Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Solaris 50
The European boat of the year is a more meaningful contest than the boat's of the year that are selected by many American and some European magazines. Regarding the American ones the number of boats considered by the European contest is hugely superior due to the bigger dimension of the market. While on a magazine's Yacht of the year the choice is the one from just a magazine, making it easier that choice to be influenced by publicity on the magazine or other factors, the European boat of the year is the choice agreed by 11 different European magazines from eleven different countries, making it a more impartial one.

That makes a lot more difficult external influence, like publicity on the magazines or the nationality of the shipyard. There are several categories and all the nominated boats on each category are tested. From those  the finalists are chosen and then tested again by the main testers of all magazines involved.

The knowledge of the market and the boat knowledge that are reunited during those secession is huge and the exchange of opinions contribute to a meaningful choice. Sometimes the  new boats that appeared on the market are not many or at least not many great boats but that was not the case this year, with a great vintage. I am glad to say that the choices seems very good to me.

 All great looking boats, not a single obviously "fat" one, meaning sailor's boats more than condo boats, that are also sailboats that can sail relatively well but where interior space considerations determines a certain level of fatness, to use a expression that my daughter use to apply regarding sailboat: she doesn't like fat boats :-)

And the winners are:

 Performance cruisers : the Solaris 50, a boat that I fall in love with on the last Dusseldorf boat show, it has not only beautiful lines, a great hull, as it is very well built, with a great high quality interior and surprisingly not as expensive as his quality may suggest. The other nominees were the Django 980, the Ice 52, the  Italia 9.98, the J 112 e, all great sailboats. A very difficult choice indeed. They said about the reasons why they had chosen the Solaris:

"The Solaris 50 is the most current, desirable new production yacht design, a bonafide trendsetter, with engineering quality to match her looks. She represents the melodious meeting of South American design flare with Italian styling. The result is luxurious performance. The Solaris 50 is sexy, elegant, sophisticated and a positive delight to sail."

I have already posted about it here, including a boat test movie:

Grand Soleil 47 LC
Luxury cruiser category: The Grand Soleil 43 LC, a boat that showed that a main market cruiser can offer a voluminous interior without becoming too fat or losing its sail potencial....for a price.
Two Italian boats between the choices show why I have been calling your attention to Italian boats and Italian boat design, I mean not only because I own an Italian boat LOL. The Grand Soleil was chosen among other impressive sailboats: Adventure 55, Maxi 1200, Oyster 475, Sunbeam 40.1.   They said about the choice of the Grand Soleil:

"The first real cruiser from Cantiere del Pardo in over 40 years, the Grand Soleil 46 LC, is for those after something a bit sexier, a little more luxurious, a bit classier, and a bit quicker than the norm. This thoroughly Italian product has bold, angular if somewhat stark styling that combines with a very light, spacious, inviting interior. She particularly suits warm weather cruising. The deck design offers both plentiful comfort at anchor and practicality at sea – she is easy to handle and nimble enough to enjoy light-wind sailing."

Post about the Grand Soleil 47 LC with video tests:

Hanse 315
Family cruiser category: Hanse 315. It seems that I have guessed this one ;-)  On a recent post I called your attention to this little boat that really does not look very innovative or out of the ordinary, but that is good looking and most of all surprised positively all that tested it. Like on the other categories the competition was big with particular focus on the RM 1070 that I believe it didn't won because it was just a remake of the previous boat, the RM 1060 and not a really new boat. They said about the Hanse 315:

"A family-friendly pocket cruiser, the Hanse 315 has a seductive hull shape that proves a delight to sail and has the beam for cockpit and aft cabin space. The 315 stimulates the small end of the new yacht market admirably. Space is apportioned wisely, with standing headroom and a great aft cabin. The Hanse 315 is a highly versatile and impressive new compact cruiser."

