Sunday, November 23, 2014


Two boats pointed to the same type of sailors but two very different boats even if sharing a kind of similar look. The Garcia is an aluminium centerboarder with almost all the ballast inside the boat, the Comet is a swing keel boat with all ballast on the keel. Both have a cutter rig.

This gives Garcia an advantage in what regards simplicity and  Comet a clear advantage in what regards performance: For the same RM the Comet will only need a percentage of the ballast that will be needed on the Garcia.

The Garcia is almost integrally built in Aluminium, the Comet is made of vinylester resins, Eglass and kevlar and carbon reinforcements, using an infusion process. The finality is giving max impact and compression resistance on critical areas. The boat has a sacrificial crash box at the bow and another one at the stern. The cabin can have a watertight door. Even with all the kevlar reinforcements in what regards resistance to impact I believe that the aluminium hull will be a better option.

Regarding dimensions (m, kg, m2, L): LOA:  G - 14.21; C - 13.99. LWL: G- 12.57; C - 13.97. Beam: G - 4.44; C - 4.50. Displacement: G - 14 100; C - 11 500. Draft: G - 1.14/2.90; C - 1.60/3.50. Ballast: G - 4300; C - 4800. Sail Area upwind: G - 91.0; C - 85.3 (with Jib) 116 (with Genoa). Engine: G - 55/75hp; C - 75hp. Tankage: G - Water 500; Diesel 700; C - Water 440; Diesel 680.

From the dimensions we can see that to a very close LOA and Beam correspond a bigger  LWL and ballast on the Comet. The max draft is also deeper but the really huge difference regards RM and almost for sure AVS and inverted stability. The Comet has more 500kg of ballast but most of all it has all that ballast on a keel wilt 3.5m, while the Garcia has most of it inside the boat, just a bit below  the water line. The difference of effectiveness of both ballasts is huge as the stability of both boats, not in what concerns overall stability, due to the Garcia bigger weight, but in what concerns the stability/weight ratio.

The Comet will not only be a much more powerful boat in what regards sailing as  it will have a better reserve stability and will recover much quickly from a knock out. The Garcia has the advantage of maintaining intact its stability with the centerboard up and that can be important regarding seaworthiness in extreme weather but probably the Comet with the keel up will have a similar stability to the one of Garcia.

It seems to me that the Garcia is a more specific yacht, pointed to voyages in extreme latitudes while the Comet will also be able to do that (even with a less resistant hull) but will be a more versatile sailboat with a much better sailing performance, a long range cruising boat with a big autonomy and seaworthiness.

 Both boats can be sailed from the interior and have an all around view from the cabin and the rigging is designed to be used by a solo sailor.

The Comet  looked a lot worse on the first low quality drawings. On the new ones the boat looks a lot better and more elegant than the Garcia that,as I have already said, looks fat and too high to me. Not that I find the Comet particularly beautiful even if I like the hull.

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