 racer with the Ker 46, we will see that the Ker is even beamier so, no doubt: in the last years, on racing crewed boats pointed to max performance (upwind and downwind), the beam has increased. No doubt also in what regards beam being brought back.

Regarding the differences, the Crewed racer (including the Ker 46) have a single very deep spade rudder while the performance cruiser has two rudders. We can conclude that in absolute terms a single rudder has advantages in what regards performance but that a twin rudder offers a better and easier overall control that, taking into consideration the solo or short crew, will turn itself on a performance advantage.

We can see also that the transom design on the crewed racer is very different and while the 38ft performance cruiser has a much lower chine, working at relatively small angles of heel, the 45ft crewed racer has a very high chine that will only work at very high angles of heel. That will allow it to explore the bigger RM obtained at high angles of heel and the weight of the crew on the side of the boat, without having the chine creating drag.

The lower chine on the 38ft performance cruisers indicates a boat that is designed to sail with less heel, a boat easier to control specially upwind were that chine will help to prevent roll, offering an extra help and extra time to control the boat when the sails are not perfectly adjusted.
 On the Crewed 45 racer the hull will offer a better overall performance, if the boat is always in a tight control, that can only be provided by a big expert crew, at least when the boat is sailed close to the limits. Again, the easier control of the 38ft boats will turn as a performance advantage when the boat is sailed with a short crew or even with a less experienced crew.

Very interesting to note that on the evolution of that 45 design, that is basically the new Summit 45, even that high chine has disappeared, offering all the lateral side of the transom as a plane that is used to sail upwind, providing a huge form stability at a high angle of heel. A similar solution  is also used on Ker crewed racers. We can see that Mills are using no chines on there more recent crewed racers, namely the very fast Alegre 3 mini-maxi.

We could talk about the difference in beam but, having the boats different lengths, that is not very relevant in this comparison since bigger boats tend to be proportionally less beamier. It is true that beam contributes to create a more stable platform, a boat that sails with less heel making it an easier boat to control and that's why solo racers are very beamy. But we are talking here about a 38ft performance cruiser that will be used also in racing and we know that beamy racers rate poorly in handicap racing. Besides most solo racers are designed with Transat in mind and are more balanced in what regards performance to downwind sailing. We will leave that discussion for another time.

For now I can just say I love that Mills 38ft and it is a shame nobody will be producing it since it seems to me very well balanced and a beautiful performance cruiser.:-)

Mr Pelicano:

Paulo - Your observations regarding the design trends in crewed racers are also confirmed when you look a the TP52 class, such as Azzurra and Quantum Racing. These boats carry about as much beam as you could reasonably expect on a 52 foot boat, brought well aft, but with either no chines at all - Quantum Racing - or a mild chine,carried quite high - Azzurra. We know from the racing results that Quantum Racing is a very fast boat, but also that the level of crew ability is extremely high. So we would expect that chines could be dispensed with because Ed Baird and Co. are able to sail the boat in its sweet spot under most conditions. That is not to suggest that Alberto Roemmers and his talent-rich team aren't just as good as Quantum Racing. J/V obviously have their reasons for retaining the mild chine in the design - perhaps to favor performance off the breeze in stronger winds. Botin & Carkeek may have chosen to make QR more of an all-around performer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This Archambault is the first to really come playing in the Pogo garden, but with a different character. Whereas the 12.50 cruiser is a direct spin-off a quite successful class 40 racer (S2, now already replaced by the S3) and therefore optimized for downwind courses, the A13 seems more of a compromise with more homogeneous performances on all courses.

This is perfectly in line with the different philosophies: the Pogo is an open “box rule” design without any restrictions at all concerning rating, the Archambault on the other hand has clear IRC ambitions and will therefore be available in four different versions, from pure (handicap) racing to fast cruising.

In proportion the A13 is a less extreme and especially much narrower design. And with also relatively more weight, both features that should improve upwind performance especially in choppy seas. 

Less beam also means the interior space will be almost the same for both boats, although the A13 is 2 feet longer. And it has doors, Paulo :-)! Plus a less lofty and more cozy touch which will probably especially be appreciated by the ladies, who mostly have the last word when it comes to deciding about a new boat. Am I a lucky man :-)!

This interior certainly explains a part of the extra weight, as does the narrower beam requiring more ballast. The upwind sail area is comparable for both (around 110 square meters), the Pogo being smaller and lighter than the Archambault. Only the spinnakers are proportionately the same size (155 and 185 square meters respectively). So on paper the 12.50 should be more powerful in light to medium winds.