A post about it and a test video from Yachting world:

Multihull category: Dragonfly 25. I confess that I did not expect this one to win face to a very hard competition but then it won by the fun of sailing and obviously I did not have sailed the boat: "The more fun and more sportive Dragonfly" Wow!!! it seems the boys and girls of the jury had a blast with this one LOL. The competition: Bali 4.3, Comet Cat 37, Dazcat 1495, Slyder 47. They said about the Dragonfly 25:

"Jens Quorning, the founder and designer of Dragonfly has a knack of keeping a family look, yet one that is updated to look contemporary – in the Dragonfly 25’s case, particularly with the reverse stem floats. As well as being genuinely towable, this offspring of the range is perhaps the most sporty, fun Dragonfly yet. Innovative outrigger designs and the ability to helm from either float ensure an exhilarating ride. "

Post about the boat and two test movies:

Special Yacht category: Quant 23. I am really happy Quant won. These guys really deserved it and even if the competition here was big and a high quality one, Quant is really on another level: The really first flying dinghy, if we do not consider "things" like the Moth that can only be sailed by specialists. The competition: Bente 24, Corsair Pulse 600, Fareast 28R , Farr 280.

"The Quant 23 is a design that promises much but somehow delivers even more. Even if you didn’t even fit the foils you’d still have a blast on this super-fresh sportsboat – a lake sailer that ensures scows continue to have cult status. Add Hugh Welbourne’s Dyamic Stability System and you have a sportsboat on steroids, a craft that puts serious fun back into sailing, and makes foiling approachable. The Quant shows exactly what the ‘Special Yacht’ category is for."

A post about it with more videos: 

Friday, January 22, 2016


Monday, January 18, 2016


Dufour 40e
No, I had not a madness attack but Quique Valdivia made me so many questions regarding these boats that it makes no sense replying to that on a comment since I believe his questions have interest to many and if I am having a lot of work, at least i will make it profitable to more than one.

Dufour 40e
The first question: How does compare the Dufour performance with the Dehler 42?

They are the same type of boat. The one closest is the 40e. The Dufour is a much older design and you can notice it on the stern design. Sail area and weight are not very different but in what regards building while the Dehler uses a sandwich hull and a carbon reinforced structure for the keel the Dufour uses only sandwich on the non immersed part of hull and a system similar to Beneteau or Jeanneau with single skin and a inner moulded body (contre-moule) on the bottom with laminated structural framing.

I don't know why (probably due to racing rating) the previous version of the Dufour (older than 2006) have a bigger B/D ratio, closer to the one of the Dehler, the newer versions have a considerably smaller B/D ratio. The older use a molded cast lead keel the new one a more modern keel with a lower CG and probably that will compensate the difference in ballast weight. Anyway the Dehler has also a very efficient keel and considerably more ballast ratio.

 Both are good boats, well built but I would prefer the Dehler not only because it is a newer design but also because I like more the way it is built and because the bigger B/D will give it a better final stability.

The second question: Even though the Dufour 40E hull construction might not be as strong as the Dehler, would the quality of Dufour might still be durable for long term (i.e 15-20 years) under normal coastal cruising?

Dehler 42
I did not said that the Dehler 42 is stronger than the Dufour 40e. Both are well built boats,  using vacuum infusion or injection techniques. Those techniques  will allow stronger boats for the same weight. I don't believe any of them will have any problem in 15 or 20 years use, given normal maintenance, in coastal or offshore use. In fact the first Dufour 40 performance are now 13 years's old and I don't know of any particular problems with them. They still maintains a good resale value and it is one of the best and more modern boats of that era on that price range. An interesting buy as an used boat.

Dehler uses an integral sandwich hull while Dufour uses in the immersed part a single skin and a contre moulded bottom. Those systems have advantages and disadvantages. Weight for weight Sandwish is much stronger in what regards everything except possibly abrasion but has the disadvantage of  a possible (but rare) water intrusion that with time can create some problems even if the core is closed cell foam, as it is the case.

The system of a contre moule has the disadvantage of making very difficult to verify if everything is alright in what regards keel support structure and in case of de-bonding or needed reparation due to an hard grounding, makes the reparation much more difficult. That system is not very different than the one used by Jeanneau or Beneteau with the diference those brands use contre moule not only on the bottom but on a big part of the hull.

