Saturday, April 26, 2014


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:

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