Saturday, October 18, 2014


The data is taken from the huge comparative test (21 boats on the water) that served to chose the Voile magazine 2015 boat of the year. Let me say that for me that data is more important than the boat chosen: there are 90 testers, most not professionals and they are testing completely different boats, all kinds, from daysailers to voyage boats to chose a single boat. It is obvious that personal preferences for a given type of boat will play a major influence on the boat chosen, even more knowing that most are not professional testers.

It seems  more relevant to me the information that can be assessed by direct comparisons regarding boats of the same type, more if they are direct competitors to the same market segment. That's the case with the RM 890 the Malango 888 and the Dufour 310.
When a boat is tested preferences play a part in what regards interior and comfort but speed on the different points of sail, the way the boat sails are objective parameters, if the boats are in the water at the same time (at least for those conditions). That's what we are looking at here. For the rest you can just visit the boat on a boatshow and take your own conclusions. Regarding sailing performance evaluation they had luck with the wind this year: for the first day 25k wind, for the second they had less strong winds, medium winds.

The big surprise comes from the RM 890, carbon mast and all, the boat that belongs to Fran├žois Gabart equipped with a twin keel and twin rudders: It was slower than the Mojito but surprisingly also slower than the Dufour 310!!!! Unfortunately they don't give many details but they say that on the first day with the strong winds the RM 890 and the the Mojito 888 sailed fast reaching and at about the same speed but that close upwind the Mojito 888 went faster and better. 
Regarding the Dufour 310 versus the RM 890 they say even less, except for this phrase "Advantage from the Mojito and Dufour in what regards performances, advantage for the RM in what regards the interior, better finished and interior space"!!!

Big surprise, at least for me in what regards the Dufour 310. That's true that I had said already (on another post) that the Dufour 310 has a beautiful hull (Umberto Felci) and that on the test sail movies the boat seemed to sail really well. But from there to be faster than a RM 890, that is lighter (3900 kg to 4940), has about the same sail area and better sail controls (a traveler for the main and a 3D control for the frontal sail) there is a big difference. Probably they are referring to the conditions on the second day (medium winds) even if they don't make it clear (they say that the Dufour 310 sailed very well with strong winds pointing at 16k).
I don't really believe that the Dufour 310 will be a match reaching in strong winds, but in what concerns upwind sailing it can be another story. They did not test in light winds, where with the standard sails the RM will be probably faster due to the bigger SA/D but using a geenaker it remains to be seen. The 310 is a bigger boat, has a bigger LWL and less beam.

Anyway, it is not the RM 890 that is bad. It is certainly faster than the previous RM 880 that was already a great small voyage boat, it is the Dufour 310 that is surprisingly fast. The good performances from the Mojito/Malango were to be expected.
Some comments regarding the boats (from Voile Magazine and translated with some liberty):

DUFOUR 310: "It sails remarkably well. Very comfortable even in conditions that could be considered rude for this boat...easy to sail, fast, we made some points at 16k. It doesn't need a lot of wind to offer good accelerations Sensitive and very agreeable to steer. At ease with medium/strong winds, relatively stiff and easy to control in strong gusts"

RM 890: "Very well balanced...the rudder-man has all the controls at hand "

MOJITO 888: "It goes very fast..very sensitive, lively, comfortable when heeled...with 25k wind it is a delight with a light (twin) rudder that offers a total control even when strong gusts make the boat heel over what is sensible. We never thought of reducing sail and kept the full mainsail. With asymmetric spy we go even faster, planning."

If you want more information, namely regarding the boat interiors and read French you can find the November issue of Voile on Zinio, for downloading.

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