The third question: What would be the "minimum ideal" B/D be for the type of boats we are discussing here?
Old massive keel on the Dufour 40
You cannot look only at B/D to have a measure of a boats stability, not even regarding AVS or final stability. Type of keel and its efficiency as well as draft are as important. Regarding that have a look here:

As you can see, regarding B/D you cannot put things like that. There is not a "minimum ideal". Regarding an acceptable stability all boats have to pass RCD standards and that in what regards safety stability, warrants the minimum that is considered safe for each type of use, on this case, Class A, that means Offshore use.
The keel used now on the Dufour 40

There is a minimum but in what I am concerned stability cannot bee too much and more is always better. Modern sailboats use two ways to get stability (putting it on a simplified way) trough ballast and trough hull form stability that is directly linked with beam. Hull form stability is very relevant to the stability that is used while sailing, to conter act the moment created by the wind on the sails, but serves almost nothing in what regards final stability and AVS and that is why it is important to have as much coming from the keel/ballast as we possible can.

Normally this type of boats (performance cruisers) have a lot more stability coming from the keel/ballast than main market mass production boats and therefore have a better final stability and a better AVS. Talking about "minimum ideal" does not make sense but in what concerns me if I could have a performance boat with an efficient deep keel with over 40% of his weight on ballast it would be what I would chose.

Knierim 49
However, the same way that it is inexpensive to build boats with a lesser righting moment coming from the ballast (that's why almost all main mass market boats have a relatively small B/D ratio) to built the kind of boats I would prefer, with a very big B/D, is VERY expensive since the loads generated by the ballast/big draft will be huge and the boat has to have a very strong structure and to be very strong. As an example you can have the Knierim 49, a very fast boat that can go as fast as an Outremer 51, very seaworthy and with a B/D ratio of 35% on a 3m draft high performance keel.

If you chose to have a keel with 2,2m draft instead and the same RM, than the needed B/D would rise probably to 40% or over. So, minimum and ideal are contradicting terms in what regards B/D on a modern sailboat, unless we are talking about something over 45%, or talking about what would be preferable to get a good performance in what regards compensated results in racing. Many times a bigger ballast ( bigger RM) can be not ideal in what regards IRC racing, but hardly in what regards pure performance or seaworthiness, if the boat is designed taking into account that.

The fourth question: I live in Peru were the fleet is small and we only see Beneteau,  Jeanneau and Dufour boats. Are Elan, Salona brands at the same level as Beneteau, Jeanneau or are considered in Europe as better quality brands?
Jeanneau 419

Not an easy question LOL. First of all, as I have been trying to say not all boats from a brand are equal specially when brands like Beneteau, Elan or Dufour have two different series of boats.

On all of them performance cruisers are more expensive, as I have explained on the post about the Dehler 42, not only because they need to have more power (stability) as because they have more power they have to be built strongly to be able to handle that power without breakage. Also the sailing hardware is, for the same reason, of better quality  and masts come inside the boat and are posed over the keel. All that increases prices.

Since we talk about Dufour lets look at the new Dufour 412 (that is basically a 410) and compare it with the Dufour 40e: We can see that in what regards B/D there is no diference, with  both boats having 29% with similar keels and similar Draft (2.10m) a not usual situation and that contributes to explain why the Dufour GL is more expensive than a Beneteau Oceanis 41: Both boats, the Oceanis and the GL have a similarly big beam but the Oceanis has 27% on a less efficient keel with a bit less draft (2.05m).

Dufour 410GL
The biggest diferences regarding the two Dufours regards the type of hull, offering the 410 much more hull form stability (and that means that has an overall bigger stability), with a considerable bigger beam (4.20m to 3.90m) and in what regards hull built. 

The 410 is a single skin hull and only on the bottom uses the same building techniques of the 40e, with a contre moule. That means that the Dufour 40 hull, that is a vacuum infused sandwich hull over waterline, will be much stronger specially in what regards flexing efforts.

In what regards B/D ratio the Dufour 40e is not an example in what regards performance cruisers the same way the Dufour 410/412 and the Jeanneau 409/419 are not in what regards main mass production cruisers. The Jeanneau 419 has 29% of B/D with a keel similar to the one of Oceanis, a less performant keel (meaning needing more ballast to do the same job) than the one of the Dufours. The Jeanneau beam is between the ones of the two Dufours.