A fixed 2.60 meters draft is quite a lot for most cruising grounds, not as much from a sailing point of view (although I often have to choose between sailing keel down a long way around, or motoring keel up straight over the Flemish Sandbanks, at least I have the choice) but certainly in port or at anchor. Few believe their eyes when we enter Blankenberge when the tide is low or anchor amidst the catamarans, just in front of the beach.
So I think Archambault is very right to study the option of a swinging keel. For the same CG it would need to be more than 3 meters deep, but without it I’m afraid very few cruisers would go for the A13. Which would probably mean exclusion from the Pogo play garden.
Regarding this, I wonder if Arcambault would also take up the Pogo challenge concerning the construction of a swinging keel. The concept itself goes a long way back, to the First Class 8. But until now Structures is the only yard to offer a composite foil with a lead ballast. They are very keen on this technology: during one of our visits to the yard we could see our own keel in construction but were not allowed to photograph it.

So although the 12.50 and the A13 are quite different concepts, I agree they can become competitors on the fast cruising market and also hope especially the French magazines will give us a treat with a nice comparative test.

Hi Eric!

Yes, 2.60m is a lot on the tidal waters of Holland or France but some years ago I sailed a Salona 41 with a 2.70m draft in Croatia and to my surprise I had not any problem, even in what regards anchoring. On the Med that is not a big inconvenient. With my boat I am always more worried with my big spade rudder than with my 2.25m keel and happily would change to one with 2,50m or 2.60m draft to have a better protection on the rudder, that goes probably over 2.00m deep. Off course, a swing keel will allow you to enter any small port and will give more flexibility...but at a cost of about 20 000 euros and more maintenance. For the ones that absolutely need a small draft it is the way to go but if you can dispense that the extra 20 000 euros are hard to justify.

And talking about money that is one of the things in what Pogo will be too hard to beat and not by a boat like the A13. The superior ballast and the reinforcements needed will make it a more expensive boat. Not surprisingly the price is similar to the one of the Sydney 42GTS that has a similar typology in what regards beam and ballast even if the hull, specially the transom area, is very different. I don't think the A13 will be in competition with the Pogo 12.50 due to the price difference, or at least it will never be as popular as the Pogo is.

Regarding speed the bigger power of the Pogo 12.50 is not necessarily transformed in speed because being the A13 slimmer, it will need less sail area to go at the same speed...and the LWL is bigger. Anyway probably with strong winds  the Pogo will be faster downwind while the A13 will be faster upwind and with medium and lighter winds, but  only when the VPP will come out we will be able to say and a comparative test sail, as you say, would be very interesting, even more with the Sydney GTS 43 on the dance too.


And a A35 wins again in IRC3. No further conclusions to take about the boats because they don'y give the results in real time :-(

The movie is from last year's edition but it is so good that I want it here: A classic ;-)


The Aventura IV the new Jimmy Cornell's boat is on the water:

Have a look at the previous Aventura and follow the search of Cornell towards the perfect voyage boat. It could be your choice or not, since different sailors would have made different choices, but one thing we have to agree: After several circumnavigations and 200 000nm he should know pretty well what kind of boat he wants ;-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


                                                                                                                                                  The Open designation is just to distinguish this one from the previous model, the very popular Nautitech 40, a great cruising cat, between the fat cruising cats and the true performance cats. Here you can have a look at the previous boat that should be less expensive now, on the used market, probably a good deal:

The new one is a different boat. Nautitech went for what most people want on a cat so, this one, is a less sportive boat, a bit heavier ( 7800 to 7385kg) but most of all fatter, with beamier hulls, more windage not only due to a superior freeboard and cabin height but to more straight surfaces.

 Almost all the nice curves from the previous model were substituted by straight surfaces. Is this a worse boat? Well, it's a different boat, probably a slightly worse sailingboat but a much better coastal cruising boat, a great one to live aboard. 

They say about the boat on Nautitech:
The design aims to redefine the use of space in a cruising catamaran. 

And the boat is all about that; they managed to do a remarkable work, not only Marc Lombard but Patrick Roseo, the interior designer. Probably these two worked together in what regards the boat dimensions to allow it to provide such an incredible interior on a 40ft cat without making it as fat as the various fat cats on the market. 
That is the main interest of this boat and it is not a small point, since most that buy a cat buy it for the space and in this case you have lots of space on a cat that will be way faster than for instance a Lagoon 39 that is much heavier (11 700kg) and a lot fatter.
 If you are eventually interested on the Lagoon 39 have a good look at this one. You may find that you don't lose that much in space, that what is offered is more than enough and you will win a lot in sailing speed and sailing pleasure.

I said that probably this one is slower than the previous model but I would only know for sure with a comparative test between the two boats  because this one compensates its smaller slimness with more power, having  more beam (6.91m to 6.50m) and more sail area (91m2 to 86.9m2). It has also deeper keels (draft: 1.35m to 1.20m) and that probably would provide a slightly better upwind ability.

All in all a great design, more pointed to the main market than the previous 40 but preserving a decent performance with a much better interior not only in volume but in quality of design and space. 

I like particularly the way the interior/exterior transition is treated as well as the wheel position, similar to the one on the Comet 37, giving a good forward view, but this time with a nice seat for a more relaxed sailing.;-)