Oceanis 41
The Jeanneau hull is similar to the one of the Dufour GL with single skin hull a contre moule for the bottom and partially the sides. The contre moule is bonded and stratified. Similar to what has the Beneteau except that here the contre-moule is only bonded. 

The Bavaria 41 uses, like on the Dufour 40e, a sandwich hull, that means, double skin hulls over the waterline with a resin impregnated foam core (does not use vacuum infusion), monolithic single skin below and a composite structure for the keel and shrouds laminated and bonded to the hull.

Bavaria uses on the 41 one keel similar to the ones of Oceanis and Jeanneau but with a bigger B/D ratio: 31% for the same draft of the Oceanis 41 and the same beam of Jeanneau 419 weighting about more 1T, seeming to indicate that it is a stronger boat.

Salona 41
The Salona 41, that belong to the same category of Dufour 40e has, like the Dehler 42, a double skin hull made using vacuum infusion with reinforcements on slamming zones of the hull. As the back bone of the boat, to distribute the loads of the keel and rig, it was a stainless steel structure and carbon reinforcements, something that is only normally used on more expensive boats.

The Salona has a B/D of 32% on a 2.0m keel similar to the ones of Dufour. To that Ballast we could join the 500kg of the steel structure on the bottom of the boat that also contribute to boat stability. Salona uses high quality vinylester resins and the 41, with a superior built, quality weights only 400kg less than the SO 419 indicating a strong boat, since it is built in a superior way.

Elan E5
Elan has two lines of sailboats one that they call Impression and other they call the performance one. Like with the rivals the performance one has better quality and the cruising one is so ugly that I will pass any comment (even if I have heard that they are well built boats). Their 40fter is now denominated E5, that is basically the former Elan 400. The boat as a B/D of 37% on a keel as performant as the ones of Dufour (even more, like the one of Dehler) on a 2.20m draft.

The Elan E5 has a sandwich hull made using vacuum technology, uses high quality resins and  a structural composite structure to distribute the loads from the keel and rig. The boat weights about as much as the Salona and has the same beam. Let me remind that the Dehler 42 weights a lot more (1.5T more) that the built techniques are not very different from Elan and even if the resins on the basic version of Dehler can be of inferior quality (and that means more quantity has to be utilized, therefore more weight) that diference in weight, specially regarding a boat like Jeanneau or Oceanis will indicate a considerably stronger boat.

Dehler 42
Let me point out again that the Dehler 42 has a B/D ratio of 32.4% with a high performance keel on a draft only matched here by the Elan: 2.20m. That does not mean that the Dehler cannot have a lesser draft but in that case it will have a keel with more ballast and a bigger B/D to compensate (35% for a 1.98m draft).

Probably the Dehler is not a match in speed in what regards the Elan, the Salona or my own boat even considering a much more expensive top specification version but in what regards cruising it makes all the sense, offering very good speed, a very good stability that comes not only from the superior B/D ratio, the hull stability but also from a superior displacement regarding the other performance cruisers. Probably not as fast as the other performance cruisers on most situations, but in a blow going upwind, that would not only the boat were I would like to be but also probably the fastest of all of these.

Regarding  vacuum infusion and double skin sandwich hulls to be better building technologies, some good articles that explain why:

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Beautiful design by Judel-Vrolijk, on the classic side, a boat that should be a very interesting proposal to all that like sailing and cruising, with many options that can make it faster or slower, more expensive or less expensive, more adapted to a dual propose utilization (cruiser-racer) or only fit for cruising.

 It is not a completely new boat but an upgrade of the existent Dehler 41; the same hull with new built materials, in what regards the less expensive version (closed foan instead of balsa) and most of all a much nicer cabin design and I hope a much nicer interior, since the one of the 41, the first boat since Dehler was bought by Hanse, was ugly.  In any of the cases, even on the lesser specification version, a better sailboat than a Beneteau, Hanse, Bavaria, Jeanneau or Dufour GL.

And that is a thing most cruisers seem not to understand: they look at a sailboat like this and only see a sailboat with a slighter smaller interior (less fat) and associate the sleek lines to racing thinking that it is designed for racing and that a main market mass production boat is a better cruising boat, safer and stronger.

Well it is a worse one, unless you cannot live comfortably on the slightly less spacious space these type of boats (Salona, Arcona, Comfortina, Solaris) offer because in what regards all the rest these boats are better, offering a much better sailing hardware, better building (hull and structure) more seaworthiness, with a better stability and most of all a better final stability. And off course, they sail better in a more comfortable way, specially in bad weather upwind.

But the truth is that most cruisers assume that main market cruising boats are safer than these ones just because they are fatter and most chose, sailboats by the interior they can see on boat shows, with a big help from their wives. That really pisses me because makes these type of boats, better sailboats, a species in extinction. It seems Beneteau is going to finish with its First line, the one that was on the origin of the Brand and we see Grand Soleil, that always had made this type of boats, starting to make fat boats. Not commercially interesting this type in what regards mass production boats.

So what you can get better on this boat even if you chose an inexpensive downgraded version that is not much more expensive than a Beneteau or a Jeanneau?: You can get a vacuum infused foam sandwich hull using  vinylester resins on the outer layers you get carbon reinforced hull structure laminated to the hull to distribute keel and rig forces, and all that means a stronger boat. You get higher quality sailing hardware, bigger winches, you get a sailboat with a more comfortable motion, you get a sailboat with a better stability and a bigger B/D ratio, a more seaworthy sailboat, you get a faster sailboat.

All this seems  to be completely ignored by sailors when they buy a sailboat and I believe that most disregard all this by ignorance, assuming that Beneteaus and Jeanneaus are built the same way, with the same materials, have just a bigger interior and are slower. Well, I hope this small rant contributes to clean the waters.

Regarding the boat itself there is not much to say, it is a kind of classic boat regarding this type of boats so there is nothing really special about it, except that it is a very nice design and offers a very big list of options that can make of a basic boat different sailboats with very different performances and prices. Curiously the boat is more pointed to cruisers than to serious cruising-racers not offering even on its higher specification a racing top specification.

The Dehler 42 weight can go from 9350kg to 8450kg, possibly less with carbon spars, the draft can go from 1.98m to 2.40m with different types of keels offered, including L ones, the sail area upwind can go from 93m2 to 99.5m2, depending on the lenght of the mast. 

Regarding the interior no images are shown but it will be an interior very similar and with the same quality of the one of the Dehler 38 or Dehler 46 and that means a very good cruising interior with a cozy look and feel. I like more the one of the 38, that seems more well proportioned and there is a fair chance that this one would be just like the 38 but better and bigger.
The basic price is very interesting at 169 900 euros but if you are interested on a boat of this size, just pick the airplane to Dusseldorf, go to the boat fair (end of this month) and they will offer you huge discounts, I bet more than the announced 50% discount on the extra packages.

Friday, January 8, 2016


Normally I post here about new boats, this one has already 5 years and that means that a new re-make, if not a new boat, should be on the way to substitute it, except I don't think it is going to happen, or even that it is needed  and since this boat is not on this blog (the blog started in 2014) it is time to post about it because I find it one of the most interesting around.

JPK stands for Jean-Pierre Kelbert, the initials of the builder. JPK is a great guy, I knew him personally some years ago while I was looking for my next boat and made a tour of the shipyards that had boats that interested me.

 I meat at that time some very interesting guys but none as interesting as JPK. He was a racer that started building boats and still races occasionally, crewing on his client's boats and he certainly has some top racers as clients. They buy mostly two of his cruiser racers, the JPK 10.10 and the JPK 10.80.

Both boats have already won the Fastnet  and the Transaquadra. The 10.80 won the last Transquadra and its division on the Sydney-Hobart. On both, on the Transquadra (duo Transat) and on the Sydney-Hobart, JPK was part of the crew. So I can tell you that, with a vast experience of crew racing and solo racing, building winning boats, he knows exactly what he is talking about when you discuss with you your particular requirements. He can offer very positive and meaningful suggestions regarding the sailing and cruising needs of any sailor and make them happen on the boats.

That was what I felt when I talked with him regarding having a JPK 110 more adapted to cruising and solo sailing. But in the end I felt that the 110 was just a bit smaller than what I needed, specially regarding storage space and even if impressed with the boat and boat building quality I moved on. If he had already the 38FC probably I would have that boat.

FC stands for fast cruising and the boat seems to respond to all I want on a sailboat. It was not designed with racing on mind but for the ones whose principal enjoyment is cruising on a rewarding and fast boat, including offshore cruising. Compared with the 110 the 38 is bigger, more stable, easier to sail (due to a a bigger transom and more beam), has an option for a swing keel (with all the ballast on the keel), has a much bigger galley and much more storage space.

Its  small weight (5000kg), allow for the use of relatively small sails, easily manageable, the big form stability and big B/D ratio (38%) on a big draft (1.35/2.70m) gives it a huge stability and a very good reserve or final stability. A powerful easy and very seaworthy boat built with infusion vacuum techniques on a cored (20mm) hull using vinylester resins and as core Balsa light and Airex. In fact the  hull is built like the one of a racing 40 class boat (that they built too).

Many times what the builders or designers says about their boats is exaggerated but I don't think it is the case with JPK that "explains" the 38FC better than me.

"The  JPK 38 reunites the cumulative experience of offshore racing, the cruising experience and a desire to voyage combining the pleasure of sailing, the quality of life aboard and safety. Many boats are on the market but none of them really combines all these qualities:

There are boats with a good cruising interior but with a hull limited by weight resulting in a diminished sailing pleasure and an offshore seaworthiness not entirely convincing. And also boats very light, with a minimalist interior and a open type of hull but not tolerant about the overload inherent to offshore cruising. They have very flat hull sections that will be very uncomfortable going close to the wind in a seaway.

The JPK 38 FC measure 11.38 meters to 4 meters wide. It is an ideal size in our opinion in what regards simple management of navigation and boat maintenance. The sail areas will generate little effort and are easily to handle. They are complemented with a gennaker or a code 0 on a retractable carbon bowsprit, allowing an uncluttered front deck. Bow thruster and electric winch remain unnecessary comfort options.

We considered having this boat made on the hull mold of JPK Class 40 , it would be easier and less expensive but Jacques Valer (the NA) immediately felt that it was impossible to achieve a true "good cruise sailingboat" by exploiting the mold of a boat designed to weigh 4500 kg 
 when in Version cruise we would need 5500 kg.

The JPK 38 FC is a synthesis between an "open" planing boat and a "displacement" boat. A beamy and powerful hull but with the frontal sections deep enough for a good wave passage and a deeper central hull, accepting the overload needed for voyaging. The result is a stable boat capable of sailing at a very high average speed in all sea conditions. The super careful construction in infused sandwich allows a large hull volume for a light displacement of 5 T, despite a substantial ballast of 1900 kg in the deep keel version.

The low weight is the key factor on all the architecture of the boat is based. The objective is to obtain a sufficiently rigid and fast hull to quickly exceed hull speed without dragging water even under load. A boat that will be fast upwind, downwind and in light winds.

For the ones that want the best in what regards sheltered anchorage and dream to voyage to the "end of the world" we have developed our swinging keel that allows to vary the draft from 2.70 m to 1.35 m. The keel foil is made of an infused composite web and the bulbed part is lead. It provides a RM similar to the one of the fixed keel with an estimate overall weight slightly lower. The necessary interior arrangements regarding the lifting mechanism don't interfere with the habitability.

In summary, the JPK 38 FC is a true synthesis of a modern voyage boat: Convivial, easy, seaworthy and very fast."

Regarding to be very fast, even if deigned as a cruising boat and with a rating that will not make competitive in IRC compensated racing, on the last Silverrudder, the most famous Nordic solo race, with 330 competitors, a race that experienced almost all wind conditions, a JPK 38 won with such an easiness that leaved all astonished.

That particular JPK 38FC is used normally for family cruising won not only its category, "keel boat large" but was also the fastest cruiser/racer monohull in all monohull categories including fastest than any of the much bigger "XL keel boat" category. And there were some very fast boats among the beaten ones, like for instance a racing J111 very well sailed (Blur), a Xp44 and a Grand Soleil 43.

In real time the boat was only beaten by a race monohull boat and some very race oriented trimarans, beating most of them, including all Corsair and all Farrier. So I guess we can say that JPK is not exaggerating when he states that the 38FC is "very fast" ;-)

If you want to try one these guys have one for charter: